Atlanta Summer Festival Guide

The Atlanta Summer Festival Guide

Pick a weekend. Chances are, there’s something fun to do in Atlanta. Embrace the heat.

The weather may be hot, but there are more than enough cool opportunities to get outside during the months of June, July, and August. Summer festival season is a favorite in Atlanta, and seldom does a weekend go by without something going on, somewhere in the city. So charge up your Breeze Card, hop on a train, and get dropped off in the heart of where the action is.

 Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

June 1-4, 2017 | Midtown

For foodies, this one is a must-attend (and more than worth the ticket prices). Some of the top chefs from the city and, for that matter, the world, come together at various venues in Midtown to prepare unique dishes from the Southern culinary pantheon, as well as some fantastic fusion fare — complete with a long lineup of drink pairings. You can grab a ticket for a particular event if you’d like (the daily tasting tents justify the $50 – $100-per-head price), but if you’re in the mood to splurge, a Connoisseur’s weekend pass will set you back around $1,800. Options lie everywhere in between.

 Virginia-Highland Summerfest

June 3-4, 2017 | Virginia-Highland

During the other 51 weekends of the year, the neighborhood of Virginia-Highland is a chilled out, a family-friendly locale of quaint Victorian and Craftsman homes. But for one weekend each June, the streets are bustling with folks from all over the city who flock to enjoy the crafts of regional artists, watch some local music on the main stage, grab a bite to eat, and have a beer or two. Hang out after the festival winds down for the day: the namesake intersection has some fabulous restaurants that’ll stay open until the wee hours on this festival weekend.

 Tunes from the Tombs

June 10, 2017 | Oakland Cemetery

In general, there’s a somber air to Oakland Cemetery. It is, after all, a cemetery. But once a year, some of the biggest local musical acts gather at this tranquil patch of historic green space to entertain picnickers who have either brought their grub from home or who choose to hit up one of the several food trucks that show up for this benefit event. Show up early to get a primo spot on the grass.

Atlanta Summer Beer Fest

June 17, 2017 | Old Fourth Ward

Some amazing brews take center stage at this annual favorite, where 150 beers are slated to slake even the heartiest of warm-weather thirst (local beer makers, like SweetWater, Monday Night, Red Brick, and more are always in attendance, but keep an eye peeled for the local favorites from other locales). Top that off with two stages of live music, and you’ve got one of the season’s best excuses to get outside. Just take MARTA, and leave the car keys at home.

 National Black Arts Festival

Dates TBA (typically end of July) / Downtown

African American culture is one of the foundational building blocks of Atlanta, and there’s no better way to catch the complete spectrum than at this annual event. In the last three decades, this festival has grown from a three-day event to a 10-day mega festival that features the very best of black art, dance, theater, musical performances — you name it.

 Atlanta Ice Cream Festival

July 22, 2017 | Piedmont Park

It gets hot in July. No better time for a cone filled with something refreshingly cold. So bring along the family from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for more sweet treats than you can fill a sundae with, and while you’re at it, stick around for some local music and a chance to grab one-of-a-kind art from some of the best artists in the South. If you need to work off some calories, there are some fitness activities available as well — check out the site for a lineup.

 Decatur BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival

August 12, 2017 | DecaturOakhurst

Oakhurst is one of the most charming neighborhoods in Atlanta, and there’s no better time to check it out than during this day filled with three Southern staples: barbecue, blues, and bluegrass tunes. The usual ‘cue professionals will be in attendance — Fox Bros., Sweet Auburn, and Stubbs, to name a few — but the party gets started when the 7-plus hours of music start playing.

 Piedmont Park Arts Festival

August 19-20, 2017 | Piedmont Park

This one’s a biggie. More than 250 artists from across the country, specializing in painting, photography, sculpture, metalwork, glass, jewelry, interior decor — the list goes on — will be on hand. If you’d like to get your holiday shopping taken care of early, this is the place to go. For when you get peckish, there’s an abundance of festival foods on hand to keep you satisfied, and some healthy options, too.

 Grant Park Summer Shade Festival

August 26-27, 2017 | Grant Park

As summer bids its fond farewell, folks from across Atlanta gather at the oldest park in the city for a variety of activities over the course of two days: a 5K fun run, a full-scale, super-entertaining kids zone, live music, and food vendors like Smoke Ring, Bhojanic, King of Pops, and dozens of others.

Looking for more Things to Do in Atlanta?

The Atlanta Beltline is opening new sections. Piedmont Park is expanding. Several Atlanta neighborhoods are witnessing an influx of housing, restaurants, shopping and population growth, while other "classic," stable Intown neighborhoods stand as beautiful, iconic staples in the midst of a booming and rapidly evolving city. And The Keen Brother's are here to help you discover yourself in this city because #WELOVEATLANTA.

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