Atlanta is one of those cities that deserves to be given more credit than it usually gets. As a resident of 16 years maybe I am biased, however, when I graduated college I pulled the typical, “I refuse to move back home.” It wasn’t until I moved downtown that I realized I knew very little about this city.

Every 15 minutes, in some direction from downtown, there is a neighborhood to be discovered – Decatur, Virginia Highlands, Inman Park, West Midtown, the list could keep going – where there is something for every individual from the high end shopper to the foodie to the artistic “hipster.” The city has worked hard to develop these charming areas making it hard to see everything in one trip.

Visiting Atlanta is more than the World of Coke and Georgia Aquarium. To really experience the city and all it has to offer here are recommendations on how to spend your weekend in Atlanta.

First things first, if you are visiting Atlanta stay in the Midtown area; central location and a short 15 minute drive from the surrounding neighborhoods. A simple Google search of “hotels in Midtown Atlanta” will point you in the direction of accommodations. Atlanta Marriott Suites, Lowes Midtown, W Midtown, Hyatt Atlanta Midtown are a few options. Or if you want to experience some history, a little further down Peachtree Street on the corner of Ponce de Leon Ave, directly across from The Fox Theatre, is the Georgia Terrace Hotel.

Friday, you arrive to your hotel, unpack, regroup and decide it is time to eat and grab a drink. Your options; just down the street South City Kitchen offers some southern classics with a sophisticated flare. A personal favorite is Ecco, serving Italian and Mediterranean flavors.  If you are up to it, drive over to Decatur and visit The Iberian Pig. A warning to the men, this is a menu of Spanish tapas so, you won’t be getting a feast of meat and carbs, however; you will NOT be disappointed with the food. After dinner walk over and catch a show at the famous Eddie’s Attic or a drink at Brick Store Pub.

Saturday, don’t start the day off without getting brunch. Most important meal of the day, right? Just to rattle off a few selections; RosebudWest EggFlying Biscuit CaféHighland BakeryParish, and Ria’s Bluebird. Following brunch, the possibilities are endless.

  1. One of Atlanta’s biggest projects has been the Beltline bike and walking path. Take a stroll through Piedmont Park to get to the access point at 10th. From there you can walk or bike making stops along the way at the new Ponce City Market development, Paris on Ponce, or Krog Street Market.
  2. If burning off the food you devoured doesn’t sound appealing, drive over to West Side Provisions for some light shopping and ice cream at Jeni’s. This could carry into nighttime and if it does JCT Kitchen is the place to eat.
  3. Virginia Highlands, Inman Park, and Decatur are great neighborhoods to park and spend the day walking the streets looking at the old buildings that have turned into quaint restaurants and shops.
  4. Stay in Midtown and visit the High Museum of Art or Botanical Gardens
  5. Classic evening activity would be finding a general session ticket and spending your evening at Turner Field.

Sunday, the trip has come to an end. Chances are you didn’t visit all of the places listed above so, before you leave town be sure to make one last round shopping, walking through the park, and indulging in one of the many restaurants Atlanta has to offer.