By: Melina Imshaug, 1st year HPM
I’m still in my first year but it seems like my time at Rollins is FLYING by! I realized there are still so many things to see and do (and eat!) in Atlanta that I wanted to make my own ATL bucket list so I was sure to experience all I could before graduation. Hopefully it will help you too and below are the top 15 that made my list.
1.Hike up Stone Mountain – To be honest, I’ve actually already done this one but figured it couldn’t be kept off the list. The one-mile hike up the mountain isn’t too difficult and it is definitely worth it when you get to the top. On a haze-free day, you can see up to 60 miles away. There is a $15 fee, or a $40 annual fee, for parking. I recommend the annual fee since Stone Mountain has a lot of other things to offer like the Atlanta Street Food Festival (in June), lasershows, a golf course, and Snow Mountain during the winter.
2. Atlanta Botanical Garden – Garden Lights – The Atlanta Botanical Garden is located in Piedmont Park and during the holidays (usually mid-November through the beginning of January) transforms into a winter wonderland with many lights throughout the gardens. I missed this last winter so am definitely going to check it out this year during the holidays!
3. Spend the Night at the Georgia Aquarium – This looks like a whale of a time (ha) and what can be better than an old-school sleepover by the sea life in one of their exhibits? The Georgia Aquarium is also a great place to visit when friends and family are in town and you get in FREE on your birthday!
4. See a Show at the Fox Theater – I love seeing Broadway shows and am excited to see one at the Fox Theater. Fun fact – the Fox Theater was actually not planned to be a theater when it was built, but rather a headquarters for Atlanta’s Shriners organization. It later became a theater and has seen performances from Elvis and Madonna. There are even 60-minute guided tours you can go on to learn more about its history. Some upcoming shows include The Sound of Music, Kinky Boots, and Alton Brown.
5. Eat at the Vortex Bar & Grill – The Vortex is located in Little Five Points (along with Midtown) and cannot be missed because of the giant skull as a doorway. They’re known for their unusual, and delicious, burgers but I’ve been eyeing the grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup on their menu. Yum!
6. Go Tubing in Helen, Georgia – This is about a 1.5 hour drive away so not technically in Atlanta, but something I’m really looking forward to this summer. It’s a Bavarian town in the mountains of northern Georgia – for those of you who are Michiganders, a little like Frankenmuth. I went during the winter so didn’t have the full experience but during the summer, Helen is a popular spot to rent cabins and go tubing down the Chattahoochee River. A great way to escape from the city-life for the weekend!
7. Brunch at Murphy’s – This is one of the restaurants that was recommended to me at Visit Emory and is located in Virginia Highland. Just looking at their menu makes me want to cook up an omelette. Their desserts and berry bellini look incredible too!
8. See a Taping of Family Feud – I had no idea but Atlanta is sometimes referred to as the “Hollywood of the South.” One of the shows that film here in Atlanta is Family Feud. It’s currently on hiatus until summer of 2016 but when it returns, you can get tickets to see it in person (I’m already signed up for their waiting list).
9. Waffle House Museum – The Waffle House Museum is located in Decatur and is also home to the first Waffle House restaurant. Being from the Midwest, I wasn’t that familiar with Waffle House before I visited Atlanta but they’re like the Starbucks of the South; there is basically one around every corner – and it’s delicious!
10. Eat at Canoe – This was another restaurant that was recommended to me at Visit Emory. It is located next to the Chattahoochee River and looks like a great place to celebrate (graduation, hint hint). I just cannot decide if I want to try their brunch, lunch, or dinner (or everything)!
11. Explore the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory – The Carlos Museum contains the largest collection of ancient art, including ancient Egyptian artifacts, in the Southeast and is located on Emory’s campus. Admission is FREE for Emory students and because of their upcoming Centennial, they’re offering free admission, on select days, to other visitors as well.
12. Delta Flight Museum – Delta has its headquarters and largest hub in Atlanta as well as the Delta Flight Museum. This museum contains interactive exhibits, historic aircraft, and can even be rented out for event space. I’m disappointed I just missed “Hops in the Hangar”, a fundraiser with beer tasting and BBQ, but I already marked this on my calendar for next year.
13. Drink at the SOS Tiki Bar – This place looks like a ton of fun! Located in Decatur and attached to the Victory Sandwich Bar (another great place for a drink, and a sandwich), the tropical ambiance and colorful drink menu looks amazing. If you’re not up for a drink, their food menu looks good too – from tikiyaki sliders to pineapple guacamole, they’re clearly doing a good job creating a tiki theme all around. Also, they have a rotating Happy Hour punch (that starts at 6pm until they run out) – a great place to visit in the summer to sit outside and have a drink!
14. Walk Vickery Creek Trail – Vickery Creek is located in Roswell, about a half an hour drive from Emory. You can hike through the Roswell Mill, see a waterfall, or run through the covered bridge. Also, dogs are welcome so it’s a great place for families and pets alike. Another place to check out soon; especially before it gets too hot!
15. GRADUATE FROM ROLLINS!! – This was a given on my bucket list. I still remember when I got my acceptance letter and I cannot believe I only have a little over a year left! I really need to start checking things off my bucket list. I’ll keep y’all posted on my progress!