Atlanta, Georgia, home to both legends of the civil rights era and modern-day hip-hop artists, combines traditional Southern hospitality with an electrifying charisma. While this sprawling metropolis is a major U.S. city and host of the 2019 Super Bowl, the small-town vibe from the locals will make you feel right at home.
Travel for good
Visitors to Atlanta can contribute to the local community by grabbing a drink at Refuge Coffee, a coffee shop dedicated to employing and conducting job training opportunities for resettled refugees.
What's in my bag
The Google Maps phone app is a must-have when traveling around any city, but it’s especially helpful in Atlanta because of its sprawling landscape. Having your maps ready will help prevent you from getting lost.
Burial for a King by Rebecca Burns provides a good background on the history of Atlanta and the civil rights struggles of the city’s African-American community.
Take a class
If you really want to understand the people of Atlanta, the best way to learn about them is through their food. Take a tour with Atlanta Food Walks to bite into some savory soul food cuisine. And don’t pass up a chance to visit the one and only Soul Food Museum. Founded by local chef Dr. Kenneth Willhoite as a means to express the history of African-American cuisine, the museum will not leave you disappointed.
Savor the flavors
For a quintessential Southern experience check out Georgia-style barbecue at Old Hickory House. With its timeless decor of wooden walls and classic painted artwork, the restaurant makes you slow down to enjoy all it has to offer. For another kind of foodie experience, visit the Sweet Auburn Curb Market for dishes like Southern-style fried chicken and homemade cornbread. Started in 1918, it is one of Atlanta’s oldest markets.
At the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historical Park, you can experience the story of the activist’s life and legacy by visiting a dedicated museum and touring his former home.
Asha Stuart is a documentary filmmaker and photographer who focuses on human interest stories. Follow her on Instagram @asha.stuart.