You’re looking for quintessential Atlanta, and we’ve got the list. In Part 1 we talked theatre, popsicles and dive bars. Here’s part 2, with Atlanta’s trademark attractions and landmarks, an eclectic neighborhood and a nod to nature.
Take a hike at Stone Mountain. 3,200 acres sit northeast of the city, with championship golf courses, campgrounds and much more. The ultimate must-do here: hiking up the monstrous granite outcropping for a view from atop the mountain. Pick a clear day for the best views and bring your camera.
Run the AJC Peachtree Road Race. Spend your Fourth of July with 60,000 of your closest friends in the world’s largest 10K. With such a large crowd, entrance is by lottery. You can guarantee a space, though, by becoming a member of the Atlanta Track Club.
Stroll around Centennial Olympic Park. Explore Georgia’s legacy of the Centennial Olympic Games at the 21-acre park in the heart of downtown. Summer brings the opportunity to splash in the fountains, picnic during Music@Noon or chill for the Wednesday WindDown concert series. Don’t leave without taking a spin on SkyView, a ferris wheel towering 20 stories about the park. Find upcoming events at Centennial Olympic Park here: accessatlanta.com/CenParkEvents
People watch at Little Five Points. This junction at Moreland and Euclid Avenues serves as a hodgepodge of eclectic multiculturalism. Chow down on one of the best burgers in America at The Vortex, peruse the wares at Junkman’s Daughter or Criminal Records, or grab a drink at The Porter Beer Bar or Wrecking Bar Brewpub. Whatever you do, don’t miss the signature L5P Halloween Festival and Parade, consistently voted one of the best celebrations in the country. Find upcoming events at L5P here: accessatlanta.com/L5PEvents
Remember the past at Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. Atlanta served as the epicenter of the civil rights movement, and the MLK Historic Site reminds the South of that key historical role. Visit Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. King preached his message of peace, tour the Reverend’s birth home and reflect at his tomb.
Tour Atlanta’s biggest attractions. Play tourist in your own city, visiting Atlanta’s most beloved attractions. Stroll thought the glass tunnel at Georgia Aquarium, the only place outside of Asia housing whale sharks. Taste-test Coke products from around the world at the World of Coca-Cola Museum, or watch the playful pandas at Zoo Atlanta. While on your whirlwind tour, don’t miss Atlanta’s newest attractions, the College Football Hall of Fame and the Center for Civil and Human Rights.
Explore the Atlanta Beltline. The Beltline, once only a dream in the mind of Ryan Gravel, now transforms the city with public parks, multi-use trails and a growing number of peripheral businesses. It’s often undersold as a walking path or a transportation initiative, but it grows – lives and breathes – as a defining piece of the Atlanta community.
Become a fan at an Atlanta ballgame. Head to Turner Field for a spring outing with the Atlanta Braves. Cheer the Hawks on at Phillips Arena, or hit the Georgia Dome for Falcons fever. Whatever the season, whatever the sport, there’s a game to celebrate in Atlanta.
See what’s in bloom at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. The winter holiday celebration at Atlanta Botanical Gardens is unmatched, with over 1 million lights exploding with color. Don’t forget the other seasons, though, from the 330,000 tulip blooms to spring, to the whimsical scarecrows of fall. Find upcoming events at Atlanta Botanical Gardens here: accessatlanta.com/ABGEvents
Walk with ghosts at Oakland Cemetery. Atlanta’s oldest resting place is famed by its notable inhabitants such as Margaret Mitchell (author of Gone With the Wind), Robert Jones (founder of the Master’s Tournament), and Dr. Joseph Jacobs (owner of the drugstore that first sold Pemberton’s Coca Cola). Explore the magnificent mausoleums, including four catalogued in the Smithsonian Institute’s Inventory of American Sculpture Database.