Locals Share Their Secrets: 1 Atlanta Weekend, 4 Ways
Feb 18, 2023 By Juliana Daniel

Explore Atlanta's vibrant neighborhoods, world-class museums, and seemingly infinite dining options. Just like every city of its size, it offers something for every kind of tourist. Here are four local heroes, each with their unique perspective on the Big Peach, that we interviewed to help you make the most of your time in Atlanta. Read on to find out what they recommended doing, regardless of your hobbies or passions.

Ideal for Culture Vultures and Scholars

Atlanta is intertwined with the colorful murals of artist Molly Freeman. There's no denying that she has left her imprint on Atlanta, from the airport to the labels of local craft beer cans. No one should be surprised by Freeman's recommendation that tourists in Atlanta check out the city's street art.

Murals may now be seen in every corner of the town, even on the outskirts. Nonetheless, she recommends checking out Cabbagetown, located just east of Downtown Atlanta, for the city's best collection of street art.

She describes Wylie Street as "essentially like a large outdoor mural gallery" where you can view various works as you go along. "So, that's the type of trip that's a lot of fun; it's an art-themed vacation.

Additionally, it makes for some fantastic photographs. Freeman recommends visiting Oakland Cemetery in Grant Park if you're interested in history. There is a lot for history fans to take in, from the breathtaking perspective of the city skyline to the storied past occupants like "Gone with the Wind" author Margaret Mitchell and golf legend Bobby Jones.

In any case, you should pay attention to Old Fourth Ward. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthplace and the church where he and his father served as pastors, Ebenezer Baptist, are located in this area. You may explore these locations or join a guided tour (like this one) to get the most out of your trip.

For The Carnivore

Whit Hagemann is a popular barista and roaster in Atlanta, and he spends much of his time at East Pole Coffee in Buckhead. He and his wife spend their free time exploring Atlanta's best restaurants. The Korean-American barbecue restaurant Heirloom Market BBQ, located on the city's outskirts, is one of his absolute favorite restaurants.

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q in Inman Park is his recommendation if you'd rather stay within the city limits in search of barbecue. Similarly, Rasheed Philips, owner and chef of Philips Barbeque Co., a pop-up and catering business, has had enough opportunity to become acquainted with the Atlanta dining scene.

While he may be biased, he insists you can't go wrong by sampling the pop-up menus at Atlanta restaurants like Joystick Gamebar in Sweet Auburn. It's like a kid in a candy store, except for adults. Philips explains, "Picture an adult staring at a seemingly bottomless supply of quarters for use in arcade machines.

They constantly switch up the menu because of the revolving door of chefs. Philips describes the atmosphere as "very wonderful." Once a week, they have live music, and every night is filled with excitement and fantastic quizzes.

Those Who Enjoy Being Active Outside

Get some fresh air if all that eating and drinking is starting to weigh you down. Hagemann, the coffee industry's resident skateboarding expert, recommends the Old Fourth Ward Park facility. Even if you don't skate, it's still worth checking out.

He explains that the park is great because it offers "other pretty fun elements, too," such as jungle gyms and open game areas. Of all Atlanta's sports teams, only the MLS champion Atlanta United hasn't broken Philips' heart.

"It's a really fun and friendly environment. Philips exclaims, "The fans' enthusiasm is incredible, especially since this is a brand new franchise in town. There will be huge parties before the game. It's not just worth going to a game at Mercedes Benz Stadium; the venue is stunning.

Meant for Late-Nighters

Baton Bob is the nickname by which Bob Jamerson is best known. Since 2005, he's been putting on feathered headdresses and corsets and twirling a baton on street corners throughout Atlanta, much to the delight of the locals.

No surprise they call him the Ambassador of Happiness. He spends his non-twirling time in the trendy Buckhead district of Atlanta. Atlas, located at St. Regis Atlanta, is one such establishment. Jamerson recommends seeing a local musician named Deb Bowman on Wednesday nights.

"It's a fantastic spot to hang out, have a few beers, and listen to some excellent music," the patron said. The Southern Gentleman, a gastropub in Buckhead, has a drink menu that focuses on traditional Southern drinks like the mint julep and has barrel-aged cocktails and alcoholic beverages on tap.

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