Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center is the city’s grandest artistic complex, containing the High Museum and the Alliance Theatre, in addition to the Atlanta Symphony. Located right in the middle of Midtown, the theater is comfortable for both dates and young families, and since the Atlanta Symphony is known for its fantastic acoustics, there are no bad seats in the house. The orchestra’s annual gala is one of the arts season highlights, featuring the talents of the orchestra in addition to celebrities like Broadway’s Audra McDonald, while even the commonplace shows tend to wow crowds, without breaking the bank. There’s nothing better at the end of a difficult work week than to sit in a plush, comfortable chair, close your eyes and allow the strains of a live orchestra to carry you away.
The home of its titular pro soccer team, the Atlanta Silverbacks Camps arranges four full-sized fields around a sprawling, 48,000-foot indoor facility. When the team isn’t defending its home turf, the 5,000-seat stadium sits open for use by other local teams, including the Atlanta Renegades Rugby Club, local high school teams, and professional field-rushing squads. Nets and glass surround two enclosed fields, which often host indoor soccer and flag football games. The complex also houses a 50-seat event room capable of containing meetings, parties, and seminars.
After meticulous restoration, the Buckhead Theatre celebrates its one-year anniversary in a weekend onslaught of electric and eclectic talent that embraces the unalloyed musical heritage of the Southeast. Friday night’s festivities start at 7 p.m. inside Buckhead’s scenic Spanish-Baroque galley, where seminal Atlanta guitar-slingers Drivin’ N' Cryin’ headline an evening of unimpeachable anthems that make fists pump hard enough to give the atmosphere a black eye. Saturday, the party moves outside from 1 p.m. until 11 p.m., where the renowned Athens duo Chickasaw Mudd Puppies hitches a sonic ride across melodious swamps, spearheading 13 bands and 10 hours of family-friendly music, revelry, and architecture appreciation.
The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
The sounds of jazz, hip hop, and other contemporary genres fill the four large studios at Gotta Dance Atlanta's 9,000-square-foot facility. Instructors describe the dance and fitness center as a "home away from home" for dancers of all abilities, and it's not hard to see why. Beginners can learn how to cut a rug or mow a hardwood floor in "Explore" classes that require no prior knowledge of dance terminology. Even dancers who have already worked up to the professional level can find a class to match their style, be it salsa or ballet. Students of all abilities benefit from classes such as Awesome Abs and Cardio Hip-Hop, which use dance as a jumping-off point for fitness workouts that tone and shape the body.
Up until his death in 2000, Willie B. the gorilla was the most popular attraction at Zoo Atlanta. Instead of a mere statue or winding highway in the shape of his silhouette, Willie's legacy lives on in the form of a professional soccer team: the Atlanta Silverbacks. The Silverbacks, who were called the Atlanta Ruckus before changing their name in 1998, originally played as part of the USL from 1999–2009, at which point the team announced its departure to become co-founders of the North American Soccer Association. Today, the Silverbacks draw fans to the 5,000-seat stadium at Atlanta Silverbacks Park, a sprawling complex with four full-size soccer fields for professional, semi-pro, and amateur play.