This Atlanta Bucket List shares the best things to see and do in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as some of the very best places to eat and WHAT you should be ordering!
The city exudes an energy unlike any other, and it’s palpable from the moment you step foot here. Bursting with activities, attractions, and tales of yore, the question isn’t what there is to do, but rather how to prioritize your itinerary.
From rainy day adventures to unusual discoveries, Atlanta promises a whirlwind of memories and should be on your USA Bucket List.
Every corner of this metropolis tells a story. From the bustling streets to the serene parks, there’s always something happening.
And whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an avid traveler looking for fun things to do in Atlanta, there’s something tailored just for you.
A Brief History of Atlanta
Delving into the heart of Atlanta, we embark on a journey that dates back centuries. Founded as a transportation hub in the 1830s, the city’s history is as rich as the melodies of a Southern ballad. As you wander the streets, you’re walking on tales of resilience, growth, and transformation.
The Civil War scarred the city, but like a phoenix, Atlanta rose from its ashes, rebuilt, and redefined itself. Now, what are fun things to do in Atlanta that highlight its history? You might visit the many museums or take guided walks that allow you to step back in time.
The Essence of Southern Charm
Atlanta is the very embodiment of Southern charm. Meander through its streets and feel the warmth, not just of the sun, but of its people. A smile, a courteous nod, a friendly chat – it’s all part of the city’s charm.
The grandeur of the historic homes, the canopies formed by oak trees, and the scent of traditional Southern dishes wafting through the air combine to create an ambiance like no other. Imagine sitting on a porch, sipping sweet iced tea, and letting the world go by – isn’t that the dream?
Whilst you are in Georgia, make sure to plan a trip to Savannah too!
Atlanta Bucket List
The Georgia Aquarium
First on the list of things to do in Atlanta is a trip beneath the waves. The Georgia Aquarium, one of the world’s largest, invites visitors to plunge into an underwater universe. Majestic whale sharks, radiant coral, and vibrant schools of fish await your gaze.
Beyond the marine life, the aquarium offers interactive experiences that are sure to thrill. Dive programs, behind-the-scenes tours, and even sleepovers – there’s a myriad of ways to experience the aquatic world. And if you’re thinking of things to do in Atlanta when it rains, this is a fantastic choice.
Admission to the Georgia Aquarium is included in the Atlanta CityPass, so if you plan on seeing quite a few of these attractions, you can save money using the pass.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
For nature enthusiasts pondering things to do in Atlanta, the Botanical Garden is a verdant haven. Spanning 30 acres, it showcases the splendor of nature in all its glory. Exotic plants, themed gardens, and conservation spaces offer a tranquil retreat.
The Garden’s canopy walk is a highlight, providing an aerial view of the lush greenery below. Whether you’re an avid botanist or someone looking for a serene escape, the myriad colors, scents, and sounds of this garden promise rejuvenation.
Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
A beacon of hope, resilience, and change – visiting the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site is among the top things to do in Atlanta. This site pays homage to a hero whose voice resonates even today.
Walk through Dr. King’s childhood home, visit the church where he preached, and stand by his resting place. Every brick, every corner echoes with stories of a struggle for justice and equality. It’s more than a site; it’s a pilgrimage.
Atlanta History Center
Embark on a journey through time at the Atlanta History Center. Spanning 33 acres, it’s a tapestry of history, culture, and heritage. With several historic houses, gardens, and exhibits, it’s a time traveler’s paradise.
From Native American beginnings to the Civil Rights Movement, the center unfolds Atlanta’s story piece by piece. Whether it’s the Swan House’s elegance or the Smith Family Farm’s rustic charm, every corner has a tale to tell.
And for those pondering what fun things to do in Atlanta when the weather’s not on your side? Delve into the center’s indoor exhibits. Rain or shine, Atlanta’s story beckons.
Fun fact: The Swan House, which is part of the History Center, has been used for the Hunger Games movies.
Amidst the urban hustle, Piedmont Park emerges as a green sanctuary. With sprawling lawns, scenic views, and recreational facilities, it’s the city’s green lung. Whether you’re picnicking, jogging, or simply basking in nature’s beauty, the park offers respite.
The park’s history is as lush as its landscape. Once farmland, it transformed into an urban oasis over the decades. Today, it’s not just about recreation but also about community, hosting several events, markets, and festivals.
An urban redevelopment program turned recreational trail, the Atlanta Beltline is a testament to the city’s vision. Connecting neighborhoods, parks, and public spaces, it’s a trail of discovery. Whether you walk, jog, or cycle, you’re in for a scenic treat.
Art installations, murals, and performances dot the trail, making it a cultural corridor. Every step introduces you to a facet of Atlanta’s spirit, be it through graffiti, sculpture, or nature.
And if you’re thinking of unusual things to do in Atlanta, the Beltline offers themed tours. Explore the city’s architecture, history, or art – all while soaking in panoramic views. The Beltline, in essence, is Atlanta’s heartbeat.
The metropolis boasts a tapestry of cultures, and its culinary scene reflects this diversity. From bustling markets offering global delicacies to upscale restaurants showcasing world cuisines, there’s a plate for every palate.
Atlanta Foodie Bucketlist
Traditional Southern Fare
Ah, the flavors of the South! Atlanta’s culinary landscape is a gastronomic dream. Think of classic dishes like fried chicken, biscuits, and peach cobbler. Can you already feel your mouth watering?
Local diners and establishments serve these dishes with a side of history. Every bite takes you on a journey through time, celebrating traditions passed down generations. From collard greens to cornbread, the city’s Southern fare is soul food in the truest sense.
While Atlanta celebrates its Southern roots, it’s also a city of the world. And its international eateries are a testament to that. Whether you’re craving sushi, tacos, or Ethiopian injera, the city has got you covered.
Local Events and Festivals
Atlanta Jazz Festival
The rhythm of the South is unmissable, and the Atlanta Jazz Festival is where it crescendos. Celebrated annually, it’s a musical extravaganza that brings together renowned artists and enthusiastic crowds.
Staged in the scenic Piedmont Park, the festival is more than just music; it’s an experience. The aroma of food stalls, the laughter of children, and the hum of conversation – it’s a symphony of life. So, if you’re pondering things to do in Atlanta, let jazz be your guide.
When spring graces Atlanta, the Dogwood Festival comes alive. Celebrating the blooming of dogwood trees, it’s a mosaic of art, culture, and community spirit. From crafts to performances, the festival is a burst of creativity.
Set against the backdrop of blooming trees, the Dogwood Festival is a sight to behold. Artists from across the country showcase their work, musicians serenade crowds, and food stalls tantalize taste buds. Curious about things to do in Atlanta during spring? This festival should top your list.
Whether you are in Atlanta for a weekend break, a 10-day vacation or you are moving to Atlanta, you need to try and see as many of these Atlanta Bucket list items as you can!
What is your favorite thing to see and do in Atlanta? Let us know in the comments below!