Atlanta Travel Guide [y]

[y] Atlanta Visitors Guide

The crown jewel of the South, Atlanta is filled with great attractions, landmarks and unique sites of interest to explore. A thrill to visit for both first-timers and veteran travelers, the city captivates with its rich history, a wealth of cultural attractions and must-see landmarks. From Downtown Atlanta to Buckhead, Midtown to Little Five Points, this bustling city boasts just about everything imaginable.

Downtown Atlanta serves as the cultural, economic, and governmental focal point for the city and plays host to many of its top attractions and visitor destinations. Downtown Atlanta is home to Centennial Olympic Park, the city’s public square, as well as the iconic Georgia State Capitol and Underground Atlanta, a vast shopping and entertainment complex. Downtown is also home to the King Center and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site, both of which commemorate King’s life and contributions to the Civil Rights movement, as well as interesting destinations like the World of Coca-Cola and CNN Center. The Georgia Aquarium, the world’s largest aquarium, is also located in Downtown Atlanta.

Midtown Atlanta is another bustling business district with great shops, restaurants, galleries, and attractions to discover. Midtown hosts the beautiful Piedmont Park, an idyllic place perfect for leisure and sightseeing, as well as the historic Fox Theatre and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. The district is also home to many of the city’s finest museums and cultural institutions such as the High Museum of Art, the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, the Museum of Design Atlanta and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia.

Buckhead is an upscale district that holds many of the city’s most renowned shops, boutiques, and restaurants. Attractions here include the Lenox Square Mall, the Governor’s Mansion, and the fascinating Atlanta History Center, an institution that proudly displays the city’s rich history and heritage.

Even outside of its main commercial districts, Atlanta has much to offer. Little Five Points is packed with eclectic shops, eateries and nightlife spots to explore while East Atlanta Village is a hidden gem neighborhood worth visiting as well. Other sites include Turner Field, Maddox Park, the Historic West End and much, much more.

Whether you’re looking for great shopping, world-class art museums, or renowned cultural attractions and landmarks, Atlanta simply has it all. The city’s unique blend of progressive character and Southern charm makes it a truly interesting place to visit any time of the year.

Atlanta Downtown Hotels

Described as the city’s historic business district, downtown Atlanta was founded in 1826 and is home to many major corporations and government buildings, as well as plenty of leisurely activities. Covering about four square miles, the downtown area is divided into several neighborhoods, including the Hotel District, Peachtree Center and Centennial Hill. Tourists and locals alike enjoy visiting the area’s attractions. Georgia Aquarium is situated in downtown Atlanta as is Woodruff Park, offering peace and tranquility on 6 acres in the middle of city life. More than 60 shops, restaurants, and nightclubs can be found in the area’s most popular shopping center, Underground Atlanta. In addition to businesses, government, and entertainment, downtown Atlanta is also home to Georgia State University and has recently been renovated to include luxury condos and lofts. The area of downtown Atlanta also houses all of the city’s major sports complexes, including the Georgia Dome and Phillips Arena. Use our Search box above or click here to see available hotels!

Atlanta Weather

Those who love spending time outside, lunching on the patio nine months out of every year, and are willing to trade the traditional snowy Winter Wonderland for plenty of 90 degree days at the pool will find a perfect place in Atlanta, Georgia. A rapidly growing city in the Southeast, the city is often dubbed “Hotlanta”, due to the number of days each year the mercury hits the 90-degree mark, and the accompanying relative humidity.

Weather in Atlanta is a combination of the temperate climate seen in other large cities on the Eastern Seaboard, and the hot, humid summers found in the deep South. Atlanta is relatively landlocked, and with no breezes or water nearby to naturally regulate the temperatures and humidity, the result is the weather that’s relatively inconsistent but largely temperate.

While most other cities on the Eastern Seaboard experience four distinct seasons, Atlanta typically has short and mild winters that occupy an 8 week period from mid-December to mid-February. Spring comes early, often before flowers bloom in March, and temperatures steadily climb until reaching a peak in late July or early August. After that, temperatures begin to steadily decline, before the arrival of winter. There is not much difference between Spring and Autumn in Atlanta, and it is often difficult to tell where one season begins and another ends. For that reason, the humid subtropical climate in Atlanta is not considered to feature four distinct seasons.

It is not unheard of for the area to experience 80 degree days in December or February, nor is it unheard of for the area to experience its first frost in early October. Weather patterns are often unpredictable, and residents are used to rapid changes back and forth between seasons.

January is the only month in which Atlanta experiences a traditional winter, and will have the occasional snowstorm, although ice and freezing rain are more frequent problems. The city experiences, on average, two days of snow per year. In addition, total snowfall accumulation is under 3 inches a year.

On the other hand, Atlanta has more days in which precipitation is seen than does Seattle. During an average year in Atlanta, rain will occur once every three days. Like Florida, which has similar precipitation patterns, this is attributed to Atlanta’s high relative humidity. However, great accumulation of precipitation generally only occurs as a side effect of hurricanes in the Gulf and off of the Atlantic Ocean.

Because so much of the average year in Atlanta is considered temperate, it is home to a multitude of flowers and trees, creating a beautiful environment. However, the amount of pollen seen in April and May in Atlanta can reach up to one hundred times the healthy level. It’s estimated that over 80% of residents develop allergies, even those who never had them before moving to the area. However, most consider it a small price to pay for living in one of the most weather-friendly cities in the United States.

Atlanta Transportation

Getting through the streets of Atlanta, Georgia can be confusing and time-consuming if you are not familiar with the different transportation options that are available to you. Bus lines, railway stations, mobility vans, shuttles, and taxi cab services are all available throughout the big city of Atlanta. Whether you’re traveling to the airport, midtown, downtown or anywhere within the metro area, these transportation services can assist you with getting from point A to point B with ease.

MARTA Buses

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, also known as MARTA, offers bus services for residents and visitors in the city. Whether you’re commuting to work, visiting tourist attractions, traveling by bike or assist the accompaniment of a seeing-eye dog, this bus system is willing and able to accommodate you. Buses operate every day of the week, including holidays. Schedules for the bus line may vary depending on the neighborhood that you are boarding in. Simple use your Breeze Card to board the bus and make your way to destinations all over the city.

MARTA Railway

The MARTA Railway system consists of the red line and the green line. These trains typically arrive at each station every 15 to 20 minutes when on time. To take advantage of riding this rapid moving transportation service, you must purchase a Breeze Card from the vending machines located at the station. Fares can easily be loaded right onto the card and the card will then be swiped to pay the fare when boarding the train at any station. This is one of the fastest and most efficient ways of traveling throughout Atlanta. Travelers can also use the MyCommute Trip Planner to plan their trip and view current railway schedules.

MARTA Mobility Vans

MARTA offers ADA Complementary Paratransit services on their mobile vans for those who are unable to board, exit or ride on the regular bus and railway services. Disabled individuals are provided with the utmost care and assistance in boarding and exiting the van via lift equipment. Advanced reservations must be made in order to take advantage of this transportation service and all passengers must have a MARTA ADA Photo Identification Card.

Taxi Cabs

When arriving in Atlanta, Georgia, taxi cab services can be found directly at the airport and in select locations throughout the city. Take advantage of taxi cab transportation to get to and from your desired locations on time without any extra stops being made. This is ideal for those who prefer to travel alone rather than in crowds.

Atlanta Attractions

With a population of just over 5.2 million people in the metro area, Atlanta is the ninth-largest city in the United States. The large size of Atlanta makes it a perfect place to visit on vacation because of the wide variety of attractions. While there are hundreds of great things to do while in Atlanta, these are the four best attractions in the city.

Georgia Aquarium

The Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta receives more visitors than any other attraction in the city. The Georgia Aquarium has only been open a few years, but it has quickly become one of the premier aquariums in the world. The main attraction of the Georgia Aquarium is the whale sharks because they can not be seen anywhere else in the United States. While visitors of the Georgia Aquarium will not have a hard time to find something impressive in the aquarium, the hammerhead sharks and beluga whales should be seen by everyone.

CNN Center

If you ever wanted to get an inside look at how the world news is delivered, then the CNN Center is the place for you. The CNN Center is where most of the news is delivered for the CNN television channel. There are tours of the CNN Center throughout the day that allow visitors to see the inside of the studios. The tour also explains what goes on at the news channel and how they create their broadcasts. There is also a possibility to see a live taping of a CNN broadcast while on the tour.

World of Coca-Cola

The World of Coca-Cola is a museum that is dedicated to the history of the popular soft drink. The world of Coca-Cola originally opened in 1991, and it receives over 1 million visitors each year. The most popular exhibits in the museum are the bottling plant and the taste testing exhibit, which allows visitors to taste every product offered by Coca-Cola throughout the world.

Six Flags Over Georgia

There is no place in the city of Atlanta where you will have more fun than Six Flags Over Georgia. Six Flags Over Georgia first opened in the 1960s, which makes it one of the oldest Six Flags parks open today. The theme park is the home of a wide selection of great roller coasters and other rides for both adults and children. There are even several water rides to help you cool off on those hot summer days in Atlanta. Everyone is going to be able to have a great time at Six Flags Over Georgia no matter what age they are.

Atlanta Dining

Canoe

If you are looking for a restaurant that has an intimate dining environment, then consider eating here. The outdoor area pulls you in with the beautiful greenery, and then the dim lighting makes it seem as though you are in the restaurant alone. The food is spectacular. The beef tenderloin is so tender that it falls to pieces. A basket of different types of bread is brought to your table before your meal. Visit for the food, but enjoy the atmosphere of Canoe.

Blue Ridge Grill

Whether it is seafood and a salad or a meal that you might have received at your grandmother’s house, you will find a little bit of everything here at Blue Ridge Grill. One of the most requested dishes is bread and mussels. A dipping sauce comes with a dish that you can use for the bread. The lamb pasta is a unique entrée that many people order. If you are unsure of what to try, then get a hamburger or thick steak. A room is below the main restaurant for large parties.

Rathbun’s

From the appetizer to the desert, you are sure to enjoy every part of your meal here. The prices are very reasonable for the amount of food that you receive. The lobster burrito is one of the most popular items. It is made with chunks of lobster, vegetables and a light drizzle of butter. The French fries are served with a blue cheese sauce, and the flat iron steak is cooked to perfection. Immaculate desserts await you after your main course. The lemon meringue pie has a stiff peak that is browned on the tip. You can also try the chocolate brownie with ice cream.

Woodfire Grill

The Woodfire Grill is an American restaurant that has a little bit of everything. If you have never been to the Grill, you should try the tasting menu. It consists of five courses, and you don’t know what the waiter will bring to your table. The wine list is extensive. There is also a wide variety of soups to choose from for appetizers. Try the toffee dessert if you are looking for a very sweet treat.

Thumbs Up Diner

This is a diner that you can go to if you are looking for an affordable breakfast that fills your stomach. It is a small diner with friendly service. The waffles are fluffy in the morning and served with fresh fruit. The grits come with many options blended in with them including cheese and sausage. This is one of the coffee shops that people talk about but can never find.

Atlanta Events

Known for its seasonable temperatures and scrumptious peaches, Atlanta, Georgia has long been viewed as one of the hot spots of the Southeast. The city is also home to many different events and festivals each year, ranging from the arts to heritage to romantic dinners out. No matter your interests or your budget, the city is sure to have an event that sparks your interest.

St. Patrick’s Day Festival

An event that has taken place in Atlanta for more than 130 years, the parade is the central focus of the city’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival. Starting at noon, the large parade winds down several streets and brings viewers from all around the state. Following it is a day of festivities in Peachtree Gallery that include two stages of live Irish music and dancing, activities for the kids, Irish art and traditional Irish food. The event is free, but don’t forget to wear green or you might find yourself pinched.

Atlanta Film Festival

Drawing film lovers from around the Southeast for over 35 years, the Atlanta Film Festival is nine days of films from a wide variety of genres, made by people from all over the world. The festival’s reputation lures in both famous directors and independent filmmakers and shows more than 150 different films each year. In addition to screenings, participants can sit in on industry-related panels and take part in workshops. The festival is held at Landmark Midtown Art Cinema each year. It is highly recommended that festival-goers reserve tickets and any needed hotel rooms well in advance.

Georgia Renaissance Festival

Drawing in Renaissance-lovers from around the country, the Georgia Renaissance Festival is held just a few miles from the Atlanta Airport each year. Jugglers, acrobats and live jousting knights are just small samples of the incredible entertainment that can be seen on the festival’s 12 different stages. Plenty of food, as well as 15 acres of shopping, is also popular at the festival.

Downtown Atlanta Restaurant Week

Foodies on a budget will love Downtown Atlanta Restaurant Week. Started in late 2009, the event is used to showcase some of the downtown area’s fine dining establishments at lower prices than one would normally find. For much cheaper than you’d find outside of restaurant week, participants can enjoy three different courses at such restaurants as 30 Tables and Avanzare. Other activities are also present during the week, including plenty of live music. Don’t forget about tax and tip.

Family Fun near Downtown Atlanta

Fun for the entire family is available today in Atlanta. Many vacationers worry about finding pleasing activities for their entire group to be excited about, but Atlanta has no shortages of opportunities. The Georgia Aquarium draws in hundreds of thousands of visitors a year. With so many cool exhibits, it’s easy to see why it’s a favorite destination for travelers. You’ll be able to browse a selection of more than 100,000 species of fish from both saltwater and freshwater. Beluga whales and whale sharks catch the eyes of visitors, too. You can grab a bite to eat and watch a nice movie during your time at the Aquarium as well.

World of Coca-Cola

Once you leave the Aquarium, you could then choose to explore the wonders of the World of Coca-Cola. The legendary, quintessentially-American soft drink company takes you on a tour of the factory where the fame began generations ago. You’ll hopefully spend the time to see vintage advertisements that truly helped the soft drink giant solidify its status as a worldwide brand. You can also witness fascinating exhibits that involve Coca-Cola products in different scenarios. You’ll even be allowed to have samples of your favorite worldwide Coca-Cola drinks. Be sure to check out the souvenir shop before you leave for outstanding selections of specialty merchandise.

CNN

CNN’s main headquarters are located in Atlanta, and a tour of their iconic facility provides another enjoyable family outing. You’ll find a first-hand experience of how a newscast is produced, scripted, and aired for the national audience to see. The integrative weather maps are also explained in great detail to tourists. The busy preparation that goes on behind the scenes of the CNN newsroom interests multiple groups of people. You’ll never again wonder how the news process occurs because you’ll have taken a tour of the place where all the fast-paced action takes place.

Turner Field

The Atlanta Braves play family-oriented baseball at Turner Field. Going to a baseball game engraves fond memories in the lives of children and parents alike. There’s plenty of time between pitches and innings to enjoy ballpark food, dancing mascots, fireworks, and even free giveaways. The kids could participate in batting practice before the game, running the bases during the game, and perhaps even receiving some autographs from players after the game. Few activities allow a family to bond with such closeness and enjoyment as baseball games do at Turner Field in Atlanta. Even if the Braves don’t win, you’ll still cherish every moment of the game action that you spent together as a family.

Shopping near Downtown Atlanta

When visiting Atlanta, there are a multitude of activities for you to partake in, restaurants to dine in, and sights to see. There is also plenty of shopping to keep even the pickiest of shoppers happy. From high-end luxury designer boutiques to funky, homemade crafts and everything in between, there is something for everyone to shop for in Atlanta.

Little Five Points

For the eclectic crowd, the Little Five Points neighborhood is a good one for shopping. Here you will find a number of funky art galleries and boutiques that you will not find anywhere else. You are sure to leave Atlanta with some unique, one-of-a-kind finds. Atlantic Station is designed to feel like a little bit of a big city within a big city, where you will find a number of hip boutiques and trendy shops that feature things you won’t find anywhere else in the city. When you are finished shopping for home décor, clothing, and accessories, you can shop for artwork and other items in this hip and trendy neighborhood.

Buckhead

Buckhead is the place to go if you prefer high-end shopping. Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza both feature some of the most high-end designer shops in all of the world, and they are located relatively close to one another, which makes it easy to shop in both locations on the same day. Find your favorite shoes at boutiques such as Jimmy Choo and Kate Spade. Shop for designer apparel and accessories at Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue and pick up a new piece of gorgeous jewelry at Tiffany and Co. You will find other high-end designer shops such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Nordstrom. Phipps Plaza is also home to stores such as Valentino, Hugo Boss, and Versace. In these shopping centers, you will find more common stores such as Belk, Victoria’s Secret, and Express.

North Georgia Premium Outlet Mall,

Located only a few minutes north of Georgia in the North Georgia Premium Outlet Mall, which is where you will find all of your favorite designer items at discounted prices. Everything from designer shoes to designer handbags and accessories is sold here for a staggering discount in comparison to its higher-priced designer boutique price tags. You will find everything from Coach to Michael Kors to Ann Taylor, Burberry, and even Saks Off Fifth Avenue. There is nothing you cannot find in Atlanta when it comes to shopping, no matter what your personal style is, what you are looking for and what your budget looks like. Atlanta is a mecca for shopping for apparel, accessories, shoes, and even home décor.

Map of Hotels in Atlanta

  1. Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Int Airport – Find hotels near Collage Park & Union City
  2. Atlanta Downtown – Find hotels near Grady Antoine & Graves.
  3. Clark Atlanta University – Find hotels near Vine City & Mozley Park.
  4. Centennial Olympic Park – Find hotels near Candler Bldg & World of Coca-Cola.
  5. Piedmont Park – Find hotels near Atlanta Botanical Garden & Winn Park.
  6. Six Flags Over Georgia – Find hotels near Furniture City & Adamsville.
  7. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic -Find hotels near Butler Street Park & Georgia State University
  8. Stone Mountain Park – Find hotels near Lilburn & Clarkston.
  9. Historic Newnan – Find hotels near Peachtree City & Palmetto.
  10. Philips Arena – Find hotels near Suntrust Bank & CNN Center.