If you are looking for interesting and beautiful places to visit in Atlanta, you will have a multitude of venues to choose from. From natural to urban settings, Atlanta has something for everyone.
The hardcore boutique shopper that enjoys the finer things will love the sidewalks of Ponce de Leon Avenue. The eco-explorer in the group will feel at home amongst the waterfalls and flora of Cascade Springs Nature Preserve.
Whatever floats your boat, you’ll find your itch scratched in Atlanta.
Is Atlanta Worth Visiting?
Elton John knows it. Tyler Perry knows it. Atlanta is special and this is why many celebrities have chosen to call Atlanta home. Atlanta is one of those places that you visit that you can’t get out of your head. It’s more than Coca-Cola and Gone with the Wind. It has just the right mix of history, culture, bougie and the four seasons to boot.
There’s the beautiful old growth foliage of Piedmont Park, the historic sidewalks of Peachtree Street and The Fox Theatre, the Beltline that runs through the most interesting neighborhoods in Atlanta and the modern Centennial Park that tops off that perfect date night.
These are just a few reasons to pay Atlanta a visit.
As for other reasons, well, look no further than this list of must-visit places to see in Atlanta…
There’s nothing better than getting away from all the hustle of the city on a gorgeous fall day in Piedmont Park. Deja vu may kick in if you’ve ever walked Central Park in New York City, due to the fact that The Olmsted Brothers, designers of that park, also had a hand in the plans for Piedmont Park.
Over the last 175 years the park has been a forest, a residence, an International Exposition site and even a major league baseball team home field. History abounds in this park and you can feel it as you gaze upon Clara Meer Lake and the walking paths that have so lovingly been manicured by the Piedmont Park Conservancy.
The view to the city is exquisite and you would be remiss if you missed a stroll through one of Atlanta’s crown jewels.
I’ll admit, being an Atlanta native, I’ve taken this one for granted. I’ve driven past it so many times that I had forgotten that this historical feat of grand proportions belongs up there with the likes of Hearst Castle and Biltmore Estate.
Ornate, gold-leafed arches, sparkling stars of the night sky and red carpets befitting the hottest Hollywood starlet describe just a fraction of what you’ll see in one of the most iconic buildings on our interesting and beautiful places to visit In Atlanta list.
Originally, construction began by the Shriners, but when they realized it was a larger project than they could muster, they leased the building to movie mogul, William Fox. Fox then poured more than $3 million into the project ($40 million by today’s standards) to bring it to the Spanish/Egyptian influenced bedazzled spectacle you see today.
Walking into the Fox Theatre, you feel you’ve been transported to the far east to an ancient temple wrapped in gold shimmering beauty. You can let your mind wander to the opening night of “Gone With the Wind”, where Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh may have sat front row and center to see themselves on the big screen for the first time.
Ok, I got a little carried away there. But, trust me, take the 60 minute tour of this place and you’ll be satisfyingly impressed!
“Magical” and “cemetery” usually don’t occupy the same space in a sentence, but that is what comes to mind when thinking of Oakland Cemetery.
Beautiful enough to be a wedding venue and intimate enough to have your book club meeting, it’s easily more than just the final resting place of Margrett Mitchell and Maynard Jackson. It has such the perfect combination of history and intrigue that you’ll find yourself muttering to yourself. “Just a little farther”.
Save for all the headstones, this 172 year old cemetery has more of the feel of a grand park, than the ending destination it has become for more than 70,000 of its residents. Emotions of sadness, beauty and appreciation for history flood the conscience as you stroll the 48 acre
property that so many call home. Stop by the visitor’s center and bring a picnic lunch to immerse yourself in another of Atlanta’s prized places to explore.
First things first, the Atlanta Beltline is not a syndrome that you get when eating too much on a foodie tour of Buckhead or Edgewood.
If you’re wanting to get out and bike or walk some of the greatest neighborhoods and their offerings, you definitely need to put this on your list.
You may not know that Atlanta got its name from the Western-Atlantic railroad that ended in, then Marthasville. The name was then changed to Atlanta, which is the feminine form of Atlantic. Well, all of those old railroads didn’t go to waste. In 2005, a Georgia Tech grad submitted a master thesis that described a “beltline” that would connect all the prominent Atlanta neighborhoods, featuring culture, restaurants and a multitude of parks and recreation, using the old railroad system.
So, if you want to saturate yourself in the flavor of what makes Atlanta unique, this is the place to go. Meandering through old growth forests, busy city parkways and quaint sidewalks complete with cafes and bookstores, this 22 mile loop connects 45 intown neighborhoods via Atlanta’s old railroad system. Hop on a bike and take the Westside Bike tour and find out what makes Atlanta’s heart beat.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
Where can you see a giant 27 foot rabbit in a teacup, a life-size horse head chess board and 2 billion twinkling lights? No, this is not a flashback from a random crazy night ten years ago. It’s a taste of what you’ll experience at the incredibly magical Atlanta Botanical Garden.
Located right next to Piedmont park (two birds, one stone), you can elevate your senses to heights never realized by touring one of Atlanta’s most famed outdoor experiences.
The top things to see include the “Alice in Wonderland, Re-Imagined” exhibit, the Orchid Center and the Canopy Walk. All have unusual and stunningly exquisite flora that will overload your senses but leave you in unfettered awe of what nature and human are capable of.
If you are around during the holidays, the “Garden Lights, Holiday Nights” exhibit and it’s more than 2 billion lights can kick start you into the spirit of the season.
Centennial Olympic Park
Before the 1996 Olympic games were even a twinkle in anyone’s eye, the property where Centennial Olympic Park sits was a rundown mish mash of old industrial buildings just waiting for their raising. After Atlanta was picked for the Olympics, construction of the park was meant for a place for people of all walks of life to celebrate coming together in the spirit of competition.
But, Centennial Olympic Park is so much more than that. Nestled in the heart of Atlanta, it is the beauty behind the brains of the city. Fountains, ferris wheels and fun abound in this kick off point of a park for all things Atlanta. You can see seven popular Atlanta attractions within walking distance of the park, including The World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium.
Make a day of it and take a picnic lunch where you can watch the children play in the Fountain of Rings, the largest interactive olympic rings fountain in the world. Or make a date night of it and check out the stunning night view from the Skyview Atlanta Ferris Wheel.
The Coca-Cola Vault
Atlanta is my home, and we drink Coke!
We are proud of being home to one of the most successful products ever made. But, Dr. John Pemberton sold the first coke in an Atlanta Pharmacy in 1886, I’ll bet he never would have guessed that his formula would now need a vault to keep it from the public.
Although The World of Coca-Cola deserves a place on this list, we are featuring 11 interesting and beautiful places to visit in Atlanta, so it’s the vault made the cut.
Not only is it fascinating that there would be an original handwritten copy of the secret formula for coke, but that the vault is a work of art in its own right.
Adding to the intrigue and mystique of the formula that was never patented, Coca-Cola knows how to keep its customers of the world on the edge of their seats.
Cascade Springs Nature Preserve
Parking in the parking lot of the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, you feel as though you’re not in the right place.
The sound of traffic and the crazy of the city ring in your ears as you try to find any sign that indicates a spring. There it is, a sign to travel down the path to tranquility in the middle of chaos.
The path will wind down into an English ivy laden forest complete with boardwalks, under a thick tree canopy of oaks and maples. You can see the remnants of trenches dug by civil war soldiers who may have lost their lives at the Battle of Utoy Creek in1864.
But, the creek did not run bloody for long when soon after the waters of the preserve were thought to have healing powers. Water was then bottled at the stone spring house in the preserve and sold to thirsty patrons with green in their pockets.
Keep walking and you’ll come to the pride and joy of the trail. A lovely waterfall cascading down moss covered rocks. You may see a deer sipping from the spring. An enchanting place for a leisurely picnic before heading back out to the big city pandemonium.
Ebenezer Baptist Church
Perhaps the most influential building to the Civil Rights Movement of the 20th century, Ebenezer Baptist Church is the vessel where the late great Martin Luther King, Jr. learned the fundamental Christian values that shaped him into the incredible leader he became.
Sitting on a modest pew, contemplating the use of color in the ornate stained-glass, you are transported to a different time. The sound system plays a sermon from Dr. King himself. His words are emotional and elegant. It’s a moving experience to be in a place that produced such greatness.
Visiting this church can be a part of a walking tour that can include such sites as the King Center and his birth home. Seeing some of these sites are a must when in Atlanta.
The High Museum of Art
I grew up going to The High Museum of Art, frequently. I remember the first time I saw Monet’s “Autumn on the Seine”.
I remembered seeing it in my art class text book and now I was seeing it in person.
Such a thrill for a 10 year old.
The sleek, monochromatic building holds over 18,000 works of art ranging from the Renaissance to present day, featuring art from all over the world. “The High”, as locals refer to it, has an impressive collection of works from artists such as Monet, Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec. A day perusing some of the best known works of art on the planet in this stunning art deco building is time well spent in Atlanta.
The Swan House
If you know anything about Atlanta, you know that it has some of the most impressive Georgian and Renaissance Revival Architecture in America.
The finest example of this can be found at the Atlanta History Center and The Swan House.
You can satisfy your craving for history and design by touring this home turned museum. How did it get its name? You guessed it. The motif of swans can be found everywhere throughout the home.
And don’t miss the boxwood garden that is so quintessentially southern and one of the most photographed places in Atlanta.
We hope you enjoyed this list of Places to Visit in Atlanta!
Visiting Atlanta may have not been on your list. But, if you are wonderstruck about what the fascination is with the south, Atlanta should be where you start exploring. After exploring this list of interesting and beautiful places to visit in Atlanta, you’ll feel the southern hospitality and it may even feel like home. You’ll be saying “Ya’ll”, before you know it!