If you’re planning to take a trip through the south, you have to stop for a visit in Atlanta. The capital of Georgia is one of the largest cities in the southeast. It boasts a vibrant nightlife and world-class dining.
There are plenty of things to do in Atlanta. Knowing the best time to visit could help you avoid the crowds so you can make the most of your trip. Busy towns can cause frustration, but if you act at the right time, you can make your trip as uneventful as possible.
We’ll show you the best time to visit Atlanta, depending on what you want to get out of your trip. You’ll see the best restaurants, the nicest hotels, and the most fun concerts.
We’ll also tell you when the best time is to come and let your geek flag fly. We’ll also let you know when the worst time is to visit Atlanta. This guide will help you get the most out of your trip and protect your wallet as much as possible.
Why You Should Visit Atlanta
Atlanta has many things to offer regardless of your lifestyle or tastes. It is a big city with various attractions, exhibits, and activities. Its size, compared to the surrounding areas, makes it a magnet for many different types of people and cultures.
However, it only takes a short drive to get away from the hustle and find yourself looking at the quiet countryside. Atlanta has become a hotbed of activity in the movie and television industry. Because of its location with access to many kinds of landscapes, it makes a perfect place to film.
It has been dubbed “Y’all-ywood” by filmmakers going there to shoot and is the home of many Marvel films and TV shows like The Walking Dead. There are many reasons to take your family to Atlanta.
While there is plenty for adults to enjoy, there are also many things kids will love. Public play spaces, museums, and rides are visible everywhere you look.
Overall Best Time to Visit Atlanta
The best time to visit Atlanta overall is between March and May. The weather is milder, and the weather is more predictable. There are a lot of outdoor concerts and events to enjoy.
Many of the flowers and green spaces throughout the city will be in full bloom at that time. Being in the south, Atlanta has milder winters than many parts of the country. December to January is another time that may be ideal for many people wanting to visit.
Atlanta hosts quite a few festivals that time of year, such as Oysterfest and the Atlanta Winter Beer Festival. And for football fans, the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl occurs in December or January every year.
Cheapest Time to Visit Atlanta
If you want to visit Atlanta for less, winter months like January are more affordable. The post-holiday season is not a time most people want to travel. Many hotels have lower rates at that time of year, as well as lower flight fares.
There are plenty of inexpensive things to do in Atlanta year-round. If you want to visit the city and not spend a lot of money, be sure to have some of these on your list of things to do while you are there.
Autrey Mill Nature Preserve
Atlanta sits in the middle of the most beautiful scenery you’ll ever see. Accessing some of the green spaces around the city is something you shouldn’t miss.
This preserve has 3 miles of trails where you can see some of the countryside and visit animals like Pebbles, the African spurred tortoise, and Maggie, a Nigerian dwarf goat.
Centennial Olympic Park
While it was made famous during the dark events surrounding the 1996 Summer Olympics, this park is a relaxing space in the middle of the city. It has playgrounds, gardens, stages for concerts, and plenty of open space for exercise.
Walking Dead Tour
Many companies will take you on tours in and around the city to some filming locations used in the iconic show The Walking Dead.
You can pay someone to take you to the places used in the show, and tell you about them, or you can download the information and go for yourself. If you are a fan, you will love seeing some of the places they used to film it.
Least Busy Time to Visit Atlanta
If you want to get the best out of your visit to Atlanta while avoiding many of the crowds, you might enjoy going between January and April.
However, Atlanta is a destination for conventions. Many are scheduled that time of year for those same reasons. Be sure to check the schedule for the hotel you chose, as you may not want to use one that is hosting a big event.
While many outdoor concerts and special events are scheduled for later in the year, there are many things to do in Atlanta in late winter and spring.
Comedy shows, beer festivals, and rodeos are scheduled for those months. And some attractions, like the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coke, are open year-round. Another time of year that may not be as busy is between October and December.
Some crowds come into the city for Halloween events and to do a lot of shopping for the holidays. However, many of those crowds will be concentrated in certain areas of the city.
Worst Time to Visit Atlanta
Many travelers dislike visiting a big city like Atlanta during the summer months. While Atlanta can be full of special events like concerts and festivals all summer, it is typically hot, humid, and full of foot and vehicle traffic.
Hotels are typically full during the summer as well. A number of conventions are scheduled for that time of year, so the rooms are booked up to a year in advance. Airline fares are usually higher as well.
It may be difficult to book a seat on a flight, and you will pay heavily when you do. The weather is also unpredictable throughout the summer. Because of the heat and humidity, heavy thunderstorms are a common occurrence.
And later in the summer, hurricane season arrives. Storms that form in the Gulf of Mexico can affect the city, bringing heavy rains and high winds that can be dangerous.
If you head to Atlanta during the summer, there are ways to avoid crowds and still have a good time.
- Check with your hotel to be sure you are not staying in one hosting an event like a convention.
- Consider visiting some of the exhibits or attractions that are not frequented by visitors in the summer. Museums are a good place to get away from crowds.
- Schedule activities so you can avoid driving in the city. Use public transportation or ride-share programs to keep your stress low.
However, the city is popular because of the number of things to do in the summer. The city is teeming with activity. Here are some of the attractions and events people love attending every summer in Atlanta.
Many call it the ComiCon of the south. This festival takes place Memorial Day weekend and boasts attendance nearing 100,000. People come from all over the world to cosplay as their favorite characters, attend panels put on by their favorite TV and film stars, and get their pictures taken with celebrities.
Summer Music Festivals
Regardless of what kind of music you like, you can find a summer music festival in Atlanta that will fit you. Top recording artists in indie, country, and alternative rock music come out to perform at these venues. Some of them are low-cost or even free.
Six Flags Over Georgia
The Atlanta area boasts one of the largest theme parks in the south. Six Flags has over 40 rides, from water rafting to some of the most thrilling rollers available.
Things to Consider
When you decide to go to Atlanta, you’ll have specific destinations in mind. You’ll head to a special event like a concert or one of the popular attractions like the Georgia Aquarium. You should keep these things in mind when planning your trip.
- Atlanta is full of history: Atlanta, Georgia, has been around for a long time and has generations of history. You can visit the resting place of many Civil War soldiers at Oakland Cemetery, see historical industrial places like the Dixie Coca-Cola Bottling Plant, or see the home where Civil Rights movement leader Martin Luther King Jr. was born.
- Driving is stressful: The traffic in Atlanta can be hectic. People who do not travel the city streets regularly can spend a long time looking for a turn or finding a place to park. There are several options for commuting, like using the MARTA network or calling for a ride-share.
- Don’t spend all your time downtown: There are a lot of things to do in downtown Atlanta. And the look of the city from Centennial Olympic Park can be luring enough to spend an entire day there. However, there are many things to see in other parts of the city, like nature preserves and Civil War battlefields, so expand your trip to take some of it in.
- You might see a celebrity: Many TV shows and films are made in Atlanta all the time. There is a chance you could see Chris Evans or Benedict Cumberbatch around town while you’re shopping or getting a bite to eat. There are a lot of places you can go if you want to see some celebrities, but be respectful of their time and space.
- Atlanta is for foodies: If you like trying food from all over the world or want to get the best American foods, Atlanta has it all. World-class chefs create menus at restaurants all over the city. Or you can find out-of-the-way eateries in the side streets that could have some of the best shawarma you’ve ever had.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the questions often asked about traveling to Atlanta, Georgia:
What is Atlanta known for?
Atlanta is one of the biggest cities in the south and also one of the most historically and culturally significant. It is the birthplace of Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and the site of several of the movement’s most important moments. It is also a city full of various races, cultures, and lifestyles, making it a magnet for people of all types.
Does Atlanta have a beach?
Atlanta was originally a railroad town nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. It is not near the ocean. You’ll have to make a five-hour drive to reach the coast, but you can be in Pensacola, Florida, or Tybee Island, just off the Georgia coast, within a day.
What food is Atlanta famous for?
While you can get food from all over the world in Atlanta, there is no doubt that the city’s southern roots shine through. All kinds of southern cuisine are available at restaurants everywhere. You will find everything from crispy fried chicken to southern-style barbecue.
Does it snow in Atlanta?
January is the coldest month in the southern US. The temperature may dip below freezing at night but will usually warm up during the day. Snow happens occasionally, but not often. When snow does fall, it is nowhere near the heavy amounts northern cities can get.
Is Atlanta a friendly city?
Atlanta is a big city, but it is also a southern town. The people are friendly, for the most part, and show a lot of genuine southern hospitality. It is easier to strike up a conversation with a stranger in Atlanta than it is in many other cities of the same size.
The Best Time to Visit Atlanta: Final Thoughts
Any time of year is going to have its pros and cons when it comes to visiting Atlanta, Georgia. If you are willing to withstand the heat of summer, you will have the bonus of a lot of festivals and concerts to pick from.
However, you will have to pay more for a hotel, and airline tickets to get there will be more expensive. Fall is the busiest time of year for Atlanta. There is a full schedule of events at that time of year. However, the crowds can be dense, and the weather is unpredictable.
The best time to visit Atlanta is in the spring. Between March and May, the weather is much milder. There is still plenty to do around the city, and hotel and airline tickets are at the lowest of the year.
Whatever time of year you choose to go to Atlanta, you will find a city that is more culturally diverse and lifestyle-accepting than most anywhere else in the south.
It is a city that is moving forward, which makes it a draw for young people looking for their place to shine. Your visit to Atlanta may be one of the most memorable trips of your life.