Midtown Atlanta is right in the heart of the bustling Peach State capital. This is a neighborhood full of intrigue, with cultural attractions, world-class shopping, green space, phenomenal museums, and so much more all combined into one district. While the nearby Downtown Atlanta area often gets a lot of press and visits — what with being home to the Georgia Aquarium, Centennial Olympic Park, and the World of Coca-Cola — you'd be remiss to skip out on a visit to Midtown.

There are so many places to visit in Midtown Atlanta that it's almost overwhelming to try to compile a must-see list. This is one of the best neighborhoods in one of the best Southern cities, and it's a perfect place to dip your toes into the vibrant wonder that is Atlanta. If you're wondering about what to do in Midtown Atlanta, here are a few of the best things to do in this wonderful neighborhood on your next trip:

Quick Answer Guide: 12 Best Things to Do in Midtown Atlanta

‌Top Things to Do in Midtown Atlanta‌

‌Best Things to Do During the Day in Midtown Atlanta‌

‌Best Things to Do Outdoors in Midtown Atlanta‌

‌Best Things to Do at Night in Midtown Atlanta‌

  • Best for anyone looking to eat at one of the most iconic restaurants in Atlanta - Vortex Bar and Grill
  • Best for those looking for live entertainment, such as concerts and comedy shows - Center Stage Theater

‌Free Things to Do in Midtown Atlanta‌

  • Best for anyone wanting to head out for the afternoon and check out shops - Atlantic Station
  • Best for those looking for a quieter, more secluded park than Piedmont Park will enjoy Waterworks Park - Waterworks Atlanta
  • Best for anyone looking to stretch their legs, whether you're an experienced hiker or a novice looking to explore new neighborhoods - Atlanta BeltLine

Top Things to Do in Midtown Atlanta

If you find yourself with just a few hours to spend in the neighborhood and need to find the main things you absolutely must do in Midtown Atlanta, you'll want to focus on the district's top attractions. These are all places to visit in Midtown Atlanta that belong on every visitor's itinerary, whether you're visiting for an afternoon or plan to spend a whole week in the ATL.

1. High Museum of Art

  • Perfect For:‌ Anyone with any interest in art
  • Website:www.high.org‌
  • If You Go:‌ Coat check is free, and strollers are allowed.

The High Museum of Art is among the largest visual art galleries in the southeast. It's located on Peachtree Street and is a division of the Woodruff Arts Center, which is also home to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Alliance Theatre. The High Museum of Art has more than 312,000 square feet of space, and more than 18,000 works of art are on permanent display here.

There's a special emphasis on American art and photography, but you can also find African art, folk art, European art, and more. The High frequently has special events, festivals, and traveling exhibits, meaning each time you visit feels like a new experience. There's an on-site restaurant and plenty of activities for kids at this art museum, making it an excellent outing for the entire family.

2. Fox Theatre

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  • Perfect For:‌ Lovers of live performance of any kind
  • Website:www.foxtheatre.org
  • If You Go:‌ Take a guided tour. The Fox Theatre offers a variety of tours throughout the year if you'd like to learn more about the building's fascinating history.

"The Fabulous Fox" is the most historic theater in Atlanta. It originally opened as a movie theater in 1929 and has a unique Moorish design. It's one of my favorite venues to catch an off-Broadway play, but it also hosts films, ballets, concerts, and comedy shows.

There's not a bad seat in the house, and the view is wonderful even from the highest seats in the balcony level. The architectural details here are incredible, and even if you don't particularly have an interest in live theater, it's worth a visit just to admire the building.

3. Margaret Mitchell House

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Margaret Mitchell only wrote one novel during her career, but it's perhaps the most famous novel about the South of all time: "Gone With the Wind." She penned "Gone With the Wind" while living in this home, which is now part of the Atlanta History Center.

The History Center offers a look at how the controversial book and film manage to be historically inaccurate with regards to slavery, and yet remain hugely influential.

Best Things to Do During the Day in Midtown Atlanta

If you're not planning to be out late and only have daytime hours to explore, don't worry. Many places considered "must do" in Midtown Atlanta are open during the day, so you'll have no trouble planning out a schedule that's limited to daylight hours.

4. SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film

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  • Perfect For:‌ Anyone with an interest in the history of fashion in cinema
  • Website:www.scadfash.org
  • If You Go:‌ The elevator in the parking garage is a little strange. You have to go to level M to access the museum.

The Savannah College of Art and Design's primary campus is in Savannah, but the satellite campus in Atlanta is growing in leaps and bounds. The college recently opened the SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film. This museum hosts fashion exhibits, such as designer gowns and haute couture.

The pieces on display here are quite striking, even if you don't have a strong interest in fashion. Fashion is a medium that's often not thought of as an art, but when you see the outfits here, you'll be in awe of their beauty.

5. Center for Puppetry Arts

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  • Perfect For:‌ Families, or anyone with an interest in learning more about puppetry
  • Website:https://puppet.org
  • If You Go:‌ Make sure to check the calendar of events on the website when planning a trip. There's a lot scheduled here, including adults-only Puppets and Pints, kid-friendly shows, and more.

Puppetry is not often thought of as an art form, but you'll certainly have a greater appreciation for it after a visit to the Center for Puppetry Arts. This is one of the largest puppet museums in America, with 5,000 puppets in the museum, several interactive exhibits, and more than 600 performances put on each year.

The Jim Henson Wing includes retired Muppets and Sesame Street puppets, but there are lots of other famous figures here, too. Several of the mask prototypes from "The Lion King" are on display, and also a puppet from the smash hit "The Dark Crystal." This is one of the best museums in Midtown Atlanta and especially perfect for those traveling with kids.

Best Things to Do Outdoors in Midtown Atlanta

Atlanta may be a busy metropolis that's one of the largest cities in the South, but that doesn't mean there aren't green places to visit in Midtown Atlanta. Some of the city's most vibrant hidden gems are parks, which are located in Midtown, and you can easily enjoy an entire day outside here if the weather is cooperative.

6. Atlanta Botanical Garden

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  • Perfect For:‌ Lovers of the outdoors
  • Website:https://atlantabg.org
  • If You Go:‌ The holidays are an especially magical time here, with the Garden Nights, Holiday Lights event. It's a wonderful time to plan a trip.

The Atlanta Botanical Garden spans 30 acres and it's one of the best botanical gardens in Georgia. Not only does the garden have themed plant collections on display, there's also a 600-foot canopy walk that will take you through the treetops of the forest.

The orchid collection here is the largest in the country. Exhibits change out regularly, with various works of art having been on display here through the years.

7. Piedmont Park

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  • Perfect For:‌ Anyone who loves the activity of a city but seeks the solace of nature
  • Website:https://piedmontpark.org
  • If You Go:‌ There's almost always something on the schedule here, whether it's a farmers market, massive festival, or a concert. Make sure to check the calendar of events and see what's coming up.

Piedmont Park lies in between Midtown and the Virginia Highlands neighborhood, and this is one of the best urban parks around. It spans 189 acres and almost always has something going on.

It's a great place for a stroll or jog, but you'll also find tennis courts, playgrounds, a fishing lake, and picnic shelters. Dogs are allowed on leash throughout the park except during special events, and there are two dog parks where friendly dogs can play off-leash.

Best Things to Do at Night in Midtown Atlanta

Cities don't sleep, and just because it's nighttime doesn't mean that Atlanta shuts down. Some of the best things to do in Midtown Atlanta have late hours. You won't have to call it quits just because the sun's going down. Enjoy some of the nightlife!

8. Vortex Bar and Grill

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  • Perfect For:‌ Anyone looking to eat at one of the most iconic restaurants in Atlanta
  • Website:https://thevortexatl.com/
  • If You Go:‌ Note that both Vortex Bar and Grill locations are 21+, so you'll need to find childcare if you're traveling with kids.

Looking for the best burgers in Atlanta? Look no further, Vortex Bar and Grill has them. There are two Vortex locations in Atlanta, one in Midtown and one in the artsy Little Five Points neighborhood.

This place has been open for 30 years and is a mainstay of the Atlanta foodie scene. The burgers are huge and there's a wide array of sides on the menu and, of course, amazing beers on tap.

9. Center Stage Theater

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  • Perfect For:‌ Those looking for live entertainment, such as concerts and comedy shows
  • Website:https://www.centerstage-atlanta.com/
  • If You Go:‌ This is actually three venues in one: The Loft, The Vinyl, and Center Stage. Don't be confused if you see references to any of those names.

Center Stage Theater hosts a wide variety of events, and you never know what will be on the schedule for these three venues. Everything from wrestling to live concert performances turns up here, and it's an extremely popular venue for comedy shows too. A number of famous names have performed here in the theater's five-decade history.

Free Things to Do in Midtown Atlanta

You don't have to spend a lot of money to have a great time. Many of the best things to do in Midtown Atlanta won't cost you a dime. Whether you're stretching your legs on a stroll through Piedmont Park or checking out a street market at Atlantic Station, it's quite possible to explore many of the best things to do in Midtown Atlanta without opening your wallet.

10. Atlantic Station

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  • Perfect For:‌ Anyone wanting to head out for the afternoon and check out shops
  • Website:https://atlanticstation.com
  • If You Go:‌ Many of the businesses here offer parking validation if you park in the on-site deck.

One great thing I love about Atlantic Station is it's only as expensive as you want it to be. There are more than 30 boutique shops here, plus tons of restaurants — so if you've got extra money burning a hole in your pocket, you certainly can spend it here.

However, the area also occasionally hosts free craft fairs, live music, and festivals that won't cost a dime. There's also a movie theater, museums, and a bowling alley at Atlantic Station, as well as an IKEA. There's really something for everyone at Atlantic Station!

11. Waterworks Atlanta

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  • Perfect For:‌ Those looking for a quieter, more secluded park than Piedmont Park will enjoy Waterworks Park
  • Website:https://www.facebook.com/AtlantaWaterworksPark/
  • If You Go:‌ Bring a hammock — the views of Atlanta's skyline don't get much better than this!

Waterworks Atlanta is a newer park that just opened up fairly recently. It's much smaller than nearby Piedmont Park, but that means it's more quiet and secluded if that's what you're looking for.

It's a great place to walk the dogs, take the kids out for a stroll, or simply enjoy a bit of green space in the middle of this urban environment. The views of the city skyline are incredible from here, making it a great option for photographers.

12. Atlanta BeltLine

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  • Perfect For:‌ Anyone looking to stretch their legs, whether you're an experienced hiker or a novice looking to explore new neighborhoods
  • Website:https://beltline.org
  • If You Go:‌ If you don't have a bike with you, you can rent one from the Atlanta Bicycle Barn, located right on the Eastside Trail.

Eventually, the BeltLine will span an impressive 44 miles and entirely encircle Atlanta. For now, it's still quite the lengthy trail, with 22 miles spanning several neighborhoods. I love taking a stroll along the BeltLine.

The area is filled with public art like murals, and there's often festivals or concerts being held along the trail. It's a wonderful place to get some exercise in, and it'll show you some neighborhoods you may not be familiar with.

Midtown Atlanta serves as something of an urban oasis, with attractions that can entertain just about everyone, whether you're traveling solo or with friends or family. There are so many great arts and cultural activities in Midtown Atlanta, and it's hard to visit the area's lively parks and not fall in love. The diversity of things to do in Midtown Atlanta make this one of the city's best neighborhoods. It's both the geographical center and the heart of Atlanta, and a visit here is sure to leave an impression.