The Perfect 3 Days in Atlanta Itinerary (2020 Guide)

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If you’re looking for a great way to spend 3 days in Atlanta, this is the perfect itinerary for you!

Georgia has a rich history and a plentiful number of great things to do.

Having spent the first 18 years of my life in this great state, I’m glad to call it home.

While I could tell you all about the amazing outdoor adventures you’ll find in Savannah, we’re going to be venturing to Georgia’s more metropolitan region of Atlanta!

Atlanta is well known for having the busiest airport in the world (which is the size of a small city in itself).

But the city has so many experiences to offer aside from its aviation traffic jams.

Take your pick between delving into the southern culture with museums, great food, and historical sites, or taking an outdoor adventure in the neighboring areas.

So, let’s look at some of these experiences and how to spend 3 days in Atlanta!

READ MORE: Check out this awesome 3 days in New Orleans itinerary!

My Perfect 3 Days in Atlanta Itinerary

NOTE: No need to follow this itinerary to the letter. Just be sure to check out these places when you visit Atlanta!

Day 1 – The Highlights

I always recommend starting early when planning an Atlanta itinerary, because there’s a lot to do here!

Breakfast

You must start the day right, and a tasty southern breakfast is like no other!

The first place recommended is the Atlanta Breakfast Club.

They offer some of the most delectable options you could think of, starting from a simple Southern Breakfast (2 eggs, bacon or sausage, potatoes or grits, toast or biscuits) to southern-style biscuits and gravy.

The best part is they’re open 7 days a week, starting at 6:30 am every day!

So, if you’re an early riser like me, you can start your day sooner and still catch a delicious breakfast.

READ MORE: Plan the perfect trip to NYC with our 3-days in NYC itinerary!

Skyview Atlanta

The first day starts off by getting the best view in the city at Skyview Atlanta! A gigantic Ferris Wheel in the heart of Atlanta, Skyview is analogous to the London Eye.

From here, you’ll be able to take in all that is Atlanta and become much better acquainted with the layout of the city.

Obviously, if you’re deathly afraid of heights, this might not be for you.

But if you’re like me and only exposed heights are a problem, then don’t fret on Skyview. The gondolas are perfectly safe, confined, and comfortably fit 6 people!

As a bonus, it’s only a 15-minute walk from Atlanta’s Breakfast Club.

So, it’s the perfect first stop to stretch your legs and let your food settle.

Skyview, the fastest way to see all of Atlanta
Skyview, the fastest way to see all of Atlanta

World of Coca Cola

After enjoying the sights in Skyview, take a short 10-minute stroll down the street to Coca Cola World!

If you grew up in Georgia (America for that matter), you know how big of an impact this company has had on our culture.

Spend the afternoon exploring this museum filled with interesting exhibits about the company’s history and tasting 100’s of different flavors of Coke beverages.

The entire museum is also very easy to navigate and relaxing!

Any trouble or questions you might have aren’t a problem, as there are staff everywhere to help.

The Coca Cola museum is the tastiest part of touring Atlanta
The Coca Cola museum is the tastiest part of touring Atlanta

Dinner

The first dinner in Atlanta isn’t going to be a romantic fine dining restaurant, but a hidden gem known as “Just Around The Corner.”

Offering a selection of burgers, subs, and even a few seafood dishes, Just Around The Corner is a quick but tasty stop.

On top of being mouthwatering, this place is perfect for the first evening in Atlanta, since it’s almost fast food with how quick they fill the order.

Having a quick filled order means you can spend more time exploring the area and relaxing if you’re into exploring the local nightlife.

If you’re looking for a specific meal, try their Bacon Cheddar Burger. It’s simple and I find that southern made food drenched in bacon to be a personal delicacy!

READ MORE: Plan the perfect trip to Chicago with our 3-days in Chicago itinerary!

Day 2 – Parks and Museums

Hope you got some sleep last night, because day 2 is going to be jam-packed!

Breakfast

The second day of this adventure starts at The Flying Biscuit Café!

There are a few in Atlanta though, so make sure you go to the one on Piedmont Avenue in Midtown, as it’s close to the first destination.

The menu can be overwhelming with so many options, all of which sound delicious.

But my two recommendations are the Southern Style Biscuit Benedict or any of their breakfast sandwiches.

The Biscuit Benedict comes with eggs, bacon, a biscuit of course, and grits!

I know grits aren’t for everyone, but if you don’t visit the Southern U.S. often, I highly suggest giving them a chance.

Botanical Gardens

Just across from Piedmont Park, (a short walk from Flying Biscuit) is the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

The garden is a full 30 acres of beautiful flora and on-site lectures!

I know, most people don’t go on vacation to take a class or lecture, but the numerous lectures offered are very insightful and give a deep appreciation for the garden and the plants that occupy it.

If you manage to be in Atlanta during the holiday season, then this botanical garden should go to the top of your to-do list.

After roughly 2-3 hours here (more if you see a lecture), then it’s time to embark on a short 15-minute drive to the Fernbank Museum!

Atlanta’s Botanical Gardens help you appreciate the complexities of nature.
Atlanta’s Botanical Gardens help you appreciate the complexities of nature.

Piedmont Park

This park is what surrounds the botanical gardens, so it’s the shortest walk possible from our last destination.

Piedmont Park is a nice and relaxing place to continue appreciating Georgia flora.

There are numerous paths to stroll through with a small lake in the middle of the park.

I’d recommend making this a lunch spot and planning a picnic.

What is on the menu is up to you, but on a sunny Georgia day, this park ignites in beauty.

Be sure to stop by their welcome center to get a good lay of the land!

Fernbank Museum

The Fernbank Museum is underrated in my opinion, and even that’s after all of the 5-star reviews you’ll find on it.

This place is great to experience and is perfect for families with kids, especially if they have an interest in the sciences.

The museum has quite a few exhibits and they are constantly adding temporary exhibits.

So be prepared when you get there, because some people may want to see their Walk Through Time in Georgia, while others might rush to their entrancing Dinosaur Plaza!

I guarantee that there is something here for everyone and will make everyone you’re traveling with happy.

Just make sure you plan ahead and have an idea of what you want to prioritize seeing.

READ MORE: Plan the perfect trip to Boston with our 3-days in Boston itinerary!

Dinner

It’s been an exciting day at the botanical gardens and the number of things to do at Fernbank has you wore out, time for a relaxing meal!

The dinner for the second night is the locally adored, Woody’s CheeseSteaks.

It’s perfect for a quick dinner after a taxing day, and it probably isn’t a surprise what they specialize in making.

I know the dinner places so far haven’t been fine dining, but you won’t get the true Atlanta experience at most of those places.

The heart of the southern experience is in the food, and there’s nothing like a meal made by a local restaurant!

As an extra, they have phenomenal milkshakes! While the strawberry is a real treat, you can never go wrong with their vanilla bean shake.

Want to do something different? Tour Atlanta on a Segway!

Day 3 – Nature and Culture

You’re up to the final stretch in our 3 days in Atlanta itinerary, so let’s go out with a bang!

Breakfast

The third day will be on the outskirts of Atlanta, with an outdoor adventure to Stone Mountain.

The best option for breakfast is to find someplace in the area and I know just the spot, Huskers Café!

This quaint spot is just a short 8-minute drive from Stone Mountain Park.

The café’s simple but tasteful menu, and proximity to the next destination, make it the perfect place to grab a healthy morning breakfast!

I gave recommendations for the other places, but honestly, I think all of the food here is a treat and think you should pick what sounds best for you!

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get around, I suggest getting a trolley tour.

Stone Mountain

As far as I’m concerned, I’ve saved the best for last. 

Stone Mountain was one of my favorite parts of being in Atlanta, but I’m also a big fan of any outdoor activities.

Stone Mountain is an interesting geological site and you’ll find a lot of information on its formation while you’re there.

The mountain has a carving on one side depicting notable confederate members, and while it’s nice to look at, it’s not the reason I’m recommending it.

The surrounding park is quite peaceful to hike through and the top of the mountain provides a powerful view of the park.

If you love the outdoors but don’t want to hike to the top, no worries since there’s a cable car that will take you straight to the peak!

I do have some tips for this “site to see.”

Since it’s almost a half-day trip, make sure you bring a small backpack for carrying snacks and drinks.

You won’t need to pack a ton. Even a medium-sized bottle of water and some trail mix is enough.

But please don’t litter or leave anything behind, especially if you decide to walk some trails.

Stone Mountain Georgia is the perfect place for an outdoor adventure.
Stone Mountain Georgia is the perfect place for an outdoor adventure.

CNN Studio Tours

Not the most conventional travel idea, but still worth the time!

CNN offers studio tours of their offices and gives an in-depth look at what goes on behind the scenes of one of the biggest news networks on the planet!

They have a few different packages, including one where you get to meet Robin Meade through your tour.

Regardless of the package you choose, it’s a very informative tour and you’ll learn a lot about what goes into creating a successful news organization.

Dinner

The place for dinner for the last night isn’t like the past two, and in all honesty, not very southern.

Instead, we’re going to the Village Corner German Restaurant

You’ve been delving in southern style food the past few days, now it’s time for some genuine foreign cuisine.

This German restaurant specializes in their native dishes and brings a rich part of German culture all the way to Georgia.

If you get excited as I do about German food, then I recommend trying their Jaeger Schnitzel!

They have a very good menu that has plenty to offer, but my mouth always waters at the smell of German Schnitzel.

Overall: Enjoy Your 3 Days In Atlanta

Georgia is the place I grew up and I’m happy to call it my home. I hope anyone who reads this finds it useful, as it offers some of the best things to see and eat that I could recommend.

The 3 days in Atlanta itinerary above gives a list of things to do if you’re a casual traveler who takes their time.

If you’re faster and have the energy for more, there’s plenty to do at night when the party’s start and still see the destinations above. B

e sure to keep reading for the FAQ’s and Tips section to help make your trip a little more enjoyable.

FAQ’s & Tips for an Atlanta Itinerary

Being a local I have lots of tips to help you make the most of your Atlanta travel plans.

What time of the year is best to visit?

Georgia has an easy-going climate most of the year, but I recommend avoiding visiting in the hot summer months such as July to August.

It doesn’t necessarily get unbearably hot, but the high humidity in combination with the heat is horrific.

So, I recommend going in the Fall (April to June) or Spring (September to November) timeframes.

What Are the Best Places to Stay?

I usually choose Airbnb (click here to get USD$35 off your first booking when you sign up), as I always get a comfy place and great tourist tips from the host, all for a good price.

However, the cost of living in Georgia is much lower than most of the U.S., so you can expect to get a very good hotel for as low as $65 per night.

As Atlanta is a large metropolitan area, it has numerous options and you can take your pick based off preference based on a quick search in booking.com.

Booking.com

Is it Safe to Visit Atlanta?

There aren’t any worries when traveling in Atlanta, especially if you’re only visiting the sites in this guide.

You’ll be in a well-populated and safe area in Atlanta, and there are no worries about wildlife at Stone Mountain as it’s all a controlled area.

You won’t be hiking through thick forest with no map or anything, it’s a very open and a frequently walked park.

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About the author

Casey LaClair

Casey LaClair is a 27-year-old travel enthusiast. Having a career in Satellite Communications and pursuing a degree in Computer Science, most of his time is spent hunkered over a keyboard. This love of technology, mixed with a desire to travel, led him to create Viraflare to spread his joy of travel and help others find their way on the road. He’s traveled through the United States, South America, Europe, the Middle East, and even the Arctic Circle. But, that’s just the beginning, as there is always an adventure to be found and somewhere new to explore.

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