Help me be a good visitor to Atlanta!
September 7, 2019 1:45 PM   Subscribe

I’m attending a conference in Atlanta next week and none of the colleagues I know will be there, so I’m on my own. I haven’t been there since the mid 2000s. I’ll have a per diem and some free time. What should I do?

Most of my free time will be in the evening, but some will be during museum-y hours. I’m an adventurous omnivore, good with public transit, and would love to bring some delightful souvenir back for my preschooler. Bonus for women of color-owned businesses. Go!
posted by centrifugal to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Oh, should have mentioned we’ll be in a hotel by Centennial Park.
posted by centrifugal at 1:51 PM on September 7


The aquarium is super cool.

I know, I know, I thought the same thing, “it’s just an aquarium, I’ve seen aquariums before” but for real: it’s SUPER COOL.

And it’s right there by your hotel, so you can take a nice stroll through Centennial Park, too.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:58 PM on September 7 [5 favorites]


Agree that the Georgia Aquarium is really cool.

The Center for Puppetry Arts is incredible if you're at all a fan of Jim Henson. Their permanent collection of Henson memorabilia is great, and they also currently have a The Dark Crystal exhibit. They also have a neat exhibit about different types of puppets that includes items from productions like the Broadway version of The Lion King and Mystery Science Theater 3000, along with examples of different puppetry traditions from around the world. Pretty sure their gift shop would provide a pretty awesome souvenir for a preschooler!
posted by the primroses were over at 4:17 PM on September 7 [5 favorites]


I enjoyed the Martin Luther King, Jr National Historic Site.
posted by hoyland at 4:27 PM on September 7 [4 favorites]


I really enjoyed the High Museum, Buford Highway Farmers Market, and the history tours at the Oakland Cemetery.
posted by gemutlichkeit at 5:47 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]


On the other hand the Buford Highway Farmers Market will just make you wish you had a kitchen.
posted by madcaptenor at 5:56 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]


I think there were a ton of great answers in this previous thread.

Reposting part of my answer below:
... Take Marta from your convention to the Midtown Station. Exit on to the street and walk East on 10th. Check out the newly installed sculpture at 10th and Peachtree and keep going East. Take a selfie on the rainbow crosswalks at 10th and Piedmont and then enter into Piedmont Park. Stroll around and check out the lake and skyline views. You will want to end up in the Southeast corner of the park at 10th and Monroe. Walk on the Beltline to Ponce City Market. All of the food is great there. Get some gelato and take in the view from the roof. Take Lyft back to the Hotel.
There are two great shops I'd recommend to add to this agenda for your gift for your preschooler. Near the entrance to the beltline referenced above, there's a shopping center with a Trader Joe's and my go-to "stocking stuffer" store, Richard's Variety Store. You should also check out Rhen's Nest Toy Shop in Ponce City Market.
posted by goHermGO at 7:31 PM on September 7 [4 favorites]


Taking MARTA east will take you straight to the heart of Decatur where you'll find a bunch of excellent restaurants, woman owned stores including Little Shop of Stories, a very fine children's bookstore. You might also explore Little Five Points which has several POC owned businesses. You get off at either the Inman Park or Candler Park stations and then either walk 15 minutes or take the bus.

I disagree with the Richard's recommendation. I have heard several reports that management has Old South ideas about who is worthy of extra scrutiny.

Also the aquarium is really great. If you have a hangover, it's the PERFECT place to go.
posted by donpardo at 8:14 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


In addition to the aquarium (which is literally the coolest aquarium I've ever been to), the Centennial Park area also has the Center for Civil and Human Rights, which has a broader focus than the King Historical District stuff and is worth its own visit. There's also World of Coke and the College Football Hall of Fame, if you like either of those sort of things. The Tabernacle is a really fun venue, literally an old church, if any shows there next week catch your interest. Googie Burger is really good if the weather is nice just to grab a meal and peoplewatch in the park. Centennial Park also has a giant Ferris wheel, random live music sometimes at the amphitheater, and a little plaque memorializing when a white supremacist tried to blow up the Olympics.

You can take the streetcar from Centennial Park to the King site, and stop on the way at Sweet Auburn Curb Market to eat lunch (less stuff is open at supper time). You can't go wrong with anything there, but I am partial to Arepa Mia (amazing Venezuelan food owned by an awesome Venezuelan woman).
posted by hydropsyche at 3:17 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Seconding the Center for Civil and Human Rights, it was incredible. They have an "interactive" protest exhibit that I still think about. The gift shop is full of great things to bring home for kids, too. Books, handmade art, etc.
posted by LKWorking at 9:23 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


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