Feb 18, 2021 | Atlanta, GA
Article by Emma Ryan
Congratulations — you’ve made it through the first six weeks of the semester! So why don’t you reward yourself by taking a break from academics to do a little exploring around Atlanta?
“I like to unwind around Atlanta by being outside or seeing art,” said Lea Harris, a fifth-year Aerospace Engineering Ph.D. student. “Walking the BeltLine or going for a hike are go-to weekend activities, and my friends and I often end up walking to wherever we’re going.”
Read on for nine Atlanta destinations to add to your spring to-visit list.
Located a couple of miles from campus, the BeltLine connects some of Atlanta’s key landmarks, like Ponce City Market and Piedmont Park, with housing, shopping, dining, and several parks and trails. It also features a year-round public art collection and several temporary exhibits. According to its website, the BeltLine is “one of the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment programs in the United States.”
The High Museum is only a few minutes away from campus by car and currently displays in-person exhibits that include “Dawoud Bey: An American Project,” “Bestowing Beauty: Masterpieces from the Persian Lands,” and “David Driskell: Icons of Nature and History.” The museum also offers virtual classes, talks, and field trips. The High is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5p.m.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
The Atlanta Botanical Garden in Midtown offers a space to unwind and connect with nature in the middle of the city, two miles from Tech. “Orchid Daze,” the garden’s annual orchid exhibition, opened on Feb. 13, and “Atlanta Blooms” opens March 1. The garden also offers virtual and in-person classes on topics ranging from Tai Chi to botany. Currently, the garden is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Atlanta History Center
Visitors to the Atlanta History Center (AHC) in Buckhead, a 15-minute drive from Tech, can view historic houses, explore the 33-acre Goizueta Gardens, and see exhibitions such as “Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow” and “Atlanta ’96.” Then, grab a cup of coffee from BRASH, which is located inside the AHC. The center also provides virtual programming including Learning Labs, Author Talks, and exhibits that include “Atlanta in 50 Objects” and “Cherokee Garden Library.” The AHC offers discounted student pricing and is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Looking to spend some time outdoors? Take a trip to Stone Mountain Park, a 40-minute drive east of campus. The park offers places to hike, fish, golf, bike, shop, and dine, along with natural and historical sites such as Grist Mill, the Quarry Exhibit, and the Songbird Habitat and Trail. It also hosts several events per year, including the upcoming Spring FUN Break from April 3-11 and the annual Easter Sunrise Service.
Museum of Design Atlanta
The Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) is located down the street from the High, only a mile from Tech. Although MODA’s physical location remains closed due to Covid-19, the museum currently offers two virtual exhibits: “Learning from Nature: The Future of Design” and “Design of Dissent.” MODA’s calendar includes virtual classes and discussions on topics such as climate and change, and design for justice.
Whether you own a dog or just want to hang out with one, Fetch Park in Old Fourth Ward offers a place a few miles from Tech to meet dog-lovers and their pets. The park features outdoor TVs, Wi-Fi, cooling stations, a dog bath area, and a full-service bar. Currently, it is open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Located only a mile from Tech, the Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the United States, according to Trip Advisor. The new “Sharks! Predators of the Deep” gallery houses several different species of sharks in a 20-foot-deep tank. Visitors can enter the exhibit itself in the Shark Cage Dive, or swim along in the Shark and Ray Interaction. The aquarium is open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Perkerson Park Disc Golf
A mixture of golf and frisbee, disc golf involves throwing a disc at a target and follows rules similar to golf. If you want to give it a try, check out Perkerson Park’s 18-hole disc golf course. Perkerson Park offers the only such course in the heart of Atlanta, located a few miles from the Mercedes-Benz stadium. The course is also one of the longest and most difficult in the area according to its website, and covers 50 acres of wooded terrain.