THE ATLANTA BUCKET LIST: ALL THE THINGS YOU NEED TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE
1. Go roller skating at Cascade Fun Center
They shot ATL there! Also, every year they have events that bring all sorts of folks out to slide around on that slick, shiny floor. Word of advice: you might bust your ass trying that old reverse-in-motion trick you used to do in middle school, so don’t get too "turnt."
2. Find and visit the Land Trust
Although it’s pretty easy to locate online, part of the fun is accidentally discovering this completely hidden commune near Candler Park and Lake Claire. The other part include an emu named Big Lou who lives on the property and the monthly "drum circle" performances.
3. Visit MLK’s home
Damn you if you don’t stop by and at least see the porch swing in front of the Auburn Ave house where the greatest Civil Rights icon the world has ever known was born. Damn you in the most nonviolent way possible (“darn you”?).
4. Walk the entire BeltLine
They have tours, and you can break it into sections, but why not spend a day going all the way? Or if you're like us, maybe make a week of it.
5. Eat wings at J.R. Crickets
They’re nationally famous now, thanks to Donald Glover, but they’ve been famous in ATL much longer than Atlanta’s been on-air. Plus the fries are delicious and the prices are still reasonable.
6. See an Alvin Ailey show at The Fox Theatre
You have to pay homage to one of Atlanta’s greatest performance venues, and to better way to do that than buying a ticket to see one of the world’s most famous dance troupes. It’s a great date night, and there're people in tights. Also, you know, the culture and thangs.
7. Take the Coca-Cola Tour
According to the FDA, we’re all going to die of diabetes anyway, so you might as well celebrate Atlanta’s thick, syrupy blood by going straight to the heart that feeds the city’s financial arteries. For extra fun, ask your tour guide what they do in Rahway, New Jersey.
8. Visit the College Football Hall of Fame
It’s time to walk inside that half-built football on Marietta St erected in honor of young athletes who spent spend their college years earning major cheddar for "educational" institutions, and then pray to Joe Namath that your future son or daughter can be the next Cam Newton.
9. Hang in Southwest Atlanta
You can’t pretend to know your ITP if you don’t know what’s in the area (Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, prominent soul food restaurants, golf courses, high schools that produced some of the music industry’s biggest names, etc.) or what SWATS stands for (Southwest Atlanta Too Strong). As Dungeon Family rapper Cool Breeze once said, “These grounds are holeeeey!” Get out from under your elitist nose and go check it out.
11. Drink beers from every local brewery
This is still actually doable since Atlanta’s got a lot more craft beer than it did five years ago, but it isn’t nearly close to its Northeast neighbor Asheville in terms of catalog. If you give it the whole seven days you might be able to knock out the entire list simply by hitting all the Taco Macs in town.
12. Take a selfie at Headland & Delowe
If hearing Andre 3000’s opening bars to "Elevators (Me & You)" doesn’t make you love East Point, you suck. Go there. Take a picture of yourself at the intersection. Leave before you start looking like a mark.
13. Have Blondie crush beer cans for you
It’s crazy. It’s weird. It’ll make you feel alive. And like Blondie, it’ll never get old.
14. See a famous rapper at a local restaurant and let it be no big deal
Waka Flocka Flame is known to have sit-down business meetings at Whole Foods. As Slick Rick would say, this type of s*it happens every day.
15. Go to Flux Night
It’s once a year, and it’s crazy. There are a lot of light-based art installations, plus filthy hipsters, old weirdos, and actual cool people who are all drinking out in the open in Castleberry Hill until the morning’s wee hours.
The New 24-Hour Guide to Atlanta
10 pm: Late-Night Delights
No matter what time of day you arrive in Atlanta, there are a handful of eateries where you can indulge well into the night. This is the home of Waffle House, after all. Meanwhile, Cook Out may not be native to the city, but there are enough locations around town that stay open until 4 and 5 am. Depending on the time of night, you might be standing in line alongside local college students or the post-bar crowd. Fill up with a burger, sides of quesadillas and fries, and, of course, a milkshake for a cheap, late-night feast.
12 am: Revelers Welcome
Every city needs a late-night movie theater and the Plaza Theatre in Poncey-Highland is Atlanta’s. First opened in 1939, it screens independent and classic films, including “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” A screening of cult classic is held every Friday night at midnight, put on by the fan group Lips Down on Dixie. Revelers dress up as their favorite characters and participate in various parts of the $15 show. The theater also hosts special screenings and premieres and has their own cocktail, the Plaza Punch.
2 am: Sing Your Heart Out
Still buzzing from your performance at Rocky Horror, end the night at a nearby karaoke bar. Fam-Fam is set up in the Elevator Factory in Grant Park and stays open until 3 am. You can bring your own alcohol and reserve a room by texting their phone number. Don’t expect to just walk up and get a spot on weekends as reservations are recommended. Karaoke costs $10 per person and a minimum of six guests is required.
Flying solo? Head to 10 High under Dark Horse Tavern in Virginia-Highland for Metalsome Karaoke instead. With a live band for back-up, the brave can take the stage until 3 am most nights of the week. First-timers are free (duets are $20). Arrive early to claim your spot, or sing-a-long from the crowd.
6 am: Catch the Sunrise
If you’re still out, or already up, catch the sunrise on the Jackson Street Bridge, which has the best views of Atlanta and technically never “closes.” You likely won’t be the only one there as it’s a popular spot for snapping Instagram shots. If that’s not enough, the Atlanta BeltLine opens at 6 am so you can start your morning off with a walk through the city’s paved rails to trails pathway. Admire the public art that is found on all corners of the Eastside Trail.
7 am: Fuel up for the Day
Open 24 hours in a bustling corner of Buckhead, R. Thomas Deluxe Grill is the best place for an early-bird breakfast, open since 1985. Speaking of birds, be sure to greet the parrots and other feathered friends that live outside the restaurant. Grab a seat in the colorful garden patio and order a vegetable quinoa bowl and fruit smoothie for a much-needed detox. Nearby, Arden’s Garden is another great option for a healthful kick-start to the day (try the Oops! or Complete Recovery). The Atlanta-based, family-owned juice company dates back to 1995 and now sells its juices in 13 stores as well as supermarkets, coffee and bagel shops, health clubs and more.
9 am: Tour the Town
During civilized hours, there’s plenty to see around the city. But if you’re short on time, focus on the history and important neighborhoods. Start at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site to learn about the Atlanta native, then head to Center for Civil and Human Rights in Centennial Olympic Park, which documents both Atlanta’s role in the Civil Rights Movement and modern human rights struggles. From there, join Atlanta Food Walks’ Downtown Southern Food Walk, which weaves regional history and cuisine. It ends at Sweet Auburn Market, a formerly segregated market turned historic food hall.
3 pm: Fast-Paced Playtime
When you’re ready, head back to the area around the airport to finish your trip. The Delta Flight Museum documents the airline’s history from crop dusting planes to international company. And the Porsche Experience Center is home to the luxury car maker’s North American headquarters, complete with a museum, test track and restaurant overlooking the runways.
6 pm: Relax and Rejuvenate
There’s plenty to see and do within Hartsfield-Jackson from the art installations to shopping to the airport outposts of your favorite Atlanta eateries. Don’t miss the award-winning global cuisine and cocktails at One Flew South at Terminal E. Those with access to Delta Sky Club at Terminal E can indulge in a Deepak Chopra-designed treatment at Asanda Spa. Otherwise, check out Xpress Spa at Terminals A and C for massages, manicures and facials before you board.
Atlanta's Top 8 Annual Events You Don’t Want To Miss
A City With Great Events Year Round
Atlanta has been called the New York City of the south, but Atlanta residents prefer to think of it as something a little different, a city unique unto itself. Tradition reigns, which means there are dozens of annual events in Atlanta that need to be seen, visited, and explored. Whether you’re a longtime resident ready for a new adventure or someone looking to buy their first home in Atlanta, keep reading for some of the city’s top annual events.
Peach Drop - New Year’s Eve
Billed as the largest New Year’s Eve celebration in the southeast, the Peach Drop is one of Atlanta’s favorite ways to spend the last night of the year. People come from all around the city and suburbs, as many as 100,000 in recent years.
The Peach Drop has been around since 1989 and has only increased in popularity and size since. What began as a small event with only a few entertainers has grown to include national acts such as Collective Soul, Sister Hazel, Miranda Lambert, Julianne Hough, and many others.
With the large number of restaurants, bars, and other spaces in Underground Atlanta, the party begins early and lasts until the wee hours of January 1. Contrary to popular belief, however, families are welcome. The day begins at 11:00am with children’s activities and entertainment, including live music, an arcade, and carnival rides. New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate, and there is no better place to do so than in Underground Atlanta, watching the Peach Drop.
Atlanta Dogwood Festival
For more than 80 years, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival has been the best way to welcome spring in the city. Walter Rich, founder of Rich’s department store, wanted to put Atlanta on the map because of the beautiful dogwood trees that bloom all over the city every spring. As a result, even more dogwood trees were planted, most of which can still be found today. Discontinued during World War II, the festival was reinstated in 1964 under the Women’s Chamber of Commerce and began to grow.
By the early 90s, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival was a two-week long event, with Buckhead, Piedmont, and Midtown each playing host for the event. By the early 2000s, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival was moved to Piedmont Park, its current home, and has been growing in popularity and size each year since.
Visitors to the Atlanta Dogwood Festival can expect a variety of events, including live music, cook offs, a 5k, a family-friendly section with rides, games, and food, exhibitions, and, of course, the large artist market! With the large variety of things to do, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival continues to be one of the most popular Atlanta events.
Peachtree Road Race - 4th Of July
Every July 4th since 1969, it’s been a tradition to wake up early, lace up the running shoes, and jog the 6.2 miles from Lenox Square Mall to Piedmont Park for the Peachtree Road Race. Organized by the Atlanta Track Club, the Peachtree Road Race is the largest 10K in the world and features around 60,000 runners of all levels.
The Peachtree isn’t just a tradition for the runners, however. Families, couples, and individuals line the parade route, cheering and holding signs of encouragement and handing out water; rarely is the city brought together in such a way.
The Peachtree Road Race also features a wheelchair race, a kid’s race, and an opportunity for joggers of all experience levels to join. Each finisher, no matter their time, receives one of the coveted AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt, the design of which is an earnestly kept secret up until the day of the race.
The Peachtree Road Race finishes at Piedmont Park, where food, live music, and free samples are provided to the participants and their friends and family. One of Atlanta’s best loved traditions, the Peachtree Road Race is the best way to welcome the Fourth of July in Atlanta. Don’t miss it.
Every September, thousands of people descend upon downtown Atlanta for Dragon Con, the annual convention featuring hundreds of characters from books, television shows, movies, comic books, and more.
For four days, hotels and streets spanning an entire city block are filled with more than 50,000 fans dressed up in elaborate costumes. The event offers fans an opportunity to connect with each other and experience everything the science fiction, fantasy and comic book world has to offer.
The annual event boasts thousands of hours of programming including: a parade in the streets of Atlanta, autograph sessions, awards banquets, live performances, reading sessions, workshops, celebrity appearances, art shows, gaming sessions, tons of contests and even live wrestling. There is certainly no shortage of things to do and people to see, so purchase your tickets and reserve your hotel room early. This is an event any true fan of fantasy and gaming will not miss.
Virginia Highland Summerfest
During the first weekend of June, North Highland Avenue and Virginia Avenue close, booths appear, stages are built, and Summerfest welcomes the summer.
For over 30 years, artists from all over the southeast have converged upon the small Midtown neighborhood, and attendees can enjoy a variety of art, homemade crafts, jewelry, garden pieces, and clothing. There is also two live music stages, a children’s area, and plenty of food vendors to complete the weekend.
In recent years, a 5k road race opens the weekend with more than 1500 runners taking to the streets of Virginia-Highland. For the smaller attendees who enjoy running, the Tot Trot takes place after the 5k and is open to children under five years old. Some say summer isn’t complete without the Virginia-Highland Summerfest; it’s definitely an event that shouldn’t be missed.
Yellow Daisy Festival
A tradition for many families for more than 40 years, the Yellow Daisy Festival brings more than 400 artists to the walking trails of Stone Mountain Park.
Originally a small weekend event to celebrate the blooming of the Confederate Yellow Daisy, the festival has grown into a four day event with live music, dozens of food vendors, a children’s corner, and artists and crafters from over 38 states. Voted one of the top three arts & crafts shows in the nation, the Yellow Daisy Festival is a long tradition that continues to thrive.
From 1994 until 2005, Music Midtown was the talk of the town. In 2011, when the music festival continued, the hype grew even bigger, and Music Midtown has grown into an event that, for music lovers, cannot be missed.
Since its return, Music Midtown has featured national acts such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Drivin N Cryin, Jack White, Eminem, and the Zac Brown Band, among many others. Originally taking place in the early summer months of May and June, Music Midtown has landed on a mid-September time frame, to prevent both the rainy summer weather and competing concerts. Music Midtown is a part of Atlanta history, and a great way to spend a September weekend. Don’t miss it.
Little 5 Points Halloween Festival & Parade
To some, Halloween is a big deal. They spend all year planning their costume, making sure every detail is just right. These folks (and their costumes) can usually be found at the Little 5 Points Halloween Festival & Parade. Voted one of the top 10 Halloween events in the country, the festival and parade are planned for and anticipated all year long.
Over 35,000 people crowd the streets, either as onlookers or participants, and anything goes – from Colonel Sanders to the Ghostbusters, Power Rangers to princesses, the array and originality of the costumes is half the fun.
Along with the parade, there is an artist market, food vendors, and live music, not to mention the numerous stores and restaurants that open their doors and welcome both the holiday and the visitors. If you’re looking for an interesting way to spend an October weekend, look no further than the Little 5 Points Halloween Festival and Parade. You won’t regret it.
Atlanta ranked among 2018’s best summer travel destinations
Summer in metro Atlanta means it’s time to hit some of the year’s best festivals, take advantage of those hidden waterfall hikes and indulge in a frozen treat at one of Atlanta’s beloved ice cream shops.
» RELATED: Your guide to Atlanta events all year long
According to a new ranking from personal finance website WalletHub, metro Atlanta is one of 2018’s top summer travel destinations. For the listing, analysts compared the 100 most populated metro areas in the country across six key categories: travel costs and hassles, local costs, attractions, weather, activities and safety.
The six categories were further assessed using 40 relevant metrics, such as cost of cheapest flight, cost of living, number of attractions, restaurants and more.
» RELATED: 5 easy hikes to Atlanta's hidden waterfalls
Data used to create the ranking came from the U.S. Census Bureau, Federal Bureau of Investigation and TripAdvisor among other reputable sources.
Of the 100 most populated metros in the country, the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV metro area earned top honors, ranking in the top 10 in half of the six categories.
The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell metro area came in fifth overall.
Here’s more on how the region fared:
- Overall rank: 5
- Travel costs and hassles: 10
- Local costs: 55
- Attractions: 16
- Weather: 15
- Activities: 10
- Safety: 58
» RELATED: 5 of 2018’s trendiest summer vacation destinations
Other state metros on the list:
- Chattanooga, TN-GA (27)
- Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC (62)
The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell metro’s lowest scores came in for the local costs and safety ratings categories, though the capital city has experienced a decrease in its homicide rate in recent years, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.
But when it comes to travel costs and hassles and summer fun, the region is a solid contender for a warm seasonal getaway.
» RELATED: Atlanta named top moving destination in the US for 8th year in a row
The top 10 summer travel destinations for 2018, according to WalletHub:
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL
- Austin-Round Rock, TX
- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA
- Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN
- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV
- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
More about the study and its methodology.
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17 best things to do in Atlanta this winter
Atlanta can be deceiving in the wintertime with seemingly fewer things to do.
This couldn't be farther from the truth. With a little creativity and curiosity, you will find that many adventures are waiting to be discovered.
After you read this list, you will go exploring Atlanta's winter wonderland.
Here are the top 17 things to do in Atlanta this winter:
Volunteer on MLK weekend. Serving your neighbors is one of the best ways you can give back on this holiday.
Does a chilly run tickle your fancy? Hit up these cold-weather Atlanta 5ks to get your fix.
Treat yourself to a piping hot bowl of Atlanta’s best chili. It’s really not winter until you enjoy a bowl of chili. These Atlanta restaurants do it best.
Try out the restaurants and attractions voted the best in Atlanta in 2016. Speaking of the best, AJC’s readers have voted which restaurants and attractions were their go-tos last year.
Take your honey on a date that will be frozen in time. Make cuffing season count with these creative dates that are sure to impress your significant other.
Get your wing fix. While most restaurants offer wings on their menu, this guide will help you find the very best in Atlanta.
Broaden your buddy network by joining these Atlanta sports leagues and outdoor clubs. Birds of a feather stick together.
Try a new cocktail slated to be one of the trendiest of 2017. There are few things better than a strong cocktail after a long cold week. The AJC’s dining staff names these cocktails as the bee’s knees this year.
January might impress you with all of the fun it has in store. Can you handle it?
Get out of the cold and into a warm movie theater. Oscar season brings some of the best flicks of the year to a theater near you.
Go on a staycation right here in Atlanta. Some of the most luxurious vacation rentals in the ATL can make you feel like you’re a world away.
Take on the night at one of the late-night hot spots in Atlanta. No, bowling is not the only late-night activity Atlanta has to offer after midnight.
Ponce City Market’s Skyline Park is just one of the Atlanta bucket list attractions to cross off your winter to-do list. Winter is the perfect time to explore this rapidly growing epicenter for fun. There’s a number of ITP and OTP attractions to explore.
Lace up and hit the ice, because the rinks are calling your name. The holidays might be over, but good cheer is still to be found as you glide through the air at some of the remaining opened ice rinks.
Some big music acts are heading our way this winter. Which shows are you going to?
Atlanta will begin a number of exciting productions, art exhibitions in the 2017-18 season. If you love theater, dance and art, then your year has been made.
2017 brings new restaurant openings. Bon Ton and the Anh’s Kitchen are just a few new restaurants that’ll be worth bracing the cold.
Trust Atlanta Airport Cab of Atlanta for hassle free and luxury ride to your destinations in Atlanta. We provide best car and taxi service in Atlanta so that you can fully enjoy every season and take part in different activities accross Atlanta and around without worry.