One thing I love being is a tourist in my own city. I see no reason to stay in my own neighborhood when there is so much to explore, especially in a big area like Atlanta.
And today at lunch, my friend mentioned that she and her family were doing a staycation this summer instead of a big, expensive trip. Great idea, especially if you have a large family. I threw some ideas out to her, and decided maybe some of these were also unfamiliar to others as well so I thought I’d commit them here.
Though some of these ideas are specific to Atlanta, many of these work for other places as well. But your best tools are to always be creative and curious. 😉
- Get on email lists like Atlanta’s CVB. People always wonder how I know about so many events and places around town, but there’s really no secret: I’m on a lot of lists. AtlantaOnTheCheap is a great way to stay informed on offers and events (CitiesOnTheCheap for national deals). And Goldstar is another one I really like for interesting, discounted tickets.
- 25 Free Things to Do and See in Atlanta
- Here’s a great local must list put together by the city: http://www.atlanta.net/50fun/index.asp.
- The best places to go see movies during the summer are the Starlight Six Drive-In and the Fox. Seriously fun and different. And might I add, cheaper than most movie theaters.
- Speaking of theater, locate and patron your community spaces. I love The Strand in Marietta.
- I love the ScoutMob website and app for awesome deals on restaurants and stores. Plus, there’s no money required upfront. This helps you discover new places near you or in your city. Along those lines, Roaming Hunger will help you find food trucks. And I love Yelp for reading customer reviews.
- Eat and buy local. Stay clear of chain restaurants and stores. You’ll have a more unique experience and support your neighbors. And for those expensive restaurants you’ve been wanting to try but can’t afford, try stopping by for wine tastings, Happy Hour, dessert only and events that might be cheaper than a full meal.
- Stone Mountain Park is a good option for outdoor lovers, and kids love the evening laser show. And so is the Chattahoochee Nature Center, Piedmont Park and Atlanta Botanical Garden. There are also some nearby hiking/walking trails. Or if you prefer to be outside and sit still, try a Braves game (Atlanta or Gwinnett). If you’re a music lover, a number of free outdoor concerts are also held at various sites around town.
- Head to the farmers market instead of the grocery store. My personal fav is the Marietta Square Farmers Market.
- I’m also a fan of museums and exhibits. Some of the places I love to visit and revisit are The High and Fernbank. I must confess, I still need to get to the Jimmy Carter Center and Margaret Mitchell House. I’m putting them on my summer “to do” list.
- Take a drive. We have so many neat neighborhoods in Atlanta, and when I have time, I really enjoy just driving around and taking a look at them for myself. Who knows what you may discover along the way!
- Day or overnight trips are an awesome way to both stay and go. Around Atlanta, we have some cool destinations like Rome, Athens, Dahlonega, Helen, Blue Ridge, Calloway Gardens, Serenbe or even Chattanooga.
- NEW: Affordable Summer Activities in Atlanta by About Atlanta (July 3, 2013)
So, here are just a few suggestions from me to you. But I feel like I’m forgetting some important items. What did I miss?