Get Active: Top Leisure Sports to Try in Atlanta

Atlanta is home to Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United FC and big NCAA games) and State Farm Arena (NBA) plus Gateway Center Arena (Atlanta Dream), but that’s just the big ones. The city has more venues for everything from Premier League sports to pickleball courts, roller rinks and bowling alleys for amateur athletes. Play on, Atlanta.


The Painted Pin is a boutique bar, bowling and entertainment venue at Miami Circle in Buckhead. (Photo courtesy of The Painted Pin)

Bowling alleys are plentiful throughout the metropolitan area. Here are some popular ones right in the city: Midtown Bowl on Piedmont Circle; The Painted Pin on Miami Circle; Bowlero at Atlantic Station; and the Painted Duck on Brady Avenue. More intown lanes are Tech Rec on Ferst Drive, Wisteria Lanes on Clifton Road, the Fowling Warehouse on English Street, Better Off Bowling on Piedmont Circle, and Legendary Strikes Mobile Gaming and Bowling Truck on Summit Boulevard. Several of these alleys are home to various bowling leagues. Whether you throw gutter balls or strikes, bowling with friends is fun.


Pickleball is among the leisure sports that have grown in popularity in Atlanta. The city is rolling out pickleball access in public parks across the city with a pilot program that offers shared tennis/pickleball courts in city parks. The pilot includes 16 dedicated courts and 33 shared tennis/pickleball courts that will be completed in phases through July 2024. Players may find tennis courts with permanent pickleball lines at the following parks: East Lake Park, Isabell Gates Webster Park, Lenox-Wildwood Park, Maddox Park, Peachtree Hills Park and Shady Valley Park. There is a dedicated pickleball courts at Southside Park with more coming this year.

There are three dedicated pickleball courts at Pullman Yards. Atlanta Pickleball Center operates 10 indoor courts. More intown courts are located at DeKalb Tennis Center, McClatchey Park Tennis Center, Grant Park Recreation Center, East Lake Family YMCA, Decatur Family YMCA, Chosewood Park, Piedmont Driving Club and Scott Park. There are others sprinkled across metropolitan Atlanta.  

The Painted Pickle is a pickleball venue at Armour Yards between Buckhead and Midtown. The 32,500-square-foot space houses an indoor pickleball courtyard with eight boutique individually hedge-contained courts with permanent nets and several original 36-foot-long industrial doors to make the courts “al fresco.”

Roller Skating

Chris Benson UnSplash
Atlanta has a stellar record in the world of roller skating. (Photo by Chris Benson/Unsplash)

The New York Times recently ran a story about roller skating in Atlanta. It would be an understatement to say that roller skating in Atlanta is, well, on a different level. Did you know that Atlanta skaters have their own style of skating? Ditto for other cities. The 17-year-old Jivebiscuit Family Reunion is one of several annual parties that have made Atlanta a skating hub, bolstered by a steady, decades-long influx of Black residents from other cities, writes the New York Times.

Here are a few of Atlanta’s popular roller rinks: Cascade Skating on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Skate Towne on Old National Highway, Sparkles Family Fun Center in Smyrna, Golden Glide Skating Rink in Decatur, Skate Zone in Morrow, Skate Along USA in Lilburn, Stone Mountain Skates, Starlite Family Fun Center in Stockbridge, and Sparkles Family Fun Center in Kennesaw and Lawrenceville.


LOVE tennis in Atlanta. (Photo by Renith R/Unsplash)

Atlanta, home to many amateur sports options, is packed with public tennis centers and courts. Bitsy Grant has 28 courts; Piedmont Park has 12 courts. Chastain Memorial has nine. Find four courts at Central Park, Frankie Allen Park and Candler Park; three at McClatchey Park, Anderson Park, Peachtree Hills and Shady Valley Park. There are two at Selena S. Butler Park, Goldsboro Park, Lenox Wildwood Park, Grove Park, Mozley Park and Underwood Hills.. Each of the following has one court: Lake Claire Park, Center Hill Park, English Park, Knight Park and Maddox Park.

Premier League Sports at Overtime Elite Area

The Overtime Elite Arena at Atlantic Station is where to watch Premier League Overtime Elite basketball players compete as well as Overtime Boxing (OTX) competitions. (Photo courtesy of Overtime Elite Arena)

Overtime Elite (OTE), headquartered in Atlanta, is a Premier League for basketball that offers a pathway to professional basketball for talented young players. They learn, train and study their craft at the 103,000-square-foot Overtime Elite Arena at Atlantic Station.

Overtime Elite Arena also features Overtime Boxing (OTX) competitions. OTX provides a platform that focuses on everything from how boxers train to their lifestyles outside of the ring.

If you prefer golfing, try one of The 13 Best Public Golf Courses in and around Atlanta. Or if you’re happy playing a variety of games, Chill Out at Atlanta’s Game Bars and Bowling Alleys.

Journalist Carol Carter writes and edits for Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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