Atlanta, Georgia was never on my vacation destination list, but when I received an invitation to a girls only weekend I never hesitated. I’d never visited or researched Atlanta before, so I really had no idea what to expect. Here’s what I did know: I would be traveling without my kids, to explore a new city, with one of my best friends! What more did I need to know?
Turns out Atlanta has a lot to offer, and with stops in Virginia Highlands, Little Five Points, Decatur, Historic Downtown, Midtown, and Candler Park we covered a lot of ground. Of course having a hometown guide was invaluable, and because we visited many of her personal favorites at least one of us knew what to expect!
The Atlanta BeltLine
The BeltLine was the perfect place to get an overview of Atlanta. The addition of this mixed use redevelopment project, which takes advantage of the City’s existing railway corridors, is transforming and revitalizing the city of Atlanta in the best possible way.
The multi-use pedestrian friendly pathways are perfect for cycling, running, and walking, but the BeltLine is much more then just an exercise path getting you from point A to point B. With a skate park, shopping, restaurants and the South’s largest temporary public art installation the BeltLine is a destination!
Related: Biking & Art on the Atlanta BeltLine
The Historic Fox theater
The Historic Fox Theater has a long fascinating history, and in addition to the 250+ events, which take place there annually, the theater offers a variety of behind the scenes tours as well.
Originally intended as a meeting place for the Shriner’s organization the theater was built to look like the ancient temples and palaces of Egypt and the Far East.
The financial burden proved too much and shortly before it was completed the Shriners leased the theater to Willam Fox who turned it into a movie palace. The theater opened to a sold out crowd on Christmas Day 1929. The move was Steam Boat Willie, starring Mickey Mouse!
During our tour we had a chance to explore the 250,000 square foot building, including the theater which seats 4,665, and has a twinkling ceiling, The Egyptian Ballroom, and many other ornately decorated spaces.
By the mid 1970s the Fox Theater had fallen into disrepair and was facing demolition. The people of Atlanta realized what a great loss this would be and banded to gather to save The Fox.
Margaret Mitchell House and Museum
More than 75 years after it was released Gone With The Wind is still considered one of America’s most successful films. A life long fan of both the book and the movie, I was delighted to discover that we’d be visiting the home of book’s author, Margaret Mitchell.
Gone With The Wind was written almost by accident. Yes, one of the most famous books of all time, was almost never written. A journalist, who unexpectedly became confined to her apartment due to an injury, Mitchell spent her recovery reading everything she could get her hands on. When she’d exhausted all the library had to offer, her husband suggested she try writing a book of her own. She never planned to publish the book, but when someone suggested that it would never amount to anything, she decided to show them a thing or two… And the rest is history!
The Margaret Mitchell house is run by the Atlanta History Center. Tours are offered daily, check the website for detailed information.
After you’ve toured the home take some time to explore the museum, which has plenty of memorabilia including photos of the cast, premiere movie tickets, and even props from the set of Gone With The Wind.
Ponce City Market
The Ponce City Market is a trendy and fun shopping area located in what was once the Sears & Roebuck Company building. There are fun reminders of the building’s history throughout. Inside you’ll find multiple food choices, unique boutiques and plenty of insta opportunities.
The Market links directly to the Atlanta BeltLine and is directly across from the Historic Fourth Ward Park, making it a perfect place to stop for a quick bite or to meet friends and stay awhile.
The Atlanta Botanical gardens
Open all year round you’re sure to see and experience something different each time you visit the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Visiting in the winter meant there weren’t as many outdoor flowers blooming, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t a lot to see.
The Chihully sculptures placed throughout the gardens provided a bright pop of color on a rainy winter afternoon.
The Orchid Festival was not only lovely, but provided the perfect backdrop for some fun group photos.
I wasn’t traveling with the boys this trip, but I know they would have loved this fabulous play space filled with so many things to discover and experience.
Shopping & Dinning (but mainly dining)
997 Virginia Ave. NE, Atlanta
Murphy’s Restaurant, offers traditional and regional choices. The food was delicious and the service was perfect! Welcome in!
Murphy’s Restaurant is located in a quaint little neighborhood with lots of fun shops like the Urban Cottage.
Leons Full Service
131 E Ponce de Leon Ave, Decatur
We loved our meal at Leon’s Full Service, which is located in a former service station. The vibe is hip, but casual, and they have an extensive list of local brews on tap. The food was delicious, but definitely on the heavier side.
Livingston Restaurant & Bar
659 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta
The Livingston is located in the Georgian Terrace Hotel just across the street from the Historic Fox Theater. They serve southern style cuisine with a modern twist. I loved my chicken and waffles, don’t tell my mom, but the apple fennel slaw might have been the best coleslaw I’ve ever had!
299 N Highland Ave NE Atlanta
Barcelona Vinoteca is a neighborhood wine shop/bar with a cozy vibe. Stop in for a drink, or bring a bottle home. The large pull down maps on the walls brought back memories of my pre smart board school days.
1136 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta
Located in the heart of the Little Five Points, we stopped at the Yacht Club for late night drinks. This place is the definition of a dive bar!
Have you ever turned over the travel planning to someone else? Was it a success? Would you do it again?
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