A guide to not getting wasted: Things to do when under 21 in Atlanta

Welcome to Tech, class of 2016! You’re now a student at one of the best universities in the world, in one of the country’s best cities. As a likely new resident of Atlanta, here is a list of things to do in your new town. With a large population diverse in every area, there’s never a dull moment. We hope you can enjoy some of the best things Atlanta has to offer.

Go to The Vortex. This seems like an odd thing to list first, but their burgers are the best. Check out the Elvis Burger while you’re there if you like bananas and peanut butter or the Hell Burger if you like spice. But any choice is a win. The restaurant has a self-proclaimed “idiot-free zone” and prides itself on its politically incorrect atmosphere. Eating there is a must, but don’t forget your ID. You have to be 18 to get in.

The Fabulous Fox Theater is perhaps the best venue in Atlanta and is walking distance from campus. With a star studded ceiling, the theater hosts plays, concerts, comedians, wedding receptions and almost anything else. It’s Atlanta’s version of Broadway, and everything hosted there is fantastic, no matter the event.

This is likely one of the Atlanta staples you’ve already heard of, but visit The Varsity. Yes, it’s a well-known landmark. No, you probably won’t eat there as much as tourists would think. But if you haven’t heard “What’ll ya have? What’ll ya have?” you haven’t experienced Atlanta to its fullest.

Next, navigate your way over to Piedmont Park. It’s a few blocks from campus, and they not only have fun 5Ks throughout the year for the athletes of the group, but also art festivals. You can almost always find a game of Ultimate Frisbee or flag football going on.

You could also go to a concert. Atlanta has Chastain Park, Philips Arena, The Tabernacle, The Masquerade, Lakewood Ampitheater and The Verizon Ampitheater. They host everything from Weezy and Taylor Swift to up and coming new artists.

Catch a Braves game at Turner Field this fall and see Chipper Jones play some of his last games. With a respectable 70-53 season thus far, it’s fun whether you’re behind home plate or in the nosebleeds. Student discounts are available, the stadium is accessible by MARTA and games run until the beginning of October.

If you like exhibits, look into The High Museum of Art. The High has two current exhibits, “Picturing New York” and “Picturing the South,” as well as a collection entitled “Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals from Talledega College,” which explores African American history from slavery to freedom. These exhibits run until next week, and student tickets are $16.50, but admission is free on the first Saturday each month with your Buzzcard.

If you’re feeling old-timey, relive Elizabethan England at Shakespeare’s Tavern. Contrary to popular belief, the Tavern hosts plays written by many playwrights, not only William Shakespeare.  While many Shakespearean plays do make their way to the stage, so do plays by Charles Dickens, Tennessee Williams, etc. Eat while you watch the play and be ready to be included in the show, in pure Elizabethan tradition of course.

If you’re new to the region, head to Mary Mac’s Tea Room. With the best “table wine of the South” (sweet tea), any meal is a delicious sample of southern cooking. Try the “pot likker” (cornbread and turnip green juice),  which is free to first time guests. It may seem like a strange appetizer, but it’s a Mary Mac’s icon. And don’t skip the dessert, because no southern meal is complete without it.

Feeling thirsty? Tour the world’s most famous soda at the World of Coke. See how the drink came to be, watch the Bottle Works and try to figure out the famous secret formula. Complete with a 4D Theater and drink samples afterwards, it’s a must see. Right next door, visit the Georgia Aquarium, home to over 120,000 different animals from over 500 species.

Lastly and most of all, explore all Tech has to offer when you can. The friends and memories made here last a lifetime, but your time in college does not. The next four, five or six years will fly by faster than you think. Enjoy them.