The bustling hub of Atlanta, Georgia is home to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the busiest airport in the world. It is easy to add Atlanta an upcoming trip and is well worth planning a vacation all on its own.
Many of Atlanta’s best attractions are located downtown around the Centennial Olympic Park, home of the 1996 Summer Olympics. Due to the close proximity of each attraction, it is best to keep your car parked in the same spot the entire day and enjoy a short walk around the beautiful city.
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Atlanta also has much more to experience beyond Centennial Park, so make sure to read our guides to the best museums in Atlanta and top MLK Jr. sites in Atlanta. If you are looking to explore more of the region there are also several hikes near Atlanta.
In this guide we share a list of fun things to do in downtown Atlanta at the Centennial Olympic Park.
What to do in downtown Atlanta:
Visit the World of Coca Cola
Arguably our favorite thing to do in Atlanta is the World of Coca Cola. The museum begins with a walk through a massive room of memorabilia, before making your way into a video of the Coca Cola experience around the world.
After the heartwarming film you are free to explore the rest of the museum on your own with different sections including the history of the company, a look at the bottling process, endless iconic memorabilia and the honestly underwhelming vault.
Lines to get into the museum and into different sections of the museum can get long during the summer and vacations, but remember you can always head to the tasting room to try a few interesting flavors from around the world before seeing more of the museum. Challenge yourself on how many flavors you can try and make sure to give Beverly a try.
The World of Coca Cola is open Sunday through Thursday from 10AM to 5PM and Friday and Saturday from 9AM to 5PM. Tickets for adults are $17 each.
Watch a show at the Georgia Aquarium
Keeping with Atlanta’s theme of doing things bigger and better, the Georgia Aquarium is one of the largest in the world. Get ready for the trip of your lifetime into the underwater world with thousands of creatures to find.
The massive aquarium is split up into several areas, the cold water, the riverways and tropical waters. Each one has its extensive set of tanks that everything from the smallest snail to a beluga whale. There are many informative shows and feedings throughout the day, which can get busy so make sure to show up early to get a seat. The Dolphin Celebration experience might fill up 30 minutes before show time!
The Georgia Aquarium hours and prices vary throughout the year and depending on the day of week and time your arrive. For the most up to date information, it is recommended to go directly through their website.
Learn more at the Center for Civil and Human Rights
The Center for Civil and Human Rights is a relatively new museum, opened in 2014, dedicated to the endless fight for civil rights in the United States and basic human rights around the world. Walk through the multimedia experience exploring the civil rights movement in the 50s and 60s along with other poignant collections about the push for equal rights and opportunities for all.
The Center for Civil and Human Rights is open Monday through Saturday from 10AM to 5PM and Sunday from 12PM to 5PM. Entrance tickets are $19.99 per adult and can be purchased online to avoid ticket lines.
Take a CNN Studio Tours
It is now time for a behind the scenes look into the first 24-hour news network. Take the hour long CNN Studio Tours in its Atlanta world headquarters. Not only do you learn the history of the network and what goes on to produce a live broadcast, but you also get to ride the world’s longest freestanding escalator to begin the tour.
The CNN Studio Tour is open daily from 9AM to 5PM and tickets cost $15 for adults.
College Football Hall of Fame
The College Football Hall of Fame is a new interactive experience into the world of college football. Get a first hand experience into every aspect of the over 760 schools that make up college football. The museum includes sections ranging from history, training to immersive game day challenges, so make sure to show up ready for a sports filled fun time.
Walk around the Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park was built up in preparation for the 1996 Summer Olympics. This massive park is now home to many of the city’s celebrations and is a popular spot to soak in the sun and on warmer days cool off in the Fountain of Rings. To get between all the museums and points of interest in this guide you will find yourself criss crossing across this beautiful park. There are still many remnants to its Olympic glory that make for some awesome photographs.
Get a great view from the SkyView Atlanta
The best way to end your time in downtown Atlanta around Centennial Olympic Park is with a ride on the SkyView Atlanta. At the south end of Centennial Park is this 20-story ferris wheel where you can enjoy some of the best views of the Atlanta skyline from the air.
The SkyView Atlanta is open Sunday through Thursday from 12PM to 11PM on Friday from 12PM to 12AM and on Saturday from 10AM to 12AM. Tickets are $13.89 + tax per adult.
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