The reason why I love Atlanta is because there are TONS of things to see and do! I’m going to share some of the more common touristy options, and also some unique less well-known things to do. Now that I’m a local I can tell you about ALL THE FUN Things to do in Atlanta, Georgia.
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All the Fun Things to Do in Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is the capital of Georgia and it’s a bustling city. It’s known for its culture, music, shopping, fantastic food, art, and diversity. I recently moved from Pennsylvania to Georgia, and I’m SO excited to tell you about ALL the fun things to do in Atlanta, Georgia!
There is DEFINITELY something there for everyone. Here are some popular, unique, and FREE things to do in Atlanta, Georgia.
Where to STAY in Atlanta, Georgia
There are PLENTY of fantastic hotels in Atlanta, and some not-so-nice ones too. I will ALWAYS encourage you to read my post, Top 5 Things You Need to Know When Finding a Hotel before you book. After spending a lot of time researching the options, I knew this was the best choice. Every time I stay in Atlanta, I stay at the Hilton Atlanta.
Since I’m a Hilton Honors member, I get a discount on the room and some added perks. The Hilton Atlanta is truly the BEST value because of its great location, cleanliness, and reasonable price. It is close to the airport and within walking distance of restaurants and popular attractions like the Georgia Aquarium.
The Hilton Atlanta is located in downtown Atlanta, but if you don’t mind driving you can also search just outside the city for something cheaper.
POPULAR Things to do in Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is well known for some of its common tourist attractions like the Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta Zoo, and the Coca-Cola museum. Here are some of the most popular attractions you should visit.
The Georgia Aquarium is rated #1 out of 290 things to do in Atlanta, Georgia on TripAdvisor. They are open from 9:00 am until 9:00 pm. That makes this indoor activity perfect for the afternoon when it is the hottest time of day in Atlanta.
You should set aside more than 3 hours to see everything. This is one of the largest aquariums with marine life like manta rays, dolphins, beluga whales, sea lions, and more. This interactive museum has touch pools and a 4D theater. If you want to take a peek at what to expect check out their website to watch multiple live webcams!
I recommend getting your tickets to the Georgia Aquarium through Get Your Guide. They cost the SAME as the Georgia Aquarium website, but they have better benefits! You have admission to everything and, unlike the Georgia Aquarium website tickets, if you change your mind you can cancel for FREE within 24 hours for a FULL REFUND. Most importantly, if you purchase Atlanta Georgia Aquarium Skip the Line Tickets you don’t have to wait in line and trust me… the line is usually LONG!
The Atlanta Zoo is ranked #32 out of 290 things to do in Atlanta, Georgia. They are open from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm. Depending on the time of year, I’d recommend going early in the day because it gets hot in the afternoon in Atlanta.
The Atlanta Zoo is ranked one of the best zoos in the U.S. You should plan to spend 2 – 3 hours visiting. It is the only zoo in America with twin giant pandas. If you want to take a peek you can see them live on the webcam.
You DEFINITELY want to purchase your tickets to the Atlanta Zoo from Get Your Guide in advance because they are likely to sell out. One great benefit is that if your plans change, you can cancel within 24 hours for FREE if you need to. The best part is you don’t have to wait in the ticket line at the zoo. As an added benefit, you get 10% off at the gift shops!
In the winter months, you don’t get to see many live animals because the daytime zoo is closed but, they have an illumination of lantern-type zoo animals at night and it was REALLY cool for visitors of all ages! I definitely recommend seeing it if you go at that time of year. Take a peek at the video below to see what to expect in the winter at the zoo!
The World of Coca-Cola
Depending on the time of year that you visit, I’d recommend this as a great activity to do in the late afternoon since that is the hottest time of day in Atlanta. Plan to set aside 2 – 3 hours for your visit.
You should DEFINITELY purchase your World of Coca-Cola Skip the Line Tickets in advance. Fortunately, you can order them now and pay later. Most importantly, they have FREE cancellation and it is the SAME PRICE to get them from Get Your Guide as it is on the Coca-Cola website!
FULL DISCLOSURE: I don’t normally drink soda. I drink one cup of coffee per day, then water, and sometimes wine or a cocktail (or three). Even if you don’t drink soda, it is still fun because The World of Coca-Cola has art, history, memorabilia, and more than 100 beverages for you to sample from around the world!
The Atlanta CityPASS gives you access to 5 major Atlanta attractions for a discounted price.
Here’s how it works. You get general admission tickets to these 3 attractions:
1) Georgia Aquarium: Anytime access
2) Atlanta Zoo
3) The World of Coca-Cola
Then you get to pick 2 more general admission tickets from the options below:
1) Fernbank Museum of National History OR
2) College Football Hall of Fame OR
3) National Center for Civil and Human Rights
I mentioned the SkyWheel in my post about things to do in Panama City Beach Florida because I think they are fun! You need to try one at least ONCE when you travel.
Plan for less than one hour for your visit, but that depends on how long the line is. I’d recommend visiting during sunset or later at night. The climate-controlled gondola is 20 stories high and can hold up to 6 people.
I have mentioned that it’s my Christmas Tradition to travel for Christmas. My daughter and I did the SkyView at night on Christmas Eve so we could see all the lights in the city.
One of the really cool things most people don’t know about is the VIP option! You get a private gondola with Ferrari-style seats, a glass floor, and a longer ride time.
UNIQUE Things to do in Atlanta, Georgia
The Illuminarium Atlanta is ranked #215 out of 290 things to do in Atlanta, Georgia. Expect to spend an hour or less here. If you are taking your children to this exhibit in the warmer months, this is a great place for an indoor activity in the hot afternoon!
There are 2 options for this venue. The family-themed exhibit is open Thursday through Monday from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. The adults-only after-dark venue is open Thursday through Sunday from 7:00 pm until 12:00 pm.
FULL DISCLOSURE: This experience can be disappointing if you don’t know what to expect. There are two rooms that you visit, and the first one is basically a waiting area until you enter the main room. All of the walls are covered in 4k projection so you are surrounded in your experience. There are temporary exhibitions so depending on the time of year that you visit, you could be surrounded by flowers, a wild safari, or a winter wonderland. It is a QUIET visual experience with places to sit and some drink options.
You should DEFINITELY purchase Tickets to Illuminarium Atlanta from Get Your Guide because they are CHEAPER than the company website and you get extra perks, like FREE cancellation if your plans change.
Ponce City Market
I think that Ponce City Market is a MUST-SEE when you are in Atlanta. It is ranked #23 out of 290 things to do in Atlanta, Georgia. Ponce City Market is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am until 9:00 pm and Sunday from 12:00 am until 6:00 pm.
This indoor and outdoor marketplace has a variety of food and shopping vendors. I love supporting local businesses in the Atlanta area.
It’s one of the BEST places to eat because they truly have something for everyone! You will definitely be able to find something for your entire family.
I believe that one thing you must do every time you travel is to take some sort of tour. A fun way to experience Ponce City Market is to do the 2.5-Hour Weekend Food Tour. You will get a tour of Ponce City Market, tastings at 5 AMAZING restaurants, and a little tour of the Beltline’s Eastside Trail!
One of my favorite spots at Ponce City Market is City Winery Atlanta. They have three spaces total with a music venue, winery, and restaurant & bar! I had an amazing wine-tasting experience with Dakota who was very knowledgeable and passionate about the wine.
The Painted Pin
Entry and all of the classic games are FREE! You can play games like basketball, shuffleboard, ping-pong, skee-ball, darts, and more! It is a perfect place to act like a kid, without any kids around.
You start out with an option for valet parking, then relax on the leather couch with personalized staff for your bowling experience… but you will have to pay if you want all that.
The boutique bar offers excellent food and cocktails. It is unlike anything you’d expect at a typical bowling alley. Check out my video for a peek inside.
FREE Things to do in Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta has a reputation for being expensive, and don’t get me wrong… there’s a GOOD reason for that reputation, but there are some REALLY COOL FREE THINGS you can do as well! Mix some of these free things to do in Atlanta, with the more popular and unique things to do so you can balance out the budget for your trip.
Tiny Doors in Atlanta
In my opinion, this is just SO much fun for the whole family. Atlanta has these tiny doors (an art project) that are spread out throughout the city. Here’s the map of where you can find them. Exploring Atlanta and discovering all of the tiny doors is a good time. (Remember when geocaching was a thing?)
Basically, you will find these tiny 7″ doors that slightly hidden throughout Atlanta. You might find one by mistake, but it’s much easier if you use the map to see where they are located. So far I am up to 6 doors found, but there are over 20 of them!
I found tiny doors at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Centennial Park, Historic Fox Theatre, and along the Beltline. This is a perfect outside activity to do on a Sunday or Holiday when things are closed.
Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park is ranked #30 out of 290 things to do in Atlanta, Georgia. This historic site, located in Downtown Atlanta, was built for the 1996 Summer Olympics. You can also visit the Centennial Olympic Games Museum for highlights from that historic event.
This 22-acre beautiful park has a lot to offer, like FREE concerts, green spaces, playgrounds and water fountain of rings to play in. It’s also a popular place to take a picture inside of the Olympic Rings.
The Atlanta Beltline Eastside Trail is ranked #7 out of 290 things to do in Atlanta, Georgia. You can explore this bustling outside venue at ANY time of day, but keep in mind that it gets hot in mid-afternoon in the summer months.
The beltline is made up of a 33-mile multi-use trail that wraps around the perimeter of Atlanta. It is FULL of art, culture, and FUN! Take a peek at my video so you can see the vibe.
On the Beltline you can expect to find AMAZING restaurants. The Atlanta Beltline Eastside Trail reminds me a little bit of my trip to Nashville because it has live music, murals, delicious food, rooftop bars, and outside seating everywhere!
Feel free to walk, ride or skate along the Beltline while you watch live entertainment from talented street performers, see festivals, and watch people of all ages doing their thing at the skatepark.
If you liked ALL THE FUN Things to do in Atlanta, Georgia, then you might also want to read 10 Unforgettable Things you Need to do in Savannah, Georgia.
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LET’S CONNECT: Which one of my suggestions from “ALL THE FUN Things to do in Atlanta, Georgia” do you think you’d definitely want to try?