Atlanta Tourist Activities

A fairly young city, Atlanta was officially declared a city in 1937. It started after railroads arrived; it was renamed to Atlanta and became a transportation center back in the Civil War days. After the war, they recovered quickly and became the archetype of the “New South” with newspaper owners, bankers, politicians and leaders backing it up. As one of the leading tourist destinations in the United States, Atlanta is definitely heart-warming, and that doesn’t only count in the summertime. That is why Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is on top of the list in terms of leading the world in moving passengers. The city is proud to show its deep Southern roots, as displayed in in its offerings. But don’t get it wrong, Atlanta is a modern city that offers world-class tourist attractions, entertainment and of course, food.

If you are visiting Atlanta for the first time and have lots of time to go around and enjoy its charm, here’s some of the most popular things to do and places to visit.

Atlanta Tourist Attractions

Have a CNN tour. The CNN Center offers an inside look at news production. The world headquarters of the international news channel lets you experience a feel of the studio in a tour that lets you listen in on the station's control room – complete with real-time direction – an explanation of technology used as well as watching a live newscast on the spot. Ever heard of the world's longest freestanding escalator? Yes, your tour starts with this breath-taking experience.

The Georgia Aquarium has but one thing to say – that it is the largest aquarium in the world. There are more than 60 exhibits showcasinga wide variety of marine life, including massive whale sharks, otters, and different species of jellyfish.As one of Atlanta's newest attractions, a signature tunnel in the Ocean Voyager exhibit also lets visitors experience a view usually reserved for divers and that is to go underwater.

Today’s world's most recognized beverage, Coca-Cola, has its own gallery in Atlanta. Dr. John Pemberton’s then remedy for headache now has a world of its own. The World of Coca-Cola shows visitors everything the company has gone through starting off with its history. Several galleries will show you various advertising campaigns, how the bottling process works, and Coke in today’s pop culture. The best part is when you get to their Taste It! Gallery. This is where you get free sampling to take a taste of the 63 beverages distributed by Coca-Cola in multiple locations around the world.

Created to be a gathering place for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, the Centennial Olympic Park is an oasis for both locals and tourists. A must-see during your visit would be a performance of the pop-up water fountains that’s sure to take your breath away. It also has a children’s playground and eateries on-site.

Piedmont Park was established in 1904 as one of the majorAtlanta tourist attractions. The place includes sports fields, a place to skate or bike, which are separated from people who jog and take their cute little dog friends for a walk of their own. The Noguchi Playscape is a place for children of all ages where they can enjoy an intersection of shape, color and texture designed for active and enthusiastic interaction.

Zoo Atlanta occupies nearly 40 acres or 16 hectares of Grant Park. As one of the best Atlanta tourist attractions, Zoo Atlanta showcases more than 1,000 animals representing some 200 species from around the world. The zoo is very popular for its numerous gorillas. The zoo has more gorillas compared to any other zoo in the country. And yes, Zoo Atlanta takes care of giant pandas. There are only four zoos in the United States that houses this endangered breed of pandas, and Zoo Atlanta is proud to be one of those. This definitely is one of the best things you can do as a family when visiting Atlanta.

Atlanta Galleries and Museums

At the High Museum of Art, you will be welcomed by great architecture from Richard Meier and Renzo Piano. But wait ‘til you find what awaits you inside. The High Museum of Art shows 19th and 20th century American art and even has a curatorial department devoted to folk art. There are more than 12,000 works of art in its permanent collection that include those by famous artists Auguste Rodin, and Roy Lichtenstein.

Within a 65-acre (26.3 hectares) forestyou will find the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. This Atlanta museum hasits own observatory, a planetarium more popular to the kids, an IMAX movie theatre for the whole family, and fascinating exhibits that will keep you wanting more. NatureQuest lets kids experience the intricacies of a multi-level clubhouse, walk in and out of a waterfall that doesn’t get you wet, and discover the mysteries hidden inside a mighty red oak tree.

Wouldn’t it be great to travel back in time? At the Atlanta History Center, that is possible. In this Atlanta museum, revisit the Civil War with the world's most comprehensive collection of Civil War artifacts, review the city's history, and reflect on folk art unique to the South inside this 30,000-square-foot museum. The grounds include The Swan House, a classic 1928 style mansion and the restored Tullie Smith Farm, a farmhouse from 1860.

At this very historic site, pay tribute and learn about Martin Luther King Jr. Take a walk inside his crypt with an eternal flame;see how his childhood home looked like, and be humbled at the Ebenezer Baptist Church where Martin Luther King Jr served there as a pastor. It also has a centerwhere visitors get to see his important work as a civil rights leader. Don’t be surprised if you hear his own voice delivering his famous speeches and sermons inside the church, those are just recordings of his own voice for the generations of today to hear.

Atlanta Shopping

For a rundown of the best places to have that meaningful Atlanta shopping, you may want to consider visiting Undergrounds Atlanta, The Avenue at East Cobb, Vinings Jubilee, Luna, the Atlanta Merchandise Mart, Blue Genes, Virginia Highlands, Atlantic Station, Lenox Square Mall, and Phipps Plaza.

For the best experience, it is always suggested to do a little research first on the place you are going to visit. Check online, Read reviews or blogs. Ask around forums as to what experience or what others say from people who visited the place already. An adventure won’t hurt but make sure your pockets aren’t sacrificed either. Once you have a list of places to visit, make a plan so you don’t go jumping from one place to another then realizing that you may have taken a shorter route or time.