Forget Georgia peaches and peanuts – in Atlanta these days, the real money’s in popcorn. A boom in film and television production has pumped billions into the local economy and accelerated the ATL’s latest reinvention act. Thankfully, the metamorphosis coincides with renewed interest in history, as clever do-overs have carved foodie wonderlands out of rundown factories and rekindled nightlife in unexpected quarters. Hooray for Y’allywood!
Skyline Park is the new amusement park and cocktail lounge on top of historic Ponce City Market. It channels classic Coney Island with its retro carnival games, mini-golf and terrifyingly low-tech Heege Tower. Before a weekend rampage on Edgewood Avenue, head on over to Joystick Gamebar and bask in the pixelated bliss of vintage arcade games at this cozy lounge and hipster hangout. During the week, check out the wacky 8-bit Comedy shows that take place on the first and third Wednesday of every month. And to keep the good vibes going, don’t forget to check out Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium for velvet canvas art and wacky times.
Part of the ATL’s biggest urban renewal project since the Reconstruction, the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail is a two-mile pedestrian footpath has become a locus of energy for the community. It becomes a glow-stick stampede during the busy Lantern Parade each fall, and the rest of the year, look for art walks, pub crawls, yoga classes and a killer skate park. Inman Park has been a foodie wonderland for years, but the Krog Street Market, a refurbished former warehouse, has become the latest gathering place. It raises the bar on casual sophistication thanks to the clever Tex-Mex at Superica, blazing hot chicken at Richard’s Southern Fried and at least a dozen more options.
Across town, get a taste of Atlanta’s competitive craft beer scene by touring Monday Night Brewing. This upstart Westside brewery strikes a heady balance between class and sass, and you can donate a necktie to the Wall of Ties for discounted admission.
If you’re looking for a place to dance, the Basement is a no-frills underground music venue beneath Graveyard Tavern hosts a hot mix of indie and hip-hop acts, but it’s known more for the old-school dance parties – theme nights include Eighties, Nineties and even 2000s.