You’ve explored Centennial Olympic Park. You’ve experienced the breathtaking city views from atop SkyView Atlanta. You’ve sampled soda from across the globe at the World of Coca-Cola and got up close and with all walks of marine life at the Georgia Aquarium.
So you think you’ve seen it all, right? Wrong. There is still a lot more to discover in Atlanta, and much of it is all easily accessible from hotels in downtown Atlanta. Here is a look at some of the city’s less heralded attractions. They may not get all the buzz and hype, but they certainly deliver a one of a kind experience in their own way.
With high temperatures averaging between the low 50s and upper 80s all year long, Atlanta is the perfect place to get outdoors no matter what time of year you visit. Here are some of the city’s hottest outdoor attractions to check out during your stay in downtown Atlanta hotels.
- The Atlanta Beltline
The Atlanta BeltLine reclaimed 22 miles of old railroad tracks to create Atlanta’s largest outdoor space. The BeltLine circles the core of the city’s neighborhoods from South Atlanta all the way to Lindbergh. The Eastside multi-use trail was the first section completed and runs from the Old Fourth Ward to the tip of Piedmont Park. The BeltLine is great for some fresh air, a run or a stroll through historic neighborhoods. The east side of the trail has several easy access points from hotels in downtown Atlanta, Ga. The Ralph McGill Boulevard access point in the Old Fourth Ward is near the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, a mere two miles from most hotels in downtown Atlanta.
- Atlanta Botanical Gardens
Near the BeltLine and adjacent to Piedmont Park in Midtown, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens cover over 30 acres and feature lush greenery that remains unmatched by anywhere else in the city. The Indoor Garden collection includes the High Elevation House that recreates the Cloud Forest of South America’s Andes Mountains. Also inside are the Orchid Display House, the Tropical Rotunda and the Desert House. Outside, there are a variety of gardens including a rose garden, Japanese garden and an edible garden hat features an outdoor kitchen.
Sampling the City’s Finest Food and Drink
No matter what type of food you’re craving, you can rest assured you’ll find just the right dish that will leave your taste buds dancing with delight not far from your downtown Atlanta hotel.
- The Shakespeare Tavern® Playhouse
Dinner and a Shakespearean show at America’s only Shakespeare Tavern is certainly one way to add some excitement to your dining experience. Combining live music- hand-crafted period costumes, outrageous sword fights, passionate performances with delicious food and drink, the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse is truly a one of a kind way to dine in Atlanta.
- Holeman and Finch Public House
Once upon a time, only 24 cheeseburgers were made each night and were only available at the sound of the bullhorn at 10 p.m. Nowadays; guests can enjoy the infamous 10 o’clock Burger from Holeman and Finch all day and night long. The famed double-patty cheeseburger with house-made buns, ketchup, mustard and pickles has become somewhat of a legend among locals and a few lucky travelers. Don’t forget to check out their new location at the Ponce City Market right along the Atlanta BeltLine.
- Atlanta BBQ Tour
Of course, there is nothing more quintessential to Southern cuisine than a good old-fashioned barbecue. So whether you’re trying one of Atlanta’s best barbecue hotspots or hoping to sample them all during your stay, you’ll have plenty of options for some good old-fashioned BBQ close to your downtown Atlanta hotel. During your stay, make it a point to check out Twin Smokers BBQ for some of the finest briskets and bourbon-spiked milkshakes around. If you’re looking for an Asian-inspired twist on your barbecue favorites, try the Sweet Auburn BBQ in its original Sweet Auburn Curb Market location or in its roving food truck.
Blending the Present with the Past
From its importance during the Civil War to its involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, Atlanta is rich with history and heritage. Here are some of the city’s top historic landmarks, sites, and museums to check out during your stay.
- Center for Civil and Human Rights
The Center for Civil and Human Rights was built on land donated by the Coca-Cola Company in the heart of Centennial Olympic Park. The Center houses three hands-on interactive exhibits: Civil rights, human rights, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection. Join a Freedom Rider protest by sitting at a lunch counter, watch panoramic videos while immersing yourself in the sites and sounds of the Civil Rights Movement and so much more.
- The Atlanta History Center
Located on 33-acres in the historic Buckhead District, the Atlanta History Center is one of the largest history museums in the Southeastern United States. Learn more about Georgia’s rich history and heritage by making your way through a variety of award-winning exhibits including the 1860s Smith Family Farm, the Goizueta Gardens, the Swan House and the Kenan Research Center!
- Tell Your Story
Record your story as a part of StoryCorps, an on-going oral history project in collaboration with the Atlanta History Center’s main campus. So far, the collection has archived stories from nearly 100,000 people from all across the country, with every interview preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and select recordings played on NPR. Sessions are by appointment only, and can be made by visiting the StoryCorps website.
- The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
Walk in the footsteps of history and pay your respects to one of the country’s most beloved activists by taking a trip to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. Among its nearly 35 acres, you will find countless landmarks and monuments that commemorate Dr. King’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement including his boyhood home, Ebenezer Baptist Church and Fire Station No. 6.
Art in Atlanta
Whether you’re looking for internationally famous art exhibits, award-winning musicians or undiscovered raw talents, Atlanta’s art scene is bursting with all of that and so much more. Here are some of the top emerging art venues to check out!
- The Alliance Theatre
Since it first opened its doors in the late 60s, the Alliance Theatre has staged some of the best work in American theater. From its diverse, award-winning productions to its dedication to developing new talent through its Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, the Alliance Theatre has become somewhat of a staple in the Southeast’s theater circuit. Over the years, the Theatre has launched several touring shows and produced 40 World Premiers, including Sister Act: The Musical, The Color Purple, and Elton John’s and Tim Rice’s Aida.
- High Museum of Art
One of the leading art museums in the Southeast, the High Museum of Art features over 15,000 works of both contemporary, classic and decorative art that is sure to impress. Visit their website to stay up to date with its dynamic schedule of special exhibits, educational programs and live events that take place throughout the year.
- The Center for Puppetry Arts
Over the past 38 years, downtown Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts has been inspiring millions of guests to explore their imagination through the art of puppetry. The Center is the largest non-profit organization dedicated to puppet theater, and hosts hundreds of shows and exhibits every year. One of the most popular attractions is the Jim Henson collection, an interactive exhibit that takes visitors into the master puppeteer’s world from his office to the television studio.
No matter if it’s your first trip to the city or you come year after year, there is always something new and exciting to check out in Atlanta. Stay at a hotel that reflects the city’s energy and excitement unlike any other by booking accommodations at the Ellis Hotel in downtown Atlanta. Our intimate boutique hotel in the heart of downtown Atlanta puts you in the middle of all the action. So whether you prefer getting there by foot, streetcar, or your own vehicle, choose accommodations that are convenient for your every need. Book your room at the Ellis Hotel today.