Long known as the historic neighborhood associated with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement, the Old Fourth Ward recently has become minted as the bustling center of a nightlife district. Notices of celebrities dropping by for the cheap drinks and comfortable bars have been running in the gossip rags for months, which probably hasn't hurt the neighborhood's profile. Whether you're there to drink yourself blind at night or see some of the most important African-American historic sites during the day, there's no shortage of places to go.
Play ping-pong with Sister Louisa at Church
This religious-kitsch dive bar has become an anchor of the thriving nightlife scene at the corner of Boulevard and Edgewood Avenue. Have a cheap beer or "spiritual sangria" before playing ping-pong against the owner, Grant Henry, better known by his artistic alias Sister Louisa.
Taste the izakaya at Miso
Chef Guy Wong has his creative talents on full display at this Japanese-styled bar, offering small plates like salt and pepper quail, pork kakuni over grits, and his much-talked-about buns.
Pay your respects to Martin Luther King Jr.
Whether it means visiting his birth house, touring his museum, leaving flowers at his tomb, or just basking in the glowing neon light outside of the old Ebenezer Baptist Church, be sure to pay your respects to the iconic civil rights leader who labored tirelessly against racism and inequity while calling Atlanta home.
Break a sweat on the dance floor at the Sound Table's Space2
This club attached to the Sound Table is the hippest spot in town to find minimal techno beats, progressive house, and throwback disco cuts.
Stroll between the art galleries
Galleries like MINT, ABV, Melvin, Stuart McClean, and U*Space are running exhibitions unlike anywhere else in town. Whether you're looking for the lowbrow upstarts at MINT and ABV or the idiosyncratic, meticulously curated exhibitions at the long-running U*Space, the neighborhood is home to plenty of galleries worth visiting.
Hit the karaoke mic with Fahamu Pecou at Pal's Lounge
Local artist Fahamu Pecou hosts Yo! Karaoke every Wednesday at this old-school joint on Auburn Avenue.
Take a trip through history at the APEX Museum
Presenting North American and world history through an African-American perspective, the APEX Museum offers a museum experience unlike any other institution in town.
Catch a show in the Music Room
Tucked underneath the delicious Pizzeria Vesuvius, the Music Room brings in local and touring bands to a basement venue that is both literally and figuratively underground.
Drop in at the skatepark in Old Fourth Ward Park
Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk ponied up some big bucks for the concrete park in the new Old Fourth Ward Park. The result is a flowing, smooth spread of bowls, mounds, and curbs. Thrash hard, young man.
Shop and snack at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market
This historic market has been around for nearly a century, but the food is fresh and new. You can get a burrito at Bell Street, a burger at Grindhouse, or just shop for cooking at home, picking up local produce and meats.