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How to get free admission to Atlanta's top attractions

More than a thousand people voted for the top tourist spot in Atlanta. Stone Mountain finished in the top three. Piedmont Park, in the heart of Atlanta, was also among the favorites. But this attraction was the overwhelming winner. The Georgia Aquarium received more than 28% of the votes to take the title.

You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy the Georgia Aquarium, High Museum of Art or a number of other places to check out.

Atlanta is home to many popular attractions, but if you're paying for parking and admission for several people, your day can get expensive.

Fortunately, many top destinations offer free admission on certain days or if you fall into certain categories. In addition, your local library is often a good source for free passes that you can check out just as you'd borrow a library book.

Here are some metro Atlanta attractions that offer free admissions under certain circumstances. Before you plan a trip, make sure to check the website or call your destination to see if there have been any changes:

Georgia State Park System. 2600 Highway 155 SW, Stockbridge. 1-800-864-7275.

Library ParkPass: Patrons can check out a Georgia State Park ParkPass at a participating library system for free parking at any state park and admission for up to four people at Georgia's historic sites.

National parks in

Fee-free days: Entrance to most national parks in Georgia is free, but four require visitors to buy parking or entry passes. Fees for these are waived for several days in 2019, including Aug. 25, Sept. 28 and Nov. 11. Families with fourth-grade students, active duty military or disabled relatives can also get free passes.

Chattahoochee Nature Center. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. 770-992-2055.

CNC Library Passes: Check out a pass at participating Georgia public libraries to get free general admission for four people.

Autrey Mill nature preserve and heritage center. 9770 Autrey Mill Road, Johns Creek. 678-366-3511.

Admission to this 46-acre preserve is free, but donations are appreciated.

Yellow River Park. 3232 Juhan Road, Stone Mountain. 770-978-5271.

Admission to this park, which has 566 acres of forests and wildflowers, is free.

Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame. 250 Marietta St. NW, Atlanta. 404-880-4800.

Scan the Chick-fil-A app to get free admission to the College Football Hall of Fame during August. The free admission is good all month except for Aug. 15 and 19, when the attraction is closed for private events.

Atlanta Contemporary art center. 535 Means St. NW, Atlanta 404-688-1970.

Admission to the Atlanta Contemporary is always free. This includes lectures, gallery tours, film screenings and more, but some special events, like the Art Party, have a charge.

Atlanta History Center. 130 W. Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta. 404-814-4000.

Museums on Us: Receive free admission the first full weekend of each month with your Bank of America/Merrill Lynch/U.S. Trust credit or debit card and a picture ID. The offer is good only for the cardholder and excludes special events.

Children's Museum of Atlanta. 275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive, Atlanta. 404-659-5437.

Fulton County Days: Fulton County residents can buy one admission ticket and get one additional general admission ticket free on the opening day of each feature exhibit. These tickets are available for walk-in visitors only and are subject to availability. You'll need to show proof of residence, such as a Georgia driver's license or state ID with a county code of 60.

Military Discounts: Military personnel (active, retired and reserve) are admitted free with a military ID on Memorial Day, July 4th, Veterans Day, Flag Day and Armed Forces Day.

Georgia Aquarium. 225 Baker St. NW, Atlanta. 404-581-4000.

Georgia Birthday Discount: Visit the aquarium for free on your birthday by showing your ID or birth certificate at any ticket window. The ticket must be used on your birthday.

Military Mondays: Active military members can get free admission at the Georgia Aquarium ticketing counter with a military ID.

High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 404-733-4400.

Second Sundays: All visitors are admitted free from noon to 5 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month.

Museums on Us: Receive free admission the first full weekend of each month with your Bank of America/Merrill Lynch/U.S. Trust credit or debit card and a picture ID. The offer is good only for the cardholder and excludes special events.

Military admission: All active and veteran military personnel, plus one guest, can receive free admission during regular museum hours. This includes free parking in the Woodruff Arts Center deck. You'll need to show proof of service, and there's a limit of two admission tickets per household. This admission is valid for walk-up tickets only.

Center for Puppetry Arts. 1404 Spring St. NW, Atlanta. 404-873-3391.

Passport to Puppetry: Check out the Passport to Puppetry at any participating public library in Georgia, and you'll receive up to four free museum admissions. If you'd like to participate in a workshop or see a family series performance, you can receive a 25 percent discount with the pass.

Fulton County Free Museum Saturdays: Fulton County residents, students and Fulton County government employees can receive free museum admission on the first day of select family series productions and a 25 percent discount on a performance or workshop. Tickets are walk-up only and subject to availability, and you can download and complete a form to bring to the Center, along with proof of residency, employment or school enrollment.

The World of Coca-Cola. 121 Baker St. NW, Atlanta. 404-676-5151.

Military Appreciation: Active duty, reserves and retired members of the U.S. military can receive free admission by showing a valid armed forces ID at the ticket window.

Zoo Atlanta. 800 Cherokee Ave. SE, Atlanta. 404-624-9453.

Zoo Atlanta Library Pass: Check out the Zoo Atlanta Library Pass DVD at your participating local library. When you return it, you'll receive a receipt good for free zoo admission for up to four guests. You'll need to show your receipt as well as your library card at the zoo's front gate. The receipt is good for 14 days from the date the DVD is returned.

Museum of Design Atlanta. 1315 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-979-6455.

Design Club Days: Admission to MODA is free the second Sunday of every month, and activities are offered for visitors of all ages.

Blue Star Museum: Active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and reserve, receive free admission from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

The Atlanta Opera. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 770-916-2800.

Veterans Program: All veterans and current military servicemen and women can reserve four free tickets for a main stage production at least seven days in advance.

David J. Sencer CDC Museum. 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta. 404-639-0830.

Admission to and parking for this museum, which is the only part of the CDC that's open to the public, is free. If you're over 18, you'll need a government-issued photo ID, and non-U.S. citizens will need their passport.