How to See the Best of Atlanta Attractions on a Budget

There are always plenty of things to do in Atlanta but seeing all of the sights can really break your budget. Today I'm sharing one of my top tips for seeing the very best of Atlanta when you're traveling on a budget.

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One of the things that drew me to this city before we moved were all of the Atlanta attractions because sometimes my favorite vacations are the good ol’ “Staycations.” When you do that you can just chill in your hometown and play tourist. I know that doesn’t really work for everyone (it didn’t work for us in Florida) but it definitely works well for us now. Since we now live in one of the largest (and best) cities in the USA we’ve been able to go through our bucket list and check off a lot of the local Atlanta attractions.

When we first moved here I scoured the internet looking for Atlanta bucket lists (like this one) that would give me a good idea of the must-do, must-see, must-visit places in the city. Our Atlanta bucket list ended up being a manageable 25 items although we knew we could (and would) be adding to it over time. 

That list included, in part:

  • Hanging out at The Earl in East Atlanta (done but not on the blog)
  • Visiting the Georgia Aquarium (see that post here)
  • Visiting the World of Coca-Cola (we’ll get to it)
  • CNN Studio Tours (done but not on the blog)
  • Zoo Atlanta (see that post here)
  • Fernbank Museum of Natural History (done but also not on the blog)

Some of those places offered us complimentary admission in exchange for me sharing our visit on social media and my blog but even if they hadn’t we’d have visited them because they are 100% must-see places. I mean, the whale sharks at the Georgia Aquarium…omg!!! Friends, I was in awe (and you can watch the video here). I could have stood there just watching them swim for hours. My husband had to practically drag me out of Zoo Atlanta because I didn’t want to leave the giraffe exhibit. It was amazing! I just love giraffes.

Ashley LaMar with Giraffes at Zoo Atlanta

After I shared our trip to the zoo but my husband said to me, “Ashley, it’s great that you’re sharing these places but it does get expensive to visit them all during one trip to the city.”

Then, I laughed and in my best (which is terrible) snarky french accent I said, “Au contraire my sweet husband! All they have to do is a get a CityPASS.”

At which point he said, “And they all know to just get a CityPASS?”

And that’s the moment I realized I’d lost the battle as I don’t think I’ve ever actually mentioned CityPASS to you before and if you’re going to visit any Atlanta attractions then you really do need to get a CityPASS first.

What is CityPASS?

It’s a booklet of tickets for the best Atlanta attractions which you buy at a major discount (like 43% or more!).

Where do I buy CityPASS?

You can buy the CityPASS online and either print your voucher or have the CityPASS team mail you a booklet (I usually have them mail a booklet but to each their own, you do you). If you buy the voucher you’ll exchange it at the first attraction you visit for a booklet anyway but you may encounter a line which you could avoid if you just have them mail it to you. No pressure though. You can also wait and buy the booklet at the first attraction but I’ve never done it that way. 

What Atlanta attractions are included?

The CityPASS Atlanta includes admission to the following:

  • Georgia Aquarium (see my post here)
  • World of Coca-Cola
  • CNN Studio Tours
  • Zoo Atlanta (see my post here) OR Center for Civil and Human Rights
  • Fernbank Museum of Natural History OR College Football Hall of Fame

Is it just for Atlanta?

Nope! You can buy a CityPASS for Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, New York, and a host of other cities. You can see all that info here.

So, basically, you save a TON of money and you get to see all of the best attractions in the city. We are planning a trip to New York next year and are hoping to get through all of the NYC CityPASS attractions while we’re there. 

Ashley LaMar
Ashley bounces between Atlanta, GA + Charleston, WV with her husband and two small dogs for life and work. If she’s not writing or blogging, she can usually be found cooking, reading, or watching baseball. Follow her on Twitter @ashleyfromfbl

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  1. Hi, neighbor! I didn’t know you are in Atlanta too. How neat! Thanks for the head’s up about the City Pass — I want to look into that. Two other Atlanta treats that I recommend — Atlanta Preservation Society tours (includes the Fox Theatre!) and the Atlanta History Center.

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    • Oooh a Preservation Society tour sounds great! We went to the Fox Theatre last year and it is so stunning inside! I’m envious of those who are married there (we were married in Florida before moving here) but my God…that place is beautiful. I’ll have to look in to those. Thanks for the heads up neighbor!

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    • Thanks Cara! I loved Zoo Atlanta. We missed a few of the exhibits when we went because the lions were sleeping and the pandas weren’t out but that just means we’ll have to go back when it cools down a bit and hope they come out to play.

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    • I wish more US locations were too. I mean, I know it means that either the lottery would have to support the costs or taxes would go up but I’d be ok with paying a bit more if it meant that the museums, zoos, aquariums, etc were free to visit. *Sigh* Oh well, CityPass to the rescue I guess. Lol.

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