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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African American Panoramic Experience (APEX)

  • Museum/Gallery

The museum's quarterly exhibits chronicle the history of black people in America. Videos illustrate the history of Sweet Auburn, the...

Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

A building in Grant Park (named for a New England–born Confederate colonel, not the U.S. president) houses a huge circular painting...

Baptist Student Union

  • Building/Architectural Site

This restored Victorian building adjacent to the Georgia State University campus once contained the Coca-Cola Company's first bottling...

East Atlanta Village

  • Neighborhood/Street

This earthy outpost of edgy-cool shops, restaurants, bars, and concert venues started growing, beginning in 1996, thanks to a group of...

Ebenezer Baptist Church

  • Museum/Gallery

A Gothic Revival–style building completed in 1922, the church came to be known as the spiritual center of the civil rights movement.

Herndon Home

  • Building/Architectural Site

Alonzo Herndon (1858–1927) emerged from slavery and founded both a chain of successful barbershops and the Atlanta Life Insurance Company,...

Kaboodle Home

  • Store/Shop/Mall

Check out the funky furniture and gifts here. ...

Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change

  • Museum/Gallery

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic District occupies several blocks on Auburn Avenue, east of Peachtree Street in the black...

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and Birth Home

  • Museum/Gallery

The modest Queen Anne–style residence is where Martin Luther King Jr. was born and raised. Besides items that belonged to the family,...

Oakland Cemetery

  • Cemetery

Established in 1850 in the Victorian style, Atlanta's oldest cemetery was designed to serve as a public park as well as a burial ground.

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