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A unique side of Atlanta, often missed by the casual tourist, read on for my pick of the best undiscovered spots in this "Paris of the South" — from museums and movie theaters to hip neighborhoods and Krispy Kreme doughnuts!

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Foodie
  • Trendsetter
  • Like a Local

17 Places

3 City Tips

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17 Places

Day 1

Fox Theatre

Architectural Buildings, Theatres

The Varsity

Restaurants

Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum

Art Museums, History Museums

Silver Skillet

Restaurants

Oakland Cemetery

Cemeteries

Day 2

Little Five Points

Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks

The Vortex

Restaurants

Plaza Atlanta Theater

Movie Theatres

Virginia-Highland

Neighbourhoods

King of Pops

Restaurants

Aurora Coffee

Restaurants

Sun Dial Restaurant, Bar & View

Restaurants

Day 3

OK Cafe

Restaurants

Joystick Gamebar

Bars & Clubs

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

Restaurants

Atlanta History Center

History Museums, Gardens

Mellow Mushroom

Restaurants

John M's City Tips

  • As Atlanta is such a sprawled, metropolitan area, renting your own transportation is recommended.
  • As for the rest of the USA, leaving a tip of 15-20% is expected in restaurants.
  • If you do decide to rely on public transport, Atlanta is served by MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) — rail and bus routes which serve many of the main areas.
    Day 1
  • Fox Theatre
    Architectural Buildings, Theatres
    See more photos
    John M Says:

    The fabulous Fox is an Atlanta landmark. Broadway shows, concerts, ballet, Saturday morning cartoons in the summer; the performances at the Fox are great but always overshadowed by the beauty of the theater itself. To truly appreciate the splendor of this one-of-a-kind venue, take a tour and see a side of the Fox most locals haven't even seen.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Tours are offered several days a week.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 269 things to do in Atlanta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Amazing Venue 25/09/2016
    • Seeing the Fox Theater alone with its star-studded ceiling is worth a visit 25/09/2016
    • Fox Theatre
    Address:
    660 Peachtree St NE
    Atlanta, GA 30308-1969
    Phone:
    404 881 2100
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    09:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • The Varsity
    Restaurants (American, Fast food)
    See more photos
    John M Says:

    The Varsity — the 'world's largest drive-in' — is an Atlanta experience that should not be missed. From burgers and onion rings to chili dogs and fried pies....what'll ya have?

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • If you are not in the mood for a greasy burger or onion rings (which are great), order a frosted orange. This is the Varsity's famed creamsicle shake. Try a fried pie, too.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #115 of 2,495 restaurants in Atlanta
    • Historic but Undesirable 25/09/2016
    • An Atlanta institution, but only average 25/09/2016
    • The Varsity
    Address:
    61 North Ave NW
    Atlanta, GA 30308-2166
    Phone:
    (404) 881-1706
    Price range:
    USD 0 - USD 20
    Hours:
    Sun - Thu
    10:00 - 23:30
    Fri - Sat
    10:00 - 00:30
    Other:
  • Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum
    Art Museums, History Museums
    See more photos
    John M Says:

    My mom always takes visitors to Atlanta here and they are never disappointed. The Cyclorama is the second largest oil painting in the world! It is an excellent way for people who are not all that into history to learn about the Battle of Atlanta, perhaps the most important piece of Atlanta history.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Even if historical exhibits don't interest you, a quick stroll through the Civil War Museum is worth the time.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #0 of 0 things to do in Atlanta
    • Enter the Battles of Atanta 10/07/2016
    • Day at the Zoo 26/04/2016
    • Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum
    Address:
    800 Cherokee Ave SE
    Atlanta, GA 30315-1470
    Phone:
    14048144000
    Hours:
    Tue - Sat
    09:15 - 16:30
    Other:
  • Silver Skillet
    Restaurants (American, Diner, Cafe)
    See more photos
    John M Says:

    Welcome to Atlanta! There is no better way to say good morning to the 'Paris of the South' than a breakfast at the Silver Skillet. This great little diner on the edge of downtown has been serving the best breakfast in Atlanta for over 50 years.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Don't be frightened if there is a line down the block, there usually is. However, the wait is not often longer than thirty minutes, and it's worth it.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #128 of 2,495 restaurants in Atlanta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great food eclipsed by awful service 19/09/2016
    • Good Eats!! 06/09/2016
    • Silver Skillet
    Address:
    200 14th St NW
    Atlanta, GA 30318-5304
    Phone:
    404-874-1388
    Price range:
    USD 1 - USD 20
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    06:30 - 14:30
    Sat - Sun
    08:00 - 14:00
  • Oakland Cemetery
    Cemeteries
    See more photos
    John M Says:

    Take a walk through the history of Atlanta and the South in Oakland Cemetery. The 'garden cemetery,' as it is called, is a wonderful way to experience the history and beauty of the city.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Hidden Gems
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Take a guided tour, it is well worth it.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 269 things to do in Atlanta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Historic and Haunted!!! We Will Not Let You Down!! 24/09/2016
    • Beautiful Cemetery 22/09/2016
    • Oakland Cemetery
    Address:
    248 Oakland Ave SE
    Atlanta, GA 30312-2292
    Phone:
    14046882107
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    09:00 - 17:00
    Sat - Sun
    09:00 - 20:00
    Other:
  • Day 2
  • Little Five Points
    Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    John M Says:

    Little Five, as locals call it, is a neighborhood of mostly independent stores and restaurants on the east side of Atlanta. Called 'Atlanta's answer to Haight-Ashbury,' Little Five Points has been a hip destination for generations of young Atlantans. With its vintage clothing stores, independent record and book stores, and locally-owned restaurants, Little Five is a great destination for anyone wanting an outside-the-box experience.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • If you are coming by car, you can park on any of the side streets along Moreland or Euclid Avenues.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #36 of 269 things to do in Atlanta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Hipster Neighbourhood 24/09/2016
    • Fun, Unique Place 16/09/2016
    • Little Five Points
    Address:
    299 Moreland Ave NE
    Atlanta, GA 30307-2011
    Phone:
    (404) 577-0873
    Other:
  • The Vortex
    Restaurants (American, Bar, Pub)
    See more photos
    John M Says:

    The Vortex has some of the best bar food in Atlanta and is a great little local place for a sandwich. It definitely has an attitude and a character all of its own. Smoking is permitted in the restaurant, so if a little smoke and a little attitude turn you off, you may want to give it a miss! I've never found either too much though — and the sandwiches are so good!

    Good for
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    Tips
    • This a 21+ establishment.
    • Don't forget to order tater tots!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #20 of 2,495 restaurants in Atlanta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Tasty burgers and local beer 25/09/2016
    • Yaauuuummm! 21/09/2016
    • The Vortex
    Address:
    878 Peachtree St NE
    Atlanta, GA 30309-4412
    Phone:
    (404) 875-1667
    Price range:
    USD 1 - USD 20
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 - 00:00
    Mon - Thu
    11:00 - 02:00
    Fri - Sat
    11:00 - 03:00
    Other:
  • Plaza Atlanta Theater
    Movie Theatres
    See more photos
    John M Says:

    It's Atlanta's oldest cinema and one of the last independent movie theaters in the city. And when was the last time you saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show?

    Good for
    • LGBT
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • If you go for the Rocky Horror, be prepared: it's racy!
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #24 of 55 Fun & Games in Atlanta
    • Great 40's old-time feel! 12/09/2016
    • A Great Nostalgic Theater Brings back the Memories! 04/07/2016
    • Plaza Atlanta Theater
    Address:
    1049 Ponce de Leon Ave NE
    Atlanta, GA 30306-4219
    Phone:
    (404) 873-1939
    Other:
  • Virginia-Highland
    Neighbourhoods
    John M Says:

    Virginia Highland is a great little, historic neighborhood in midtown Atlanta with a perfect mix of beautiful old homes, great shops, and wonderful restaurants. This is a perfect neighborhood for a walking or driving tour.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Be aware of where you park, residents can be sticklers and will have you towed.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #47 of 269 things to do in Atlanta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great neighborhood 29/08/2016
    • Disappointing 02/08/2016
    • Virginia-Highland
    Other:
  • King of Pops
    Restaurants
    See more photos
    John M Says:

    Whether you visit Atlanta in the summer or the winter, get a popsicle from these folks. Grapefruit-mint, banana pudding, chocolate sea-salt, blueberry cobbler... they're all delicious!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • There is a fairly permanent cart set up at the corner of Bernina & Elizabeth St. Check the website for upcoming scheduled locations.
    • Don't pass up the chocolate sea-salt pop!
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #384 of 2,495 restaurants in Atlanta
    • Taste of summer 22/08/2016
    • Best pops ever! 16/05/2016
    • King of Pops
    Address:
    1079 N Highland Ave NE
    Atlanta, GA 30306-3455
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    15:00 - 19:00
    Sat - Sun
    12:00 - 19:00
    Other:
  • Aurora Coffee
    Restaurants (Cafe)
    John M Says:

    With several new and trendy coffeehouses opening up in and around Atlanta, it's nice to know about one whose coffee has stood the test of time. Aurora has been serving up great espresso for over twenty years now and there's a reason for their impeccable reputation. This is where the locals, who don't drink corporate coffee, get their joe.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Try the Aurora's cold-brewed coffee, it's so smooth.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #1,428 of 2,495 restaurants in Atlanta
    • Little Five Gem 17/09/2016
    • Nice Coffee Place 26/03/2016
    • Aurora Coffee
    Address:
    468 Moreland Ave NE
    Atlanta, GA 30307-1423
    Phone:
    404-523-6856
    Price range:
    USD 1 - USD 5
    Hours:
    Sun
    07:00 - 20:00
    Mon - Thu
    06:30 - 20:00
    Fri
    06:30 - 21:00
    Sat
    07:00 - 21:00
  • Sun Dial Restaurant, Bar & View
    Restaurants (American, Gluten Free Options)
    See more photos
    John M Says:

    The food is only decent and the drinks are expensive, but it doesn't matter — the view from the Sun Dial is the best in Atlanta. From the 72nd floor of the Westin Hotel, you get stunning 360° views from this revolving bar and restaurant.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Go at night, buy a drink, and stay for an hour. (The bar takes just about an hour for one full revolution.)
    From the community
    Ranked #41 of 2,495 restaurants in Atlanta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Delightful meal 25/09/2016
    • Adult beverage night cap with a view 24/09/2016
    • Sun Dial Restaurant, Bar & View
    Address:
    210 Peachtree St NW
    The Westin Peachtree Plaza
    Atlanta, GA 30303-1704
    Phone:
    +1 404-589-7506
    Price range:
    USD 31 - USD 80
    Hours:
    Sun - Thu
    18:00 - 22:00
    Sun - Sat
    11:30 - 14:30
    Fri
    18:00 - 23:00
    Sat
    17:30 - 23:00
    Other:
  • Day 3
  • OK Cafe
    Restaurants (American, Cafe, Diner, Delicatessen)
    See more photos
    John M Says:

    Whenever I visit my old hometown, I always eat at the OK Cafe. Friends and family don't even have to ask where I want to go. They know. This place is so good — it's a real tradition.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Ask to sit under the money tree and order the fried cheese grits.
    • Spot the note written by Harper Lee to the cafe on your way out.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #48 of 2,495 restaurants in Atlanta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Late night dessert 17/09/2016
    • Pricey Diner Food 14/09/2016
    • OK Cafe
    Address:
    1284 W Paces Ferry Rd NW
    Atlanta, GA 30327-2306
    Phone:
    14042332888
    Price range:
    USD 1 - USD 20
    Hours:
    Sun - Thu
    07:00 - 22:00
    Fri - Sat
    07:00 - 23:00
    Other:
  • Joystick Gamebar
    Bars & Clubs
    John M Says:

    Who doesn't like to play old video games? Even if you don't, the Gamebar is a nice, centrally located place to relax for a bit while you gather steam for the rest of your Atlanta adventure. The Gamebar is also an 'incubation kitchen,' with a revolving chef and revolving thematic menu.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • No children (under 21) are permitted in the Gamebar after 8pm.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #15 of 118 Nightlife in Atlanta
    • RockBand Karaoke 12/08/2016
    • Atlanta Arcade Bar 18/02/2016
    • Joystick Gamebar
    Address:
    427 Edgewood Ave SE
    Atlanta, GA 30312-1828
    Phone:
    (404) 525-3002
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 - 00:30
    Mon - Fri
    17:00 - 02:30
    Sat
    12:00 - 02:30
    Other:
  • Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
    Restaurants (American, Fast food)
    John M Says:

    This location supplies most of the doughnuts for the city. If you have not had a Krispy Kreme, this a must-do! Plus, at this location, you can see the magic, that is a Krispy Kreme doughnut, being made.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Make sure the "hot now" sign is on; there is no other way to have a Krispy Kreme. (Don't let them give you doughnuts off the rack, you want them straight from the fryer.)
    From the community
    Ranked #144 of 2,495 restaurants in Atlanta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Hot and Yummy! 23/09/2016
    • Late-night guilty pleasure! 10/09/2016
    • Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
    Address:
    295 Ponce de Leon Ave NE
    Atlanta, GA 30308-1993
    Phone:
    (404) 876-7307
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    00:00 - 23:59
    Other:
  • Atlanta History Center
    History Museums, Gardens
    See more photos
    John M Says:

    While you're in Atlanta, why not learn the history? While you're at it, you can have a look at the largest Civil War memorabilia collection in the world. The Atlanta History Center is another place my mom takes all her out-of-town friends to.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • The Atlanta History Center has an event, lecture, or program almost everyday. Check the website before you go for the schedule.
    From the community
    Ranked #9 of 269 things to do in Atlanta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Loved it 20/09/2016
    • Amazing! 19/09/2016
    • Atlanta History Center
    Address:
    130 W Paces Ferry Rd NW
    10 St Nw
    Atlanta, GA 30305-1380
    Phone:
    +1 404-814-4000
    Price range:
    USD 16 - USD 16
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 - 17:30
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 - 17:30
    Other:
  • Mellow Mushroom
    Restaurants (Pizza, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options)
    John M Says:

    Mellow Mushroom is an Atlanta pizza institution that has now spread throughout the South and beyond. There is a reason for this: their pizza is good and their vibe is mellow.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Try the Kosmic Karma.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #227 of 2,495 restaurants in Atlanta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Service lacking, but great pizza 07/09/2016
    • Just a short walk from our hotel for a terrific lunch! 07/09/2016
    • Mellow Mushroom
    Address:
    2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE
    Suite G-3
    Atlanta, GA 30067-9476
    Phone:
    +1 770-933-8584
    Price range:
    USD 8 - USD 25
    Hours:
    Mon - Thu
    11:00 - 22:00
    Fri
    11:00 - 22:30
    Sat - Sun
    11:30 - 22:00
    Other:
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