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Stefan's Hotlanta Guide - page 2

Museums, Events, Festivals, Restaurants, and Sights


Atlanta Botanical Gardens - Lovely flowers and exhibits year round. I especially enjoyed the herb gardens.
06/25/04 - Nanci Griffith "On the Green"
Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum. - A very large circular civil war painting. Pretty interesting and only $5. Information: (404) 624-1071.
Atlanta History Museum - Lots of Georgia history, with a huge civil war room and homes on the property. Many exhibits change regularly.
Center for Puppetry Arts - A wonderfully fun museum in downtown Atlanta with shows, exhibits, classes and is lots of fun. Say hi to Susan and Vince.
The Fernbank Science Center - While I haven't been to the natural science museum yet, I have seen two movies at the IMAX: "Everest" and "The Seven Greatest Places. Everest wasn't great, just an hour of people shivering in tents. On the contrary, The Seven Greatest Places was visually stunning.
Georgia Aquarium - It's nice but not well organized. It was very crowded and the staff kept yelling at us at the touch tanks for touching the fish.
High Museum of Art - During my first visit, during the First Night Atlanta 2000 celebration, I only got to see the Norman Rockwell exhibit, which was very nice. My second trip wasn't as exciting. Their collection seems to be very haphazard and quite unremarkable. I especially don't like their ticket policy, meant to prevent long lines, which forces everyone to buy timed tickets far in advance. It makes it very difficult to plan a visit and doesn't prevent crowds and long lines. You've been warned.
Nexus Contemporary Art Center - A small art gallery near Georgia Tech.
08/03/99 - Discussion Panel: The Sex Worker as Artist, Activist, & Catalyst.
SciTrek- A hands-on science and technology center. Interesting but better for the children.
Stone Mountain Park - includes a civil war war museum, a giant granite rock with gondola, Confederate Memorial Carving and a 3200-acre park with excellent natural and historical events. For my first visit we took the gondola to the top for a great view and we saw a fantastic LASAR show. The second time we climbed the rock and wore ourselves out.
World of Coca-Cola - Free samples and cool history, What could be better?
Zoo Atlanta - It is a little strange to see black and red Zebras and Giraffes that are mostly red, but that's what you get when you build a zoo on Georgia red clay. It is a nice zoo never the less. I enjoyed seeing the famous Willie B. The train and Ben & Jerry's ice cream really complete the event.


Atlanta Dogwood Festival - "A springtime celebration dedicated to the enhancement of the environment through education, awareness and community involvement." In other words free concerts in Piedmont park with arts booths, beer, and food.
4/04 - Diane Durrent, Cindy Kalmenson, and Jill Knight
4/02 - Jennifer Daniels
4/99 - Grove Schrivenor, Cowboy Envy, Christian Durand, Bill Ward, Don Conoscenti, Andy Offutt Irwin, Tammy Fowler, and Michelle Malone
Black College Spring Break or "Freaknick" - It is suppose to be a week of fun, instead I saw a bunch of drunks being stupid. I watched an attempted rape live on TV, someone hit my car with a bottle, and the streets and highways were backed up for miles. NOT my idea of college fun. Atlanta is considering canceling it.
Candler Park Festival - A small community festival just East of L5P with local bands and arts & crafts. Hint: Pack a lunch and a lawn chair.
09/19/99 - The Stimulants, SMO, Deacon Brody
09/18/99 - 6X, Three Fingered Cowboy, Young Antiques, The Greta Lee Band
Atlanta Celtic Festival - A small festival on the campus of Oglethorpe University. Some food, some music, and a few crafts made it interesting. I enjoyed the Irish music and the harps.
DragonCon - A 4-day science fiction convention complete with panel discussions, gaming, celebrities, costume contests, and music concerts. See my 1999 Recap and Gallery or 1998 Review for more info.
First Night Atlanta 2000 - Lame. There was no crowd, the bands were awful, and the Peach Drop is 2 miles south. But you do get great kiddy activities and fireworks. Gone With The Wind in 20 minutes was outstanding though. That, and visiting the High Museum of Art made it worth it for me. If you do it, buy your tickets ahead of time and avoid the day-of-show surcharge.
Funfair in Conyers - A week long state fair with rides and food and country music festival held at the Georgia International Horse Park.
5/02 - Patty Loveless [] and Kenny Rogers []
Georgia Renaissance Festival - Jousting, sword fighting, magic. It was fun. The Dead Bob Show would have been more fun if I hadn't been "BOBMOTIZED." We also enjoyed the music of Andy Offutt Irwin. Well worth going back again and again. The shops and food were really cool. Ask me how I blew $224.
Georgia Shakespeare Festival
06/10/98 Henry IV at Oglethorpe University
04/13/04 Mid Summer's Night Dream: "Shake at the Lake"
04/12/05 MacBeth: "Shake at the Lake"
Hot & Spicy Festival - The annual Festival at Dobbins Air Force Base/ Naval Air Station Atlanta. Bring a chair
1998 - Cheap Trick, Georgia Satellites, and Wil's Drama
Japanfest - A Japanese cultural festival with food, musics, arts, koi (fish) and souvenirs at Stone Mountain.
Marietta Greek Festival - Held in the Cobb County Civic Center, this is mostly a foodfest with maybe a dozen craft booths and a stage for Greek music and dance. Not bad for $3, but don't expect to spend more than an hour or two.
Powers' Crossroads Country Arts Festival - It was fun, but pretty much the same as all the other arts and crafts fairs. I'm not sure it was worth the 45 minute drive.
Virginia-Highland Summerfest - This interesting street-fair is named after the intersection of two Atlanta streets that anchor an eclectic neighborhood. About 200 artists had booths, especially popular were paintings, photos, and bird-houses. I was mostly interested in the concert in the park.
1998 - Wild West Picture Show (Rebel Rock)
1999 - Heidi Polyea & Doug Morton, De De Vogt, Delta Moon
Stone Mountain Highland Games and Scottish Festival - Fife and Drums, Harpists, Bagpipes, Kilts, Hagus and all manner of Scottish, Irish, and Celtic heritage make this festival great fun.
Stone Mountain Chili Cookoff - Hundreds of chili recipies, cornbread, and music - What did you expect? [read the full review]
World Horror Con 99 - A touring horror convention with Authors signing autographs, seminars, Art for sale (Paintings, sculpture, and photographs), musical concerts, and performance art courtesy of the Secret Room) and PURGE. It was broadcast live on Live On the Net. But I guess it's touring - not Atlanta based.
5/5/99 - Order of the Dying Knights , The Changelings
5/6/99 - D.C. Moon and Red Giant , Godhead
Yellow Daisy Festival - A huge arts & crafts festival at Stone Mountain that attracts far more people then the park can accommodate. Be prepared for an hour wait to get in and horrible parking. But nice crafts and food and music.

Sites/Land Marks

The Big Chicken - 50ft of KFC action.
Little Five Points (L5P) - Artsy-Fartsy-Cool part of town
Centennial Olympic Park - Went for the July 4th (1998) festival but was disappointed. Too few booths and only hot dogs for food. Saw the parade too: not impressive. What a waste.
Helen, GA - A Bavarian styled tourist trap.


Eating out legend: 0 - won't go back   - will go back if I must   - Okay, but no rush back
- Sure let's go   - I'd recommend it to friends or take dates   - I'd go again tonight
The Abbey - Pricy but worth it: Excellent food and desserts. Be warned, you'll spend the evening there, the service is intensionally slow to allow you a long and relaxed evening.
Babbetts Overpriced and pretentious, but good food if you like that scene.
Bones Overpriced, pretentious and definely not worth $60 per person. Just a really expensive steak place.
The Brewhouse - We went for Octoberfest - good food, good beer, horrible service (Sorry Elena)
Bridgetown Grill - Just plain nice.
Cafe Tu Tu Tango - Very unique atmosphere but pricey and the food isn't as good didn't meet my expectations.
Carlos O'Brians - Yup, it's Mexican food
The Cheesecake Factory - We had a 90 minute wait, dirty flatware and poor service. The food was expensive and nothing really exciting, kind of a mixed bag of ethnic cuisine (oriental mostly). My suggestion: Get the desert to go.
Cripple Creek Tap House - Food is very good, but very expensive
The Dark Horse Tavern - Nikki was cool, but the food wasn't special. The band venue downstairs is very small and the drinks are pricey.
Champ's Bar-B-Q - Real southern pork in Smyrna.
Chateau Elan's - Winery, restaurant, and conference center. It was quite a drive (I-85 exit 48) But the food and service were outstanding. Ask to sit at Charles' table.
Euclid Ave Yacht Club - Excellent pub in L5P with boiled peanuts and great Philly cheese steaks.
Fat Matt's - Really good ribs in Midtown. Blues music too, sometimes: skip the chicken.
Harry Bissett's (279 Broad St. Athens Ga.) - Good New Orleans style cuisine. Be prepared, it's mostly seafood and not cheap, but you'll really enjoy it.
The Highlander - It's biggest draw is that it's open really late. Not much on the menu and the A/C was broke the night we went. Nice eagle tattoo on the waitress though.
John Harvard's Brew House - Home made beer, friendly, good food
Mick's - Poor selection and pricey.
Manuel's - Very Smokey but pleasant and fun. Historic Atlanta
Phoenix Brewing Company [Closed 3/99] - Home made beer, friendly, really good food. I'm sorry it's gone.
Pasta Pulcinella A long wait and poor service. (otherwise good and cheap)
Planet Hollywood Really expensive hamburgers, poor service, and second rate decorations. (See Tourist Trap)
Raging Buritto - Very good greasy spoon type place.
Rio Grande - Food was good.
Rio Bravo - Expensive Taco Bell.
Rock Bottom Brewery - The beer was good, but the food wasn't that great.
R.Thomas - Open 24 hours, but skip the expensive and stupid juices
Savage Pizza - Designer pizza with attitude. Why bother?
Tamarind - Good Thai food on 14th street, but a little expensive and hard to park.
The Vortex - Too much fun for just one visit, in L5P


Creative Loafing A weekly entertainment guide.
Atlanta Capital Visitors Bureau A guide to events and conventions.
Access Atlanta - News and information
Y'All - Covering the South like Kudzu

MARTA plug here

I use the MARTA transportation system when I can, but it only runs until 1am, construction is a hassle, and I still have to drive to the station.
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Updated Jan. 5, 2006
© 2006 Stefan Oestreicher