We know you’re excited about the conference, but the Empire City of the South has a lot to offer to those willing to venture outside the hotel, too! Whether you’re planning to extend your stay to take a family vacation, or just planning to take in some sights over the weekend, there’s no shortage of fun activities!
Below are a few highlights to get you started, but there’s plenty more to discover beyond the beaten path!
Dining and Shopping
Ponce City Market. Atlanta’s answer to New York’s famed Chelsea Market, this unique, mixed-use development was built in 1926 as a Sears retail store, warehouse, and regional office. It now features dozens of retail stores, a rooftop amusement park, and a gourmet food hall with dining options from James Beard-awarded chefs.
Atlantic Station. Built on the site of a former steel mill, the pedestrian-friendly Atlantic Station retail district offers dozens of major stores and restaurants and a 16-screen movie theatre organized in an open-air street layout.
Lenox Square. This upscale enclosed shopping mall features almost 250 stores on four levels.
Red Brick Brewing Company. Georgia’s oldest continuously operating brewery, Red Brick features brewery tours, great beer, live music, games, and an outdoor seating area.
Museums and Cultural Institutes
Georgia Aquarium. The largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere (and until 2012, the world), this stunning institution features 10 million gallons of water and several thousand species, including whale sharks, beluga whales, bottlenose dolphins, manta rays, and more.
Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. This moving historic complex features a historic residential area (where the civil rights leader’s boyhood home is preserved), the original Ebenezer Baptist Church where he preached, and the final resting place of MLK and Coretta Scott King, alongside additional exhibits and places for quiet reflection.
Center for Civil and Human Rights. Opened in 2014, this new museum is dedicated to the achievements of the civil and human rights movements in the United States and abroad.
College Football Hall of Fame. Sports fans will enjoy this shrine to all things college football, newly opened in 2014, which features plenty of interactive exhibits and classic memorabilia.
Zoo Atlanta. One of only four zoos in the United States to feature giant pandas, Zoo Atlanta houses more than 200 species from around the world, including tropical rainforest, African plains, and Austrian outback dwellers.
World of Coca-Cola. Located just blocks from where John Pemberton created the original soft drink, this family-friendly museum offers exhibits on history, pop culture, bottling, and the secret formula. Sample tastes from around the world with 60 different flavors available at the fountains in the sampling room.
Rest and Relaxation
Piedmont Park. A beautiful urban park created in 1895, Piedmont Park boasts several miles of paths for jogging and biking, a fishing lake, a 30 acre botanical garden, sports facilities, dog park, playgrounds, and plenty of places to explore, relax, and recharge.
Centennial Olympic Park. Built for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, the park features plenty of space to relax, enjoy a picnic, or explore the dancing water fountains, historic sites, and architectural wonders. Surrounded by restaurants and shops, it’s a great place to unwind for a few hours before a night on the town.
Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail. Carved from a disused railway corridor surrounding the city, the BeltLine features miles of paved and unpaved trails connecting parks, playgrounds, shops, restaurants, markets, artwork, and more, with great views of the city skyline throughout.