Back in the days when Atlanta was an industrial powerhouse, the Atlantic Steel Company stood as one of the major players.
It was a big company that employed thousands while also polluting the nearby lands with its chemical runoff.
The company is now long gone, and its place now stands a bustling neighborhood filled with fun and entertaining attractions: Atlantic Station.
It’s located northwest of vibrant Midtown Atlanta, making it one of the busiest commercial centers in town.
Within the 138-acre complex, there are numerous shops and stores, movie theaters, retail facilities, and dining establishments.
Most of these are located in the District, an outdoor mall-inspired section occupying the upper portion of the neighborhood.
The other sections are equally as bombastic, with parks, a huge museum, and other attractions for the whole family.
Here are the 15 best things to do in Atlantic Station, Georgia:
Immerse in History at Millennium Gate Museum
While exploring Atlantic Station, your attention would be drawn to the triumphal arch standing proudly in the Commons.
This is the Millenium Gate, a marker of peaceful accomplishment designed after the Arch of Titus in Rome.
While the arch is a sight in itself, its interiors are well worth the visit, too!
The rest of the complex houses the Millennium Gate Museum, an educational attraction with collections from various eras of Georgia.
Within the 12,000-square-foot gallery, you’ll find artifacts, paintings, photographs, and other documents detailing life during the bygone years.
It begins with pre-Columbian Native American societies up to modern histories, such as the Civil War.
There are even three-period rooms dedicated to notable eras: the Revolutionary War, reign of Atlantic Steel, and the early 19th century.
Shop at the District
There are three distinct areas in Atlantic Station: the District, the Commons, and the Village.
Among the three, the District serves as the center for commercial and retail activity, with a design akin to an outdoor mall.
This means that the streets are made to be pedestrian-friendly, making it a great urban space without the noise and danger of cars.
Some streets are even closed off to traffic entirely to hold special events.
While exploring the District, you’ll find an array of destinations that will satisfy all your retail needs.
There are clothing stores like H&M, Forever 21, and Banana Republic for fashionistas and style gurus.
On one part, you’ll find a few beauty shops offering premium cosmetics.
For your general grocery needs, visit the Publix Supermarket along Atlantic Drive.
Join the Festive Art in the Park
At the very center of the District lies a small green space called Central Park, where most of the events take place.
One of these highly-anticipated activities is Art in the Park.
This gathering of residents, visitors, and art enthusiasts happens every first Sunday of the month.
But you need a ticket to enter, so visit their site and reserve yours!
This event is an adults painting class and gathering where you can learn various techniques and styles step-by-step.
You’ll be under the guidance of dedicated art teachers who will make sure that everyone can follow the instructions.
After the event ends, you’ll have a stunning artwork that you’ll be proud to display at home.
See the Latest Blockbuster at Regal Atlantic Station
On the northernmost section of the District lies the magnificent Regal Atlantic Station, an established movie theater attracting thousands of people every month.
This is the premier venue for visual entertainment in Atlantic Station, with 18 theaters showing the latest blockbusters.
So if you want to see a movie while on vacation, this place should be your only choice.
Since it’s one of the most well-known cinemas in the middle of a metropolis, Regal Atlantic Station is fitted with modern systems to fit the needs of contemporary audiences.
Here, you’ll find 3D IMAX Theaters, surround sound acoustics, and other innovations that elevate your watching experience.
Before entering one of the cinemas, don’t forget to visit the concession stand for some freshly cooked popcorn and other theater staples to munch on.
Find Great Furniture at IKEA
While it’s true that most people don’t go on vacation to buy furniture, you might never know what you’ll find when in IKEA.
For some people, this DIY furniture powerhouse is more than just a retail establishment.
It’s a cultural experience that gives you a glimpse (or a taste) of remote and rugged Sweden.
On the very edge of the Commons lies Atlantic Station’s own IKEA store, occupying an entire building.
It’s not hard to spot; the iconic blue and yellow of the establishment can be seen from afar.
You can opt to go furniture shopping and find great deals.
Or you can visit their in-house restaurant and try Swedish staples like meatballs, mashed potatoes, and deep red lingonberries.
For those bridging kids to their shopping trip, you can let them play at Småland, the store’s very own playground inspired by magical Scandinavian forests.
Bring Your Pet to Atlantic Station Dog Park
Near the point where the District, the Commons, and the Village meet is a small outdoor spot for your canine friend: the Atlantic Station Dog Park.
So if you brought your furry pal to your Atlantic Station excursion, make a quick stopover to this attraction.
It’s not as big as most other dog parks, so there aren’t dedicated spaces for small and big dogs.
For pet owners, there are benches surrounding the dog park where you can sit and watch over your pooch.
You’ll also find water hoses and clean-up paraphernalia that everyone is free to use.
Glide on the Ice at Skate the Station
There’s an empty space on the very edge of the District, and it usually is devoid of people during summer.
But when winter comes, it turns into the largest ice-skating rink in Metro Atlanta.
Skate the Station is an outdoor attraction open during the winter months, especially during the days when it’s cold enough for water to freeze over.
The destination may have an unpredictable schedule since it’s subject to temperature and weather changes.
But once inside, you’ll be at the company of others who like to glide across the ice and give their thighs a workout.
It’s also quite a magical experience, especially when the night is clear and the stars are visible.
These twinkling lights are usually accompanied by Christmas lights, adding to the enchanting ambiance.
Visit the Restaurants along Atlantic Driveway
Georgia is a truly Southern state, and along with that are the homey and tasty dishes of the South.
So if you want to sample this comforting cuisine as well as others from all over the world, check out the restaurants along Atlantic Driveway.
This part of Atlantic Station has the densest concentration of popular local establishments.
For authentic, freshly made southern dishes, a stop to The Pig and The Pearl is a must!
They offer smokehouse staples, craft cocktails, and savory oysters for those craving seafood.
Atlantic Grill has similar dishes, but the menu is more casual, with burgers and grilled fish among their offerings.
For those with premium tastes, head to Yard House, a New American restaurant offering a wide range of sumptuous dishes and draft beers.
Score a Strike at Bowlero Atlantic Station
Right next to Regal Atlantic Station is a thrilling entertainment destination perfect for the family or group of friends: the Bowlero Atlantic Station.
It’s one of the premier indoor recreational facilities in the District, attracting people of all ages for some exciting rounds.
And since there are 34 bowling lanes in the facility, you’ll always find space where you can play with your loved ones.
If bowling is not your forte, but you still like to have fun, visit the arcade section.
They have the latest video games as well as old-school classics like Pacman, Pinball, and Mario Kart.
And if you want to watch your favorite teams, the Sports Bar is a great hang-out spot.
Just don’t bring the kids here, as the bar offers mostly alcoholic beverages.
Other Things to Do Nearby
After your Atlantic Station adventures, why not explore these other places just a few minutes away?
Smell the Blooms at Atlanta Botanical Garden
The magnificent Atlanta Botanical Garden is one of the most-visited attractions in the region, showcasing beautiful landscaping, colorful exhibitions, and renowned plant collections.
It’s located next to Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta, so you can head to it from Atlantic Station in just under five minutes.
Within this lush facility, you’ll find rare and exotic plants from all over the world.
These are divided amongst the various collections, including the Fuqua Orchid Center, Storza Woods, Fuqua Conservatory, and Edible Garden.
While exploring, slow down and smell the flowers in bloom, which create cascading curtains of color over hedges and bridges.
Keep an eye out for the sublime plant sculptures depicting earthly goddesses and mythical creatures.
They’re truly an enchanting and memorable sight!
See Incredible Works at the High Museum of Art
As one of the largest museums in the Southwest, the High Museum of Art boasts a sizeable collection of 11,000 works.
These came from various eras and all over the world — the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
And because of the museum’s status, it’s also trusted to house works by well-known masters like Claude Monet and Giovanni Bellini.
So while there, make sure to find their paintings and marvel at the beauty and age of the artworks.
Aside from these ancient pieces, the facility houses modern and contemporary works made by local and national artists.
Check these out and see how much the visual art form has changed over the centuries.
Trek the Trails of Morningside Nature Preserve
If you want to take a break from the urbanity during your Atlantic Station adventures, head to Morningside Nature Preserve.
It’s less than 15 minutes away from the neighborhood, making it the nearest nature preserve in the general area.
Within the 30-acre green space, you’ll find undisturbed forests and the calm south fork of the Peachtree Creek babbling merrily.
You can explore the trails that traverse the deep wilderness, some of which lead to a wooden bridge crossing the body of water.
This section is a favorite spot for photoshoots, thanks to the idyllic views and wildflowers adding a touch of color to the greenery.
Catch a Stunning Show at Fox Theatre
The historic Fox Theater is an iconic symbol of Midtown Atlanta, serving as the premier venue for live entertainment throughout the metropolis.
It’s also just a few minutes away from Atlantic Station, so you can easily catch a show during your spare time.
The 4,500-seat facility hosts more than 150 events every year.
These range from stunning Broadway productions to rock concerts, so there’s something for every preference.
To give you an idea of Fox Theatre’s caliber, people like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra were just some of the iconic performers who have graced its stage.
Check out the theater’s upcoming events to book a ticket before your trip!
Learn Southern Musical Heritage at Trap Music Museum
An eight-minute drive south of Atlantic Station will bring you to Trap Music Museum.
This attraction celebrates the musical heritage of the Deep South, especially how it tells the story of African American people.
Here, you’ll find memorabilia, photographs, instruments, and other items that highlight the diverse musical background of the region.
There’s an unabashed aesthetic that permeates the whole place, making it a space for freedom, expression, and creativity.
One prominent section is the escape room, frequented by friends who want to test their problem-solving and coordination skills.
You’ll also find a merch store offering souvenirs from the museum and a bar offering world-famous drinks.
Relive Your Childhood at Center For Puppetry Arts
Whether you’re a kid, a kid-at-heart, or a ventriloquy enthusiast, you’ll have a great time at the Center For Puppetry Arts.
This is another Midtown Atlanta attraction just a few minutes from Atlantic Station.
As the biggest facility in the US dedicated to the art of puppetry, this facility contains an array of attractions and programs to entertain crowds of visitors.
Among their extensive collection, you’ll find beloved puppets from Sesame Street, the Muppets Show, and other franchises famous during the 80s and 90s.
There will also be puppet plays and puppet-making classes where the whole family can have fun.
The vibrant neighborhood of Atlantic Station offers the perfect urban escape for family and friends.
With its bustling commercial center, festive events, entertainment facilities, and restaurants, this destination has something for every preference.
Reference this list when planning your itinerary so you won’t miss the top spots!