City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Best place to take visiting guests

The beluga whales are one of the most popular attractions at the Georgia Aquarium, which was your pick and our pick for the best place to take visiting guests in and around Atlanta. Photo courtesy the Gergia Aquarium

The beluga whales are one of the most popular attractions at the Georgia Aquarium, which was your pick and our pick for the best place to take visiting guests in and around Atlanta. Photo courtesy the Georgia Aquarium

1. Georgia Aquarium
You say, “The Ga. Aquarium is awesome” and “Although I have only been here for 4 years, my standard site-seeing tour for weekend visitors is the World of Coke or the Aquarium, a walk through Centennial Park, the CNN Center and the King Memorial.”

2. The Varsity
3. Stone Mountain
4. Piedmont Park
5. The World of Coca-Cola
6. Centennial Olympic Park

1. Georgia Aquarium
We say, “The wonders of the world’s watery depths have the power to delight both young and old, and the Georgia Aquarium, certified as the world’s largest by Guinness World Records, showcases them in breathtaking ways.”

2. Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District
3. Stone Mountain
4. The Sun Dial at the Westin Peachtree Plaza
5. Explore Buford Highway’s cuisine

53 comments Add your comment


July 16th, 2012
3:47 pm

Ok, so I know it isn’t the greatest food, but it is an Atlanta staple and I always take my guest to the Varsity before their visit is over. I also take guests to the Sundial for drinks, music and the view (never dinner though, way overpriced). If there are kids, has to be the Aquarium or a Braves game.


July 16th, 2012
3:50 pm

my house… HANDS DOWN!!!


July 17th, 2012
7:23 am

The Pony- great view. Free crackers and plenty of booze.


July 17th, 2012
7:29 am

Park Tavern or Six Feet Under (westside). Both great views of the city.


July 17th, 2012
7:56 am

Underground Atlanta (Laughs softly)

[...] News here – Best Of The Big A ← Officials: 1 killed in fire at DeKalb County home Cancel [...]


July 17th, 2012
8:01 am

Having just had out of town guests who were here for the first time, we ventured over to Mary Mac’s as a place to go and eat, they very much enjoyed it. We also went to Stone Mountain, that is a must-do for the laser show, especially but the antebellum houses were very interesting to them. World of Coke was another touristy thing that we all enjoyed together. If you head way down I-75, Lane Peaches is a fun and tasty place to check out and Summit Racing is on the way, you might even catch a car show there if you time it right.


July 17th, 2012
8:09 am

Take them to Asheville. Fun Place and lots to do. Atlanta used to be a top destination with lots to do but all the good stuff were taken over by the thugs and turned into dust. i.e. Buckhead, Underground Atlanta, etc. If you are stuck here then heading out of the city to Stone Mountain or Kennesaw Mountain Park are good things to do.


July 17th, 2012
8:18 am

Stone Mountain can’t go wrong here.


July 17th, 2012
8:23 am

Piedmont Park and a meal at Mary Mac’s Tearoom. If they still have room, walk down the hill to Ann’s Snack Bar on Memorial drive for a world famous Ghetto Burger.

Mary B

July 17th, 2012
8:29 am

Stone Mountain, High, Varsity, Botanical Gardens


July 17th, 2012
8:30 am

Fox Theater. I’ve grown up going there, but still get goosebumps every time I walk in.


July 17th, 2012
8:48 am

The Clermont Lounge… Nuff Said.


July 17th, 2012
8:49 am

All you complainers suck! You think these problems don’t exist in every city across America. The question is about where you take your out of town guests. If you have nothing positive to add to the conversation just be quiet. I was born and raised here and I don’t appreciate all the transplants coming down here complaining all the time. If it’s soooo bad leave, please!.


July 17th, 2012
8:49 am

The dekalb farmers market, Decatur square then depending on the season there are so many festivals to choose from. Rent bikes and ride the path


July 17th, 2012
8:49 am

Wow, a lot of Debbie Downers on this blog. Must be miserable to live your life in a city you hate. Sucks to be you.

Aaaannnnyway, I live by Little 5 so I like to take people to The Vortex, Dad’s Garage, The 5 Spot, or anywhere in L5P there’s music (Star Bar!). Now that the East Beltline is about done I take more active guests on a long walk to Piedmont Park (we’ve been doing this even when it wasn’t anything but gravel and only stopped when they blocked off the bridge that goes over Ponce).

Maybe a pub crawl between VAHi to Decatur on a bike.

If they want to see “touristy” things I’ll take them downtown, to Grant Park, etc.

Just depends on the guest.

Doug M

July 17th, 2012
9:02 am

I like to take people to a good restaurant like Bones or Bistro Niko, fairly safe and you can control the experience. Over the past two years, almost every person here from out of town ultimately comments on all the garbage along the interstates and exit ramps here, and all the junk signs that are put up at the exit and entrance ramps. I was recently in Chicago and Paris, both pristine as far as roadways, which is the first impressions so many have.


July 17th, 2012
9:06 am

Piedmont Park
MLK Memorial
Oakland Cemetary
Fox Theater
Beltline Tour


July 17th, 2012
9:16 am

Stone Mountain Park
Lenox/Phipps (an a week day)
High Museum


July 17th, 2012
9:23 am

Stone Summit Climbing gym–Largest rock climbing gym in the country right here in Atlanta!

Michael Jones

July 17th, 2012
9:31 am

What about the Gay Pride? Midtown, the gayborhood of Atlanta? or Little Five Points?


July 17th, 2012
9:33 am

What a bunch of jerks on here. If you don’t like it, feel free to move. I’m a transplant and I love this city. We could solve the traffic issue if a bunch of you miserable people left. We have out of town guests all the time and have plenty to do.

The Ga Aquarium is awesome. Centennial park is always fun. There’s tons of great southern restaurants like Goin Coastal in the Highlands (and Canton if you’re up by me) or South City Kitchen. There’s always concerts, and we probably have the best comedy scene outside of NY or LA.


July 17th, 2012
9:35 am

Taqueria Del Sol for a quick, great (and cheap) lunch
Colonnade or Checkers Seafood Grill for dinner
Varsity for snack (rings and frosted orange)
Blue Willow or Smith House for Southern treat
Ritz-Carlton Buckhead for Sunday Brunch
Brio in Buckhead for Italian

Aquarium (summer) or Zoo (NOT in the summer – cool months only)
Phipps/Lenox for Shopping
AMC Barrett Commons for a movie in total comfort

Rides for Atlanta Beautiful neighborhoods:
P’Tree Battle/Habersham area, P’Tree Hills, Ansley Park, Druid Hills


July 17th, 2012
9:43 am

It sad to listen to people complain about the city they live in. Especially because I am so sure they do so much to change things for the better. It is especially sad to see the racist undertones of most of these comments, I thought this was a progressive Southern city.. If you don’t like things the way they are, do something to change it. If you can’t or won’t do that, then leave. It seems a pretty rotten existence to constantly complain so why not remove yourself from a bad situation? Sucks to be you for sure.

As for things to do: Stone Mountain for sure. If there’s teens, Six Flags is a good spot for them. Little kids enjoy the Zoo, Imagine It & the Aquarium. Sports Fans get Braves, Falcons & Hawks games (or even G-Braves games) as well as the best college football in country in nearby Athens & Auburn/Tuscaloosa (OK Tech might make the list also). For Adults: Inman park, Decatur & West Midtown for dinner & drinks. Any of the myriad of music venues (the Earl, Blind Willies Drunken Unicorn etc.) or theaters (Dads Garage, Variety Playhouse and of course The Fox). For Culture Vultures, there’s the High, Fernbank & the ASO. History buffs can enjoy Kennesaw Mtn., MLK Memorial, Carter Center to name but a few. Seriously, if you can’t find things to entertain just about any kind of visitor, your not trying very hard!


July 17th, 2012
9:46 am

Well since I am north, OTP….Marietta Diner (we have food tv fans for guests), Stone Mountain is a must, Kennesaw Mountain–at least a dive through if it is pretty weekend that area is just too pretty. Olympic Park, Turner Stadium, but usually do no eat down there.


July 17th, 2012
9:50 am

I take all my guests to The Sun Dial at the Westin, so they can have an amazing view of the city.


July 17th, 2012
9:51 am

Went to Nahsville a few weekends ago. The city is building a huge new convention center (it’s at least a city block big) right next to the Country Music Hall of Fame. There are places you can walk to close by such as their symphony hall, the Bridgestone Arena, restaurants, their NFL stadium, the Frist Center for Visual Arts, etc. The whole vibe was very tourist friendly, very walkable/bikeable and not scary. I am not a country music fan, but there is much more to Nashville than country music.

Atlanta has Centennial Park, the aquarium and World of Coke, and oh yea, tons of bums and hobos begging for money and sellling CDs. There is no place decent to walk to for meals from Centennial Park, and yes there are great restaurants around town but not practical to reach on foot from the central city. There are pockets of things to do, but no connectivity – no practical or safe way to reach the limited tourist offerings in the dowrtown area.

I wonder why tourists come here. I would never bring a guest to downtown.

southern hope

July 17th, 2012
9:57 am

the worst part of atlanta is the drive into town…so many billboards….ugh, we look terrible in that way. But once they’re here, there are plenty of places. People always are amazed by piedmont park….if you haven’t visited it in the last 2 years, then you haven’t seen it. Ditto for the botanical gardens…people with kids especially love it. Walking down Peachtree from, say, the High to the Fox Theater has become really great..lots of shops, restaurants, people. We almost always take in a Braves game. The farmers markets on saturday (peachtree) and sunday (grant park) are a big hit as well.


July 17th, 2012
9:58 am

Is there actually anything to do in Atlanta? Coke? Underground? Stone Mountain? Piedmont Park? Lanier (grossest lake ever), Chattahoochie River (disgusting), Aquarium (actually not that bad)? Does anybody actually think these places have anything on most other major or mid major cities in the US? Atlanta has no redeeming qualities. Decent food and good looking women are about all that ATL has to offer. I would move today if my wife would let me. I bring guests to a souther restaurant and then its a standard bar. I wouldn’t waste their time with anything listed above unless they have a kid. Then I would take them to the aquarium.


July 17th, 2012
10:03 am

a stop at the Clermont Lounge is always a treat for out of town guests


July 17th, 2012
10:13 am

Amen!!! to comments from GaPeachy!!

C. U. Later

July 17th, 2012
10:19 am

I always take the in-laws to the airport…they may not be ready to leave but Delta is. Then I stop at Manuel’s Tavern..They are always ready as am I.

West Coast CPA

July 17th, 2012
10:26 am

Atlanta is lame. I’ve lived in Chicago, SoCal and NYC. There is very little to do here. Yeah you got Stone Mountain Park, The Aquarium, and what else?? Just a lot of suburban sprawl, mini malls, and big chain restaurants. – When I had relatives/friends visit me in SoCal and Chicago, they didn’t want to leave. (I won’t compare NYC to Atlanta). There is very little that is unique to Atlanta. It is a great place to raise a family and live here as there are lots of companies here and housing is cheap but that’s really it. No large body of water, no real downtown, very little unique architecture, no real party district (anymore), not a big food town, Pro Sports are just meh, and no major Arts scene.

West Coast CPA

July 17th, 2012
10:35 am

@GA Peach. It’s not that it’s bad here. It’s just that so many other cities are just way more cooler and interesting. – That’s all.


July 17th, 2012
10:43 am

The airport. #GOHOME


July 17th, 2012
11:52 am

These comments are so funny


July 17th, 2012
11:53 am

Atlanta is lame. There is the aquarium and nothing else worth doing. If you are reading this thinking about Atlanta for vacation, think about real cities with real cultural diversity. Like NY, Chicago and san francisco.


July 17th, 2012
11:55 am

It’s crazy that so many people are being held in Atlanta against their will. Too bad that Atlanta is surrounded by the Berlin Wall and federal law prevents people from moving.

Either that, or this is just a bunch of racist nonsense.


July 17th, 2012
11:57 am

The Varsity – it’s an Atlanta institution.
The Pink Pony – always a fun anytime.
Clermont Lounge – where strippers go to die, and it’s still good for late night partying.
Lenox/Phipps – world class shopping (you do have to get around the undesirables).
The Ritz – one the best brunches on Sunday.
Muss&Turners/Local Three – my personal favorite for easy breezy dining.
Stone Mountain – laser show, hiking, and events.
Piedmont Park – it is what it is…usually great events.
The Botanical Gardens – always romantic, and a good time.
High Museum – always great.
Vortex – just good fun food and drinks.
The Punchline – if you like the Comedian…go.
FoGo De Chao – personal favorite, the salad bar is tops.
Sun Dial – great views and drinks.

I don’t get how anyone doesn’t see Atlanta’s appeal. Maybe it’s the urban sprawl, integration, traffic, or that you miss your last residence…I dunno, but there’s always something to do in Atlanta. There’s so many venues and activities that you’d have to be socially stunted to not find an activity. I’ve never had any visitor complain about this city besides the traffic.

Like most Southerners, if you don’t like it here…GTFO.


July 17th, 2012
12:07 pm

As the great Philosopher Lewis Grizzard once said, “Delta is ready when you are”. If you don’t like Atlanta get the heck out. Only an idiot would spend their life living in a place that they despised. Hey, you may not miss us, but we most assuredly will not miss you.


July 17th, 2012
12:07 pm

Truth hurts. The city is lame. I suppose I would pretend to like it too if I was stuck here. Fortunately I am only know lame town temporarily. Must suck knowing you can’t leave.


July 17th, 2012
12:17 pm

@Lawdawg, I know the first reaction by Atlantans is to frame things in race, but this has to do with a city with no reason to exist. I suspect quite a few folks would be out of here as quick as possible if they werent victims of the incredibly overbuilt housing and condo market.


July 17th, 2012
12:18 pm

Atlanta Chinatown Mall (6) restaurants in the food court and Oriental Pearl OMG.

Happy to live here...

July 17th, 2012
12:29 pm

Although I have only been here for 4 years, my standard siteseeing tour for weekend visitors is the World of Coke or the Aquarium, a walk through Centennial Park, the CNN Center and the King Memorial. For extended visits, we throw in Stone Mountain or Six Flags or a Braves/Hawks game. There will also be a meal at Gladys and Ron’s Chicken and Waffles or the Varsity.

Its sad when the newer folks like their city better than the long-term residences! Maybe if people had a better attitude, it might make the city a better place to live.

Ray From NY

July 17th, 2012
5:51 pm

Love going to the West End mall


July 19th, 2012
1:12 am

To the airport so they can get out of this boring city as soon as possible!

Mrs. D

July 19th, 2012
6:47 pm

MLK Memorial, Waffle House, Gladys and Ron’s Chicken and Waffles, The Varsity, Camicakes, Sun Dial

Mrs. D

July 19th, 2012
6:50 pm

Also, I forgot to add two more… I take my out of town guests to see the megachurches (New Birth, Word of Faith, World Changers, Charles Stanley church) and the houses in metro Atlanta. Alot of people from out of state have never seen a megachurch in person nor have they see a big house that you can buy for cheap

Paul Mackie

July 20th, 2012
10:50 am

I loved my bike tour of Atlanta. Saw so much that I had no idea was there! I wrote three blogs with lots of photos about it here:


July 20th, 2012
3:20 pm

Definately Stone Mountain, The Varsity, Sundial (for drinks) and Buford Hwy (for food) and then fill in the blanks with other places depending on my guests interests.