Atlanta’s original Hoochee-Mama is the river that runs through it, and while there are definitely a few parts of the river you’d probably want to avoid, there are places above and below Metro Atlanta with great views, hiking trails, and hangout capabilities, whether you’re in Newnan at Chattahoochee Bend State Park, or Riverside Park up in Roswell.
Visit Atlanta’s LBGTQA epicenter
It doesn’t even matter if you aren’t in need of a cup of Caribou Coffee, a Flying Biscuit, or feel like eating at either TEN or 10th & Piedmont. There’s something worth visiting just to say you walked across at least one of the streets at the intersection of Piedmont Avenue and 10th Street, where Outwrite, an iconic gay bookstore, once stood. If you get lost, just ask for the rainbow crosswalk.
Since you can walk right out of the MARTA train station and right into some of the area’s most fun restaurants and bars (Leon’s Full Service, Brick Store Pub, The White Bull, Kimball House, The Iberian Pig), it’s a great place to be if you’re unsure of what you should be doing on a day around Atlanta and don’t feel like thinking.
Eat Atlanta barbecue
Fox Bros. makes amazing barbecue. So does Daddy Dz, DAS BBQ, Heirloom Market, and of course B’s Cracklin’, which closed due to fire, but has a new location at the just-opened BeltLine Kroger. And we just got a new contender: Wood’s Chapel, from the crew behind The General Muir. We may not be Memphis, Austin, St. Louis, a city in the Carolinas or even Decatur, Alabama -- places that have created a distinct, nationally recognized style of barbecue. But our locally famous barbecue joints have brought Atlanta to the point where people are going to ask if you’ve had B’s brisket when you were in town, or Wood’s Chapel’s smoked salmon, or anything at Fox Bros. This is, after all, the capital of the South, so we love everybody’s barbecue. Get out and start eating some.
Though its namesake didn’t live to see it, Bobby Jones Golf Course is now renovated and better than ever on the westside of Buckhead. The 130-acre course is 1 year old, $23 million nicer, and open to the public (unlike East Lake), and was redesigned with a reversible nine-hole setup that changes direction every other day. You can see the city skyline from the grounds, and it’s a quick ride back towards Midtown and everything golfers do after they’ve spent a day hacking away at an expensive patch of grass in prime real estate.
One way to find out what Atlanta’s artistic and activist community is doing at any given time is to head east on Dekalb Avenue and check out the graffiti-laced tunnel at the Krog intersection. You’ll see always-changing street art that includes social messages, as well as event flyers in mural format. And it’s all okay with the city, so nobody gets ticketed or harassed for putting a little paint on it for whatever reason.