Atlanta might be a surprising travel destination this summer. After all, it’s nowhere near a beach and is located in the deep South.
However, summer is actually the Georgia capital’s peak season, despite the humidity that gives the city its nickname, “Hotlanta”. Here are seven things to do in Atlanta that might actually make you want to visit too.
1. Downtown Atlanta is known for its skyline that boasts the iconic Peachtree Center. The best views of the downtown can be enjoyed while riding the SkyView Ferris wheel, which stands 20 stories high. With 42 fully-enclosed, climate-controlled gondolas, you’re guaranteed a good view all the time, with your safety assured and your back dry. Centennial Park, where the SkyView stands, isn’t a bad looking place either.
2. The Centennial Olympic Park celebrated its 20th anniversary recently, and the festivities aren’t stopping any time soon. The park, which consists of over 21 acres of greenery dotted with exhibit halls, ballrooms, fountains, and water features, is a popular gathering place for Atlanta residents and tourists. This September, the Park will host the 10th One Musicfest, which will be headlined by legendary acts such as the Wu-Tang Clan, Usher, DMX, and Pharrell Williams.
3. If your idea of a romantic evening is watching a movie under the stars, the Starlight Drive-In Theater might be a great place to bring your date. Since 1949, the Starlight has been loved by moviegoers for showing double features. During summer, the place becomes a bit rowdier due to the Rock and Roll Monster Bash, but alcohol is strictly prohibited on the premises.
4. As the converging point of different railroads, it is no surprise that Atlanta has become the culinary capital of the South. Restaurants such as Chik-fil-A and Waffle House are now household names. Other restaurants, such as Flip Burger Boutique, are also starting to gain recognition for upscale dining, even being featured on TV shows, and many Atlanta chefs have appeared in Top Chef and Chopped. Buford Highway, on the other hand, is the place to visit for international cuisine.
5. Rising 825 feet over the surrounding area, Stone Mountain is the most visited destination in Georgia. It is easily recognizable because of its unusual pink color, which is a result of the mountain being created when magma seeped through the earth’s crust. The summit of Stone Mountain is composed of bare rock and pools, and is home to several unusual species, such as fairy shrimp. One can see as far as the Appalachian Mountains on a clear day. Despite the controversy surrounding the site, Stone Mountain is still a natural wonder.
6. It isn’t surprising that a humid city such as Atlanta is also known as the birthplace of one of the world’s most-loved drinks, and The World of Coca-Cola is an interactive tribute to the drink that put Atlanta on the map. The museum features a multi-sensory theater, the smallest Coca-Cola bottling line in the world, and a working 19th-century soda fountain. Visitors can also try samples of over 100 different kinds and flavors of Coca-Cola products, such as Sparletta Sparberry, an African variety that tastes like raspberry cream soda; Inca Kola, a Peruvian favorite; and Fanta Melon Frosty, which is popular in Thailand.
7. Atlanta is known as the Hollywood of the South. The city is the shooting location for many popular films and series, including The Walking Dead, Vampire Diaries, Stranger Things, and Avengers: Endgame. The last one has just become the highest-grossing film of all time. With a variety of locations, from mountains to beaches to cityscapes, the state of Georgia can stand in for any kind of movie scenery. Atlanta Movie Tours offers guided tours to die-hard fans who make the trip to the place where their favorite movies were made.
Need parking? Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport