There are many well-known “must visit” spots and tourist attractions in Atlanta, like the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coke, Zoo Atlanta, and more; but there are also many places that only a true local would be familiar with that are worth checking out if you happen to be in town.
If you’ve been to these places, then you truly are a legit Atlanta local. The following places are located inside the perimeter of I-285, which forms a loop around the city. Locals call it “ITP,” and anything outside the perimeter is “OTP.”
When you visit a new city for the first time, one of the first things most people want to know is where to find the best restaurants. A few local favorites that will not disappoint are Mary Mac’s Tea Room in Midtown, known for Southern comfort food; Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, owned by twin brothers from Texas with a passion for cooking and entertaining; and Taqueria El Vecino, a delicious hole in the wall located in Decatur, known not only for their Tex Mex cuisine but also barbecue — a killer combination.
If you’re looking for an upscale experience, the Sun Dial restaurant on the top floor of The Westin hotel downtown provides 360 degree views of the city. If seafood is your thing, check out The Optimist on Howell Mill Rd.
If you’re looking for vintage goods, the monthly Scott Antique Market has a little bit of everything in a variety of price ranges. Spanning both the interior and exterior of the Atlanta Expo Center and referred to as “America’s Favorite Treasure Hunt,” you’ll find everything from thrifty finds to high-end antiques.
If upscale shopping and gourmet eateries are more your speed, then you’ll want to check out the Westside Provisions District in West Midtown. Conveniently located, this local hot spot boasts several boutiques and award-winning restaurants.
Things to Do and See
You definitely don’t want to miss the giant ferris wheel situated downtown. While you’re there, you might want to catch a show at the Tabernacle. If you happen to cruise through Midtown on your way there, be sure to look out for Baton Bob, a local fixture in the city. You’ll find him performing on the street in full costume, usually wearing a tutu and twirling a baton.
Coffee and Sweet Treats
Looking for a good cup of coffee? Try Octane, with locations near Grant Park, on the West Side, or in Buckhead. Want a sweet treat? Track down King of Pops at one of their cart locations around the city for the best gourmet ice pop you’ve ever tasted.
Other venues not to be missed are the Fox Theater, Variety Playhouse, which is an old theater converted into a concert hall, and Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, which provides a “listening room” with amazing acoustics in an intimate setting.
Speaking of downtown Decatur, it’s the perfect suburb to explore as it possesses its own flourishing art and music scene, breweries, shops and more.
There are endless amounts of things to see and do in Atlanta. No matter how long you’ve lived here, you can always find something new to discover. It’s an amazing place to visit and an even more amazing place to live. There truly is something for everybody.
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