Blake Walsh

35 Best Things to Do in Atlanta, GA

  • Published 2023/01/26

See also: Where to Stay in Atlanta

Atlanta, Georgia, is the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the center ground for the civil rights movement.

It is also the setting for the book ‘Gone with the Wind’ written by Margaret Mitchell, as well as the melting pot of diverse cultures in Georgia.

Here, you can do many things, including biking around, strolling its trails that span 61.5 miles, and many more!

Interested to know more about this stunning city?

Below are the 35 best things you can do in Atlanta, Georgia!

Pay a Visit to Little Five Points

Little Five Points Neighborhood

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Little Five Points is an iconic city neighborhood with a charming old-school vibe and the rawness of a hipster sensibility.

The area contains fascinating murals, shops, restaurants, and art galleries.

Vortex at Little Five Points

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The Vortex is the most recognizable building in the neighborhood because of its skull-shaped entrance.

You might also want to visit a homegrown fast-food restaurant called Zesto, which is famous for its ice creams.

Graffiti wall at Little Five Points

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Bike around the Atlanta BeltLine


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Atlanta BeltLine had been lying disused until an urban renewal project began, which is still a work in progress but has successfully transformed the area into a recreational area with restaurants, shops, and pathways.

The KrogSstreet Market and Rathbun’s are among the few eateries situated alongside the pathway.

People walking at Atlanta BeltLine

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You can visit the Ponce City Market and Ponce in Paris to have a wholesome shopping experience.

You can catch on some exercise by renting a bike on the Eastside Trail.

Skate park at Atlanta BeltLine

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See the Boeing 767 at Delta Flight Museum

Delta Flight Museum

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The Delta Flight Museum in Hapeville is a paradise for aviation nerds, as it provides a state-of-art facility spanning over 68,000 square feet of area.

Exhibit at Delta Flight Museum

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The museum has many exhilarating displays, such as the spirit of the Delta Airplane, Boeing 767, Ship 41, and DC-3.

The museum also showcases the vast history of Delta Airlines through eight decades.

Interior view of the  Delta Flight Museum

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Explore the Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium

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Many locals consider Georgia Aquarium the ultimate tourist destination of Atlanta, and it’s not difficult to see why.

The aquarium houses aquatic life from 500 different species.

The aquarium is also home to four beluga whales and hosts dolphin entertainment shows.

Exterior view of Georgia Aquarium

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It also houses other exhibits such as Ocean Voyager, the Cold Water Quest, Aquanaut Adventure, River Scout, and Tropical Diver.

The interactive sessions with aquatic animals will leave you mesmerized.

Underwater tunnel at Georgia Aquarium

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Wander around the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Gorgeous view of Atlanta Botanical Garden

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The Atlanta Botanical Garden is spread over an area of 30 acres and is an oasis of greenery and plants.

It is situated in the city’s Midtown area and has the Fuqua Orchid Center, which houses rare varieties of orchids from around the world.

Scenic view of Atlanta Botanical Garden

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You can visit the observation hive to learn about honeybees and the children’s garden to frolic around the sunflower fountain.

The Kendeda Canopy Walk here offers blissful scenery and a peaceful trail.

View of Atlanta Botanical Garden

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Laugh Out Loud at Dad’s Garage Theatre Company

Dad’s Garage Theatre Company is a local not-for-profit theatre company situated in Old Fourth Ward, a neighborhood in the city.

If you want to have a hearty laugh or do something fun with your partner on a date night, this theatre company will enthrall your senses.

If you want to acquire new skills or meet locals, you can sign up for their improv classes.

See the Dinosaurs at Fernbank Museum

Dinosaurs at Fernbank Museum

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Fernbank Museum is a state-of-the-art facility that showcases fascinating pre-historic cultures, natural history, and ancient fossils.

The museum has wild woods and the Fernbank Forest, where you can explore 75 acres of lush plant life and walk on canopies.

Interior view of Fernbank Museum

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There is also a 3D giant theatre inside the facility, and it premiers movies such as the great bear rainforest, Apollo 11, and volcanoes 3D.

As you walk around the museum, you will be astonished by the many dinosaur fossils and skeletons displayed inside.

Skeleton of a dinosaur at Fernbank Museum

Josh Hallett from Winter Haven, FL, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Watch Broadway Shows at Fox Theatre

Fox Theatre

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Fox Theatre will transport you back to Hollywood’s golden era with its red cushion seats, white marble staircases, gold engravings on the walls, and an overall feeling of regality and old-school Hollywood charm.

Entrance to lounge at Fox Theatre

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The theatre’s primary purpose is to showcase classic Hollywood films and hosts music concerts, the Atlanta Ballet, Broadway shows, and live performances.

Accordingly, the theatre is one of the most visited sites in Atlanta!

Artists performing at Fox Theatre

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Admire Modernism at the High Museum of Art

Exterior view of High Museum of Art

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High Museum of Art is one of the most phenomenal contemporary art museums in Southeast America, and this is because of its remarkable permanent and rotating art exhibitions.

The museum contains 11,000 works of permanent art, including folk, decorative, European, African, and American art, photographic works, and a room full of giant peaches.

The art collection comprises Tiepolo, Ernst, Tournier, and Monet.

Children play house at High Museum of Art

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Here, you can buy prints of your favorite art pieces and other memorabilia from the museum gift shop.

Additionally, the museum has jazz evenings every Friday and hosts family and youth programs.

Interior view of High Museum of Art

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Cruise around the Chattahoochee River

Scenic view of Chattahoochee River

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Chattahoochee River contains 50 miles of breathtaking trails and opportunities for adventure activities, such as paddle boarding on the mighty waves of the river.

A picturesque trail known as Sope Creek will leave you marveling at the tall trees and warm sunlight streaming through the leaves.

Paddleboarding at Chattahoochee River

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Another trail, called the East Palisades trail, has a wooden bridge that stretched across another creek and provides stunning views of the river.

Kayaking at Chattahoochee River

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See Various Murals in Krog Street Tunnel

View of Krog Street Tunnel

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Krog Street Tunnel is a passage that connects the area of Cabbagetown and Inman Park and is known for its colorful and vibrant walls.

Colorful Graffiti at Krog Street Tunnel

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Every inch of the walls is covered in graffiti, murals, or festival flyers, and you may even spot an occasional marriage proposal.

Krog Street Tunnel is frequented by locals and cyclists who use it for their daily commute.

View of Krog Street Tunnel

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Support Local Farmers at the Municipal Market

Municipal Market

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Municipal Market has been an open-air facility since 1918.

It is also known as the curb market and houses around 30 local businesses specializing in meat products, fresh fruits, and vegetables, a bakery, a pharmacy, and a cooking school.

You can also choose from various eateries such as Venezuelan, British pies, Caribbean cuisine, soul food, barbeque, Polish, American, and French crepes, among many others.

With the aroma of baking goods and butchers cutting fresh meats of pig, the market promises an unusual sensory experience.

Visit the National Center for Civil and Human Rights

View of National Center for Civil and Human Rights

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Established in 2014, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights is a museum and gallery that preserves the history and artifacts relating to the American civil rights movement of the 1960s and other humanitarian efforts worldwide.

Unique architecture of National Center for Civil and Human Rights

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One of the exhibitions displays personal writings and letters of Martin Luther King, Jr., such as the letter from the Birmingham jail.

There is a gallery that juxtaposes images of dictators with modern-day activists and LGBTQIA+ advocates.

Interior view of National Center for Civil and Human Rights

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Have Fun at SkyView Atlanta

Skyview Atlanta

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SkyView Atlanta is a technologically advanced Ferris wheel with 20 stories and is 200 feet tall, providing breathtaking city views.

The enormous wheel is situated inside the Centennial Olympic Park and has temperature-controlled gondolas that take you around in a circle.

Closeup of the cabins at SkyView Atlanta

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The nighttime laser light show happens here and is considered a popular tourist attraction in Atlanta and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Visit the Soda Tasting Room at World of Coca-Cola

World of Coca Cola

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World of Coca-Cola has been open to the public since 2007; as the name suggests, it is a museum that tells the story of the beverage company.

Here, you will be taken on a guided tour where you will be shown how coke is made, the humble beginnings by John Pemberton, the bottling machinery, and Coca-Cola’s presence in popular culture.

Interior view of the World of Coca-Cola

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The most favorite part of the visit is the soda tasting room, where you can taste cola drinks from different countries, such as Peru, Uganda, and Russia.

Entrance to the World of Coca-Cola

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Watch a Game at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium

View of the Mercedes Benz Stadium during sunset

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Mercedes-Benz Stadium is massive in size, with 71,000 seats for its viewers.

The stadium is home to NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and Major League soccer’s Atlanta United and hosts musical concerts and live performances.

Field at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

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See the Rotating Exhibitions at SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film

SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film is standalone and dedicated to the high street and fashion.

The museum has temporary and rotating exhibitions by fashion designers, including Oscar de la Renta, Pierre Cardin, Carolina Herrera, Daniel Lismore, and Guo Pei.

In 2018, the museum hosted an exhibition of costumes from the TV show
“The Handmaid’s Tale.”

The museum also houses photographic exhibitions by artists such as street photographers Bill Cunningham, Jonathan Becker, and Omar Victor Diop.

Visit the Porsche Experience Center

Porsche Experience Center

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Porsche Experience Center offers a world-class facility for people who want to learn about the renowned company and desire to test drive one of the 75 models in the facility.

Visitors can either choose to drive a Porsche vehicle or visit their simulator lab, giving them the feel of driving a race car.

Outside view of Porsche Experience Center

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Here, you will better understand the engineering process and the work that goes into making these vehicles.

You can eat and drink at their Carrera Café or Restaurant 356.

Porche cars at Porsche Experience Center

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Have Fun at LEGOLAND Discovery Center

LEGOLAND Discovery Center is a paradise for children and adults who want a day off from typical tourist activities and enjoy a few carefree hours with legos.

The center has a 4D cinema hall showcasing famous LEGO movies.

There are also interactive rides, such as the pirate adventure land, where you can build your treasure map, pirate ship, and sandcastles.

At the master builder academy, you can learn to build legos with the help of experts and learn the tricks of working with legos.

Even if you’re an adult, you shouldn’t feel ashamed of frolicking around and playing with legos.

Pay Your Respects at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park

View of Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park

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Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park is dedicated to the life and legacy of Civil Rights movement activist Martin Luther King, Jr.

One of the buildings is King’s childhood home, built in 1895, and where Martin Luther was born in 1929.

King's birthhouse at Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park

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The home includes a parlor, dining room, bedroom, front porch, and a study, and nearby is the King center, where you can visit the memorial tomb of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife, Coretta, who founded this center after his assassination.

The statue of Mahatma Gandhi is part of the park as a memorial for the Indian freedom struggle.

View of Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park

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Read a Book or Two at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

Fountain at Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum

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Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum was formed to honor the legacy of the former Governor of Georgia and the 39th president of the United States.

Jimmy Carter is the oldest and longest-living president of America, as he is the first American president to reach the age of 95.

Interior view of Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

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Lush gardens surround the museum and library.

Inside the building, you can look at interactive displays and spend a day in the life of a president by entering the Oval Office and taking a virtual trip with Mr. Carter.

Exhibits at Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

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Shop Till You Drop at the Atlantic Station

Atlantic Station during twilight

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Atlantic Station is a bustling neighborhood of Atlanta, perfect for enjoying a day out because of its numerous shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, and boutique hotels.

Some of the best restaurants to try here are The Pig, Pearl, and the Yard House.

Christmas decorations at Atlantic Station

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The area also offers affordable and trendy retail places for shopping, such as H & M, GAP, and Dillard’s.

Likewise, you may watch a movie with your friends at Regal Cinemas.

People strolling around the Atlantic Station

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Revisit History at Oakland Cemetery

Oakland Cemetry

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Oakland Cemetery is not only the resting place for many Atlanta natives and significant personalities but also a historical landmark.

The cemetery is situated in downtown Atlanta and is known for its serene architecture and tropical gardens, where dense magnolia trees provide abundant shade.

Tombstones at Oakland Cemetery

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Many festivals, such as ‘Sunday in the Park,’ a Victorian-themed celebration, and the Oakland Halloween tours, occur here.

The famous graves worth visiting here include Bobby Jones and writer Margaret Mitchell.

View of Oakland Cemetery

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Watch a Performance at Alliance Theatre

Exterior view of Alliance Theatre

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Alliance Theatre is an award-winning national theatre founded in 1968 that aims to create radical, innovative, and diverse shows for a worldwide audience.

The theatre puts up rotating productions that change throughout the year and give viewers a chance to experience scintillating and mind-blowing performances.

Get Serenaded at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Entrance to Symphony hall

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Atlanta Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1945 and is situated inside the Woodruff Arts Center.

The famous orchestra played during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta for the opening and closing ceremonies.

Its capable and outstanding musicians are worth everyone’s time and money.

View of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

John Phelan, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As a first-time visitor, you can book a ticket for one of their concerts, which occur daily.

Jane Little, the world’s longest-serving musician, was a part of this orchestra for 71 years till the last day of her life.

Taste Different Food at Buford Highway

Fish market at Buford Highway

Southern Foodways Alliance, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Buford Highway is a rustic and banal-looking mall.

Still, it is one of the best places in Atlanta to try a variety of cuisines belonging to different nationalities, including Vietnamese, Chinese, Bangladeshi, Mexican, and Korean, among many others.

Panahar is a Bangladeshi restaurant that serves a generous and affordable lunch buffet.

Signage of shops at Buford Highway

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The Havana Sandwich Shop is known for its authentic and original Cuban sandwich, and Lee’s Bakery serves Vietnamese specialties, such as pork banh mi and shrimp pho.

These are only a few of the many scrumptious restaurants located inside the mall.

Go Partying at Clermont Lounge

Clermont Lounge was founded in 1939 and is a trendy boutique hotel.

This lounge was started in 1965 and experienced the psychedelic nature of the 60s and 70s in full swing while maintaining its uniqueness.

Unlike other strip clubs, this lounge employs servers and dancers aged 22 to 65.

Dine at Staplehouse

In 2016, the renowned food magazine Bon Appetite named Staplehouse the best restaurant in the country.

Unlike other restaurants of its stature, Staplehouse is situated inside a former factory.

The 10-course tasting menu is worth the price and will leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.

Some of the most coveted dishes include chicken-liver tart, fennel soup, and potato bread.

Staplehouse is the perfect way to end your trip.

Wander around the Atlanta History Center

Outside view of Atlanta History Center

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To preserve and research Atlanta’s history, the Atlanta Historical Society was established in 1926.

After decades of gathering, studying, and presenting data on Atlanta and the region, the group became the Atlanta History Center in 1990.

Several attractions on the 33-acre complex include prize-winning exhibitions, historical homes, and gardens.

Swan house at Atlanta History Center

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Attendees get the chance to discover history in new ways through curated group tour experiences conducted by curators and educators at the Atlanta History Center.

The best location for any celebration is the Atlanta History Center, which features gardens, a lavish ballroom, outdoor terraces, and a museum with changing displays.

Admire the Collections Featured in Michael C. Carlos Museum

Facade of Michael C. Carlos Museum

Daniel Mayer, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Michael C. Carlos Museum is a vibrant, multidisciplinary hub for studying art and culture located at the core of Emory’s Atlanta campus.

It contains collections from many places, including South Asia, ancient Egypt, Nubia, Greece, Rome, and many more.

The Carlos Museum links the past to the present and the campus with the public through its extensive permanent collections, interesting temporary exhibitions, and creative programming for audiences of all ages.

The museum is dedicated to highlighting many viewpoints, disciplines, and voices.

Curators and professors create original exhibits, participate in interdisciplinary research and education, and organize traveling exhibitions to supplement their collections and advance the university’s teaching purpose.

Learn Something New at Zoo Atlanta

Gorilla at  Zoo Atlanta

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Since opening its doors in 1889, Zoo Atlanta has gone a long way.

It has evolved significantly since the early days of its Victorian roots, from the line of events that contributed to Atlanta’s first zoo to the origins of its giant panda program.

Zoo Atlanta aims to include the public in caring for its animal ambassadors and protecting their wild counterparts.

Lions at  Zoo Atlanta

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It provides interactive, hands-on learning opportunities for learners of every age.

Zoo Atlanta has plenty to offer everyone, whether they want to take a stroll around or have the chance to visit The Ford African Rain Forest.

Elephant at  Zoo Atlanta

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Explore Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame

Exterior view of Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame

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The College Football Hall of Fame was founded in 1951 by the National Football Foundation.

It honors the finest players on the amateur gridiron.

The Hall is a hub for the city’s civic engagement, education, and character-building programs.

Helmets displayed at Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame

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Visitor attractions include a 47-yard football field, a three-story wall of college football helmets, themed galleries, and interactive displays.

In addition to honoring the greatest of college football, the Hall is one of Atlanta’s most distinctive and well-liked venues for private events.

Check Out Puppets and Antiques at the Center for Puppetry Arts

Exhibits at Center for Puppetry Arts

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The Center for Puppetry Arts is a remarkable cultural gem and a magnificent setting for children’s and adults’ education, illumination, and entertainment.

It was officially opened in 1978 by Vince Anthony, Jim Henson, Kermit the Frog, and Jim Henson.

The Center has educated countless numbers of visitors about the magic and craft of puppetry through curriculum-based courses, the interactive Museum, and Digital Learning and Outreach Programs.

Exhibits at Center for Puppetry Arts

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Its goal is to use puppetry as a universal art form to stimulate creativity, education, and collaboration.

The Worlds of Puppetry Museum now houses more than 5000 puppets and antiques.

They create over 600 shows annually, provide more than 50 different types of educational programs, and operate a digital platform that broadcasts programming in various states and countries.

Exhibits at Center for Puppetry Arts

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Other Things to Do Nearby

Hike around the Stone Mountain Park

Stone Mountain Park

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Stone Mountain Park is the most scenic in Stone Mountain due to its lush green environment and natural rocky structures.

Autumn view of Stone Mountain Park

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It is an instant crowd-pleaser with its buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as a swift sky ride that takes you to the top of the mountain.

Surely, these 3,200 acres of nature will stun you!

Cabel car at Stone Mountain Park

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Final Thoughts

Atlanta is a city that is renowned for both its extensive past and its impact on the future.

Everyone will probably find something to stimulate their interests, whether they are history fans, shopaholics, or night risers.

It is a city where children and couples will never run out of activities to join and explore, from a magnificent aquarium to a broad range of museums, parks, free activities, and fantastic places to stay.

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