This local’s perspective on Atlanta is written by Kat Harris. Kat lives right outside of Atlanta and loves to drive into the city for a family outing or a romantic getaway. That is-when she can find the time. She is a busy mom and an active blogger. Check out her blog, Sunshine and Lemonade. I enjoyed reading about the large southern city of Atlanta. I would love to take a stroll down some of its stately neighborhoods as well as spend some time doing “retail therapy” at the city’s many shopping avenues. Enjoy!
1. Give five adjectives that you would use to describe the “feel” of Atlanta and its residents?
Diverse, congested, vibrant, political, eclectic
2. What is your favorite neighborhood/area in Atlanta?
There are a lot of neat neighborhoods around Atlanta. Decatur has a vibrant “hippy” feel to it – with farmer’s markets, great restaurants (One is Watershed – which is partly owned by Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls), bars (Brick Store Pub is well known for their high gravity Belgian brews), and great people watching opportunities. Another one is Grant Park/East Atlanta near the Atlanta Zoo. This neighborhood has some beautiful craftsman style homes built in the 1920’s – and some amazing Victorian houses – complete with the gingerbread fixins. And one other to look at is either Druid Hills or Buckhead – to see some mansions and “old” money in the city.
3. Which cuisine do you think Atlanta does best? What is the runner-up?(feel free to share your favorite restaurant)
I don’t know that there is one thing that Atlanta does best. It’s one of the great things about Atlanta is that there are so many very good examples of all different kinds of cuisine. Favorite restaurant: Five Seasons Brewing company. It’s a brew pub (they make their own beer) – and even they have an eclectic menu. Second favorite: Watershed in Decatur – Excellent southern cuisine.
4. What is the best free thing to do?
There are free things to do in Atlanta? Besides paying for parking – you can walk around Centennial Olympic park. They have a fountain to splash in…and a great playground for the kids. During the summer they have movies on the lawn; at Christmas time there is a great light display.
5. What is your favorite type of entertainment?
Retail Therapy. Atlanta has some of the best shopping!
6. List the best family friendly activity?
There are lots of things to do: Six Flags and White Water…Braves games…Georgia Aquarium…Stone Mountain Park…and the Botanical Gardens by Piedmont Park has a fabulous children’s garden.
7. What spot would you send a couple, looking for a romantic weekend?
Not exactly in Atlanta – but on the north side of town – Chateau Elan (which has spas and a winery)…on the south side…Callaway Gardens.
8. Describe the perfect day…one that captures what your area/city is all about? In three sentences or less.
The perfect day would begin when the Aquarium opens (get there early to avoid most of the crowds) followed by lunch at the Varsity (the world’s largest drive-in restaurant – and home of the yummiest, greasiest, artery clogging onion rings). Next, drive out to Stone Mountain Park and either walk up the mountain to work off that lunch – or if you can’t do that, take the cable car up to the top to see the views. And finish off your evening by parking yourself on a blanket on the lawn in front of the carving on the mountain to watch the laser show after dark.
9. Tell us about a place that you love to go whether it is in the guidebooks or not.
I love to go to the Aquarium. I could sit and watch the Beluga whales all day! And they are about to expand the aquarium to include a whole wing for dolphins.
Another activity – for the grown-ups – that is so fun is to see the play “Peachtree Battle.” It is now the longest running play in Atlanta (beating out “Driving Miss Daisy”). The play is about an old moneyed family whose favorite son is getting married to a black Hooters waitress.
10. What question did we not ask that we should have (and answer it, of course!)?
“How do you get around to do all these things?”
In Atlanta…you need a car. The public transportation does not get you everywhere you need to go…and Atlanta is a commuter town…so even grabbing a cab is not an easy option. There is so much to do…but it is all spread out – sprawl is the name of this town…and you are going to need a car to see and do all the wonderful things Atlanta and vicinity have to offer.