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

Farm/ Ranch 1

Film Studio 1

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

Park/ Playground 2

Public Art (Mural/ Sculpture/ Statue) 1

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 2

Store/ Shop/ Mall 2

Trail/ Path 1

Zoo/ Aquarium 2

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Family 14

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Atlanta Sights

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Atlanta Botanical Garden

  • Garden/Arboretum

Occupying 30 acres inside Piedmont Park, the grounds contain acres of display gardens, including a 2-acre interactive children's garden;...

Atlanta Contemporary Art Center

  • Museum/Gallery

Established by a group of photographers in the '70s as the arts co-op Nexus, the ACAC exhibits edgy contemporary art. It has the feel...

Atlanta Monetary Museum

  • Financial Institution

The exhibits in this grand museum explain the story of money as a medium of exchange and the history of the U.S. banking system. Rare...

Bank of America Plaza Tower

  • Building/Architectural Site

At 1,023 feet, this is the South's tallest building. The 1992 skyscraper's graceful birdcage roof is easily visible from the highway.

Center for Puppetry Arts

  • Arts/Performance Venue

The largest puppetry organization in the country houses a museum where you can see more than 350 puppets from around the world. Make...

Fox Theatre

  • Arts/Performance Venue

One of a dwindling number of vintage movie palaces in the nation, the Fox was built in 1929 in a fabulous Moorish-Egyptian style. The...

High Museum of Art

  • Museum/Gallery

This museum's permanent collection includes 19th- and 20-century American works, including many by African-American artists. It also...

Margaret Mitchell House and Museum

  • Building/Architectural Site

While she wrote her masterpiece, the author of Gone With the Wind lived in an apartment house bult in 1899 that she called "the Dump."...

Museum of Design Atlanta

  • Museum/Gallery

The only museum in the Southeast devoted exclusively to design mounts exhibits on fashion, graphics, architecture, furniture, and product...

Piedmont Park

  • Park/Playground

A popular destination since the late 19th century, Piedmont Park is still expanding: 35 acres complete with a fountain and new sports...

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