Best of Atlanta 2014 Things to Do

Billiards for Everyone: The Independent

The casual pool player faces a challenge. There are pool halls in town where sharks hone their intimidating skills, and others where pool tables are an afterthought to the revelry. For players who fall in the middle, the Independent makes getting stuck behind the eight ball feel all right.

New Late-Night Eats: Cook Out

It’s easy to see why Cook Out, a North Carolina import that opened in East Atlanta this spring, became a colossal hit so quickly. Who doesn’t love a meal combo that includes a corn dog as a side?

Drag Show: Lips Restaurant

The New York–based Lips, which opened a location on Buford Highway last year, dazzles with over-the-top costumes, glittery decor, divas, and dirty jokes.

Place to Catch New Acts: The Earl

On weekend nights, East Atlanta might resemble a Pinterest board for the trendy more than an authentic hipster dig. But at the core of the feather, tattoos, and tight-pants parade, the East Atlanta Restaurant and Lounge (EARL), now in its 15th year, still maintains its cool-kids cred.

Nerdy Trivia: Diesel Filling Station

Every Tuesday, geeks unite to find out which team reigns supreme in all things pop culture, cult hits, and science.

Dance Spot: The Sound Table

At this Old Fourth Ward hangout, you can rock out to global DJs and soul-infused house music without worrying about bumping into someone every direction you turn.

Theater for Indie Flicks: Midtown Art Cinema

Midtown Art Cinema might not have the fancy gimmicks of your local stadiumesque theater, but in addition to showing blockbusters, it screens indie and limited-release flicks, serves White Castle cheeseburgers, and has the homey charm of theaters past.

New Museum: Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art

With its black concrete blocks and sprawling glass panels, the Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art, which opened in March, seems a better fit among the new downtown attractions than the red-brick campus buildings of Kennesaw State University.

Gallery Expansion: Eyedrum

After almost 16 years occupying a basement on Trinity Avenue, Eyedrum moved into a new space composed of six old storefronts this past August.

Repurposed Event Space: SCADShow

In Savannah, SCAD has staked out a one-time flour factory, a revamped theater, and an 1890s armory. Although it’s been in Atlanta for less than a decade, the university’s on a similar campaign to repurpose structures here.

Public Art Display: Art on the Atlanta BeltLine

It’s only been around for five years but has already established itself as the largest temporary public arts event in the Southeast.

Recycled Space: Gallery 72

It’s fitting that Gallery 72 should call the former Atlanta Journal-Constitution building home; both institutions cherish storytelling. Opened in May and operated by the Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs, Gallery 72 hopes to attract visitors to the downtown space with a mix of theatrical readings and exhibitions.

Shrine to Sports: College Football Hall of Fame

The entrance to the College Football Hall of Fame opens into a tunnel. Shadowy silhouettes in helmets and pads run alongside you, and you emerge feeling amped.

Downtown Attraction: The Center for Civil and Human Rights

It's more than a gorgeous addition to downtown or a celebration of our city’s legacy. The $65 million facility serves as both a primer on the modern civil rights era and a challenging reminder of global human rights abuses that persist today.