20 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Atlanta
Atlanta, US, is a large, cosmopolitan city and the capital of the state of Georgia. Situated in the southeastern region of the US, the city of Atlanta is located near some of the country's most important national parks such as Shenandoah, Cumberland, and Chattahoochee.
The city is a major center for business, finance, education, and culture and boasts one of the world's most prominent arts scenes. Atlanta is also known for its football (soccer) club, Atlanta United, which has won the league championship a record five times.
Unlike many other major American cities, Atlanta is relatively free from traffic congestion and pollution, while there are exceptional transportation and public transport services. The city is also known for being one of the safest places to live in the country and is home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a premier medical research institution, and the headquarters of the largest fire department in the US, and the second largest in the world.
A top travel destination in the world, Atlanta enjoys warm, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. The best times to visit are between May and October when temperatures are relatively stable, but traffic is less crowded and there are fewer crowds.
Atlanta's nightlife scene features some of the best nightclubs and bars, while a number of historic neighborhoods and historic sites offer excellent places for shopping, dining, and relaxation. Here are some of the best places to visit in Atlanta.
If you're a marine enthusiast, there is no better place to visit than the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, which has everything from local species to sharks and rays to exotic marine wildlife. The aquarium features both underwater displays that can be viewed up close as well as a sea-lion exhibit. Other highlights include an underwater walkway called The Abyss and a high-tech shark enclosure that will make you think twice before getting too close.
Although the phrase "breathtaking panoramic view" hardly comes to mind when thinking of CNN's new corporate headquarters in downtown Atlanta, CNN Center has them all: lush gardens, a sun-filled atrium, high ceilings, and plenty of glass to bring in the views of the downtown skyline. The $7 billion facility, which opened in 2002, features hundreds of cubicles, a large newsroom, and an open area where visitors can observe the staff at work.
National Center for Civil and Human Rights
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights (CCHR) is an organization dedicated to educating and promoting public awareness of the various psychiatric disorders and the role of various psychiatric drugs. An outgrowth of the American Psychiatric Association, the center presents at-home family educational videos for audiences of all ages and a video library, which are used to demonstrate the dangers of psychiatric drugs and the harmful effects of these drugs on the mind, body, and family.
High Museum of Art
High Museum of Art (the successor to the High Museum of Art and Gardens) is dedicated to contemporary American art from the 19th century to the present. The museum first opened in 1922, and its impressive collection includes a sizeable body of work by Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, and Jackson Pollock, among others. High is unique among the nation's art museums because it is not just a collection of paintings and sculptures, but also a living and growing institution. The museum opened a "Creative Connections" program in 2008, where students from the downtown Atlanta school district can explore the various themes and the art of the museum, participate in "hands-on" classes, and see the "Making of a Collection" exhibit.
Atlanta History Center
Located at the southern end of Downtown Atlanta, the Atlanta History Center is one of the country's leading cultural institutions, holding collections of more than 1.7 million historical artifacts, including 100,000 books, 4,000 maps, and 20,000 periodical and newspaper titles. Housed in a restored, 7-story former railway warehouse building dating to the 1880s, the Atlanta History Center has 16 gallery and museum areas that document the city's rich cultural history. The 15,000-square-foot Robert W. Woodruff Library houses one of the largest collections of African-American books, manuscripts, and ephemera in the country. The New West Wing, opened in December 2012, contains over 55,000 square feet of exhibit space, additional galleries, and hands-on activity areas and an elevator that opens to a new level. The expanded Museum Shop is the only place in Atlanta where visitors can purchase souvenirs from museums and non-profit organizations.
World of Coca-Cola
Located in the heart of the U.S.A., Atlanta is full of wealth and good taste. There's a big reason for this. Coke is based in Atlanta. In this vibrant city, visitors can enjoy watching the world's best international dance competitions, traveling through the city's fantastic collection of museums and arts centers, and sampling some of the finest wines and food in the United States. What makes Atlanta even more desirable are the easy-to-reach, marvelous nature and great sceneries such as nearby Stone Mountain. If you're up to it, you can even drive down the road and visit the natural wonders.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
With a booming metropolitan population of over 3 million people, Atlanta, Georgia, is the sixth largest city in the United States and the largest city in the southeastern United States. A number of interesting things can be found around the airport, including the ultra-modern Terminal 3, the Charlie Brown Christmas tree, and even some fantastic Trolley Tour packages with Atlanta attractions, with a few sweet deals for kids on holiday.
Chinatown is the best place to come for authentic Asian food in the States, with many restaurants serving traditional recipes from Asia. The Atlanta Chinese community has grown tremendously, with the first Chinese restaurant in Georgia, Ken's Kitchen, opening in 1959. The area is at the heart of the city's nightlife, which extends far beyond the many hotels in Atlanta. There are nine famous Atlanta Atlanta Chinese restaurants, from the steaming smell of Ma's House, the oldest (established in 1975), to the unpretentious, boxy tasting rooms of Lantern's and Snakeheads. The real secret is to come to these places for dinner to enjoy a family atmosphere and the traditional dishes.
Six Flags Over Georgia
At more than two million square feet, this amusement park is the largest in the South. As a matter of fact, it's the largest theme park in the world. Ride more than 70 roller coasters, including a double-flip, family-favorite rollercoaster called the Thunderbolt, and a 150-foot drop, American Eagle in a double-looping coaster that's plenty wild to fly. If this wasn't enough, there are other rides like the inversions of Superman, Batwing, and Superman. Expect to find a variety of food choices. Food and drinks are available from a concession stand, picnic areas, and various vendors. Kids may like the well-known Jellies and Jell-O, though many of the others may not appeal to your child. On hot days, there are shaded areas in front of rides.
Buckhead is a bustling business and residential neighborhood in the heart of Atlanta. Lying in the shadow of Peachtree Center and the Atlanta skyline, it is one of the wealthiest and fastest growing communities in the U.S. In terms of shopping, you'll find a wide variety of retailers, from exclusive brands to discount outlets. The Atlanta Botanical Garden and Fernbank Museum are both great local attractions.
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site is the first national park of its kind in the country. Created in 1991, the park consists of 20 buildings constructed by the civil rights leader between 1955 and 1963, including the King Center in Atlanta, where Dr. King lived and worked. The visitor center, the living room where Dr. King was martyred, and the room where he met with President Johnson after the Nobel Peace Prize was won have been preserved exactly as they were the day King was killed. Also preserved are items of his personal property, including his typewriter and Bible. Martin Luther King, Jr. became a national icon after delivering his "I Have a Dream" speech at the 1963 March on Washington. Exhibits at the visitor center shed light on Dr. King's life, work, and sacrifice.
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is the site of one of the most important battles of the American Civil War. The fighting here was the culmination of a series of incidents in and around Atlanta on July 20, 1864, the Union Army's most impressive victory. The park covers 1,457 acres along the northeast corner of metro Atlanta, and offers visitors a look at both the Georgia Battle Lines and the Confederate Defense Line, and the American History Museum of Georgia. You can see where the real-life heroes of the Civil War came to test their skills and make history, as well as get a feel for how folks once lived on both sides of the battle lines.
Georgia Museum of Art
Though the impressive Georgia Museum of Art's exhibitions and wide-ranging collection can be enjoyed at any time, the museum is also ideal for families looking to enjoy a day of history, art, and culture in Atlanta. In the lower level, the rotating exhibits are grouped by theme, while the upper level houses the permanent collection, displaying works by Georgia artists, including the works of noted painter James Deering and the sculptures of Frank Lloyd Wright, which has been in the Wright family for over a century. The museum also offers a diverse children's program of live action, videos, and tours. Also worth noting is the auditorium, which features theatre productions, concerts, and other family-friendly programs.
Las Vegas Strip
The famous Vegas Strip stretches for more than 12 miles along the southern Nevada border with Arizona. The Strip is in essence a series of hotels, casinos and nightlife enclaves where you can find the best restaurants, shops, and entertainment all in one place. If you happen to be in town on a Friday or Saturday night, the city's nightlife district is on full display as the best of live music, comedy, and more come together to strut their stuff in this informal venue. Outside of the Strip and the area's hotels is an equally spectacular gambling and entertainment district complete with golf courses, swimming pools, and nightlife, all ready to pamper tourists visiting from all over the world.
Known as Atlanta's center of nightlife, Lenox Square has a huge variety of restaurants and clubs. After you've had a great meal or an exciting night out, take a stroll and check out the flower and vegetable gardens, play a round of bocce or pétanque, or relax at one of the square's lakes. The square itself is surrounded by shops, galleries, and restaurants, making it one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Atlanta.
The magnificent Piedmont Park, on Atlanta's southeastern edge, is the city's living-room and a showcase for the beauty of the city. Named after the Piedmont region of northern Italy, the park was designed by the Olmsted Brothers in 1867 and 1872, making it the first major American park to be built from the start. It was laid out in an enormous Spanish-style botanical garden with winding avenues, and places to enjoy walking and picnicking, a reflecting pool, rose gardens and citrus and olive trees.The park is best known for its architectural design and is a favorite spot for Atlanta locals.
Fulton Mall is an upscale retail shopping center in the Buckhead community of Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Fulton is bordered by I-75 on the north, Piedmont Road on the south, Decatur Street to the east, and the Grady/Lenox MARTA rail station on the west. The mall features 150 stores and services, including upscale shops such as Prada, Gucci, and Tiffany & Co., and upscale specialty shops such as Jimmy Choo, Swarovski, and Burberry. Two anchor stores include the local office of Neiman Marcus (Neiman Marcus Men's and Neiman Marcus Women's), the local office of Macy's, and branches of national stores including Starbucks and JCPenney. The mall has four anchor stores: Neiman Marcus, Macy's, JCPenney, and Starbucks. The building was constructed in 1991 to house a Jordan Marsh department store in the space that previously housed Ivey's. It was renamed in 2005 after the closure of the Jordan Marsh department store.
Built in 1931 as a movie palace for the Fox Film Corporation, the Fox Theatre is the oldest operating art-deco theater in the world. At this writing, the building still has its original large marquee and plaster façade, in a part of town that has been gentrified. Adjacent to the theatre are Atlanta's Museum of Contemporary Art, the High Museum, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and the Carter Center. Fox Theatre, located near the center of town, is one of the premier cultural venues in the South.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
Located in the heart of the city, this 60-acre park has something for everyone. The 55-acre Rosie the Riveter/World War II Homefront Garden (open mid-June through August) includes ten historic structures that highlight Georgia's contribution to the war effort. Mt. Si, the central feature, is covered with native hardwoods, and there is also a Children's Garden, Orchid Garden, and Rose Garden. Things to do in Atlanta Botanical Garden include visiting the Nancy M. Freeman Amphitheatre, which is used for concerts and special events throughout the year.
Built during the American Civil War, Fort McPherson (National Park Service) was designed as a military redoubt to protect the city. In 1885, the fort was the site of a clash between anti- and pro-slavery groups that led to the deaths of several people. It became one of the first parks in the nation, and today is a popular place for walking, boating and picnicking. It's open daily except Dec 25, and admission is free. It's located at the confluence of the Chattahoochee and Emory Rivers in the heart of the city, close to several other parks, and a couple of miles from Centennial Olympic Park, where the 1996 Olympics Games were held.