Exploring Atlanta for dummies – or Techies

The summer semesters can be a slow and uneventful time for many Tech students; only so many games at the bowling center or levels of Portal 2 can preoccupy an idle student, but when campus life begins to grind to a halt and things begin to look dreary, there is still hope yet.

For the latest and greatest time-consuming events, look no further than Tech’s backyard, Atlanta. Situated in the heart of Georgia, Atlanta is home to a wide array of attractions. There is the CNN Center, the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coke, and those are just the tourist traps found in Centennial Park.

The best of what Atlanta has to offer lies scattered across the various neighborhoods that make up the sprawling city. Luckily, the best movie theaters, nightclubs and restaurants are all just a MARTA ride away.

For any good Atlantan, the day must be started out right with the city’s biggest burger in town, served only at Atlanta’s local bar and grill, The Vortex.

With two fried eggs, six slices of cheese and eight strips of bacon, all served between two grilled cheese sandwiches, The Vortex’s signature “Double Coronary Bypass” burger should keep you full for an entire day’s worth of Atlanta escapades.

After consuming your daily caloric requirements in one sitting, venture out to the area surrounding the Vortex: Little Five Points, Atlanta’s hipster capital. Just make sure to bring your thick-framed glasses and home-grown organic snacks. Here, you can find the trendiest shops around. Stores like Rag-O-Rama, where you can trade your clothes for someone else’s, Criminal Records, where you can purchase your favorite band’s latest record or Psycho Sisters, where you can pick up a new costume.

For a slightly cheaper Atlanta experience check out the centrally located Piedmont Park. Home to most of the city’s biggest events like the Atlanta Jazz Festival, Atlanta Farmer’s Market, German Bierfest or Atlanta Arts Festival.

However, if nothing all too important is happening, then you could always just mingle with the locals, play some sand-volleyball or just run a few laps around the park’s track.

The lives of many Tech students center around an academic world seemingly full of mathematical equations, Java script or C++ coding. However, the High Museum of Art is chock-full with the latest and greatest pieces of modern art, ready and willing to ease the minds of Tech students needing a break from the mundane chore of studying, enabling them to focus more on the artistic side lost to never ending integrals. Besides providing a wide variety of modern pieces, the High also plays host to a number of classical exhibitions, housing pieces from Da Vinci to Dali within the recent years.

With a healthy mix of both older and younger generations, a loyal, yet diverse, music scene defines Atlanta; regularly drawing in many big name acts every year. Whether you’re anxiously awaiting for Sade, Paul Simon, Adele, Florence and the Machine, Alice in Chains or A Day to Remember, chances are their tours most likely include a stop at either the Tabernacle, the Masquerade or the Fox Theatre—all major Atlanta entertainment venues.

Though walking Atlanta can be breath-taking at times, a skyline view of the city as a whole is often preferred. Dine out at Six Feet Under, a pub and fish house notorious for its view of the entire skyline to catch a great in-city view of Downtown.

However, if you don’t have the appetite for roof-top restaurants, then make the hike to Stone Mountain. After a short hike—or even shorter tram ride—up the world’s largest exposed piece of granite to see what Stone Mountain Park’s website refers to as an “unprecedented view of the Atlanta Skyline,” spanning all the way from Downtown to Buckhead.

Once darkness falls, you can catch a ride on the railroad around the base of the rock or enjoy a state of the art laser show displayed on the face of the mountain every night this summer.

Atlanta is a city ripe with opportunity, every bit of which is at the disposal of every Tech student on campus.


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