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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Kenyon chapter.

I’ve traveled the majority of my life and yet, I’ve never hated anything more than feeling like a tourist. Obviously, it’s inevitable — you can’t visit Washington DC without seeing the Mall or London without riding on the Eye or Cleveland without visiting the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. However, I think there’s something to be said for trying the local (or at least more unknown) places.

So, that’s my mission to bring the local flavor of a city to your visit (which arguably should still include all the museums and sight-seeing you want). This week, with the help of Meera White ‘18, I’m focusing on Atlanta, Georgia.


1. Although Atlanta is a very large city, most of the population live “OTP” — outside the perimeter in 140 suburbs, and each suburb has it’s own distinct style. For instance, Buckhead is known for its affluent shopping areas while Marietta is more family-focused, including an excellent water park.  

2. Visit Little Shop of Stories, located just outside of Downtown Atlanta in Decatur. Although they specialize in children’s literature, Meera recommends checking out their adorable buttons, shirts & stickers.                                                

3. The only soft drink is Coke. That’s it. Don’t even bother trying to order Pepsi.

4. Wander around Goat Farm Arts Center, a center that incorporates both the business and performance aspects of the arts. You can walk in and see a dance performance, or watch a tech startup conduct research for a new product.  

5. If you like Asian-fusion food, Meera prefers Doc Chey’s. “They have perfect Lo Mein every time,” said Meera, “and there’s always a new mural based on the Chinese Zodiac.”

6. There’s sweet tea and only sweet tea. Ordering unsweetened tea will get you a strange look.

7. The Patel Brother’s Indian Marketplace is an amazing one-stop shop for all the Indian goods. If you’re just stopping by for a visit, try a mango lassi or curry puff pastry.

8. Atlanta is also known as “the city in a forest” because 36% of the city is covered in trees. Take advantage of the green spaces by visiting Piedmont Park or Cascade Springs Nature Preserve.

9. Try Waffle House! An unfamiliar sight to some, this is a 24-hour, 365-day diner that started in Norcross, Georgia. Fun fact: if you go to an Atlanta Braves baseball game, you can get a waffle with a variety of toppings!                                               

10. Atlanta is well-known for its public art, but Meera’s favorite piece is the Hero mural by Sean Schwab, which features Civil Rights activist John Lewis. She also loves the Valentine sculpture by George Lundeen.

11. Speaking of public art, if you’re interested in improving your spray-painting skills, visit Krog Tunnel. It’s city-owned and “tagging” is totally legal. Just be warned that your art may be subject to some public criticism.                                                       

12. The 16th Best Food Market in the world, Sweet Auburn Curb Market, opened its doors in 1924 and currently houses a full-service bakery, produce merchants, bookstore and eleven restaurants. Be sure to visit!

13. People will drive approximately 100 miles an hour on the highway, regardless of what any sign says. You will need a car, though, because the public transport — MARTA — is not worth the money.

14. Go to Fellini’s! It’s a local pizza place known for their jazzy neon signs. Meera recommends adding mushrooms to anything you order.    


15. Shoot the Hootch — the Chattahoochee River, that is. Atlanta has a beautiful river running through the city and you can float, tube, raft or boat down it almost year-round.  

16. There are about twenty-five Peachtree Roads, Drives, Boulevards and Streets in the Atlanta area, so make sure you have the right one.

17. Don’t just go to Chick-fil-a, go to a Dwarf House! The original Chick-fil-a’s feature a full dinner menu, including hamburgers. Not to mention they have a special “dwarf” door for children (or adults) to go through!                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

18. Walk around Centennial Park, the home of the 1996 Olympic Ceremonies. You can search for famous names on the sidewalk bricks or run through the water fountains on hot days!           

19. Living Walls Atlanta is a collection of ever-changing murals throughout the city that are supposed to embody the neighborhoods they represent. There’s an annual biking tour of the murals but you can also visit them by car!  

20. Although they are “tourist-y” places, definitely visit the Atlanta Zoo in Grant Park and the Atlanta Aquarium in Downtown. The aquarium is the largest in the world and the zoo is one of the four in the world with pandas — both have been ranked in the top ten by CNN!                                        

If you love your hometown or have a city you’re particularly familiar with, and want to show tourists what the locals love, please contact me at hewittr@kenyon.edu and I’ll happily sit down with you to work out an article that showcases your love for your city.

Images: cfarestaurant.com, firstwefeast.com, Meera White

English major, History minor, Diet Coke addict // senior at Kenyon College // Memphis native // please contact hewittr@kenyon.edu for resume & full portfolio