Welcome to Fifty Grande’s Best of the U.S. Bucket List series. This is your one-stop travel guide to the best, most unique and quintessential experiences of a city, state or event. Want to know how to “do” Atlanta? We’ve got you covered. Curated by experts, vetted by in-the-know locals, this is all you need to have the best trip ever. If we’ve written a Bucket List, we recommend you go. If it’s on this list, it’s the best the city has to offer right now. Consider this your one-stop answer to “What are the best things to do in Atlanta?”
Pop quiz: Which city has the busiest airport in the world, is home to the College Football Hall of Fame and is a hub of Southern hospitality? How’d you guess!? But there’s a lot more to Atlanta than its 1.2 million-square-foot gold LEED-certified international airport, native quirks (more on that in a second) and sports. It’s an American gem of a city; a blend of the “old South” and diverse communities, of modern technology and traditions. It’s known for NASCAR, Civil War memorials, The World of Coca-Cola, Piedmont Park and hosting the 1996 Olympics. But the city really flexes with a stellar dining scene. You’ll find all types of cuisines that draw from the city’s immigrant population, and eateries that run the gamut from casual to high-end. There’s authentic Italian pizza and hot dogs that taste like they’re straight out of Chicago. There’s more than one place to get bagels and lox. It’s a fried chicken mecca. And of course, there’s amazing barbecue.
When here you’ll also notice a few quirks. For instance, life is sometimes framed in relation to I-285 interstate highway — the “Perimeter” — which effectively divides the city into two distinct parts. (Residents are either ITP or OTP — living inside or outside the perimeter). There’s a stereotype that the whole city is addicted to sweet tea, which nearly seems true. Another one’s about residents freaking out when there’s a forecast of snow. Also true. And though the encircling interstate can make it seem that Atlanta is a city strongly divided, nothing is further from the truth. The hometown of Dr. Martin Luther King lives up to its slogan as “The City Too Busy to Hate” and as a hub of Southern hospitality. Here’s what to do when you’re here.