Best Things to Do in Downtown Atlanta

There’s nothing quite like downtown Atlanta. It’s the epicenter of the city where you’ll find the world’s largest interactive water fountain that pulses and lights up to music, a 200-foot Ferris wheel, beluga whales and much more.

Centennial Olympic Park 

The Fountain of Rings at Centennial Olympic Park at dusk with CNN in the background
Day or night, the fountains at Centennial Olympic Park are both fun and beautiful.

All the fun starts at Centennial Olympic Park. This legacy to the 1996 Summer Olympic Games is the heart of a thriving tourist district and an urban oasis offering an abundance of activities and things to do. Start with the Audio Walking Tour to discover the legacy of the games, plus Atlanta history, architecture, quirky trivia and original music. Capture the moment with a selfie in front of the Olympic Rings sculpture, cool off in the world’s largest interactive water fountain to incorporate the rings, and marvel at the synchronized water and music program where water dances to familiar tunes complete with sound and lighting effects.

National Center for Civil and Human Rights 

National Center for Civil and Human Rights
Take your time exploring the contents of The National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Atlanta is and always has been at the forefront of the American civil rights movement. The National Center for Civil and Human Rights pays homage to the Black leaders who fought for equal rights and brings current global human rights issues to the forefront. The Center is where you begin your exploration of Atlanta’s legacy as the cultural catalyst for the civil rights movement. You’ll want a couple of hours to explore the Center’s three main exhibits with interactive displays: civil rights, human rights and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection from Morehouse College. View a video on the panoramic screen or sit at a lunch counter that simulates Freedom Riders protests, and stand tall next to life-size images of the dictators of the world (spoiler: they’re surprisingly short!).

Georgia Aquarium 

Atlanta Georgia Aquarium Ocean Voyage
Georgia Aquarium gives you a sneak peek at the marine world.

Georgia Aquarium may be docked on dry land in downtown Atlanta, but dive inside and you’ll discover more than 10 million gallons of water, home to more animals than any other aquarium. You can explore the diverse underwater world from this scientific institution that entertains and educates through dynamic exhibits and programs that promote the conservation of aquatic biodiversity throughout the world and leave with a deeper appreciation for our ocean and the animals that call it home. You’ll get up close to tens of thousands of animals, including whale sharks, manta rays, four beluga whales, dolphins and much more.

SkyView Atlanta

Skyview Atlanta
The Atlanta Streetcar and the Skyview Atlanta Ferris Wheel at blue hour.

Marvel at breathtaking panoramic views of downtown Atlanta and the surrounding metropolitan area from a climate-controlled, private gondola on the SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel. You’ll tower 200 feet above Centennial Olympic Park for an unprecedented look at the city. There’s even a VIP gondola boasting Ferrari style seats, a glass floor, and a longer flight time.

World of Coca Cola

World of Coca Cola
Explore all the fun things inside World of Coca-Cola.

Arguably, Coca-Cola is the world’s most favorite drink. It’s synonymous with smiles and harmony, and its home is in downtown Atlanta at World of Coca-Cola. You can immerse yourself in the drink, the brand and the experience. Try your hand at mixing up your own fizzy drink recipe, see how you look inside a container of bubbly cola, check out Coca-Cola advertisements throughout the years, pose for a photo with the beloved Coca-Cola Polar Bear and enter the Vault of the Secret Formula. At the end of the tour, you can sample more than 100 Coca-Cola beverages from around the world and grab some iconic Coca-Cola memorabilia in the gift shop.

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Get to know Atlanta, and discover the best things to do around the city.