Welcome to the Heart of the Peach State!
Only a local can be fully aware of any city’s most interesting places to eat and explore. Dining in some of the most unique restaurants in Atlanta, staying in the funkiest of Atlanta hotels, and exploring places off-the-beaten-path is the absolute best way to enjoy this city as a worldwide local.
Those who call Atlanta, Georgia home know that there is more to this city than meets the eye. It is a thriving metropolitan city, where diversity lends itself to inspiring art, music, and dining scene. This guide will give you an insider’s peek at the best ways to visit Atlanta.
Atlanta is widely known for its involvement during the civil rights era of the ’50s-’60s. Since then, it has become an ever-evolving city, full of possibilities. As the city continues to attract new residents and visitors from around the world, it is reflected in the things that are offered throughout the city, including various food truck vendors, festivals, and art. Many large-scale conferences and sporting events are held here and for good reason. There is something for everyone in Atlanta.
Art in Atlanta
One of the best ways to get to know the city is visually. This is easy to do since everywhere you look there is interesting art that will capture your attention. Begin your exploration of Atlanta with a mural/graffiti tour (some is commissioned and some... non-commissioned.) Each piece tells the story of Atlanta in a unique and captivating way.
The first stop on your graffiti tour should be to the Krog Street Tunnel. This is where graffiti art comes to life. This tunnel has become the canvas for hundreds of Atlanta artists to express themselves through their art, putting it on display for the world to see. Visitors to the tunnel include both locals and visitors, all curious to see the talent of Atlanta on full display.
Worldwide Local Tip: Since it is underground, make sure you are familiar with your camera settings to capture the images in the best light possible. It would probably be best to preset your camera before visiting the tunnel. Don’t miss out on photos because you mistakenly left your camera on the settings you used at the sunny Atlanta botanical gardens!
Atlanta Museums and More
Along with the famous tourist destinations like the Atlanta aquarium, the city is full of museums like the Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum, World of Coca Cola, and the High Museum of Art. The Millennium Gate Museum is another notable location, though it may not be as widely known. If you’re shopping nearby, you may not realize the beautiful Roman arch, in the center of the district, is actually a park and museum. At first glance, you may assume it is just a neoclassical masterpiece erected to give the area a regal appearance. Take a closer look and you’ll notice a beautiful urban park, courtyard, and history museum. You’ll likely see the local residents of the neighborhood enjoying the sunny Atlanta weather in the park, walking their dogs, jogging, or picnicking in the courtyard. You’re welcome and encouraged to do the same, as a worldwide local.
Don’t let the park overshadow the fascinating museum inside the arch, which highlights Georgia’s historical relevance. The Millennium gate Museum houses permanent exhibits, such as the Georgia History exhibit, and non-permanent exhibits, which move from museum to museum. It may be small, but locals find it worth visiting.
Worldwide Local Tip: The Millennium Gate Museum doesn’t offer any type of parking. Park at nearby Atlantic Station (the area’s shopping district) and enjoy the short but scenic walk over.
Experience Nature in the Middle of the City
If it feels like the city is starting to close in on you and you are in need of a break from the hustle and bustle, venture to the Morningside Nature Preserve. The preserve isn’t large, but it offers ample trails and interesting waterways. With stunning nature and without the crowds of the Atlanta zoo, it is the perfect place to kick back and relax, while enjoying the natural beauty of the outdoors. When visiting the nature preserve you may feel as though you are hundreds of miles away from the rowdy bars and concerts in Atlanta, safe in the mountains, but in fact--you’re in the heart of the city.
Worldwide Local Tip: Avoid going to the preserve after it rains. The bugs and mud make it impossible to enjoy the preserve without distractions.
Atlanta’s Best Dancing and Drinking
If you want to mix things up a little, you’re sure to enjoy Loca Luna regardless of your age. This Latin supper club sits in the back of an urban neighborhood, offering delicious and authentic Latin-inspired tapas and live entertainment. The music and upbeat environment transcend you to another time and place. Chances are you may feel like you are actually in Havana, Cuba instead of Atlanta, Georgia--two experiences for the price of one! Loca Luna is a must on your Atlanta itinerary.
Worldwide Local Tip: Wear comfortable shoes--no one is allowed to stay seated when the band starts to play.
Creating your itinerary like a local won’t be hard to do since there are so many varied and entertaining things to do in Atlanta. Come enjoy the southern hospitality as a worldwide local, and leave with a renewed love of the South.