What’s the difference between touring Atlanta and touring Atlanta like a Local?
Tourists enjoy all of Atlanta’s top-notch attractions like World of Coke, CNN or the Georgia Aquarium.
Locals know how to avoid the crowds and find Atlanta’s one-of-a-kind character.
Tourists can hardly choose between all the restaurants nearby.
Locals know how and where to find the Best Eats.
Tourists bring their heavy coats and plan indoor activities for the winter.
Locals are getting ready to BBQ in December.
Read on for our best advice on how to tour Atlanta like a local:
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Quirky Hidden Gems
The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse – Don’t worry if you failed high school English. You’ll still be charmed by this combo cafe/playhouse. It’s a unique dinner theater experience based on the “Original Practice” approach- meaning the play is Unrehearsed.
Krog Street Tunnel – Functionally, the tunnel connects the Cabbagetown, Reynoldstown, and Inman Park Intown neighborhoods. Artistically, the Krog St. Tunnel is the city’s mecca of wall murals and street art. It’s a visual riot of colors and styles, paying homage to the free spirits of Atlanta. If you have enough time, you can do the entire walking tour of street art, murals, and graffiti in Cabbagetown.
Peachtree Dekalb Airport – Aviation buffs, this one’s for you. PDK is small, but busy, with service companies, flight schools, and helicopter operations. Adults and children can watch the planes take off and land from oh-so-close-to-the-action observation and playground area. Skip the security lines at Hartsfield-Jackson with Ultimate Air Shuttle’s daily flights to and from PDK.
Live Music and Theaters
The Tabernacle – You know you can’t go wrong with one of Billboard’s “25 Most Popular Music Clubs in the U.S.” As its name suggests, the Tabernacle was originally a church. In 1996 the city converted the then-empty building into a House of Blues club. It’s still operating as a music venue today with a varied line-up of musicians and singers.
The Fox Theatre is a classic. This Atlanta landmark hosts performances of all types from Broadway shows to the Atlanta Ballet to pop music concerts or even vintage films.
Eddie’s Attic was awarded the “Best Acoustic Music Venue” by Best of Atlanta 2018 for the sound system in its “listening room.” Eddie’s Attic is known as a venue that helps launch the careers of aspiring singers and songwriters. A partial list of celebrities who’ve appeared on this stage includes Sheryl Crow, John Mayer, India Arie, Sara Bareilles, and Justin Bieber.
The Best Eats
It would take you months to eat through all of Atlanta’s incredible restaurants. Here are some top picks to get you started:
Chai Pani has outstanding Indian food in Decatur. Check out their signature matchstick okra fries.
1Kept is Southern food updated for Millennials in Buckhead.
Aviva by Kameel – The #1 rated Atlanta lunch restaurant and maybe the healthiest, too. Aviva serves Middle Eastern food in Downtown.
Ticonderoga Club – Great seafood and poultry with even better cocktails in Inman Park.
Nan Thai Fine Dining – Thai food served in grand style in Midtown. It’s the recipient of the prestigious Four Diamond Award thirteen years and counting.
Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall – Ladybird’s menu is matched only by its ambiance in Old Fourth Ward. Bring your pets too, and enjoy food and cocktails overlooking the Beltline.
The Great Outdoors
One of the best perks of living in Atlanta is that you can enjoy the outdoors all year long. The city’s revitalization includes plenty of green spaces and promotes an active lifestyle. Skip that fourth cup of coffee and head outside during your lunch break. You’ll come back so refreshed your co-workers will be begging to know your secret sauce.
The Beltline – It’s not even finished, and it’s already becoming Atlanta’s favorite place. The Beltline will ultimately include over 20 miles of multi-use trails connecting Atlanta’s Intown neighborhoods. With so many access points all around town, it couldn’t be easier to get out into the fresh air. Bring your sneakers or rent one of the many bikes or scooters along the trail.
Clear Creek Basin – The unexpected beauty of this one can take your breath away. Part of the Historic Old Fourth Ward Park, it’s a reservoir-turned-oasis. You’ll find terraced landscaping, a stone water cascade, fish and waterfowl. It’s not unusual to see wedding parties taking pictures near the pond.
Everyone knows about the Falcons, the Braves and the Hawks. Here’s what locals know about more Atlanta sports fun.
The Gwinnett Stripers are the Atlanta Braves’ triple-A affiliate. Tickets are only $10, plus they offer all sorts of deals and promotions. Coolray Park, their home field, has convenient parking and is less than 30 minutes from Atlanta.
GA Tech Yellowjackets are Atlanta’s college home team. Paint yourself yellow and black and come out to root for the football, basketball or baseball teams.
If you need a break from city life, you don’t have to travel far. Here are some great ideas for weekend trips within a half hour of Downtown Atlanta.
Stone Mountain – Anyone who knows about Atlanta, knows about Stone Mountain. The walk-up trail, Summit Skyride, Lasershow and other paid attractions get a lot of attention, but locals know that the park is full of beautiful, peaceful trails for hiking or jogging. You’re just a few minutes from the touristy action, but you feel like you’ve discovered a little secret.
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is popular for its beautiful hiking trails, a distinctive double-hump shape and an easy walk to the summit. You can drive or take the Park Shuttle up, too, depending on the day. The view at the top is spectacular, but be forewarned – there are no restrooms up there! If you like history, you’ll want to spend time reading the markers or watching the explanatory film on the Battle of Kennesaw.
Peachtree City is an upscale master-planned community south of Downtown Atlanta. The preferred mode of travel in Peachtree City is the golf cart. The city has over 100 miles of golf cart trails and numerous golf cart stores and rentals. You can rent a golf cart by the hour to explore the neighborhood.
Related: Atlanta’s #1 Neighborhood Guide