One of the largest cemeteries in Atlanta, the Oakland Cemetery is located in the heart of downtown. This bucolic expanse serves as a constant reminder of the city's history. Dating back to the 1850s, the cemetery was the final destination for all Atlantans until 1884, when private burial grounds began appearing throughout the city. The oldest section is near the main entrance, where legendary golfer Bobby Jones and author Margaret Mitchell are interred. This expansive 48-acre (190,000-sq meter) beautiful garden now houses sculptures, an art gallery, a green space and serves as a prominent wedding venue for the city.
This Midtown dinner theater provides good food and great Shakespearean entertainment. The Atlanta Shakespeare Company, which manages The New American Shakespeare Tavern, was the first American company to perform at London's Globe Theatre. A traditional English pub meal is offered during the hour before the show. A full bar features Harp, Bass, and Guinness, as well as a few wines. Seating is done on a first-come, first-served basis, so arrive early. Call for performance schedule.
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is one of the largest spectacles of plant life in the Southeast. Sprawling over 15 acres (six hectares), this natural oasis was established in 1976 and is located within stumbling distance of the famous Piedmont Park. It is home to the Fuqua Conservatory and Japanese gardens, both rich in globe-spanning flora. Follow a walking trail, which is a favorite of couples, and admire exotic rose plantations and carnivorous specimens. In addition, guided tours and seasonal shows guarantee an entertaining botany lesson.
The most expansive and popular of Atlanta's city parks was originally laid out for the Cotton States and International Exposition of 1895, and it now attracts more than 2 million visitors annually. Dog owners, sun-seekers, and sports enthusiasts flock to Piedmont Park to enjoy the fair weather, largely unaware that this was the spot of the Battle of Peachtree Creek during the Civil War. Its picturesque locales also offer a romantic ambiance. The 189-acre (76.48-hectare) facility is home to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and scenic Lake Clara Meer and plays host to many of Atlanta's favorite concerts and festivals.
This National Historic Landmark was built in 1929 as a Shrine temple, but through most of its history, it has served as Atlanta's premier theatrical venue. The Fox Theater is a marvel of Middle Eastern Revival architecture that spans a full city block. It is one of the largest theatres built in America during the golden age of the movies. Today, the theatre maintains a steady schedule of Broadway shows, operas, symphonic performances, and rock concerts. Tours are available, but the best way to experience the Fox Theatre is through the city's nightlife.
The Fernbank Museum of Natural History is one of the largest museums in the country. Surrounded by 140 acres (56 hectares) of forests, it is located a short distance from downtown and is a must on itineraries to Atlanta. Natural history buffs can marvel at intriguing exhibitions in the Great Hall. A landmark in itself, this splendid building features a 123 feet (37 meters) tall skeletal structure of the largest dinosaur ever classified in the world. Interactive programs at the planetarium promise an entertaining astronomy lesson, while a one of its kind Giant Screen Theater showcases brilliant films for visitors. Moreover, the museum organizes outdoor exploration programs and science demonstrations for the youth on every second Friday of the month.
Downtown Atlanta is a commercial district in the heart of the city and is Atlanta's financial and entertainment hub. This magnificent district is home to some of the largest towers in the city and a view from a distance is truly wondrous. Some of the highlights of Downtown Atlanta are the Centennial Olympic Park, Georgia Aquarium, The Masquerade club, Georgia Dome, CNN studios, Underground Atlanta, and a number of other world-class restaurants, pubs, bars, and cafes. A visit to Atlanta is incomplete without a trip Downtown.
This vast collection of shopping, dining and entertainment outlets (100+) is located in the heart of downtown's business district. Covering six city blocks, the underground mall is anchored by the World of Coca-Cola, which sits behind a 138-foot (42-meter) light tower at the entrance. Many specialty retailers and restaurant chains are represented between Upper Alabama and Central Avenue, while the rustic-themed Lower Alabama street market is home to smaller stores, quaint eateries and several nightlife options. Business hours of stores may vary.
If you consider yourself to be a music lover, a visit to The Masquerade is a must. An electric underground music venue, The Masquerade is a one of a kind venue that hosts some of the most happening live music performances in the city. Hell at The Masquerade is one of the charged music venues at The Masquerade and apart from hosting lively concerts, it can also be rented for private events. With a holding capacity of 550 people, two fully-stocked bars, and excellent hospitality, this venue is one of the best places to throw a party in Atlanta.
The Vault at Peachtree is a unique space in Atlanta. Used largely as an art gallery for photographic exhibits, the venue is spread across three floors and a rooftop place. With spectacular interiors and multiple spaces, the Vault can be used for a range of eclectic events from art exhibitions, conferences to private functions.
Located within the Georgia State University, Cinefest Film Theatre is a student-run facility. This uncommon little cinema shows good movies that, due to small budgets or a lack of promotional backing, often don't make it to the bigger theaters but still deserve to be seen. For the bargain price of USD3 before 5p and USD5 afterwards, what do you have to lose? Show times vary and movies change monthly. Call ahead to get the schedule of screenings.
Just steps from Centennial Olympic Park and downtown hotels, this former Baptist church isn't much to behold from the street, but the interior is a marvel of architectural restoration. Constructed in 1910, the building features three levels of seating facing the stage, plus numerous lounges, billiards areas, bars and secluded alcoves. The facility hosts a full schedule of top-flight entertainment throughout the year and is a spectacular place to enjoy a concert. A more intimate venue is located below in the aptly named Cellar, where smaller acts are booked.