Atlanta: Secrets of the City

Our editor takes us beyond the classics to some of the off-the-beaten-path destinations and lesser known experiences of the city—guaranteed to make your trip memorable. [VIDEO]

At Where, we like to go behind the scenes, to explore new places and have the kind of experiences that all travelers quest after. So we braved the summer temps, hit the road and caught up with our Atlanta editor Jennifer Coltrin to guide us through some of the best secret experiences of the city.

Want the guide? Read on for the details on the Atlanta travel ideas in the video—and for even more "secret spots" that we didn't include: 

Swim with Sharks

"Everyone knows about the Georgia Aquarium. It’s the largest in the world but did you also know that it’s one of only a handful of places in the world where you can swim or SCUBA dive with whale sharks! (and the only place in the U.S.)? The 2 1/2-hour experience takes place daily; guests can also enjoy encounters with beluga whales, dolphins, sea otters and penguins."

Get there: 225 Baker St NW, Atlanta, Ga., (404) 581-4000

Refreshing Stop in the Old Fourth Ward

"LottaFrutta is a unique fruit house and market right in the Old Fourth Ward. Of course they’ve got the classics, but it’s the exotic options that make this space so hot, like the spicy Limonatta fruit cup, which combines cantaloupe, coconut, cucumber, pineapple, watermelon, mango and papaya with fresh limejuice and the owner’s signature spicy chile guajilo. There’s also Cuban-inspired grilled “sanduches,” salads, smoothies, ice pops and coffee.  There’s really no better way to start your day!"

Get there: 590 Auburn Ave NE, Atlanta, Ga., (404) 588-0857

Shakespeare Like It Was Meant to Be

"The New American Shakespeare Tavern is the closest you’ll get to seeing Shakespeare performed at The Globe in London without crossing the pond. That’s because the company specializes in a theatrical approach called ‘Original Practice’ whereby each production is staged as it would have been in its own time. In other words, live sound effects, period music on appropriate instruments and Elizabethan-style costumes. And not to mention, talented actors!"

Get there: 499 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, Ga., (404) 874-5299

A Peaceful Escape

"Lullwater Park is one of Atlanta’s most beautiful parks, so why does nobody know about it? Maybe because of its secluded location at the heart of Emory University’s campus (guess the students don’t want to share). But this 154-acre park, is a must-see, featuring miles of walking and jogging trails, a 210-foot suspension bridge, a beautiful lake the views of the Emory president’s home."

Get there: 1463 Clifton Rd NE Atlanta, Ga.

Cocktails in the Garden

"Mix and mingle at the most scenic and beautiful cocktail party in the city— no invitation required! The Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Cocktails in the Garden series, which takes place every Thursday evening May-September, features food, drinks, live music and one heck of a gorgeous setting."

Get there: 1345 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, Ga., (404) 876-5859

Secret Burgers

"Locals love Holeman & Finch for a lot of reasons—it has great cocktails, delicious food and a casual setting. But most of all, they love “burger time,” which happens at the stroke of 10 o’clock each night. That’s when 24—and only 24 —exquisite double patty cheeseburgers are assembled on house-made buns and served alongside hand-cut French fries. However, if you can’t make it during the week they are served all day on Sundays."

Get there: 2277 Peachtree Rd NW, Atlanta, Ga., (404) 948-1175

A Museum, a Martini and an IMAX Movie

"Where else will you find a giant movie screen, a hip social scene, plus dinner, dancing, entertainment and cocktails besides Fernbank Museum’s Martinis & IMAX? The answer is nowhere. The popular Friday night event is a cool mix of cultures and cocktail, and a great date night."

Get there: 767 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, Ga., (404) 929-6300

A Farmers Market Born in the South

"The number of fresh and organic food products at the 140,000-square-foot DeKalb Farmers Market is simply staggering. From fruits and vegetables to meat, seafood, cheese, coffee and a bevy of international foods, there’s something for everyone. There’s also a deli, a bakery and a fantastic on-site restaurant that serves fish, meat, chicken and healthy vegetarian dishes from 11 am to 8 pm daily."

Get there: 3000 E Ponce De Leon Ave, Decatur, Ga., (404) 377-6400

Rails to Trails Done Right

"Get outside! The Atlanta Beltline is one of the most comprehensive revitalization projects in the country, converting 22 miles of old rail line into a series of linear parks and trails. What people might not know is that there are free tours every weekend including walking tours, bus tours and bike tours, not to mention a public art series, a running series, free fitness classes and so much more."

Get there: Multiple access points, (404) 446-4400