Many don’t know and are surprised to find that for all the urban sprawl that comprises Atlanta, this is a fairly green city with a growing interest in outdoor activities and a bustling midtown.
Piedmont Park in the city is the largest city park and offers locals a sanctuary in the midst of residences, offices and other businesses. Apart from the large lake in the center, swing sets all around and beautiful walk paths, the park also offers weekend farmers markets, children’s play areas, the large oval for avid team sports fans as well as a public pool and doggy park. Many large spring and summer festivals are hosted here and neighboring Botanical Gardens offers many exhibitions as well as other events (their summer social irrigation series being one of my favorites) for locals to enjoy. Both venues provide fantastic backgrounds for family portraits, engagement picture sessions and just plain old daydreaming.
The Atlanta Beltline has got locals hopping neighborhoods with ease by foot or bike. Connecting several local areas via the pathway that is the beltline, many locals have started hunting down livings paces by this area for easy access. There are the park and midtown activities on one end and the Krog Street market and other Old Fourth Ward attractions on the other. All along the path as well, restaurants and businesses can be accessed. Celebrating the activity that the beltline has introduced to the area, even the neighborhood department store Publix has joined the bandwagon with a fabulous wall mural inspired by their customers. I am spoilt for choice deciding where I’d like to stop for a bite along the Beltline.
When it comes to pubs, hanging out at restaurants, or dining casually, the Inman Park area as well as Virginia Highland offers a range of options. From Juliana’s crepes to small bites at Barcelona, the patio views at Flip Burger or familiar surroundings of Timone’s, locals enjoy and devour every opportunity to enjoy life in this beautiful city. And if that isn’t what you are looking for, watch a classic at the Plaza Theater. Or better yet, check out two movies for the price of one while you sit in the comfort of your car at the Starlight Drive-in enjoying sliders and wings from Delia’s shop down the street – I am a professional at this.
Little Five Points (L5P) is another fantastic neighborhood especially if you are looking for one with a hipster vibe but fret not, all are welcome with open arms. Junkman’s Daughter has the widest range of knickknacks ever in one venue and The Vortex Bar next door will have you queuing for a while before you are seated, such is the reputation of their burgers that even locals line up in anticipation of their next juicy meal. Free street-side entertainment abounds, from musical performance to poetry recitals, I never know what to expect. Further down the street is the Edgewood district where you can continue the banter.
Last but not least, any local will tell you, the best spot for a late night meal is any Asian place along Buford Highway. Good food, great price and they are always open late!