Exploring Atlanta on a Budget

By: Gabby D’Angelo– 1st Year: Global Environmental Health

Atlanta is an incredible place to live with amazing history, culture, food, and entertainment. However, being in grad school is synonymous with living on a budget. Here are some tips on how to enjoy all that Atlanta has to offer without breaking the bank.


  • Buford Highway Farmer’s Market
    The Buford Farmer’s Market is an excellent spot to get fresh produce, meat, and fish at a great price! It’s indoors, open all year round, and is only a short drive away from Emory. They even have a cafe that serves delicious and inexpensive tacos.
  • Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market
    The Dekalb Farmer’s Market is even more vast and expansive than the Buford Farmer’s Market and it is also open all year round. It has superb prices for grocery items, but beware they only accept debit cards and cash as forms of payment. There is also a ton of prepared foods available in the restaurant portion of the market. 
  • Green Market for Piedmont Park
    This one is an open-air farmer’s market that is only one open from early March to mid-December. It’s a great way to enjoy some awesome spring and fall weather, plus Piedmont Park and the BeltLine are great places to spend the afternoon. This farmer’s market features local farmers and bakers and has lots of prepared foods to enjoy while searching for some weekly groceries.

Outdoor Adventures
Being outdoors is one of my favorite ways to spend the weekends. Coming from South Florida I particularly love the seasons that Atlanta has to offer and a good hike or day outside is a great way to experience them. The best part is, enjoying nature is free and a small donation of about $3 is usually the only parking fee. So here are some of my favorite parks and trails listed in order of proximity to Rollins. 

  • Lullwater Park
    This park is the easiest to access from Rollins as it’s practically right across the street. This one is often a favorite spot for Emory students because it’s so close and a great place to read a book, ride a bike, or enjoy a run. 
  • Vickery Creek
    This trail runs along the Chattahoochee River and is located in Roswell, Georgia about 30 minutes north of Rollins. It features an awesome dam, an old mill, and amazing views.
    vick creek
  • Kennesaw Mountain
    This national park is a historical landmark, has a great trail with awesome views, and is a 36 minute drive from Emory. 
  • Sweetwater Creek
    This trail is approximately 40 minutes from Emory and has trails that include rivers, ruins, and covered bridges.
  • Amicalola Falls
    At 1 hour and 20 minutes and 63 miles, this is the farthest trail from Emory. However, it has the best views and the falls are a “must see”. The top of the falls can be accessed by either taking the trail up the side of the mountain or walking up the 604 stairs. 


  • AMC North Dekalb Mall 16
    Going to the movie theater in one of my favorite childhood pastimes, but since coming to graduate school it has seemed like a luxury I can no longer afford. That is until I heard about this gem located at the North Dekalb Mall. The prices are amazing, especially if you go before 4 pm, making it an ideal spot to spend a rainy afternoon. 
  • Skyline Park
    This is a carnival that is located on the top of Ponce City Market. It provides a great view of Atlanta and offers a beer garden, miniature golf, restaurant, and multiple carnival games and rides. While admissions can be expensive during the summer, the winter rates are only $5 for adults and it’s certainly worth visiting.

Brewery Tours
Atlanta is home to many breweries! They all have great atmospheres and often host fun events when the weather is nice. The best part is that tours are only $12 and it includes an informative tour of the brewing process, a tasting that includes 6 beer samples, and a complimentary glass. A few of my favorites are Red Brick Brewing Co., SweetWater Brewing CompanyMonday Night Brewing, and Urban Tree Cidery.
red brick


Discount Websites
When I have family or friends come to visit Atlanta they often want to check out some of the more touristy or upscale parts of town. If I’m ever in a pinch to find something, but don’t want to exceed my means, I check out Living Social, Groupon, and ScoutMob to scour for some deals.

This list certainly isn’t all-inclusive, just a starting point until you find some of your own favorite tricks. Don’t forget that there are often student discounts offered at many retailers too. Atlanta is an incredible place to live and I can’t wait for you to experience it!

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