Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Fulton County, GA

  • Published 2023/05/06

Fulton County is situated in the north-central region of Georgia.

Established in 1853, it was formed from a portion of DeKalb County and named after Robert Fulton, who is widely acknowledged as the inventor of the first successful commercial steamboat.

The county sits in the foothills of the Blue Hills Mountain in the Piedmont region.

Its odd swordlike shape can be attributed to a series of annexations and cessions during the Great Depression that involved Fulton County’s merging with the counties of Milton and Campbell to save money and centralize its administration.

At present, it has 15 cities, with four cities Atlanta, College Park, Palmetto, and Mountain Park including land from neighboring counties.

The county seat, Atlanta, has approximately 10% of its land area located in DeKalb County.

Here are the best things to do in Fulton County:

Go Under the Sea at the Georgia Aquarium

Exterior view of the Georgia Aquarium

Rob Wilson /

Located on Baker Street NW, Atlanta is the Georgia Aquarium.

Opened in 2005, it was the largest of its kind in the world until 2012, with more than 11 million gallons of water spread across its seven major galleries.

The 550,000-square-foot facility boasts a ship-like exterior made of blue metal and glass.

Tunnel at the Georgia Aquarium

Handcraft Films /

The Georgia Aquarium started with 60 animal habitats housing hundreds of species, including beluga sharks, bottlenose dolphins, manta rays, and tiger sharks.

Its biggest display, the Whale Shark exhibit, has 6.3 million gallons of water and features two whale sharks imported from Taiwan.

Another featured animal is the manta ray, making the aquarium one of the only four facilities in the world to display the animal.

The aquarium also houses African penguins, California sea lions, and southern sea otters.

Visitors clicking pictures of the fishes at Georgia Aquarium

f11photo /

Enjoy Authentic Southern Cooking at Virgil’s Gullah Kitchen & Bar

Located on Main Street, College Park is Virgil’s Gullah Kitchen & Bar.

The restaurant boasts a menu of soul food and signature cocktails inspired by southern cooking.

One of its most popular dishes is the Shrimp and Grits made with fresh white shrimp, stone-ground cheddar cheese grits, and a house-made crab gravy.

Another must-try is the Huntaman’s Stew, which is deer meat stewed in a special sauce and served with potatoes, carrots, and steamed jasmine rice.

Virgil’s Gullah Kitchen & Bar is also known for its Happy Hour offerings that include handcrafted cocktails with a southern flare.

A must-have is the Geecheerita, which is a mix of two types of cognac, house margarita, and lime juice.

The bar also has a great selection of bottled and draft beers as well as white and red wines.

Take A Canopy Walk at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Glassart at Atlanta Botanical Garden

Irina Mos /

Located on Piedmont Avenue NE, Atlanta is the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

The 30-acre botanical garden was opened in 1976 with the aim of developing, conserving, and protecting important plant collections for educational and research purposes.

It incorporated the already-existing Japanese Garden, previously known as the Dr. A. Leslie Stephens Memorial Bonsai Garden.

Mesmerizing fountain at Atlanta Botanical Garden

Wirestock Creators /

The Atlanta Botanical Garden is a popular destination during the Christmas season as it hosts the annual “Garden Lights, Holiday Nights” which features more than a million LED lights decorating the plants.

The garden is also home to the Kendeda Canopy Walk, a 600-foot-long elevated walkway that goes through the Stora Woods, one of the last remaining urban forests in the city.

The garden is subdivided into smaller themed gardens featuring a large variety of plants, including roses, orchids, and species from rainforests and deserts.

Walkway at Atlanta Botanical Garden

Marcus E Jones /

Spend the Day at the Morgan Falls Overlook Park

Located on Morgan Falls Road, Sandy Springs is the Morgan Falls Overlook Park.

The 30-acre riverside park overlooks Bull Sluice Lake and offers stunning sunset views.

The Morgan Falls Overlook Park is equipped with picnic pavilions and fire pits for those who want to enjoy lunch with a view.

High Country Outfitters opens a seasonal waterside boat rental, where visitors can rent paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes.

The lake is also stocked with 23 species of game fish, including yellow perch, channel catfish, bass, and bream.

Know the History of Your Favorite Beverage at the World of Coca-Cola

Entryway to the World of Coca-Cola

nito /

Located on Baker Street NW, Atlanta is the World of Coca-Cola.

The museum showcases the history of The Coca-Cola Company through interactive exhibits and beverage sampling.

The 20-acre facility is the museum’s second home, having relocated from its previous site at Underground Atlanta where it was housed from 1990 until 2007.

Interior view of the World of Coca-Cola

Andru Goldman /

The building is 92,000 square feet and cost $97 million to build.

One of the most popular sections of the World of Coca-Cola exhibit is the 3-D Theatre, where audiences can watch “In Search of the Secret Formula”, a multi-sensory movie that will let them in on the secret of the Coca-Cola formula.

There’s also the Bottling Works, a fully functional bottling line that produces 8-ounce Coke bottles that are distributed to guests.

People walkin in and out of the World of Coca-Cola

Joseph Sohm /

See What Life Was Like in a 19th-Century Plantation at the Archibald Smith Plantation Home

Located on Alpharetta Street, Roswell is the Archibald Smith Plantation Home.

The historic house was built by Archibald Smith, one of Roswell’s founders.

The home was built inside a 300-acre plantation that employed 30 slaves and primarily produced corn.

The Smiths kept a hold of their possessions, which is why most of the artifacts inside the house are original.

The Archibald Smith Plantation Home includes 10 original outbuildings, including the slave quarters, spring house, cook house, and carriage hour.

Explore the Trails of the Chattahoochee Nature Center

Bird perched on a tree at Chattahoochee Nature Center

James W. Thompson /

Located on Willeo Road, Roswell is the Chattahoochee Nature Center.

The 127-acre facility is dedicated to environmental education using flora and fauna.

Established by local citizen activists in the mid-1950s, the nature center aims to build a grassroots environmental facility that will help children and adults better appreciate their surroundings.

Lake at Chattahoochee Nature Center

Wayne Hsieh78 /

The Chattahoochee Nature Center has an on-site clinic that takes part in the rehabilitation and release of various species of amphibians, reptiles, and birds.

The center’s nursery and greenhouse grow native plants that visitors can also purchase at select times of the year.

The interpretive center houses various exhibits that highlight the importance of protecting and conserving the Chattahoochee River watershed.

The center also offers trail hiking opportunities for visitors who want to see wildlife up close.

Fresh blooms at Chattahoochee Nature Center

James W. Thompson /

Immerse Yourself in Handcrafted Cigars While Enjoying Good Food at the Studio Cigar Lounge

Located on Renaissance Parkway Unit 2, Fairburn is the Studio Cigar Lounge.

The cigar store slash restaurant offers a cozy atmosphere for social gatherings.

Inspired by the city’s leading businessmen and politicians, the cigar lounge features an elegant interior, with an intimate seat plan for private events.

Studio Cigar Lounge even offers a Social Hour menu that features small plates and cocktails accompanied by live music.

The Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms is one of the best-sellers, made of large portobello mushrooms filled with crab meat and topped with parmesan and house-made jalapeno cream sauce.

The Cigarita is a must-try cocktail, made with tres agave tequila, fresh lime juice, fresh sour, and triple sec.

And of course, there’s a wide selection of specialty cigars sources from all over the world.

See Puppets From Various Time Periods at the Center For Puppetry Arts

Exhibits at the Center For Puppetry Arts

Michael Gordon /

Located at Spring Street NW, Atlanta is the Center For Puppetry Arts.

Founded in 1978, it’s one of the few museums in the world that’s dedicated solely to puppetry.

It started when puppeteer Vincent Anthony created his own touring company, The Vagabond Marionettes.

Soon enough, he found a permanent home in Atlanta and mounted an exhibition of puppets as well as shows for adults and a series of community-based workshops.

Exhibits at the Center For Puppetry Arts

Michael Gordon /

Today, the Center For Puppetry Arts holds the Family Series, which are shows based on classic tales performed using a variety of puppetry styles.

The center’s museum is also a must-visit, with exhibits highlighting puppets from all over the world from different time periods.

The museum includes the world’s largest collection of Jim Henson artifacts as well as pieces from renowned puppeteers such as Wayland Flower and The Little Players.

Exhibits at the Center For Puppetry Arts

Michael Gordon /

Sample Award-Winning IPAs at the Currahee Brewing Company

Located on West Savannah Street, Clayton is the Currahee Brewing Company.

Established in 2016, the brewery maintains its main production facility in Franklin, North Carolina but has opened taprooms two taprooms in Georgia.

Its unique name was derived from a Cherokee Indian word that translates to “Stand Alone” in English.

Currahee Brewing Company offers award-winning, European-inspired ales and lagers in can and in draft.

One of its best-sellers is the Kawi, which is stout infused with cold-brewed Nicaraguan coffee and roasted malts with a hint of milk sugar.

Another must-try is the Der Betrunken, which is the brewery’s take on an Oktoberfest lager.

Food trucks that offer burgers, wings, and other beer-match food are also available on-site.

Go Back in Time and Attend the Georgia Renaissance Festival

Knight's fighting at Georgia Renaissance Festival

Rob Hainer /

Located on Virlyn B. Smith Road, Fairburn is the Georgia Renaissance Festival.

The annual festival held from May through June is a celebration of the Renaissance time period.

Set during King Henry VIII’s reign, the festival features 16th-century entertainment, including musicians, jugglers, jousting, and comedic acts performed by artists in period costumes.

Performance at Georgia Renaissance Festival

Rob Hainer /

Housed on a 32-acre property, the Georgia Renaissance Festival brings together more than 150 artisans that perform live demonstrations of their crafts.

This includes glassblowing, pottery, coin minting, bladesmithing, and clothiers that specialize in period costumes.

Celebrated throughout 8 weekends, each week has an assigned theme that dictates the programs to be mounted on that specific weekend.

Participants are encouraged to don their costumes to fully immerse themselves in the festivities.

A man with costume at Georgia Renaissance Festival

Rob Hainer /

Get Some Good Laughs at the Uptown Comedy Corner

Located on Virginia Ave, Hapeville is Uptown Comedy Corner.

The comedy club hosts veteran and up-and-coming comedy acts from all over the country.

Some of the biggest names that have graced its stage include Dave Chapelle, Chris Tucker, Steve Harvey, and Chris Rock.

Its intimate setup makes for the perfect comedy show, which relies on a lot of interaction with the crowd.

Uptown Comedy Corner also hosts open mic nights for aspiring comedians and singers who want to show off their wares to an enthusiastic crowd.

Pair your laughs with some delicious food, like the best-selling Lemon Pepper Wings and the Grilled Salmon with Rice and Asparagus.

Adopt An Animal at the Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center

Visitor center at Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center

Csteche1, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on Autrey Mill Road, Johns Creek is the Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center.

The 46-acre preserve is a mix of heritage sites and nature trails that aims to conserve both the historical and natural environments by educating visitors through guided tours.

The heritage site contains the remnants of an old grist mill and several historic buildings from around Johns Creek, including an 1860s tenant farmhouse that now serves as the Visitor Center, a carriage house that is now the Farm Museum, and an 1880s Victorian-style Summer House.

House at Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center

Csteche1, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Visitor Center houses more than 30 animals that kids can interact with for a unique hands-on experience.

Visitors can even sponsor an animal and symbolically adopt it for a fee that will be used to fund food, supplies, and general facility upkeep.

Enjoy Wine and Equine at The Painted Horse Winery and Vineyards

Located on Hopewell Road, Milton is The Painted Horse Winery and Vineyards.

The family-owned and operated winery as a small farm in 1991.

In 1994, Pamela Borgel brough in the first batch of horses to transform the estate into a working horse farm, offering riding lessons, training, and breeding.

It was in 2017 when Pamela decided to add a vineyard and winery to the farm.

The Painted Horse Winery and Vineyards is currently the only one of its kind in Fulton County, offering close interaction with horses while sipping locally produced specialty wines.

The winery produces classics like pinot noir, chardonnay, merlot, and cabernet franc as well as its signature Hot Stuff Jalapeño, which is made with jalapeños and sweetened with raisins.

Explore the Rolling Countryside with Serenbe Trail Riding

Beautiful view of the Serenbe Trail Riding

Cute babe /

Located on Hutchesons Ferry Road, Palmetto is Serenbe Trail Riding.

The stable and tour company offers a unique view of the Serenbe countryside through guided trail rides along its rolling hills.

What’s even more impressive is they use rehabilitated rescued horses for these tours.

View of the Serenbe Trail Riding

Cute babe /

Serenbe Trail Riding has a team of experienced wranglers that have backgrounds in competitive equestrian.

So, whether you’re a novice or an experienced rider, you can expect a pleasant ride with the team.

Scenic view of the Serenbe Trail Riding

Cute babe /

Final Thoughts

Fulton County offers a rich cultural experience for travelers looking for a different kind of adventure.

From museums and locally owned restaurants to nature preserves and historical sites, this region has something to offer for everyone.

So, pack your bags and try the best things to do in Fulton County.

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