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It may seem hard to believe, but spring break and vacation season will be here before you know it. For us, that usually means a road-trip! I absolutely love traveling and one of my favorite places to visit is Atlanta, Georgia. Maybe it’s the atmosphere, maybe it’s simply that it’s different than Texas, but for whatever reason, I love visiting! Nevermind, I know what it is. It’s all of the different choices of top things to do in Atlanta that I love! There is so much to do that it really does make Atlanta the perfect family vacation destination or perfect couples getaway!
Before you plan your road trip or vacation to see the top things to do in Atlanta, you’ll want to make sure that you update your personal budget to be sure that you can afford the trip. You’ll also want to take a look at ways to save on travel that can help you cut your costs. Personally, I like to take the month or two before my trip and find as many ways to earn free gift cards online as possible. This allows me to do things like save money on eating out (or even eat out for free!), save money on gasoline, save money on hotel stays and more. I have done entire trips to places like Atlanta and NYC for as little as $500.00 out of pocket by doing this and starting early!
Top 10 Things to Do in Atlanta
Another way that I like to save on travel to larger cities is by purchasing CityPASS vouchers. If you’re unfamiliar, CityPASS is an awesome voucher program that saves you as much as 54% on area attractions. For Atlanta, you would buy one booklet per person and get into a 5 of the top things to do in Atlanta for “free” with your booklet. It isn’t actually free since you have to pay for your CityPASS booklet, but you won’t need to pay admission at the door. It’s a fantastic way to save and one that we have used often!
Georgia Aquarium – Not only is the Georgia Aquarium the biggest aquarium in the United States; it is also the largest in the world. For this reason alone, it’s worth a visit! The aquarium has over 10 million gallons of water, four enormous whale sharks, a dolphin show, and more. Their biggest attraction is their Ocean Voyager exhibit. You sit in front of a huge window, spend time watching their sharks then exit via their underground tunnel. For saving money, the Georgia Aquarium is part of the CityPASS voucher program. Regular admission will run you $31.95 per adult (over 12) and $27.95 per child. Tickets can be purchased via the CityPASS website or on the Georgia Aquarium website.
Martin Luther King Jr Birth Place – This National Park site is a compilation of several locations including the Martin Luther King Jr birth home, a fire station, and the rose gardens. You can also visit the Ebenezer Baptist Church where Martin Luther King Jr was baptized and where he and his father pastored. Finally, you can visit and pay your respects at the final resting place of Martin Luther King Jr.. Since this is a National Park, don’t forget to have your kids do their Jr Ranger books to get their badge if they are completing the Jr Ranger program. Admission for the Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site is free.
CNN Studio Tour – Ever wonder how news is made? Well, wonder no longer because taking a CNN Studio tour is on our list of top 10 things to do in Atlanta. Purchase your tickets and you’ll get to take a tour behind one of the biggest news networks in the world. You’ll be able to see how they produce everything from the news and weather to how they manage their sister channels. As a bonus, you will also get to climb the largest escalator in the United States which can be an added bonus for the kids! The CNN Studio Tour is part of the Atlanta CityPass program or you can purchase tickets via the CNN Studio Tours website. General admission rates are $15.00 per adult, $14.00 for ages 13-18 and $12.00 for kids ages 4-12.
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park – Located just outside the Atlanta metroplex this Civil War battlefield is well worth the drive. For kids, they will not only learn history at the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, but they can also complete another Junior Ranger badge here. The park is a sprawling 2,965 acres. The most popular thing to do here is to either hike or drive to the top of the mountain where you are treated to historic information about the fighting that took place in the park from June 19, 1864 – July 2, 1864 as well as battle cannons once you reach the top. The views from the top include downtown Atlanta and are breathtaking making earning this a definite spot in our top things to do in Atlanta. Admission is free, but you may have to pay for parking.
Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum – Love them or hate them, but every president leaves their mark on history. The presidential libraries are a fantastic way to see those marks. Visiting a presidential library such as the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum is a great way to learn the history and events that President Carter is famous for. Sure, you may not like a certain president but learning from their mistakes and triumphs is the only way to be successful in the future. Admission can be paid at the door and will cost you $8.00 per adult. Children under 16 are free. Students between 16 and 18 will run you $6.00 each with a student ID.
College Football Hall of Fame – Sports fans will love visiting the College Football Hall of Fame. Once you pay your admission fees, you will choose the team you support and will be given a badge. Round the corner to see the massive wall of helmets light up showing which teams are represented. As you walk around the hall of fame, use the badge you are given to compete against other visitors in games, answer trivia and find out awesome info about your team. Almost the entire tour is hands on which makes it great for any college ball fan! While you’re there, make sure to check out the Game Day theater too! The theater combined with other fun displays and events make this one of my favorite top things to do in Atlanta by far! The College Football Hall of Fame is a part of the Atlanta CityPASS program. General admission will cost you $21.99 for adults and $17.99 for kids ages 3-12. Tickets can be purchased through the CityPASS website or on the Hall of Fame website.
Atlanta History Center – The Atlanta History Center is a 33-acre neighborhood in Atlanta that features museums, historic houses, gardens, and plenty of other activities that you won’t want to miss when you visit Atlanta. From the historic Swan House – which gives you a peek into the rich and famous 1930s Lifestyle – to the living history of the Smith Family Farm – where you can hear stories of the Civil War and how an 1840s plantation was run – it really is one the top things to do it Atlanta. You could spend the entire day and still not see or hear everything! The Atlanta History Center is great for history buffs, but also fantastic for families who are wanting to learn a bit more about Civil War era life. If you’re wanting to tour the Margret Mitchell House while you’re visiting, make sure to ask about the tour when you buy your history center tickets. General admission runs $16.50 per adult, $13.00 each per student (ages 13-18) and $11.00 for kids ages 4-12. Tickets can be purchased via the Atlanta History Center website.
World of Coca-Cola – Did you know that Coca-Cola is based in Atlanta? No? Well now you do and since you now know, you’ll want to make sure that you visit World of Coca-Cola while you’re there! When you visit, you will learn the history of the company, visit the Coca-Cola theater, get pictures with the Coca-Cola polar bear and more. By far the most popular part of this top things to do in Atlanta is at the end of the tour when you get to taste Coke products from all over the world! Most of them can’t be bought in the United States which makes it an extra special treat! If the tasting doesn’t entice you, how about the secret Coke recipe? Visitors often get to visit the secret vault that the recipe is kept safe in. How cool, right?! General admission for adults (ages 13-64) will cost you $17.00 per person. Youth admissions (ages 3-12) are $13.00. Tickets can be purchased on the World of Coca-Cola website or for a discount, grab the Atlanta CityPASS.
Stone Mountain Park – Stone Mountain Park is Georgia’s most visited attraction each year (over 4 million visitors per year!) and it’s easy to see why! Not only can you hike up to see the mural carved into the side of the mountain , but there is a whole slew of other activities to do! While you’re visiting Stone Mountain Park, make sure to take a train ride, visit a farm yard, cool off at the waterpark, play mini golf, or take in the a historic square of old homes. There’s also a duck boat tour, a nightly light show, golf, camping and a whole lot more! Even better is that Stone Mountain Park has 4.5 star reviews!
When you visit Stone Mountain Park, you will be buying an all-day ticket, but if you’re visiting this as one of the top things to do in Atlanta, we recommend that you book a hotel or campground and stay a day or two. One day really isn’t long enough to see it all! Ticket prices vary depending on what you’re looking for and can be purchased on the Stone Mountain Park website. If you’re planning on visiting more than once, be sure to check Groupon for a Stone Mountain Park Parking pass discount!
Atlanta Underground – The final option in our list of top things to do in Atlanta is the historic Atlanta Underground. Walk down the original Main Street of Atlanta and see what Atlanta looked like before Union Troops burned it. What makes the Atlanta Underground so cool is that when the city rebuilt, they did so over the original streets. Now, you can walk down and see the original storefronts, walk on the original brick road and even see the original light posts. You’ll be able to see the Zero Milepost (mile 0 on the original railroad running from Atlanta to Chattanooga) on the basement level of the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot. One even has a cannonball hole through it! You can do a self-guided free walking tour and read the signs scattered around,or if that isn’t your cup of sweet tea, you also have the option to do a do a paid history tour. While you’re there make sure to take in the different shops and restaurants. This one is a must do for anyone who loves history or architecture. Just a word of caution, we were told by some locals to go during the day as it gets a bit sketchy at night. When you visit, be sure to stop by the information center for tour info.
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