Things to do in Atlanta | Deb Smith's Picks

Wednesday, April 14, 2021   /   by Deb Smith

Things to do in Atlanta | Deb Smith's Picks

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Atlanta History Center

Atlanta History Center is a history museum and research center located in the Buckhead district of Atlanta, Georgia. The Museum was founded in 1926 and currently consists of nine permanent, and several temporary, exhibitions.

 Address: 130 West Paces Ferry Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30305Hours: Closed Opens 9AM Fri Tickets: $9–24 · atlantahistorycenter.com


Georgia Aquarium

One of the top things to do in Atlanta with kids, the Georgia Aquarium features a wide variety of marine life and some very interesting and interactive activities for visitors. The world's largest aquarium, it houses more than 100,000 aquatic creatures, including the largest in the ocean - whale sharks.

You can see rare albino alligators and watch as trainers interact with California sea lions. One unique option offered by the Georgia Aquarium is the opportunity to dive or snorkel in the tank with the sharks. To participate in the dive program, visitors must have SCUBA diving certification. For those not looking to get wet, the aquarium also has an acrylic tunnel to walk through and view fish swimming on all sides.

Address: 225 Baker Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta Botanical Garden

The Atlanta Botanical Garden offers a lovely space with a variety of well laid out gardens, including formal flower beds and majestic trees that frame the urban landscape of Midtown Atlanta. The Botanical Garden is a great place year-round, with something always in bloom.

Spring is, of course, an amazing time with a riot of colors. Some of the highlights include the Orchid Display House in the Fuqua Orchid Center, the Winter Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Conservation Garden, and the Desert House. Two of its major specialties are the Rose Garden and the hydrangeas, each of which comprise the largest collections in the southeast.

A special garden area is designed for children, and an elevated boardwalk gives visitors tree-top views down into the forest, another popular activity for families. What you will see there depends on the time of year you are visiting, although the indoor gardens are always beautiful at any time of year.

Address: 1345 Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia


Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site 

Two blocks on Auburn Avenue are now protected as a National Historic Site. They include the birthplace of the civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King Jr. at 501 Auburn Avenue, which dates from 1895, and the Ebenezer Baptist Church at 407-413 Auburn Avenue, in which he and his father were ministers. Free tours of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birth home are offered by the National Park Service. There are several other places to go in the historic site. Immediately adjoining, in the Freedom Hall Complex, is King's grave. Between his birthplace and Ebenezer Baptist Church is Fire Station No. 6, which played a role in the life of the neighborhood and where volunteers tell stories of life here when King was growing up. The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change is also in this area.

Address: 400 & 500 blocks of Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia


World of Coca-Cola 

In 1886, a chemist named Dr John Pemberton devised a syrup designed to relieve headaches. A friend of his mixed the glutinous liquid with water and carbonic acid, and the result of the mixture soon became the world's most popular soft drink.

The World of Coca-Cola illustrates the history and triumphal progress of the world-famous drink in entertaining ways that will please all ages. A new exhibit, Scent Discovery, explores the sense of smell and the origins of various fragrances, testing your sense of smell and exploring the sources of different aromas.

Address: 121 Baker Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia


Piedmont Park

Located just a short distance northeast of downtown Atlanta, Piedmont Park is the oldest and largest park in the Atlanta metro region. The grounds were the site of the Battle at Peachtree Creek during the Civil War.

The miles of walking and running trails through its gently rolling meadows and shady groves include a four-mile loop that passes the park's scenic highlights, natural areas, gardens, and historic sites. Or for an intense workout, join fitness fans on Piedmont Park's Active Oval running track.

In addition to providing walking and running trails, the park has off-leash dog parks, gardens, sports fields, a lake with fishing piers, children's playgrounds, a swimming pool at the Piedmont Park Aquatic Center, and a splash pad for children at the Legacy Fountain.

Local farmers and artisans gather on Saturdays at the Green Market, where you may find everything from fresh peaches, handmade soaps, and smoked meats to biscuits, Irish pancakes, sheep cheese, and sheep milk caramel. Look for chef demonstrations every Saturday from 11am until noon.

On Saturday mornings April through November at 11am, you can learn about the park's history on a free guided walking tour, and on the first Saturday of every month, Piedmont Park Conservancy partners with the Atlanta Audubon Society for bird walks that explore the park's many different habitats. The park also hosts various events, from musical entertainment to fitness programs.

Address: 1071 Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia

And much, much more!

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