Atlanta’s skyline can surprise you. It looks different from every angle (the city is not built in quadrants, rather it’s so spread out), and thanks to lots of new developments, both in green space and urban renewal, Atlanta is becoming increasingly photogenic. Whether you want the view for a photoshoot (ahem, Instagram) or as the backdrop for a relaxing picnic, we picked out the best spots around town to see our beautiful skyline, from restaurants with a view to scenic hotel views, hikes that lead to sunset landscapes and more.
Jackson Street Bridge
The Jackson Street Bridge, overlooking Freedom Parkway in Old Fourth Ward, is one of the city’s most iconic views. Directly off the exit of the connector, across from the bridge, you’ll find downtown Atlanta, rising big into the sky. You can spot the Westin, the Georgia Pacific building and others in between. Whether you’re there at sunrise, midday or sunset, the city will be ready for its photo opp. The sidewalk can get crowded as it is quite the popular spot now, so avoid it during peak times on the weekend or holidays.
After the easy hike to the top of the rock, Stone Mountain offers a gorgeous view of the city. Albeit, from far away — but you’ll still feel like you’re on top of the world. Greenery as far as the eye can see. If you don’t feel like hiking up, take a ride on the Summit Skyride. The high-speed cable car takes you up more than 825 feet above ground to the top of Stone Mountain and offers scenic views along the way.
Lake Clara Meer in Piedmont Park
Piedmont Park is Atlanta’s beautiful green space right in the middle of Midtown. Lake Clara Meer is located at Piedmont Park and you can get an up-close view of the Midtown skyline and it doesn’t disappoint. You can get every building between 10th Street and 17th Street in one shot. Hang around the nearby bridge over the water for the best photos. Better yet, before you head there, pack a picnic to make the view even more Instagram-worthy.
Floor-to-ceiling windows surround this elegant French-Russian downtown restaurant—located on the 30th floor of the Hilton Hotel—and give you a unique view of the Atlanta skyline from above. The 360-view at Nikolai’s is especially beautiful at night as the skyscrapers light up. The romance doesn’t stop there as the upscale restaurant also features a curated wine list and an ever-changing menu that adapts to the seasons. All of your senses will be catered to during your stay.
Standing at 200 feet tall, with 42 air-conditioned gondolas, Skyview Atlanta, the city’s premier Ferris wheel, gives you a postcard-worthy view of the west side of the city—spot Midtown Atlanta, including the Bank of America Plaza building, the W Hotel, and more. Take a ride as a VIP for extended time up high and enjoy the view of Centennial Olympic Park, the Georgia Aquarium and beyond.
Six Feet Under at West Midtown
Six Feet Under in West Midtown is an Atlanta mainstay with seafood offerings and a great beer selection. Pick up a plate of their infamous Dragon Toes, baked habaneros stuffed with scallops, and a cold brew from a local brewery like Monday Night or Terrapin. Head to the roof as the view of the city’s skyline, with a perspective from the west of the city, is as impressive as their fresh dozen oysters. You can spot every skyscraper from Midtown to Downtown — lining the sky.
Just 20 minutes outside Atlanta city limits in Panola State Park, sits Arabia Mountain, complete with several hiking trails and beautiful greenery. The hike up the mountains is fairly easy, about 170 feet above sea level, and once you’re on top, the view is breathtaking. You can spot a beautiful sunset, most of Lithonia and a very faint Atlanta downtown skyline on a clear day. While you’re there, enjoy the flora unique to this area, including five endangered plants. The iconic red bulbs of diamorpha bloom once a year and are a spectacle to witness.
Glenn Hotel Rooftop Bar
The Glenn Hotel’s Skylounge serves craft cocktails by the in-house, award-winning mixologist alongside panoramic city views. Order a “Glenntini”, the Skylounge’s signature vodka martini. It’s been voted one of the five must-visit bars in Atlanta by Forbes. The chances of you running into your favorite CNN anchors are high (CNN Center is just right next door) and the mellow atmosphere and live music make it a great spot to spend warm summer nights up high.