Local vs. Touristy Things to Do in Atlanta
The list below has everything that a true local will tell you are the best “classic” things to do in Atlanta, and are the top 20 things that a local would do in Atlanta. This list is one of my favorite blog posts because there are so many articles about things to do in Atlanta that only suggest people visit the World of Coca Cola, and miss Atlanta’s great culture…this post is not one of those posts! These are some of my favorite 20, local, things to do in Atlanta, on repeat, and as someone that lives here.
That being said, sometimes touristy things to do are fun! If you’ve never been to Atlanta, I recommend doing all of these 20 things in Atlanta, but you should also read my post about the top ten touristy things to do in Atlanta- that way you read about both local things to do in Atlanta, and touristy things! You can also check out my Atlanta Bucket List with 470+ things to do and restaurants in Atlanta here.
Top 20 Things to Do in Atlanta Like a Local
- See the city from Jackson Street Bridge: This view was made famous from the Walking Dead. It’s a classic thing to do in Atlanta and a great way to see the city’s sunset.
- Ponce City Market: grab drinks or dinner on the roof- read my post about Ponce here.
- Krog Street Market: my favorite spot for lunch (I’m always craving Gu’s dumplings!) and it’s even more local than Ponce, IMO. Read my post about Krog here.
- Piedmont park: I love walking through after a dinner in Midtown or playing a game of community kickball here. You have to get a popsicle from a little King of Pops cart!
- Walk the Beltline: The community pathway that connects the city with plenty of breweries and restaurants along the way. Read my post about the Betline here.
- Shoot the hooch: The perfect way to spend a hot summer day is always in an inner tube on the river!
- Catch a show at the Fox Theater: I have tickets to see Hammilton next year and I’m so excited. Fun fact- the Fox was originally home for the Atlanta Shriners organization, which is why the building is SO pretty!
- Visit local Atlanta breweries: the beer scene in Atlanta is huge! Read my guide here (which details the best snacks and seltzer at my favorites!).
- Get a hot dog at The Varsity: Answer the famous question of “What’ll ya Have!”. The varsity is an icon in Atlanta and has been since 1928- their hot dogs are pretty good (it is a fast food joint so don’t expect a 5 star culinary experience!) and I love their varsity orange drink- it tastes like an orange Julius.
- Go to a local festival like Pride, Music Midtown, Candler Park Fall Fest, or the Inman Park Festival: Local festivals and parades are a must-do if you live in Atlanta. Pride last year was an unforgettable experience!
- Sweet Auburn Curb Market: This market is a little lesser-known than Ponce and Krog as it’s not on the Beltline, but it’s still worth a trip! It has tons of food options like Grindhouse burgers and of course, Sweet Auburn BBQ!
- Go to the original Chick-Fil-A at the Dwarf House: this location isn’t your usual Chick-fil-a! It’s styled like a diner and where the classic sandwich was created.
- Go shopping in Buckhead at Lenox Square: High end shopping surrounded by great restaurants in the originally ritzy section of ATL!
- Go to a Braves game or an ATL United game at the Benz: A classic part of summer for me? Baseball games! The Battery is the best for seeing a game because it includes restaurants, bars and shops- I like to get dinner before and then go to the bars after the game!
- Go to a concert at the Tabernacle, The Earl, Aisle 5, or Smith’s Olde Bar: I haven’t been to a concert in ATL yet (stupid COVID-19!), but can’t wait to hit all of these spots for live music.
- Explore Living Walls Atlanta, local street art (Krog Street tunnel is an icon), & find all of Atlanta’s Tiny Doors: Atlanta art is unmatched and you can find it all over the city!
- Visit movie filming spots– ATL is the new Hollywood! I’ve gotten lucky a few times in Midtown and stumbled upon film locations- one Marvel film, Dynasty, and Ozark! If you get really into it, you can go to the Goat Farm Arts center and Swan House to see Hunger Games sets, and stalk the restaurants mentioned in Netflix favorites Dynasty and Love is Blind (definitely not speaking from experience LOL)!
- Visit the graves of Margaret Mitchell and Bobby Jones at Oakland Cemetery: Oakland cemetery is beautiful and full of local history. If you go, read my post on visiting and where to get the best pancakes right around the corner.
- Go to a local farmer’s market: Piedmont Park is my favorite, but Delkab’s farmer’s market is a local favorite due its size. I also love the one in Marietta, outside of ATL!
- Go shopping at Atlantic Station & visit the Millennium Gate Museum: Atlantic Station is a great outdoor shopping center that has a local market on Saturday’s with cute finds and great retail and a lawn with events like outdoor movies and fitness classes.
What is your favorite thing to do in Atlanta? Have you done any of these top 20 things to do in Atlanta like a local? Let me know in the comments!