Downtown Atlanta is Thriving with Activity
Home to some of the south’s most impactful and popular attractions, downtown Atlanta is an urban landscape with incredible walkability, popular among tourists and locals. Located close to Buckhead, Midtown and Highlands, downtown Atlanta is a city with much to offer its residents from a thriving nightlife, popular cuisine and emerging art scene. Conveniently, downtown Atlanta is host to Georgia’s most widely used public transportation system, MARTA. The popular transportation system offers downtown residents easy access to work, school and local attractions.
Discover this thriving and historical part of Atlanta:
Shopping and Dining
- Known as “the city beneath the streets,” Underground Atlanta can be found in Five Points and is a primary destination for tourists. The cultural hub opened in 1969, and spans six city blocks and has three levels of shopping, restaurants and entertainment. In 2021, new renovations are taking place and an update to Underground Atlanta is underway. Expect to see many new updates within the next few years to keep this iconic piece of the city alive.
- Located on Ponce de Leon Avenue is the ever-so-popular Ponce City Market. A vacated Sears Company warehouse, the trendy market showcases vendors, restaurants, office space and lofts is a unique space popular with locals and visitors. The rooftop features an “amusement park” as a nod to the 1903 Ponce de Leon amusement park, also known as the “Coney Island of Atlanta.” With food for all tastes, Ponce de Leon eateries feature vegan, Mediterranean, Italian, Asian and Indian cuisines. The market also offers easy access to the Atlanta BeltLine for daily strolls.
- Housed in a former peanut butter factory turned veterinary hospital turned bar sits the Georgia Beer Garden. Located in the Sweet Auburn neighborhood, the beer garden features 24 taps of locally brewed beer and ciders in addition to bar food and light snacks. Bring friends and enjoy a beer in the outdoor garden or cozy indoor seating.
Entertainment and Recreation
- Created as a gathering spot for visitors and residents during the 1996 Olympic Games, Centennial Olympic Park spans 21 acres and provides a space for visitors and locals to congregate downtown. Enjoy a sunny day downtown while enjoying festivals, concerts, Fourth of July Celebrations and more.
- This popular mid-sized music venue is one with distinct charm and history. Operating as The Broughton Tabernacle Infirmary, the space converted into a House of Blues club right before the 1996 Olympic Games. The Tabernacle, operated by Live Nation, has hosted acts such as Bob Dylan, Guns N’ Roses, Adele and many more. A winner of numerous “Best of Atlanta” awards, the venue offers an intimate and personal musical experience sure to resonate with each of its visitors.
- A nerdy dive bar filled with classic arcade games, tabletop gaming and plenty of fun for all, Joystick Gamebar features relic games such as Space Invaders, Mortal Kombat, Ms. Pacman and pinball. Enjoy a friendly nostalgic competition while sampling a wide selection of drafts, slushies, cocktails and canned drinks.
- Pemberton Place is a 20-acre plaza home to multiple Downtown Atlanta attractions, including the Georgia Aquarium, The World of Coca-Cola and The Center for Civil and Human Rights. Named for the father of Coca-Cola, John Pemberton, the grounds regularly host groups of visitors enjoying the downtown scenery and is centrally located among the area’s most popular attractions.
Attractions and History
- The birthplace of Coca-Cola, Atlanta is also home to the World of Coca-Cola museum. Museum tours highlight the past, present and future of the brand that has served as an innovator in American creativity. From Coca-Cola pop art to a tasting room with over 60 types of Coca-Cola from around the world, this museum is a child-friendly must-see.
- Since 2005, downtown Atlanta has been host to the world’s second-largest aquarium. The Georgia Aquarium features many interactive exhibits, home to whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, African penguins, river otters, beluga whales, alligators and puffins. The aquarium serves as a milestone for Georgia tourism, attracting over eleven million guests to the “World’s Most Engaging Aquarium Experience.”
- As the only educational venue of its kind in the city, the Children’s Museum of Atlanta is a great place to bring the kids. For guests eight and younger, the exhibits provide an outlet for children to imagine and discover through the process of playing. Many focus areas found throughout the museum incorporate art, culture, health, engineering, literacy, mathematics, science, social and technology. Ticket prices range from $11.95 to $22, subject to change depending on the day of the week and time of day. There are two sessions offered for playtime daily that offer three hours of playtime. Purchase tickets exclusively online to reserve a time slot! Read more about the museum here.
- The latest addition to Pemberton Place, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights inspires and educates visitors with the impactful history of the civil rights movement and provides a space. The Center’s most iconic exhibit, “Voice to the Voiceless,” features the papers and artifacts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an iconic civil rights leader. The center also provides human rights training for law enforcement as well as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training for workplaces. Read more about the center’s incredible impact here.
- What started as a six-acre lot purchased in 1850 is now a popular tourist destination with over 50-acres of history. Oakland Cemetery offers tours, events and everyday visitors to those who wish to enter this historically preserved cemetery. In 1976, the cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and experienced a renewal of interest that began its rebirth into society. The renewed interest resulted in the creation of the Historic Oakland Foundation, now responsible for the upkeep of the whole cemetery.