If you’re heading to Atlanta for Spring Break, you’ll find no shortage of fun things to do. One of the most vibrant and diverse metropolitan areas in the South, Atlanta boasts a thriving arts and music scene, including a fascinating and growing selection of street art. The city also offers visitors some of the most interesting historical attractions anywhere in the United States, including the Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum and the National Center for Human and Civil Rights. And there are plenty of outdoor attractions too.
In fact, there’s so much to do in Atlanta that you’ll probably find it impossible to take in even a small portion of what the city has to offer in just one week. But if you plan your trip carefully, you can probably hit quite a few of the highlights we’ve listed below.
The Atlanta Beltline
The city’s newest outdoor attraction, the Atlanta Beltline is 22 miles of unused railroad tracks that circle Atlanta’s neighborhoods. It’s home to an assortment of cycling trails and walkways, green spaces and pet-friendly public parks. It also boasts the largest public temporary art project in the Southeast, “Art on the Beltline” and a wide assortment of restaurants and bars. There’s even a public skate park, where people of all skill levels can get some exercise and have fun at the same time. The park is open from sunup until 11 p.m.
Centennial Olympic Park
A monument to the 1996 Olympic Games, Centennial Olympic Park is one of Atlanta’s most iconic landmarks. At the center of the tourist district, it’s close to some of the city’s most popular attractions, including the Georgia Aquarium, the College Football Hall of Fame and Imagine It! The Children’s Museum. But it’s also destination in its own right. One of its most popular features is the Fountain of Rings, an interactive water sculpture that pulsates to music along with sound and lighting effects four times a day, 365 days a year. Shows are at 12:30; 3:30, 6:30 and 9:00, and admission is free.
Atlanta Botanical Gardens
No visit to Atlanta is complete without a visit to this breathtaking 30 acres of perfectly tended garden located next to Piedmont Park in Midtown. Visitors can take a “walk through the treetops” in the Keneda Canopy Walk, splash in the Sunflower Fountain, or explore a selection of high-elevation orchids in the Fuqua Orchid Center. There’s even an observation bee hive and a “Soggy Bog,” where you and your family can learn all about the carnivorous Venus flytrap.
Home to the now 18-month-old giant panda cubs Xi Lun and Ya Lun, Zoo Atlanta is an attraction that no Atlanta visitor should miss. The zoo houses over 1,000 animals representing over 200 different species from around the world. In addition to the giant pandas (which are worth a visit in themselves) the zoo is home to one of the largest collections of orangutans in captivity and the largest selection of gorillas in the United States (20 of them!)
The Georgia Aquarium
The world class Georgia Aquarium is a sure to be a hit, rain or shine. With over 10 million gallons of fresh and salt water on hand, the aquarium is home to more than 100,000 animals from more than 1,000 species from across the globe. The aquarium consists of five separate galleries around a central atrium, which boast an ever-changing selection of exhibits, including supervised encounters with dolphins, seals and beluga whales. The venue offers a number of discounts, including an early-bird discount for those who visit before 11 a.m. Learn about ticket pricing, special events and tours and other Aquarium specials here.
The Atlanta History Center
The Atlanta History Center is a 32-acre space that is home to the Atlanta History Museum, one of the largest historical museums in the Southeast. The property is houses the 1928 Swan House, which was featured in the movie “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” and the Smith Family Farm. Other features include the Centennial Olympic Games Museum, the Kenan Research Center, the Coca-Cola Cafe, and several acres of gardens and woodland trails dotted with native wildlife.
Of course, this is hardly an inclusive list of all the great things to do in Atlanta this spring. But for first-time visitors who want to get a taste of Atlanta family fun, it’s a great starting point. Please let us know about your experience, and any great attractions we may have left out. Just send us a note via email or our easy to use contact form.
A Word About the Weather
Spring in Atlanta is a beautiful time of year. The sun shines most days, and daytime temperatures are in the low-to-mid 70’s — perfect for exploring, taking in an outdoor festival, or enjoying the city’s many parks and trails. Nightime temps dip into the high 50s, so you’ll need a jacket if you’re heading out for dinner or to take in a show. On average, it rains only about six days in April. But as we all know, the weather is unpredictable lately, so bring a light raincoat or umbrella just in case.