After living in Atlanta for almost a year, I can confidently say that it is an ideal city to spend a week. Or even a weekend if you live within a few hours’ driving distance!

Atlanta, Georgia, has multiple professional sports team, hosted the Olympics in 1996, is a huge hub for the LGBTQ scene, and has craft beer galore. It’s time to visit, don’t you think?

In this post, I’ve created a list of the best places to see during your week in Atlanta. I’ve split places up by categories. Keep in mind, some places might fall into more than one category.

***Note: This post contains affiliate links.

 

This way, you can tailor your trip based on what you want. Are you taking a family vacation with the kids? Are you going to Atlanta to party? Maybe you want to see the classic  sights.

If the items on the Big Attractions and/or Family Attractions on this list appeal to you, I really recommend buying a CityPASS Atlanta ticket. When you buy this pass, you can visit five of Atlanta’s most famous attractions for only 40% of the original cost!

1 week in Atlanta pin

Top 7 Big Attractions in Atlanta

Georgia Aquarium Atlanta

The Georgia Aquarium

The Georgia Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in the world. Check out the Open Ocean and Balouga exhibits. And don’t make the mistake of thinking this attraction is just for kids–someone gave The Husband and I tickets for our wedding, and we were jazzed!

The World of Coca-Cola

Yep, Coca-Cola was founded in Atlanta! Take a tour of the national facilities and taste as many beverages as you want! Well, not really, but over 100.

The Fernbank Museum of Natural History

In the words of The Husband, “Fernbank is the booooooomb!” They have permanent exhibits, such as Dinosaur Plaza, and special exhibits. If you’re in Atlanta the second Friday of the month, go to Fernbank After Dark, where you can have a beer, eat tapas, and see science demonstrations.

CNN Studio

Atlanta is home to the world headquarters of CNN! Take a tour of the offices and learn how live broadcasts work. Maybe you’ll even witness a live broadcast!

The College Football Hall of Fame

Whether you’re a fan of the Georgia Bulldogs, the Arkansas Razorbacks, or the–ugh–Florida Gators, this attraction will interest you. You can even show off and (attempt to) kick a field goal!

The Center for Civil and Human Rights

Considering Martin Luther King Jr. grew up in Atlanta, it’s only fitting that the Center for Civil and Human Rights is in his city. At this museum, you can learn about civil and human rights over the decades.

Centennial Olympic Park

As I mentioned above, Atlanta hosted the 1996 Olympics. This is a gorgeous park with audio walking tours of the Olympics sites available. Get the best view of the park from the SkyView ferris wheel!

Once again, if you want to get a discount to these classic Atlanta spots, go ahead and buy an Atlanta CityPASS ticket here!

 

Top 7 Restaurants in Atlanta

Highland Bakery Atlanta

Highland Bakery

I originally heard about Highland Bakery by watching “Bizarre Foods” on the Travel Channel. Let me tell you, it is the place to go for brunch. Order the peanut butter French toast. Are you listening to me right now? Order the peanut butter French toast!

Sun Dial

The Sun Dial is a restaurant that provides you with a 360-degree view of Atlanta. The food isn’t anything to write home about, but it’s still good, and you really go to this restaurant for the experience.

Cafe Intermezzo

Cafe Intermezzo has two locations, one in Midtown and one in Dunwoody. (And one in the airport, but does that really count?) When I moved to Atlanta, Cafe Intermezzo was the first place I visited, and it was so comforting. Order a crêpe and a cup of coffee.

The Porter Beer Bar

This bar is in Little Five Points, which is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Atlanta. While the beer is great (that’s why this place also appears on my Top 7 Bars list), don’t overlook the food. Especially the fries. And the burger. And the dumplings. Okay, all of it.

RA

If you’re feeling fancy, go to RA for some nice sushi. This isn’t the kind of place where you just order a California roll. This is the kind of place where you branch out, because you know everything will be high-quality.

Bone Lick BBQ

You’re in the South, so let’s face it, you need to eat some barbecue! I don’t have a favorite dish here, but I am always inclined to order a combo, simply because the combo platter names are hilariously inappropriate. “The Missionary?” Yeah, I’m gonna need to order that.

Venkman’s

This place has only been around for a couple years, but it’s definitely made a name for itself in Atlanta. Although the food is great all day long, I really recommend going for brunch. Bottomless mimosas. Need I say more? Actually, yes, I need say more. Blueberry ricotta donuts! OK, I’m really done now.

 

Top 7 Bars in Atlanta

The Glenwood

The Glenwood is just a classic neighborhood gastropub with great beer and bar food. If you want a relaxed night drinking and eating with friends, go to the Glenwood.

The Porter Beer Bar

So many local craft beer selections. Such great snacks to accompany the beer. Just do it.

Empire State South

Empire State South is the perfect place to go if you’re celebrating a special occasion. This bar specializes in nice cocktails, wine, and champagne.

The Book House Pub

I’m gonna be honest, I mainly love this place because its theme is based on the Twin Peaks television show. I’m a huge fan of Twin Peaks. So this bar is a must-visit for anyone else with a crush on adult Bobby Briggs.

Kimball House

I love Kimball House because of their cocktails. Not only do they have great, unique twists on classic cocktails, but they also have a great, unique method to creating them. The restaurant owns a nearby garden, and ingredients from that garden go into their drinks.

Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium

Sister Louisa’s is a church-themed bar. What does that mean? Well, for one thing, church-organ karaoke! (It sounds so weird that you’re a little tempted to check it out, aren’t you?) Also, there are weekly ping pong tournaments. I’m not sure how ping pong is related to church, but I dig it.

Joe’s on Juniper

Joe’s on Juniper is a fantastic gay bar. Most importantly, they have very cheap drinks during the day. If you want to dedicate a day in Atlanta to partying, go here to get day drunk!

 

Top 7 Outdoor Activities in Atlanta

stone mountain hike georgia

Hike Stone Mountain

I mentioned this hike in my previous post about the best day hikes in Georgia. It’s a short but steep hike, and your reward at the top is the 360-degree view of Atlanta. Basically, it’s more painful and less expensive for the same view as eating at the Sun Dial.

Walk or play sports in Piedmont Park

Piedmont is an urban park in Atlanta, and it’s a great way to enjoy nature and the city at the same time. There are tennis and basketball courts, or you can make use of the jogging paths.

Ride bikes on the BeltLine

While you can also walk or jog on the Atlanta BeltLine, I recommend riding a bike to enjoy a nice day. There are over 33 miles of trails, and most of it is fairly flat, so you can have a nice, relaxing day of sight-seeing from your bike. If you didn’t bring a bike with you to Atlanta, look into renting one from a local shop, such as Atlanta Bicycle Barn.

Kayak on the Chattahoochee

The Chattahoochee River is one of Atlanta’s greatest natural attractions. Check out High Country Outfitters, Shoot the Hooch, or Wildwood Outfitters to rent kayaks or go on whitewater kayaking tours.

Visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden

If you’re at Piedmont Park, you should go ahead and stop by the Atlanta Botanical Garden. “The botans,” as I call them, are made up of 30 acres of gorgeous gardens, plants, and walking paths. I’m always a sucker for a good “botan” in a new city.

Hike at Cascade Springs Nature Preserve

Cascade Springs is a nice place to go for an easy hike and serene scenery. (Including some waterfalls!) There are three trails, and the land is dog-friendly!

East Palisades Trail Georgia hike

Hike East Palisades Trail

Yes, I also mentioned this trail in my post about great Georgia hiking spots. This trail goes along the gorgeous Chattahoochee River, so if you also wanted to kayak The Hooch, you could make a full day of being outdoors at the river!

 

Top 7 Family Spots in Atlanta

Atlanta United

ATL United game

Atlanta United is the city’s brand-new (they just finished their first season) professional soccer team. And here’s the thing–they’re actually really good. ATL United games are always full of families. People aren’t typically stumbling around drunk like at Braves baseball games, and tickets are relatively affordable.

The World of Coca-Cola

Kids love learning about Coca-Cola. And if you’re okay with the major sugar rush they’re gonna get from tasting so many different sodas, this is a great way to spend an afternoon.

Zoo Atlanta

What kid doesn’t love the zoo? More importantly, what kid doesn’t love pandas?! That’s right, Zoo Atlanta is one of only four zoos in America that has giant pandas!

The Georgia Aquarium

True, I mentioned earlier that the Georgia Aquarium isn’t just for kids. But there’s a ton for children to love! I definitely recommend taking them to the dolphin and sea lion shows!

The Fernbank Museum of Natural History

If your kid is into any aspect of science, this is the place to go. Are you raising the future Ross Geller? Go to Dinosaur Plaza. Do they like being outside? Check out Fernbank Forest. If they’re beach bums, visit the World of Shells.

Six Flags Over Georgia

Kind of like with zoos, no kid will turn down a trip to an epic theme park. Roller coasters, bumper cars, the ferris wheel. Cotton candy, corn dogs, funnel cakes. I mean, come on!

Children’s Museum of Atlanta

This museum is geared toward kids under eight years old. Check out the bubble wall in the Leaping into Learning area, or the build-it lab in the Tools for Solution area.

 

If a week in Atlanta is on your Travel Bucket List, don’t forget to check out Atlanta CityPass so you can get a discount on sightseeing! Budgeting is vital to any successful trip.

Oh, and have fun!

 

2 thoughts on “Places to See During Your Week in Atlanta, Georgia

  1. That french toast is HUGE! I’ve never been to Atlanta but it’s always been on my mind. I’m still shocked that Atlanta has the busiest airport in the world!

    1. It’s a great city to visit! I would love to live near the Chattahoochee River.

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