Atlanta is known for being one of the most beautiful cities in the South, a rap mecca, and home to the world's largest aquarium, but if you dig a little deeper, you'll also find it's one of the weirdest cities in America. If you're headed to ATL, use this Ultimate Offbeat Guide to add a little oddball fun to your visit.
Billed as one of the 25 best independent stores in America, Junkman's Daughter is an assault on the senses. It's filled with aisle after aisle of bizarre and random items, from punk rock paraphernalia to Captain Kirk cookie jars. You've never seen so much stuff you didn't realize you needed! Give this place a look if you're in the market for some weird souvenirs-- it has to be seen to be believed.
Tip: Parking is five bucks, but if you keep your eyes peeled, you won't have a problem finding street parking.
The Dark Horse Tavern has the distinction of being of the most popular karaoke spots in Atlanta, but don't expect to roll up to the stage singing the latest Katy Perry single; the specialty here is heavy metal Karaoke. Five night a week, the tavern hosts Metalsome, where can belt out your favorite heavy metal hits with a live band backing you.
Tip: There's no happy hour here, but the drinks are way, way cheaper than anywhere else, so you'll come out on top no matter when you visit.
Bring an open mind and an appetite to Holeman & Finch Public House, because once you see the menu, you'll need both. They specialize in modern takes on traditional fare... and it's the kind of food you don't see every day! Deviled eggs, chicken liver pate, bone marrow, even veal brains, sweetbeards, and lamb testicles are all elevated with the chef's delicate attention to flavor. If you're feeling less adventurous, they have cheeseburgers, pork belly and kale on grits, and johnnycakes with bacon and eggs... because let's face it, you kind of have to work your way up to the lamb balls.
As the world's largest bas-relief carving in the world (on the largest granite outcropping in the world), Stone Mountain is already worth the admission price, but the actual site is far more bizarre than you might imagine. As if having a gigantic stone carving dedicated to the Confederate leadership wasn't weird enough, Stone Mountain Park has morphed from a monument to the losing side of the Civil War into a kind of Southern carnival, complete with funnel cake stands, laser shows, and live shows.
Tip: Tickets cost $15 a person, but expect to spend a lot more if you want to do a little bit of everything. Most attractions in the park cost extra.
If you can't make it to D.C. to see the real thing, then this will have to do... Welcome to the Atlanta White House, an exact replicate of the real White House only slightly smaller. But does the inside look exactly the same? You'll have to visit to find out!
The small southern town of Marietta is rich in both history and charm. Join one of the Marietta lantern-led historic walks and learn about some of the residences that never left...
One of the biggest and most impressive, the Georgia Aquarium is an ideal place to spend a few hours. In fact, the aquarium's Ocean Voyager exhibit (which houses both whale sharks and manta rays) is the world's largest, with more than six million gallons of water. The Georgia Aquarium has also dedicated twenty-five percent of the gallery space to educating students, so be sure to bring the kids along!
All foodies must stop here! The One Eared Stag is truly unique, and what head chef Robert Phalen is able to create is one-of-a-kind. The menu changes regularly, but the bold cooking and balance of flavors among these meat-heavy dishes always remains a constant. Some local favorites include the "dirty farro," a play on dirty rice with a hefty dose of chicken liver providing an unmistakably delicious flavor profile.
Whether you find yourself sipping a crazy vegetable-flavored Coke product, visiting the southern White House, or doing some speed-metal karaoke, Atlanta has enough bizarre stuff to add a little offbeat flavor to any southern road trip.