Coming to Atlanta for Spring Break?

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.

Zoo Atlanta

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.

 

 

Spending St. Patrick’s Day in Atlanta? Here’s What’s Happening.

St. Patrick's Day parade attendees
Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2015

Atlanta is a great city to visit at any time of the year. With a population of about 450,000, the city is the cultural and economic hub of the Atlanta Metropolitan area, and teeming with interesting and exciting things to do. It’s one of the few cities in the United States to boast permanent professional performance companies in all of the performing arts, and it’s home to several world-renowned art museums, including the High Museum of Art and the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA). Outdoor activities and sightseeing are plentiful, and great restaurants and exciting nightlife abound.

But if you’re spending St. Patrick’s Day in Atlanta this year, you’re in for a special treat. From the city’s spectacular St. Patrick’s Day parade to a host of nighttime pub crawls, it’s a day where residents and visitors alike join to celebrate the city’s history of diversity in an atmosphere of family-friendly fun. Here’s a rundown on some of what’s going on.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade 5K

Presented by IWeLife in partnership with Atlanta’s St. Patrick’s Parade, the 4th Annual 5K fun run starts at 10 a.m. March 17, 2018, at Colony Square Plaza. The route traverses Atlanta’s midtown and continues through Piedmont Park, finishing at historic Peachtree Street. The run is hosted by Colony Square and benefits the nonprofit Atlanta Midtown Neighborhood Association.

If you’re interested in this St. Patrick’s Day event, sign up online by 11:59 March 15. Fees are:

  • Adults: $30 if registered by Feb. 11, 2018
  • Adults: $35 if registered after Feb. 11, 2018
  • Adults: $40 on race day
  • Kids 12 & under: $20

All participants receive a T-shirt ( register by March 10th to secure yours!) a finisher picture and a finisher gift. Adults 21 and over will also be treated to a free draught beer from Reformation Brewery after the race and discounted food provided by Colony Square restaurants. Free face painting is also available for children and adults.

St. Patricks Day Parade

One of the oldest St. Patrick’s Day Parades in the nation,  the Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day parade was started by the Atlanta Hibernian Benevolent Society in 1858. Today, it’s produced by Atlanta St. Patricks Parade Inc. and features representatives from a host of Irish organizations, including the Hibernian Benevolent Society, The Ancient Order of Hibernians, Clan NaNGael, the Fire Emerald Society and several more.

But participation in the parade isn’t limited to just the Irish. Thousands of people from Atlanta’s diverse and eclectic population take part in the event. Featured attractions include dozens of floats, clowns, dancers, and musicians, including the Atlanta Bagpipe & Drum Corps.

The parade starts at noon, and will be followed by an afternoon of festivities at Colony Square, including live musical performances, green beer, Irish cuisine, and more. Children are welcome!

If you’re going to the parade, the event coordinators strongly encourage you to take MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) and exit at either the Colony Square or Arts Center stops. If you’re coming to the city by car, parking information and the parade route are available here

Shamrock the Station

Hosted by ALT 105.7 FM and Atlantic Station, Shamrock the Station begins at Atlantic Station at 2 p.m., with children’s activities and Irish dancing. At 4 p.m., the adult festivities begin, with live music, discounted food and, of course, green beer. The event is preceded by a 1K – 10k Shamrock & Roll road race through the streets of Atlanta, sponsored by the Junior League of Atlanta.  See the Shamrock & Roll website  more information on the race, including entry fees and route.

Pub Specials

What would St. Patrick’s Day be without a trip to a local pub or two? And there’s no shortage of bars and restaurants to visit in Atlanta’s downtown. But if you’re interested in a good old-fashioned pub crawl for a really great price, here are a few ideas.

  • PubCrawls.com is offering a Luck of the Irish St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl with all-day access and discounted drink specials at all participating venues for $10 (prices will increase closer to the event.) As of this writing, participating venues include Joe’s on Juniper, Einstein’s, Hudson Grill, and MSR My Sister’s Room.
  • Atlanta Streetcar Bar Crawl: Hosted by Carson + Spencer, the 4th Annual Atlanta Streetcar Bar Crawl takes place between noon and 4 p.m. on March 17. General admission is $20 + $3.16 fee and includes a day-pass for the Atlanta Streetcar with unlimited on-and-off access, five complimentary drinks, food and drink specials at all participating venues and access to an exclusive afterparty at the Odd Fellows Building and Auditorium from 4 to 7 p.m. Participating venues include Atlanta Braves Bar & Grill, Side Bar, Harolds Chicken & Ice Bar, Noni’s Bar & Deli and more.
  • Irish Stroll: Sponsored by Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl, this event offers free admission and discounted drinks at all participating venues between 12 noon and 2 a.m. for $10. (Times may vary by location.) Participating venues include the Daiquiri Factory Tin Lizzy’s Cantina, Zocalo Mexican Kitchen & Cantina, 10th & Piedmont, G’s Midtown and more. You can prepurchase your one-day ticket online and pick it up at the Daiquiri Factory on St Patrick’s Day.
  • Luckyfest: Presented by Spiral Entertainment, this all day event is held at the Park Tavern at 500 10th Street in Atlanta. A $10 ticket buys you all-day access to live entertainment, drink specials, green beer and cocktails, and a whole lot of fun.  

Obviously, this is far from a comprehensive list of everything that’s going on in Atlanta to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year. But we hope you found at least one event that suits your fancy.  If not, feel free to contact your host at Atlanta Family Vacation Rentals for some more ideas. And, of course, while your having fun,  remember to drink responsibly and DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE. 

Still haven’t booked a place to stay for your upcoming trip? Visit our online showcase to find your house check availability, and book your stay.