Spending a day alone in Atlanta


There are so many things to do in Atlanta, but if you find yourself in the middle of town going it alone, there's plenty of solo activities to take advantage of. If you don't have your own transportation, get a MARTA pass and start hitting the sites. The following are easily accessible via public transportation or are within walking distance.

The Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Daderot/Wikimedia Commons

Get lost in this beautiful oasis of lush landscapes. It doesn't matter what time of year it is because the Garden has both indoor and outdoor displays. In the cold months, try out the Fuqua Orchid Center or Fuqua Conservatory and gaze upon the tropical species of plants and animals. When it's warmer, take a stroll around outside and breathe in the sweet aroma of the stunning scenery. Don't try to eat from the Edible Garden (go to the highly rated restaurant instead), peruse the Japanese garden, and marvel at the enormous Victoria water lilies. Monet has never seen a water lily
this spectacular. You can get to the ABG via bus #27 from the Midtown or Lindberg Stations. Follow the pedestrian path to the main building and enjoy some alone time in nature.

Krog Street Market

You could spend at least half a day in this market marveling at its wonders. Start off in Hop City Beer & Wine, pick up your favorite bottled or canned goodness and head to the Hop City Bar, open it and enjoy. I saw a guy walking around the market with an open bottle of wine and taking an occasional chug (don't try this at your local grocery store, though). Plgghh! Here, wine glasses are for schmucks. The food choices are abundant and truly high quality. So, if you want to try Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, you better get in line now - there's a very good reason why that line wraps around the corner. My personal favorite is Yalla! and their outstanding lamb shawarma. Don't forget to take a 5 minute walk down the street to Krog Street Tunnel and get a few photos of the iconic graffiti art. You can get to the market from bus #109 and make a 10 minute walk, or ride a bike like the locals - there's better parking for the two-wheeled sort.

Joystick Gamebar

You're never really alone if you're among fellow gamers. This cozy bar offers a varied menu of $5 well drinks - try C.H.U.D. Actually and Bringing up Rosemary's Baby - that are made from ingredients crafted in-house (except the booze, of course). The food truck-style kitchen changes every year with a new menu to keep things fresh. It is definitely game on in this joint. But leave that silly Xbox gaming headset at home and come stocked with a pocket full of quarters because this place is OLD SCHOOL. You'll find vintage pinball from Dolly Parton and Star Wars, and games that hail from the 90s as well as the classics like Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac-Man, and my personal favorite, Galaga. They even have a shelf full of board games in a chill room that looks like it came directly from the game Clue. Sit in here on a plush leather couch and sip on a tasty Boozy Slushie. The walk from Krog Street Market is about 15 minutes, or you can jump on bus #3 that'll take you passed the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and Ebnezer Baptist Church.

Little Five Points
Pawel Loj/Wikimedia Commons
Pawel Loj/Wikimedia Commons

This eclectic area east of the city is on the corner of pizza, beer, thrift shop and entertainment. In just a few blocks, all of the colorful sights, sounds and smells will titillate your senses. Enter the jaws of The Vortex Bar & Grill to rock out to the punk music and devour a "Zombie Apocalypse" or throw back a few brewskies at The Porter Beer Bar. If you like to shop, Little Five Points will not disappoint you with a record shop, book store and tons of clothings shops. Try out Rag-O-Rama, a giant second-hand store where you can find the hippest digs in town. Really... I bought a sweet corduroy jacket and some kick-ass boots there. It's like the COSTCO of consignment shops. Many of the bars have live entertainment, but the Variety Playhouse is a converted movie theater turned concert hall that features a variety of popular acts. The #6 or #102 bus will take you right through the heart of this gem.


Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Doug Waldron/Wikimedia Commons

When you enter this city treasure, you'll feel like you've walked into a scene of Night at the Museum. But that isn't Rexy standing three stories tall in the main atrium, it's a 123-foot long Argentinosaurus, the largest dinosaur ever classified. The museum has both indoor and outdoor activities for the solo adventurer, but the best one by far happens after dark.
Martinis and IMAX is a popular, unique event offered on the second Friday of each month that gives you access to exhibitions, live music, full bars and films in the giant screen theater. Some hands-on activities (for ages 21 and up) include the Science of Spirits and Botanicals in Alcohol (why couldn't Biology and Chemistry classes have been so cool?). Botanicals and booze: Now that's entertainment. Don't worry, no exhibits come to life after dark. Bus #6 takes you within a 4 minute walk to the front entrance.

Amy has been an Audio-Video Technology & Film instructor in the Atlanta area for the last 10 years. She has produced newscasts for an ABC affiliate in Memphis, TN and has contributed to several Atlanta publications.