My husband and I went to Atlanta end of April leading into early May which honestly now feels like forever ago. I think that's usually the first indicator that I need to start planning another vacation! But first, let me tell you about Hot-lanta.
Of course, I always unfairly compare all new cities I visit to my hometown so while Atlanta didn't make my list of cities I'd want to live in one day, it's still a neat town. Here are some highlights.
Food & Beverage
I'm sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that the food in Atlanta is phenomenal. I solicited many recommendations and created a FourSquare list of restaurants but ultimately there are only so many meals one can eat in a day (when you are trying to be healthy, sigh) so we couldn't eat everything.
One of our first majorly successful meals was at South City Kitchen in Midtown. This place is legit. We had to have the fried green tomatoes appetizer and while I expected a platter of fried goodness, they actually plated two individual portions! Many points there on presentation. And then let's talk about the chicken and waffle. This is a meal that truly made my heart sing.
We also ended up going to a couple of places that had local beer on tap. I was impressed by the craft beer scene. The Vortex in Little Five Points had some good comfort food alongside 20 ounce pours of local brews. And because they were the local brew (Laughing Skull is the name of the brewery), the beers were $5. Yes, a pint the size of my head for just five bucks. I'm typically a beer snob but I dug the cheap Laughing Skull a lot. Additionally, we checked out Max Lager's in Downtown Atlanta. They have their own beers which were pretty good and the food action there wasn't bad either.
We ended up walking around a bunch but getting between Downtown and Midtown swiftly was just easier via MARTA (the public transit underground in Atlanta). I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to buy tickets and navigate the MARTA. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised by the ease considering most people find the NYC subway system difficult and I've got most of it committed to my mental rolodex?
Aside from the MARTA, we also ended up doing some driving. Anywhere outside the city proper and having a car becomes a need. That said, hotels are ridiculous with what they charge for parking a car. So, we opted to leverage my Zipcar membership and simply rent for the hours we needed the car. This was incredibly convenient as there were lots of lots near the hotels of Downtown and Midtown. We ended up finding a Zipcar parking lot diagonally across the way from our hotel.
If you know anything about Atlanta then you probably know that we had to drive in order to get the baseball stadium. The new stadium, Sun Trust Park, appears to have been built in the middle of suburbia (much to their chagrin, from what I hear anecdotally). We didn't find the drive to be too difficult from Downtown Atlanta but again, I guess it's all relative as LA and NYC traffic may be the worst humanly possible and I've been stuck in both.
That said, the new stadium is really nice. They've created a lot of stuff around the ballpark for you to do when you get there early; or even if you happen to be around but don't have a ticket. I think there's a mall, a music hall and a bunch of other things. One thing we did hit up was the Terrapin Taproom which was another spot for local brewskis attached to the stadium. Again, super cheap beer of pretty decent quality.
We ended up planning the trip such that we'd catch the Mets (my home team) on the road playing against the Braves. To my surprise and delight, the Mets managed to win the game and I happened to be seated near some other Mets fans so we made a small cheering section.
Outside of eating and going to the baseball game, we also checked out the Atlanta Botanical Garden which is definitely worth a visit if you like pretty nature things. We also took a stroll around Piedmont Park (and nearly cried our eyes out when we looked at real estate prices in that neighborhood compared to real estate prices in New York).
We also ended up on the Beltline, which is totally like The Highline in NYC as far as reclaimed urban space but much more grant in the scope it covers, which made a long walk a lot more fun. There's a ton of cool art to see as you walk along it and definitely good people watching.
And of course, because dreams do come true, I got to take my husband to the World of Coca Cola where you can make great memories like taking a picture with an animatronic bear or sampling sodas from all over the world (just stay away from Beverly and you'll be fine – it's disgusting).
Sadly, we couldn't explore much outside of the city due to the short window of time we had down south. If we had more time, I would've loved to spend a few days in Savannah which I hear is incredibly beautiful. Additionally, I was recently tipped off by a native Georgian to Alpine Helen so I'll be adding that to my list as well.