Filled with great museums, civil rights’ history, critically acclaimed restaurants and a proud summer Olympic host, Atlanta is a city primed for tourism. We take pride in our beautiful neighborhoods and Southern hospitality, but there are some dos and don’ts when visiting the city that’s “too busy to hate.” Here are 15 tips to help tourists navigate this amazing Southern metropolis.
Don’t make fun of our accents
Every region of the country has an accent, but you shouldn’t try to imitate them. If you don’t understand what an Atlanta local has said, politely ask them to repeat it. Their own dialect and the South is no different. Yes, we know Hollywood thinks they have mastered the Atlanta accent, but you shouldn’t.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
We don’t call it “Hotlanta” and neither should you
We get, it’s really hot here, but our weather is one of our selling points. People flock to Atlanta because our summer generally starts in April. It’s not the worst mistake to make, but to people who live here, you’re just stating the obvious.
Don’t stare at the locals in Little Five Points
Filled with boutiques, bars and restaurants, the Little Five Points area in the city gives new meaning to individuality. Blue Mohawks, spiked jewelry, ripped tights, facial piercings and copious amounts of tattoos are just a few trends you’re likely to see in the area.
Please, don’t put down the Falcons
So you don’t have to become a fan of the team just because you’re visiting, but under no circumstance do you ever remind a loyal Falcon’s fan about their almost Superbowl win.
Don’t Ask Atlantans why their city shuts down when it snows
We even get a little annoyed with the chaos ourselves, but we definitely don’t like it when Northerners give their two cents. It’s not really the snow that frightens the city; it’s the ice. Hopefully the city is working on acquiring more salt trucks to tackle that climate change thing that’s affecting every region in the country.
We don’t eat soul food everyday, and neither should you
Yes, it’s true. You can find the best collard greens, fried chicken, BBQ, macaroni and cheese and other Southern cuisine in Atlanta. But the city boats other world-class cuisine including Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Italian and French.
Know which Peachtree Street you want
There are 71 streets in Atlanta with a variant of “Peachtree” in their name. Peachtree Street begins at the financial district of Five Points, runs through Midtown up to Buckhead where it veers to the right and becomes Peachtree Road. Once it goes outside the city limits, it passes through the Brookhaven neighborhood, eventually entering Chamblee where it splits and you have Peachtree Road and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.
Know how to order your hash browns at the Waffle House
Established in Atlanta, locals sometimes enjoy breakfast or a late-night bite after the club at the Waffle House. It’s open 24 hours a day and obviously has amazing waffles. But they’re famous for their hash browns. Be prepared to answer when your server asks how you want them – scattered, chunked, covered or smothered.
Don’t think you can walk everywhere
Unfortunately, Atlanta is not a walkable city. There are a few neighborhoods that connect, like Midtown and Old Fourth Ward thanks to the Atlanta Beltline, but Uber and Lyft will your best friends in the city. Marta, our public transit, can be great depending on your destination. But always map out your destination before hopping on Marta.
Don’t eat at national chain restaurants
Everyone loves the cheddar biscuits at Red Lobster or the blooming onion at Outback, but did you travel all the way to Atlanta to eat the same things you can have in your own hometown? Atlanta has a one-of-a-kind, eclectic dining scene that you shouldn’t miss out on. Check out the great restaurants, pubs and bistros in the Virginia Highland area of Atlanta.
Don’t miss a walk on the Atlanta Beltline
Transforming the city, the Atlanta Beltline is an urban project connecting 45 city neighborhoods. A system of rails, trails and greenspace, the project boasts street art, installations, restaurants with patios, trails for bike riding and dog walking and it even has a skateboard half-pipe.
Don’t question our rainbow intersection at 10th and Piedmont
Home to over a quarter of a million LGBTQ residents, Atlanta seeks to be inclusive. The intersection at 10th and Piedmont has been a popular area for LGBTQ locals for decades. Each year for the PRIDE festival, the City of Atlanta painted the intersection rainbow to symbolize support. In 2017, the rainbow intersection was made permanent.
Order a Pepsi at your own risk
Established in Atlanta, locals are extremely proud of the Coca-Cola Company’s roots. Created by Georgia native John Pemberton and bought out by another local businessman and former Atlanta mayor, Asa Griggs Candler, just about every establishment carries the carbonated soft drink. There’s even a museum dedicated to the beverage in Atlanta. Not to worry if you prefer a Pepsi, though; Atlanta will still show you that Southern hospitality they’re so famous for.
Don’t Skip the High Museum
The leading art museum in the Southeast, the High Museum of Art is not to be missed by tourists. Featuring African art, American art, European art, folk and contemporary art and photography, the museum includes a permanent collection that is extraordinary. The museum also features rotating exhibitions from world-renowned artists including Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and Picasso.
Don’t miss out on the local microbrews
We all have our favorite beer, but it never hurts to try something new. Atlanta has a several local breweries that visitors will fall in love with. Most of the breweries offer a tour of their facility. But if tourist schedule is booked, make sure to pop into a pub or bar and try Sweetwater, Atlanta’s most known microbrew. Torched Hop, Wild Heaven Beer, Monday Night Brewery and Terrapin.
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