featured image weekend in atlanta

How to Spend a Weekend in Atlanta

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Only have a few days in Atlanta? This guide has what you need for the perfect stay

A weekend in Atlanta offers the chance to immerse yourself in a vibrant city where historical landmarks sit side by side with hip bars and on-trend restaurants. Embrace the south with soul food and barbecue, cocktails and brews, and historical landmarks and modern innovations.

Friday Evening

Go posh and start your 72 hours in Atlanta by checking into a chic boutique hotel. Whether you prefer the old-world Mediterranean charm of the Artmore Hotel or the Beaux art style at the Ellis Hotel, you’ll find polished, trendy accommodations close to everything Atlanta offers.

parks in atlanta

Atlanta’s many parks

Enjoy a spooky twist on Atlanta’s history with a Haunted Evening Pub Tour that kicks off in a cemetery, before heading out to the local “haunts.” You’ll hear tales of departed soldiers, enjoy a drink at each pub and wind down at a late-night kitchen to soak up the booze.

For a panoramic view of Atlanta, you’ll want to go to the SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel, which soars 20 stories high over the shimmering city lights.

In Atlanta, devouring authentic barbecue is a way of life. Heirloom Market BBQ does barbecue with a twist. They serve mouthwatering Korean-inspired flavors alongside Brunswick collards and greens. For traditional down-home barbecue, you’ve got to try B’s Cracklin Barbeque.

heirloom market bbq

Heirloom Market BBQ, Atlanta, Trover Photo by Standby Sojourners

Saturday Morning

Saturday morning means you still have 48 hours to explore Atlanta. Have breakfast at the landmark greasy spoon The Silver Skillet, where they’ve been serving up grits, red-eye gravy, country ham, and gravy and biscuits for over 56 years.

Georgia was the birthplace of the civil rights movement, and history enthusiasts will want to schedule a trip to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Afterward, you can carry on learning at The King Center.

Take a walk on the Beltline to experience authentic Atlanta life, public art exhibits, and an urban farm. You’ll also get to visit a linear arboretum, which was designed as a tapestry of local trees and plants to depict the city’s history.

Curb your hunger with a soul food lunch at a legendary local spot like Busy Bee, or head to Twisted Soul for a trendy take on classic dishes.

Saturday Evening

You haven’t truly experienced Saturday night in Atlanta until you’ve sampled some of the legendary local cocktails. The White Bull is a Hemmingway-themed bar, where cocktails salute the author’s love of rum, whiskey, and martinis. The City Pharmacy is a throwback to bygone years, offering soda-fountain-inspired cocktails served in a hip setting.

After drinks, you have to experience Atlanta blues music at Northside Tavern. Be prepared for a gritty bar complete with a pool table, a fire-breathing bartender, and a tiny stage that hosts some of the best blues musicians you’ve never heard of.

There’s no shortage of restaurants in Atlanta. Take in the understated elegance of Aria while poring over its impressive wine list. You’ll salivate over tantalizing lump crab cakes and butter lobster. You can also go for the laid-back atmosphere of the One Eared Stag for some innovative Carolina gold rice grits with lump crab or steelhead trout.

Sunday Morning

You’ve got just 24 hours in Atlanta left, so you’ll want to fill your tummy for a Sunday morning adventure. Sweet Melissa’s offers pancakes and French toast with your choice of fresh toppings for breakfast at its prime location in Decatur Square, Atlanta’s premier destination for foodies, fashionistas, shopaholics, or tipplers.

For the nature lover, the Georgia Aquarium offers an up-close look at marine life. You’ll enjoy animal encounters and a magical walk through their underwater world.

atlanta history center

Atlanta History Center, Atlanta

Immerse yourself in Atlanta history at the Atlanta History Center and visit historic Swan House and the Atlanta History Museum. If you’re a fan of Gone with the Wind, you’ll want to visit the author’s home and intriguing movie exhibit.

Keep those spirits soaring by sampling locally made beer at the Wrecking Bar Brewpub in a beautifully restored building in Little Five Points. Not only can you enjoy tastings of up to 15 beers, but you can also indulge in an expertly prepared lunch with ingredients direct from the chef’s farm.

little five points atlanta

Little Five Points, Atlanta

Sunday Evening

As your trip comes to a close, The Sound Table offers the ultimate end to a flawless weekend. It has everything you’ll want for your last night on the town: cocktails, dinner, music, and dancing. The dining room fills up fast with patrons who love the restaurant’s contemporary take on classic ingredients like crispy catfish sliders, street corn, and brick chicken.

For more international tastes, you can dine at the rooftop Gypsy Kitchen. It has a lively atmosphere and an eclectic menu featuring Spanish fare with an Asian flair.

georgia aquarium atlanta

Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta

If dancing isn’t for you, head to quirky Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium. It’s the ideal spot to experience the artsy, fun side of Atlanta before you leave. You can also try to get into the trendy Hotel Clermont rooftop bar to sip frozen drinks, nibble on street food, and take a final look at the Atlanta skyline.

Your weekend in Atlanta will show you all that the city has to offer.  Book your next flight today.

Check out our other Weekend Guides for our top destinations

New York City

Chicago

Las Vegas

Nashville

New Orleans

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