German photographer Thomas Struth’s “Aquarium, Atlanta, Georgia” is featured in a solo show at the High Museum of Art, “Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics.” CONTRIBUTED BY THOMAS STRUTH

4 things to enjoy in downtown Atlanta before or after the Atlanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers game

This weekend’s big game may bring you to downtown this weekend, but there will be much more to enjoy than seeing the battle between the Falcons and the Packers

Atlanta restaurants and bars with viewing parties, deals for Falcons-Packers game

There was a time that going to downtown Atlanta meant one of three things: you had tickets to a sporting event, a parking ticket to dispute or out-of-town guests that wanted to visit World of Coke.

But the recent developments downtown, especially those around Centennial Olympic Park in the Luckie Marietta District, have created a part of town that is increasingly meaningful not just when the Falcons competing for the NFC Championship title.

9 best NFL gameday bars around Atlanta

There are four reasons – and probably many more – that downtown Atlanta is better than ever.

The Streetcar you may eventually desire.

In 100 years, when Atlanta is a congested and sprawling city with many millions more calling her home, the fact that we built a streetcar system will be appreciated. Don't believe me? Ask Milan, Italy. For those who don't use it, what you need to know is that there’s an app for it now.

Operation: Tailgate

The stadium situation in Atlanta is evolving, and promises to be better than ever. Not only is the entire city so ready to rise up for a new Falcons' home that we're prepared to pay personal seat licenses just for the right to buy season tickets, but we're also issuing in a new era in Braves baseball. Granted, the new stadium isn't in downtown – but that's probably a good thing, given that such a massive percentage of the season ticket holders live north of the Ted.

Your ultimate guide to Atlanta Falcons tailgating

Things on tap

Food and Drink at Luckie-Marietta is surprisingly good. Need wings or a beer before the game, tour, event or concert? The Luckie-Marietta District is the place to be. Stats is blast on game day, the barbecue at Twin Smokers is tasty as can be, and Der Biergarten is as wonderful as German gets in Atlanta.

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta. Photo: David Tulis for the AJC

Activities!

Civil Rights MuseumCollege Football Hall of Fame. Take your pick. These are two world class additions to the cultural tourism offering once held by World of Coke alone, then centralized around Centennial Park by the construction of the Georgia Aquarium. From the mainstays of downtown attractions like the World of Coca-Cola (and all her delicious Beverly) to the Aquarium and the Tabernacle to the new elements in an evolving city – the "we should have one too" ferris wheel, the museums to honor amateur football and social equality, and the super stadium of the future - all of it is built around an historic park and all of it feels like it lives exactly where it belongs.

Good job, ATL.

RELATED:

Free Museum Day: 16 things to do around Atlanta this weekend

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Take an online tour of the new Atlanta Falcons stadium 

Georgia Dome demolition planned next year

College Football Hall of Fame to host Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers viewing party

RECOMMENDED VIDEO: Take a look at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Video by Ryon Horne, edited by Erica A. Hernandez/AJC
Video: www.accessatlanta.com

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