Atlanta is a true hotspot for filming TV shows and movies, and it's fun to incorporate some light — or perhaps obsessive — location hopping into a visit to the city. Here are some creative ideas for visitors who want a real-life look at their favorites:
1. The Real Housewives of Atlanta
The Real Housewives of Atlanta ladies happen to love a classic Southern spot that all visitors of Atlanta should hit for traditional fare: Mary Mac's Tea Room has been declared "Atlanta's Dining Room" by the Georgia House of Representatives for good reason. Start here for a true taste of Atlanta.
2. Hunger Games
The Georgia Department of Economic Development offers self-guided tour and map ideas for the Hunger Games movies, HBO hit The Walking Dead, and Will Farrell's Anchorman 2. They're great for picking and choosing spots that resonate with you beyond how they were filmed. One highlight is the Swan House, a stunning 1928 mansion seen in the Hunger Games that's run by the Atlanta History Center. It features period actors who you can interact with and ask questions about the era.
3. The Walking Dead
While you might not find actual zombies, you can see a lot of places where The Walking Dead was filmed in Atlanta if you follow that tour. Check out a concert or event at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and you can say you partied inside the show's Center for Disease Control.
4. Anchorman 2
You can retrace Ron Burgundy's voodoo-filled steps in beautiful Piedmont Park (which you should see anyway even if you don't think Burgundy is a big deal) or have a mai tai at Trader Vic's, where barflys watch him on the news in the movie.
Donald Glover's smash TV show hits all kinds of low-key spots that locals love. Head to J R Crickets for buffalo wings and things, but don't wear any clothes that you would mind being smothered with barbecue sauce.
Remember when rapper T.I. starred in a roller skating movie? The best scenes from ATL were filmed at Cascade Fun Center, a roller rink that holds a vital place in the development of the city's music scene and home to decades of dapper dancing skaters. You can trip the light fantastic there no matter your skill level.
7. Stranger Things
If you haven't yet binged on Netflix's Stranger Things, do so before the city makes the new Westside Reservoir Park a reality. It's still in wish-list mode but the hope is you'll eventually see the granite Bellwood Quarry, which has a big role on the program (and has also been featured in Hunger Games, The Walking Dead, and Vacation). Maybe someday! In the meantime, get your Stranger Things fix in Atlanta by visiting Stone Mountain Park in nearby Stone Mountain.
8. The Vampire Diaries
The Fairytale Traveler's epic fan guide details everywhere you need to go when you drive to Covington, 35 miles east of Atlanta, to see the real-life sights of the fictional Mystic Falls, including a local park that was made into Whitmore Campus. She advises to start in the town square, where you'll "feel like you're in the show," but you won't get bitten.
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