Nestled in northern Georgia, Atlanta is a bustling metropolis where you can experience both the diversity of a big city and the quaint charm of the South.
It’s a place notable Americans like Martin Luther King Jr. and Jimmy Carter called home, where fried chicken and grits are found on most menus, and where the Blue Ridge Mountains and sparkling lakes are just a short drive away. Atlanta has been the subject of movies, songs, and is even the setting of its namesake Golden Globe-winning TV show.
Here is how to experience a modern day renaissance weekend in Atlanta.
Ritz Carlton Buckhead
Start your weekend by checking into the Ritz Carlton Buckhead. From your room, you will be walking distance to Lenox Mall, Phipps Plaza, award-winning restaurants and the MARTA (Atlanta’s public transportation system and the easiest way to get around) while also enjoying unparalleled five-star service, courtesy of the Ritz.
If you’re willing to splurge while enjoying a weekend in Atlanta, enjoy the seafood, prime rib, omelet, and other breakfast delicacies at the Ritz’ Sunday brunch. Locals and visitors alike agree that it’s the finest brunch in town.
Ditch the traditional dining experience and try Gunshow, a restaurant inspired by Brazilian churrascaria-style dining and Chinese dim sum in the Glenwood Park neighborhood of Atlanta. Enjoy the open kitchen views and order one of their unique cocktails from the drink cart. Dishes play on textures and unexpected flavors and are rolled around to the dining tables on carts by the chef who prepared them.
Modeled after Chelsea Market in New York City, Ponce City Market is new to Atlanta but is quickly becoming a hot spot for both Atlanta locals and tourists. If you are craving something fresh, try a sandwich or salad from the farm to table restaurant Farm to Ladle. If you are looking for a nice sit-down meal try Mercury, a cocktail-focused classic American eatery.
Once your belly is full, take the elevator up to Ponce City Market’s rooftop Skyline Park to enjoy carnival rides, games and some of the best views the city has to offer.
The Atlanta-based Monday Night Brewery is the one good thing about Monday nights. They expertly brew balanced, flavorful ales for the weeknight. You can also enjoy their delicious selection of brews on Saturdays or Sundays while watching an old movie on their projector or sunning on their outdoor patio.
Head to downtown Decatur, and grab a Jack and Coke slushie or a Dark n’ Stormy at Victory Sandwich Bar . If you’re feeling a drink a little more tropical, head to Victory’s sister lounge next door, SOS Tiki Bar. Be sure to try the “Zombie”, a blend of rums and absinthe, if you’re feeling up to the challenge.
Decatur is a progressive city with a mix of single professionals, young couples, and families with beautiful historic homes. It also has some of Atlanta’s best restaurants and bars like the Iberian Pig and Brick Store Pub. You can’t go wrong checking out this part of town if you’re looking for a good drink and overall good time.
It wouldn’t be a renaissance weekend in Atlanta without stopping by the High Museum of Art in Midtown. This five-story museum boasts 15,000 works of art in its permanent collection and is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. Be sure to check out the two pieces by Claude Monet on the second level.
Get some exercise and fresh air while enjoying Art along the Beltline. As you walk, you will see sculptures, murals, and statues made by local artists. Wet your whistle by stopping for a housemade juice or soda at the Ladybird Café – the first outdoor oriented restaurant and bar to open along the Beltline with a great vibe and drink specials. Walk a little further down the Beltline for a unique food hall and retail experience at Krog Street Market.
End your weekend with a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some time with Mother Nature at Piedmont Park. Bike, walk, run or rollerblade through the Park to experience all the beauty it has to offer.
If you’re visiting on a Saturday, Piedmont Park’s Farmer’s Market, Green Market, is a sublime place to pick up seasonal local produce, flowers, or cold brew coffee. Piedmont Park is also the perfect starting point for the Beltline.
Congratulations, you are now a renaissance traveler of Atlanta, GA. Make sure to come back soon y’all!