Your Go-To Guide for 4th of July Festivities in Atlanta, GA

Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, GA, lit up on a summer evening

Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, GA.

Independence Day falls on a Monday this year. That means it’s time to prepare yourself for a 3-day weekend crammed full of the sunniest, ice creamiest (and dare we say) booziest summer fun imaginable! And this year there’s no better place to celebrate the 4th of July than Atlanta, Georgia. Sure, the experts at the Travel Channel named Atlanta the number one destination for fireworks in the United States, but there’s more to the perfect 4th of July weekend than high quality pyrotechnics. We’re talking about food, music, parties, enjoying nature, and celebrating American history: Atlanta has it all. Whether you are the outdoorsy type or strictly an urban explorer, we’ve got your perfect 4th of July weekend all planned out…

Friday, July 1st

Start your weekend in a big way by seeing Joe Walsh (named one of Top 100 Greatest Guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone) at the Chastain Park Amphitheater. The Chastain Park Amphitheater is an amazing venue with a truly legendary summer line up including Willy Nelson, Modest Mouse, and Boyz II Men, to name just a few.

Saturday, July 2nd

On Saturday morning, get to know the Buckhead neighborhood, Atlanta’s glittering metropolitan district and home to some of the best shopping and dining in the city.

Spend the morning and afternoon window shopping, exploring independent art galleries, and sampling some of the city’s best eateries. If you’re a history buff, then you won’t want to miss strolling around Buckhead’s historic, treelined residential neighborhoods, where you’ll find some jaw-dropping examples of southern architecture including the famed Swan House, located at the Atlanta History Center.

For dinner, get a taste of authentic southern BBQ at Matt’s Rib Shack, one of the top ten highest rated restaurants in Atlanta on Trip Advisor. After dinner, take a tour of Atlanta’s nightlife by joining the Red, White, and Brews pub crawl, featuring (of course) as much booze and live music as you could hope to fit in one evening.

Sunday, July 3rd

Celebrate the American legacy of freedom by visiting Atlanta’s Eastside, birthplace of Martin Luther King Junior. In addition to being steeped in civil rights era historical significance (be sure to check out the Sweet Auburn neighborhood to get a taste for Atlanta’s storied past) the Eastside is an ideal place to get lost exploring Atlanta’s unique culinary scene. (Don’t worry, if your stomach leads you too far astray. You’re only a hop and a skip from downtown!) Summer is the season of farm-to-table, so you’ll probably want to wander over to Little Five Points where you can peruse natural grocers and take a peek at the local street performers; for people watching, Little Five Points is as good as it gets.

As dusk falls, stick to the Eastside and head over to Gaja for some tempting Korean fusion. Since it’s 4th of July weekend and you ARE in Atlanta, try the KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) for a unique and addicting take on an American classic. If you have room for dessert, sample some ice cream from Morelli’s, one of Atlanta’s favorite mom-and-pop ice cream shops. Try the sweet corn flavor, if you adventurous. Or go classic and get the salted caramel.

To round off the night, roll into the Starlight Drive-In Theater and see a recent blockbuster while enjoying an iconic American cinematic experience.

Monday, July 4th

Believe it or not, some of the best fried chicken in Atlanta can be found at the local gas station. Eat like an Atlantean and grab some fixings for a picnic at the nearest Exxon Mobile, then head to Piedmont Park where you can enjoy the day lounging in the grass or splashing around in the Aquatic Center. You can also catch the tail end of the Peachtree 10k Road Race, a Fourth of July tradition that ends at Piedmont.

For fireworks, Atlanta has lots of options. If you are feeling like you want to get out of the city and commune with nature, head 25 minutes southeast and do the Fireworks Hike up Mount Panola. There you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the sparkling Atlanta metro area and multiple Fireworks shows from a distance. Afterwards, head down the mountain and gather around a bonfire to make s’mores.

If you’d rather be in the center of it all and enjoy the biggest, brightest, and loudest pyrotechnics Atlanta has to offer, then grab a blanket and make yourself comfortable at Centennial Olympic Park. The Centennial Park show has some of the best fireworks in the country, as well as a world class lineup of musical guests featuring Montell Jordan, the 90’s R&B singer behind the hit song “This is how we do it.”

After the glow of the last fireworks fade away (and you regain your hearing) you’ll probably find that you’ve fallen in love Atlanta. It’s hard not to. The nightlife, the foodie scene, and Atlanta’s many unique and diverse neighborhoods will have you wishing that you were a local! Don’t miss the next parade, fireworks display, or show that hits this awesome city. Discover your next apartment for rent in Atlanta on!