The Everygirl’s Weekend City Guide to Atlanta

Atlanta.  The Jewel of the South. The A. ATL. Hotlanta.

This crossroad city is known by many names and is home to nearly six million people.  The city well known for music and film production, sports, and great food is rapidly bringing more business investment to the area.  With this investment comes an explosion of new development and great community projects.  Home to the largest airport in the world Atlanta sees many visitors for business and travelers just passing through.  You will get all the southern hospitality you crave as well as some fantastic dining and entertainment that can rival any major city.

Welcome to the south y’all!

 

Where To Stay

Budget Hotels (less than $150/night)

Hotel Indigo (Midtown and Downtown)
Hotel Indigo is located right at the border of midtown and downtown and is perfect place to stay if you want to get take in all the action of arts corridor.  Situated directly across the stree from the FOX Theater, this is the perfect place to land if dinner and a show is on the agenda. The rooms are basic, but clean and fresh (think Ace Hotel), and the location and price point are both hard to beat.

Artmore
This hotel is right in midtown and has a great courtyard for hanging out by the fire with a glass of vino. The Artmore is your place if you are looking for that perfect mix of exploring and unwinding.

Source: Holding Her Own

 

Mid-range Hotels ($150-300 night)

Loews
Right in the heart of midtown, the Loews is a great jumping off point to explore the city or stay for a music festival.  The exhale spa is right in the building (score!), and the Saltwood restaurant downstairs has an amazing salad bar for lunch.  If you are heading to town during a big event weekend, book earlier – this one goes fast!  Be sure to ask for a view overlooking the park when you check in!

Georgian Terrace
This historic hotel is a true landmark in midtown Atlanta.  Directly across the streat from the historic Fox Theater, this is a popular location for visitors.  Check out the great brunch at the Livingston restaurant downstairs.

Source: Darling Down South

Glenn Hotel
The Glenn Hotel is a great downtown Atlanta hotel.  It has a lodgey chic atmosphere and has a great roof top bar for guests.

Renaissance Midtown
This historic hotel is a true landmark in midtown Atlanta.  Directly across the streat from the historic Fox Theater, this is a popular location for visitors.  Check out the great brunch at the Livingston restaurant downstairs.

 

Treat Yo’self Hotels ($300-500 night)

St. Regis
P l u s h bedding, gorgeous courtyard views, a great pool and spa, and chic bars is what you can expect from this Buckhead Atlanta gem.  You will not be disappointed with this splurge.  Check out the bar downstairs at the Atlas on Wednesdays and Fridays for a great live trio.

Mandarin
This property is simply stunning.  Every detail is exquisite. The grounds are beautiful and somehow your feel away from it all although you are smack in the center of Buckhead.  You can walk to great dining and shopping or never leave the room (or beautiful suite) and feel like you have an amazing getaway.

Intercontinental
This Buckhead staple is a great hotel if you are looking for a little luxury.  You can book a well appointed room with beautiful traditional finishings for a reasonable price of about $250 per night if nothing is happening in the city.  If you want to make it special you can book a gorgeous suite for upwards of $4300 per night.  Atlanta is full of celebs, so your if you into random spotting, this hotel will likely do you right.

“The Treehouse” via AirBnb
This gem has been one of the most wished for listing on AirBnb for a while now.  Atlanta has beautiful weather in the spring and fall.  If you are looking for a unique experience and want a little plein air without leaving the city, this is your place!

Entertainment

Skyline Park @ Ponce City Market
The Shore comes to the south with this old school inspired park on the roof of the new Ponce City Market project in Old Fourth Ward.  This is fun for adults and kids alike and there is a great restaurant on the roof as well for kicking back with a glass of rose and skyline views.

CNN Tour
Who isn’t a news buff these days?  Head behind the scenes and see how the sausage is made with this one of a kind tour.

The Fox Theatre
Atlanta has a vibrant and growing arts community and the Fox Theater has been a long time anchor for lovers of live performance. With a diverse and packed schedule year round, you are likely to have a variety of fun shows to see from Alvin Ailey to C.K Louis to Hamilton.

Source: Goldstar

The Tabernacle
Atlanta is the music capital of the South and this venue will not disappoint. Originally a church, and then a medical center and infirmary, the Tabernacle is a piece of Atlanta history that continues to evolve and grow more beautiful with time.

Source: Clubzone

Source: Clubzone

 

Culture

High Museum
A visit to the High Museum is great for the architecture alone.  This is the largest museum in the south and always has beautiful special exhibits as well as a brilliant permanent collection.  It is conveniently located on a MARTA stop so access is easy. During the summer you can find fun events like Jazz night, and there are great activities for kids as well.

Symphony
Adjacent to the High Museum is the Symphony hall.  Performances by world class guest artists as well as the resident symphony will put an exclamation point on your trip to Atlanta.


Margaret Mitchell House
Frankly Scarlett…  See where Margaret Mitchell lived and wrote on a tour of this historic landmark right in the heart of midtown.


Relax / Indulge

Atlanta does not boast a host of unique to the city spas, however, the tried and true options do not disappoint.

Exhale
Exhale is an award-winning spa, gym + boutique fitness studio, complete with Barre, Cycle, Yoga, Cardio + HIIT classes located in the Loews Atlanta Hotel.

Source: @AvalonInsider

 

Bliss
The perfect day spa for the gal who just wants a little extra pampering on vacay, with a wide range of services and price points.


Mandarin Oriental Atlanta Spa
Luxury at its finest. Sure, it’s a splurge, but this little slice of heaven boats over 10500 feet of jaw-dropping facilities to enjoy. You deserve this.

Source: Atlanta Magazine



Shop

Dixon Rye
This new West Midtown home store will make you start dreaming of your next project.  The carefully curated mix of treasures is a blend of modern traditional, elevated rustic, and purely southern furnishings and accessories.

The Merchant
Stationery and gift lovers this is your mecca.  The Merchant carries all the fun paper and trinkets you love from Rifle Paper to Kate Spade and beyond.  This is the stop if you need a little color and pattern pop.  Bonus there is a great taco place next door with killer cocktails and an outdoor terrace.

Citizen Supply
You can find this co-op style store on the upper floor in Ponce City Market.  The items are all from local vendors so skip the airport gift shop and be sure to pop in here for all your ATL goods.  Plus the space alone is amazing and inspiring.  Create place for that Atlanta selfie.

Paris on Ponce
This fun eclectic store features a collective of independent shops and makers.  The selection is always comprised of one-of-a-kind items and is always changing.  Paris on Ponce is a great little stop accessible by bike or foot (and of course car) on the Beltline.

Fab’rik
Forgot your go to LBD or didn’t quite think it would be this hot? Fab’rik has got you covered. Find a great little cocktail dress or the perfect off the shoulder top for brunch here. A few locations around town will make sure you are good to go in a pinch.

 

Outdoor Fun

Piedmont Park
This absolute city oasis was designed by the same architect of Central Park in NYC.  From the first bloom of spring to the last fall leaf you will be sure to stumble into a great festival.  Rent a bike at the corner of 12th and Piedmont and you’ll be on your way gliding through the park.  Hop over to the beltline from the park which connects Midtown with Inman park. There are a few options to stop along the way for a cocktail break from the heat.

Botanical Gardens
You can also access the botanical gardens from Piedmont Park.  There is a great restaurant in the middle with outdoor dining that makes you forget you are in the heart of the city.  This is a really beautiful little oasis in the city.

Beltline
The Beltline is a project aimed at connecting Atlanta neighborhoods.  It is a pedestrian only path that is great for walking, running, or biking.  It is a nice way to explore a few neighborhoods without getting in the car.  There are metro bikes to rent as well as a bike rental shop at 12th and Piedmont.

Stone Mountain
This iconic landmark is a great day trip about 30 minutes outside the city.  You can hike all the way up for nice panoramic views from the top.

 

Eat

Cheap and Cheerful

El Super Pan
Super delicious and authentic Latin and Cuban sandwiches.  You will probably want to share – they are huge and rich!

Shake Shack
This New York classic has made its way to Atlanta and thank goodness!  This is a great go to for a quick and inexpensive and delicious burger!

Buford Hwy
This is your passport abroad.  This is where you will find authentic Pho, Mexican, Sushi and likely anything else from Asia that your tastebuds can desire.  If you are into authentic, someone’s Mama made it in the back food, this is your place.

 

Diner/Brunch

Bread & Butterfly
Francophiles rejoice!  This new spot in Inman park will not disappoint. Expect classics like quiche, croque madame, mussels, and french onion soup.  Wash it all down with a glass of rose and voila!  Don’t forget to check out the brunch as well.

The Lawrence
Easily one of the best brunch spots in the city.  You may have to wait a bit of you want to sit outside, but it will be worth the wait.  Bonus – you can enjoy a cocktail from one of the most celebrated bars in the city while you wait.  Caution, this is the deep south.  Don’t expect to be served a mimosa a second before 1230.

 

Southern

Busy Bee Cafe
If you are looking for authentic southern food, this is your stop.  A little outside of the city core you will be happy you made the drive.

South City Kitchen
This Atlanta staple is a fixture in the Midtown community with a second location in Buckhead.  Classic southern fair is what you will find here.  The brunch is great as well.

Source: Jonathan Phillips

Empire State South
This has been a long celebrated restaurant in the city.  GREAT cocktails, great food and great atmosphere keep Empire State South in the Best of Atlanta lists year after year.  The snout to tail philosophy will perhaps push you out of your comfort zone, but you will be so glad you went for it.  Absolute must: The farm egg (you can thank me later).

 

Cocktails

Gypsy Kitchen
This lively spot sits atop the new Shops at Buckhead which has been coined the Rodeo Drive of Atlanta. The elevated location delivers nice breezes on a hot day and the cocktails are great.  Grab a few tapas between drinks and stay till the sun goes down.  The DJ starts and the crowd provides great people watching.

Eclispe de Luna
Popular with the locals since forever, this is one someone must tell you about.  You will not stumple into this find as it is hidden in the back of an antiques district in South Buckhead.  This easy going atmosphere is great with a date or with the girls.  The taps are easy, not too serious and delicious and the cocktails are amazing!  Get the caipirinha and a Lyft!  Pop in on a Thursday or Friday night for a fantastic live salsa band.

Ecco
Ecco has a great bar vibe and the best part about it is there is no TV in sight!  The lighting is exquisite and there are always interesting people at the bar.  Ecoo has an inspired cocktail list and the menu is seasonal and fresh.  This is the perfect spot for the girls, a date, or after dinner / work conference drinks.

 

Special

Atlas
The restaurant is in the St. Regis hotel and the decor alone will have you at hello. The seating is plush and and the service divine.  The cocktails are delicious and the food is great.  Clearly a must go!

St. Cecilia
St. Cecilia is in a beautiful glass building right on Peachtree in Buckhead.  This is a fantastic place for a special occasion or a date.  It is romantically lit and the tall ceilings give you a feeling that you are in a much larger city.


Source: Meyer Davis

Sotto Sotto
This is hands down one of the best dining experiences in Atlanta.  It is intimate and the atmosphere is divine.  Bring a date and sips bold Italian wines, hold hands and whisper your dreams to each other all night.

Umi Sushi
Renowned chefs Fuyuhiko Ito and Lisa Ito bring a truly unique experience to Atlanta at Umi.  Hidden in the courtyard of the St. Regis, this is a must on your Atlanta dining list.