My Top Five Must Dos for Atlanta Newbies
Looking for the top things to see and do in Atlanta? Look no further! Below you will find my top five favorites!
1.) Stone Mountain: Just outside of Atlanta, this huge granite mountain juts out of the cityscape! You can reach the top by hiking up the pedestrian trail or by the Skyride tram. You may opt to take a relaxing train ride around the base as well. Not only is the mountain itself a draw, but so are the many trails and the lake within the park. Mini golf, multiple ropes courses and a duck boat tour can all be done at an additional cost. Some of my family’s favorites are the seasonal offerings. Watching the laser show in summertime with a picnic is a must-do each summer. The Yellow Daisy Festival is any shopper or craft-lover’s dream and Snow Mountain and Stone Mountain Christmas will put you right in that Christmas spirit.
2.) World of Coca-Cola: Did you know that Coke originated right here in Atlanta? Naturally we have an entire museum dedicated to it! Sure you can learn all about Coke’s history but there are so many other things to do here as well! Taste Coke from all around the world, explore the new Scent Discovery exhibit, watch a 3-D show, go behind the scenes of the bottling process, meet Coke’s polar bear mascot and of course buy all of your Coke souvenirs at the Coke store.
3.) Georgia Aquarium: New shark exhibit!?! Need I say more? The Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the western hemisphere and at the time of opening, it held the Guinness record for having the most aquatic life of any aquarium. Be sure you take in one of the scheduled dolphin shows that occur daily. Don’t miss the tunnel you can walk through that takes you through the Ocean Voyager exhibit! The whale shark, sea otters, penguins and beluga whales are some of our kid’s favorites. You can even take a behind the scenes tour, have an animal encounter or even dive right in to one of the tanks (all at an additional cost).
4.) Ponce City Market: This retail and dining space was formerly an old Sears & Roebuck building used as early at the late 1920’s. It was repurposed, brought to new life and reopened in 2014 as a space for shops, restaurants, entertainment and even a food hall. Be sure to check out Citizen Supply to shop for local artisanal goods. Collier Candy & Convenience and Rhen’s Nest Toy Shop are always hits with my kids, while you can find me searching for new home goods at Sustainable or looking for a new favorite hat at Goorin Bros. Hat Shop. When it comes to eating you can’t go wrong with Mexican at Minero, Hop’s Chicken, King of Pops or Five Daughter’s Bakery. Be sure to head up to the roof. Grab a cocktail, enjoy vintage amusement games or even try your hand at ice skating or mini golf (both are seasonal).
5.) The Beltline: A 33-mile long network of mulit-use trails, The Atlanta Beltline gives you a space to bike, run, walk, skate and scoot! Along the route, take in some amazing local art or stop for a bite or drink at one of the many restaurants you may pass. You might even pass Ponce City Market (see above) which is connected to the Beltline! Krog Street Market is another cool place to check out if you happen to pass!
Bonus activity if you do a bike tour! Most will take you along the Beltline and give you lots of Atlanta history to boot. This has been one of our favorite things we’ve done in Atlanta… even as locals!