If you’re like me and don’t have a lot of time in Atlanta, but want to get a feel for the city read on for an itinerary that samples the Georgia capital’s strong cultural history, arts, attractions and entertainment scenes. There are so many things to do in Atlanta, Georgia in 2 days.

How to Spend 2 Days in Atlanta

Day 1:

Start your day out right with breakfast at The Ritz-How to Spend 2 Days in AtlantaCarlton, Buckhead’s legendary bunch, with a buffet of over 100 items to enjoy. Another great breakfast spot is West Egg Café, which has been awarded best breakfast in Georgia along with other accolades.

Buckhead offers one of the most amazing arrays of residential architecture in the Southeast, if not the entire United States. Make sure to drive around this area to see the homes ranging in architectural style from Georgian and Italian to Tudor and Southern Plantation. You are sure to “oo” and “ahh” as you see large homes nestled in wooded lots.

The Sawn House and Atlanta History Center is a short 10-minute drive from the Ritz. Spanning 33 acres in Buckhead, the Atlanta History Center allows you to explore Georgia’s history through an incredible Civil War exhibit, historic homes, and miles of gardens and trails. The Swan house near the museum takes you back to 1928 and the trails around the home are lined with beautiful lush greenery. Have lunch at the Swan Coach House on the grounds of the Atlanta History Center for Southern charm and delicious food. Don’t forget to try the Swan dessert. It’s a must!

From the History Center drive towards Centennial Park to the Georgia Aquarium. You will need about 2 hours to enjoy the whole museum. If you have kids or enjoy Coca-Cola, you might want to check out the World of Coca-Cola right outside of the Georgia Aquarium in Centennial Park. The CNN Center is also in this area, where you can take a 50-minute tour to learn the behind-the-scenes mechanics of how a major network covers global news.

Have dinner at the Vortex for one of the best burgers around. Once you are full, walk down the street (once you exit the door turn right) and then wonder around Little Five Points area to do some shopping, people watching or bar hopping. Note that the Vortex is smoking friendly, so if this is not for you, another recommendation would be The Busy Bee Café, a soul-food wonderland that has been open since 1947. This restaurant is closed on Sundays and is small and very busy, but it’s worth the wait.

Wind down your long day with drinks at the rooftop bar at the Glen Hotel SkyLounge. The view is sure to impress, and the handcrafted fusion cocktails make enjoying the view of the city and Centennial Park that much better.

Day 2:

Have breakfast at Thumbs Up, Silver Skillet or Radial Café. You might want to take a drive to Midtown where you can walk among the high-rises and get in some shopping.

Today you will enjoy more history at the Emory Michael C. Carlos Museum, a hidden gem in Atlanta. Located on the historic quadrangle of Emory University the collection impressed even my husband, who is a museum connoisseur. With over 16,000 works of interesting artifacts from Egypt, South America, the Mediterranean and the Far East. The impressive artifacts of the Americas, ancient Inca and Mayan pottery, jewelry and carvings have excellent descriptions.

Head over to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. If you’re not into huge dinosaurs, you can also choose the High Museum of Art. Where you will take in over 320,00 square feet of featured exhibits as well as a permanent collection of over 11,000 items including Monets, Battistas, and Tanners.

Walk the beltline near the Krog Street market, a 9-acre development that houses restaurants and shops along with an impressive selection of beer from Hop City. Find a table and make yourself at home trying different foods and beverages. If you want to try Superica Mex-Tex inspired restaurant, make sure to make reservations, this place can get very busy. You can also end your day near Turner Field at The Varsity Drive-in for dinner and load up on onion rings and chili cheese dogs. If you are looking for a higher end dinner and drinks location, look no further than Barcelona Wine Bar. Specializing in tapas and wine and well known for excellent service, Barcelona Wine Bar is sure to please.

Other things that you should do if you have time:

  • Go to victory sandwich bar in Decatur and enjoy the Decatur area
  • Go to Ponce City Market – In the historic Sears, Roebuck & Co. building in Atlanta that now houses a Central Food Hall, various shots, flats, and offices.
  • Visit downtown Roswell (30 mins north) – At the convergence of Highway 9 and Canton Street, you’ll find a host of galleries that range from photography at the Ann Jackson Gallery on Canton to works by local artists at the Raiford Gallery.