Well, hello! My name is Gia and I’m a 27-year young lady trying to live a Carrie Bradshaw life in the beautiful city of Atlanta. I’m kidding . . . sorta. But really, I’m a young entertainment and marketing professional without children, enjoying my best years discovering what Atlanta has to offer me.
I was born and raised in Marietta, Ga, but spent most of my time in Atlanta during college. The majority of my friends went to Georgia State and I attended Kennesaw State. It was during that time when I visited my friends at GSU on weekends that I started to break out of my hometown shell and become one with the city.
I’ve always considered myself a creative-introverted-adventurous person. It sounds a bit off, but it’s true. I’m what they call a “music head”, artsy and a foodie. I enjoy frequenting music shows (and I’ve literally been to every music venue in the city) art festivals at Piedmont Park during the year with a friend, crate digging on Sunday’s in Little Five Points known for the most respected records stores in city, Mac Bookin’ solo in tea shops like Honey Bubble on Ponce De Leon after a long day at work, or having a date night at Bar Taco on the weekends. As much as I like to stay in and binge watch a good TV series, I love to be out and feel the energy of the people in my city as well. Besides, what’s the point in being in a city if you can’t explore every inch of it?
Atlanta is the country’s new “hot spot.” And not to toot our horn, but I understand why.
Sure, we’ve got the world’s biggest and BEST attractions such as World of Coke, Zoo Atlanta, Centennial Park and the Aquarium. But what most people don’t know is that Atlanta is so much more than the big attractions. We have small “hidden gems” located in every neighborhood of the city. That’s what I love most about Atlanta – we are the definition of a melting pot. Each neighborhood has it’s own style with the personality to match. Each neighborhood in the city has it’s own culture and in my 10 years being in it, I’ve never gotten bored discovering them. My city is filled with culture.
And then of course: THE FOOD!
When it comes to the best experience in trying new foods, you can NOT skip over Atlanta. With food trucks in every corner of the city, frequent food & drink festivals, upscale restaurants that are worth every penny, to cheap eats that satisfy you when you’re hung-over (and honestly, even when you’re not), you will never be disappointed or bored with the food in the city. EVER.
I’ve had so many memorable moments in some of the best places in this city. But there are a few I want everyone to experience:
The Atlanta Beltline (Best Walking Trails)
It’s a 22mi looped trail running through the city.
What I love most about the Beltline is that has some of the best of Atlanta on one trail. You can use the Beltline as trail to get a nice bit of cardio in for health overlooking the city, or you can use for your leisure, like I do. As I walk the trail, I get to take in the public contemporary art scattered throughout the trail, while being in walking distance of my favorite juice bar & vintage shop. It’s the perfect way to get some fresh air before doing some thrift shopping.
Ponce City Market
‘Historic building that caters to my favorite things: retail therapy and eating, 4 words: Fancy Mall Food Court. Ok seriously, Ponce City Market has it all. Shopping of course, Wine tasting, but most importantly, THE FOOD. Some of the world’s most notable chefs have a restaurant in Ponce City Market. I tried my first Holeman & Finch Burger, and let me tell you it was orgasmic. There I was, sitting in the middle of the nicest food courts having a fancy burger with a runny egg dripping from my chin surrounded by people sharing egg-dripping experience as I. What I love about this place is that there is so much variety. You can have a fat juicy cheeseburger, or you can have something vegan. And then you can wash it all down by buying a Lou Lou handbag for dessert or for the men, some luxury slacks. Who doesn’t love that?
Who doesn’t love that?
Honey Bubble Tea: Best Boba tea EVER!
You’ll almost always miss this place if you aren’t looking for it. Located on Ponce De Leon, it’s my favorite tiny little place to visit and contemplate everything in life. This is where my creative-introverted personality vibes best in. I come here to relax in the corner with my MacBook, get some good tunes to brainstorm my next move ( and people watch, because that’s entertaining as well). It feels like home, very laid back, cozy, and unpretentious. Not to mention, it has the best tasting boba tea in the city, and this is coming from a boba tea connoisseur.
Bar Taco: Affordable upscale “street “ food
This place serves some of the best, damned tacos on the Westside of Atlanta. Also located in the Highlands. Tapas tacos sampling duck, fried oyster, chorizo, pork belly, shrimp and drink menu to rave about and guacamole to die for (seriously). I’ve been here at least 5 times, and every time feels like the first. Beautiful summer beach feel, with urban and pop tunes blasting as you wait for your entire tables food is brought out on one big tray to eat off of. Visit this place with a group of friends and you’ll walk out feeling even closer to each other than before you came. This place just feels good.
SkyView: The Atlanta Ferris Wheel
Fairly new to the city there’s the Ferris Wheel located in the heart of Downtown. Everyone, both the natives and the tourist MUST experience this. My first was time was a random last stop on a date. And it was the best 15 minutes of the night. I always thought Atlanta was a looker, but sometimes you need a different point of view to appreciate something a little more. Not like any ‘ol Ferris wheel, you get the luxury of being in an intimate climate controlled gondola as you’re taken 20 stories high to take in the city view with those special to you. It’s an experience everyone should have before leaving Atlanta. You have to see high up what you’ve taken part in all day. Save it for you last hoorah of the night. It’s the perfect night-ender.
Little Five Points: Artsy, “down to mars” area
Hipster town? Some would say. I consider it to be the most unpretentious, fun, and art filled area in the city. I come here with a group of friends or often by myself. My favorite music venue, tattoo shop, oddities shops and record stores are in this area. Criminal Record & Wax n Fax are the record stores every music lover MUST visit. With notable owners that have a wealth of musical knowledge, you not only crate dig, but get your music history lesson at once. Each store has a heap of records for a full day of crate digging. Even if you aren’t into music, or anything art related for that matter, you can enjoy still discover some of the cities best oddities, collectables, one-of-a kind antiques, and specialty stores. It is in this area where I’ve discovered some of the coolest things.
Edgewood Avenue: Urban-playful area specially created for nightlife
One look through Edgewood and you’ll see how full of character the area is. Buildings with large art murals and historical pizzerias- you really get the feel of how rich in history this area of Atlanta is. This area may look historical and even slow during the day but at night, it comes alive. My favorite places to visit are Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Joystick Gamebar. Sister Louisa’s Church gives you religious oddities and knickknacks for scenery as you get to know some of Atlanta’s coolest individuals over a beer, while Joystick Gamebar lets you enjoy every vintage arcade video game as you sip a vodka tonic. I love it. I’m the embodiment of off-base and fun and these spots bring out the best of both worlds for me. I can always let down my hair in Edgewood.
These are just a few of the places that make Atlanta so rich and full in culture and diversity – which is my favorite thing about the city. There hasn’t been a time I haven’t enjoyed myself here.