Located approximately 26 miles north of downtown Atlanta, the suburb of Alpharetta is a well-rounded, bustling city in its own right. Sure, it may not have marquee attractions like a zoo or large art museum, but it more than makes up for it with small town charm, a friendly vibe, and significantly less traffic. From parks and outdoor activities to shopping districts and music venues to a farmers' market, food trucks and more, the city has something fun to offer for all ages, interests and budgets. Here is a guide to the top 12 things to do while visiting Alpharetta.
See a Show at Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
Generous tree cover, comfortable seating and ample concessions make Ameris Bank Ampitheatre a popular destination for all metro Atlanta residents, suburban and otherwise. The venue seats 7,000 with additional capacity for 5,000 on the lawn, so grab your blanket and settle in for a night under the stars to hear musicians ranging from Jimmy Buffet to Luke Combs to the Goo Goo Dolls.
Bike or Stroll the Big Creek Greenway Trail
Spanning 8 miles between Haynes Bridge and Mansell Roads, the Big Creek Greenway was the city's first green space. Rent a rideshare bike (free for three hours) at one of four stations: Avalon, the Alpharetta YMCA, the North Point entry point or Rock Mill Park. Then bike through wetlands to spot Canadian geese, deer, and ducks in their natural habitat. Or take a leisurely walk or run along the paved path and forget you're in the middle of a city.
Like Ponce City Market, Avalon is an upscale mixed use shopping development that offers a little bit of everything. Shop at national retailers like Anthropologie, Vineyard Vines and West Elm or dine at outposts of popular Atlanta restaurants like Bocado Burger and Rumi's Kitchen as well as original concepts like Oak Steakhouse and Ford Fry's El Felix. Avalon also has a dog park, children's playground, bocce ball court and a plaza that hosts everything from yoga and fitness classes in the summer to ice skating in the winter.
Learn about the history of Alpharetta from its origins as a Cherokee territory to a thriving modern suburb and tech hub at this interactive museum. Exhibits include oral histories, photos and memorabilia from local residents, and admission is free. The museum is located in City Hall and is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
From seasonal fruits and vegetables from area farmers to local honey, fresh flowers, artisanal soaps and homemade jellies and jams, this farmers' market has it all. Shop and stroll on Saturdays from April through October from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Village Green in front of Alpharetta City Hall.
Channel Your Inner Chef at Sur La Table
Sharpen your knives and learn to cook everything from one-pan cast iron skillet meals to South American steak, Mexican street tacos and homemade pasta at a cooking class in the North Point Mall outpost of this national houseware chain. In the summer, Sur La Table offers cooking sessions for budding child and teen chefs as well.
Catch a Sunday Polo Match at Chukkar Farm
Grab a blanket and picnic basket loaded with your favorite drinks and snacks and head to this picturesque farm for an afternoon of polo. Matches are held every Sunday at 2 p.m. from May through October, weather and conditions permitting. Admission is generally $20 per car, though some days are reserved for fundraising or private events, so check the Farm's Facebook page for updated scheduling information.
Eat Your Way Through Alpharetta Food Truck Alley
Sample fare ranging from Mexican soul food quesadillas from The Blaxican to Japanese dumplings from the Bento Bus at the Alpharetta Food Truck Alley. Offering five savory trucks and two dessert options every week, the event takes place in downtown on Old Roswell Street on Thursday nights May through October, weather permitting. Don't miss live music as well as demonstrations and samples from popular local restaurants.
Explore Wills Park
Wills Park offers plenty of activities for the whole family including a large playground, tennis courts, an 18-hole disc golf course, leisure and competition swimming pools, a dog park, a state-of-the art equestrian center, running trails and more. Located along Old Milton Parkway between Roswell Street and Wills Road, the 1.5-acre park is open from 8 a.m. to dusk. Don't miss the 4th of July fireworks show, outdoor concerts, equestrian shows, theatrical performances and other special events held throughout the year, just be sure to check the park's website to see what's happening.
Swing for the Fences at Topgolf
Part driving range, part entertainment complex, Topgolf offers over 100 climate-controlled hitting bays, a full service restaurant and bar, and a rooftop terrace with a fire pit that traditional golf enthusiasts and recreational players alike will enjoy. Take advantage of half off game play all day every Tuesday, or share a bay and split the check for just $20 per person during prime times on Friday and Saturday nights.
Watch a Performance at Act1 Theater
This all volunteer troupe has been putting on theatrical performances in the city for more than 20 years. From free shows like Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" at Wills Park to a MainStage series that includes modern classics like "Big" and "Schoolhouse Rock Live!," along with an annual Christmas cabaret, the shows will appeal to theater enthusiasts of all ages.
Sample Beer at Jekyll Brewing
Inspired by Georgia's coastal island of the same name, this landlocked brewery proves why Atlanta is a top destination for beer snobs. Tour the facility six days a week (they are closed Monday), then settle in the taproom for samples of the brewery's year-round favorites like Hop Dang Diggity, a Southern-style IPA, as well as seasonal and limited edition releases. Tours are free and happen every 60 to 90 minutes; samples are also available for purchase. In a hurry? Grab a case to go.