The Best Atlanta Tips From Our Readers

Atlanta readers dropped nearly 150 comments on our Hack Your City request this Monday, and we’ve highlighted the best in the original comment thread. Here’s a grab-bag of useful and clever highlights about the city that locals don’t call Hotlanta.

Each Monday on Hack Your City, we ask readers for your best tips on a city: driving tips, restaurant recs, things to do, and any other advice for visitors and locals. Then on Thursday, we present the best comments. We’re working our way around the U.S. and around the globe.

Stephen gives the basic tourist rundown:

If you want to be a tourist, stay somewhere in midtown. There are plenty of novel places to see: World of Coca-Cola, GA Aquarium, CNN Center, Centennial Park (built for the 1996 Olympics), Piedmont Park, High Museum of Art, Little 5 Points, Atlantic Station, umpteen microbreweries, The Varsity, Georgia Tech, Botanical Gardens. There are at least a dozen others.

Reader waerlogga offers a pithy binary:

If the weather is crap try the High. If the weather is great enjoy a hike .

I love learning the basic ways people describe the boundaries of their city: uptown/downtown, east side/west side. Jasnah Kholin’s 8-point city guide includes one such description:

When people talk about the perimeter, they are referring to I285 which circles Atlanta. Some people might say ITP or OTP and what they mean is that x is inside the perimeter (ITP) or outside the perimeter (OTP). I’ve only ever heard this from people who relocated here though, not from people who grew up here. There is a weird sort of pride for being “ITP”, but there are great experiences and food to be had outside the city proper.

Atlanta’s size is a matter of opinion. For example, Von Clyderdale says:

Somebody from Peachtree City once told me they were from Atlanta and I almost fought them.

Pandalulz warns about all the Peachtrees:

If a place has Peachtree in the address, absolutely triple verify whether it is Peachtree, East Peachtree, West Peachtree, Street, Road, Circle, Highway, Trail, NW, SW, NE, SE, etc. Google maps is guaranteed to pick the wrong one every single time.

Reader ksfowler gives this poetic neighborhood assessment:

The idea of Buckhead is much better than the reality of Buckhead.

Several commenters referenced Krog Street Market, and ksfowler has a rec there too:

Atlanta has great food, but if you eat just one thing, it should be either the Philly or the Cheeseburger at Fred’s in Krog Street Market. I’ve traveled across 4 continents in the last 3 years, and the cheeseburger at Fred’s is one of the best I’ve ever had. While you’re there, grab a beer at Hop City.

Bill has an “eat this not that” for BBQ:

For some reason Fat Matt’s Rib Shack gets a lot of attention. George Clooney’s character namechecked it in Up In the Air to supposedly prove he knew where the best things are in the places he travels, but he’s wrong.It’s not gross food or anything, it’s just unremarkable BBQ.

You want Fox Bros for something traditional, Heirloom for something a little different (but don’t plan to eat there, they have no seating).

Reader nuxi recommends a whole suburb full of Korean BBQ:

Duluth, GA is know as the Seoul of the South, it’s the American capital of Korean barbecue, one of the greatest cuisines in existence. Breakers is supposed to be the best, I haven’t been there though. Iron Age is a good starter place for gringos. 678 is good and uses real fire rather than electric pans but there’s no brisket in the Unlimited menus. JM BBQ is the best place I’ve been to, lots of sauce options, good unlimited menu & sides and not as crowded as Iron Age.

A few readers warned people not to eat at Varsity. As jegrouchy put it:

Varsity is the most overrated greaseball-fast food in history.

Brohio216 says dress for the humidity:

Light, breathable fabrics. Listen y’all…I live in northeast OH now and when people say anything about it being hot or humid outside, I just roll my eyes. You don’t know hot until you’ve spent a summer in GA. Yes, it’s worse in south GA, but the daily pollution alerts in ATL, and lack of any kinda breeze really do make you think you made a bad a life choice. Spend 10 minutes outside walking between bars and you may very well just die of heat exposure.

Always keep deodorant on hand, and powder the boys daily. There is a reason everyone wears super short khaki shorts and polo tees everywhere.

Kyle gives a tax tip to new residents:

Georgia has a ton of counties. and the county lines are pretty strange in the metro area. Wherever you choose to live, just be aware of the county because taxes differ – Dekalb, Cobb, Fulton are the different counties. Also, the City of Atlanta can have their own taxes.

Papa Van Twee started a long but polite debate with this airport tip:

If you need to get from one side of the airport to the other, and you are in a hurry/plan to run or walk fast don’t take the train. I had to get from D to A, and decided to walk when the train wasn’t there. I made it to A about the same time the train did. YMMV, of course.

Speaking of long walks, nine comments later, Papa backed his tip up with a map and some math.

It’s about 1000 ft between terminals. At 4mph (if I walked slower than that, I felt like I was standing still) that’s 5.866 ft/s, or about 2 2/3 minutes per terminal walking briskly. Running would be faster.

Sayahillman gives a museum rec:

The newish “Center for Civil and Human Rights: Civil Rights Museum in Atlanta” is wonderful, and I’m not a museum person usually. They’ve done a wonderful job of using technology to create a multimedia, interactive, beautifully designed experience. The “lunch counter” exhibit is a must—an emotional, horrible, chilling must.

Atlanta traffic sounds terrifying. Reader NotTheOne-WasTaken noticed cars tailgating at 75mph; reader Montjo replied:

If you’re not going 80, you’re probably going too slow.

It’s worth moving to avoid the traffic, says jdfighter:

If you’re moving here, for the sake of your own sanity, find a place to live close to where you’ll be working. Traffic here is no joke, and I promise you it’s worth it to pay more for less, but be close to your job.

And for pedestrians, snottrocket says:

If you see an X in the middle of an intersction, it’s not a crosswalk. Just don’t.

Nuxi also recommends a music festival:

And here’s two tons of citywide bests from crainbaisins:

That’s it! Come back Monday when we’ll need tips for a bilingual city.

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