Best Kept Travel Secrets: Get to Know Atlanta, GA

Estimated read time: 5 minutes

Wondering what to do in Atlanta? As one of the biggest cities in the South, you're in luck. Atlanta is full of unique cultures and neighborhoods worth exploring, but if you're looking for some of the less crowded tourist destinations, try one of these eight stops.

While you're at the Krog Street Tunnel, keep an eye out for a door that looks better suited for a rat.

The Center for Puppetry Arts

Whether you know him by name or not, Jim Henson was probably a part of your childhood. He created puppet-fueled shows and movies like "The Muppets," "Sesame Street," and "Dark Crystal." The Center for Puppetry Arts is home to a permanent collection of Henson puppets and memorabilia that will transport you to his time creating classic pieces of American media. While Henson is the star, the museum also contains historical puppets and artifacts from around the world. The Center for Puppetry Arts also hosts performances, if you want to see the puppets come to life on the stage.

You'll find The Center for Puppetry Arts at the corner of Spring and 18th Streets. Tickets for the museum start at $12.50, but performances and guided tours will cost extra.

Atlanta Glass Treehouse

This isn't the kind of treehouse you built as a kid. This treehouse features two stories, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, and a living room – all surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass and held aloft by a tree. It was built as a passion project by local architects when work dried up during the 2008 financial crisis. Now, the owners rent it out as an Airbnb. You can either rent just one floor or the whole thing, but good luck finding an open date! Rentals are usually booked out well in advance. The cost of one floor starts at $282. Renting the whole treehouse will be a credit card purchase of at least $565.

If you didn't luck out with a rental, you can still catch a glimpse of the house by walking along the Beltline Trail near Berne Street SE. You can also check out a tour on YouTube.

Doll's Head Trail

As nature reclaimed the former industrial site of the South River Brick Company, an art project sprung up along the hiking trails that's equal parts creepy and resourceful. Art pieces here feature what is essentially trash, picked from the shrubbery lining the trails and assembled to the artist's desire. All hikers are welcome to contribute, so long as they only use materials they find in the area.

Aside from the art, the trail is also unique for the diverse wildlife you'll find tucked away in an otherwise urban area. It's a popular spot for birders and other animal lovers. You'll find the trail in Constitution Lakes Park at 1305 South River Industrial Blvd SE.

Junkman's Daughter

If you can't get enough of oddities and knick-knacks, The Junkman's Daughter is the store for you. It was started by a literal junkman's daughter back in 1982 as a place for her to sell collectibles her parents found on the job. It was a hit with college kids and local artists. Before long, word about this utopia of the unusual spread. It now boasts a long list of celebrity shoppers. The store also goes all-out for Halloween, so stop by in October for a totally different look.

You'll find The Junkman's Daughter at 464 Moreland Ave., right in the heart of Little 5 Points, an artsy neighborhood filled with good food and bars with live music.

The Krog Street Tunnel

You'll most likely see graffiti in any major city, but the Krog Street Tunnel takes street art to a new level. This tunnel, which connects Inman Park to Cabbagetown, has become a designated spot for street art. The tunnel feels like a living work of art. New pieces pop up every day, obscuring older pieces beneath it and slowly morphing the walls over time.

Music fans should also make a point of visiting the Krog Street Tunnel. In addition to art for art's sake, the tunnel is filled with creative posters that advertise local shows and other events. The address is 1 Krog St. NE.

Tiny Doors ATL

While you're at the Krog Street Tunnel, keep an eye out for a door that looks better suited for a rat. That tiny door is actually part of Tiny Door ATL, an art project installing doors throughout the city. Artist Karen Anderson masterminds the project. She was inspired by similar art installations in her hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan and adapted the idea to fit with Atlanta's personality. Each doorway mimics the architecture of nearby buildings, making it a neighborhood marker of sorts.

You can find a map of all 15 doors on the Tiny Doors website. Anderson has teased two more additions coming soon, so keep an eye on the Tiny Doors ATL Instagram and Facebook accounts for more Tiny Door destinations.

Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change

No trip to Atlanta would be complete without honoring the great Atlantan Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. One way to do that is by visiting the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change – usually just called the King Center. Established in 1968, the organization strives to be a "living memorial" to Dr. King rather than just a "dead monument." In addition to nonviolence training and community talks, the King Center also organizes historical exhibits. The King Center is part of a 23-acre National Historic Site, which includes his crypt and birth home. The powerful experience will surely make it a special day on your trip.

You'll find the King Center at 449 Auburn Ave. NE. Admission is free.

The Decatur District

There's plenty to do in Atlanta proper, but if you want something a little different, head for Decatur. Though often mistaken for an Atlantan neighborhood, Decatur is actually its own city that predates Atlanta. It marks the intersection of two major Native American trails, and it became an officially incorporated city in 1823, 14 years before Atlanta. Now, it's the artsy little cousin to Atlanta. Here you'll find upscale restaurants, microbrew beer and boutique stores. It's all just about five miles east of downtown Atlanta.

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