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Buford Highway in Georgia

7 Hidden Gems Of Atlanta- The Best Kept Secrets (2024)

For travelers in the South, Atlanta is the most famous and favorite tourist destination any day. Newbies or 2nd, 3rd-time return travelers, have multiple attractions to visit. However, once you become repeated to a city, the charming ease down a little, making the experience usual and boring. And that is the time to explore the secret pathways and find the hidden gems. Atlanta’s best qualities are slightly more hidden from the public eyes. It takes a careful perspective and recommendations from the locals to visit the lesser-known spots.

Atlanta is filled with all kinds of cool and interesting spots, probably a few which you may not know about. Whether it is an exciting café or a market tucked within the most popular spot, options are truly many. However, finding these gems is chock-full of quirky nooks and crannies is extremely tricky. But that’s what we are here for. Here we present the list of 7 lesser-known spots and best-kept secrets of Atlanta.

7 Hidden Gems Of Atlanta – The Best Kept Secrets

Have a look:

1. Gaja Korean Bar

The Gaja Korean Bar is one of the most unexpected places you will discover in Atlanta. It is basically a Korean restaurant tucked away in the corner of East Atlanta Village. However, the restaurant is nearly impossible to spot even after being there. Gaja Korean Bar has the most unassuming exterior, featuring a blue brick wall. From the outside, it may appear like an abandoned building, though there’s a trendy restaurant as you step inside. Being here feels like having a trip to Asia and trying multiple Korean delicacies. Their menu features everything from authentic Kimchi to Crispy dumplings, Scallion pancakes, and more. The restaurant operates Tuesday through Saturday, 5 pm to 11 pm on weekdays and 5 pm to 12 pm on Weekends. Gaja Korean Bar is truly one of the best-kept secrets of Atlanta.

2. Fernbank After Dark

You may have been to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History multiple times, but there’s one feature that even experts miss. It is the Fernbank After Dark series that organizes once a month. Every month on the 2nd Friday, the museum organizes a variety of unique after-hours experiences for grown-ups. Exclusively for 21+ individuals, there are multiple programs, including Live music, Museum exhibits, Wildwoods, Science demonstrations, Full bars, and a Tapas menu. The After Dark series is known amongst youngsters as a date night for couples and a medium of gathering with friends. Fortunately, there is no entertainment shortage, making it a must-experience thing.

3. Buford Highway

Known for its extreme food scenes, the Buford Highway is undoubtedly one of the best-kept secrets of Atlanta. It is basically a multicultural, multigenerational community that ranks as the most diverse spot in Georgia. It is home to an unbelievable stretch of international eateries offering Mexican, Vietnamese, Western, Asian, and diverse cuisine worldwide. Some of the favorites here include Nam Phuong Restaurant and the Sweet Hut Bakery & Café, Mamak. For more options, there even is the Atlanta Chinatown Mall nearby. Offering a little bit of everything along with a manicured Chinese garden just outside, this too is a place worth stopping at. When here, do consider visiting the Buford Highway Farmer’s market.

4. Old Atlanta Prison Farm

The Old Atlanta Prison Farm is a hidden gem of Atlanta, featuring the beauty of urban decay. The prison was originally in operation from 1945 to 1995 though later, though it caught fire in 2009. And since the building was not in use, firefighters didn’t feel it worth securing it and letting it burn all out. The fire department now uses it for training demos for fire, and thus no individual is allowed to visit here. Even trying to access it is a case of trespassing. The farm from inside has several holes that operate many feet below. However, some individuals still take a chance to explore the farm from the inside. That is the reason one can find many wall murals and graffiti on those burned-down walls.

5. Chamblee Antiques and Interiors

There is so much more for shopping enthusiasts than the regular Atlanta districts. For example, the Chamblee Antiques and Interiors, a pseudo-district, is where you can find unusual and unexpected. The area basically features a cluster of antique emporiums and exquisite retail shops. Begin with visiting the 8,000 square feet of beautifully bizarre Antique Factory. Here you can find everything from furniture, trinkets and much more. Another delightful stop is the Global Gems and Jewelry, which deals in selling gold, silver, diamonds, gemstones, coins, etc. Chamblee Antiques and Interiors have a unique small-town atmosphere, and being here even for window shopping is an experience on its own.

6. East Palisades Trail

If you are looking forward to exploring Atlanta’s great outdoors without leaving the city, then choose hiking through the East Palisades Trail. The trail meanders its way beside the popular Chattahoochee River through a lush-grown bamboo forest. Running through the Vinings suburb of northeast Atlanta, it is a peaceful and secluded trail featuring riverwalks, a small beach, a dog’s play area, and a few adventure spots. It even takes you towards an old-fashioned swimming hole where youngsters often take a dip. While exploring the area, do consider stopping at the beautiful rock outcropping overlooking the rushing Chattahoochee. This stop is great for picnicking and clicking pictures.

7. Big Trees Forest Preserve

About half an hour outside of Atlanta, the Big Trees Forest Preserve is the secret playground one must add to their itinerary. Anyone who feels like having a day in peace must pick up their car and drive into the middle of the Forest. There’s a parking lot just off the busy road and a few hiking trails nearby. Once you start making your way into these trails, you will feel like miles away from the city. Of those multiple trail options, each is relatively flat and easy, and even the first-timers can make out their way comfortably. Across the way, there is a small creek running through and a few benches for individuals to stop and rest. The Forest is open sunrise to sunset, seven days each week, and is often less with the crowd.

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