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Planning an Atlanta Memorial Day Weekend getaway? Then you’ll need to know where to stay, what events are happening, and so much more.
This thriving capital city is an awesome getaway any time of year, but it’s truly perfect for the long weekend to officially start the summertime fun!
If you’re still trying to decide where to go for the long weekend, check out our guide on the best Memorial Day Weekend getaways on the East Coast.
Why Spend Memorial Day Weekend in Atlanta
There are so many things to do in Atlanta on Memorial Day Weekend that the better question is why not?
From special events and performances to a celebratory take on summertime fun, Atlanta can’t be beat.
As the unofficial start to summer, you can expect temperatures to be creeping into the low 80s by the end of May.
May is one of the rainiest months in Atlanta, but usually by Memorial Day Weekend there’s a slight reprieve.
You also won’t be in the thick of the summertime humidity yet!
That said, afternoon rainstorms aren’t unheard of and more extreme weather conditions will continue to affect us all.
But you can certainly plan on getting some sunshine, celebrating and commemorating, and enjoying an awesome Atlanta Memorial Weekend getaway!
Here’s what to do and where to go…
Best Memorial Day Events in Atlanta
There are plenty of awesome Atlanta events on Memorial Day Weekend that you won’t want to miss.
Some are annual events and some are more regular events that you shouldn’t miss when in Atlanta.
Here are some of our favorites…
1. Celebrate Memorial Day Atlanta Style with Carnival
The annual Atlanta Carnival kicks off the carnival season in true ATL style.
Watch (or join!) the parade, hang out at the Festival Village (Central Park, 400 Merritts Ave NE) to enjoy all the food and drink vendors, and check out the main stage with various performances.
The Atlanta DeKalb Carnival takes place in Stonecrest if that’s more convenient for you.
Either way, it’s all about the Caribbean colors, socca and reggae, and celebration!
2. The Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival
The Atlanta Jazz Festival takes place every May, wrapping up on Memorial Day Weekend with incredible performances on the main stage.
Widely regarded as one of the largest free jazz festivals in the whole US, venues across Atlanta host gigs all month long for locals and visitors to enjoy.
On Memorial Day Weekend, these performances reach a whole new level with some of the greatest jazz bands and singers taking the stage in Piedmont Park.
You don’t want to miss it!
3. Catch a Braves Game at Truist Park
You can’t go to Atlanta Memorial Day Weekend and not catch a Braves game — if they’re at home, of course.
The Braves were 2021 World Series Champions so you’ll be watching some of the best modern-day ball players!
Going to a baseball game is some truly iconic American summertime fun.
Conveniently, Truist Park is surrounded by The Battery Atlanta, where you can eat and drink at an awesome variety of places before or after the game.
4. Or Cheer for United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Home to the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United FC, you might get lucky and catch a United game over Memorial Day Weekend in Atlanta!
Obviously, it’s not football season, so you’ll have to come back to catch the Falcons at home.
The stadium also hosts big-name concerts, so take a look at the upcoming schedule to plan your trip around your favorite artist.
5. Watch a Movie at Plaza Theatre
Plaza Theatre is an Atlanta institution, so it’s not to be missed on a visit to the city!
As Atlanta’s oldest operating and only independent cinema since 1939, history buffs and pop culture fans alike adore this spot.
6. Geek Out at MomoCon
The annual celebration of geek culture is held each spring at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) in downtown Atlanta.
When in Atlanta on Memorial Day Weekend, you might just get to dress the part and join the fun!
If you don’t join in, also don’t be concerned if various superheroes are strutting down the street downtown.
7. Fireworks at Stone Mountain Park – Go, But With Context
Stone Mountain Park hosts nightly fireworks and laser shows (yes, lasers!) during Memorial Day Weekend, so it’s certainly a popular spot for celebrations.
It’s also the center of an ongoing campaign to remove monuments that uphold white supremacy.
Stone Mountain Park hosts the world’s largest bas-relief carving — and it’s of three leaders of the Confederacy.
The park has also placed Confederate flags throughout, named its streets for Confederate leaders, hosted Ku Klux Klan gatherings, and generally memorialized the systemic oppression and abuse of Black people in the United States.
More recently, the park has started to make incremental changes in the face of widespread opposition.
We’re pleased to see some positive changes but encourage you to review the ongoing situation before opting to visit so you can decide for yourself whether or not to support this Atlanta attraction.
We still await the reality Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of in his I Have a Dream speech: “Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia; let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee; let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.”
On Memorial Day Weekend in Atlanta and everywhere, a perfect way to honor veterans past and present is to continue pushing toward the true ideals of the United States.
Other Fun Memorial Day Activities in Atlanta
It’s not just about the events on Memorial Day Weekend in Atlanta, and it’s not just about the history.
But you should certainly keep learning and this is a fantastic city in which to do so!
Whether you’re into film or history, outdoor fun or people-watching, this city is an incredibly cosmopolitan blend with something for everyone.
Here are some other fun things to do during your Atlanta Memorial Day Weekend getaway.
Walk or Cycle the Atlanta BeltLine
When it’s completed, this extensive network will include 33 miles of multi-use urban trails, 22 miles of pedestrian-friendly rail transit, and 46 miles of improved streetscapes.
As a world-leading urban revitalization project, the Atlanta BeltLine is something to experience and truly appreciate.
Equity, inclusivity, and sustainability are at the heart of this ambitious project.
Support their work by enjoying the beautiful paths on foot or by bike, and be sure to stop in at some of the many local businesses in the area!
Experience The World of Coca-Cola
Whether you love it or hate it, Coca-Cola is pure, classic Americana.
Experience the story of the iconic brand in their massive World of Coca Cola complex…tastings included.
Perfect for the whole family, don’t forget to take a selfie with the 7-foot-tall Coca-Cola Polar Bear before you leave!
Skip the line by getting your ticket in advance.
Play at Legoland Discovery Center Atlanta
Located in Buckhead, the uptown commercial district, Legoland is always a crowd favorite!
Build to your heart’s content, check out the 4D cinema, and enjoy the fun rides.
There’s even a ninja camp!
Visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden
Sometimes you just need to step away from the cityscape and into a luscious garden.
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is next to Piedmont Park and hosts a multitude of Chihuly glass sculptures to complement its beautiful natural landscape.
It’s well worth a visit to also appreciate nature on this long weekend of commemoration and appreciation.
Learn at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park
You cannot visit Atlanta on Memorial Day Weekend and not use that time to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Start off at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park Visitor Center (450 Auburn Avenue, NE).
Plan to see the Behold Monument, the “I Have a Dream” World Peace Rose Garden, and try to get a tour of his Birth Home, too.
Park rangers offer those tours for free, but they’re only in small groups.
Beyond visiting the national park, take a Martin Luther King Walking Tour with a local expert to learn even more.
Visit The National Center for Civil and Human Rights
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights (100 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd) hosts various exhibits to tell the story of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States while drawing connections to other human rights issues.
Plan for about 1.5-2 hours of learning and absorbing tons of important information.
Go Green With an Atlanta Electric Car City Tour
Explore Atlanta on wheels — without worrying about your environmental impact!
This electric car tour of the city shows you the top spots and interesting neighborhoods for an awesome overview of Atlanta.
Go green and go enjoy!
Take an Atlanta Movie Filming Locations Tour
Did you know Atlanta is the second-largest film and TV location in the whole US?
If you’re a fan of the Avengers, Fast & the Furious, The Hunger Games, or even Driving Miss Daisy, Atlanta is the place to see your favorite scenes in real life.
This movie filming locations tour shows off some of the top spots so you can walk in the footsteps of those famous characters.
Go Find All the Tiny Doors
Yep, tiny doors!
This art installation across Atlanta makes for such a fun scavenger hunt around the city.
Seek out the tiny doors in places as eclectic as theaters and taverns, major attractions and parks.
Don’t worry, there’s a handy Tiny Doors map so you can try to find them all!
Let the Kids Play at Centennial Olympic Park
The centerpiece of Downtown Atlanta, this 21-acre park includes fountains, playgrounds, and ample space to run wild.
Let the kids burn off some energy while you enjoy a latte.
You deserve it.
Where to Stay in Atlanta on Memorial Weekend
There are endless options available for accommodations in Atlanta, but definitely book early if you’re planning to visit during the busy long weekend.
If you’re only coming for a few nights, you’ll want to maximize your time and effort by staying close to the main activities and attractions you want to check out.
If you’re looking for a splurge, stay in the swanky Waldorf Astoria right next to Atlanta’s luxury Lennox Square shopping center in Buckhead, which is where you’ll also find Legoland.
Looking to stay in the heart of it all for convenience to all the top things to do?
Check out this two-bedroom fortress apartment with stellar views and easy access to all the downtown attractions including the World of Coca-Cola, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Centennial Olympic Park, and more.
But when it comes to quirky character and fantastic urban style, this artist loft definitely tops the list!
It’s also conveniently located for spending time at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park as well as seeking out the original Tiny Door at Krog Street Tunnel.
Want all the Atlanta fun but without the downtown Atlanta pricing?
Check out Sweetwater Creek State Park for camping on Memorial Day Weekend instead!
It’s conveniently just a 20-minute drive from downtown so you can still attend all the fun long weekend events, but then find some balance in the quiet serenity of nature.
So are you ready to plan an Atlanta Memorial Day Weekend adventure?
Grab your friends and make it a weekend to remember!
Tell us your favorite events and can’t-miss places in Atlanta in the comments.