To lovers of classic movies Atlanta will always be thought of as the city depicted in “Gone With the Wind.” Other people refer to this thriving metropolis as “Hot-lanta.” This is as much for its sizzling nightlife as it is for its warm weather and summertime humidity.
When traveling to Georgia make plans to visit the vibrant neighborhoods that make up the Atlanta metropolitan area. You’ll find streets filled with beautiful stately homes and cafés bustling with vibrant people. There are music clubs and museums filled with incredible exhibitions. All it takes is a day or just an afternoon exploring an Atlanta neighborhood to feel right at home.
Little Five Points
Quirky, cute, and alternative, Little Five Points may be small, but it packs a big punch. Named because it is the location where five main MARTA lines meet, Little Five Points is the result of a love affair between food, fashion and fun. It’s also the enclave for creative types, so get your fix of local and well-known bands, live theater performances and your visual fill of art everywhere. Not-to-mention this boho neighborhood has the most eclectic gathering of people banded by one thing in common – that Southern charm.
Peruse this pedestrian-friendly neighborhood lined with unique shops that carry something for everyone. From thrift shops and vintage importers to artisan stores and handmade apparel dives these retailers are hard to find elsewhere. Like Junkman’s Daughter, which draws shoppers with its vibrant mosh of graffiti and psychedelic artwork and that’s just the outside. Inside nab souvenirs and charismatic clothing sure to thrill the nostalgic shopper. Close by, find the collector’s paradise, Criminal Records packed with vinyl, CD and cassette recordings of rare and famous tunes. Sift through their calendar to catch in-store performances by touring artists. Finally, check out the neighborhood’s nosh from health food sanctums like the popular Sevananda. The community owned natural foods market has a hot bar and inventive vegetarian items to go. For those craving carnage bite into a big juicy burger at the Vortex. Ranked among the 100 best burger joints in America you can’t miss the skull-shaped edifice who’s mouth is the patron doorway to really good eats.
If decadence is your thing, then head on over to Buckhead. The affluent uptown district of Atlanta is famous for chic shopping and luxury living. You’ll drive past your share of gorgeous abode, celebrity homes and opulent hotels. The legendary shopping malls Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza draw shoppers from around the world. Roam the couture paradise and find fashion’s most celebrated names.
Hold on, you might not expect it from city life, but Buckhead offers lots of green space. In fact, you can take to the green for 18-hole golf at the Bobby Jones Golf Course. Or splurge on 268 acres of green lawn at the famed Chastain Memorial Park replete with playgrounds, a swimming pool and an amphitheater for live performances. The plush life even continues into the night with a host of upscale bars, fine dining and energetic nightclubs.
One of the main financial districts in Atlanta, Midtown is also one of the most culturally diverse parts of the city. People flock to Midtown for its world-renowned companies. For starters there’s the World of Coca-Cola Company where you can sample over 1oo beverages, try out drinks unique to five different continents and experiment with limited-feature refreshments. Just across the way you’ll find the Georgia Aquarium where you can swim with the dolphin if you dare to be delighted. The Cartoon Network, TNT as well as its prestigious universities are also nearby and make perfect selfie backdrops. There’s no shortage of entertainment either, with Piedmont Park and the Fox Theater just around the corner. Slip in a walk through a haven of sidewalk eateries and favorite apparel shops at Atlantic Station. Depending on the time of year you can catch a live band on the central lawn, ice skate or let your inner kid take a ride on the street trolley that circles the area. Finally, explore the Margaret Mitchell house, where Gone With the Wind was penned. But save some energy; like Scarlett herself said “after all tomorrow is another day”.
Fondly referred to as “VaHi” by local residents, Virginia-Highland has a small town feel in the middle of a big city. The sidewalks are lined with charming cafes, adorable terraces and lovely taverns. Grab a decadent dessert from Paolos Gelato Italiano before taking a stroll past bungalow style homes built in the 1920’s and 1930’s and flanked by tree lined streets. Pop back up on the main street where specialty shops are sure to turn your head. Discover imported fashion apparel and unique goods in alluring boutique shops.
Break for lunch in any of a score of restaurants. Wrangle delicious tacos on the patio at Taco Cowboy, heat things up at Cajun-inspired Fontaine’s Oyster House or try a Southern smokehouse fave at D.B.A. Barbeque. There’s so many ways to feast like a local and satisfy your sweet tooth too. Visit Highland Bakery where chemical free grains are transformed into yummy muffins, cinnamon rolls, fresh bagels, and rosemary garlic breads.
Be sure to check out the pedestrian friendly VaHi for a lively time. There’s more to this whimsical neighborhood than meets the eye, but trust us you’ll want to discover those hidden gems for yourself. When you do be sure to tell us all about them.
Overall, Atlanta’s neighborhoods have no shortage of historical landmarks, art galleries, restaurants and home-based brews. Best of all, many of these events are absolutely free or attended at low cost.
This makes Atlanta a wonderful place for both domestic and international travelers on a budget. Just in case we missed one of your favorite neighborhoods or hang-outs, please let us know. Each time we visit Atlanta, we are reminded of why this city is famous for more than just those delicious Georgia peaches.