See­ing At­lanta in a dif­fer­ent light

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You go on va­ca­tion not only to re­lax but to also learn a lit­tle about the place where you’re stay­ing. When I went to Hawaii ear­lier this year that’s ex­actly what I did, tak­ing the time to see what the is­land of Oahu had to of­fer and tak­ing in as much as my visit would al­low. I re­al­ized, though, that in the 20+ years I’ve lived in At­lanta, I’ve never ex­erted the same en­ergy to get to know things in my own home city. Upon re­turn­ing from that va­ca­tion I’ve made more of an at­tempt to learn my town, and here are a few sug­ges­tions of fun things to do:

Go on the Roswell Ghost Tour.

Like most peo­ple, I orig­i­nally went on the tour years ago be­cause it was the thing to do for Hal­loween. I was pleas­antly sur­prised by all the south­ern his­tory I learned, and the in­ter­est­ing vibe that Roswell had to of­fer. So much so that I have been in­spired to go back on that tour more than once. You’ll get a peek of the side streets of this im­por­tant Civil War city, and might even hear the su­per­nat­u­ral event that hap­pened to me one night! (Or did it?)

Take part in an At­lanta Movie Tour.

A friend sur­prised me re­cently with this lit­tle-known trek through movie sets that are pop­ping up all over town. You be­gin the tour down­town and take a van around the city to where some of your fa­vorite movies and tele­vi­sion shows were filmed. Of­fer­ings in­clude the Zom­bie Tour with stops along “The Walk­ing Dead” sites, The Vic­tory Tour for “Hunger Games” fans, or the At­lanta Film Sites Tour, which I went on and in­cor­po­rates a lit­tle of ev­ery­thing. Pre­pare to be amazed at all the film­ing that is go­ing on in your back­yard.

See parts of At­lanta you didn’t know ex­isted.

Some­thing I learned on my movie tour is the ver­ti­cal growth At­lanta un­der­went as its pop­u­la­tion ex­ploded. I have been to Un­der­ground At­lanta sev­eral times, but never re­al­ized it truly was a part of the origi- nal rail­road sys­tem of the city. The rest of down­town was built over those tracks, and the en­trances of build­ings there were ac­tu­ally raised to the new street level. Lo­cal ar­chi­tect and his­tory buff Jeff Mor­ri­son gives free tours (only on his sched­ule) of this hid­den in­fras­truc­ture around Five Points and the Gulch. I never re­al­ized I’ve been walk­ing on top of his­tory for so long.

Visit Miller’s Rex­all Drugs.

Some­thing else I learned from my movie tour was the ex­is­tence of this phar­macy and home­o­pathic rem­edy shop in down­town At­lanta. You don’t have to be into movies to check out their ar­ray of fun and fright­en­ing hoodoo sup­plies they have to of­fer. Paul McCart­ney once pur­chased an item called “Run Devil Run” while in town, sub­se­quently nam­ing an al­bum af­ter the salts.

Th­ese are just a few ex­am­ples of fun, new things you can do with­out hav­ing to go too far. So when mak­ing travel plans this sum­mer, don’t for­get to take the op­por­tu­nity to be a tourist in your own city!

Melissa Carter is one of the Morn­ing Show hosts on B98.5. In ad­di­tion, she is a writer for the Huff­in­g­ton Post. She is rec­og­nized as one of the first out ra­dio per­son­al­i­ties in At­lanta and one of the few in the coun­try. Fol­low her on Twit­ter@Melis­saCarter

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