The Southeast has several popular tourist destinations, but Atlanta offers a unique vibrancy that you can’t miss. The city boasts an extensive history, as well as unbeatable restaurants, shops and museums. If you’re on the lookout for your next vacation or road trip, it’d be worthwhile to consider the “City Too Busy to Hate.”
Here are four reasons to visit Georgia’s iconic capital city.
There’s hardly a better destination for Civil Rights Movement history buffs – it’s where Martin Luther King, Jr. was born. Atlanta existed as an epicenter for racial justice from the mid-1950s to the late 1970s. Many prominent African American leaders took to the city to fight for equal rights. As a result, today’s Atlanta features several historically black colleges, plus historical museums and foundations.
You can visit a few different institutions to learn more. Take a trip to The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, where you can see exhibits that focus on global topics. The APEX Museum and The Atlanta History Center are also excellent selections. At The King Center, you can take a tour through the Civil Rights Walk of Fame on your way to King’s childhood home.
You could check out Ebenezer Baptist Church to see where King was a pastor. If you want to dedicate more than one day to Atlanta’s historical side, it’s essential to remember The Herndon Home Museum for a must-see. This landmark recognizes Alonzo Herndon’s legacy as a former slave and eventual millionaire who influenced Atlanta’s black community.
When you think about Atlanta’s food scene, what do you picture? Maybe it’s a plate that’s piled high with soul food. You wouldn’t be far off – Atlanta boasts many iconic restaurants that feature classic Southern dishes. But Atlanta isn’t only a place where you can find sweet tea and fried chicken. There are options to wet every palate, from vegan-inspired cafes to Vietnamese-Creole joints.
You can find delicious Italian food at Allora, which offers vegetarian and vegan options. You shouldn’t miss Paschal’s Restaurant if you’re after a traditional Atlanta experience. It’s been around since 1947, so it’s widely known as an Atlanta institution. Here, you’ll discover modern takes on traditional Southern grub like pulled pork. You should also try Bon Ton and Miller Union for noteworthy plates.
You wouldn’t be disappointed if you planned a trip to Atlanta only for the food.
Atlanta has a store for you – whether you prefer luxury spots or vintage markets, it’s unlikely that you’ll leave without a few purchases. You should check out as many local options as possible. You’ll be able to dive deeper into Atlanta’s rich culture, all while you support small businesses. Plus, it’s not every day that you’re able to shop inside a former Sears warehouse.
You’ll want to wander over to Miami Circle if you’d like to take a look at expensive art and rare books. Are you more inclined to visit a few local boutiques? The Virginia-Highland area boasts hard-to-miss stores where you’ll find gifts to take home as souvenirs. You should also take a walk around Ponce City Market, which was Atlanta’s Sears headquarters once upon a time.
These shops and stores are a terrific way to spend an afternoon, and see another side to Atlanta as a whole.
Aside from museums, restaurants and shops, it’d be a shame to miss the other experiences that Atlanta offers. If you need to add a few more attractions to your itinerary, it’s best to consider your family’s interests, as there’s a lot more to see and do. Whether you want to walk through an art gallery or spend time at the zoo, it’s all about how you want to spend your time on vacation.
A trip to Zoo Atlanta or the Georgia Aquarium can make for a memorable afternoon. Both locations boast over a thousand animals – and the zoo has three giant pandas! Did you know that Atlanta hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics? Check out Centennial Olympic Park if you want to blow off some steam. You could also take a tour at CNN Center to see CNN’s headquarters. There’s also the World of Coca-Cola, where you can taste beverages from across the globe.
If those aren’t enough options, you can head to the Atlanta Botanical Garden or the High Museum of Art to experience diverse plants and art. There’s even the Children’s Museum of Atlanta for whenever you need to entertain your kids. You can also check out nearby nature preserves if you want to leave the city for a few hours.
Atlanta’s history makes it a worthwhile destination on its own – but there are many more reasons to visit Georgia’s capital. From delicious eats to memorable attractions, it’s impossible to have a bad time when you visit Atlanta.