The rainbow crosswalk / File photo by Rob Boeger

Your Weekend in Atlanta: What to Do While You’re Here

Welcome to Atlanta, y’all! We’re so happy to have you here for our fabulous Pride festival! With the festival, parade, and myriad Pride parties happening this weekend, there is no shortage of things to do. But if you’re in the city and looking to explore some more, here are 20 of our recommendations for making the most of your trip to the ATL (and if you’re looking for more, be sure to check out Destination Gay Atlanta, our annual guide to everything you need to know about our city).

1. Visit the rainbow crosswalk

You can’t come to Atlanta Pride and not get a picture at our rainbow crosswalk! While at the park, head over to the intersection of 10th and Piedmont — only a five-minute walk away — to snap a pic. Bonus: while you’re there, stop by the LGBTQ-owned Boy Next Door Menswear to pick up something sexy to wear for Pride.

2. Pick up a book at Charis Books and More

A visit to Charis will take you all the way out to Decatur — about a 25-minute drive from Piedmont Park — but it’s worth the trek. Charis is the oldest independent feminist bookstore in the South, and it has an exquisite collection of queer literature available. Don’t have the time to stop in? Order a souvenir online at charisbooksandmore.com!

3. Visit the Botanical Garden

While you’re at Piedmont Park, you have to make a stop at the incredible Botanical Garden. A $27 ticket will get you access to stunning botanical sculptures, lush gardens, impressive water features, a collection of Dale Chihuly glass sculptures, skyline views, and so much more. Strolling through the botanical garden is the perfect way to spend a sunny day.

4. Have lunch on Henry’s patio

Looking for the perfect spot for a bite to eat and to enjoy the beautiful Atlanta weather? Look no further than Henry’s Midtown Tavern, the lesbian-owned favorite of LGBTQ Atlanta. Only two blocks away from Piedmont Park, Henry’s offers a delicious menu of salads, sandwiches, burgers, and more!

5. Have dinner at Campagnolo

Owned by Maureen Kalmanson — also the owner of Henry’s — Campagnolo is a must-visit if you’re looking for a delicious and intimate Italian dinner. We recommend the lasagna — you won’t regret it!

6. Play mini-golf on the Ponce City Market roof

What sounds more fun than enjoying classic carnival games and cocktails while basking in view of Atlanta’s stunning skyline? If that sounds amazing to you, the Roof at Ponce City Market is where you want to be. It’s a great place to bring kids, but be aware: it’s 21+ after 7pm (where it becomes a great place to avoid kids!).

7. Go to a Dragalicious Brunch

What better way to spend a weekend afternoon than with a drag brunch? Lips puts on the best in the biz — we’re talking glamorous décor, drag queen servers, the most incredible chicken and waffles, and bottomless mimosas. Go at 1:30pm on Saturday to see Mr. Charlie Brown host and 11:30am and 2pm on Sunday for Taejah Thomas.

8. Spend the day at the downtown tourism trifecta

With the World of Coca-Cola, Georgia Aquarium, and the Center for Civil and Human Rights all in the same plaza neighboring Centennial Olympic Park, there truly is no better and more convenient spot for a touristy day trip. Put your walking shoes on and spend the day strolling through these three uber-fun and educational attractions.

9. Ride the SkyView Ferris wheel

While you’re near Centennial Olympic Park, you’ve gotta take a ride on the SkyView. Towering nearly 20 stories above Downtown Atlanta, a ride in one of the Ferris wheel’s 42 climate-controlled and private gondolas will offer a breathtaking panoramic view of the city. Enhance the experience in a VIP gondola, boasting Ferrari-style seats, a glass floor, and longer flight time.

10. Walk the BeltLine

Just looking to go for a stroll through the city? Avoid traffic and crazy drivers by opting for the BeltLine. This paved trail surrounds the heart of Atlanta with a variety of entrances around the city, making it an easily accessible way to take a walk on a beautiful day.

11. Go shopping at Little Five Points

This funky and walkable neighborhood is a perfect spot for a day trip. Grab some secondhand treasures at Rag-O-Rama, Clothing Warehouse, and Psycho Sisters; records at Criminal Records and Wax-n-Facts; and crystals and tarot cards at Crystal Blue. Finish the day with a slice at Savage Pizza, sushi at Thai 5, or a burger at Corner Tavern.

12. Get dessert and coffee at Café Intermezzo

Nestled right in the heart of Midtown, Café Intermezzo is a must-visit for nonnatives. When you step inside, you’ll be transported to another time and place. The Venetian-style décor is breathtaking, the dim, warm lighting is intimate, and the cakes are to die for.

13. Get drinks at the Garden Room

If you’re looking for a classy night out, you will not want to pass up on the Garden Room. As the name suggests, the greenhouse-like structure is filled to the rafters with flowers, creating a truly stunning atmosphere to enjoy creative cocktails and scrumptious light bites.

14. Visit Ansley Square

The gay heart of the city, Ansley Square is home to LGBTQ Atlanta’s favorite businesses: Felix’s, Oscar’s Bar, Barking Leather, Brushstrokes Pleasures, and the Atlanta Eagle.

15. Visit the High Museum

Atlanta’s premier art museum offers a stunning collection of paintings and sculptures spanning centuries, media, and styles. The temporary exhibits on display during Pride weekend include In the City of Light: Paris, 1850-1920; A Long Arc: Photography and the American South since 1845; and Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature.

16. Hike Doll’s Head Trail at Constitution Lakes Park

It’s an easy, relaxing hike through the gorgeous Atlanta forest with a twist: the trail is lined with found-object art. Old doll’s heads, toys, and other trash-turned-treasures are made into silly, tongue-in-cheek folk art. The hike also spans boardwalks over wetlands and the marshy Constitution Lakes, making it a pocket of nature in the bustling city.

17. Take photos on the Jackson Street Bridge

For a long time, the view from the Jackson Street Bridge was a secret among those in the know. Now, it’s well known as THE place to get the most incredible view of the Downtown Atlanta skyline. It may be difficult to find somewhere to park nearby, but once you get there, the view (especially at night) will be well worth the effort.

18. Have a photo shoot in Krog Street Tunnel

There is no tunnel quite like the one on Krog Street, connecting the eclectic Inman Park and Cabbagetown neighborhoods. That’s because the entire tunnel is filled with an ever-changing urban campus of graffiti. Not only is the tunnel covered with DIY art, but the surrounding area also includes city-commissioned murals, which makes this area prime for Instagram content.

19. Get trippy at the Museum of Illusions

This brand-new attraction is exactly what it sounds like: a collection of rooms and exhibits dedicated to the magic of optical illusions! Enter a world where nothing is quite as it seems and experience the unbelievable.

20. Be transported at Illuminarium

What better way to enjoy a cocktail than in space? At Illuminarium, you can experience the extraordinary thanks to 4K laser projection, audio beams, in-floor haptics, and even scent! Experiences include an intergalactic foray, a safari adventure, and an immersive adventure into Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland.