The dogwoods and azaleas are in bloom, and COVID has subsided for the moment. It's time to get out of your house and enjoy spring! If you're looking for ideas, here are some fun things to do in Atlanta.
1. Find Your Festival
Festivals are back! Atlanta is a town of gatherings, and pre-COVID, you could find a festival celebrating just about anything - from wine to jazz to bacon. While festivals pretty much shut down during COVID, they are gradually returning. Two of the biggest are the Inman Park Festival, April 23-24, and the Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park, April 8-10.
The Atlanta Dogwood Festival is legendary. It signals the beginning of spring, and showcases a huge art scene in the heart of Piedmont Park, from sculpture to paintings to jewelry. Music and food round out the experience. There's no better place to see Atlanta in bloom than Piedmont Park.
On the other side of town, the Inman Park Festival is celebrating its 50th year. Lining the streets of Atlanta's oldest suburb, artists' booths are nestled in between Victorian mansions that once belonged to the city's pioneers, including Asa Candler, the founder of Coca-Cola. If you want to get a peek inside some of these gorgeous houses, take the Tour of Homes. And don't miss the parade on Sunday - it's worth seeing the Seed & Feed Marching Abominable.
A former railroad turned into a walking/biking trail, the Atlanta BeltLine is a place to see and be seen, and on the first warm days in spring, it feels like the entire city is out there. You can thank the BeltLine for much of the development in Atlanta's inner neighborhoods, including an explosion of new restaurants in the hip Old Fourth Ward.
To fully experience the BeltLine, take a BiteLines Food and Art Tour. Starting at
Krog Street Market, named one of the world's best food halls by Travel & Leisure, you walk down the BeltLine, stopping at different restaurants to sample the food. Along the way, explore Atlanta's famed street art scene, discovering the stories behind the art and artists, including ties to Hollywood.
A tour of a chocolate micro-factory is included, along with a margarita tasting. This is a great way to experience the BeltLine, and a fun way to entertain out-of-town guests.
3. Picnic in the Park
The most scenic spot for a picnic is Historic Fourth Ward Park, across from Ponce City Market. For gourmet eats, head to Savi Provisions in Inman Park and pick up French and Spanish cheeses, salamis and a crispy baguette (and maybe some wine), and then walk down the BeltLine to Historic Fourth Ward Park. You can picnic on the lawn, and your kids can frolic on the playground. The park wraps around a pond stocked with fish and ducks and the occasional blue heron. It's a nice place to stroll, and you can toss your left over bread crusts to the fish. (If you're worried about their stomachs, bring some lettuce or rice for them).
Or, if you're looking for a romantic or luxury experience, Elevated Picnics will provide it for you in a beautiful Instagram-worthy setting. They offer a tent with cushy pillows, music, games, a bottle of wine and food upon request.
4. Chill on a restaurant/bar patio
Spring is margarita season in Atlanta. It's the perfect time to chill on a patio, sipping margaritas. Or wine or beer. Or cocktails. Or...does it matter?
Here are several options:
Wine. A great place to hang out is Barcelona Wine Bar in Inman Park, where you can find European wines and tasty tapas.
Beer. Microbrew lovers can head to New Realm Brewing Co. for beer made onsite, along with good pub food.
Cocktails. If I had you at margaritas, one of the widest selections is at Guac y Margys on the BeltLine.
The view. If you are looking for a great place for date night in Atlanta, check out the new Drawbar at the Bellyard Hotel in West Midtown. Sink into their lounge chairs and enjoy the romantic skyline views.
5. Date Night at the High Museum
Spring is beautiful, but if you're checking the pollen count in between sneezes, maybe you'd rather head indoors. I bet you never had allergies until you moved to Atlanta, right? You're not alone.
Did you know the High Museum now has DJs on the first Friday night of every month? Called "High Frequency Friday," it offers access to the art exhibits, dancing and cocktails.
And here is another date night idea - a new interactive exhibit at the High called What is Left Unspoken, Love. Part of the experience is a Pulse Room, which measures your heartbeat and then lights it up on a grid.
What could be more romantic?
However you spend spring in Atlanta, enjoy it while it lasts. Because the too-hot summer will last a lot longer.
An Atlanta native, Nicole Gustin is the Founder and CEO of BiteLines, which offers walking Food and Art Tours on the Atlanta BeltLine. She considers the BeltLine her backyard, and is excited to see how Atlanta is reinventing itself. To sample some of Atlanta's best restaurants and street art, come join us on a Food and Art Tour of the Atlanta BeltLine. Follow on TikTok and Instagram @bitelinesatl.