Life as an ATL-ien

By: Mary Lauren Salvatore, 2nd Year Behavioral Sciences & Health Education

As a non-Atlanta native, I’ve spent the last year and a half trying to figure out how to make my way as a city girl. I am so blessed to have made an amazing group of friends inside and outside of Rollins (you’ll learn how necessary this is) that have been by my side in exploring Atlanta from all different angles. Before I go into the real purpose of my post, I feel like it is only fair to first share with you some of my tried and true ATL favorites.

  1. Breweries: Sweetwater and Monday Night Brewing
  2. Shopping and eating: Ponce City and Krog Street Markets
  3. Amazing chicken and BYO-Wine: Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano
  4. Daytime eating/drinking/sports-watching: Taco Mac and The Nook on Piedmont Park
  5. Coffee: Blue Donkey @ Emory Farmers Market and Piedmont Park on weekends

The list could go on, but these are certainly some highlights. I’ve realized that there are an endless amount of activities to take advantage of in Atlanta. This city is clearly known for being a music hub. Whether big or small, you can find a concert somewhere just about every weekend. If you can’t find something at a venue, peek into several bars on a Friday night and there’s a good chance you can catch some feel good live music. Some great concert venues are Center Stage (West Midtown), Centennial Olympic Park (Downtown), and Piedmont Park (Midtown).

Atlanta is also home to COUNTLESS numbers of festivals. Music, food, beer, art, you name it. Checking out these festivals is also a sweet way to check out all of Atlanta’s neighborhoods. In the past year, I have been to Music Midtown (Piedmont Park), Chomp & Stomp Chili Cook-off and Bluegrass Festival (Cabbagetown), Georgia Craft Beer Festival – Fall Edition (Red Brick Brewing), and the Dogwood Festival (Piedmont Park). When you get to Atlanta, be sure to sign up for ScoutMob and/or a rec sports league through Atlanta Sport and Social – they do an awesome job of keeping you up to speed on what’s going on any given weekend.

As a big city, Atlanta is clearly home to all kinds of restaurants and shopping, but I’ve found that the best things in Atlanta are the things that you can’t find anywhere else. I’ve become a huge proponent of living local. Try a random festival, go to a hole-in-the-wall barbecue restaurant, or try one of the restaurants or bars that serves locally-sourced food and booze. I also recommend making at least ONE friend who was born and raised in the A because it’s a guaranteed they know more than you do and will tell you about some great places that you otherwise wouldn’t know.

I can’t give this city enough love.

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