In 1864, General William T. Sherman had troops burn Atlanta to the ground during their March to the Sea, and what emerged from the rubble is a vibrant, diverse city filled with incredible people, experiences, food, and culture. The Falcons are coming off of a disastrous 4-12 season, and fans are hoping that, like our fair city rose from the ashes and reinvented itself as the bustling metropolis it is today, we’ll see a similar rebirth for the Falcons under new head coach Arthur Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot.
What to Eat
South City Kitchen Midtown
If you want upscale Southern comfort food, check out South City Kitchen. The Midtown location is centrally located, but there are also locations in Vinings, Buckhead, and Alpharetta if those are nearer to wherever you’re staying. Everything on the menu is spectacular, but definitely lean into the Southern charm and try the fried green tomatoes and the shrimp and grits if you get a chance.
Friends who live out of state make this their first stop when they’re visiting Atlanta. Antico offers coal-fired pizzas, with classic options like a margherita pizza with San Marzano tomatoes, bufala mozzarella, basil and garlic, and more adventurous pies, like the Specialitá, which features bufala mozzarella, cipollini onions, roasted mushrooms, and white truffle oil.
Biggest tourist attraction
The Georgia Aquarium
The Georgia Aquarium has become a top tourist destination in Atlanta, and for good reason. The exhibits — particularly the Ocean Voyager gallery, which features whale sharks, massive manta rays, and upwards of 50 species in total — are totally worth the price of admission. If you want to take it a step further, spring for one of the Animal Encounters, where you can interact with penguins, otters, sea lions, and more.
Under the radar attraction
Waffle House Museum
First of all, if you live outside of the South and haven’t been to Waffle House, make it your first stop when you get to Atlanta. It’s iconic breakfast food in an iconic setting. Please note that I said “iconic,” and not “elegant” or “fine dining” and adjust your expectations accordingly. Waffle House is the greasiest of greasy spoons and every bite is magical. Make sure to stop by the Waffle House Museum, too, to learn about this legendary establishment’s history. The museum is located in Avondale Estates, Ga. at the site of the original Waffle House restaurant opened by Joe Rogers Sr. and Tom Forkner in 1955.
Game day experience
I’d strongly recommend taking MARTA to games. If you’re staying inside the perimeter (I-285 for the non-locals), MARTA’s generally pretty accessible. If you hop on the train at a stop on either the green or blue lines, you won’t have to change trains at Five Points, which makes it easier. If you’re driving, buy a parking pass in advance. Game-day pricing at private lots around the stadium is exorbitant. Uber’s also an option, but it can be a real hassle with game-day traffic. MARTA is your best bet. Wander through the parking lot known as The Gulch to mix and mingle with tailgating Falcons fans, and swing by the Front Porch of the stadium for live entertainment, food, drinks, and fun with other fans. Be sure to check out the wide variety of affordable concessions inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and feel free to wander around and explore — thanks to its thoughtful design, you can still enjoy the game from pretty much anywhere in the stadium.