9 things to see, eat and do when your parents visit Atlanta

Atlanta is the city of sprawl. Even if you limit it to the actual city, inside the perimeter, there can be an overwhelming number of things to do. Especially if you're new in town— say, for example, if your parents are visiting for the first time.

You want to show them around, but you have a limited amount of time. You need to hit the highlights.

(After you have them hooked, you can hand them our ultimate bucket list for those exploring Atlanta longer than a weekend.)

Take a Fox Theatre Tour: Wind your way through an important landmark in Atlanta history, one of the country's handful of not-for-profit theaters, with this 60-minute circuit. You'll visit 10 locations within the building and dozens of special mementos including Mighty Mo’, which, according to the Fox is the largest workinghttp://www.accessatlanta.com/events/here-are-things-centennial-olympic-park-this-summer-despite-the-construction-woes/YdGSSRysJhMQHDFbQ2n6HM/organ in the world. You'll also see the original furniture of the Men’s Lounge, chosen by the wife of movie mogul William Fox.

The Atlanta Movie Tours provide a blockbuster showing of Atlanta’s premiere filming locations. You’ll visit both well-known Atlanta attractions and little-known landmarks aboard a luxury coach, gleaning significant Y’allywood backstory and secrets in the process. One of the company's most popular tours is The Big Zombie Tour, Part 1, focusing on "The Walking Dead" filming locations such as the CDC and the Jackson Street Bridge. Most tours are three hours and $65 per ticket.

People watch at Little Five Points, where the intersection of Moreland and Euclid Avenues is a hub of too many different things to list. While you watch the bustle, for example, you can chow down on one of the best burgers in America at The Vortex, peruse the wares at Junkman’s Daughter or Criminal Records, or grab a drink at The Porter Beer Bar or Wrecking Bar Brewpub

RELATED: 11 cool corners in Little Five Points, Atlanta's weird intersection

Savor the view at a rotating restaurant, where you can enjoy delicious eats and hand-crafted drinks — with spectacular views of the city. Visit the Sun Dial Restaurant, atop Westin Peachtree Plaza, or try Polaris, spinning above Hyatt Regency Atlanta, with an iconic blue dome that was a city staple in the 1960s and '70s.

RELATED: Party over here: 5 Atlanta restaurants great for groups

During the Peachtree Food Toursowner John Hannula tells stories about Midtown’s Civil War history, the making and decay of the area’s mansions and Atlanta's rebirth. He’ll leave you with tips and commentary on over 60 restaurants in Midtown, as well as guide you through an historic hotel and one of the city’s oldest churches. Plus: You'll visit six of Midtown's culinary delights. Public tours are held on weekends and last four hours. $100 includes six gastro stops, with alcohol at three.

Devour a treat from King of Pops, whose fruity foods are what dreams are made of. They're like Popsicles, only better. Chocolate sea salt finds favor among the crowds, but other sinful flavors abound like fresh peach and tangerine basil. Try one from their signature carts at a local festival, food truck park or farmers market, or head over to their shop in Inman Park for a peek at how the magic is made.

Stroll around Centennial Olympic Park: Explore Atlanta's legacy as host of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games at this 21-acre park in the heart of downtown. Summer brings the opportunity to splash in the fountains, picnic during Music at Noon or chill for the Wednesday WindDown concert series. 

RELATED: Here are 6 things to do at Centennial Olympic Park this summer (despite the construction woes)

If you want to make a weekend of it for the family, some of the city's biggest tourist attractions (the World of Coca-Cola, the Georgia Aquarium and the College Football Hall of Fame) are nearby. Whatever you do, don’t leave without taking a spin on SkyView, a ferris wheel towering 20 stories above the park.

Explore the BeltlineOnce only a dream in the mind of Ryan Gravel, the Beltline is now a growing network of public parks, multi-use trails and peripheral businesses. It’s often undersold as a walking path or a transportation initiative, but it grows – lives and breathes – as a piece of the community.

With Bicycle Tours Atlanta you can: Explore new Intown neighborhoods, soak up Atlanta’s Civil War and civil rights history, and hit the highlights of the city’s art scene. Though best known for the Heart of the City Tour, Bicycle Tours of Atlanta offers multiple ways to ride through town. Bicycle tours are designed for those that lead an active lifestyle. Prices start at $65 per person. Bike rental, helmet rental, water and snacks are included with the price.

Next Up in Living

Getting a dog might just save your life, Swedish research says
Getting a dog might just save your life, Swedish research says

Having a dog can bring a lot of love into your life. It could also make it last a little longer. A group of academics from Uppsala University in Sweden analyzed the health records of 3.4 million people in that northern European country, where databases contain detailed information on most everyone’s hospitalizations, medical history and even...
How a gene that usually protects against cancer becomes the aggressor
How a gene that usually protects against cancer becomes the aggressor

A study led by a University of California San Diego researcher has found an explanation for one of the biggest causes of cancer, mutations in a gene that normally guards against cancer. Mutations in the gene, called p53, can lead to inflammation, stimulating an immune response that fuels cancer, the study found. The effect was seen in common human...
Digital pill that tracks use when swallowed gets FDA approval

U.S. regulators approved the first medicine with an embedded sensor to help keep track of whether patients with mental illness are adhering to their prescriptions. The decision marks a milestone in the convergence of technology and health care that also raises privacy concerns. The so-called digital pill is a version of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co.&rsquo...
New twists on decorating for the holidays
New twists on decorating for the holidays

There’s a number of ways to satisfy the nostalgia of yesteryear while keeping your entire home’s decor fresh and modern this holiday season. “We’re seeing this kind of ‘whole home’ aspect to decorating,” said Jule Eller, style and trend director for Lowe’s. “It’s ‘beyond the mantel,&rsquo...
Blood pressure of 130 is new ‘high,’ according to updated guidelines
Blood pressure of 130 is new ‘high,’ according to updated guidelines

The nation’s heart experts tightened the guidelines for high blood pressure, a change that will sharply increase the number of U.S. adults considered hypertensive in the hope that they, and their doctors, will address the deadly condition sooner. Acting for the first time in 14 years, the American Heart Association and the American College of...
More Stories