Updated: Feb 13
Atlanta is a happening city that doesn't lack excitement. Somewhere between the rush hour traffic and innumerable amounts of people lies a concrete adventure just waiting to be explored.
For most of these destinations, you'll want to walk. The first time I went to Atlanta I booked a hotel with a parking garage instead of a lot on the property. At a certain time of night, the garage literally closed and I couldn't get my car out until the next morning. I learned my lesson after that and decided to only pick hotels with suitable parking lots. There is one hotel that I always choose with a big parking lot and close proximity to many things on this list. It is called the Hampton Inn Suites, and it is affordable as well as convenient.
Here is a look into the top things to do in Atlanta, Georgia.
1. World of Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola got its start in Atlanta, so it only makes sense that the museum is in the same city as the company's official headquarters. Visitors to the World of Coca-Cola can view the vault, which is home to the Coca-Cola secret formula, explore historical memorabilia and artifacts, and even taste more than 100 soft drinks that The Coca-Cola Company makes. Fans of the company and history buffs alike are sure to love this attraction.
2. Zoo Atlanta
Zoo Atlanta houses more than 60 animals including the clouded leopard, western lowland gorilla, and the ostrich. This zoo is different than many others I've encountered because the animals have large enclosures and seem happy. If you visit the zoo in the winter, animals will be especially active and you may even get a discount.
Zoo Atlanta has also teamed up with field conservation programs in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and in Georgia to protect species around the world. In fact, a small amount of every ticket sold goes to conservation efforts. It's clear that the zoo takes its role in wildlife very seriously.
3. Georgia Aquarium
The Georgia Aquarium takes the trophy for the best place to visit in Atlanta. Besides being awestruck by the ginormous whale shark and the unique beluga whale that uses echolocation to swim about the tank, guests can also watch a remarkable dolphin show and one-of-a-kind sea lion show. The dolphins perform many impressive tricks, and both shows are included in the price of a general admission ticket.
The aquarium also lets penguins loose to walk about the lobby once per day, accompanied by trained employees. Seeing a penguin waddle down a ramp completely cage free is a distinctive experience that you won't want to miss.
4. Centennial Olympic Park
The 21-acre public park is located smack dab in the middle of the bustling city of Atlanta. The park was home to the 1996 Olympic games and it is now over 20 years old. Depending on what time of the year you visit, the park is now the location of the Sweetwater420 Festival and the Shaky Knees Music Festival.
In the summer, the Fountain of Rings, the largest interactive fountain to display the Olympic Rings symbol, is a place where sweaty tourists and locals go to cool off. At any time of the year, the park is a beautiful place to walk through and get a glimpse of the city.
5. CNN Studio Tours
The world headquarters of CNN is located right in Downtown Atlanta, so fans of the news station or TV production in general will want to pay it a visit. Guests will take a 50 minute walking tour of the CNN Center and see how the magic is made behind the scenes. Learn more about the studio tours here.
On the bottom floor of the CNN Center is a food court that is attached to the State Farm Arena where concerts take place and the Atlanta Hawks play basketball. While visiting, you are welcome to walk into some parts of the arena to access the gift shop, as long as it isn't closed for an event.
One way to ensure that you get to see everything you possibly could dream of in Atlanta is by buying a City Pass. A City Pass can save you up to 40 percent on the top attractions Atlanta has to offer. If you're going to be spending a few days in ATL, I suggest you buy one of these passes to make the most of your time and even save money.
The best part about visiting Atlanta? Everything on this list besides Zoo Atlanta is within walking distance of each other. That means mobility is easy when exploring these main points, and it's possible to find more exciting things to do along the path. No matter what you decide to do in Atlanta, make sure not to drive during rush hour (7 a.m. - 10 a.m. or 3:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.) or you may never get everything done! Another trip wouldn't be so bad though, would it?
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