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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Fodor's Choice

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Downtown 20

Sweet Auburn, the Old Fourth Ward, and East Atlanta 17

Midtown and Westside 14

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 13

Cemetery 1

Commercial District 1

Educational Institution 1

Farm/ Ranch 1

Festival–Sight 1

Film Studio 1

Financial Institution 1

Garden/ Arboretum 2

Government Building 2

Historic District/ Site 9

House/ Mansion/ Villa 7

Information Center 1

Library/ Archive 1

Market/ Bazaar 1

Military Site 1

Mountain–Sight 1

Museum/ Gallery 29

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

Sports Venue 1

Sports–Sight 1

Store/ Shop/ Mall 3

Trail/ Path 1

Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train) 1

Zoo/ Aquarium 2

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Family 14

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...

Archibald Smith Plantation

  • Historic District/Site

Archibald Smith Plantation. Historic Roswell has grown over many decades from a small mill town to a bustling Atlanta suburb, and this...

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 History Center

  • Farm/Ranch

Life in Atlanta and the rest of the South during and after the Civil War are a major focus of this fascinating museum. Displays are provocative...

Atlanta Pride

  • Festival–Sight

Atlanta Pride. Since 1971, Atlanta has put on one of the most vibrant and popular gay festivals in the country. Thousands of people...

Barrington Hall

  • Building/Architectural Site

Barrington Hall. Completed in 1842, Barrington Hall is widely recognized as one of the nation's best examples of Greek Revival architecture...

Bulloch Hall

  • Building/Architectural Site

Bulloch Hall. Mittie Roosevelt, mother of President Teddy Roosevelt and grandmother of Eleanor Roosevelt, lived in this Greek Revival...

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...

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