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Atlanta has invested heavily in its tourist attractions in the past five years, and the commitment shows. A city rich with history and yet thoroughly modern, there’s plenty to do whether you’re interested in art, culture, or just plain having fun.

Things to do in Atlanta

Atlanta Botanical Garden

Covering 30 acres in Midtown’s Piedmont Park, this unique garden showcases both indoor and outdoor botanical wonders, including – rather unexpectedly – flora from tropical and desert climes.

1345 Piedmont Ave., GA, 404-876-5859,
Tags: family | things to do | gardens

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Nothing kicks off summer in Atlanta better than an outdoor concert at Chastain Park Amphitheater, a unique and beautiful venue that features music from top performers and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Concert-goers pack a picnic and sip and sup under the stars at their candlelit tables while listening to the music on stage. Year-round, the critically acclaimed ASO holds more than 200 performances at its other two venues, the 12,000-seat Verizon Wireless Amphitheater and its home, Symphony Hall, at the Woodruff Arts Center in Midtown.

1280 Peachtree St. NE, GA, 404-733-4900,
Tags: arts and culture | things to do | outdoors

CNN Center

Take a 55-minute behind-the-scenes tour of the news giant, then present the day’s top news stories on your own video at the Turner Store’s Interactive Area.

One CNN Center, GA, 404-827-2300,
Tags: family | editor pick | things to do | tour

Georgia Aquarium

The world’s largest aquarium boasts more than 100,000 animals (including five beluga whales) from 500 species in eight million gallons of fresh and marine water.

225 Baker St., GA, 404-581-4000,
Tags: family | editor pick | things to do | aquarium

High Museum of Art

Thanks to an unprecedented partnership with Paris’ Musée du Louvre, this Richard Meier/Renzo Piano-designed museum’s “Louvre Atlanta” exhibition plays host to hundreds of the French institution’s works through 2009.

1280 Peachtree St., GA, 404-733-4444,
Tags: editor pick | art | things to do | culture | architecture

Little Five Points

With its little five fingers ever on the pulse of what’s hip, this very diverse neighborhood marches to its own beat and offers everything from the new agey (Crystal Blue, for “healing” candles and minerals) to the ultra-trendy (Wish, for clothing).

Tags: shopping | trendy | things to do | eclectic

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site

This multi-building complex in Sweet Auburn encompasses King’s boyhood home and Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he and his father pastored.

450 Auburn Ave., GA, 404-331-5190,
Tags: editor pick | historic | things to do | culture | museum

Miami Circle

Antebellum antique shops and contemporary boutiques line the street in this stylish Buckhead shopping district. Score stylish, locally designed Art Deco furniture, European antiquities with vintage Southern flare, and artworks by local painters. Many dealers, such as Antonio Raimo and J. Tribble, will ship for your convenience.

Piedmont Rd., GA,
Tags: shopping | expensive | editor pick | smart splurge | things to do | gallery | antiques

New World of Coca-Cola

Opened in 2007, this totally modernized incarnation of the popular attraction presents a bubbly array of Coke-related artifacts, a 4D theatre, a Pop Art gallery, and global drink samples.

121 Baker St., GA, 404-676-5151,
Tags: family | things to do | tour

Oakland Cemetery

A mile from downtown, this beautiful, serene cemetery is the eternal resting place of some of Atlanta’s most famous residents including writer Margaret Mitchelll; Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first African-American mayor; and golfing great Bobby Jones. The cemetery was founded in 1850 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places; juxtaposed against the Atlanta skyline, it stands as a tribute to the city’s rich history. Of the approximately 70,000 graves, some 6,900 are Confederate soldiers who died in Atlanta hospitals or on nearby battlefields. Guided walking tours are held on weekends, and twilight tours with specific topics are also held (check website for schedules).

248 Oakland Ave. SE, GA, 404-668-2107,
Tags: historic | things to do | walking tour | cemetery

Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu Temple

About 25 minutes from downtown Atlanta, across the street from a suburban strip mall, stands a marvel of craftsmanship, architecture, and altruism so awe-inspiring it’s hard to believe it’s not more well-known: the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, a Hindu temple that’s the largest of its kind outside of India. More than 1,300 craftsmen and 900 volunteers combined their efforts to build the temple, which encompasses 32,000 square feet and has 34,450 hand-carved pieces, including thousands of tons of Italian marble, Turkish limestone, and Indian pink sandstone. Built at an estimated cost of $19 million, the temple is only the third of its kind in the country. Admission is free and open to the public daily.

460 Rockbridge Rd. NW, GA, 404-297-0501,
Tags: things to do | architecture

Six Flags Over Georgia

Located 12 miles west of downtown Atlanta, this 230 acre amusement park offers rides for thrill seekers and young families alike. Batman and Superman rides are heart-pumping fun, but there are also over 20 rides for little kids, including a new Thomas the Train themed area.

275 Riverside Parkway, GA, 770-739-3400,
Tags: family | things to do | amusement park

Soul Food Museum

This storefront establishment is less a museum than a cultural oddity, but it’s worth a visit to see Dr. Kenneth Willhoite’s collection of foods made or marketed by black Americans. Willhoite leads a 45-minute tour of the collection, which includes everything from an antique icebox to Aunt Jemima pancake mix to Crunk! energy drink. No reservations necessary.

372 Sweet Auburn Ave., GA, 678-508-9478,
Tags: great value | things to do | museum

Underground Atlanta

Before the city built viaducts above it to escape the snarl of railroad tracks, this was the heart of Atlanta; it’s now been reclaimed as a shopping, dining, and entertainment area, with unique retail outlets hawking clothing, gifts and souvenirs.

50 Upper Alabama St., GA, 404-523-2311,
Tags: shopping | things to do | souvenirs | clothing

Zoo Atlanta

Zoo Atlanta sprawls over 40 acres inside historic Grant Park. Large and natural feeling habitats showcase more than 200 species of animals from giraffes to warthogs. In September 2006, Zoo Atlanta welcomed its most popular exhibit with the birth of baby panda Mai Lan.

800 Cherokee Ave., SE, GA, 404-624-5600,
Tags: family | things to do | zoo

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