10 budget-friendly things to do in Atlanta

June 13, 2024

Picture this: It’s Saturday morning, the sun is shining, and your schedule is as free as the birds chirping outside your window. The opportunities are endless, but cheap or free activities are preferred when you’re trying to budget. Fear not, budget-savvy adventurer! Atlanta is king when it comes to wallet-friendly options to keep you entertained without breaking the bank. Let’s dive into 10 of the best budget-friendly things to do in Atlanta.

1. Turn Piedmont Park into your personal playground

There’s no better way to soak up that HOT-lanta sunshine than spending a day at Piedmont Park. Grab your favorite snacks, a picnic blanket, and maybe even some lawn games. You’ve got yourself an inexpensive afternoon of fun in the great outdoors.

While you’re at Piedmont, check out the Piedmont Park Conservatory for fun programs and activities. Some activities, like the trivia night, charge a fee, but there are plenty of free options, like yoga on the Active Oval.

If you’re feeling extra peckish after all those outdoor activities, The Park Tavern at Piedmont Park offers fun drinks, food, and live music. Sean’s Heart of the Park is another lovely option for a bite. This concession stand and coffee shop features community-focused, fresh food and a delightful ambiance.

2. Rollerblade on the BeltLine 

The Atlanta BeltLine represents a huge urban revitalization initiative in the United States. This ambitious project aims to transform a 22-mile-long historic railroad corridor into an interconnected network of parks, trails, transit options, and affordable housing. By boosting mobility and linking neighborhoods, the BeltLine enhances connectivity within the city.

Along the way, you’ll pass many local favorites like Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall, New Realm Brewing Company, and, oh look- Ponce City Market!

3. Stroll through Ponce City Market 

This colorful mixed-use development is an oasis for budget-friendly exploration. Whether you’re looking for a lil’ treat, browsing for gifts, or want to squeeze in a workout, Ponce City Market has you covered. Check out local wares at shops like Citizen Supply or grab a snack from one of the many food vendors. Just be sure to save room for something sweet from Sugar Shane’s

4. Take a hike! 

There are a surprising number of hiking trails in Atlanta. Who knew you could escape the city hustle without venturing too far? Explore nature’s beauty on hiking trails like the Chattahoochee River Trail or the East Palisades Trail, both offering killer views. The Chattahoochee River Trail winds through lush greenery along the river, while The East Palisades Trail features bamboo forests and rocky bluffs.

5. Get your culture fix at the High Museum of Art 

On the first Sunday of every month, the High Museum of Art offers free admission and family-friendly activities. This is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in Atlanta’s vibrant art scene without straining your budget. From thought-provoking exhibitions to hands-on workshops and tours, there’s something for art enthusiasts of all ages to enjoy. Seize your chance to explore the museum’s impressive collection, which boasts works by renowned artists like Claude Monet and Georgia O’Keeffe.

6. Catch a free outdoor movie screening

During the warmer months, Colony Square hosts free outdoor movie screenings, creating a magical atmosphere for movie lovers. Haul in your lawn chairs and settle in for a quintessential budget-friendly date night or family outing under the stars. From classic blockbusters to beloved family films, these outdoor screenings offer a unique and affordable way to enjoy cinema alfresco.

7. Visit the Oakland Cemetery 

While it may sound a bit morbid, the Oakland Cemetery is a serene spot for a stroll amidst historical remnants. Join one of the free guided tours to learn about the cemetery’s rich heritage and admire the stunning Victorian-era architecture. This historic site, founded in 1850, is a true hidden gem, with its rolling hills, winding paths, and stunning memorials. Explore the final resting places of notable Atlantans, while soaking in the peaceful ambiance.

8. Make a trip to Stone Mountain

Did you know there was a mountain just 40 minutes away from downtown Atlanta? The beautiful Stone Mountain Park offers 15 miles of trails with varying difficulty levels for hikers and bikers alike. The Stone Mountain Cherokee Loop is just one of the many beloved trails in this park. Be sure to check out AllTrails to find the perfect hike tailored to your plans and skill level.

9. Stop by the College Football Hall of Fame

Football fans, rejoice! The College Football Hall of Fame is a must-visit destination for fans and history-lovers. This impressive museum showcases the players, coaches, and traditions of college football across three floors. Marvel at the 47-yard indoor football field where you can practice your throwing skills or imagine yourself in the heat of a game. Explore countless pieces of memorabilia, awards, photos, and interactive exhibits that bring sport’s history to life. With its unique architecture resembling a giant football, this museum is sure to ignite the spirit of any football enthusiast.

10. Attend a free concert or festival 

Atlanta is a hub for diverse cultural events, many offering free admission that won’t stretch your budget. Keep an eye out for free concerts in the iconic Centennial Olympic Park, where you can enjoy live music underneath the city skyline.

The city’s vibrant festival scene also provides ample opportunities for affordable fun. Festivals like the Virginia-Highland Summerfest, and the Grant Park Summershade Series celebrate local art, music, and more – all with free admission. Immerse yourself in the eclectic atmosphere as you wander through local vendor booths.

So, there you have it – 10 budget-friendly things to do in Atlanta that’ll keep your wallet happy and you entertained. Remember, the best adventures often come at little to no cost. Embrace the city’s affordable offerings and you’ll be sure to make lasting memories without emptying your pockets.

Lastly, if you’re looking to save even more money while living in Atlanta, check out PadSplit! Apply to be a member today for rent as low as $144/week and enjoy smart renting in the city!

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