15 Best Things to Do in Midtown Atlanta

Midtown Atlanta
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In the center of Atlanta, Georgia, is its bustling Midtown, a place of wonder and leisure.

Nicknamed the “Heart of the Arts,” this area is home to the highest number of art and cultural institutions in the Southeast.

No other place on this side of the US compares to Midtown Atlanta’s many museums, theaters, and festivals.

There are also many green spaces within and near the area that offer peace and relaxation from the intense life in the city.

Because of these, the list of fun and exciting activities to try is endless.

There’s something for the young and old alike.

So for your next getaway, why not plan a trip to this electrifying place?

Here are the 15 best things to do in Midtown, Atlanta:

Spend a Day at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Garden in Atlanta Botanical Garden
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Plant lovers will have a memorable and exciting experience when they visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Located next to Piedmont Park, this lush facility houses a wide range of species from the region and the world.

It’s one of the loveliest places in Midtown Atlanta, with its beautiful landscaping, renowned plant collection, and colorful exhibitions of rare and exotic flowers.

Earth Goddess in Atlanta Botanical Garden
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Bring your family and take amazing photos with sublime sculptures, like imaginary creatures and earth goddesses—all made from actual living plants.

It’s truly a magical sight!

A Dragon Figure in Atlanta Botanical Gardens
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You can also visit the facility's various collections, including Storza Woods, Edible Garden, Fuqua Conservatory, and the Fuqua Orchid Center.

Here, you’ll learn about various types of plants, their importance, and the conservation efforts being done to prevent them from going extinct.

Join in the Fun at Piedmont Park

Lake in Lake Piedmont Park
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Piedmont Park is one of the largest green spaces in Atlanta, with sprawling green meadows, trees, a small lake, scenic trails, and other features that make it a unique sight in the urban setting.

Spanning 185 acres of land area, the attraction offers many outdoor activities for the young and the old.

Balloon Festival in Piedmont Park
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You can go jog or take nature walks on the picturesque pathways, relax under the shady canopies of the trees, and have a fun picnic with your family on the grassy grounds.

There are also many facilities for sports, such as volleyball courts, soccer fields, running paths, and even swimming pools.

The lake offers opportunities for recreational fishing, with crappie, bass, and catfish swimming in the depths.

Pavilion in Piedmont Park
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But perhaps the most well-known activities in the park are the annual events that attract numerous visitors.

These include the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, Music Midtown, and Atlanta Pride.

Catch a Show at Fox Theatre

Outside Fox Theatre
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As one of the premier venues for live entertainment in the city (and perhaps, the whole region), Fox Theater seats more than 4500 and hosts more than 150 events annually.

From first-class Broadway performances to rock concerts, there is something for every taste and preference.

Billboard Magazine has even designated this as the #1 non-residency venue for the decade.

Inside Fox Theatre
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But aside from the performances, the Fox Theater is known for its historical significance.

It has been around since 1929 and has served as the venue for shows by some of the most iconic artists in history, like Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, Elvis Presley, and Frank Sinatra.

So if you want to catch a particular event at the theater, then make sure to check out their official website and schedule your trip around the particular day.

See All the Wonders in Woodruff Arts Center

Outside Woodruff Arts Center
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Established in 1968, the Woodruff Arts Center is a well-known facility that ranks as the third-largest establishment of its kind in the US.

It is a prime destination for the patrons of visual and performance art, with an educational program that caters to artists of all backgrounds and skill levels.

Within the center, there are many attractions, such as beautifully designed buildings, installation art and sculptures, and expansive grounds.

Woodruff Arts Center Sculpture
veggiefrog, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Perhaps the most visited buildings of the center are the High Museum of Art, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Alliance Theatre.

The well-known facilities serve as the headquarters for some of the most talented groups and are home to coveted art pieces.

Listen to Heavenly Music at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is a Grammy-winning group based in a building that shares its name.

Today, the ASO is one of the most well-known and innovative orchestras in the US, bringing to life sophisticated compositions that enrich the region's musical culture.

The orchestra performs regularly in the building, and you can catch one of their exceptional shows during your visit.

Aside from them, national artists and international musical prodigies hold shows in the facility, attracting many listeners and audiences from all over the country.

These performances are truly some of the best in the world, and it’s a rare experience to listen to them live.

So make sure that Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is part of your vacation plans.

Discover Famous Works at the High Museum of Art

Outisde High Museum of Art
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With a permanent collection of more than 11,000 works, the High Museum of Art is one of the largest art museums in the region.

Upon arriving at the building, the first sight you’ll see is the sophisticated exterior with a porcelain enamel coating.

Inside High Museum of Art
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Once inside, you’ll be treated to thousands of artworks from the Americas, Europe, and Africa.

There are pieces by well-known figures, such as Claude Monet, Giovanni Maria Benzoni, and Giovanni Bellini.

The galleries also house modern and contemporary art as well as stunning photography.

Over a year, there are limited exhibits by local and national artists, which are all worth the visit.

Inside High Museum of Art
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Watch a Thrilling Performance at the Alliance Theatre

The Alliance Theatre is another facility in Woodruff Arts Center that is home to a Tony Award-winning theater company that shares the same name.

Annually, around ten productions frequently cast some of the most established actors in the theater world today.

And aside from the incredible performances, these plays also showcase the prowess of playwrights and how they tackle various issues.

It’s an important aspect of theater to bring to life these topics, and you’ll have an enlightening experience as you watch the stories unfold.

So during your visit to Midtown Atlanta, make sure to catch one of these shows.

Revisit Your Childhood at the Center for Puppetry Arts

Puppets in Center for Puppetry Arts
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If you want to feel like a kid again, then the Center for Puppetry Arts is a must-add list to your itinerary.

This is the largest facility in the US dedicated to the art of puppetry.

Here, you'll see performances, educational programs, and collections.

Catch one of the shows and relive your childhood with performances by characters from Sesame Street, the Muppet Show, and other beloved franchises.

Puppets in Center for Puppetry Arts
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You can also join the workshops where you can try your hand at voicing and puppeteering.

These classes also offer tutorials on creating your own puppet—an interactive and fun activity for kids and the kids-at-heart.

For those who want to see iconic puppets from the past, the center houses a museum with a huge collection.

It includes the puppets from Dark Crystal and Nightmare Before Christmas and art from various countries and cultures.

See the Unique Exhibits at Museum of Design Atlanta

Outside Museum of Design Atlanta
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The Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) is the only facility of its kind in the Southeast, and it is dedicated to showcasing and celebrating everything about design.

Most of the exhibits revolve around the daily relationship of people with design, so you’ll see speculative, innovative, and relevant collections belonging to industrial design, fashion, interior, furniture design, and graphics.

Outside Museum of Design Atlanta
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It’s a haven for those who appreciate form and function and all things aesthetic.

For those who want to try their hand at creating something beautiful and practical, interactive exhibits let you explore the relationships of lines, shapes, colors, and functionality.

These collections make the Museum of Design Atlanta distinct from the facilities in Midtown Atlanta, so visit it if you are looking for something fresh and engaging.

Tour the SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film

At the SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film, you’ll see iconic clothes worn in the cinema.

This facility has a dynamic and adaptable setup, so there is a significant variation in the exhibits and activities held in the museum.

If you are a fashionista, you’ll have an exhilarating time exploring their collections of glamorous designer clothes, famous costumes, and historical garments.

But the overall sophisticated ambiance inside the exquisite halls is an experience by itself—there’s no need to be a connoisseur of fashion to appreciate the atmosphere.

The facility also serves as a stage for designers to showcase their art, so you may even catch a fashion show during your visit.

For those who want to learn more about fashion history, there is a media lounge that provides educational film showings and digital presentations.

Make a Stop at the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum

Outside  William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum
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Another one-of-a-kind museum in this region is the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum.

It is a cultural facility that preserves and showcases Jewish history, art, and society, emphasizing the horrors the group faced during the Holocaust.

When you visit, you’ll find extensive collections of artifacts, photographs, and documents that highlight the rich heritage of the Jewish people.

There are also permanent and limited exhibits by celebrated Jewish artists and groups, with comics, storybooks, and artifacts from communities worldwide put on display.

This is a contemplative place to reflect and appreciate all the good and bad things from the past, especially if you are part of this group.

Appreciate the Arts at the Atlanta Dogwood Festival

Crowd in Atlanta Dogwood Festival
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When the native dogwood trees in Piedmont Park start blooming, the annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival begins.

This arts and crafts event brings together artists from all over the country and virtually every type of art imaginable.

At the Artists Market, you’ll find beautiful paintings, stunning photographs, awe-inspiring sculptures, gorgeous jewelry, and many other types of creations by some of today’s most talented artisans.

Asian Girls in Atlanta Dogwood Festival
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There is also live music for everyone’s entertainment, as well as food vendors offering Southern staples.

It’s truly one of the most significant events in the city, so make sure that the festival is part of your itinerary.

Catch Live Performances at Music Midtown

Crowd in Music Midtown
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Held in Piedmont Park, this famous event brings together some of the country's most acclaimed and A-lister performers.

Music Downtown is held every September, and it brings together a lineup of more than 30 artists for an exhilarating two-day performance.

Chris Martin of Coldplay Music Midtown
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It’s one of the best opportunities to catch some of your favorite chart-topping performers live!

While here, you can also enjoy some of Atlanta’s favorite culinary delights at the numerous food trucks and concessionaires within the park.

So if you are a fan of great music, bombastic acoustics, crowded venues, and an exhilarating concert experience, then make this festival the highlight of your trip.

Dan Auerbach in Music Midtown
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Visit World-Renowned Restaurants

No trip to Midtown Atlanta is complete without trying the exquisite cuisine offered by world-renowned restaurants in the area.

Aside from the hearty Southern food, various establishments also offer dishes from all over the world, so there’s something for everyone.

Mary Mac's Tea Room is a homey and historic restaurant, and it’s beloved for the cozy dining experience and the selection of Southern comfort food, teas, and chicken.

At South City Kitchen Midtown, you’ll enjoy a sophisticated atmosphere and a menu of innovative dishes, such as Creole shrimp, fresh salads, refreshing drinks.

Another local favorite is The Vortex Bar & Grill, a restaurant with a rock-and-roll ambiance and a selection of delicious alcoholic beverages with grilled burgers.

Listen to a Musical Performance at Center Stage

Singers in Center Stage
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Another facility for entertainment enthusiasts is Center Stag, a local favorite with three separate venues: Center Stage Theater, the Loft, and Vinyl.

As a whole, the facility serves as a performance art center.

But most of its shows are music-focused, with musical performances from local and national artists regularly taking place in one of the venues.

Some notable people who have made a memorable show at Center Stage Theater include Lady Gaga, the Weeknd, and Queens of the Stone Age.

Aside from these performances, the center has hosted boxing matches, television shoots, comedy shows, and private events.

So during your trip, make sure to make a stop at the center to catch a production.

You can also schedule your getaway around a specific performance of your favorite artist.

Final Thoughts

As the premier destination for the arts in the Southeastern US, Midtown Atlanta is brimming with museums, galleries, theaters, and other attractions.

When planning your visit, check out this list and ensure that all the top destinations are included in your itinerary.