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Help Atlanta?

Paul has a design conference he is going to next month for work. Normally I would jump on board {any excuse for a trip.} But this year it is in Atlanta, Georgia. Forgive my ignorance, but I know nothing about Atlanta. Anyone know anything cool to do there?

  1. Stephanie

    May 22, 2007

    Yes! The High Museum of Art has an Annie Leibovitz exhibition open as well as a partnership with the Louvre, Atlanta Botanical Gardens are beautiful (and right next to Piedmont Park, which is lovely as well.) If you like Italian food, I would drop by Figo Pasta or Old Spaghetti Factory. There are always a lot of concerts around, lots of restaurants that are worth it, and shopping is nice at Lenox Mall and Phipps Plaza. It all depends on what you’d like to do, but you can always e-mail me for more suggestions!

  2. jfrease

    May 22, 2007

    the best aqauarium…ever! If you’re into that sorta stuff. It truly is not to be missed and is great on a hot southern day.

  3. Chelsea

    May 22, 2007

    Visit Pollen ( for me. Cool flower shop.

  4. jeanne

    May 22, 2007

    The aquarium is great, but can get very crowded. Order your tickets online first and try to get the first time in the am during the week if you can.

  5. Allison

    May 22, 2007

    Here are my tips, as current Atlanta resident. The previous comments all have great ideas.
    If you can take in a show at Chastain Park, you’d really enjoy that.
    I always love a braves game and Turner Field is great.
    I would recommend staying in midtown, if you can, or buckhead. Midtown has more fun attractions, restaurants, etc. but buckhead is more glitzy.
    There are tons of great restaurants to choose from in Atlanta too.
    Little Five points/Inman park is a very artsy and fun part of town that warrants a stroll. If you do that, you’ll need to grab a burger at the Vortex.
    Piedmont Park has “screen on the green” in June. Every Thursday night at dusk they show a movie on a massive screen. People all come with their picnics, blankets, etc. and enjoy the show.
    Virginia Highlands is a very artsy, somewhat yuppy part of town that also deserves a stroll. You have to stop by Alon’s bakery for a treat if you’re in that neck of the woods.
    Hope you have a great time. Atlanta has a lot of fun little treasures.

  6. Erin

    May 22, 2007

    I went once in college and it was pretty cool. We did go to the Jimmy Carter museum and checked out the future Olympic venues (it was right before they hosted the Olympics). I loved driving around Atlanta the most, think both charming and grand plantation mansions, big trees, gorgeous colors.

  7. Sharon

    May 22, 2007

    i’ve always wanted to go to Athens, GA (about 1.5 hr drive from Atlanta)–birth place of two of my fav bands–REM and B52’s. All those years living in FL and I never made the trip up.

  8. michelle

    May 22, 2007

    I dont know much about atlanta but we are moving to the bay area next month. What are the first 3 things you think we should see or do?

  9. nomadic gnome

    May 22, 2007

    I recently took a business trip to Atlanta. My recommendations:

    Check out MLK’s historic boyhood home and other various MLK museums/civil rights sites.

    Also, the coca cola factory. As cheesy and cliche as a coke tour may sound, it is actually quite fun and interesting. Plus, Coca Cola is on my good list right now due to my recent discovery that they are collaborating on a water sanitation project with USAID in Africa.

    Tapas is a great Spanish restaurant to check out. Lots of little “tapas” in an open and airy restaurant, filled with Picasso-esque art. Delicious!

  10. emily

    May 22, 2007

    I spent a week at a conference there and was kind of disappointed. Go to the coke museum (but be prepared to be disapointed). There is a cyclorama i didn’t make it to, but really wish i had.

  11. Betty

    May 22, 2007

    I live in Midtown, so I highly recommend staying there!

    I second the High Museum (Louvre partnership and also a foreign film series) & the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

    I’d add the Fox Theatre, Fernbank Natural History Museum (IMAX), & the Michael C. Carlos Museum. The aquarium is big, but crowded.

    Good, cheap places to eat: West Egg, Taqueria del Sol, Figo Pasta. For a traditional Southern meal, you can’t beat Mary Mac’s Tea Room.

  12. MissEm

    May 22, 2007

    I only have restaurant recommendations. Try Blue Ridge Grill for authentic (to me) old style southern food. And try Woodfire if you get nostalgic for delicious bay area cuisine. Links are here. Oh, and don’t forget chik-fil-a.

  13. Bethany Fischer

    May 22, 2007

    Jordan – I can probably help you get into the Aquarium if you want. Let me know.

  14. Gwen

    May 22, 2007

    I second the recommendations for the High Museum, Piedmont Park, and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. I’ve yet to visit the new aquarium but I’ve heard only good things about it.

    The Vortex is delicious, but can be smoky. If you do go, make sure to try their sweet potato fries.

    Also good: Fat Matt’s Rib Shack (, Fellini’s pizza, Alon’s (

    One of my favorite places is The Little Shop of Stories/Jake’s Ice Cream, a children’s bookstore with an ice cream shop inside it. Jake’s sells Sweet Pockets cupcakes, which are my favorite anywhere (they were even my wedding cake).

    And Athens is a lovely day trip.

  15. Anonymous

    May 22, 2007

    The High Museum, Aqaurium, Chastain, Piedmont Park, etc…I ditto all of those suggestions.
    As a former Atlanta resident- I recommend strolling around in the Virginia Highlands- great little eclectic boutiques and shops. Be sure to grab some pizza at Everybody’s or dinner at Dish.
    Ciao Bella is a small Italian restaurant in Buckhead- great little place to dine with your husband. TuTu Tango is a fun tapas restaurant in Buckhead (it’s often busy- but they have bellydancers, tap dancers, artists performing).

    Atlanta is a great town. You won’t lack finding things to do! Hope on the MARTA and you can get just about anywhere you want to go.

  16. Steph

    May 22, 2007

    If you decide to go, you should definitely try to stay at the hotel “Twelve”. I looked at over 30 hotels in Atlanta and it was my favorite by far.

  17. DawnMarie

    May 22, 2007

    One of the blogs I visit on s regular basis is

    Holly is from Alanta and always has really cool places listed to shop and do. You may want to ask her also.


  18. Julie

    May 22, 2007


  19. Leslie

    May 22, 2007

    the girl who writes holly’s plate lives in georgia, doesn’t she? just not sure if it’s Atlanta. . .

  20. Terina

    May 22, 2007

    i’ve been but never really got to do anything as i just got into my rental car and drove to augusta. but if i did, i would want to go to the places talked about in gone with the wind! love that book. and maybe go to where margaret mitchell wrote it or where she lived. that would be really cool.

  21. Bonnie

    May 22, 2007

    High Museum and the Botanical Gardens are great! We just moved from the ATL area to Ohio and we miss it SO much. We always liked going hiking at Stone Mountain. It is the largest exposed granite mass in the world. A mile or so walk to the top and a great view of the city.
    I believe that Coke World is closed as they are moving to another location. If you liked Gone With the Wind, there is Margaret Mitchell’s home and museum. If you want a place to just sit and enjoy dessert, wine or espresso…check this out
    another of our favorites!

  22. Anonymous

    May 22, 2007

    We spent an evening in Atlanta years ago, just before they hosted the Olympics and we spent the whole time driving around lost. It may not have been Atlanta’s fault, but in any case, get good directions before you go.

  23. love.boxes

    May 23, 2007

    I’ve always wanted to go to the Coca Cola museum there. I’ve heard it’s really fun.

  24. SoireeLaura

    May 23, 2007

    Mmm….Burgers at The Varsity! Kind of dirty, filled with college students, but man are those some good eats.

  25. hyb

    May 23, 2007

    The Coke museum was a lot of fun, and make sure you get lots of Southern food. I did the celebrity thing and went to Gladys Knight’s Chicken-and-Waffles place, and even that was really yummy. I’m sure there are lots of authentic Southern food places which are even better.

    Be careful with the heat and humidity, though. I’ve only been there in July and August, so I don’t know how June is, but it can get awfully hot and stuffy there. Hydrate well and wear lots of sunscreen.

  26. k8

    May 23, 2007

    i’m going to the ATL for the first time next month as well for a work event. These suggestions are all great!

  27. Jo

    May 23, 2007

    if you like sushi, try TAKA SUSHI CAFE in the buckhead neighborhood. the chef likes to mix fish with fruit – like the georgia peach roll – salmon with peaches! YUM!

  28. Stephanie

    May 23, 2007

    Athens is pretty awesome. I went to school there. If you go (which you should), there are always shows playing at the 40 Watt Club downtown, the state botanical gardens and art museum are there, and you MUST eat at the vegetarian restaurant, the Grit.


    Even non-vegetarians love it.

  29. kelly

    May 24, 2007

    The current issue of Domino has a ‘what to do in Atlanta’ section towards the back. That might be helpful – though looks like you have lots of suggestions here 🙂

  30. Melissa

    May 25, 2007

    rI second all the suggestions that you head out for a trip to Athens (I went to school there too). If you’re getting directions from Atlanta, specify to the direction-giver that you want to go “downtown” which is right across the street from the university. Otherwise you might be sent to the generic section of Athens with a the mall and lots of chain resteraunts. Downtown Athens has great shopping, food, and atmosphere. One of the many options you’ll see is Five Star Day. It’s on Broad Street (ask any college-looking kid or shop owner and they should be able to point you in the direction) and has yummy “gourmet soul food.” Downtown is also really pretty at night and there’s some classy dinner eats. The bonus for getting dinner there is that afterward you can cross over Broad Street and walk around on North Campus while it’s all lit up and pretty. UGA was chartered in the 1700s and that’s the oldest part of the campus. It has ancient oak trees, sidewalks, small hidden gardens, and beautiful old buildings. It’s a lovely place to wander while holding hands with someone special. An addded romantic bonus: find the Academic Building (big and white). Climb the stairs all the way up and there’s this secret little bench where you can sit together and watch all the other couples stolling on the campus below you.

  31. Anne

    May 25, 2007

    this place was kinda cool. The Vortex.

    and the neighborhood around it was neat too.

    The Ikea there is huge and wonderful!

  32. jen

    May 25, 2007

    This is my first visit to your blog and I saw that you recently posted about Ballard Designs. They have an outlet in Atlanta called Ballard’s Backroom on DeFoor Ave. I’ve never been but I’m hoping to go on my next visit to Atlanta.
    I have been to the Botanical Gardens and the G-Fish (my kids’ name for the Aquarium) and definitely give them both a thumbs up. There’s a new World of Coca-Cola right next to the G fish, not sure if it’s open yet, they were building it last May when we were there.
    Have a great time!

  33. michelle

    May 27, 2007

    Howdy, don’t know if you have left for the conference or not, but you should check out Float Away Cafe, best restaurant in town, and Star Provisions for a little shopping, my two faves, as a lifelong Atlantan (living in Brooklyn:) Ria’s Bluebird for breakfast…and Osteria 832 for the best pizza! Eating and shopping, that is about it in ATL, but if you have specific questions, feel free to ask. Oh, and best hotel is the Intercontinental in Buckhead, good location, good price and very, very professional without the corporate feel of most others!
    Hope that helps.

  34. michelle

    May 27, 2007

    Oh, and Churchill Downs for jaz, good stuff, and MJQ, best dancing, and the lounge at the Ritz in Buckhead is nice for a drink, and tea at the Four Seasons in Midtown, killer, if you want some southern comfort food that is really wonderful, I suggest South City Kitchen, very modern and very delicious…shrimp and grits, oh yah.

  35. Jenni

    May 30, 2007

    I used to live there, there are lots of things to see and do. Buckhead is nice, Little Five Points will have some vintage shops, Virginia Highlands is a nice area. Ballard Designs has a warehouse with discounted items, I used to work there. Buckhead Diner is a good place to eat, not your typical diner fare. Fellini’s Pizza and The Georgia Grill are good places to eat. The Varsity is a place near Georgia Tech’s campus, go there for the experience, not so much the food. You can get a “naked dog flying” order an F.O. (a yummy frozen orange drink). High Museum, Fox Theater, the Swan House is a beautiful, old sprawling mansion that you can tour and eat lunch there for a true ladies who lunch experience. Concerts at Chastain are really fun. Lots to do there.

  36. mermer

    June 4, 2007

    judging from the content of your blog, I think you would like agnes & muriel’s, a really cute spot that serves southern food (the fried green tomatoes are great!). the decor is a bit vintage, a bit kitsch, and all adorable, and the place is really close to the atlanta botanical garden and piedmont park.

    you should also check out the fox theatre (not sure which dates you’ll be in town, but the schedule is here:, and the swan coach house ( and the blue willow inn ( if you’re looking for the southern belle experience.

    athens is also a charming college town. if you do end up going, hodgson’s should be your first stop. I think they just raised their cones from 50 cents to 75, but it’s still a great deal.

    i grew up in northern california, went to college in the bay area and grad school in new york, and have now been living in atlanta for the past three years, and I love it. hope you will too!

    fyi, if you have the time, the NYT’s frugal traveler blog has nearly 1,000 reader comments on where to go and what to do in georgia and alabama. you can find that here:

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