Not Enough Time in Atlanta, Georgia!
Exploring Atlanta, Georgia
I've been to Atlanta numerous times but since I've always been exhibiting at the gift show, I have only explored the downtown dining scene. I'm planning to join my husband while he attends a conference, so now I will get to explore more of Atlanta's various neighborhoods, museums and parks, and a little shopping and great food scene.
Atlanta has an extensive public transportation system that includes a rail line that runs from the airport to the northernmost suburbs and across the width of the metro area. In between is a system of bus routes and a street car line that runs in the downtown area. This makes it very convenient to get around without a car, which I plan to do. I always prefer to walk neighborhoods anyway and seem to find fun and unexpected places to stop along the way. The city also has the BeltLine, a historic 22-mile railway loop around the downtown area that was converted from former rail lines into a paved path with art installations and landscaping. I may have to grab a bike from one of the many bike share stations around the city to enjoy more of the city.
I am most familiar with the downtown and there is a lot packed into this area. The huge Centennial Olympic Park is the centerpiece of this area and is so fun to walk around or relax in. From here you can see the 20 story tall Ferris wheel, SkyView Atlanta. Besides the sporting areas in this area, there are numerous museums as well. You can tour the CNN Headquarters or the World of Coca-Cola Museum. The College Football Hall of Fame is here as well as the Children's Museum of Atlanta. The largest indoor aquarium in the Western Hemisphere is located here as well and described as not to be missed. The one museum I plan to make time for is the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. I can't say I've been to a museum on the subject of the American Civil Rights Movement, but having parents who worked in Detroit during the 1967 race riots and subsequently growing up in a "white flight" suburb of Detroit, I think it will be time well spent.
With so many museums and activities in the downtown area, you will need to keep up your appetite and there are several restaurants I can't wait to visit again. The first one on my list is Sweet Georgia's Juke Joint. I plan an evening here each time I'm in town because the food is terrific, the manager greets you like an old friend, and the live bands are outstanding. A mix of funk, blues, jazz and dancing make for an entertaining evening!
Atlanta has so many ethnicities and cuisines to choose from that it makes it hard to choose, but two that stand out are Tin Lizzies for yummy Tex-Mex food and margaritas and delicious Mediterranean food and belly dancing at Truva Turkish Restaurant.
Krog Street Market
When I want to explore further afield, I can hop on the streetcar downtown and ride it the length of Edgewood Avenue, and walk a few blocks past the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr. to the Krog Street Market. This 1920s era abandoned factory turned food and retail hall in Inman Park is located along the BeltLine trail. I figure after I have my fill of shopping and food, I can pick out a bike from the bike share station and ride it up the BeltLine.
Little Five Points
I may have to detour off the BeltLine to explore the hip little neighborhood of Little Five Points. On the east side of the city, the five-corner intersection of Euclid, McLendon, and Moreland Avenues gives the area its name. Words like funky, quirky, and eclectic are used to describe this part of town and I am excited to explore the indie stores for vintage clothing, books, and cool gifts. Places with names like the Junkman's Daughter, the Clothing Warehouse, Pink Zebra Boutique, and Diva on the Dime sound like a fun place to explore. I can keep up my energy by eating at Hattie B's Hot Chicken or grab a burger at The Vortex.
Ponce City Market
Just north of the Historic Fourth Ward Park along the BeltLine, is the Ponce City Market. It's another creative destination that was once a historic Sears & Roebuck building that has been revamped into a fun public market where it is easy to spend time people watching, shopping, and dining.
If I'm not worn out yet, then I can bike another 2 miles north along the BeltLine to Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Botanical Garden. The park is over 200-acres and the adjacent Botanical Garden take up another 30-acres. I can't wait to spend time here wandering, taking photographs, and soaking it all in.
If I had more time or another day, I could come back to Midtown and wander the High Museum of Art (the High) or the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA). I think it would be pretty fun to check out the World of Puppetry Museum and get nostalgic over the Jim Henson Collection of puppets and muppets. At this point, I can put the bike away at one of the many ride share stations and hop on the MARTA train to quickly get back to downtown.
Westside Provisions District
If I want to explore further out, this meatpacking district turned neighborhood filled with unique boutiques and galleries would be a good place to go. I can get inspiration at the many home goods stores, or pick up local art at Crafted Westside or gifts from Savannah Bee Company or East Fork Atlanta. Just a little further north is Westside Market, a huge collection of vendors selling vintage clothing, antiques, and art.
I haven't even mentioned the high end fashion stores or beautiful Governor's Mansion or Swan House at Atlanta History Center in Buckhead or the extensive state parks just outside of the city. But with so much to explore, I will be plenty busy enjoying what Atlanta has to offer!