Catch a Broadway play before it hits Broadway at Alliance Theater
Think musicals are a New York thing? Think again. Atlanta is home to the Alliance Theater, one of the leading theatre companies in the States. With origins dating back to the 1960s, the Alliance Theater is an important center of culture and creativity in the city. With a mission to deliver programming that challenges audiences to think critically, the Alliance Theatre company has created and premiered many Tony Award-winning productions. These include; The Color Purple, Aida by Elton John, and Sister Act: The Musical. Catch a show at this ground-breaking theatre before anyone else gets to.
Stop and smell the orchids at Atlanta Botanical Garden
Get outside and smell that sweet, southern air. The Atlanta Botanical Garden is one of the most beautiful spots in the city. Spanning over 30 acres in size, this park is located right next to Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta. Here, you’ll find a variety of plant life in bloom that are way too pretty not to snap for the ‘gram. If you swing by at the right time, you might even find giant sculptures made entirely of flowers: think giant peacocks, phoenix and dragons. You don’t even need to be that into nature to have fun here, as the Gardens are well-stocked with cafes and bars. Afternoon cocktails, anyone?
Party with the past at Atlanta History Center (AHC)
Who says you can’t learn and have fun at the same time? Atlanta’s rich history comes to life at the Atlanta History Centre. Founded in 1962, this history museum and research center is a testament to the city’s involvement in developing civil rights in the US and the deep respect they have for culture. Sitting on a huge 33-acre block in the Buckhead District, the AHC hosts many permanent and temporary exhibits. Dive deep into the Civil Rights Movement, the history of the Olympic Games and some of the region’s best folk art. You’ll leave hungry to learn more.
Play Puppetmaster at the Center for Puppetry Arts
Let your inner child run free at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta. Located in Midtown, in the city’s Art District, this center aims to inspire audiences through storytelling. The center is split into three parts: a museum, a performance space and an education space. Walk through the museum to discover the history of puppetry, and stumble upon some of Jim Hensons’ famous (stuffed) faces. Once you’ve taken a selfie with Kermit the Frog and the Sesame Street Crew, catch a live puppet show at the Theatre. The Center for Puppetry Arts is pure imagination brought to life.
Watch the news unfold at CNN Studio tours
It makes sense that a city so steeped in Civil Rights would be home to one of the biggest news organizations in the world. Get behind the scenes and see how they make the news during the CNN Studio Tour. Taking you from the control room to the newsroom, you’ll get to sit in on the action in Studio 7, the company’s largest studio, and peak in on all the producers and journalists working around the clock to bring you breaking news stories from around the world. With many of the tour guides being journalists themselves, pick the brain of someone in the know at the CNN Studio Tour.
Things to do in Atlanta
Shaky Knees Music Festival
If you find yourself in Atlanta in early May, the one thing you’ll want to be sure you don’t miss is the Shaky Knees Music Festival. Held in Central Park in Downtown Atlanta, this three-day festival is a celebration of all things Indie Music. Having hosted the likes of the Lumineers, the Strokes, Florence and the Machine and Band of Horses, Shaky Knees is an experience for the bucket list.
SweetWater 420 Fest
Good vibes flow everywhere in Atlanta – even through its big corporations. SweetWater 420 Fest is a musical festival started by the SweetWater Brewing company, which aims to bring together all the things the Brewery is passionate about: beer, music and good times. Big names that have graced the SweetWater 420 stage include Bastille, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg and Ben Harper.
If you love music and you love dogs – so that’s everyone, right? – we’ve got the ultimate music festival for you: Boxerstock. Founded in 2008 to benefit Atlanta Boxer Rescue, dedicated to the rescue and adoption of Boxers from the city, this festival is a truly Atlantan way to show the pups we care.
Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival
Did we mention Southerners love a good barbeque? The Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival is an annual event held in Atlanta in early March. Brewers, basters, food fanatics and alcohol enthusiasts gather for one big cook-up. Chow down on some of the best barbequed meats you’ll ever have and wash it all down with beer and bourbon.
One of the big events on the Atlanta music calendar, Music Midtown is a two-day music festival held in Piedmont Park, Atlanta. This annual springtime festival usually occurs in September and hosts some of the industry’s biggest names. Last year’s lineup boasted the likes of Bruno Mars, Mumford & Sons and Blink 182.
Top 5 Festivals in Atlanta
If there are three things Atlantans like, it’s food, music and booze. That’s a pretty good list by our standards. Get around all the amazing festivals happening in Atlanta and feel the good vibes flow. Here are our picks for the top five must-see festivals in Atlanta.
High Museum of Art
If art is your thing, the High Museum of Art will tick all your boxes. One of the leading Art Museums of the Southern US, the High has an extensive collection of nineteenth and twentieth century American Fine and Decorative art, as well as a growing collection of African-American and Contemporary Art. Learn about the unique story of the South at the High.
World of Coca-Cola
The World of Coca-Cola takes you through the story of one of the world’s biggest corporations, right from where it started: Atlanta, Georgia. Enjoy interactive exhibitions, explore the Vault of the Secret Formula, or grab a movie at the 4D theatre – you’ll be surprised by how many special moments Coca-Cola has served up over its 125-year history.
National Center for Civil and Human Rights
As the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr., Atlanta has played a huge role in the development of human rights over the years. The National Center for Civil and Human Rights tells the story of the human rights movement in the US, as well as contemporary civil rights struggles in other parts of the world.
Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site
Paying tribute to one of Atlanta’s most notable sons, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site is a collection of buildings around the city that tell the incredible story of this inspiring leader. Walk in King’s footsteps as you visit his childhood home and Ebenezer Baptist Church, the church in which both King and his father pastored.
William Breman Jewish Heritage & Holocaust Museum
Following in the spirit of human rights that burns bright in Atlanta, the William Breman Jewish Heritage & Holocaust Museum documents the history of Jewish life in Georgia and Alabama. Its interactive exhibitions teach about Jewish culture and Jewish-American diaspora. It also serves as a memorial to both victims and survivors of the Holocaust.
Top 5 Museums & Galleries in Atlanta
When it comes to history and culture, Atlanta’s roots run deep. Having been a center of the Atlantic Slave Trade before burgeoning into a cradle for African-American culture and pride during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s - 1960s, every inch of this town has stories to tell. Discover them for yourself in at one of the many museums in Atlanta.
Fried Chicken is the ultimate in Southern comfort food. Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, no trip to Atlanta is complete without getting into some greasy bird. For a classic southern experience, hit up Mary Mac’s Tea Room and get a side of Mac’n’Cheese.
Best eaten at Mary Mac’s Tea Room, 224 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, GA 30308
An American street food staple, Georgians sure know a thing or two about hotdogs. The Varsity is the place to go for your pre-game ‘dog. Made with 100% beef sausages, top up your bun with American-style chili, slaw or cheese. This retro-style diner is also the world’s largest Drive-In Restaurant, so pull up and enjoy your hotdog like the locals: in the carpark.
Best eaten at The Varsity, 61 North Avenue NW, Atlanta, GA 30308
Sometimes on the road, you need a little taste of home. Like our much-loved pub parmies, Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano does a mean chicken parm. This casual Southern Italian-style restaurant blends the best of both worlds: a fried chicken schnitzel topped with napolitana sauce and lots of mozzarella. With a generous serving of garlic bread and wedges, you’ll be licking your plate clean.
Best eaten at Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano, 1099 Hemphill Ave NW, GA 30318
What’s a trip to the South without a little barbeque? Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q does a mean Texan-style grill that’ll leave you drooling for more. Not sure how to tackle the menu? Go with the Texas Fries. Don’t be fooled by the name – this is a whole meal unto itself. Fries are smothered in BBQ sauce, chopped brisket or pulled pork, jalapenos and melted cheese. Are you hungry yet?
Best eaten at Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, 1238 DeKalb Ave NE, GA 30307
Chicken And Waffles
One of the best-kept secrets of American brunch is chicken and waffles. Crispy, succulent fried chicken on top of a fluffy waffle, topped with bacon and maple syrup? Yes please. While this flavor combo might sound weird to first-timers, after your first bite, you’ll be hooked. Our pick for place? 10th & Piedmont. This dish is especially good after a night on the bevs.
Best eaten at 10th & Piedmont, 991 Piedmont Ave NE, GA 30309
Food in Atlanta
There’s a reason they call it soul food in these parts: food in the South is all about comfort. With influences from African, Native American, Latino, British and Irish cultures, Southern-style cooking is in a class of its own. Here are our picks for where to eat in Atlanta.