Orientation to Atlanta For New College Students And Their Parents

New to Atlanta? Here's a handy guide, especially for students, to help you get acquainted with the city.
  • Atlanta has plenty of student-friendly things to do. (📷 Gene Phillips, AtlantaPhotos.com)
    Atlanta has plenty of student-friendly things to do. (📷 Gene Phillips, AtlantaPhotos.com)

Welcome to Atlanta. To help you get oriented, we’ve compiled a helpful list. Check out these things to do with your parents or have fun on your own while you get settled in the city. We’re sure you’ll fall in love with Atlanta in no time.

Explore the Atlanta BeltLine


(📷 Melissa McAlpine)

If you’ve never been to Atlanta, expect to start hearing about the BeltLine. Formerly a railway corridor, the BeltLine is now a path around the city where you can walk, run, bike or even ride an e-scooter. The best way to see the highlights is to start in Piedmont Park and make your way past Ponce City Market and Inman Park. Be sure and follow our guide for the 7 best stops. You’ll see lots of trendy Atlanta spots along the way that make for great Instagram photos and show you the more creative side of the city. 

Grab a Meal at a Food Hall 


Krog Street Market and Ponce City Market have quickly become favorite Atlanta destinations. You can access both from the BeltLine. Each market makes its home in an old building repurposed for food and retail vendors. Ponce City Market, formerly a legendary Sears, Roebuck & Co., today offers food from around the world along with major stores like Lululemon and Madewell. The rooftop sports a restaurant and carnival games complete with a killer view of the city. Krog Street Market also has both food and retail vendors, many of which are local to Atlanta. You can’t go wrong at either market.

Visit a Rooftop 


Atlanta is known for amazing rooftop experiences.  In the Old 4th Ward, Ponce City Market features Skyline Park, and Hotel Clermont is home to a rooftop bar.  Even the Whole Foods in Midtown has rooftop seating. SkyLounge has great views of Downtown, and Gypsy Kitchen serves stunning views of Buckhead along with delicious tapas plates. Pretty much anywhere you go in the city will have some form of rooftop restaurant/bar, so check one out and take in the scenery. Read our lists of best outdoor drinking spots and must visit rooftops for more information.

Check Out What’s Happening in the City


(📷Atlanta Pride | Photographer: Diane Haymes)

Festivals and fun events are always happening around the city. Find the latest events here. Some of the most popular festivals in the fall are Music Midtown and the Candler Park Fall Festival. Join the crowds and enjoy being outdoors while the temperature cools down. 

Visit the Tourist Highlights

AtlantaWorldofCocaColaBottles.jpgYou have the next four years and beyond to discover all of the city, so you might as well start with the classics-especially while your parents are here. There’s Atlanta Botanical Garden, Georgia Aquarium, the High Museum of Art and the World of Coca-Cola, to name four popular attractions. Check out 50 fun for more great things to do throughout the city. If you’re interested in visiting several, CityPass may be the best way to see them and get a deal. Read How to Visit Atlanta’s Top Attractions and Save with CityPass

Take a Hike 

AtlantaEastPalisadesTrail.jpgFind the most famous hike at Stone Mountain Park, with seven different trails and one that goes to the top of the mountain. Don’t be intimidated; it’s only one mile to the top and you’ll be able to see spectacular views of all of Atlanta once you get there. If you’re more of a walker, there are plenty parks across the city, including, most famously, Piedmont Park. We also love Lullwater Park, Olmsted Linear Park and countless more. Read The 10 Best Easy Hikes In The Atlanta Metro Area

Explore Different Neighborhoods


(📷 James Duckworth, AtlantaPhotos.com)

Learn the basics and see the highlights of Atlanta’s neighborhoods. Buckhead is a shoppers dream with Phipps Plaza, Lenox Square and Shops Buckhead Atlanta. Downtown is the hot spot for tourist attractions with Centennial Olympic Park and the SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel.. If you’re looking for more trendy spots, head to the Eastside and find plenty to explore. Midtown is another great place to visit, with its numerous restaurants, cultural venues and, of course, Piedmont Park. Check out our guide to all of Atlanta’s neighborhoods for even more to explore.  

Find the Most Instagrammable Spots and Food


(📷 Silei Li)

Go on a hunt for Tiny Doors and take pictures in front of a mural wall. Check out the 6 most Instagram-worthy restaurants and 9 Instagram-worthy spots in Downtown. If you capture some great shots at any of these places, be sure to tag us @discoveratlanta

After a bit of exploring, we’re sure you’ll love the city just as much as we do. 

Ali Goodman is the digital marketing intern for Atlanta Visitors & Convention Bureau. She also is a strategic communications student at Elon University and will graduate in the spring of 2021. She loves all things marketing and communications, with writing being her favorite. Living in Atlanta while in high school made her love exploring the city, so working for ACVB allows her to help others see all that the city has to offer.


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