I recently had the opportunity to visit Atlanta while attending a blogging conference (read my TBSCon recap here!) last month… my first time! It’s a neat city with a lot of history and cool spots to check out. While I was at the conference for most of the time, I did stay an extra day to check out all of what Atlanta had to offer.
While I definitely recommend staying a few days to take it all in, I wanted to share some of my top recs and spots I visited within 24 hours. Keep reading for my downtown Atlanta travel guide for where to shop, what to eat and what to do>>
ATLANTA TRAVEL GUIDE: GETTING THERE
I have to say, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is now one of my most favorite airports to visit. Getting in and out was a total breeze, it’s easy to get around and there’s TONS of food options. Downtown Atlanta is just a short 15 minute drive from the airport. Or you can take MARTA, Atlanta’s mass-transportation system into downtown.
I used Uber to get around everywhere, as it’s too spread out to walk most places. Being that Atlanta is a major city, it was easy to catch a ride quickly. If ride shares aren’t your thing, I would recommend renting a car to get around.
ATLANTA TRAVEL GUIDE: WHAT TO DO
There’s a lot to do in the Atlanta area– several museums, shopping centers, parks and more. Here’s a few options that are easy to do within 24 hours:
If you’re a Coca-Cola fan then the World of Coca-Cola is a must for you. You can get the scoop on the history of Coca-Cola, get some memorobilia and even samples of 100+ different beverages.
I was able to venture up to Buckhead to the Atlanta History Center to visit the Swan House, which was built in 1928 for a wealthy Atlanta family. The home has many of the original furnishings was it really neat to see how this Southern family had lived during this time.
Cool fact, the house was used as President Snow’s house in The Hunger Games series.
While there, I also visited the Smith Family Farm which houses the Tullie Smith House, an 1840’s farm house, slave quarters, gardens and animals. It was such a neat and interesting experience– with all the exhibits (including one all about the history of barbecue!) the center has to offer, you could spend the entire day here!
I really wish I had more time as I had wanted to visit the High Museum of Art. This art museum is home to some really neat exhibits and works of art– contemporary, photography, African art and more. They actually just hosted a Winnie the Pooh exhibit that looked super cute! Museums are perfect to walk around when you need some quiet… and some inspiration.
I had wanted to stop by Centennial Olympic Park the morning before I left Atlanta but I didn’t make it out of bed as early as I had hoped. This park was the home of the 1996 Olympics and houses gorgeous fountains and a huge Ferris wheel– definitely perfect for photo taking!
For history buffs, you can visit the Civil Rights Museum and Martin Luther King Jr. collection.
ATLANTA TRAVEL GUIDE: WHERE TO STAY
While at TBSCon I stayed at The Hotel at Avalon, I used Hotel Tonight to find a last-minute hotel deal at Sheraton Hotel in downtown for my final night in Atlanta. Using the app you can find great deals for hotels such as the W Atlanta, InterContinental, Hilton and more. It’s so convenient when traveling on a budget. Use my code AMGOODHUE to score $25 off!
Not on a budget? Live it up at The Ritz, Mandarin Oriental or Loews, all of which are conveniently located in Atlanta!
Truth be told, I wish I had stayed in the Buckhead area as I think that would have been more up my alley (and closer to more shopping!) Living in LA I should know that the downtown areas aren’t too busy during weekends however it was great to get a taste of the Atlanta downtown life for a night.
ATLANTA TRAVEL GUIDE: WHERE TO SHOP
After breakfast, I headed over to Ponce City Market, a building that houses a bunch of shops, a food hall and even Skyline Park, an amusement park with carnival games, mini gold and rides on the rooftop! Shops include J. Crew, Anthropologie, West Elm and my new fave, South Moon Under.
If I had more time, I definitely would have spent more time uptown in Buckhead, which is definitely the spot for go-to shopping. The area is comprised of exclusive boutiques, shopping malls, designer boutiques, restaurants and more. I look forward to exploring this area more on my next trip to Atlanta.
If you’re spending more time in Atlanta, there’s also Avalon, which is about a 30 minute drive north of Downtown Atlanta. Avalon is an outside shopping area with shops, a movie theater and yummy eateries. If you’re pressed for time though, shopping in Buckhead is your best option.
ATLANTA TRAVEL GUIDE: WHERE TO EAT
The morning before I left Atlanta I was in a major mood for a traditional Southern breakfast so I made my way over to West Egg Cafe. It’s basically the go-to quick dining spot in Atlanta for breakfast— it was packed! The food was perfect though– simple, Southern and delicious. Of course I had to get some grits and a biscuit!
Another go-to spot for Southern fare is South City Kitchen. We had lunch at the location in Avalon, but there are other locations in the Atlanta area. While the food is more contemporary Southern than traditional Southern, they have favorites such as shrimp and grits, pulled pork, and fried chicken. The pimento cheese starter is AMAZING and a MUST!
While in Atlanta I was super excited to finally Jeni’s Ice Creams and luckily, there’s several locations throughout the Atlanta-area. Go early or there may be a line, but it’s absolutely worth it! I was able to sample several of the ultra-creamy and ultra-yummy flavors, settling on a scoop of Supermoon and a scoop of Gooey Butter Cake. Obsessed.
If you’re feeling hungry but not yet sure for what, the Ponce City Market food hall is definitely the place to go. There’s local flavors, coffee, ethnic cuisine, burgers, seafood, sweets, brews & cocktails, juices… basically anything your heart desires.
Have you been to Atlanta? What are some of your musts?