We're almost one month into the new year, which means it’s time to finalize our 2017 to-do lists. If you don’t already have a game plan for the year, no worries — we’ve created the ultimate Atlanta bucket list, complete with everything you need to be doing this year. Get your pens ready ‘cause it’s time to check some boxes!
1. Check out your favorite neighborhood restaurant week:
Atlanta has not one but FOUR major restaurant weeks during the year. Each one is dedicated to a specific neighborhood. Choose from Downtown, Inman Park, Midtown, and Buckhead, which all offer different groups of restaurants to feature. For our OTP folks, Roswell also offers a pretty swanky restaurant week during the final week of January. So as soon as you read this, grab your stretchy pants and head straight up 400 for some delicious eats — or, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, try them all!
2. Swim with the sharks at the Georgia Aquarium:
Whale sharks, to be exact. The largest fish in the world actually makes a fabulous swimming buddy! Every day, adults and teens alike get this awesome opportunity thanks to the Journey with Gentle Giants program. Sign us up!
3. Hike the trails at Sweetwater Creek State Park:
SCSP is home to gorgeous trails, creeks, and ruins. It’s the perfect spot for hikers, photography buffs, or for those of us who want to bounce back after indulging in one of the A’s restaurant weeks — let's be honest, we plan on going to them all. It’s so beautiful you won’t even realize you’re breaking a sweat!
4. Visit one (or all) of Atlanta’s hidden bars and speakeasies:
Atlanta has the gift of maintaining some of that old school swag that makes these secret (or not so secret) spots quintessentially cool. Hand-crafted cocktails and the roaring 20’s vibe make you feel like you’ve been transported to a prohibition-era hideout. Find out the password, grab your closest friends, and take a trip back in time. We promise the drinks are worth it and the extra effort only adds to the fun — we’ll even be your DD for the evening!
5. Hit up a music festival:
The Atlanta area is home to several music festivals throughout the year. You can see everything from Shaky Beats to SweetWater 420 Fest to the unprecedented Music Midtown. Atlantans know their music, so it’s no surprise there are so many options to help you check this one off your list! And with a variety of music styles in the mix, there's something for everyone.
6. Shoot the hooch:
There are a lingering few of you who probably haven’t trekked up to Helen, GA so you can properly ‘shoot the hooch’. If you are one of these few you are missing out on some awesome warm-weather fun! We can’t really consider this an Atlanta to-do, but its relative closeness and popularity means we couldn’t leave it off of our list. We recommend the 2 hour float down the Chattahoochee for ultimate leisure!
7. Stroll through the Atlanta Botanical Gardens:
In Atlanta we are blessed with some spectacular scenery and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens is the perfect example of that. With gorgeous seasonal displays, it’s a wonderful spot to hit any time of the year. And not only can you go and marvel at the sights, but they also offer an assortment of classes. Try gardening veggies, drawing, or even tai chi!
8. Check out a food festival:
Atlantans love to eat, which isn’t surprising considering the abundance of tasty restaurants the city has to offer. In addition to the many restaurant weeks there are also multiple food festivals to enjoy throughout the year. From “Taste of Atlanta” to the “Atlanta Street Food Festival," there are plenty of options to stuff your face with. We’ve heard “Brunch Fest” is where it’s at if you are one of those ATLiens with a brunch crew! Did somebody say mimosas?
9. See a live performance:
When a movie just won’t cut it, check out one of the many local theaters for something extra special. Whether you’re in it for some improv comedy or a broadway quality drama, we’ve got just the ticket in Atlanta. Don’t forget we have a Tony Award-winning theater, The Alliance. There’s even Shakespeare Tavern for those of us who are feeling the classic theater vibes.
10. Give back:
One of the things we truly love about our city is its unique culture and sense of community. One of the most important things we can do this year is give back to Atlanta. From running a 5K for your favorite cause, to volunteering at the Humane Society, to participating in Atlanta Pride, and helping with Hands on Atlanta, there are a million ways to pitch in!
Don’t forget that Lyft is your key to the city — wherever you’re going, we’ll get you there! We can’t wait to see everyone checking off their ATL boxes. Snap pictures of all of your bucket list adventures and share them with us on Twitter at @Lyft_ATL. Go forth and enjoy 2017 y’all!