Previously I told you I thought a person could do Atlanta for $1000 in 5 days. After my own trip to Atlanta do I still feel the same way?
Atlanta was extremely affordable. We made some key choices that helped bring the cost down more: we visited during the off-season and we visited during a holiday where the downtown had several vacancies. We even made some pricier choices like a football game and a fancy dinner out. Here’s how the budget played out.
We stayed at 2 hotels both right in the heart of the city. They offered high quality and including taxes we averaged $101.88/nt with additional charges for parking. (Remember parking fees were excluded from the $1000 challenge) Our first hotel required a bit of walking so if you don’t want to walk at all then consider paying more but we were perfectly content with our location.
We saw a football game, went to the zoo, Olympic park, the aquarium, and the art museum. Ikea and the shopping were a free activity that did end up costing us just the price of our purchases which won’t be counted here. To save on the football game we used StubHub but the shipping and processing fees nailed us. We also had a small issue with the issuing of our aquarium/art museum combo ticket so we didn’t save as much as we could have so that was a little rough. Still, we saw tons of awesome things and it set us back $56.21/day for 2 people.
You saw the food posts. We didn’t hold back. We got appetizers when we wanted, desserts when we wanted, and drinks when we wanted. We never paid for breakfast because we brought snacks for our road trip and had leftovers. We always tipped generously and included those in our totals. We could have easily cut back on our food budget but we splurged and we still stuck to our budget. Portions in Atlanta were HUGE. Even with a pricey meal at Ted’s Montana Grill and an even nicer meal at South City Kitchen we averaged $65.65/day for 2 people.
We did a lot of activities and ate a lot of places. I’d recommend every single activity. I loved the art museum and aquarium and I think most people would. The zoo was a bit of a detour but worthy and the football game was pricey but it really gave us a taste at another side of Atlanta. I’ve praised our hotels and would stay at either one again. Our food was amazing all trip. I’d say that we could have probably done better than Jimmy John’s and Jalapeno Charlie’s just because I like to avoid chains but both hit the spot when I needed it. If you’re not trapped in an Ikea then I’d suggest not going out of your way to eat the food there (except the cinnamon rolls).
I didn’t opt to get the City Pass because we weren’t in Atlanta for a full 5 days and was worried about doing too much. Plus, we don’t drink soda so the World of Coca Cola would have been wasted on us but we saw tons of happy people pouring out of that building. There’s one activity I really wanted to do but it wasn’t meant to be. We had planned to see the Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern on Day 1 of our trip when fate/CBS intervened and changed the start time of our football game to a later time, completely conflicting with the only Shakespearean performance during our trip. It all worked out though.
You saw all the crazy things we did in just 4 days. I’d say we packed at least 5 days worth of fun into just 4 days. Would you believe we spent less than $1000? We sure did! Now of course we did pay extra money for parking, our one detour for cheesecake, our Ikea purchases, our travel to and from the city, and food on our travel days. All of those extra costs were minimal, even our Steak n Shake Thanksgiving dinner in Paducah, Kentucky. We never saw that crazy Atlanta traffic we were promised, we saw temperatures hit the 70s in November, and had a blast. Atlanta is totally worth it and my $1000 trip prediction was right on the money.