Fun Things to Do in and Around Atlanta, GA

Updated on March 30, 2018
Diane Lockridge profile image

Diane is a transplant southerner who has lived in the South about half her life. She moved to the Atlanta area about ten years ago.

The Atlanta area has produced political leaders, businessmen, actors, musicians, authors, sports players and more. But why have so many influential people come from Atlanta? The culture, the people, and the activities in the area were likely big factors.

Atlanta is considered a metropolis, meaning that although there are a lot of things to do inside the confines of the city, there are also a variety of other exciting attractions just around the corner from the heart of the South.

The Georgia Aquarium

You may think it strange that the largest US aquarium is land-locked in the heart of Atlanta, however, this marvel is not to be missed. The Georgia Aquarium boasts more than 500 species of animals and more than 10 million gallons of water!

In addition to the standard starfish and sea anemones you’ll likely see at any aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium boasts creatures such as whale sharks, beluga whales, stingrays, dolphins, sea lions, puffins, penguins and much more!

Sit down in the café, visit the petting zoo, watch a dolphin or sea lion show, stroll through the gift shop, or take a rest while viewing a 3D movie. All these attractions are free with standard admission. Georgia residents get free access to the aquarium on their birthday (with valid ID or birth certificate) and must be used on the same day. Other discounted tickets are also available on special event days, with group discounts, or on Military Mondays.

The Georgia Aquarium also hosts parties, offers dive programs, lets you swim with sharks, and has encounters with critters such as penguins, dolphins and sea otters, all for additional costs, of course.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History

The Fernbank Museum is more than an ordinary museum. At Fernbank, you’ll be able to view dinosaur exhibits, see live animals, participate in hands-on activities, explore outside in a 75-acre “outdoor nature adventure” setting, and view movies on a giant screen.

Although exhibits change periodically, frequent activities include things such as wildflower tours, toddler story time, and after dark activities for adults.

Sports Attractions

Sports fans are sure to enjoy visiting Atlanta, a city that hosted the Summer Olympics in 1996. Today, sports are still a vivid part of the landscape, since the town likely holds a sporting event whenever you are visiting.

Baseball: The Atlanta Braves play at SunTrust Park in Cobb County. The Brave’s AAA feeder team-- the Gwinnett Stripers-- is located about 30 minutes North of Atlanta at Cool Ray Field in Gwinnett County.

Basketball: The professional basketball teams, the Atlanta Hawks and the WNBA team The Atlanta Dream, play downtown at Philips Arena.

Football: The Atlanta Falcons play at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the heart of the city.

Soccer: Professional soccer is alive and well with the Atlanta United team that plays at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta.

College Sports: The Atlanta metro area boasts a number of colleges with thriving sports teams. The GSU campus is in the heart of the city, while UGA is farther northeast in Athens, GA. Atlanta also hosts the College Football Hall of Fame, where patrons can learn the history of the game in a hands-on way.

The Arts

Atlanta is quickly becoming an entertainment capital. Many production houses film in the area, with projects for both the big and small screen. On any given day you may walk down a street and view a production team.

There is also a thriving music and theatre industry in the area. Popular theatre houses include the historic Fox Theatre in downtown, the 7 Stages Theatre, and the Atlanta Magic Theater. The Center for Puppetry Arts offers a show and museum-in-one for kids of all ages.

The 95-member Atlanta Symphony orchestra performs over 200 times a year around town and at the Woodruff Arts Center in Midtown. They have won more than two dozen Grammy Awards and produced more than 100 recordings.

Outdoor Attractions

Atlanta offers plenty of things to do outdoors, so bring your walking shoes (or a bike), some snacks, and a cooler if you plan on enjoying the landscape.

Centennial Olympic Park

Walk around downtown Atlanta and visit the Centennial Olympic Park, where you can listen to live music, eat some great grub, and splash in the fountain of rings. Follow the Audio Walking Tour on your mobile device to learn about the park and the city itself. There are plenty of restaurants near the park, so you can cool off and get some grub as needed. Just steps away from the park sits the giant Sky View Ferris Wheel, where you can see the famous skyline of the city.

The Chattahoochee River and Nature Center

The Chattahoochee Nature Center invites visitors to observe wildlife, picnic, hike trails, explore butterfly gardens and more. The center has several activities throughout the year, including things such as plant sales, spring break camps, drive-in movies, and hands-on STEAM exhibits.

Stone Mountain Theme Park

Enjoy the beautiful outdoors with southern charm at Stone Mountain. Daytime activities include things such a water park, train rides, 3D movies, hiking trails, and a cable car Skylift to the top of Stone Mountain, and at night you can view a laser light show against the giant rock. Overnight accommodations, catering, festivals, and educational activities abound. Don't worry about the weather either, as Stone Mountain turns into "Snow Mountain" complete with snow, tubing, Santa, and Rudolph during the winter months. Several indoor actvities are also available at Stone Mountain, including glass-blowing demonstrations, gift shops and museums.

Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park
The Sky View Ferris Wheel near Centennial Olympic Park.
The Sky View Ferris Wheel near Centennial Olympic Park.

Places to Eat

The Varsity

The Varsity hamburger and hot dog joint is a must-see for any Atlanta visitor. Upon entering the establishment you’ll likely hear “What’ll Ya Have?” from the line of cashiers at the counter. You’ll likely need to learn the proper lingo before placing your order, so visit the website to make sure you get the right toppings for your entrée. And be sure to order an “F.O.” a frosted varsity orange shake; there are fewer things refreshing on a hot Atlanta day!

Medieval Times

If you like adventure, the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament may be the place for you to visit with your family. Although there are several locations around the country, the metro Atlanta area is lucky to have a location just to the north in Duluth, GA. The experience is inspired by an 11th-century feast and tournament. Admission includes a gift shop, meal, photo experience with the “king” and a dinner show.

During your dinner show, you’ll be assigned a particular knight, and root for your knight to win the hand of a young maiden. You’ll also see great horsemanship and jousting.

The Vortex

On the other end of the eating spectrum is The Vortex Bar & Grill, a location known for its crazy portions and awesome food. Featured on many foodie television shows, they are most famously known for their “Coronary Bypass” burgers in excess of 4,000 and 9,000 calories (and no, that’s not a typo). You have to see these behemoth burgers to believe they really exist!

show route and directions
A markerCentennial Olympic Park -
Centennial Olympic Park, 265 Park Ave W NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, USA
get directions

B markerFox Theatre -
660 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, USA
get directions

C markerFernbank Museum -
767 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30307, USA
get directions

D markerGeorgia Aquarium -
225 Baker St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, USA
get directions

E markerMedieval Times -
5900 Sugarloaf Pkwy, Lawrenceville, GA 30043, USA
get directions

F markerSunTrust Park -
SunTrust Park
get directions

G markerThe Vortex -
The Vortex
get directions

H markerChattahoochee Nature Center -
9135 Willeo Rd, Roswell, GA 30075, USA
get directions

I markerStone Mountain -
Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E Lee Blvd, Stone Mountain, GA 30083, USA
get directions

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wanderwisdom.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://wanderwisdom.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)