Atlanta is one of the oldest cities in the United States, yet it is among the most promising. Though often overshadowed by smaller southern cities like Charleston and New Orleans, Atlanta is the place to be. Long known as the unofficial capital of the South, Atlanta has emerged as the cultural and commercial center of the “New South” by incorporating Southern traditions with sleek modernism. Home to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest airport serving 100 million passengers every year, there is plenty to do when visiting Atlanta.
Visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park. The National Historical Park hosts the famous civil rights leader's childhood residence. Be sure to spend time at the International World Peace Rose Garden as well as the King Center, which is the largest collection of primary source materials about Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement.
View sharks at the Georgia Aquarium. The Georgia Aquarium is the Western Hemisphere's largest aquarium, so you can conveniently spend the whole day there. It is home to over 100,000 animals, including 500 species living in more than 60 environments. Do not miss out on the Ocean Voyager exhibit, which features an acrylic tunnel where visitors get up close and personal with whale sharks and manta rays. In fact, the Georgia Aquarium is the only place outside of Asia where a whale shark, the globe's largest fish, can be found.
There are several wonderful parks and great outdoor scenes for family members to enjoy around Atlanta, including Sweetwater Creek State Park (which is terrific for trekking as well as walking across the creek when the water is low), Piedmont Park (recognized as Atlanta's Central Park), and Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. Spring, summer or fall, you can hike at Amicalola Falls State Park, which flaunts the highest waterfall in Georgia and the third highest waterfall east of the Mississippi River. If you relish in spectacular sights, you should not leave Atlanta prior to viewing Cloudland Canyon State Park.
Take a stroll through Centennial Olympic Park. Built for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Centennial Olympic Park continues to be a vacationer draw each year. Located in Midtown between the Georgia Aquarium and the CNN Center, the park has numerous fun features, including an interactive Fountain of Rings, which is one of the most famous and photographed landmarks in Georgia.
Calling all nature lovers! The Atlanta Botanical Garden displays a series of tropical plants, desert plants, birds, turtles, and poison dart frogs. It is also home to the nation's largest orchid collection. For those that are not afraid of heights, the Kendeda Canopy Walk is a skywalk 40 feet in the air that enables visitors to discover the treetops of the Storza Woods.
In search of a golden treasure? The Consolidated Gold Mine can be found in the North Georgia hills where you can take a scenic tour of the magnificent mine. Today, although there is still gold to be mined at the Consolidated Gold Mine, the cost of extracting the gold outweighs the gold’s value.
Take a walk or bike along the Atlanta BeltLine. The BeltLine is an entertainment pathway constructed on 22 miles of abandoned railroad corridor motivated by NYC's High Line. Among the most popular sections is the Eastside Trail, which stretches just over 3 miles.
A variety of particularly noteworthy types can be located right here, consisting of beluga whales and also manta rays. This aquarium is the only place outside of Asia where a whale shark, the globe's largest fish, can be found. It is divided into 5 ecoregions, consisting of exotic coral reefs, open sea, frozen waters, freshwater rivers as well as large marine mammals.
Watch an Atlanta Falcons football game in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, featuring a modern retracting roofing system with eight steel petals that open and close. Not in the mood for football? Attend an Atlanta Braves baseball game at Truist Park or an Atlanta Hawks basketball game at State Farm Arena.
Delight in Atlanta’s famous chicken and waffles. You cannot visit Atlanta without tasting this Southern staple. Of course, every person has their preference, so there will be no mention of the "ideal" of this sweet and savory Southern dish. You will not go wrong with local favorites such as Nana G's Chicken & Waffles and Richards' Southern Fried in the Krog Street Market.
In need of a coffee break? Several of the “ATL’s” finest coffee shops include Octane, which has many branches throughout the city. Condesa has two shops in Atlanta, including one in Midtown. Check out Dancing Goats Coffee Bar in Ponce City Market's Central Food Hall. This coffee bar boasts a large screened-in porch with Adirondack rockers that are excellent for kicking back and relaxing while sipping on a cup of joe.
These are only a few of the many exciting activities and events Atlanta has to offer. But no matter where you spend your time visiting the “ATL,” you should not have one dull moment. Oh yes, one more thing: Whatever you do in Atlanta, do not forget to sample some of that tasty Southern sweet tea!