Explore Atlanta like a Local: 17 Things to Do in the ATL

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Last Updated on: 19th June 2023, 06:48 pm

January was a whirlwind of US stops. I spent time in six states:  Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and New York.

Sadly, my time in Georgia was brief (4 days) and business-oriented. My schedule was packed with meetings and meals with college buddies. Alas, I didn’t do a single touristy thing during my visit this year.

My Favorite Travel Booking Sites for 2024

These are my favorite companies that I use on my own travels.

Protect Your Trip via Safety Wing

Find the best city tours, day tours, bus tours, & skip-the-line tickets on GetYourGuide and Viator.

Find the best deals on hotels & vacation rentals on Booking.com.

For English-speaking private airport transfers, book through Welcome Pickups.

For road trips and independent travel, rent a car through Discover Cars.

Find information and cruise reviews on Cruise Critic.

For packing and travel essentials order via Amazon.

Book an affordable family or romantic photography session on your trip through Flytographer (Use the code HISTORYFANGIRL for 10% off your first photoshoot).

For travel guidebooks to have with you during your trip, I always pick one or two from Rick Steves and Lonely Planet.

Embarrassing Fact: This isn’t the first time this has happened. I’ve actually been to Atlanta four times, and I’ve only spent one-day sightseeing.

But it was a completely lovely spring day full of art, literature, and seriously delicious food. During the majority of my visits, I’ve spent my days in suburban conference rooms and customer meetings and then getting to catch up with old friends in my free time.

Since I haven’t gotten to experience all that Atlanta has to offer myself, my friends Nicole and Jack kindly put together an awesome list of their suggestions to add to my meager three. And this list is so good I’m getting travel envy just typing it out.

See also
27 of the Best Art Museums in the US for Your Next Cultural Escape

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site:  this site consisting of multiple historic places important in the life of Dr. King, includes his birth home, the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, The King Center founded by Coretta Scott King in his honor, and other. This is one of the many pieces of American History watched over and protected by our National Park Service.

Grab Drinks at The Sun Dial Restaurant at the Westin Hotel:  Their suggestion is to check this out at night for great views of the Atlanta Skyline.

Check out the The Georgia Aquarium:  The largest aquarium in the western hemisphere. Take their advice and avoid weekend crowds.

Take a Stroll through Piedmont Park: a huge park in the middle of the city great for a walk on a nice day

Go for a Show at The Fox Theater: a glance at their upcoming schedule shows a great eclectic mix of theater suitable for many different tastes

Eat the Best Fried Chicken in the South at South City Kitchen:  for some contemporary southern cuisine. They have three locations and a menu they describe as “southern food with an upscale twist.”

Plan your Trip around Weekend Festivals – There’s likely one any given weekend, especially during the spring and summer months. They say that they’ve found this to be unique to Atlanta.

A Fried Green Tomato Sandwich at Murphy’s:  jalapeno mayo with …mmmm….

Then Stay for a Walk in Virginia Highland  a cute neighborhood to walk off the fried food you’ve just eaten. Near midtown and full of 1920’s and 1930’s architecture.

Head to Little Five Points for a Stroll:  another chic Atlanta neighborhood sometimes called the bohemian center of the south

While There Check out the Vinyl at Criminal Records:  you can pick up a turntable,or cassette tapes, or even comic books.

Follow with a Beer Break at The Porter Beer Bar: They have over 800 beers, but I’m drooling over this pic of Belgian Fries.

See also
Best Quotes about Ohio

Enjoy Jazz at Night in Atlanta – available at multiple locations throughout the city including at Churchill Grounds which is close to the Fox Theater

Explore your Inner Botanist at the Botanical Gardens: The gardens boast the 3rd spot on Country Gardens Magazine‘s list of their top 20 favorite public gardens.

High Museum of Art:  The High is one of my personal favorite American art museums. Whimsical and focused at the same time, it has a large permanent collection and a history of fantastic guest exhibits.

Challenge Your Ideas about Southern Womanhood at the Margaret Mitchell House:  visit the museum and take a tour of the apartments where Mitchell wrote Gone with the Wind.

Get Your Eat on across the Street at Empire State South: Yes, I selected this restaurant because it was Anthony Bourdain-approved. It was so worth it. 

Any to add? Suggestions welcome, especially delicious ones.

Before Your Trip – Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!

Whenever I go on a trip, I always make sure to get travel insurance!

This is especially true for trips where I’m visiting big cities or spending time in the great outdoors!

The company Safety Wing is the travel insurance company I always look to first, and I happily recommend them!

I always make sure to get travel insurance whenever I’m going to be over one hundred miles from home, in large cities where tourists can be the target of pickpockets, and anytime I’ll be doing outdoor activities.

It makes my life easier knowing if something should happen, I’ll be able to take care of it!

Get a travel insurance quote for your trip here.

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