Before taking our road trip to Atlanta last summer and our experience was amazing! This city is so diverse, huge and there is so much history and culture. I wanted to visit because it’s an art-rich city. I was very excited to experience so much art, and disappointed that I couldn’t cover it all. We were all impressed by the gastronomy and the city infrastructure. I really didn’t experience super friendly people, but coming from a highly tourist-oriented state, maybe we’re just spoiled in Florida. Regardless, Atlanta has plenty of things to do with the family: my husband, two kids and I had a splendid time! I hope you enjoy my Ultimate Atlanta Family Travel Guide.
We stayed right in Downtown, very close to the CNN Center and was planning for a tour, but my kids said “no way, too boring”. Atlanta is a very old city where everything is far apart. I found it interesting that every neighborhood or district has its own identity and looks nothing like the other. There’s the shopping district, the entertainment district, art and hotel districts. Don’t expect to find a pharmacy, convenient store or quick service restaurant, everywhere like in Florida. You have to know where to go and what to do, and plan how to get there. We rented a car because we drove from Florida, but traffic is a nightmare. You can use the MARTA, which is a combination of subway and buses, to get around the city, and visit certain landmarks.
I hope you enjoy my Ultimate Atlanta Travel Guide for families with kids.
Where to stay in Atlanta:
We stayed in the Downtown Homewood Suites. It’s a moderately-priced hotel, but they offer free hot breakfast every day and for a family of four, that’s total value. They also have full kitchens which means we can save left-overs and bring snacks, and that also saves money. I definitely recommend it for families in Florida.
What to do in Atlanta:
What not do! Atlanta has so much and you will never get tired.
We absolutely loved the Georgia Aquarium! It’s located in Downtown as well, just not within walking distance from our hotel. It houses three shark whales, dolphins and many other species. More than 500 species and more than 120,000 animals! This magnificent aquarium is famous worldwide and one of the biggest. Plan to spend two or more hours there. It holds more than a million cubic feet of water, in 60 habitats with 12,000 square feet of viewing windows. I call my daughter the dolphin whisperer! She enjoyed being up close to them.
- Krog Street Tunnel – It is well known for all the art inside and right outside the tunnel. There are so many murals that is overwhelming! Just park anywhere on the street and take a stroll. Or do like we did, take pictures from the car, because our kids got tired of walking around. Haha!
- The Atlanta Beltline – This old railway corridor is being redeveloped as a multiuse trail. You will find walkers, bikers & scooter riders, and it’s super crowded. The best part is all the amazing murals along the Beltline. These two murals are right at the beginning of the Beltline.
- The Disco Ball Wall – This mural is super famous in Atlanta. It’s located in Buckhead, which is one of the shopping districts. It’s in the Kroger Plaza, so after taking all my super cool Disco Ball photos I had to go for a quick stop at Kroger Supermarket for a sweet and juicy Georgia Peach.
- Inman Park neighborhood – When you’re driving towards Krog St Market outdoor art is everywhere. It’s amazing! Just pick your wall and park near it for photos.
Tiny Doors Atlanta – This is an awesome art project. The artist builds tiny doors in various parts of the city. They look like fairy doors and are absolutely magical. I wish we would have had time to tour all the doors, but traffic is crazy in Atlanta so I would’ve needed one whole day just for that. We found one at the Atlanta Beltline mural and one at the end (or entrance) of Krog Street Tunnel.
Click here for the St. Pete Florida Mural Art Tour
- High Museum of Art – Wow! Wow! Wowsers! I do not have words for this museum! Amazing & incredible to say the least! It’s located in the heart of the Arts District in Midtown & it’s a super important museum in the south. Four floors of amazing exhibitions including 20 feet tall contemporary art pieces and several 300 year old magnificent carved wood hutch cabinets. My favorite pieces were by famous artists Nick Canva, Chris Martin and Jaime Hayon. I was super impressed and in my happy place. There are two interactive kids sections, which were super cool as well and my daughter’s favorite of course. You will need all day to really take it all in! I highly recommend visiting this museum.
- Pop up Museums – Candytopia – I’ll be honest, Candytopia was one of the reasons I wanted to go Atlanta, and I loved the experience! But it felt so Disney-like compared to an actual museum. And yes, I know we’re very spoiled in Orlando. All rooms had incredible art pieces made of candy. Swimming in the marshmallow pool felt cool and gross at the same time. Haha! My daughter had an amazing time! Even though she got in trouble for going ahead of us and not waiting. Unfortunately, Candytopia left Atlanta last summer. There have been other Pop-up Museums after Candytopia like Slime-City and 29Rooms. Always be on the lookout, because they come and go constantly.
- Zombie Tours – Ok, so we didn’t really do a Zombie Tour, because no one in my family is a Walking Dead fan like me, but there are plenty of them in the city. And you cannot miss taking your photo in the famous Jackson Bridge, which is included in The Walking Dead Intro. This is one of my favorite pictures from our trip. When I was taking my photos, there was a rapper filming his video right next to me. I should have asked his name. By the way, there are many Georgia landmarks used in films and plenty of tours showcasing them all. Check out www.atlantamovietours.com for more info.
- Legoland Discovery Center – located in the Phipps Plaza Mall in the Buckhead District. It’s an indoor Lego Play Center and 4-D Theater. My kids had a blast of course!
- Centennial Olympic Park & Coca Cola Store – We didn’t get a chance to go inside, but the Coca-Cola Store is a big attraction there since Atlanta is the birthplace of Coca Cola. It’s also within walking distance to the Centennial Olympic Park, a legacy of the 1996 Olympics. If you get there early, you can go to all three.
Where to eat in Atlanta:
I’ll be honest, I didn’t do much research of specific restaurants because in my family we have a picky eater and a lactose intolerant. I decided to go the easy route and go to the food halls and what an experience! We have food halls in Orlando and I never go because, well, I know my places around here. But let me tell you, the food was amazing at all the places we ate. The gastronomy at both halls is superb! and the ambiance is energetic and dynamic.
- Krog St Market – It’s located in the Inman Park neighborhood basically one block from the Beltline Trail. You have to pay for parking. We had plump and perfectly spiced dumplings at Gu’s Dumplings, and delicious Pho at Pho Nam. The artisan pizza from Varuni Napoli was great, but my absolute favorite was the Pork Belly Ramen at Suzy Siu’s Baos. My daughter tried ramen for the first time there and she loved it! And she’s the picky one! For dessert, two scoops of mouthwatering Brown Butter Almond Brittle Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. OMG! It was perfectly sweet and salty, soft and crunchy and super delicious!
- Ponce City Market– it’s located in Ponce De Leon Ave. in the Historic Sears Building. They call it the South’s Best Food Stop and they live up to that name. Our first stop was Hop’s Chicken for chicken and waffles, the tavern style chicken and fried blueberry pie. It was all amazing! A true southern treat! My husband had the best Cuban sandwich we’ve ever had at El Super Pan, where they carve the pork right in front of you. Ponce City Market is a bit pricier, more crowded and less cozy than Krog St Market, but the experience was equally remarkable. We must have been starving on that day since I couldn’t find any photos of the delicious food we ate. I did take pictures of the gorgeous French pastries from Saint-Germain Bakery, but didn’t get to try them. This will definitely be on the list next time.
- Rocks Chicken and Fries – It’s located at the Phipps Plaza, which is a mall in the Buckhead District. This is a quick service chicken restaurant and they make their own sauces and dressings and it’s delicious as well!
We definitely want to go back to Atlanta to visit other landmarks and neighborhoods that we missed such as Cabbage Town, The Botanical Gardens, The CNN Center, the Underground Mall & many more murals. You can definitely enjoy Atlanta with kids, I just wouldn’t recommend it for very young kids, mine were 16 & 7 (at the time) and they weren’t too excited about driving around to find murals, which is something I enjoy a lot. If we go back, it will just be my husband and I so we can enjoy some nightlife as well.
I hope you enjoy my Atlanta Family Travel Guide. As you can see, our family had an amazing time and we enjoyed every bit of it. I also hope you can find some ideas for your own family trip. Send me your thoughts, questions or ideas or just say hi. Don’t forget to live your best life!