Atlanta, Georgia is a top destination for both domestic and international visitors. With its shopping, events, and attractions—including the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, and the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium—it’s not hard to see why. But immediately north of downtown Atlanta is a city that is becoming a destination in its own right. Not only is Sandy Springs, Georgia a hub that provides easy access to all of the spokes that are metro Atlanta’s top attractions (thanks to its location at the intersection of several major highways and its access to MARTA), it’s also a city with a growing culinary and arts scene and a slew of outdoor recreation opportunities that most people would not expect to find just minutes from the state’s busy capital city. You can stay in Sandy Springs and explore downtown Atlanta, but these activities and events will probably be enough to keep you within Sandy Springs’ borders.
See a Show at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center.
Since opening in August 2018, Sandy Springs’ new downtown development, City Springs, has become a central gathering place for the community. With its programmable greenspace perfect for outdoor concerts and events, delicious and diverse restaurant offerings, and, of course, a splash pad for the kids, it’s easy to understand why people were immediately drawn to it. But, the jewel in the crown of City Springs is without a doubt the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center. The venue houses both the 5,000-square foot Studio Theatre, and the 50,000-square foot Byers Theatre. In its first year, the performing arts center has already featured a diverse lineup of shows, including everything from Rob Schneider and Itzhak Perlman to Billy Elliot the Musical and Three Dog Night. Check out the schedule of upcoming performances, and come experience the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center at City Springs for yourself.
Explore 10 miles of global flavor.
Running from the southern end of Sandy Spring to its northern border, Roswell Road is an infamous thoroughfare that most have only known as a collection of strip malls and slow-moving traffic. However, there’s a gold mine of global cuisine hidden in the 10 miles of this state highway that runs through Sandy Springs. Take a trip up (or down) Roswell Road and sample cuisines such as Greek, Italian, Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Mediterranean, Vietnamese, Brazilian, Caribbean, French, and Indian. Some spots are well known, such as Persian eatery Rumi’s Kitchen; others are fairly new on the scene, like Casi Cielo—a restaurant that has already garnered quite a following for its Oaxacan (Mexico)-inspired fare. The food scene in Sandy Springs is constantly expanding, so there’s always something new to discover. Sandy Springs invites you to take your taste buds on an international tour.
Escape into the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.
Step away from the hustle and bustle of the city and retreat into one of the three units of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in Sandy Springs. Established by Jimmy Carter in 1978, the CRNRA consists of 15 land units along the 48 mile stretch of the river between Buford Dam and Peachtree Creek. Three of those units—East Palisades, Powers Island, and Island Ford—are located in Sandy Springs, and each unit offers its own unique opportunities for outdoor recreation. At Powers Island, you can rent a kayak, raft, or tube from Nantahala Outdoor Center and spend a day floating down the river. Island Ford is the perfect place to pull on your waders, and try your luck fly fishing. This unit is also the location of the National Park Service Headquarters, so stop into the Visitor Center and say hello to a ranger while you’re there. If hiking is your pastime of choice, then East Palisades is the unit for you. Its five miles of trails range from easy to strenuous, and a high overlook provides a beautiful view of the river below.
Enjoy one of the city’s many events.
Sandy Springs has events for all seasons. During late spring and summer, there is an abundance of family fun, foodie fun, and fireworks. For families, there’s the Sandy Springs Lantern Parade. Make a lantern and join others for a march with illuminated lanterns to Morgan Falls Overlook Park. In June, you can eat, drink, and party with a purpose at Food That Rocks, the city’s signature outdoor taste-of event. And, for July 4th, the city hosts its beloved Stars and Stripes Independence Day Celebration. The event features food trucks, live music, and a fireworks show that lights up the sky above the King and Queen buildings. With the arrival of fall comes the Sandy Springs Festival and Spooky Springs. Now in its 33rd year, the Sandy Springs Festival is a full weekend of art, music, food, shopping, and more. For Halloween, there’s Spooky Springs, a not-so-frightful (and free) trick-or-treat event for the little ones. Finally, as the winter holiday season comes around, there is Sparkle Sandy Springs. This month-long event is a magical, walkable, mini-house and light display the whole family will enjoy.