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19 of the Best Atlanta Tours

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Living in Atlanta for over 10 years, we’ve discovered some amazing Atlanta Tours. There are so many good sightseeing tours, history tours, food tours and more. From things you can’t miss on your only visit to Atlanta to tours in Atlanta that you might have never heard of. Almost all of the tours in Atlanta, GA will involve walking, so make sure you have your good shoes on, have a bottle of water, a camera, weather appropriate clothes and be ready to explore.

19 atlanta tours you must take

Tour Atlanta | Food Tours:

If you’ve never experienced a food tour mark one down as top priority for your Atlanta tour. You will get a touch of history in the area, some walking and exercise, and a full belly by sampling many different varieties of Atlanta cuisine. You might also get to try some Atlanta-specialty adult beverages.

Peachtree Food Tours was my first food tour and won’t be my last. John is an amazing guide living right in the heart of the Peachtree district. You will try out several different restaurants, enjoy his humor and see a completely different side of Atlanta. Also of note, he made our tour extremely accommodating. We had a vegan, vegetarian and me (no gluten or dairy) and he didn’t make us feel like we were putting anybody out.

atlanta tours: food tour

Downtown Southern Food Walk offers tastes like soul food, barbecue, low-country boils, but it’s so much more. In addition to the food, you’ll also enjoy history including seeing where the Civil Rights Movement really started as well as how Martin Luther King, Jr’s parents came to be a couple. Check out more of Desiree’s experience and see a video at Stress-Free Baby.

Atlantic Station Food Tour will find your belly more than full with so many options, you will really have to think about what you want to try before embarking. Take a tour of Atlanta with your belly at Atlantic Station featuring restaurants from fancy to comfortable, from family to adult and everything in between. Don’t forget to grab a sweet treat after your tour.

Touring Atlanta | Historical Tours

ATL-Cruzers (Electric Bike Tour) will take you on a city tour. Atlanta-Cruzers have you on an electric bike seeing the sights of Buckhead, Atlanta’s most affluent neighborhood. This ATL-Cruzers tour will include sightseeing along Path 400, a multi-use path that showcases Buckhead’s greenspace, strolling through neighborhoods filled with luxurious homes including the Georgia Governor’s Mansion as well as a driving through The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, where the trendiest designer brands line the streets. Basically, you will get to see all the fancy Atlanta has to offer from your own seat, either pedaling or not.

These bikes go up to 20 miles per hour (and therefore require that you be at least 16 years old to enjoy this tour.) While you don’t have to pedal, you will want to be sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes appropriate for biking clothes.

 

Heading out with the @atl-cruzers today. Electric bikes are the way to go! #sitsum #DiscoverATL

A photo posted by Maria Smith (@mamaliciousmaria) onOct 13, 2016 at 10:48am PDT

Atlanta Beltline Tour offers bus, bike and walking tours of Atlanta. For the walking tour, make sure to put on your walking shoes and hit the pavement on the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail, recently dubbed the “path to transform Atlanta” by the New York Times. Amazingly, this project was first conceived as a 1999 master’s thesis by Georgia Tech student Ryan Gravel. Eventually the Atlanta BeltLine project will turn an existing 22-mile historic railroad corridor into pedestrian friendly rail transit, multi-use trails and green space while connecting 45 of the city’s in-town neighborhoods. In addition to hosted tours, you can also find your way to the Atlanta Beltline and explore on your own. Check out 365 AtlantaFamily’s Family Guide to Adventure on the BeltLine.

Buford Highway Farmer’s Market Tour is on a stretch of highway just north of Atlanta on Buford Highway; a United Nations of ethnic restaurants and shopping that presents an adventure every Atlanta visitor wants to experience. The area features restaurants with cuisines from every corner of the globe, enticing guests with exotic offerings not found without a fist-full of airline tickets and months of travel. One of the main businesses here is Buford Highway Farmers Market, a giant global supermarket teeming with 34 aisles of grocery, seafood for all and an astoundingly diverse produce selection.For over thirty years, Buford Highway Farmers Market has provided more ethnic food varieties under one roof than any other single-location grocery store in Atlanta – from Korea, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, West Africa, Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Eastern Europe and more. This is one of the surprise tours Atlanta has to offer, and you can do it completely on your own.

Atlanta History Center features a snapshot of Atlanta’s 169-year history. It really is a huge and moving center referred to as the “City in the Forest.”

Atlanta Tours | Swan House

You can walk through the famous Swan House (seen in The Hunger Games series), Smith Family Farm and the new Gatheround: Stories of Atlanta exhibit along with many other exhibits each in their own room of the center.

You can see how an old mansion was set up as well as the handwritten notes from one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches. You can spend an entire day on this Atlanta city tour and get a ton of Georgia history as well.

Atlanta Tours | Atlanta History Center

Ponce City Market is one of Atlanta’s newest development projects with approximately 1 million square feet of retail shops and food stalls and apartments and flats for lease. Three James Beard Award-winning chefs – Sean Brock, Linton Hopkins and Anne Quatrano – have stalls in the Central Food Hall while local retailers like Archer Paper Goods, Boogaloos Boutique, Citizen Supply, Cobbler Union, Elk Head Clothing and Ponce Denim Company also line the halls. You will also find spaces for original artists to set up their own stalls to sell their work, projects and wears.

atlanta tours | ponce city market

In addition to food and shopping, you can also find much of the history of the fully-renovated 1925 Sears, Roebuck & Co. building within the building itself. In fact, while walking around the market, keep an eye out for original doors from the building featuring original pictures and history of the building.

atlanta tours | ponce city market

As shown on the door above, there was an amusement park that was located near the property in the early 1900s. In homage to that, Skyline Park now sits atop the building’s roof and offers visitors an opportunity to play mini-golf, skee-ball or ride the three-story slide all while enjoying one of the best views of Atlanta’s skyline. This space isn’t free to visit, but has fun for both kids and adults, including a restaurant and bar.

atlanta tours | skyline park ponce city market

Nobel Peace Prize Tour Atlanta (MLK Jr. Historic Site and Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museumis proud of its role in the lives of two Nobel Peace Prize winners – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Jimmy Carter. Learn the legacies of these two distinguished individuals during self-guided tours.

  • MLK Jr. National Historic Site immerses guests in the life and times of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This tour includes stops at the civil rights leader’s birth home, historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Change which features exhibits and personal artifacts, as well as King’s final resting place. Read more about Desiree’s experience at Stress-Free Baby.

Atlanta Tour | Nobel Peace Prize Tour Atlanta

{photo credit @DesMiller}

  • Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum honors Georgia-residents and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. This visit will take you into an exact replica of the Oval Office, which is furnished exactly as it was during his administration. It also features photographs and historical memorabilia from the 1976-1981 Carter presidency lining the walls. The permanent exhibit houses artifacts representing significant events that occurred during President Carter’s life and political career.

Oakland Cemetery Tours happen less than a mile from the heart of downtown Atlanta. It’s a surprising hidden gem founded in 1850. The gorgeous entrance and garden cemetery is the the final resting place of many of Atlanta’s settlers, builders, and most noted citizens like Bobby Jones, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Margaret Mitchell, and Maynard Jackson, the first African American mayor of Atlanta (1974-82, 1990-94) and Ivan Allen, Jr. (former Mayor of Atlanta)

atlanta sightseeing tour | Oakland Cemetery

It is surprisingly a great place for an Atlanta sightseeing tour as it is a showplace of sculpture and architecture, as well as a botanical preserve with ancient oaks and magnolias. Here in this peaceful place the full scope of the city’s rich and fascinating history unfolds before you.

atlanta sightseeing tour | Oakland Cemetery

Plan to spend a while here in the cemetery wondering around and taking in the structures as well as reading about all of the people who have Oakland Cemetery as their final resting place. (TIP: There are many tour options available so be sure to check their site and find one that you will appreciate the most. It turns out “Margaret Mitchell” frequents the cemetery and will tell you quite a bit about herself!

Historic Square at Stone Mountain Park is a collection of original buildings (over 18!) from around the state of Georgia built in the 1700s and 1800s. All of the buildings were moved from their original locations and restored at Stone Mountain Park. We recently toured Historic Square at Stone Mountain Park (click to read more) this area (outside of Atlanta) and saw so many original buildings to Atlanta. It’s a self-guided tour taking you through houses, buildings and history of Georgia from the 1700s and 1800s.

Atlanta Tours | Historic Square at Stone Mountain

Aquarium behind the scenes tour offers just what you would imagine, a look behind the glass, over the tops of the tanks and even into the fish and mammal emergency room. The Georgia Aquarium is a destination to not miss with many new added exhibits like sea lions and an updated dolphin show which we recently visited at the Georgia Aquarium. Even if you don’t do a behind the scenes tour, you will want to visit to see the whale sharks, giant sea turtles and more. It’s very child-friendly with places for kids to touch, sit and stare.

Atlanta Movie Tours offers many options to see several several locations throughout a tour in Atlanta which are featured in major motion pictures and television series like The Hunger Games, The Walking Dead, Marvel Cinematic Universe and Tyler Perry’s popular Madea franchise. Not only will you see the locations, but they will show clips of the movies so you can see how it was all set up. Our tour was hosted by a gentleman that is also an actor, so he added a lot of extra information into our tour.

As it turns out, due to generous tax incentives, Georgia is one of the leading U.S. destinations for film production – ranking third in the country, so there are quite a few movie locations you can see. Our tour took us to where one of the main scenes from Walking Dead was filmed.

atlanta tours | Walking dead movie tour

We also had a very behind the scenes tour at a surprising location. A drug store with an attic and basement has been used to film many movies, including most recently Saw III. It was actually very creepy standing in the basement. But, the history of all of the movies that the building’s owner could add was amazing (including things like taking wall paper from one building to another to add authenticity and how his main door was actually a part of underground Atlanta and was cemented-in.)

atlanta tours | Walking dead movie tour

Atlanta Botanical Garden, which has more than 30 acres of breathtaking botanical bliss, is located adjacent to Piedmont Park in Midtown. It includes an award-winning children’s garden, one-of-a-kind canopy walk through Storza Woods and a vast rose garden. The gardens will blow you away.

ABC

picture credit: @JaMonkey

Behind the Scenes Tours of the Fox Theatre are rare occurrences, so make sure to check and see if there is one happening. This Atlanta tour takes you on a trip back to the 1920s to one of Atlanta’s most famous landmarks, the fabulous Fox Theatre, appropriately located in the heart of Atlanta’s arts and culture district, Midtown. It originally started as the home for the Atlanta’s Shriners organization and was later turned into the city’s very own movie palace. This behind-the-scenes tour will take you through the soaring domes, minarets and sweeping archways of the Fox as you see the interworking of this world-renowned concert and event venue.

The Center for Civil and Human Rights is located in downtown Atlanta and is an engaging cultural attraction that connects the American Civil Rights Movement to today’s Global Human Rights Movements. It is a safe “space for visitors to explore the fundamental rights of all human beings so that they leave inspired and empowered to join the ongoing dialogue about human rights in their communities.”

Check out 365 Atlanta Family’s list of 5 things you must do when you visit the Center for Civil and Human Rights.

From the Center for Civil and Human Rights: “The mission of The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is to empower people to take the protection of every human’s rights personally. Through sharing stories of courage and struggle around the world, The Center encourages visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the role they play in helping to protect the rights of all people.”

atlanta tour | center for civil and human rights

College Football Hall of Fame is perfect for both football lovers and those who aren’t partial to the pigskin in your family. Not only is it a museum of facts and figures, but there is also fun to be had. There is a playing field where children (and adults) can try to catch footballs as well as a game day desk and The Quad where guests can search for their favorite teams. Mamalicious Maria sent her husband and boys to experience the College Football Hall of Fame; read about their experience.

CNN Tour Atlanta, GA is located in the heart of the city inside CNN center. You get to see behind the scenes of the nation’s newsroom and how the new floor operates as well as live television. You can pick from their tours: Inside CNN Studio Tour, VIP Tour or Morning Express Tour. An added bonus is the ride up the very tall escalator! (Note this tour isn’t stroller friendly as they aren’t allowed.)

There is so much to see and do in Atlanta, you need to plan it out and spend several days to see just a small portion of what all the city has to offer! If you are looking for a deal, check out Citypass, where you can Save up to 43% on Atlanta’s 5 best attractions with CityPASS!


THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. I MAY EARN FROM QUALIFYING PURCHASES.

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5 Comments

  1. Great list of tours. I’m definitely going to take the Buford Highway Farmers Market Tour. That’s right up my alley, I haven’t been there in a really long time

  2. Allen D. Wilson says:

    My wife and I try to visit my parents in Atlanta at least every other year for a couple weeks of Christmas vacation, which sometimes can feel like a couple of months for we Angelenos. I appreciate your mix of historical, educational, and culturally relevant (respectively, the MLK tour is deeply moving and inspiring; the Aquarium is almost as boring as Underground Atlanta IMHO; and I am thrilled to learn the Hunger Games mansion is in ATL!)

    Our next trip should be a little more exciting, thanks to this blog!

    1. There are a lot of fun things to do, for sure. And quite the mix.

      I bet the perspective of the aquarium changes when you come with kids! The kids LOVE it!

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