Be a tourist in your own Metro

Remember the Sta-cation? It’s still a popular choice with those of us wanting to save our pennies. Here are some places to find what to do in the Atlanta Metro.

cityPassLet’s start with the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. This is the standard list of what to do: Aquarium, Botanical Garden, World of Coke…..But if you’ve never seen these places, you must! This is a chance to see why the ATL is a tourist destination. And if you are hitting all the top sites, consider doing them all at once with the City Pass. I’m also fond of the Special Offers page, which changes frequently.

gopherlittle_logo_noteThis is my new place to find inexpensive or free items: 50 Fun things to do in Atlanta for cheap and free. It includes things you’ve forgotten about (roller skating, small local museums) as well as some new-to-you items. For instance, did you know there’s a Trampoline Park, in Kennesaw? Their blog gives more details on each activity.

The best known site for finding things going on in the ATL is AccessAtlanta but also look at Eventbrite and BrownPaperTickets. You can put in your zip code, narrow the area of interest and fine something to do today, this weekend, anytime. These sites even let you look for free things.

A couple new things on my radar:

homestead-logoAt The Homestead Atlanta, we strive to promote the well being of individuals as well as the health of the community and environment through experiential self-reliance and sustainability skills education. For a discount on classes, join their partner, Georgia Organics. I’m signed up for a class on healing herbs!

….and here’s a startup that I hope with grow: Go Local Atlanta. I’m keeping an eye on them. Their first tour is this weekend, a walking tour to show off graffiti art, just $20.

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Upcoming things to do in the ATL

I get media notices and here are a few things that hit my mailbox and seemed interesting:

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Cypress Street Pint and Plate’s Beer Geek Carnival featuring Clown Shoes Brewery and the Imperial OPA troop is back on Tuesday, May 28th! For the 2nd annual edition, they will bring a high-energy celebration of all things beer to Midtown Atlanta. Guests will enjoy cold Clown Shoes brews on draught while taking in the incredible performances by stilt walkers, jugglers, fire dancers and Lyra aerialists taking place on Cypress’ expansive patio. Chef Richard Silvey will be serving up a variety of carnival inspired food pairings, including fried oreos, funnel cakes and fried Twinkies while attendees take a shot at dunking Cypress’ resident Beer Geek, Rob Merrick, or owner Billy Streck in the on-site dunk tank.

pcheenP’cheen, one of my favorite eating spots in the Old Fourth Ward, had a face-lift and just posted a new menu. FANTASTIC food, focusing on small plates. Stuff like frog legs, drunken ‘shrooms, Thai wings, mac & cheese with crab, glazed trotters, grilled octopus…..and of course they continue to be a moonshine bar with great DJ’s. Sunday brunch spreads out onto the sidewalk for all day fun. Plus it’s run by some of the greatest guys on the planet. Don’t be the last to discover them.

350px-Rainy_Blue_Ridge-27527Next trip north of the city, I’m going to investigate The Blue Ridge Grocery, which opened this month on Main street, Blue Ridge. A former Cigar Shop, it’s operated by Danny Mellman and Michelle Moran and modeled after the Mercat de la Boqueria in Barcelona, Spain. The Blue Ridge Grocery is a bakery/cafe focusing on fress breads and coffee, community supported agriculture and fresh local produce.  Chef Danny Mellman is a James Beard nominated chef. His wife and partner, Michelle Moran, is a long time culinary journalist and a professional cook.