Rich in history, food and culture, Atlanta is a city that never seems to disappoint visitors. You’ll discover a variety of things to do if you’ve found yourself in Atlanta with time to kill in between meetings and conferences. Bring your appetite, a comfy pair of shoes and plenty of camera space as Atlanta boasts some of the most beautiful things to eat, see and experience. Global Trade magazine took time to vet the best spots to visit while maximizing your Atlanta experience after-hours—whether you’re seeking fancy cocktails, thrills at new heights or simply wanting to learn more about the city’s robust history.
Centennial Park District
Take the time to unwind while taking in breathtaking views at The Glenn Hotel’s SkyLounge. This distinguished rooftop experience is among the top 23 in the world, as voted by ABC.com, and among the top five in Atlanta according to Forbes Travel Guide. Located in the heart of the city in Centennial Park District, SkyLounge offers unmatched views paired with a refreshing variety of perfectly crafted drinks to satisfy any cocktail lover’s taste buds. If you’re seeking more sustenance during your visit to The Glenn, stop by Glenn’s Kitchen for a tasty meal doused in Southern style for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Seeking more heights? Take a stroll over to the SkyView Atlanta Ferris Wheel on Luckie Street. Towering 20 stories high, it boasts 42 gondolas with temperature-controlled features. Feeling fancy? Take advantage of the VIP gondola and enjoy Ferrari-style seats and a glass floor to enhance the experience.
If you’re a sports fanatic, look no farther than the College Football Hall of Fame located just off of Marietta Street. Be fair warned, however, and bring yourself dressed appropriately with a comfy pair of shoes if you dare give the Indoor Running Field a try. Test your skills by kicking a field goal or challenge yourself to the obstacle course. If you’re looking for something that doesn’t demand your inner athlete, take your college football team pride to the next level at The Quad, where you can register your team of choice and watch it light up on a three-story helmet wall. There’s also the “Game of Your Life” 4K feature film showing at the Game Day Theater, bringing the big screen to life with all the college football action your heart desires.
Old Fourth Ward
If you’re a history buff and seeking a region rich in history and heritage, exploring the sites and monuments in the Old Fourth Ward are well worth your time. Established in the 1800s, Old Fourth Ward boasts the very historic birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr. Visitors get the opportunity to experience the very home he grew up in and the church he preached at, Ebenezer Baptist Church at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park, also known as “Atlanta’s Top Tourist Destination” by the National Park Service. Take a moment to appreciate the Behold Monument unveiled by the civil rights martyr’s wife, Coretta Scott King, or the beautiful World Peace Rose Garden featuring themes of peace and non-violence through 185 different kinds of roses with unique colors and scents.
Once your craving for history is satisfied, take your appetite for a trip to the Ponce City Market Food Hall, where you can find options ranging from Indian street food, Szechuan-style cuisine, Asian favorites, traditional American dishes, Southern favorites and an impressive elevated craft beer garden at Nine Mile Station. Boasting views that pair well with the beer or cocktail of your choice, if you’re in town on the right day, you might even be able to catch the weekly cult classic film featured on the rooftop. You won’t regret visiting Ponce City Market and might even find yourself going back for seconds. Did we mention there’s also a wine tasting room?
If the weight of a business trip starts to get heavy, what better way to alleviate it than with laughter? Head on over to Dad’s Garage Theater in the Little Five Points neighborhood for some uniquely showcased humor from classic improv to sketch. It goes without saying, there’s a lot to do in this part of the city.
Buckhead is sure to please those seeking a fancier Atlanta experience–from shopping and fine dining, to historical sites and classy cocktails–all paired with modern landscapes and a refreshing atmosphere that can’t be overlooked when in Atlanta.
If you have an appreciation for a fine bourbon and fancy atmosphere, be sure to check out the Southern Art and Bourbon Bar in Buckhead. Southern Art takes a different approach to cooking and boasts a fresh cuisine experience with the finest versions of Southern favorites that rely on the seasons to determine their character. Considering Southern Art was founded by Art Smith–known for serving as Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef for a decade–this choice spot is definitely worth a visit that will leave guests satisfied and impressed. If you’re stuck wondering what to do on a Friday or Saturday evening, Southern Art has you covered through its weekly featured “Bourbon Bar Unplugged” with live music and entertainment up until midnight.
For another taste of history, be sure to give the Atlanta History Center a visit and plan to spend a generous amount of time exploring attractions such as the 1928 Swan House, the Smith Family Farm, the Margaret Mitchell House, and 33 acres of breathtaking gardens, woods and nature’s beauty at the Goizueta Gardens.
Finish off the night with an elegant cocktail atop the W Atlanta’s Whiskey Blue Bar that sits 125 feet above the city skyline, where you can take in the scenery at one of the two offered patios. If you’re curious about what’s inside, head over and enjoy a cozy yet chic experience at the W’s Living Room Cook Hall or lounge area.
With Southern hospitality at the forefront of ATL culture, you’re bound to find some interesting and kind folks to mingle with. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.