The 12 things you absolutely must do in Atlanta this Summer

Atlanta Street Food Festival

The 12 things you absolutely must do in Atlanta this Summer
The 12 things you absolutely must do in Atlanta this Summer

Atlanta Street Food Festival

The best Summer ever lasts for 500 days and ends with you hooking up with Minka Kelly, obviously. But the second-best Summer involves drinking with zombies, drinking with stormtroopers, and everything else on our list of 12 things you absolutely must do in Atlanta this Summer:

Virginia-Highland Summerfest

What: Virginia-Highland Summerfest
When: June 7th - 8th
Where: Virginia Ave between N. Highland and Monroe.
The Highlands kick things off with the city’s largest block party: roam the streets with a beer in hand, (legally, this time), grab some street meat, and chill listening to your favorite local bands. Oh, and there’s also a bunch of art and stuff, so watch your drink intake, or you might walk home with some Decaturite’s finger painting.

What: Polaris re-opening
When: June 10th
Where: On top of the Hyatt Regency
After being closed for a decade, the giant, blue, rotating romance-spot is triumphantly re-emerging, and giving you a full view of the city every 45 minutes while you feast on steak, lobster, veal, rabbit, and other protein, or sip scratch cocktails, including some made with honey from the bees they’re keeping (safely?) on the rooftop.

What: Watch the World Cup at a soccer bar
When: June 12th - July 13th
Where: Brewhouse Cafe, Fado Irish Pub, Midway Pub, Limerick Junction
Grab a scarf, bone up on your futbol, and raise a pint with Atlanta-based ex-pats from across the globe/actual American soccer fans from wherever the heck they come from, while catching a match or two and enjoying drink/food specials.

What: Atlanta Summer Beer Fest
When: June 21st
Where: The Masquerade Music Park
The largest, loudest, and beeriest festival returns for its fifth year in the greenery of the Masquerade, and brings with it over 150 beers, tremendous bands, and a late-ish end time (9pm!) that ensures things won't end until your day-drinking-induced nap is over.

What: Tailgating at the Peachtree Road Race
When: July 4th
Where: Buckhead to Midtown
There are two types of dehydration in Atlanta on July 4th: you get the first one running from Lenox to Piedmont Park with 50,000+ of your closest friends. You get the other by not joining the tens of thousands of other people who grab a cooler full of cold ones, (or red, white, and blue Jell-O shots), and join in the revelry. Sans running, obviously.

Der Biergarten

What: Hang in one of Atlanta’s signature rooftop bars
Where: All over the city
When: Any time it’s not raining
Whether it's pre-gaming for a big Friday, recovering on a hung-over Sunday, or a half-day Tuesday, Atlanta’s rooftops are the perfect place to soak in the sun while soaking in the booze.

What: The Atlanta Street Food Festival
When: July 12th
Where: Piedmont Park
Want to try every single food truck in the city, but don’t have the time to wait until they show up near you? This is your perfect opportunity to stuff yourself full of every single taco, sandwich, and fried piece of goodness that our wheeled food professionals sling.

What: Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival
When: July 20th
Where: The Goat Farm Arts Center
Dozens of the city’s top chefs and bartenders work with a single theme: make tomatoes something you'll actually eat -- if they aren't in salsa/pizza sauce -- by stuffing 'em with meat and cheese, or combining them with bourbon (?!).

Flickr/Stephen Harlan

What: Atlanta Annual Zombie Pub Crawl
When: July 26th
Where: Diesel Filling Station
Atlanta’s Walking Dead bar is coping with your withdrawals by letting you drink like a zombie... with the help of professional makeup artists who'll make those scabs and sores look realistic enough to scare the Highlands bartenders into making your pour plenty heavy.

What: Drinking on Lake Lanier
When: Any weekend until Labor Day
Where: Sunset Cove Beach Cafe & Club
You might only have your toes in the trucked-in sand, or you might have been smooth enough to talk yourself onto a party boat, either way, Lake Lanier is the only name in Atlanta-area, H20-based fun.

What: Atlanta Bar-B-Q Festival
When: August 15th - 16th
Where: Atlantic Station
Atlanta’s largest meat convention descends on Atlantic Station with literally tons of pork, beef, chicken, lamb, bison, and other meats you haven’t had slow-roasted. Yet.

What: Dragon Con
When: August 29th - September 1st
Where: Downtown Hyatt, Hilton Atlanta, Courtyard Marriott, Sheraton Atlanta, Westin
Tens of thousands of the world’s drinking-est nerds take over the entire Downtown area for a costume party that will make every Halloween party from now on a disappointment, unless they also involve doing body shots with dozens of Princess Leias, and pounding pints with Optimus Prime.

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1. Fado Irish Pub 273 Buckhead Ave, Atlanta, GA 30305 (Buckhead)

Stop by Fado's Irish Pub and Restaurant for a pint and delicious bar eats like their pork schnitzel sandwich. As far as we are concerned, that are the best and most authentic Irish pub in Atlanta and have the best Guinness in town.

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2. Midway Pub 552 Flat Shoals Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316 (East Atlanta)

This East Atlanta Village hot spot has a game room, over 130 brews, signature cocktails (along with frequent drink specials!) and a spacious patio to enjoy all of the above. Enjoy cripsy pimiento cheese fritters and jalapeño bacon jam while sampling a flight of beer.

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3. The Brewhouse Cafe 401 Moreland Ave, Atlanta, GA 30307 (Little 5 Points)

Modestly self-billed as "Atlanta's BEST International Sports Bar", Brewhouse is definitely at least among the top examples, as it made our list of Favorite 5 Sports Bars thanks to its comfortably divey interior, TVs galore, daily pint specials (Terrapin/SweetWater Mondays, Leinenkugel's Thursdays -- keep the glass!), and a month-long $20 large pizza/Miller Lite pitcher combo... wait, they figured out how to get beer inside those little pretzel rolls too?! Amazing.

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4. Masquerade Music Park 695 North Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30308 (Old 4th Ward)

The Masquerade Music Park is an indoor/outdoor concert/music venue in Atlanta that hosts crazy concerts, from music festivals to... beer festivals.

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5. Der Biergarten 300 Marietta St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313 (Downtown)

Indulge in all the schnitzel you seek at Der Biergarten, a festive 7,000sqft indoor/outdoor haven for Deutsch-y food & froth fanatics. This place is loaded with 3-D murals of the German countryside, a circular "Stammtisch" (table for regulars) with its own chandelier, and a German-made model train circling the interior's ceiling.

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6. The Goat Farm Arts Center 1200 Foster St, Atlanta, GA 30318

The Goat Farm is a visual and performing arts center in Atlanta.

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7. Diesel Filling Station 870 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306 (Druid Hills)

If you've ever been disappointed about the lack of spots that let you chow down on burgers and show off your intellectual power, your blues will be long will your availability on Thursdays 'cause you'll be playing Dirty South Trivia while sipping on a craft brew. This VaHi spot offers nightly events that will challenge your brain while you punish it with one-too-many Sazeracs.

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8. Sunset Cove Beach Cafe & Club 7000 Lanier Islands Pkwy, Buford, GA 30518

This beachside cafe and bar right by Lake Lanier is the perfect spot to dock your boat, put a pause on the Summertime water activities, and grab a delicious cocktail or some classic, American bar bites.

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9. Atlantic Station 1380 Atlantic Dr, Atlanta, GA 30363 (Atlantic Station)

This outdoor mall's got everything you could ever want: shopping, dining, drinking, outdoor movies, theater, and more all conveniently located.

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10. Hyatt Regency Atlanta 265 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30303 (Downtown)

The Hyatt Regency is an upscale hotel and event space in Downtown Atlanta.

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11. Sheraton Atlanta Hotel 165 Courtland Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30303 (Downtown)

The Sheraton Atlanta is an upscale hotel and event/convention space in downtown Atlanta.