We like to travel. A lot. (Thank you, Captain Obvious!) When pressed to give a single, fairly universal travel tip, I’ll reply with this every time. Don’t rely solely on your own knowledge and research if you want to immerse yourself in a location or culture. (Even when the information comes from a comprehensive and award-winning travel site!)
The best way to get to know a new location, the culture, and the history behind it is to spend some quality time with the locals. And one of the best ways to do this is to take part in a local tour.
With a little poking around you’ll see that these tours are everywhere, including Atlanta… Unique food tours, city tours, beer or wine tours, history tours, ghost tours – the options are legion.
And by the way, this advice still rings true when you ARE a local, whether a recent newcomer or longtime resident. We’ve been Atlantan’s for a combined 54 years, and we still learn something new and exciting every time we take one of the Atlanta tours our city has to offer.
Read on to learn more about some of the many tour experiences Atlanta metro has available, and why you should consider taking part in one no matter what your relationship to our great city.
If you want to cover some serious ground and explore diverse Atlanta neighborhoods while discovering their unique culture and history, go with ATL-Cruzers.
ATL-Cruzers offers several modes of transportation to get you around depending on the season and conditions. A trolley tour, electric car tour, Segway tours, and bike rentals. Check the ATL-Cruzers website to see what’s available.
Co-Owner Stephen Chester gave us the scoop to help us decide between options. He told us that if you’re looking to see more of the big picture of Atlanta, go with the trolley tour. You cover more ground and get to see the larger landscape. The Atlanta Electric Car Tour is like taking a private tour without paying a private price, Stephen added. The car only seats five passengers, so if you have a small group you get more one-one-one time with your tour guide than other tours.
But when you’re looking for a more intimate dive into the neighborhoods, and your participants are all 14 and up, the various Segway tour options may be for you.
For a completely private, self-led adventure check out their bike and electric bike rentals, in proximity of the Atlanta Beltline. Options here are also available in Stone Mountain Park at certain times of the year.
Whether a visitor to Atlanta or a long-time local, business traveler or here visiting friends, do not, and I mean DO NOT miss out on a tour with Unexpected Atlanta. Great informational tours always start with great story telling, and Owner Akila McConnell and her top-notch staff are among the best story tellers you will ever find.
Get a fascinating take on Martin Luther King Jr. with the King Historic District Tour where you’ll visit a myriad of historic sites, like the Ebenezer Baptist Church, that helped shape Dr. Kings life – and all of our lives forever. Any teffort to learn about the history of Atlanta or the civil rights movement is not complete without it.
If you’re in the mood for a southern food tour, it’s another one of Unexpected Atlanta’s specialties under their esteemed Atlanta Food Walks brand. Discover some of the flavors of Atlanta with The Grant Park Past & Future Food Walk, which uniquely combines food and history – and oh yes, food tastings into one incredible package.
Check the Unexpected Atlanta website for more info on what’s available, to include virtual tour options, always delivering the best options for Atlanta food and Atlanta history.
For those looking to get the blood flowing a bit more than a walking tour, give Bicycle Tours of Atlanta a shot. Featuring all of Atlanta’s best locations, like Inman Park, Cabbagetown, and the Krog Street Market, Bicycle Tours of Atlanta will guide you there, complete with tour guide and the exercise that we can all use a little more of. What a great way to explore Atlanta and Atlanta history! As always, check their website for availability.
Party while you pedal while checking out the Atlanta brew scene. While there are a number of craft beer tours in Atlanta, Pedal Pub does it a little differently. “Hopp” on one of these unique and interesting-looking pedal cars with ten or eleven others, including a guide, and off you go! The tour also focuses on some of Atlanta’s fabulous street art.
Check their website and faq for more info – but yes, you can bring your own low-alcohol beverages, and you get special pricing for drinks and merchandise.
This is a pretty cool tour option for locals and visitors alike, especially if the typical city tours are not your thing. You may have seen a lot of Atlanta, but have you seen it from 2,000 feet? And no, I’m not talking about a Hartsfield-Jackson runway approach.
With Atlanta Helicopter Tours you can choose from dozens of locations in the metro-area to include Historic Downtown Atlanta, Buckhead, Centennial Olympic Park, and a great view overlooking Piedmont Park and the midtown area.
Tours leave from either Fulton County Airport or Peachtree-Dekalb, and there are so many to choose from!
Spend a little time south of Atlanta in historic Senoia. No matter how you’ve heard it pronounced, the locals say “Seh-noy” so let’s go with that. And Senoia also happens to be one of the primary filming locations of The Walking Dead.
Explore many of those memorable Walking Dead locations with the Georgia Tour Company. It’s one of the only walking tours left of its kind. They also offer a mobile tour, food tours, and ghost tours, so check out their website for dates and availability.
There’s a lot of options around town for ghost tours, but one of the creepiest has to be Ghosts of Marietta. There’s a ton of civil war history in this metro-Atlanta town, a lot of great southern architecture, and as it turns out – a sorted and scary past.
Walking tours and trolley tours are available, to include a haunted pub crawl! The scariest of which features exclusively Budweiser and Coors. Kidding!
If air conditioned bus tours are more your thing, go with Atlanta Sightseeing Bus Tours for a more extended look at the city. They offer a five-hour tour of the City of Atlanta, to include so many of the popular spots you won’t want to miss. This is not a hop-on-hop-off bus tour per say. The bus does stop for extended periods, but you can’t stay as long as you want and catch another bus later on.
Atlanta Sightseeing Bus Tours also offers a North Georgia Wine Country Tour. Check out our post on North Georgia wineries and tours if you’d rather go it alone.
For a more traditional brewery tour go with Southern Beer Tours. They visit all of the must-taste breweries like Monday Night Brewing, Sweetwater Brewing, and Georgia’s oldest, Atlanta Brewing. They also offer options for Gwinnett County, and a unique Brewery and Baseball Tour.
Disclosure: Thank you to the Atlanta CVB for hosting us on the Atlanta Cruzers electric car tour. Opinions here are all our own