When I started at Kennesaw, I made a bucket list of things I wanted to do while living here. I took some of those, combined with some other things I had already done, and created a list of my personal top favorite essential activities/hot spots in Atlanta. These range from essentials everyone and their mother knows about, but still by all means should be done, as well as some of my own lesser known favorites.
1. Braves Game, Falcons Game, And Hawks Game
I tied these all into one because, since they're all sports related, I thought it would be pointless to separate them. I think everyone should go to each of these games at least once. You're getting to see some of the coolest stadiums (um, hello Mercedes-Benz Stadium), eating yummy food, and supporting ATL's sports teams. What could be better?
2. Georgia Aquarium
Channel your inner kid and visit the Georgia Aquarium. From otters to dolphins, this aquarium has basically any sea animal you can think of. Plus, it's the largest aquarium in the world, so pretty cool to say you've been there.
3. The Sundial
Although a little on the more expensive side, it's definitely somewhere you should eat at least once. With spectacular views of the city, it's worth splurging on. Also, if you'd rather get the views at a lower price, visit the bar area instead and opt for an appetizer or dessert.
4. Little Five Points
From record stores to coffee shops, Little Five Points is definitely an Atlanta staple. You're sure to find something to do, whether it be eating at some of Atlanta's hotspots like The Vortex (sadly I have not been able to eat there yet because you do have to be 21) or shopping at thrift stores like Rag-O-Rama.
5. Ponce City Market
This has become one of my favorite spots in the past year. It's perfect for a rainy day, since the majority of it is inside. It has a food hall with TONS of great options (H&F Burger= the best), as well as many shops ranging from clothing to furniture stores. If the weather does happen to be cooperating, you can pay $10 and head on up to the roof. There, you will find Skyline Park, which has carnival games and food.
6. The BeltLine
Whether you're looking to do some running or biking, or just want a great photo-op, I highly recommend going here. Since it is connected to Ponce City Market, you could even make a whole day out of it and visit Ponce and then take a stroll along The BeltLine. You can rent a bike, ride a Lime or Bird scooter, take pictures in front of really cool wall art, or stop and get a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants along the BeltLine.
7. Atlanta Botanical Garden
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is absolutely beautiful with all of its spectacular plant and flower exhibits. Personally, I think the best time to visit is around Christmas, when they have the entire Garden covered in stunning lights.
8. Music Midtown
Since this is an event that only occurs once a year, it might be a bit more difficult to attend, but I definitely think everyone has to experience it at some point. Two days full of amazing artists, lots of food, and thousands of your closets friends- all right in the heart of Atlanta at Piedmont Park.
9. Jackson Street Bridge
Amazing views of the city for free. That is all. (Bonus: You will DEFINITELY get an Insta-worthy picture here.)
10. Java Cats Café
By far the most unique on this list but hear me out. Cats and coffee. Doesn't that sound amazing? Trust me, it is. For only $10, you can get a cup of coffee and play with cats for an hour. Also, they have an Atlanta and Marietta location, so you can choose which one is closer to you!
11. Stone Mountain
Climbing to the top of Stone Mountain should definitely be on your list. You get incredible views of the entire city of Atlanta, plus a workout at the same time. It's the best of both worlds. *cue Hannah Montana theme song* (Side note: If you aren't in the mood to climb to the top, there is a cable car that you can ride to the top for a fee.)
12. SkyView Atlanta
Another favorite for getting a great view of the city. It's a huge Ferris wheel located in Centennial Olympic Park- highly recommend.