Join local editor Michelle Khouri as she ventures behind the scenes to some of the coolest places to go and things to do in Atlanta that most visitors (and many locals) don’t know about. From hip restaurants and shops to underground street art, improv theatrics, live-band karaoke, a retro drive-in theater and more, use this guide to explore the city like a local expert.
Secret #5: Goat Farm Arts Center
You may recognize our first stop in Atlanta’s hip and creative Westside. That’s because the Goat Farm Arts Center was transformed into District 9 for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” But you don’t have to be Katniss Everdeen to feel at home here. This collective of artist residences and studios hosts a wide range of contemporary performances and art shows throughout the year. Or you can visit the Goat Farm during the day for a donation-based pick-me-up from The Warhorse Coffee Joint.
Secret #4: Krog Street Tunnel & Market
Our next hidden gems are both on Krog Street in historic Inman Park. On this short road sit two very different destinations. What may look like an ordinary tunnel from afar is actually home to Atlanta’s most famous graffiti. Krog Street Tunnel’s walls are bursting with an ever-changing gallery of intricate murals painted by some of the city’s most talented artists. On any given day, you may find an artist at work, a local tagging their initials or a model posing with the tunnel as their backdrop.
Just four blocks north is the bustling and beautiful Krog Street Market. This former factory has become a go-to for chef-driven food, artisanal products and locally made goods. You’ll find everything from charcuterie and enchiladas to pet sombreros and pastries.
Secret #3: Dad’s Garage Theatre Company
Our next secret will bring tears to your eyes—from laughter, that is. Dad’s Garage Theatre Company was founded in Atlanta in 1995. It has since become one of the city’s favorite theater groups. Dad’s Garage is based in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward—in a former church, to be exact. Each week, these talented comedic actors perform their popular improv shows and exceptional scripted productions. There’s no official age restriction on the shows, but they do tend to include adult language and some…questionable situations.
Secret #2: Starlight Drive-In
Landing at No. 2 on our list is the Starlight Drive-In Theatre. This outdoor movie theater will transport you to the old days of leather jackets and slicked-back hair. The retro throwback has four screens that play new movies seven days a week. Tickets are just nine dollars for adults and one dollar for kids. Did we mention this is Atlanta’s only remaining drive-in? Arrive early to get a good spot and don’t forget to pack a cooler with your favorite food.
Secret #1: Live Band Karaoke at 10 High
Tap into your inner superstar at our No. 1 hidden gem: heavy metal and soul live-band karaoke at 10 High. You wouldn’t expect to find any headbanging in family-oriented Virginia-Highland, but that’s just what you’ll stumble upon at this bar tucked under the Dark Horse Tavern. Live bands provide the soundtrack for 10 High’s heavy metal and soul karaoke, which take place five nights a week. Best yet, 10 High doesn’t charge a cover for these sing-it-yourself nights. Your first song is free, but prepare to fork over 20 bucks if you want to belt out another tune.