Weekend Warrior

Church, Coca-Cola, and Chicken: 48 Hours in Atlanta

Add Some Southern Hospitality to Your Sightseeing 

48 Hours In Atlanta

Georgia’s sprawling capital city is best known for its role in the Civil Rights movement, inspiring loads of artists in both hip-hop and R&B, Southern hospitality, and of course, everything Coca-Cola. Atlanta is growing pretty rapidly, so there’s always something new and exciting in town to see, eat, or do—as well as tons of classic hangouts for locals and tourists alike.


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Skyscrapers of downtown Atlanta, Georgia against a cloud-filled sky at sunset

Source: Shutterstock

Vortex Bar & Grill

Source: Vortex Bar & Grill

This Burger Joint Claims to Have the “Best Damn Burgers in Atlanta”
878 Peachtree Street | Midtown | thevortexatl.com

Start off your trip with a meal at the notorious burger joint, Vortex Bar and Grill. They’re known for their sassy attitude and insanely decadent toppings and burgers, including a behemoth made with 4 full patty melts for buns, sandwiching bacon, patties, mayo, and loads of cheese, plus it comes with bacon cheese fries. The whole thing is over 9,000 calories. Bon appetit!

Centennial Olympic Park

Fountain display in Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, illuminated in the evening.

The Park’s 22 Acres of Green Are Just the Tip of the Ferris Wheel
265 Park Avenue | Midtown | atlanta.net

Built to repurpose the 1996 Atlanta Olympic buildings, Centennial Olympic Park is a public park and a great place to explore. There’s a Ferris wheel, fountains, excellent views of the city skyline, and tons more. Plus, it’s home to Atlanta’s 4th of July celebration, a cool display of Christmas lights, a summer concert series, and other cool events.

The World of Coca-Cola

Source: Welcome to World of Coca-Cola

A Multimedia Attraction That’s Fun for the Whole Family
121 Baker Street | Centennial Park District | worldofcoca-cola.com

It sometimes seems like Coke is the lifeblood that powers Atlanta, so of course Coca-Cola has a museum, The World of Coca-Cola, dedicated to the beverage right here in the city. Kids will definitely love seeing the vault and watching the 4D movie, and adults will appreciate the retro Coke ads, and the ability to sample strange soda flavors from across the globe at the end, so there’s something for everyone.

Gunshow

Source: Gunshow

No Weapons Here—Just Great Food
924 Garrett Street | Glenwood Park | gunshowatl.com

The coolest part about Gunshow is how the restaurant is set up: roving carts bring dishes around to communal tables, dim-sum style. The menu changes frequently and is pretty eclectic with everything from beef tartare and lo mein to crab cakes and old-fashioned banana pudding.

Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium

Image of a bar's wall with liquors, a picture of Martin Luther King Jr, Jesus, and Elvis. Also a Plate of the Virgin Mary hanging

Source: Sister Louisa

A Little Bit of Everything
466 Edgewood Avenue | Sweet Auburn | facebook.com/SisterLouisasChurch

Ah, how to describe Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium? This irreverent Southern-Baptist-themed watering hole is a little on the wacky side: Expect karaoke (performed in choir robes), drag shows, ping pong tournaments, and religious decor. Be prepared to let the unholy quirkiness of Church wash over you.

The Glenn Hotel

Source: The Glenn Hotel

Head Downtown for Some Upscale Vibes
110 Marietta Street | Downtown | glennhotel.com

A prime spot in Downtown Atlanta isn’t the only thing this chic boutique hotel has going for it—not by a long shot. From drinks upon arrival to kinetic sculpture art on its rooftop terrace, Glenn Hotel is a delight from start to finish. You can get in on the luxury even if you’re not staying here by grabbing a meal at Glenn’s Kitchen or a drink at SkyLounge.

The Silver Skillet

An empty old-fashioned looking diner with a milkshake bar

Source: The Silver Skillet

Get a Taste of Southern Hospitality
200 14th Street | Westside | www.thesilverskillet.com

The Silver Skillet is a classic Southern diner that has been keeping the people of Atlanta well-fed since the 1950s—and everything from the menu to the decor has pretty much stayed the same the whole time. Expect to see dishes like country ham and red eye gravy, grits, corned beef hash, and steak and eggs on the breakfast menu of this beloved greasy spoon.

Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)

An exhibit at moda in Atlanta

Source: MODA

Look, Listen, and Learn When You Visit MODA
1315 Peachtree Street | Midtown | museumofdesign.org

The Museum of Design Atlanta (also known as MODA) hosts one or two rotating exhibits and is the only institution in the Southeast that’s dedicated to the study of design and its impact on everyday life. The exhibits cover topics like 3D printing, healthy living, Italian motorcycles, and more.

Robert C Williams Paper Museum

Source: Robert C. Williams Paper Museum

Part of Georgia Tech’s Renewable Bioproducts Institute
500 10th Street | Georgia Tech |  paper.gatech.edu

Another equally quirky spot, the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking is a free museum dedicated to the art of—you guessed it—making paper and printing. Browse thousands of books, tools, papers, machines, manuscripts, and more, or even consider signing up for a class or workshop if you have the time.

Mary Mac’s Tea Room

Source: Mary Mac’s Tea Room

Over 70 Years of Serving Up Southern Classics
224 Ponce De Leon Avenue | Midtown | marymacs.com

Atlanta’s essential Southern cookin’ eatery, Mary Mac’s Tea Room, is straight out of 1945. Pork chops, fried chicken, grits, sweet potato soufflé, banana pudding and tons more can be found on the extensive menu. And if you mention that it’s your first time visiting, they’ll give you a free cup of pot licker soup (it’s the liquid left over after boiling collard greens) with cracklin bread (dried cornbread to crumble on top), and a bread basket with cornbread, yeast rolls, and cinnamon rolls.

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site

Take in Some History at Atlanta’s Top Tourist Destination
450 Auburn Avenue | Grant Park |  nps.gov

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site has several buildings, all important to Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights movement in general. You can visit his boyhood home and the church where MLK Jr. and his father were pastors, a historic firehouse that has a display on the desegregation of firefighting, a rose garden, visitor center with a museum, and more.

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