Atlanta has a diverse, eclectic community and deep history, so it comes as no surprise that the city is home to its fair share of oddities. Whether you are interested in unique history, pop culture or art, there are plenty of options to choose from if you want to jazz up your trip to the city. In addition to wacky museums like the World of Coca Cola, many other unusual features of the city are found off the beaten path.
From the spooky Doll’s Head Trail to the White House replica, there is never a dull moment in Atlanta if you know where to look. These spots are great for photos and memories, but many are also interactive and allow you to experience the heart of the city for yourself. Discover where to find some of the best and most bizarre spots around Atlanta below.
Stop by the Junkman’s Daughter
If you are looking for unique treasures during your time in Atlanta, then seek out the alternative superstore Junkman’s Daughter. A quintessential part of the Little Five Points community, this store was once voted one of the five best independent stores in the country. It began when a junkman’s daughter bought a space to sell some of her father’s collections from over the years, including her own assortment of weird and bizarre findings. Now, customers flock there to find off-beat clothing, costumes, accessories, décor and gifts they cannot find anywhere else.
Walk the Doll’s Head Trail
Fans of found art will appreciate this slightly eerie yet whimsical walking trail. It lies nestled within Constitution Lakes Park near the abandoned brick factory from the 1800s. When DeKalb County eventually began building paths and hiking trails around this nature preserve, carpenter Joel Slaton proposed adding an art installation with the trash found on the site. Most of the objects are old doll heads, though other toys are also featured. Today, visitors are encouraged to contribute their own found art pieces as well.
Search for Tiny Doors
If you like scavenger hunts, then consider exploring the city while on the lookout for Karen Anderson’s tiny doors. The Tiny Doors ATL project consists of a series of six-inch doors hidden throughout the city, in spots like the Atlanta Beltline Trail.
Each serves as the centerpiece for small-scale vignettes, including tiny characters, cats, dogs and other features. Some are even interactive and based off of local spots throughout Atlanta. You can find a complete list of descriptions, backstories and locations on the Tiny Doors ATL website, or try to spot them around town for yourself.
Stroll the Krog Street Tunnel
The tunnels that connect the Inman Park and Cabbagetown neighborhoods have become a canvas for street art, from graffiti tags to event flyers. If you are looking for a great spot for photos, then the tunnel walls are filled with overlapping murals. You also have the option to showcase your own art in the tunnels or put up important announcements about someone’s engagement, birthday, gathering or another event. Local artists update the walls frequently, so there is always something new to see down in the tunnel.
Visit the White House
The U.S. Capitol building didn’t suddenly move to Atlanta, but it is possible to see a small replica on Briarcliff Road. The structure was built in the early 2000s by prominent real estate business owner, Fred Milani. While it is only three-quarters the size of the original, it features several similarities inside. This includes the Lincoln bedroom and the Oval Office, complete with a replica of the presidential desk. If you plan to drive by, then keep in mind that it is a private home and tours of the premises are no longer provided.
Cycle Through the Atlanta Cyclorama
Even if you do not consider yourself a history buff, it is hard not to be impressed by the Atlanta Cyclorama. It was produced in the late 1800s by the American Panorama Company as a full-scale depiction of the Civil War Battle of Atlanta. Updates added in the 1930s include three-dimensional depictions of soldiers and objects, including actor and military officer Clark Gable posing as a fallen soldier.
Today, it stands as the world’s largest oil painting, and one of the only three cycloramas in existence in the country. To see it for yourself, visit the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead.
Experience the Shakespearean Tavern Playhouse
Another attraction unique to Atlanta is this Shakespearean-style experience. Labeled as an Original Practice Playhouse, the company’s actors put on some of the playwright’s best work while customers enjoy British dishes and drinks. Even the building’s façade is reminiscent of Shakespeare’s original playhouse from the 1600s, The Globe. In addition to highly renowned performances, the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse also offers workshops, summer programs and other educational opportunities for aspiring actors.
Go Museum Hopping
Atlanta is home to some of the world’s most unique and unusual museums. Whether you have a niche interest, or you are just a fan of history, the city offers a little something for everyone. Choose one of the following to explore during your visit, or hop around to all of them:
- Center for Puppetry Arts: This is the largest puppet museum in the U.S., including a near-complete collection of artifacts from the creator of the Muppets, Jim Henson. Visit this spot in midtown to explore and even learn how puppets are made.
- Robert C. Williams Paper Museum: Situated at Georgia Tech, this museum holds one of the largest paper memorabilia collections in the world. Through this collection, visitors can explore papermaking across 4,000 years, including aspects such as technological advances and environmental protection efforts.
- The Telephone Museum: If you are really into the history of communication in the U.S., then this museum at the AT&T Midtown Center chronicles the timeline of telephones and their social impact on the country.
- World of Coca Cola: Fans of this iconic soda will love the features this museum has to offer. Visitors learn everything about the company’s history, bottling process and community involvement. In addition to housing the original secret Coca-Cola formula, this attraction also includes over 100 flavors of soda to taste-test.