The Grant Park Neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia, is a listed historic area surrounding the oldest city park in Atlanta, also called Grant Park. It's full of a variety of wonderful sights and sounds, and this article will cover some of the essential activities that you simply must do in Grant Park.

Quick Answer Guide: 13 Things to Do in Grant Park

‌Best For Top Things to Do in Grant Park‌

‌Best Things to Do During the Day in Grant Park‌

‌Best Things to Do Outdoors in Grant Park‌

‌Best Things to Do at Night in Grant Park‌

‌Free Things to Do in Grant Park‌

Top Things to Do in Grant Park

Grant Park has recently undergone a renaissance fueled by revitalization on the east side and the transition of the disused railroad corridor into an extensive walkway called the Beltline. The gorgeous old Victorian homes and cute bungalows have inspired an influx of hip young professionals who have driven an even grander revitalization effort.

Here are some of the best things to do in Grant Park.

1. Zoo Atlanta

  • Perfect For:‌ Family fun
  • If You Go:‌ Tickets may be purchased online prior to arrival to avoid standing in line. Consider utilizing paid parking onsite if you have young children or mobility issues. Limited street parking can be found nearby if you are up for a bit of a hike.

Zoo Atlanta houses an amazing variety of animals in naturalized environments and is one of the top activities in Grant Park. Some of the most popular residents include giant pandas, red pandas, gorillas descended from Zoo Atlanta icon Willie B, and the spectacular array in the African savanna enclosure. Daily feedings and zookeeper talks are great opportunities to learn more about the animals.

For those traveling with younger visitors, the petting zoo offers the chance for sensory encounters. Feed can be purchased for closer encounters. You can hop on the train for a fun adventure around the area or visit the website to download a “Zoo Seeker” interactive learning sheet. Zoo Atlanta will provide, at no cost with ID, sensory support bags and weighted lap belts for individuals prone to sensory sensitivity.

2. Grant Park

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  • Perfect For:‌ Nature lovers
  • If You Go:‌ There is a paid parking lot at Boulevard SE and Ormewood Ave. There are quiet options away from the main entry, so you may want to scope out the area before choosing your spot.

With 131 acres on the east side of downtown, Grant Park is both the oldest and fourth largest park in Atlanta. Filled with rolling green space, towering shade trees, Grant Park is the perfect location for a lazy afternoon picnic or a quiet place to reflect on your visit to Zoo Atlanta next door.

Stroll through the park, sit by the lake for a peaceful experience. For those of a more active nature, Grant Park has tennis courts, basketball courts, and a free pool. The children’s playground is near the restrooms for added convenience.

Grant Park is also home to the Cyclorama, an 1889 visual art experience depicting the Battle of Atlanta during the Civil War. The building has been renovated and the Cyclorama has recently acquired a new home at the Atlanta History Center a half mile from Peachtree Radd in Buckhead.

3. Oakland Cemetery

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  • Perfect For:‌ History lovers and quiet strolls
  • If You Go:‌ Schedule a tour with a guide to get deeper insights into Oakland Cemetery and the history of Atlanta.

Visiting a cemetery may seem like a strange way to spend an afternoon, but Oakland Cemetery is one of the best things you can do in Grant Park. A stroll through the grounds will take you through Atlanta history, almost from the date of conception. From grand old mausoleums to the tightly packed field of Civil War dead, the burials in each area show the different rituals in stark relief.

Like many Victorian era cemeteries, Oakland is adorned with an abundance of flowers and trees, surrounding you in natural beauty. Yes, it is a cemetery, but it feels like a peaceful park.

Download a map or stop by the visitor center and pick up a self-guided tour map to find the resting place of many famous Atlantans, including golfer Bobby Jones, writer Margaret Mitchell, and singer Kenny Rogers. Themed tours are held regularly. Check online to see what is available for your visit. Oakland is also the host venue for many events and festivals throughout the year.

Best Things to Do During the Day in Grant Park

The beauty of Grant Park is closely tied to its proximity to all downtown Atlanta has to offer. Drive 5 miles, and you can spend the day exploring the best cultural activities in Georgia. Here are a couple places to visit in Grant Park during the day.

4. Georgia Aquarium

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  • Perfect For:‌ Families and lovers of sea creatures
  • If You Go:‌ Purchase tickets in advance for easier entry. You can also add on animal encounters with seals, whales, penguins or go big and splurge on a swim or dive experience.

Georgia Aquarium is in the heart of downtown Atlanta, adjacent to World of Coca-Cola and across the street from Centennial Olympic Park. Walk through an underwater adventure with sharks, beluga whales, stingrays, and more, all while staying comfortably dry. Checking show times online will help you plan the perfect experience. It will take you at least three hours to see everything included in the basic pass.

If you are visiting other area attractions, like the World of Coca-Cola, the College Football Hall of Fame, or The National Center for Civil Rights, consider purchasing a CityPass for a nice discount.

5. World of Coca-Cola

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  • Perfect For:‌ Quirky family fun
  • If You Go:‌ If you tell a local you visited the World of Coca-Cola, they will ask you if you tried Beverly. Beverly is an aperitif from Italy available for sampling at WoC. Look for it in the tasting room.

The big event at World of Coca-Cola is the Tasting Room where you can experience Coca-Cola products from around the world. Learn the history of Coca-Cola through entertaining exhibits and uncover the mystery of the super-secret Coca-Cola formula. World of Coca-Cola is in the main tourist area of downtown Atlanta, directly beside the Georgia Aquarium.

6. High Museum of Art

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  • Perfect For:‌ Art lovers
  • If You Go:‌ The High Museum closes at 5 pm, making it best for a daytime excursion. You should plan to see a show at The Alliance Theater or Fox Theatre in the evening for a day rich in culture.

The High Museum of Art on Atlanta’s famous Peachtree Street is the largest art museum in the southeast. With over 19,000 pieces from around the world, you can spend hours viewing the permanent collection alone. The High Museum of Art also hosts traveling exhibitions from around the world. Check the website to see what is currently in house and to advance purchase tickets.

Best Things to Do Outdoors in Grant Park

Being in the middle of everything comes with definite perks. Grant Park is ground zero for massive growth close to downtown. As the city embraces walkable green space, opportunities for exploring outdoors in Atlanta are growing exponentially. For some in-town outdoor action, try these entertaining options.

7. Atlanta Botanical Garden

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  • Perfect For:‌ Nature lovers
  • If You Go:‌ Book your tickets online to avoid lines. Atlanta Botanical Garden is often open at night for special events and will close to daytime guests. Check the website for information on what is happening the day of your visit.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens is a fertile oasis with 30 acres of outdoor and indoor gardens to explore in. Wander along winding paths surrounded by lush gardens in the shadow of the magnificent Atlanta skyline. Take a stroll under the tree canopy or visit the conservatory to be serenaded by endless amphibian song.

Art is always a part of the Atlanta Botanical Garden experience. Many of the art features are temporary, but there are some gorgeous Chihuly glass sculptures dotting the landscape as well. Fall brings a community scarecrow garden, and winter brings a much beloved holiday light display.

8. Centennial Olympic Park

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  • Perfect For:‌ Sports and history fans
  • If You Go:‌ Centennial Park is in the center of the entertainment district downtown. Many of the parking decks have inexpensive day rates. Find one central to your destinations and head out on foot.

Around the edges of the park are statues and plaques commemorating Olympic history in general, with a specific focus on the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Be sure to walk under the Quilt of Nations, an artistic representation of all the countries who participated in the Atlanta Olympics. Children love running through the Olympic Rings water installation. Many entertainment professionals and athletes have their names engraved on bricks underfoot in the area.

9. Piedmont Park

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  • Perfect For:‌ Outdoor activities
  • If You Go:‌ Although there is a lot of free street parking, it can be a challenge to find a spot exactly where you want. Consider parking along the Beltline and walking in or parking in the lot shared with Atlanta Botanical Garden on Monroe Drive.

Covering 185 acres in midtown, Piedmont Park has been the primary common ground in the city of Atlanta since 1904. Enjoy free access to walking trails, biking trails, two dog parks, and plenty of open space for throwing Frisbees or getting into your yoga flow. The sporting fields fill up fast, so be sure to sign up early for a Bocce, basketball, or tennis court.

The pool is open for summer cooldowns and offers a free swim period daily. The Mayor’s Grove playground is close to restrooms and has sensory-rich features for inclusive playtime. Bring roller-skates for a fresh air glide or rent a bike at Hopr and go explore.

Best Things to Do at Night in Grant Park

Grant Park was created as a neighborhood and still has a quiet residential feel. If you are wondering what to do in Grant Park at night, here are some places to visit for a lovely evening.

10. Elsewhere Brewing

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  • Perfect For:‌ Adult evening out
  • If You Go:‌ Elsewhere offers some quick bites if you feel like hanging out for the night. If you want to mix it up, check out Buteco on the hill or Patrina Cochina a few doors down.

Elsewhere is known for session-able beers and live entertainment to keep you engaged. From trivia to a weekly drag brunch, Elsewhere Brewing has a lot going on, so check the website for weekly details. The friendly staff can guide you through the list to find your favorite beverage. The kitchen favors shareables, many vegan friendly, but you can also grab a burger if you need a meatier option.

11. Atlanta Dairies

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  • Perfect For:‌ Live entertainment and brewery lovers
  • If You Go:‌ Arrive early for good parking and grab a couple drinks at The Imaginarium before heading to The Eastern to catch a show.

Situated a mile from Grant Park is the refurbished Atlanta Dairies complex. The Eastern at Atlanta Dairies is the newest big kid on the block for musical entertainment. Shows are booked through the week as well as on weekends. There are a good mix of well-known artists and up and comers.

Several bars throughout allow for easy acquisition of libations. The Imaginarium from 3 Taverns focuses on experimental craft beer with abundant indoor and outdoor space. Food is available at both The Eastern and The Imaginarium, but look for three new culinary concepts coming soon.

Free Things to Do in Grant Park

There are plenty of free activities in Grant Park, including the area parks. To spend time without spending money, here are the best things to do in Grant Park that are free to the public.

12. Martin Luther King Jr. National Park and The King Center

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  • Perfect For:‌ Civil rights and Black history
  • If You Go:‌ Make time for all the buildings. Some require reservations, but you can make them at in the main building upon arrival.

Auburn Avenue was once considered the most affluent black community not only in the south, but also in America. The birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr., Auburn Avenue was a hotspot for Civil Rights events in Georgia. Today, the area is one of Atlanta’s top visitor attractions.

Stop at the Visitor Center first to get acclimated and register for tours of the fire house and the birth home of Dr. King. Then visit The King Center to see Dr. and Mrs. King’s crypt, Freedom Hall, and the Eternal Flame commemorating the life of Dr. King. Also make time to visit Ebenezer Baptist and listen to the “I Have a Dream” speech in the church where he was pastor.

13. The Beltline

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  • Perfect For:‌ Strolling and sightseeing
  • If You Go:‌ Access the Beltline by climbing the stairs at The Beacon at Hill Street. On the weekends, you should grab some snacks at the Grant Park Farmers Market before you venture on.

One of the best things to do in Grant Park is walking the Beltline. Beltline was once a disused railroad corridor that has been repurposed as a pedestrian, cycle, and skate path that will eventually encircle the city and is perfect for traversing the city during heavy traffic periods. On the westside, you will find a massive entertainment complex filled with restaurants and breweries at Lee and White. On the eastside, visit Ponce City Market food hall and shopping complex or Inman Park. Many local areas accessed by the Beltline.

No matter which way you travel on the Beltline, be sure to watch for vignettes serving as outdoor art galleries. On the eastside, you will find the famous Krog Street graffiti tunnel. Grab a Sammy at the Krog Street Market food hall and wonder down to view the gorgeous, ever-changing visual art.

The exciting revitalization of Grant Park is bringing new opportunities to explore every week. Spend time prowling the Victorian home and bungalow-lined avenues, visit pop-up street markets or just enjoy the natural beauty of this quaint yet vibrant neighborhood in the city.