The South's so-called capital isn't nicknamed Hotlanta for nothing, y'all. Charismatic and lush, Atlanta is a feverish, easy-on-the-eyes cavalcade of culture, cuisine and Southern hospitality. Here are some of the best things to do in Atlanta.
Put a little South in your mouth
Atlanta's once-stuffy culinary scene has evolved over the last decade into one of the most vibrant and dynamic dining scenes in the Southeast, if not the nation. You can nosh on bountiful, filling fare around Atlanta's Southern-fried cafes or go-for-broke at many New Southern and New American foodie darlings or at trendy and upscale options – filling your belly in Atlanta ain't no joke. Top chefs like Ford Fry, Anne Quatrano, Kevin Gillespie, Kevin Rathbun and Hugh Acheson are just a few of the city's most creative cooks.
Lounge in Piedmont Park
Piedmont Park, Atlanta's largest green space, is a pristine, 185-acre urban oasis in the middle of Midtown that has it all, from history (Atlanta's first professional baseball team played in the park from 1902–04) to numerous music and cultural festivals to bars, breweries and big-ticket attractions such as the Atlanta Botanical Garden. But it works just as well as a place to picnic, go for a run or bike ride, or tuck away under a tree for an afternoon nap.
Take in a game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Atlanta's new, sustainably bent and architecturally wowing Mercedes-Benz Stadium easily ranks as the coolest sports stadium in North America. The $1.6 billion multipurpose, eight-petal retractable roof stadium is home to the Atlanta Falcons as well as the hottest new team in Major League Soccer, Atlanta United FC. Even if you don't manage to catch a game, it's worth popping into the latest addition to the city's skyline – organized tours visit the locker rooms and field, among other behind-the-scenes locations.
Get a drink
Traditionally Atlanta has lagged behind more brew-friendly Southern cities like Asheville, Nashville or Memphis due to legislation that prevented on-site beer sales at breweries. With that law in the rearview mirror as of 2017, Atlanta is poised to become the South's next best beer city, led by one of the most iconic names in American brewing, Mitch Steele, at New Realm Brewing Co. In other Atlanta drinking news, craft cocktails form the foundation of the city's lively bar scene, which fuels nocturnal madness in hot neighborhoods from Decatur to Buckhead.
Have lunch at the Ponce City Market
A mixed-use complex housed inside the historic former Sears, Roebuck and Co headquarters in Atlanta, the largest brick structure in the Southeast. More than 20 food vendors occupy this food hall, ranging from candy sellers to Holeman & Finch (Atlanta's best burger), At the Tap (56 taps of craft beer), Spiller Park Coffee, Indian street kabobs and a Moroccan joint.