Georgia

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Special thanks to Lindsey Wesloski, Stephanie Dolan, Cathryn Medlin and Olivia Cox for recommendations.

Georgia is one southern state that shouldn't be overlooked. Experience coastal beaches of Tybee Island and Savannah, rolling hills in the countryside, mountain ranges in the north-west and even major metropolitan cities. Atlanta is home to one of the most famous aquariums in the world, birthplace of dirty-south hip hop and so much more. 

Downtown Skyline, Atlanta

Jackson Street Bridge, Atlanta

Buckhead, Atlanta

Ponce City Market, Atlanta

Atlanta Zoo

Beltline, Inman Park, Atlanta

Providence Canyon State Park

Midtown, Atlanta

Ponce City Market, Atlanta

Downtown Atlanta

Piedmont Park, Atlanta

Tallulah Falls State Park

Ponce City Market, Atlanta

 

ATLANTA

Things to Do

Beltline: Walk, ride bikes, or rollerblade here on a pretty day. A good place to start is at Krog Street Market and take the path to Ponce City Market. There's a few cool restaurants and treats along the way as well.

Ponce City Market: This huge warehouse market is filled with tons of diverse food and shops (both unique and chain stores). Make sure you check out the Skyline Park on the roof. There's carnival games/rides and great views of the city.

Check out Ladybird with all the dogs: Day drink or come for brunch. This popular spot right on the Beltline is buzzing with adorable pups on the weekend. 

Georgia Aquarium: Touristy, but really fun.


Shop at Atlantic Station: Find both boutiques and big stores.

Day drink at one of ATL's many breweries: Sweetwater and Monday Night are fan favorites. New Realm is the newest and has a rooftop patio, or, check out Torched Hop anytime of the day. Be sure to check the hours online because they are not standard.

Jackson Street Bridge: Prime spot for a photo-op, or to soak in a panoramic view of the city.

World of Coca Cola: Touristy, but cool to check out and it's in the heart of downtown. After learning the history of the famous soft-drink, take a stroll through Centennial Park.

Atlanta Zoo: The pandas are adorable. Enough said. 

Catch a game:

Suntrust Park: Brand new stadium where the Atlanta Braves play. The Battery, which is connected to the stadium, has tons of great bars and restaurants for a fun night out during baseball season.

Atlanta United: The city's newest major league soccer team that has rallied a lot of support. The pep rallies and tailgates are a blast.

Atlanta Falcons: As Carolina Panthers fans, we can't in good faith support the birds, but the games are a lot of fun. The Mercedes Benz Stadium is brand new and state-of-the-art.

Day trips:

Lake Lanier: Only about 30-40 minutes outside of ATL. Rent a boat with a group of friends or check out Lake Lanier Islands, a huge waterpark situated right on the lake.

Go Hiking: A less known fact, but Georgia is home to some of the best trails in the southeast. Climb Stone Mountain for 360 views of the city. For a longer day, Tallulah Falls State Park is beautiful or venture a little farther to Providence Canyon to check out what some call the "Little Grand Canyon".

Six Flags Over Georgia: If you love roller coasters, this is for you. 

  

Places to Eat

West Midtown -- Upscale, hipster area

Westside Provisions:  A cute area with stellar restaurants and bars. Check out Oku for sushi and the rooftop terrace, or JCT Kitchen for upscale southern dishes.

Jeni’s Ice Cream Locations in Westside Provisions or Krog Street Market. Once you taste this gourmet ice cream, you'll never want any other brand again.

Six Feet Under: Casual seafood restaurant with rooftop seating and view of the downtown skyline. Make sure you go to the location off 11th street if you want the view, there are two establishments.

Gu’s Dumplings at Krog Street Market. Incredible Asian food and usually has a pretty decently sized line, but it's totally worth it.

Inman Park -- Trendy & quaint

Victory Sandwich: Fun and casual. Famous for their intoxicating    "Jack and Coke Slushies."

Beetlecat: Top-notch, upscale seafood restaurant.

 

Buckhead -- Young professional, business areas & southern establishments

King + Duke: Incredible brunch and good dinner too. Order the fresh doughnut appetizer.

Buttermilk Kitchen: Brunch spot with fresh biscuits. Everything  made fresh so they run out of ingredients the later it gets. Go early.

Southern Gentleman: Open-air trendy restaurant in the heart of Buckhead (similar to a Rodeo Drive). Ideal for dinner or drinks.

Cafe AgoraHands-down the best Greek you'll have in the city. Order a Lamb Gryo or Cafe Agora salad.

Gypsy Kitchen: Fun, upscale tapas spot with strong cocktails.  Rooftop seating and also in the heart of Buckhead.

Treehouse: Quaint, casual place with a really cool patio surrounded by hanging plants. Serves delicious American-style food.

Taxco: No-frills Mexican restaurant with delicious food. Great for takeout or enjoy the cheap margs in house. The fajita steak quesadilla is the best.

Superica: Mexican restaurant known for great tacos. Also serves Froze which is always a plus.

South City Kitchen: Upscale, southern spot. The Buckhead location is newer and has nice patio seating.

 

Little Five Points/Edgewood -- Artsy, offbeat vibes

The Vortex: Juicy burgers with a fun vibe and vibrant decor. Go to the one in Little Five on Moreland Ave.

Fox Bros BBQ: If you’re looking for barbecue in Atlanta, Fox Bros is extremely well-known. The brisket is a must have.

Midtown -- Edging into big city feel with lots of greenery, strong LGBT community

Poor Calvin’s: Intimate setting. This spot serves delicious Asian-fusion plus surf and turf dishes. The fried chicken with lobster mac 'n cheese is to die for.

The Nook: Good brunch spot right across from Piedmont Park. Fun with a group but can have poor service at times.

Joe’s on JuniperEnergetic venue for early drinks or a midday bite to eat. The waiters are friendly and hilarious.

Vitality Bowls: Easily the best acai bowls in ATL.

Vinings -- Residential Area

Canoe: Farm-to-table restaurant located on the Chattahoochee River. Perfect for date night or any  special occasion.

Places to Drink

Buckhead

Five Paces Inn: A Buckhead favorite. Three-room bar with a DJ and live band every weekend night. Decent patio in the back as well. Can get ratchet, but hell of a time with a group if you are down with it.

Big Sky: Massive two-story bar with tons of TVs to watch big games. Definitely guaranteed good time at night.

Kramers: Young scene, best for those fresh out of college.

Lost Dog: Huge outside patio in the back. Attracts a younger crowd.

Buckhead Saloon: Solid for watching sporting events and ordering pitchers. Thursday is wing night. 

Gold Room: Buckhead’s main club if you want to get away from the  bars. It's very table-oriented but usually has popular DJs playing on the weekends.

Tongue & Groove: Another Buckhead club where you can cut a rug.

 

Virginia Highlands

Dark Horse: Popular bar with karaoke with a live band in the basement. Jam out to some classic throwback songs. Some nights there's a Metallica theme, which sounds ridiculous, but everyone is super into it and contagious.

 

West Midtown

Ormsby’s: Laid back, casual bar with tons of games to play like: darts, pool, bocce ball, etc.

Little Trouble: Good for cocktails & right next door to Ormsby's.

Midtown

 

Flip Flops: Cheesy beach-style bar with tons of different daiquiris, but an entertaining spot to go with a group. 

Opera: Popular nightclub where famous DJs frequently play. Right across from Flip Flops as well.

Inman Park/Edgewood

 

Barcelona Wine Bar:  Ideal for drinks and tapas.

Church: Real name is, Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium. Hilarious, sacrilegious church-themed bar with ping pong upstairs. Just a warning -- not recommended if you are easily offended.

Places to Stay

W Buckhead: Trendy hotel in the heart of Buckhead. Has a cool rooftop bar.

Westin Downtown: A downtown staple. This round skyscraper climbs high into the skyline. Needless to say, you'll get a room with a view and there is a rotating restaurant on the top floor.

Treehouse Airbnb: One of the most favorited listings on the Airbnb site! Perfect for a romantic getaway, but plan ahead because it stays booked for months at a time.

Transportation

Uber is easy and abundant but beware of traffic. 

The Marta train is cheap and good for going between the north and south parts of the city (Buckhead to downtown or to the airport). Stops in midtown are not that convenient.

Work Spaces

Octane: The westside location off Marietta

Stone Mountain

 

Savannah River Front

Savannah

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Savannah

SAVANNAH

Things to Do

 

Known for its mossy cemeteries and historic (possibly haunted) mansions, Savannah is the perfect place to see a spooky site at sunset. Not into being spooked? The city us bursting with art, character, pubs, shops and trolley tours -- which are a great way to see this historic city.

 

Savannah Slow Rides offers a fun, boozy tour.  You and a group of friends pedal along a foot-powered trolley to soak in a tour of the city and a pub crawl.

 

Home of Savannah College of Art and Design, the city is full of creativity. Check out one of the numerous galleries in historic downtown, the SCAD Museum, or the open-air market for local vendors on River Street.

 

Take a 20 min drive to the tiny barrier-island, Tybee, for wide stretches of beaches perfect for a long walk or a lazy day in the warmer months. While you're there, try out The Crab Shack - a local favorite, it's THE place to go for a low country boil. There's sand on the floor, exotic birds, and you can feed the gators. 

Places to Eat

 

B. Matthew’s Eatery: B. Matthews Eatery is steps from River Street and serves up a diverse menu of new-American food. Their homemade soups and salads are to die for.

Huey’s: New Orleans inspired restaurant on River Street. Sit outside or by the window and watch huge ships sail by while enjoying an incredible brunch. The beignets are an absolute must.

 

J Christophers: This American, diner-style restaurant is the quintessential place for a hungover breakfast or lunch with friends. From omelets and pancakes to burgers, the menu is a crowd pleaser.

 

Leopolds Icecream: Retro feel with dozens of delicious flavors, it’s a Savannah classic.

 

The Collins Quarter: The modern, gorgeous space is only part of this Australian restaurant’s appeal. From espresso and avocado toast, to cheese boards and crafted cocktails, the fresh ingredients and incredible menu make it perfect for any meal.

 

The Olde Pink House: This upscale southern and seafood restaurant is a Savannah staple. Eat in the traditional colonial mansion, then head down to the cellar basement for cocktails and live music.

 

Zunzis: This takeout sandwich place knows how to draw a crowd. Patrons wait in lines wrapped around the block (don’t worry, it moves quickly!). Get the Chicken Conquistador or The Godfather.

Circa 1875: Very posh French wine bar and bistro.

Huey's: Want great a southern brunch? This is your place. Sit riverfront with their famous beignets and watch the towering cargo ships go by.

Places to Drink

 

There are plenty of places for cheap drinks on the historic, waterfront, and cobblestoned River Street. Embrace the fact the whole strip is a bit of a tourist trap, because there’s a reason people flock here. Grab a cocktail with a view of the water at Top Deck, a boozy icee at Wet Willies, or a cheap beer and whiskey shot at Kevin Barry’s Pub. One of the best things about Savannah is that if you wind up in a bar you hate, you can always take your drink to go thanks to their lax open container laws.

 

Do your own brewery crawl and try out some of Savannah’s own brews. Check out Southbound Brewing, Service Brewing Co., Moon River Brewing Co., and Coastal Empire Beer Co.

 

Looking for a place to take a large party? Savannah Smiles Dueling Piano Bar and Saddlebags Country Bar are both spacious enough to accommodate. They get rowdy and are big hits with Bachelor/Bachelorette parties.

 

If you’re looking for something more low-key, check out the beer garden and awesome appetizers at Treylor Park, the Rail Pub or Circa 1875 for a dive-y neighborhood bar vibe, or The Jinx for live music.

Places to Stay

Depending on what kind of trip you are taking, houses or apartments for rent on Airbnb or VRBO are a great option. Any accommodation that is close to downtown will be relatively safe and affordable, and you can't beat having quick access.

General Tips

 

Savannah is beautiful year-round, but if you go in the summer prepare yourself for heat and some extreme humidity.

St. Patrick's Day in Savannah is also a huge celebration - they dye the main fountain in Forsyth Park green and thousands of people come to celebrate and be merry.

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