History buffs, curious Atlantans, and walkers in the city, prepare to take a journey in your own backyard. The Atlanta Preservation Society's Phoenix Flies festival is a celebration of Atlanta's landmarks, from the Fox Theatre to VA-Hi's Firestation 19. With over 230 free events at more than 100 historic sites across Atlanta, the guided tours allow curious minds to scout out some of the coolest and most historically rich places in town, from Rhodes Hall to the Sweet Auburn Curb Market to the very innards of the Fox Theatre. Here are just a few of our recommendations:
Before there were fanny packs and Segways, there was Historic Downtown. This 10-mile bike tour explores the many notable historic landmarks of our little concrete jungle... except we're guessing it probably doesn't include the Peachtree Hooters. Which is entirely fine with us.
The Atlanta Beltline
We know the Beltline today for its trails, artwork, its many fine eating and drinking establishments nearby, and its ability to draw Atlantans out of their houses like moths to a flame any time the weather is cooperating. But the Beltline of yore is steeped in history—history which will be revealed on this walking tour.
She isn't just a destination for ultimate Frisbee, hippie Hacky Sack, and European tourists zooming around on rollerblades, y'know. Explore the 150-year-old grounds of Piedmont Park and learn all about its evolution into the intown gem we know and love today. (For instance: did you know there was once a horse racing track here?)
The Ponce de Leon Corridor
Ask any Atlantan for the most, ah, "eclectic" avenue in the city, and they'll surely point you toward Ponce. While this guided walking tour of Ponce might not include Blondie, it does delve into the street's unique history since the 19th century. We suppose it's been this weird all along.
The Atlanta Curb Market
The bustling Edgewood Avenue market isn't just a place where one can indulge in killer burgers or kale juice—it's also nearly a hundred years old, making it the oldest market in the city. This guided walking tour will explore the rich history of the market, which began as an open air farmers market after the Great Fire of 1917 and lives on today as one of Atlanta's most diverse culinary destinations.
The Fox Theatre
Opulent, a touch exotic, and perhaps juuust a bit different from your average theatre, the fabulous Fox is more than worthy of a good old-fashioned scoutin'. Get a behind-the-scenes peak at one of Atlanta's most incredible landmarks with this tour that details the Fox's intense restoration efforts.
The Wren's Nest House Museum
Perhaps you read about Joel Chandler Harris in your textbooks. Maybe you were regaled with the stories of Brer Rabbit and his crew as a wee tot. But no textbook can tell Mr. Harris's story quite like the folks at the Wren's Nest. And trust us, no one can do justice to his tales like the Wren's Nest Ramblers, the award-winning storytellers in residence. Join 'em in the West End to hear them regale audiences and bring Joel Chandler Harris's legacy to life.