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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, Mysterious Sites

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.
  • 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.
  • As for the rest of the USA, leaving a tip of 15-20% is expected in restaurants.
    Day 1
  • Save
    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 #1 of 338 things to do in Atlanta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • beautiful building, inside and out - see a show or take the tour, but do visit the Fox 30/07/2015
    • Beautiful interior and exterior, but average sound 30/07/2015
    • Fox Theatre
    Address:
    660 Peachtree St NE
    Atlanta, GA 30308
    Phone:
    404 881 2100
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    9:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    The Varsity
    Restaurants (American, Hot Dogs)
    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 #445 of 2,269 restaurants in Atlanta
    • Local landmark, low-grade food stuffs 30/07/2015
    • World's Largest Sonic Drive-In 30/07/2015
    • The Varsity
    Address:
    61 North Ave NW
    Atlanta, GA 30308-2166
    Phone:
    (404) 881-1706
    Price range:
    $0 - $20
    Hours:
    Sun - Thu
    10:00 - 23:30
    Fri - Sat
    10:00 - 0:30
    Other:
  • Save
    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 #43 of 338 things to do in Atlanta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Cyclorama is a must-see 26/07/2015
    • My Favorite Place in Atlanta 24/07/2015
    • Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum
    Address:
    800 Cherokee Dr SE
    Atlanta, GA 30315
    Phone:
    404 658 7625
    Hours:
    Tue - Sat
    9:15 - 16:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Silver Skillet
    Restaurants (American, Cafe, Diner)
    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 #138 of 2,269 restaurants in Atlanta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Ham and Red Eyed Gravy breakfast 29/07/2015
    • Ron Burgundy approves, but.... 27/07/2015
    • Silver Skillet
    Address:
    200 14th St NW
    Atlanta, GA 30318-5304
    Phone:
    404-874-1388
    Price range:
    $1 - $20
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    6:30 - 14:30
    Sat - Sun
    8:00 - 14:00
  • Save
    Oakland Cemetery
    Cemeteries, Mysterious Sites
    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
    • Hidden Gems
    • History Buff
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Take a guided tour, it is well worth it.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #10 of 338 things to do in Atlanta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Fun and informative 24/07/2015
    • great walking tour 22/07/2015
    • Oakland Cemetery
    Address:
    248 Oakland Avenue Southeast
    Atlanta, GA 30312
    Phone:
    404 688 2107
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    9:00 - 17:00
    Sat - Sun
    9:00 - 20:00
    Other:
  • Day 2
  • Save
    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 #69 of 338 things to do in Atlanta
    • Take a break from the boring suburbs. 30/06/2015
    • Eclectic mix of shops and people 01/06/2015
    • Little Five Points
    Address:
    299 Moreland Ave
    Atlanta, GA 30307-2011
    Phone:
    (404) 577-0873
    Other:
  • Save
    The Vortex
    Restaurants (American)
    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 #37 of 2,269 restaurants in Atlanta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Good burgers and cold beer 30/07/2015
    • They don't care 27/07/2015
    • The Vortex
    Address:
    878 Peachtree St.
    Atlanta, GA 30309
    Phone:
    (404) 875-1667
    Price range:
    $1 - $20
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 - 0:00
    Mon - Thu
    11:00 - 2:00
    Fri - Sat
    11:00 - 3:00
    Other:
  • Save
    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 #9 of 38 Fun & Games in Atlanta
    • Remarkable in many ways 27/06/2015
    • Independent and Taboo cinema 10/01/2015
    • Plaza Atlanta Theater
    Address:
    1049 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
    Atlanta, GA 30306
    Phone:
    (404) 873-1939
    Other:
  • Save
    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 #77 of 338 things to do in Atlanta
    • Must stop in Atlanta. 07/07/2015
    • Great for walking around and having fun! 16/06/2015
    • Virginia-Highland
    Other:
  • Save
    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 #162 of 2,269 restaurants in Atlanta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Wrong address 23/07/2015
    • They're on the move! 11/07/2015
    • King of Pops
    Address:
    1079 North Highland Ave
    Atlanta, GA
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    15:00 - 19:00
    Sat - Sun
    12:00 - 19:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Aurora Coffee
    Restaurants (Cafe, Vegetarian, Bagels)
    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 #818 of 2,269 restaurants in Atlanta
    • Great coffee 23/07/2015
    • Still the best coffee in the ATL 30/06/2015
    • Aurora Coffee
    Address:
    468 Moreland Ave NE
    Atlanta, GA 30307-1423
    Phone:
    404-523-6856
    Price range:
    $1 - $5
    Hours:
    Sun
    7:00 - 20:00
    Mon - Thu
    6:30 - 20:00
    Fri
    6:30 - 21:00
    Sat
    7:00 - 21:00
  • Save
    Sun Dial Restaurant, Bar & View
    Restaurants (American, Steakhouse)
    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 #226 of 2,269 restaurants in Atlanta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Sunset View is the Best! 30/07/2015
    • Ride to the top but skip the dinner menu 30/07/2015
    • Sun Dial Restaurant, Bar & View
    Address:
    210 Peachtree Street North East
    The Westin Peachtree Plaza
    Atlanta, GA 30303-1704
    Phone:
    +1 404-589-7506
    Price range:
    $31 - $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
  • Save
    OK Cafe
    Restaurants (Cafe, Delicatessen, Diner)
    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 #106 of 2,269 restaurants in Atlanta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Please re-open! 30/06/2015
    • Love The Southern Charm! 25/06/2015
    • OK Cafe
    Address:
    1284 W Paces Ferry Rd NW
    Atlanta, GA 30327-2306
    Phone:
    404-233-2888
    Price range:
    $1 - $20
    Hours:
    Sun - Thu
    11:00 - 23:00
    Fri - Sat
    7:00 - 23:00
    Other:
  • Save
    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 #170 of 338 things to do in Atlanta
    • Cool place! 07/06/2015
    • Great addition to Edgewood! 08/12/2014
    • Joystick Gamebar
    Address:
    427 Edgewood Avenue SE
    Atlanta, GA 30312-1828
    Phone:
    (404) 525-3002
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 - 0:30
    Mon - Fri
    17:00 - 2:30
    Sat
    12:00 - 2:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
    Restaurants (Donuts)
    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 #33 of 2,269 restaurants in Atlanta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • The Hot Sign Was On ( Delicious !) 29/07/2015
    • So good 07/06/2015
    • Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
    Address:
    295 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
    Atlanta, GA 30308
    Phone:
    (404) 876-7307
    Other:
  • Save
    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 #18 of 338 things to do in Atlanta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Atlanta history lesson ! 27/07/2015
    • Hidden Jewel 26/07/2015
    • Atlanta History Center
    Address:
    130 W Paces Ferry Rd NW
    10 St Nw
    Atlanta, GA 30305
    Phone:
    +1 404-814-4000
    Price range:
    $16 - $16
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 - 17:30
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 - 17:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Mellow Mushroom
    Restaurants (Pizza)
    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 #189 of 2,269 restaurants in Atlanta
    • Giant Pretzels. Good Times. 12/07/2015
    • Another good Mellow Mushroom 05/07/2015
    • Mellow Mushroom
    Address:
    2000 Powers Ferry Road
    Atlanta, GA 30339-5028
    Phone:
    770 933 8584
    Price range:
    $1 - $20
    Hours:
    Mon - Thu
    11:00 - 22:00
    Fri
    11:00 - 22:30
    Sat - Sun
    11:30 - 22:00
    Other:
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