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.

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Fodor's Choice

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Downtown 20

Sweet Auburn, the Old Fourth Ward, and East Atlanta 16

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 3

Arts/ Performance Venue 3

Body Of Water/ Waterfall 1

Building/ Architectural Site 15

Cemetery 1

Commercial District 1

Educational Institution 3

Farm/ Ranch 1

Festival–Sight 3

Film Studio 1

Financial Institution 1

Garden/ Arboretum 2

Government Building 2

Historic District/ Site 7

House/ Mansion/ Villa 4

Library/ Archive 2

Market/ Bazaar 4

Memorial/ Monument/ Tomb 1

Mountain–Sight 1

Museum/ Gallery 26

Nature Preserve/ Wildlife Refuge 1

Neighborhood/ Street 1

Observatory/ Planetarium 1

Park (National/ State/ Provincial) 3

Park/ Playground 4

Pedestrian Mall 1

Public Art (Mural/ Sculpture/ Statue) 1

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 2

Sports Venue 1

Sports–Sight 1

Store/ Shop/ Mall 3

Tour–Sight 2

Trail/ Path 3

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 1

Zoo/ Aquarium 2

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Best For

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Family 14

Gay and Lesbian 1

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;...

Centennial Olympic Park

  • Pedestrian Mall

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...

Center for Puppetry Arts

  • Museum/Gallery

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

Chattahoochee Nature Center

  • Body Of Water/Waterfall

Birds and animals in their natural habitats can be seen from nature trails and a boardwalk winding through 127 acres of woodlands and...

Fernbank Museum of Natural History

  • Museum/Gallery

One of the largest natural-history museums south of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., this museum offers more than 12,000...

Fernbank Science Center

  • Educational Institution

The museum, a learning and activity center with connections to the county school system, sits in the 65-acre Fernbank Forest, and focuses...

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...

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...

Michael C. Carlos Museum

  • Educational Institution

Housing a permanent collection of more than 17,000 objects, this excellent museum, designed by the architect Michael Graves, exhibits...

Piedmont Park

  • Park/Playground

A popular destination since the late 19th century, Piedmont Park is the perfect place to escape the chaos of the city. Tennis courts,...

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