Life & Culture, Travel

13 Things You Must Do in Atlanta

People flock to Atlanta for the great weather, rich culture and diverse attractions that the city offers. Whether you’re just visiting or you’re being a hometown tourist, there’s a few things that you should do to experience all that the vibrant city has to offer. Here is a list of 13 things we recommend doing in Atlanta, in no particular order:

  1. Krog Street Tunnel

An Atlanta street artist’s playground and a photographer’s ideal backdrop. Krog Street Tunnel is known throughout Atlanta for its graffiti street art and while walking through you can see artist adding new creations along the walls and internal structures. On any given day Atlanta recording artists can be seen filming visuals for their music here or fashion bloggers using this Atlanta jewel to set the scene for their weekly lookbooks.  This is also the location of our Becoming Brilliance launch photoshoot!

The tunnel is proposed to be apart of the Atlanta Beltline and is very popular amongst cyclists. It is also in close proximity to the beautiful, west coast-style market and restaurants in Krog Street Market.  This development opened in Atlanta summer 2014 to house merchants such as florists and bakeries.  Krog Street Tunnel and its surrounding establishments is a must-see in the Edgewood/Inman Park area of Atlanta.


  1. Buford Highway

If you’re looking for ethnically diverse restaurants and merchants, Buford Highway is the place to visit. Hands down the most multi-ethnic community in the metro Atlanta area.  The linear community is saturated with neighborhoods and shopping centers filled with establishments most notably owned by Korean, Mexican, Chinese and Vietnamese immigrants. As well as Indian, Bangladeshi, Central American, Somalis and Ethiopian.  If you’re looking to step outside your comfort zone, Buford Highway is worth exploring!  However, beware of the pedestrian heavy traffic on the seven lane highway.  

  1. Edgewood Avenue

Whether you’re looking to get better acquainted with Atlanta nightlife or a place to have Sunday brunch, Edgewood Avenue has something for you. This stretch of Atlanta street is home to some of the city’s most eclectic nightlife.  The most popular choices may include Church, Corner Tavern, Noni’s and Circa.  Corner Tavern is a personal favorite for their delicious brunch in conjunction with their bottomless mimosas on Sundays.  And Circa has an elite vibe with a classy crowd and swanky ambience that can be felt as soon as you walk through the door.

Since late 2014, the Atlanta Streetcar has operated along Edgewood Avenue eastbound that can also connects visitors to Centennial Olympic Park area in Downtown Atlanta to Sweet Auburn as well as to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic site. 

ATL Street Car

  1. The Beltline & Ponce City Market

A former railway corridor, The Beltline is now a trail that encircles the City of Atlanta. It’s a great place to run, ride a bike or take a stroll on a beautiful day. You can access the Beltline at Ponce City Market near Midtown. PCM is a vibrant community hub with a unique food hall, various shops, flats and offices. The eight-story building dates back to the late 1800s, and was reinvented in 2010.

If you’re a hometown tourist or in the city for an extended stay, take a class on digital marketing, business, blogging or technology at General Assembly in PCM. It’s a creative space for people from all industries who share a common interest of learning and creating.

  1. Buckhead Bars

If you’re not from the metro Atlanta area, it’s a good chance you think Buckhead is where all the Real Housewives Atlanta just socialize and film.  Granted, Buckhead is definitely one of Atlanta’s most affluent neighborhoods but the turn up gets real at the Buckhead Bars! If you’re a huge sports fan, you may enjoy watching a game or two on the massive patio at the Buckhead Saloon.  Or if you’re looking for a wild night on the town, indulge in fishbowls and shots galore at Hole in the Wall. Hangovers is also a fun choice! One thing about the Buckhead’s bar scene, there is not a shortage of places to explore.


  1. Skyview Atlanta Ferris Wheel

There are many tourist attractions in downtown Atlanta, but Skyview Atlanta is at the top of our list. The ferris wheel takes you nearly 20 stories into the air to catch a stunning view of the city day or night. The enclosed gondolas can each hold up to six people, so it’s the perfect activity for an outing with the fam or an intimate date night with bae. It cost about $14 per person, which is a little steep for a ride that’s about 6 minutes, but you can probably find a deal on Groupon.

While you’re in the area, take a stroll through Centennial Olympic Park located directly across the street. The park was built to celebrate the 1996 Olympics and has remained a place for family fun and entertainment since then. You can dance in the Fountain of Rings, listen to jazz during Wind Down Wednesday or simply lay out and soak up the Georgia sun.

  1. Sweet Auburn Curb Market

On a Saturday afternoon, Sweet Auburn Curb Market is buzzing with people shopping for fresh produce and meat, and foodies enjoying everything from BBQ to Mexican to Jamaican. The indoor market is located in the Sweet Auburn Historic District, which was a booming African-American community during the Jim Crow era. The market has lots of dine-in tables, so it’s great if you’re going with a group of friends.

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  1.  The Vortex & Little Five Points

Little Five Points is a quirky shopping and dining area in east Atlanta. It’s frequently visited by hipsters and vintage enthusiasts. Tattoo parlors, hookah lounges and thrift stores surround the eclectic community, and you can often find people dancing and playing instruments.

Located in the heart of Little Five Points is The Vortex, which is not your average burger spot. It’s 21+, and once you read their menu you’ll see why. It explicitly helps you choose from the endless burger options with creative names like the Elvis Presley or the Coronary Bypass burger. Be prepared for an alternative style and an open smoking policy when you walk in.

  1. Atlantic Station

Located on the edge of Midtown Atlanta, this neighborhood is a popular destination for shopping and dining. It’s also home to a Regal movie theater that hosts most Atlanta red carpet premieres.  Atlantic Station’s retail district is comprised of many consumer favorites such as American Apparel, Bath & Body Works, Gap, H&M and Victoria’s Secret just to name a few.  And if you’re hungry Yardhouse is an amazing choice.  

Atlantic Station is also home to the lavish TWELVE Hotel. (Fun fact: we stayed here after our senior prom…fancy!)  



  1. National Center for Civil and Human Rights 

Atlanta has been a champion for the advancement of humanity, with civil rights leaders like Andrew Young, Martin Luther King and Ralph David Abernathy calling this incredible city home. The Center for Civil and Human Rights, located in the heart of Atlanta, celebrates the achievements of both initiatives and honors those who moved the needle closer to making America a fair and just country.

One of our favorite interactive activities was the lunch counter sit-in exhibit, which gave a simulation of the protests during the Civil Rights museum and the reactions from racist oppressors. It was a struggle to listen to taped voices threatening us and to feel the vibrating jolt as if someone kicked the chair. When you visit, see how long you can last at the timed exhibit.

  1. Various Festivals

Between Atlanta’s lovely weather and beautiful parks like Piedmont and Centennial Olympic, the city’s annual festivals are a great way to explore the city with delicious food, great music and tons of vendors.  In April visitors can experience one of the biggest festivals in the southeast, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival for lovers of all things art. The Atlanta Jazz Festival is an ideal destination to kick off your Memorial Day weekend with some of the nation’s most notable artists. Get there early for a good seat! And in July, the Atlanta Street Food Festival is heaven on earth for foodies.  The best opportunity to enjoy cuisine and drinks from some of Atlanta’s best food trucks! If you can visit Atlanta during one of the many festivals, you will not be disappointed.

  1. Piedmont Park

The Atlanta Jazz Festival is one of the many activities held at Piedmont Park throughout the year. Piedmont Park is a great escape from the Atlanta buzz. Bikers, joggers and families often visit the large park, which sprawls across Midtown and is gorgeous all year round. There are lots of activities available along the walking trails, including basketball courts, sand volleyball and softball fields, so there is something for everyone. While you’re in the area, also check out the  beautiful Atlanta Botanical Garden, which sits adjacent to Piedmont Park.

  1. American Deli

While there are tons of 4 and 5 star restaurants that you can dine at in Atlanta, there is nothing like a 10 piece hot wing with lemon pepper sprinkles, fries and a peach drink from American Deli! Similarly to Waffle House, there’s an American Deli on nearly every block so you’ll always have a chance to taste the fried goodness. If wings aren’t your thing, you can also order other American-style dishes like chicken fingers, burgers, salads, fried fish and more. If you’re looking for a cheap meal in Atlanta that’s packed with flavor, be sure to check out American Deli.

Have you been to Atlanta before? What are some of the things you recommend doing while in the A?

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