Atlanta dreams big. It’s how the Georgia capital became one of the fastest growing cities in the United States and hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics. It also dreams small. Tiny Doors ATL is an art project where small doors are installed throughout the city by artist Karen Anderson, intriguing locals and visitors alike. “These doors are a love letter to the city,” says Anderson. Here is a look at four of her 15 doors, where to find them and the best things to explore and experience in those neighbourhoods.

Midtown Tiny Door: Center for Puppetry Arts

The Center for Puppetry Arts door, photo by Karen Anderson
The Center for Puppetry Arts door, photo by Karen Anderson

Midtown is a hub for the arts and is home to the Museum of Design Atlanta, Margaret Mitchell House (where the author wrote her classic novel, Gone with the Wind), The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum and the Center for Puppetry Arts. Anderson created this door using many of the bright colours associated with the puppets inside. The centre’s museum includes The Jim Henson Collection, an interactive exhibit featuring many of his puppet creations, such as Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.O

More Things to Do in Midtown

Fried Chicken and Waffles, photo courtesy Fifth Group Restaurants
Fried Chicken and Waffles, photo courtesy Fifth Group Restaurants

1. Eat at South City Kitchen

Housed in a 1920s bungalow, and popular with visiting celebrities, this favourite serves upscale southern classics such as fried chicken and shrimp and grits.

2. Shop at Ponce City Market

Set in a historic Sears building, this mixed-use development has an amazing food hall, shops and one of the best rooftops in the city.

3. Cycle Through The Atlanta BeltLine

This multi-use trail that follows a former railway corridor will eventually form a 35-km pedestrian-friendly loop throughout the city. A stroll or bike ride is a must-do.

Downtown Tiny Door: The Fox Theatre

The Fox Theatre door, photo by Karen Anderson

Built in 1928, the Fox Theatre is one of Atlanta’s beloved institutions. “I wanted to create something that fit the time period and reflected what is amazing about this theatre,” says Anderson, who installed her door at the bottom of the box office. The theatre is a 20-minute walk from downtown, where the College Football Hall of Fame and the Center for Civil and Human Rights are located. Catch an Atlanta Falcons football game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, or tour World of Coca-Cola, which includes Coke flavours from around the world.

More Things to Do Downtown

Centennial Olympic Park, photo by BluIz60/ GettyImages
Centennial Olympic Park, photo by BluIz60/ GettyImages

1. See Filming Locations with Atlanta Movie Tours

Georgia is a top destination for TV and film productions, including Stranger Things, The Walking Dead and I, Tonya. Take a bus tour to hear behind-the-scenes stories.

2. Check Out Centennial Olympic Park

Attend a free concert, enjoy the Fountain of Rings show or take an audio tour of this park, which was originally created for the 1996 Summer Olympics.

3. Eat with Atlanta Food Walks

Sample 15 tastes of southern cuisine while learning about the civil rights movement in Atlanta during the company’s Downtown Southern Food Walk.

Buckhead Tiny Door: Swan House at Atlanta History Center

The Swan House door, photo by Karen Anderson

One of Anderson’s newest creations, this tiny door is at Swan House on the grounds of the Atlanta History Center. This mansion will be familiar to fans of The Hunger Games movies as the home of President Snow. “I installed this door in the hollow of a living tree,” says Anderson. “I wanted to pay homage to the space and how cool a landmark it is.” Buckhead is known for upscale shopping, including malls such as Lenox Square, Phipps Plaza and The Shops Buckhead Atlanta. Celebrities are known to frequent the high-end hotel bars in the neighbourhood.

More Things to Do in Buckhead

Chops Lobster Bar, photo by Kathryn McCrary
Chops Lobster Bar, photo by Kathryn McCrary

1. Check out Jackson Fine Art

Internationally known, this gallery specializes in 20th-century and contemporary photography, with rotating exhibitions.

2. Eat at Chops Lobster Bar

Buckhead is home to some of the best restaurants in the city, including Chops Lobster Bar, which has made best-of lists in Atlanta for its steaks.

3. Explore Chastain Memorial Park

Atlanta’s largest city park, Chastain has an equestrian facility, golf course, jogging path, outdoor pool, tennis courts, an arts centre and outdoor amphitheatre.

Decatur Tiny Door: Little Shop of Stories

The Little Shop of Stories door, photo by Karen Anderson

A few kilometres from downtown Atlanta, Decatur is best described as “four square miles of hometown hipness.” It’s worth a visit for its charming Decatur Square and acclaimed restaurants, including Revival, with a menu full of traditional Sunday supper fare, and The Iberian Pig, a modern Spanish restaurant. Technically not a door, Anderson’s tiny library inside children’s book store Little Shop of Stories includes a chair, fireplace and books lining the walls. “It’s a rainbow of books, very visually appealing,” says Anderson.

More Things to do in Decatur

Fernbank Museum of Natural History, photo by Kathryn McCrary

1. Eat at Your Dekalb Farmers Market

This 140,000-square-foot market in Scottdale, easily accessible from Decatur, has a cafeteria, coffee shop and bakery.

2. Explore Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Located in Atlanta, but close to Decatur, this museum features dinosaur bones and a theatre with a giant screen.

3. Shop at HomeGrown Decatur

Find jewelry, art and homeware items made by local artists in this funky shop. While there, take your picture at the store’s shrine to pop-culture icon Mr. T.

[This story appears in the February 2019 issue of WestJet Magazine]