One of the best things about living in metro Atlanta is that you’ll never run out of things to do. Among the activities you shouldn’t miss is a walking tour of the downtown area.
Downtown is where the great city of Atlanta was born. Despite being one of the most historic neighborhoods in the South, it has a distinctly contemporary vibe with an eclectic array of sights and sounds.
Many of the best attractions here are in close proximity of each other, making the area perfect for a walking tour.
Here are some of the attractions you should include in your itinerary:
Centennial Olympic Park
265 Park Avenue
Built to host the 1996 Summer Olympics, Centennial Olympic Park is Atlanta’s largest greenspace. Spanning 22 acres, the park is now an iconic destination, with thousands of visitors coming to see its awe-inspiring attractions, including the Fountain of Rings, The Spectacular – an aluminum sculpture depicting the Olympic Rings, the Quilt Plazas that commemorate various significant events, and many more. Centennial Olympic Park’s central location also makes it the perfect base for your downtown walking tour.
The World of Coca-Cola
121 Baker Street
Atlanta is the birthplace of the first and most famous soda brand in the world. The World of Coca-Cola, found just across the eastern side of Centennial Olympic Park, is a celebration of this iconic brand, telling its story through a dynamic, multisensory experience. This modern museum’s centerpiece is the Vault of the Secret Formula, where visitors get to mix their own soda flavors, transform into a Coca-Cola “bubble,” and go through more immersive experiences as they get closer and closer to learning the secret formula behind the most recognizable brand in the world.
225 Baker Street
Just a short distance from The World of Coca-Cola is the Georgia Aquarium, considered the largest aquarium in the world until 2012, when it was surpassed in size by Marine Life Park in Singapore. Georgia Aquarium remains the largest in the Western hemisphere and is home to tens of thousands of marine species, including whale sharks, manta rays, California sea lions, and bottlenose dolphins. This watery attraction has six major galleries and features sea lion and dolphin presentations, a virtual reality tour of the deep, a “Behind the Seas” tour, and more.
Center for Civil and Human Rights
100 Ivan Allen, Jr Boulevard
This groundbreaking museum is adjacent to the World of Coca-Cola building, and was opened to the public in 2007. It has three main galleries, one of which features interactive and immersive exhibits on the American Civil Rights movement. Another gallery displays memorabilia on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., including his handwritten manuscripts and other personal effects. The third main gallery depicts past and present human rights struggles around the world. Visiting this museum is highly enlightening and is certainly up on the list of the best things to do in downtown Atlanta.
Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame
250 Marietta Street
Across the street from the western side of Centennial Olympic Park is this massive, hi-tech attraction that pays tribute to college football in the U.S. Its roster of immersive and stunning exhibits includes a wall of more than 760 college football helmets, a 45-yard indoor football field, and the only 4K cinema in Georgia. In addition, this modern and interactive museum regularly stages fun events, including Game Day Tailgate, a rousing family-friendly event that takes place every Saturday, featuring tailgate games, live video matches, trivia games, and music from DJ Willy Wow.
190 Marietta Street
No tour of downtown Atlanta is complete without a CNN Studio tour. Just a 4-minute walk from Chick-fil-A museum, the global headquarters of the world’s first 24-hour cable news service opens its door to visitors to give them a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes of their favorite news programs. You may even get to pretend to be a news anchor or weathercaster.
Not all attractions in downtown Atlanta are contemporary and high-tech. Just a 7-minute walk from the CNN headquarters is the Fairlie-Poplar Historic District, the city’s central business district in the early 1900s. A designated National Register Historic District, it was known as “Atlanta’s new modern fireproof business district” back in the day. It’s home to the city’s earliest high rises, including Atlanta’s very own Flatiron Building, the English-American Building found at the junction of Peachtree, Poplar, and Broad Streets. The historic district makes up most of the Fairlie-Poplar neighborhood, which has become an arts and culture destination, thanks to its collection of art galleries, street art, and live performance and theater venues.
There’s more to explore in downtown Atlanta. Come visit our dynamic city, and experience what it has to offer firsthand. And when you’re ready to find a home, I can guide you to the best places to live in Atlanta. Get in touch with me at 404.550.5113 or email Natalie.Gregory@Compass.com today.