One Day In Atlanta: Itinerary to Transform and Travel in Atlanta. GA
Updated: Jun 15
You love to travel and have new experiences. You want to get away, recharge, and stay healthy while traveling. Traveling helps you release stress, reinvent yourself, increase happiness, and enhance creativity. You want fun, food, and fitness when you come visit to Atlanta, GA. Maybe, you want to come with your family too? You want to transform and travel.
It's easy to see why Atlanta is ranks in Travel + Leisure's most charming, friendliest cities, and most cultured cities. The city combines fun, food and fitness in every way.
There's plenty to experience one day in Atlanta, GA to transform and travel whether you come solo or with family. After you read this, you may want to stay in Atlanta, GA longer.
Follow this One Day in Atlanta, GA: Itinerary to Transform and Travel. It will help you make the best of your trip even it's a short one. These are my recommendations for the top sights and fun, fitness, and food for your one day in Atlanta. My intention for you is that you choose happy.
My Experiences With Atlanta, GA
If you are connecting with me and us for the first time with FIT Life Creation, I live in Atlanta.
Since I live here I thought it would be great to do our first one day guide on Atlanta.
For a few years, Atlanta was on my radar to visit. In between life and other travel, I hadn't gotten to it yet. When I first came here for an interview, I loved it right away. It really is the city beneath the trees.
The second time I came here I took the train out of the airport directly to Buckhead. Anytime I travel, whether domestically or internationally, I love having convenient public transformation.
I've lived here since 2010. I moved to Atlanta when I was promoted with an energy company to be their Chief Audit Executive in Buckhead in Atlanta. I chose to stay when I became a full-time entrepreneur in 2011 because of the innovative, eclectic, and diverse energy here.
I've gotten to experience most if not all the Top Atlanta sights like Centennial Park, CNN Center, Civil Rights Center, and Ponce City Market. For the foodies, my yummiest moments with friends and family include Two Urban Licks, Mary Mac's Tea Room, Eat Flower Child, and True Food's Kitchen.
I've moved and grooved at fitness studies and danced the night away at Atlanta's dance clubs too. Even though I live here, I love get a ways and having a staycation in the city too.
Fun Facts About Atlanta, GA
There are over 400,000 people living within the city limits. Atlanta is great to live in, and great to visit.
Atlanta is home to CNN, Centennial Olympic Park, Georgia Aquarium and the National Center for Civil & Human Rights - some of my favorites. It's called "Hollywood of the South", it's home to Tyler Perry Studios, and the movie Bad Boys was filmed here too. It's hosted two Super Bowls (I've been to a Atlanta Falcon's game in 2010), home to Atlanta Hawks NBA Team (I've been to 2 games), and home to Atlanta Braves MLB (I went a game when my friend, Isabel came to visit in 2010, and I volunteered at a game once for Leukemia & Lymphoma's Society: Team In Training!).
It is a city that rises from the ashes. During the Civil War, Atlanta was the only city in all of North America to be destroyed in an act of war. The city later adopted the phoenix as the city symbol. Two of Atlanta’s sons won the Nobel Peace Prize – Martin Luther King in 1964 and President Jimmy Carter in 2002.
The city has many diverse neighborhoods. I love living in Buckhead because I walk everywhere or jump on the train. I take Lyft or Uber maybe 2-4 times a month. It's that walkable here in this part of the city (and others), and public transportation friendly.
One Day In Atlanta: Itinerary to Transform and Travel in Atlanta. GA
So let's explore the fun, fitness, and food I recommend for one day in Atlanta, GA.
Depending on when you arrive in the city, and where you stay, feel free to modify your experiences!
I'm sharing here a full 24 hours for your one day in Atlanta. I'm also giving you more reasons to stay longer. I may be biased LOL.
Centennial Olympic Park
I recommend you start your day bright early here. It opens at 7 am the majority of the year.
Make sure and check before you go.
Centennial Olympic Park first opened in 1996 with the Summer Olympics. It was the world's gathering spot. I can only imagine how amazing it was to be here then. It now hosts festivals, live entertainment, and various activities for children.
I love the dancing fountain especially when they play music. I went recently on Monday to enjoy the city. I’ve also taken my mom here when she comes to visit!
It's right by the Marta Line, Skyview Atlanta, Georgia World Congress Center, and Georgia Aquarium, Civil Rights Museum.
Estimated time to walk, run through the fountain, and take some pictures for Instagram:
Tip to Save Money:
Depending what sites, you plan to visit, you may want to get Atlanta's City Pass to save money.
The Atlanta City Pass is good for 9 consecutive days. It covers CNN Tour, Georgia Aquarium, and National Center for Civil and Human Rights. It also offers options.
You may want to plan what sights you will visit and add up the admission fees. If the pass saves you money, get it. I recommend you wait till the day of when you start your one day in Atlanta to buy it just in case life or travel delays happen.
After you visit Centennial Park, you may want to see one of the best views at Skyview Atlanta.
It's right across the street and will see it everywhere you turn while you are in the park.
I went on it once one of the times my friend, Angela came to visit me in Atlanta.
Estimated time to visit, take pictures, and post on Instagram: <30 Min
*If you go on weekends or heavy travel times e.g. Summer, times may be longer.
CNN Studio Tours
You will love the 50 min exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to the world headquarters of CNN with this tour experience. You will get an inside look at how a live broadcast is produced and more!
They offer a VIP tour and a HLN Morning Express Thursday's at 8:30 am with Robin Meade.
She's the longtime anchor of HLN's "Morning Express with Robin Meade", a New York Times best selling author & a singer-songwriter with 2 albums to her name. She's also known for covering the inaugurations of President Obama (2013) & President Trump (2017) on location, and hosting "Ask Oprah's All Stars" at the mogul's request to help kick off the OWN network (2011).
I've been to the CNN Center twice for a tour. Once with my friend, Janelle McCalla when she visited in 2010 before she passed away in 2013. The second time with my mom. I recommend the tour. It's interesting to learn about CNN and have the exclusive behind the scenes tour.
Make sure you take a picture going up the escalator with the CNN sign and globe in the background
Take a picture by the CNN walls either outdoors outside the food court at the ground level, and/or facing Centennial Olympic Park by Omni Hotel.
Estimated time to visit, take the tour, post on Instagram:
and eat lunch at Chick-fil-A at the food court: <2 hours
*If you go on weekends or heavy travel times
e.g. Summer times may be longer.
*Chick-fil-A is closed Sundays
National Center for Civil and Human Rights
If you walk back across Centennial Olympic Park, you will see the complex with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Georgia Aquarium and the Coca-Cola Museum all next to one another.
When you visit the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, bring tissues. The center is designed with the heart of humanity at its core. You will explore the fundamental rights of all human beings. You will leave empowered to join the conversation in your community. Most importantly, make an impact to transform our world.
I went last year for the first time on a weekday (I love to break up my days with fun activities). I loved my visit. I felt informed, transformed, and inspired. On one of their experiences, you sit down and put headphones on your ears (that's all I will tell you), I bawled like a baby and my heart broke.
I also connected deeply with the refugee wall as I was born in Poland, left Poland at 6 months old, and lived at a refuge camp for almost a year in Italy with my parents. As I read the stories, I imagined what it was like for my parents then.
The center share stories and immerses you in experiences that embody empathy.
They also inspire a call to action.
Take a picture in front of the building. The architecture is awesome.
Estimated time to visit, take the tour, post on Instagram:
90 minutes to 2 hours.
If you started by 8am, by now you are right around 3pm if you are following this guide step by step.
You will get to experience the world beneath the waves at Georgia Aquarium.
This is the largest aquarium in the world. Expect to spend anywhere from 2-4+ hours easily.
I love anything to do with water and the ocean. I've been here several times. I went for the first time in 2010, when my best friend, Janelle came to visit. She passed away in 2013 from cancer. I share more about her in my transformation story. I love that I got to visit with her, my mom, and recently for a networking event last year.
They have a variety of experiences and encounters that you and the kids would love. I love to climb underneath the penguin portals, watch the shows, pet the starfish (two fingers only!). There is so much you will learn about the world beneath the waves. They have a behind the seas tour I just learned about, animal encounters, and a sleep under the sea experience. I plan on having an animal encounter in the next year or less.
I love the oceans and its incredible wildlife. I got to swim with dolphins in Jamaica a few years ago. They are so playful! We hugged and they picked me up with their noses so I surfed across the water so to speak! Did you know they can tell if a woman is pregnant well with their vision? The main reason why I became a certified scuba diver is I love the ocean, wildlife, and silence in the water. The Georgia Aquarium also offers a diving experience so who knows what the future holds.
You will get lost in the encounters and experiences when you visit.
Take a pictures of experiences and encounters.
Estimated time to visit, take the tour, post on Instagram:
If you started by 8am, by now you are right around 6pm if you are following this guide step by step.
Atlanta has incredible places to eat. Here I'm sharing some of my favorites.
Two Urban Licks
If you want to explore Old Fourth Ward and the Beltine, I recommend Two Urban Licks. They are an Atlanta Staple with live music nightly. The outside looks like a warehouse when you pull up or park. The inside looks like a huge loft with a kitchen in the middle and a restaurant in the middle of it all.
They also have an incredible outdoor patio to enjoy the outdoors and on the Beltline. I've gone here countless times. I love their Salmon Chips (another Atlanta staple). Their veggie plate is amazing. I love their Salmon too. Honestly, everything I've ever had here is amazing.
I've taken my mom for Mother's Day, my friends Angela and Raqisha, Misty and Joe, Brisa and Jesse , and hosted my 27th birthday here once to name a few visits lol!
You will love the vibe with the live music, outdoors, and lofty feel too.
Tip: If you are here on a weekend, you will want to book via OpenTable.
Eat Flower Child
If you want a healthy cafe type vibe with an instagrammable wall with shopping next door - Lenox Square Mall anyone - you will want to go to Eat Flower Child. This is a foodies dream!
They also have locations in other states you may want to check out for your travels.
Whether for fun or a meeting, I love to pick this place. It's healthy from the inside out. Right when you come inside, you see bright and friendly faces greeting you. They are open from 11 am to 9 pm. If you plan on going for lunch, I recommend coming right at 11. It gets crowded! Dinner time is more low key. My two favorites on the menu are the Crushed Avocado Toast and Mother Earth bowl.
You place your order upfront and it's usually brought to you within 10 minutes or less.
You will love the food and the vibe. I know I do!
Eclipse de Luna - Miami Circle
I love the vibe here. I came here for a night that holds a special place in my heart in September the first year I was in Atlanta in 2010. I've taken my mom here when she visited. I've had one of my birthday nights here. I've also come here with my good friends Silvana and Mirela.
The tapas are incredible. I recommend Paella de Verduras, Patatas Bravas (Red Spanish Potatoes), Sauteed Shrimp, Grilled Salmon, and Ceviche.
The vibe and music are awesome. If you want to do something fun at night, I recommend you start here. Right down the street, there's also a great dance spot - Tongue & Groove.
Reasons to Stay in Atlanta, GA Longer than One Day
Depending on what is important to you, you may follow the itinerary or you may decide to stay longer. Here are some reasons why.
You may want to make sure you have time for MLK Center.
Tip: Depending on when you arrive or depart, MLK is also close to the airport. So, you could visit the center when you arrive, or right before you leave. You could also stay in Atlanta longer than for one day!
Martin Luther King, Jr National Historic Park
At the Martin Luther King, Jr National Historic Park, learn all about the history of the man who was a dreamer moved by destiny into leadership of the modern civil rights movement. You can visit the home where Martin Luther King, Jr grew up, the visitors center, and The King Center.
You will walk in his footsteps, and hear his voice in the church where he moved hearts and minds. You will marvel at how he was an instrument for social change.
I am deeply passionate about transformation, inspiration, and purpose on this planet. I believe Love has no color. I was also a member of the NAACP in college. As a result, I made it a point to visit my first few months in Atlanta in 2010. I went with Janelle, and with my mom when she visited.
You will leave here transformed and inspired at the impact of a life and a death. You will reflect at the movements we have made in humanity, and the moves we have yet to make. Transformation takes time.
Atlanta Beltline and Ponce City Market
Atlanta Beltline is one of the largest, most wide-ranging urban programs in the United States transforming a city.. It will ultimately connect 45 intown neighborhoods via a 22-mile loop of multi-use trails, modern streetcar, and parks.
The easiest way to access it is by heading on over to Ponce City Market. Its a recently developed historic building in Atlanta, with shopping, restaurants, a food hall, and more. You could grab a freshly squeezed juice at one of my favorites Lucky Lotus or grab a bite at Marrakesh, a mediterranean inspired spot.
Tip: Rent a bike at Ponce City Market and ride on Beltline.
You will get a workout in and see some amazing street art.
Piedmont Park is in the heart of the city in midtown and <10 minutes from Ponce City Market. The park has over 200 acres to roam, a dog park, Green Market on Saturdays, and hosts countless events and sports. I love it here its so peaceful most of the time.
I've been here countless times whether to simply walk around, sit in nature, and/or journal. I recently was at Piedmont Park in April 2019 and attended Wanderlust Fest. I loved simply being in the energy and vibe. I did my first AcroYoga class with Koya Webb. I got to connect with MindBody and more!
It's a spot you will definitely want to add to your list, whether now or later.
Where to Stay
My favorite places to stay now locally and around the world are with AirBnb's. (here is a coupon for you if you've never booked with AirBnb before). I've stayed in homes and villas around the world including our Cuba and Costa Rica Retreats. I've also stayed at them for my staycations in or around Atlanta.
One of my favorites is BridgeHouseAtlanta. Jackie and Chris and Hercules (their dog) are amazing. You can see both of our reviews on their page. Their place is also less than 4 miles from Centennial Olympic Park.
I bonded with the whole family - here I am with Hercules. Jackie and I went to Vixen Workout the same day I checked out!
Like with anything else in life, if you try this I urge you to pick hosts, homes, properties, and experiences that show reviews, safety, and service.
W Atlanta Buckhead
W Atlanta Buckhead hotel is right down the street from my house. I've gone here for some networking and fashion events. It's right across the street from the Marta Station (so you can hop on to get to Centennial Park - Buckhead Marta to Phillips Station) It's next door to Eat Flower Child and Lenox Square Mall.
They also have an incredible rooftop pool. I love the mural too!
Pampering for the Ladies
You may have heard of Dry Bar or perhaps you've already gone? You may want a blow out for your day or night in Atlanta. They have a location right down the street from the W Atlanta Buckhead.
I've gone several times and love it every time no matter who does my hair! I've gotten blowouts and braids! I highly recommend Dry Bar if you want to look and feel like a million bucks. I've also modeled with their trainees!
It's one less thing for me to worry about! I'm sure the ladies would agree.
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