Weekend City Picks: Atlanta
Arts & Entertainment
The largest performing arts center in the Southeast, the Woodruff Arts Center is home to the High Museum of Art, the Grammy award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Alliance Theatre, which has hosted more than 80 world-premiere productions, including Tony Award-winner The Color Purple.
Atlanta residents saved this historic, Moorish-themed theatre from demolition 40 years ago. The stage plays hosts to summer film series, touring Broadway productions and popular acts such as My Morning Jacket. Regular tours are also offered.
More than 100 years old, this popular music venue was originally an infirmary and then became the home of Third Baptist Church before its reincarnation as a music venue known for its amazing acoustics and historic architecture. Take a moment to appreciate the original stained glass windows.
Set on 45 acres of beautifully landscaped wooded land in Alpharetta, GA, north of Atlanta, the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre seats 12,000 patrons and features regular performances by popular artists, such as the Alabama Shakes and the Indigo Girls, as well as concerts from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Food & Drink
This converted 1920s warehouse is filled with market stalls selling everything from Szechuan dumplings to Mediterranean shawarma and kebabs to locally sourced meats and chocolates, all of which can be enjoyed in cafeteria-style seating indoors and out. Krog Street also boasts a beer store offering more than 40 varieties on tap for on-site consumption, plus sit down restaurants ranging from Tex-Mex to sushi.
Housed in a former train depot in downtown Decatur, Kimball House has the best oyster selection in town--get yours half priced between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. during the week. Don’t miss the craft cocktails like the Afternoon Delight, made with absinthe, lime, sherry, cava and fresh spring herbs plucked from the restaurant’s onsite garden.
Chef Bruce Logue dishes up some of the city’s best Italian in this cozy Inman Park restaurant. Try the squid-ink pasta, the chicken-liver ravioli or the 20-yolk tagliatelle. Feeling indecisive? Try the “favorites” tasting menu for $45/person.
With its sexy, three-story interior and flashy crowds, St. Cecilia and its food live up to the hype. Don’t miss the outstanding crudo bar or the deft use of locally sourced ingredients on this daily changing menu.
Atlanta’s most celebrated restaurant, heralded for its culinary finesse and extraordinary service, offers a five-course prix fixe menu of three savory dishes, a cheese choice and dessert for $85/person, plus wine pairings. Pro tip: sit at the bar and order a la carte.
Fans of the Hunger Games series will recognize the Swan House on the Atlanta History grounds--it was used as President Snow’s residence in the film. The 33-acre property also includes a museum with award-winning exhibits covering everything from Georgia-born golf legend Bobby Jones, Atlanta’s role in the Civil War and the 1996 Olympic Games, plus a historic family farm, gardens and trails.
The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is the world’s largest, with 8 million gallons of fresh and marine water and more than 100,000 animals representing 500 species from around the globe. It’s open daily for tours, but also offers special events and experiences, like deep diving and getting up close and personal with creatures in the tanks.
Puppets aren’t just for kids. While the Center for Puppetry Arts offers programs for young’ns, including classic children’s shows like Peter Pan and Beauty and the Beast, it also has robust programming and activities for adults, including a film series with movies like Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and The Thing. The museum also has exhibits of puppets from across the globe, including, of course, the Muppets.
Be a newscaster for a day with this behind-the-scenes tour at international news network CNN, headquartered in downtown Atlanta. Take pictures at the news desk, see a live feed of breaking news and learn how live broadcasts are produced during this interactive tour.
Located just off the Beltline and adjacent to Piedmont Park, Urban Body Fitness is a full-service fitness center offering free weights, machines, yoga, Pilates, spinning, aerobics, cardio equipment and more.
Explore Atlanta via bike with Bicycling Tours of Atlanta, which offers three different three-hour tours of Atlanta, including one highlighting Civil War and Civil Rights historical and cultural sites.
Also located right off the Beltline and near Piedmont Park, Dtox offers a variety of freshly pressed juices, milks, elixirs, teas and smoothies for rehydrating the healthy way. It also has a Buckhead location.
Though it has locations throughout the metro area, the Buckhead Flywheel is what started the city’s newest fitness addiction, known for its high-energy music and high-intensity classes. The Barre classes are equally popular and challenging.
An extensive, in-town 33-mile network of multi-use trails, built over former railroad lines, connects many of the city’s public green spaces, including Piedmont Park. Highlights include bike rentals, yoga, hiking and walking tours.
Yes, Atlanta has water. The Chattahoochee River offers miles of hiking and running trails, plus rafting, kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). Or you can opt for inner tubes, beer and a lazy float down the river, known to locals as “shootin’ the Hootch.”
This 189-acre urban park is located in the heart of Midtown. With running and walking trails, tennis courts, a swimming pool, ample sports fields and a dog park, there’s something for everyone. The park also hosts a weekend Green Market during warmer months plus many outdoor festivals, concerts and other events.
Built specifically for the 1996 Olympics, this downtown park, located across from CNN Center, boasts ice skating and holiday lights in winter, splash fountains in the summer and running paths, concerts and fireworks in between.
Sporting several recent renovations, Buckhead Atlanta is Atlanta’s nod to Rodeo Drive. Anchor stores such as Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, Theory and Hermès plus the development’s ritzy restaurants -- The Southern Gentleman and Le Bilboquet -- are prime spots for people watching and celebrity spotting.
This popular retail and restaurant district is home to some of the city’s top dining destinations such as Bacchanalia and JCT Kitchen as well as outposts of national retailers Billy Reid, Anthropologie, J. Crew, lululemon and local favorites Seed Factory and Ann and Sid Mashburn.
Conveniently located and with stores ranging from Dillard’s to Nordstrom to Brooks Brothers, Zara, Anthropologie, and more, Perimeter Mall is one-stop shopping for your clothing and beauty needs.
Centered around the intersection of Virginia and Highland Avenues, this tree-lined neighborhood is dotted with early-1900s bungalows and known for its upscale shopping. Highlights include 310 Rosemont, Dakota J’s and Henry & June (which combines coffee shop with high-end boutique).
This chic and unique collection of boutiques represents more than 30 independent curators, collectors and designers, with treasures from European flea markets and the studios of local artisans receiving equal billing.