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Things to Do in Atlanta

Things to Do in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward: Neighborhood Guide

By July 10, 2023July 11th, 2023No Comments
Things to Do in Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward: Neighborhood Guide

Explore the best of Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood!

“O4W” (as it’s known to locals) is a vibrant, walkable part of Atlanta with a rich history and plenty to do. In fact, Old Fourth Ward is one of the largest and most historic neighborhoods in Atlanta. In this guide, you’ll find the best places to shop, eat, drink, play, and more. As one of Atlanta’s most popular intown neighborhoods, there’s plenty to see and do in O4W!

Read on to discover how to make the most of your visit to the Old Fourth Ward.

Where is Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward Neighborhood?

Old Fourth Ward boundary map on Google Maps

The Old Fourth Ward neighborhood is located just east of Downtown Atlanta. Additionally, O4W is home to major historic sites in Atlanta, such as the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park as well as the birthplace of Dr. King.

To prolong your fun beyond the ideas in this guide, O4W is only a hop and a skip away from popular tourist spots like the Carter Center, Ponce City Market, and more. It’s also close to other trendy intown neighborhoods. For instance, Inman Park, Little 5 Points, and the Poncey-Highland areas are all just a few minutes away, with plenty of gems of their own.

O4W is also located nearby Downtown Atlanta. As a result, it’s easy to combine your visit to O4W with a trip to downtown hot spots. Explore the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coke, CNN Center, or the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Midtown Atlanta is also nearby for even more adventures!

How did Old Fourth Ward neighborhood get its name?

In 1854, the Atlanta City Council created an ordinance to divide the City of Atlanta into 5 wards. While these wards changed over time, the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood is the only area to have kept this name.

Learn more about the history of Old Fourth Ward from the Fourth Ward Alliance.

Our favorite activities in the O4W Atlanta Neighborhood:

  • See a concert or improv comedy show
  • Explore Atlanta’s Civil Rights history
  • Support Black-owned businesses at The Village Retail
  • Check out the Old Fourth Ward Skatepark or take your pup to Freedom Barkway
  • Sample libations at Old Fourth Distillery, or check out a local brewery

In this Atlanta neighborhood guide, you’ll find:

  • Music venues, events, and activities in Old 4th Ward
  • Places to eat and drink in Old 4th Ward Atlanta
  • O4W’s parks and dog parks and other outdoor spaces
  • Old Fourth Ward apartments to make this neighborhood home

Music & Events in the Old Fourth Ward

Catch a Musical Act at Venkman’s Live Music Venue

Venkman’s is an eclectic live music venue and restaurant, sharing the talents of local newbies and national names alike. Performances range from rock and roll to bluegrass, soul to salsa, country swing to live performances of classic albums.

The venue was created by Peter Olson and Nicholas Niespodziani, frontmen of the popular band Yacht Rock Revue and the creators of PleaseRock. They’re known for their retro mellow grooves and entertaining live performances.

Other nearby music venues include City Winery and Variety Playhouse!

See a Comedy Show at Dad’s Garage Improv Theatre

Dad’s Garage is a nonprofit theater company dedicated to improv comedy. They offer multiple shows a week, with a range of formats. While most of Dad’s Garage’s performances are geared toward adults, select shows are offered for families and kids, too. 

Dad’s Garage also offers classes and a summer Improv Camp for kids and teens. This is a great spot to learn something new, or just catch a show and some laughs!

Unexpected Atlanta Old Fourth Ward Civil Rights History tour outside of Ebenezer Baptist Church

Learn O4W’s Role in the Civil Rights Movement

On Unexpected Atlanta’s King Historic District Tour, you’ll learn all about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and the Civil Rights movement.

This unforgettable walking tour will give you an in-depth look at the people and the O4W locations that inspired Dr. King. For instance, you’ll visit Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. preached – and where Martin Luther King, Jr. later preached as well. Plus, you’ll see where Dr. King was born, and visit his office in the Prince Hall Grand Lodge.

A huge part of Atlanta’s history – and the U.S.’s history – is right here in the Old Fourth Ward. Come learn about it on this tour that was named by Condé Nast as one of the 17 Best Things to Do in Atlanta!

Unique Shopping in the Old Fourth Ward

Treat Yourself or a Loved One at Young Blood Boutique

Young Blood is a charming floral design studio and independent design shop in O4W. This is a great spot to find everyday and fine goods, as well as gifts. The folks behind Young Blood share that they sell “things we love, made by people we admire, to lovely people (like you!) far and near.”

 At Young Blood, you’ll find fresh and dried flowers, jewelry, fragrances, ceramics, accessories, and more. 

Decorative image with sepia colored background, orange leaves, and "Buy Black Owned" in orange

Support Black-Owned Businesses at The Village Retail

The Village Retail features a variety of premier products by Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. Here, you’ll find a one-stop shop marketplace for Black-owned brands in Atlanta. Purchase home goods, clothing and accessories, beauty and self-care products, and much more.

The Village Retail brand extends itself to be a heartbeat of the Black community, striving to create opportunities for upward mobility and sustainability for sellers. The center also aims to be an intentional space for the Black community in which generational wealth can be created.  

Diverse Old Fourth Ward Restaurants

Bully Boy: Traditional Japanese Dishes

Bully Boy serves a Kaiseki-style menu, full of local coastal seafood. Kaiseki is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. Diners are encouraged to share dishes. Bully Boy’s menu includes dishes like wings with a sweet chili glaze and spicy aioli, grilled octopus, A-5 Wagyu, a wide variety of sushi options, and more. 

The dining area has a relaxed but push feel with a calm garden vibe. Bully Boy offers a full bar and wine menu as well. 

Yellow-green citrus fruit and green leaves hanging on green branches in orchard
LottaFrutta: Vibrant Pan-Latin Cuisine

This longtime Pan-Latin neighborhood café and market serves pressed sandwiches, fresh fruit cups and smoothies, and frozen Cuban coffee and ice cream. Additionally, their menu includes vegan options and dairy-free crema.

LottaFrutta is a vibrant and cheerful spot, located just off the Eastside Beltline trail. 

These are two of our favorite unique restaurants in Old Fourth Ward – but there are too many to count! Other standouts include Staplehouse, a mano, and Bantam Pub.

Lively Nightlife at Bars in the Old Fourth Ward

Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium

Tucked into a street corner on the popular Edgewood Avenue, Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room is a dive bar filled with unexpected and offbeat delights. This spot is the perfect setting for a fun, laid-back night out.

Locals refer to this bar simply as “Church.” Its walls are loaded with religious folk art, but in a way that feels campy and rebellious. Fair warning, some pieces might make you blush! A number of works have playful or salacious phrases painted over them, like “sin boldly.” There are pews for seats, an organ that’s used for karaoke, and a ping pong table on the second floor.

This nightlife spot has received plenty of national notice. Church has been featured in The New York Times, Thrillist, The Wall Street Journal, Buzzfeed, and more!

Whiskey drink with orange peel being poured at Old Fourth DistilleryTours & Strong Drinks at Old Fourth Distillery

Old Fourth Distillery makes bourbon whiskey, vodka, gin, a ginger lemon liqueur called Lawn Dart, and limited-release bourbons. With a tour option, tasting room, and a recently added bi-monthly stand-up comedy night, this spot is a great destination for delicious sips and entertainment.

Fun fact: O4D is Atlanta’s first distillery since 1906! Every bottle is made by hand at the distillery. 

The James Room: A Spirited Café & Cocktail Lounge

A café by day and cocktail lounge by night, The James Room describes itself as “a gathering place meant to galvanize our need for social interaction, connection, and positive energy.”

At The James Room, you’ll notice an exceptional focus on the details of your experience. For instance, this spot takes great pride in their thoughtfully curated menu as well.

Two women holding pints of beer at Biggerstaff Brewing Company

Biggerstaff Brewing Company: Brewpub in Old Fourth Ward

At Biggerstaff Brewing Company, you’ll find much more than just beer! Instead, Biggerstaff boasts a full food menu, beer, coffee and espresso drinks, and pastries.

On tap are classic and modern ales and lagers, brewed using traditional methods with a focus on quality and freshness. The food at this brewpub includes sharable plates, salads, sandwiches, and more.

Biggerstaff Brewing has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Atlanta Magazine, the AJC, Thrillist, and Eater Atlanta. Note: this is a cashless spot, so be sure you have another method of payment!

Fun for All Ages in Old Fourth Ward Parks

Skater with tattoos riding skateboard at Old Fourth Ward Skatepark


Skating & More at Old Fourth Ward Skate Park

The Old Fourth Ward Skate Park is a fun spot to skate and people-watch along the popular Eastside Atlanta Beltline Trail. In fact, this park is part of a larger greenspace that includes an athletic field and playground. Often, you’ll find food or music festivals and events happening nearby this bustling area.

Fun Fact: the Tony Hawk Foundation was a major supporter toward the creation of this Old Fourth Ward park. Moreover, Tony Hawk himself was present for the grand opening of the park in 2011.

Tranquil Scenes at Historic Fourth Ward Park

The popular Historic Fourth Ward park includes a playground, walking trails, and 17 acres of green space. A 2-acre lake sets a tranquil scene for a lakeside stroll or picnic, and also doubles as a stormwater retention basin. Benches, public restrooms, and nighttime lighting all make this park a comfortable spot to hang out.

Nearby, you’ll find the Eastside Beltline Trail as well as the skate park mentioned above. Ponce City Market is also a short walk away!

Tan colored dog laying on the ground at Freedom Barkway Dog Park

Freedom Barkway: O4W’s Off-Leash Dog Park

Freedom Barkway is a 2+ acre dog park located along Freedom Parkway, with small and large dog areas. The park was founded by four O4W neighborhood associations who recognized the need for an off-leash dog area in the community.

Recently, major renovations happened in the park, with funding from Atlanta Councilmember Amir Farokhi and a $99k grant from Park Pride. Together, the dollars funded repairs for erosion control and a brand-new shade structure in both the small and large dog areas. As a result, this is a more comfortable dog park during Atlanta’s warmer seasons!

Popular Old Fourth Ward Apartments

Looking to make the Old Fourth Ward home? There are plenty of popular apartments and places to live in this neighborhood! Below are a few popular complexes to start you on your search.

We wish you a fun time exploring one of Atlanta’s most historic and popular neighborhoods, Old Fourth Ward! For an in-depth look at this area’s history, check out our Martin Luther King, Jr. walking tour