Your guide to the best of the best in the capital of the New South.
There’s a reason why Atlanta is charmingly known as “the city too busy to hate”—the locals have plenty to occupy them, from a growing brewery scene to Atlanta United games, to the new Atlanta Beltline. Despite Atlanta’s increasing millennial allure, there’s something for everyone here. Not only does the city appeal to the evolving appetites of voracious foodies, but it’s also swiftly become an ultra-enthusiastic soccer town and a destination for art aficionados.
Check Out an Atlanta United Game
In 2018, Atlanta United home games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium continuously broke attendance records, and for good reason. The games brought about a welcome air of excitement to the city, with supporter groups like Footie Mob and Terminus Legion in attendance. Atlanta United also closed out 2018 as MLS Cup Champs.
Snap a Photo of a Greg Mike Mural
Take a quick stroll around the city of Atlanta and you’re bound to come across Larry Loudmouf, a character born from the mind of local artist Greg Mike and employed creatively in bold pop art style throughout the city. This and more of Mike’s grand, vibrant street art can be found both inside buildings and on their facades, providing the perfect Instagram pic.
Browse Centuries’ Worth of Art at the High Museum Of Art
You don’t have to be an admirer of Picasso or a budding visual artist to enjoy the High Museum of Art. The permanent exhibits at the High Museum consist of myriad artworks from near and far, as well as pieces that date back centuries. Despite the cultural significance of the various pieces of art featured in the museum, the space isn’t intimidating. It’s bright and welcoming, and spacious enough that you won’t have to hover over anyone to take in your favorite piece. Collections at the High include Folk and Self-Taught Art, African Art, and Decorative Arts and Design.
INSIDER TIPOn occasion, the museum offers free admission. Check out their online calendar for specific dates.
Hike Stone Mountain
Stone Mountain has long received a great deal of criticism (rightfully so) for its Confederate Memorial Carving, which features three Civil War figures, but it remains one of metro Atlanta’s top attractions. For those ready to briefly venture back into nature, Stone Mountain Park provides several hiking options, which include a one-mile march to the top. Following the hike to the top of Stone Mountain, visitors are met with impressive views of downtown Atlanta and Kennesaw Mountain (depending on visibility). If the hike up the side of the mountain proves to be too strenuous, opt for the leisurely five-mile stroll around Stone Mountain.
INSIDER TIPAfter you’ve hiked Stone Mountain, visit neighboring Stone Mountain Village to grab a coffee elixir from Gilly Brew Bar, located inside a pre-Civil War home.
Take a Brewery Tour
To the delight of brew connoisseurs, Atlanta has become quite the craft beer destination. While visiting every single brewery in the city in the span of just one day sounds like a fool’s errand, you can still visit quite a few of them during one of the many brewery tours offered. One such tour is the Atlanta Beer Bus, which stops at a variety of breweries and allows guests to hop on or off the bus at their leisure.
Walk or Bike the Atlanta BeltLine
A fairly new addition to the city, the Atlanta BeltLine connects numerous neighborhoods in Atlanta and is continuously expanding. On any given day, you can take a yoga class or attend a festival in one of the green spaces that run along the BeltLine. The BeltLine is also home to the Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark. During the warmer months, you can expect to find a consistent stream of people biking, jogging, or walking as they make their way around Old Fourth Ward, West End, and Virginia-Highland.
INSIDER TIPNo bike? No problem. Bicycle rental options are available at various locations along the BeltLine.
Shop in Little Five Points
From vintage gear to crystals and sage, Little Five Points is home to a variety of store suited to the eclectic shopper. Once you’ve thrifted your way through Rag-O-Rama or scored some new vinyl at Criminal Records, the next appropriate step is to grab a bite to eat. Along with dozens of shops, Little Five Points provides ample options for food and drink. The Porter Beer Bar features a modest food menu, and a short walk away you’ll find fried chicken royalty at Hattie B’s Hot Chicken.
Visit the Home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Arguably one of the most notable historic figures to call Atlanta home, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. grew up in a home off of Auburn Avenue. His former home is currently a National Historic Site and is visited by a stream of tourists each day. A very short walk from Dr. King’s childhood home is The King Center and Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. At The King Center, you’ll find the crypt of Dr. King and Coretta Scott King, as well as The Eternal Flame.
Visit Piedmont Park and Neighboring Botanical Gardens
Located in the heart of midtown Atlanta is the 185-acre Piedmont Park. In addition to serving as a peaceful getaway from the city, the spacious park has played home to the Atlanta Jazz Festival and the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival. Adjacent to Piedmont Park is the Atlanta Botanical Garden, which spans roughly 30 acres. Piedmont Park is free and open to the public, but the Atlanta Botanical Garden charges a daytime admission.
Nosh on Southern Cuisine
You can’t visit the city of Atlanta without treating your taste buds. From Mary Mac’s Tea Room to Old Lady Gang, there are plenty of options for classic, Southern fare. In the mood for soul food, but craving something a little lighter? Atlanta has become a destination for vegetarian soul food. Soul Vegetarian Restaurant in the city’s West End neighborhood offers vegan and gluten-free options. Innovative menu items include barbecue cauliflower and country baked “steak” made with kale-bone (Soul Vegetarian’s very own recipe of wheat-gluten and spices).