Atlanta is one of the nations leading tourist destinations, both for Americans and those visiting the U.S. from abroad. As of 2010, the city is the seventh-most visited city in the United States, with over 35 million visitors per year.
Atlanta features the world's largest indoor aquarium,the Georgia Aquarium, containing more animals than any other aquarium in more than eight million gallons of water and more than sixty exhibits, including a dolphin exhibit.
The Varsity has been an Atlanta landmark for over 83 years.
In 2010, American Style Magazine ranked Atlanta as the ninth-best city for the arts. As such, the city is home to many significant art museums. The renowned High Museum of Art is arguably the South's leading art museum and among the most-visited art museums in the world. The Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA), a design museum, is the only such museum in the Southeast. Contemporary art museums include the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia. Atlanta's Michael C. Carlos Museum contains the largest collection of ancient art in the Southeast.
Atlanta also hosts a variety of history museums and attractions, including the Atlanta History Center, detailing the history of Atlanta and Georgia; the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, which includes the preserved boyhood home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as his final resting place; the Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum, a civil war museum that houses a massive painting and diorama in-the-round, with a rotating central audience platform, that depicts the Battle of Atlanta in the Civil War; the Carter Center and Presidential Library, housing U.S. President Jimmy Carter's papers and other material relating to the Carter administration and the Carter family's life; historic house museum Rhodes Hall, a Romanesque Revival house inspired by German castles; the Wren's Nest, former home of Brer Rabbit author Joel Chandler-Harris; the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum, site of the writing of the best-selling novel Gone With the Wind; the World of Coca-Cola, featuring the history of the world famous soft drink brand and its well-known advertising; the Delta Heritage Museum, an aviation museum that also details the history of the Delta corporation; the Robert C. Williams Paper Museum, which showcases the history of paper and paper technology, and also allows visitors to create their own paper; the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, which presents exhibitions and programming about natural history; and the William Breman Jewish Heritage & Holocaust Museum, the only Holocaust museum in the Southeast.
Museums geared specifically towards children include the Fernbank Science Center, Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta. In addition, the Center for Puppetry Arts presents puppets from various time periods and countries around the world, hosts puppet performances, and allows visitors to create their own puppets. Future museums planned for the city include the National Health Museum, the College Football Hall of Fame, and the Center of Civil and Human Rights, all to be constructed in the emerging tourist district surrounding Centennial Olympic Park.
Due to Atlanta's mild climate, outdoor events and attractions are plentiful in the city. Piedmont Park hosts many of Atlanta's festivals and cultural events, including the annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival and Atlanta Pride. Atlanta Botanical Garden sits next to the park, home to the 600-foot-long (180 m) Kendeda Canopy Walk, a skywalk that allows visitors to tour one of the city's last remaining urban forests from 40-foot-high (12 m). The Canopy Walk is considered the only canopy-level pathway of its kind in the United States. Zoo Atlanta, located in Grant Park, houses over 1,300 animals representing more than 220 species. Home to the nation’s largest collections of gorillas and orangutans, the Zoo is also one of only four zoos in the U.S. currently housing giant pandas. Just east of the city rises Stone Mountain, the largest piece of exposed granite in the world.During Labor Day weekend each year, Atlanta hosts the popular multi-genre convention Dragon*Con, held downtown at the Hyatt Regency, Marriot Marquis, Hilton and Sheraton hotels. The event attracts an estimated 30,000 attendees annually. The entire month of August is dedicated to filmmaking when Atlanta hosts the month-long celebration of independent film known as Independent Film Month.In October, Midtown Atlanta is host to the popular Out on Film gay film festival, attracting film makers and fans from around the world.