Your guide to Atlanta weekends

A picture of the High Museum, one of the main pillars of the Woodruff Arts Center. A popular destination for students seeking a reprieve from STEM, the High is a staple of Atlanta life.

Are you a freshman excited about Tech being located in the heart of Midtown Atlanta? Are you a current student wanting to jazz up your weekend entertainment? Then keep reading — Atlanta has something to offer for every taste. Whether you are a culture aficionado, a fan of the outdoors, enjoy weekend adventures or like shopping and food, Atlanta has you covered. But it can be easy to miss these events, precisely because there are so many.

Let’s start with campus options. Organizations like Student Center Programs Council (SCPC) and Spreading Messages In Love & Encouragement (SMILE) regularly organize weekend events with games and food. You can find information about these and other campus club events on their Instagram pages, @gtscpc and @smile.gatech respectively, and through chalked messages on sidewalks around campus. 

SCPC is particularly known for its big fall events such as GT Night at Six Flags, held Sept. 16 this year, and the annual Homecoming Concert, which featured artist blackbear​​ last year. DramaTech, Tech’s student-run theater, has come into the spotlight most recently for their “Urinetown” satire. Be sure to watch out for their fall main stage show “The Diviners,” which will run from Nov. 4-19, and other events throughout the year. If you are a fan of exploring the outdoors with other Jackets, ORGT organizes group weekend trips all through fall, including backpacking, caving and sea kayaking trips.

Remaining on-campus is not the only place you can entertain yourself. Atlanta has a lot to offer on its own. If you are looking for outdoor recreation and an escape from the urban landscape, Piedmont Park, Centennial Olympic Park and the Beltline all provide excellent spots to exercise, meet people or even just stroll. 

The Beltline also features great places to shop, dine and relax like Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market, located down the street from the art-filled Krog Street Tunnel. Little Five Points, one of Atlanta’s hippest areas with endless options for dining and odd recreation services, is also minutes from the Beltline. Check out different thrift and vintage stores and murals around the neighborhood.

The Atlanta Botanical Gardens is located next to Piedmont Park and features botanical exhibitions throughout the year, numerous art pieces and annual winter lights.

For the adventurous, Stone Mountain is the most obvious attraction with its stunning views and over 3000 acres of natural beauty, but Atlanta offers so much more than that. Cascade Springs, Morningside and Blue Heron are just some of the preserves you can hike through. If you are a fan of the adrenaline rush, Six Flags Over Georgia and Six Flags White Water offers exactly that.

Let’s talk about culture —the High Museum of Art and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at the Woodruff Arts Center are exceptional experiences. The Michael C. Carlos Museum, located on Emory University’s campus, has the largest ancient art collection in the Southeast. It offers a student discount and features artifacts such as a metallic Egyptian falcon and an ancient bathtub . The Fernbank Museum is great for exploring natural history, or just comparing the dinosaur skeletons with Jurassic Park. 

Closer to Tech’s campus, explore the World of Coca-Cola, Georgia Aquarium, College Football Hall of Fame and National Center for Civil and Human Rights, all of which are located around Centennial Olympic Park, about half a mile from Tech’s campus.

Midtown and the broader Atlanta area feature every cuisine you can think of, and Buckhead features a vibrant nightlife scene (though you must be 21).

If none of these options appeal to you, there is always Top Golf, the many escape rooms and odd things such as tours of “The Walking Dead” and “Stranger Things” filming locations. If you look closely around the city, you may be able to see the artistic attraction known as Tiny Doors that turns bland, lifeless spaces into small places of wonder with a fusion of color, technology and of course, doors.