Looking for things to do off the beaten track in Atlanta? The city has world-famous museums, parks, educational institutes, and historic landmarks. But with roughly 50 million annual visitors, many search for ways to ditch the crowds. Fortunately, Atlanta has a sprawling lineup of interesting places and less-visited sights that shine a new light on the city.

    Just a little diligence will let you have an experience in Atlanta to call your own. Our top Atlanta hidden gems will connect you to the city’s artsy personality, find beautiful nature escapes, and possibly watch the next music sensation. Start with these somewhat overlooked and underrated attractions for an unforgettable Atlanta experience.

    1

    Atlanta BeltLine

    Witness the transformation of a former railway network

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    • Business

    The Atlanta BeltLine is an urban revitalisation project that links metro Atlanta neighbourhoods via pedestrian walkways, hiking trails, and green spaces. The project continuously expands to unlock undiscovered sections of Atlanta. It's estimated to complete in 2030. 

    Art lovers will enjoy public installations that add a kaleidoscope of colours to the walkways. Don’t miss Art on the Atlanta BeltLine, the largest outdoor public art exhibition in the American South. Fitness enthusiasts can find unexplored paths, Run Club meetups, and stress-relieving yoga classes. The ambitious goal of 33 miles of multi-use trails will help you find more hidden places in Atlanta.

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    2

    Krog Street Tunnel

    Artwork by Atlanta’s greatest underground artists

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    • Unusual
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    The Krog Street Tunnel connects the Inman Park and Cabbagetown neighbourhoods in Atlanta, with astonishing street art on display. While graffiti is common in major cities, this landmark encourages unknown artists to unleash their creativity. It’s rare to find a blank canvas on the tunnel’s concrete walls, and the artwork regularly changes. Take a picture if you find a heartfelt image, as it's likely you won't see it again.

    In addition to elaborate murals and street tags, you’ll find political messages, event advertisements, or even marriage proposals. The Krog Street Tunnel is also one of Atlanta’s hottest backdrops for photoshoots and music videos.

    Location: 1 Krog St NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, USA

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +1 404-492-0847

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    3

    Chamblee’s Antique Row District

    A friendly collection of antique shops offering unique gifts

    • Shoppers

    Chamblee’s Antique Row District has the finest selection of collectables, jewellery, furnishings, and rare trinkets in Atlanta. Just off I-285 in the Chamblee suburb, the tight-knit shops greet you with warm Southern hospitality as you browse for rare antiques.

    Start your shopping spree at Chamblee Antiques and Interiors to find designer furniture, artwork, and vintage objects. The Treasure Mart has frequent sales on home decoratives, while the Antique Factory offers a treasure trove of furniture and antiques. For a quality price on your gems and fine metals, visit the friendly and knowledgeable staff of Global Gems & Jewelry.

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    4

    CDC Museum

    Enter a world of disease and public health management

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    • History

    The CDC Museum delves into the world of scientists racing to find the cure for deadly diseases. Through multimedia displays and rotating exhibits, you’ll examine the history of the public health institution. Learn how the CDC fought past outbreaks from illnesses like smallpox and malaria and how they battle today’s epidemics. Other exhibits discuss the challenges of Ebola, the Zika virus, obesity, and more. 

    You can step into the shoes of public health defenders by walking in biohazard suits. You’ll also find replicas of medical marvels such as the iron lung and smallpox vaccine kits. Although the CDC Museum feels like a sci-fi movie set, it gives you a new perspective of public health.

    Location: 1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA

    Open: Monday–Wednesday and Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, Thursday from 9 am to 7 pm (closed on weekends)

    Phone: +1 404-639-0830

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    photo by CDC Global (CC BY 2.0) modified

    5

    Doll’s Head Trail

    Find bizarre artwork on this quiet hiking path

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    • Unusual
    • Adventure

    Doll’s Head Trail, a hiking spot around 8 miles south of Downtown Atlanta, may either entertain you or give you the creeps. The path cuts through Constitution Lakes Park, which sits on the site of an abandoned 19th-century brick factory. Local carpenter Joel Slaton came up with a brilliant art project to make use of the discarded doll parts and remnants of the factory. 

    The result is a nature preserve filled with doll heads and quirky art installations made from garbage. You can include a piece of artwork yourself, but it must come from something found within Constitution Lakes Park.

    Location: 3445 Almand Rd SE, Atlanta, GA 30316, USA

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    photo by amanderson2 (CC BY 2.0) modified

    6

    Millennium Gate Museum

    One of Georgia’s finest pieces of architecture

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    The Millennium Gate Museum reflects on Atlanta’s often forgotten historic nickname, “The Gate City.” When passing the Roman-style triumphal arch in Midtown’s Atlantic Station district, it resembles a grandiose European capital. Inside, the 12,000-sq-ft museum presents a time capsule of Georgia's history.

    The galleries present artefacts from Native American cultures and European settlers who shaped Georgia’s development. Millennium Gate routinely hosts touring exhibits, with past displays including rare Winston Churchill paintings and Ancient Greek artefacts. The underrated museum also contains fascinating relics such as Native American pottery, 18th-century muskets, and Masonic swords.

    Location: 395 17th St NW, Atlanta, GA 30363, USA

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +1 404-881-0900

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    7

    Eddie’s Attic

    Discover the next superstar at this intimate music hall

    • Nightlife
    • Unusual

    Eddie’s Attic in Decatur welcomes the most talented musicians of Atlanta. For nearly 30 years, the acoustic space has hosted local musicians that would later achieve international stardom. Artists who have performed on the stage of Eddie’s Attic includes John Mayer, Justin Bieber, and Sugarland. Indie music lovers will appreciate the venue’s stellar acoustics and silent phone policy.

    On Mondays, Eddie’s Attic hosts an open mic night that features aspiring artists from across the country. The winners of the evening will compete at the Bi-Annual Songwriter's Open-Mic Shootout to leapfrog into the music industry. When there’s no artist on stage, grab some food and drinks to chill on the spacious outdoor patio.

    Location: 515 N McDonough St, Decatur, GA 30030, USA

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 5 pm to 11 pm, Sunday from 4.30 pm to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 404-377-4976

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    8

    Tiny Doors ATL

    Doll-sized doors in hidden places across Atlanta

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    • Unusual
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    Tiny Doors ATL takes you on a whimsical scavenger hunt to find 7-inch doors around the city. Artist Karen Anderson Singer combined her love for miniatures and street art to create a new perspective of Atlanta’s unique neighbourhoods and attractions. Some doors appear at busy pedestrian areas, on historic landmarks, or built into natural landscapes. Here’s a helpful hint: you’ll find tiny doors at Fox Theatre, State Farm Arena, and the Georgia Aquarium.

    A map outlining all the miniature doors is on the Tiny Doors ATL website. Every door represents the unique personality of its community and engages the creative spirits of its residents.  

    Location: 1380 Atlantic Dr Suite 14100, Atlanta, GA 30363, USA

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    photo by Eddie Krebs (CC BY 2.0) modified

    9

    Westview Cemetery

    Admire the beautiful architecture of this enormous burial ground

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    • History
    • Photo

    The Westview Cemetery, less than 5 miles from Downtown Atlanta, impresses with its enormous size. At roughly 582 acres, the cemetery is the largest civilian cemetery in the entire American Southeast. Since its opening in 1884, the facility has buried over 108,000 people on its burial plots. But to put its massive size to scale, around half of the property remains undeveloped.

    Over the years, Westview has laid to rest many notable residents of Atlanta. The list of famous individuals buried at Westview includes Coca-Cola founder Asa G. Candler and former Governor of Georgia Hugh Dorsey. Westview also receives praise for its exceptional architecture, such as the stained-glass windows and elaborate tombs of the Westview Abbey Mausoleum.

    Location: 1680 Westview Dr SW, Atlanta, GA 30310, USA

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, Saturday from 9.30 am to 2 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +1 404-755-6611

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    photo by Lee Coursey (CC BY 2.0) modified

    10

    54 Columns

    A controversial minimalist structure in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward

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    The 54 Columns is an art installation that’s often a head-scratcher for visitors to the Old Fourth Ward. World-renowned minimalist artist Sol LeWitt designed the peculiar structure in 1999 using concrete columns from 10 to 20 ft tall. Despite giving the impression of an unfinished construction site, the artwork mimics the Atlanta skyline.

    Admirers love the design for its abstract nature and clever intertwining of art and architecture. However, other residents don’t think the concrete columns are an eye-pleaser to the neighbourhood. Some went as far as attempting to shroud the pillars by planting trees around them. But other artists have utilised the bizarre structure for various dance performances and wacky photos.

    Location: Glen Iris Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30312, USA

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    Daniel Grenier | Contributing Writer

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