Atlanta Bucket List

By: Allyson Mateja – 1st Year – Biostatistics and Bioinformatics

Every time I move to a new city, I like to create a bucket list of activities to do while living there.  I’m never sure how long I’ll be there for, and I want to be able to experience everything a new city has to offer!  I had one for my college town (Williamsburg, VA), one for Washington D.C., where I was living for two years before graduate school, and now I have one for Atlanta! I’m lucky enough to have friends that have lived in Atlanta in the past, or were living here before me, who gave me some of these great ideas.

It can be hard as a graduate student to make time for things other than studying, which is why I try to get as much homework as possible done during the week.  This means I have at least a few hours every weekend for some sort of activity, whether that’s exploring a new area in Atlanta, going to see a movie, or doing some karaoke with friends.  Having friends or family come to visit is always a good excuse to try something new, and I definitely took advantage of the free time we had after finals and before the new semester started.  Since my practicum for the summer is located in Atlanta, I plan to take full advantage of some free time and check some more items off of my list!

Check out the top five things from my bucket list that I’ve accomplished, and five more I want to get done before I leave Atlanta.

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The Atlanta Botanical Gardens at night.

Bucket List Accomplishments:

  • Georgia Aquarium: This is one of the best aquariums in the country, and an absolute must to visit while in Atlanta. It’s a little pricey, but definitely worth it.  I’ve been here at least five times since living here, and I anticipate visiting even more times, since I’ll be working here over the summer! The dolphin show and whale sharks are not to be missed!
  • Atlanta Botanical Gardens: These are beautiful in any season, but I love visiting in the spring time when all of the tulips are blooming. They also have a Christmas list display in the winter, which is a great date night idea.
  • Zoo Atlanta: Check out the twin baby pandas (my favorite animal), and the incredible reptile house. You could easily spend several hours here admiring all of the animals.
  • Walking the Beltline/Piedmont Park: The most popular stretch of the Beltline runs from Krog Street Market to Piedmont Park, and is great for running, walking, biking, or even skateboarding. I like to go on a walk after brunch at one of the many restaurants along the Beltline, then stop in Piedmont Park to watch the dogs at the dog park.  Piedmont Park also hosts many festivals.  Be sure to stop at King of Pops for a popsicle!
  • Ponce City Market: This used to be a Sears distribution center and is now home to many different shops and restaurants. There is something here for everyone; my favorites are Botiwalla for Indian food and Ton Ton for ramen.


Honorable Mentions:

  • Atlanta United soccer game
  • Orpheus Brewing
  • High Museum of Art
  • Lullwater Park
  • World of Coke


Still on my Bucket List:

  • Center for Civil and Human Rights
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site
  • Braves game
  • CNN Headquarters tour
  • Shoot the Hooch (float down the Chattahoochee River in inner tubes)





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