Atlanta’s Hidden Gems

By India Stevenson, MPH’23 in Behavioral, Social, Health and Education Sciences

There are always engaging and interesting events happening on campus, and it can be easy to get happily stuck in the Emory bubble. However, one of the best things about attending Rollins is the ability to explore and experience Atlanta. As someone who was born and raised in the Metro-Atlanta area, I have compiled a list of a few Atlanta Hidden Gems. I encourage you to take advantage of the full Atlanta experience! By the end of your time at the Rollins School of Public Health, you will likely have your own list of hidden gems. 

The Plaza Theater 
Plaza Theatre is Atlanta’s oldest operating cinema, the only independent cinema, and Atlanta’s only minority-owned cinema. As someone passionate about film, I enjoy the unique selections of showings at the Plaza. The Plaza often displays independent films that are not shown at your closest AMC or Regal Cinemas, as well as older classics that you may want to experience in the cinema for the first time, like Happy Together (1997) and Touki Bouki (1973). Additionally, for every Friday for 23 years, The Plaza Theater has hosted Lips Down on Dixie’s midnight screening of the cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show! 

High Frequency Fridays 
The High Museum of Art is very popular tourist stop, so it may not technically count as a hidden gem. However, a hidden gem can be found in High Museum’s High Frequency Fridays. These events occur on the first Friday of every month, from 6 to 10 p.m. These nights are always packed full with dancing, food, drinks, music sets from various DJs, art workshops, and docent-led tours. Each month is a new theme, and I have enjoyed my experience every time! 

Bon Ton 
One of my favorite restaurants is Bon Ton, which serves delicious Louisiana and Vietnamese inspired food. My go-to order is the Etoufeé Bowl with shrimp and a Roula Mule-Ah. The restaurant is within a five-minute drive to Piedmont Park, and my friends and I enjoyed an afternoon stroll in the park after our meal. 

The Bakery 
The Bakery Atlanta is one of the biggest hosts of events in the Atlanta DIY scene. It is a collective of artists, curators, and administrators dedicated to offering alternative models to local creatives and the general public. I have attended many of their events over the years, including: free fashion shows with Atlanta-based designers, figure drawing sessions, artists markets, concerts and performances, art gallery openings, and fundraising events for various community justice organizations and causes. For anyone creatively inclined, attending events at the Bakery can help you get your foot in the door in the Atlanta creative scene. 

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