Atlanta Sights

The greater Atlanta area embraces several different counties. The city of Atlanta is primarily in Fulton and DeKalb counties, although its southern end and the airport are in Clayton County. Outside Interstate 285, which encircles the city, Cobb, Gwinnett, and northern Fulton counties are experiencing much of Atlanta's population increase.

Atlanta's lack of a grid system confuses many drivers,

even locals. Some streets change names along the same stretch of road, including the city's most famous thoroughfare, Peachtree Street, which follows a mountain ridge from Downtown to suburban Norcross, outside Interstate 285: it becomes Peachtree Road after crossing Interstate 85 and then splits into Peachtree Industrial Boulevard beyond the Buckhead neighborhood and the original Peachtree Road, which heads into Chamblee. Adding to the confusion, dozens of other streets in the metropolitan area use "Peachtree" in their names. Before setting out anywhere, get the complete street address of your destination, including landmarks, cross streets, or other guideposts. Street numbers and even street signs are often difficult to find.

Atlanta proper has three major areas—Downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead—as well as many smaller commercial districts and in-town neighborhoods. Atlanta's Downtown is filled with government staffers and office workers by day, but at night the visiting conventioneers—and, as city improvements take hold, residents—come out to play. Midtown, Virginia-Highland, Buckhead, Old Fourth Ward, the Westside, and Decatur are the best places to go for dinner, nightclubs, and shows. Other neighborhoods like East Atlanta, Grant Park, Little Five Points, and Kirkwood have unique characteristics that merit exploration.

The city's public transportation system, MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority), operates bus and rail networks in Atlanta and Fulton and DeKalb counties. The two major rail lines, which run east–west and north–south (there's a northern spur, so consult a map before you jump on board), extend roughly to the edges of Interstate 285. MARTA is best for traveling to and from the airport and within Downtown, Midtown, Buckhead, and Decatur; if you plan to venture beyond those regions, call a taxi or rent a car.

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Downtown 20

Sweet Auburn, the Old Fourth Ward, and East Atlanta 14

Midtown and Westside 13

Virginia-Highland and Emory 4

Buckhead 3

Little Five Points and Inman Park 1

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Amusement Park/ Water Park 2

Arts/ Performance Venue 3

Building/ Architectural Site 11

Cemetery 1

Commercial District 1

Educational Institution 1

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Financial Institution 1

Garden/ Arboretum 2

Government Building 2

Historic District/ Site 4

House/ Mansion/ Villa 4

Market/ Bazaar 1

Museum/ Gallery 26

Nature Preserve/ Wildlife Refuge 1

Neighborhood/ Street 1

Park (National/ State/ Provincial) 3

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Public Art (Mural/ Sculpture/ Statue) 1

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 2

Store/ Shop/ Mall 2

Trail/ Path 1

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Atlanta Sights

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CNN Center

  • Film Studio

The home of Cable News Network occupies all 14 floors of this dramatic structure on the edge of Downtown. The 55-minute CNN studio tour...

Centennial Olympic Park

  • Park (National/State/Provincial)

This 21-acre swath of green was the central venue for the 1996 Summer Olympics. The benches at the Fountain of Rings allow you to enjoy...

Flatiron Building

  • Building/Architectural Site

The English-American Building, as it was originally known, was designed by Bradford Gilbert. Predating the famous New York City Flatiron...

Georgia Aquarium

  • Zoo/Aquarium

With more than 10 million gallons of water, this wildly popular attraction is the world's largest aquarium. The 604,000-square-foot building...

Georgia Dome

  • Arts/Performance Venue

This arena, opened in 1992, accommodates 71,250 spectators, with good visibility from every seat; it's the site of Atlanta Falcons football...

Georgia State Capitol

  • Government Building

The capitol, a Renaissance-style edifice, was dedicated on July 4, 1889. The gold leaf on its dome was mined in nearby Dahlonega. Inside,...

Hammonds House

  • Museum/Gallery

The handsome Eastlake Victorian house that belonged to Otis Thrash Hammonds, as well as his fine collection of Victorian furnishings...

Hurt Building

  • Building/Architectural Site

Named for Atlanta developer Joel Hurt, this restored 1913 Chicago-style, 18-story high-rise is known for its intricate grillwork. ...

Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta

  • Museum/Gallery

In this colorful and joyfully noisy museum for children ages eight and younger, kids can build sand castles, watch themselves perform...

J. Mack Robinson College of Business

  • Building/Architectural Site

Atlanta architect Phillip Trammel Shutze designed this 14-story edifice, originally known as the Empire Building, in 1901. In 1929 Shutze...

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