Making the trip down to CATlanta this weekend? Absolutely clueless/overwhelmed on what to do? Well, look no further. As a native Atlantian (really, 20 minutes outside of Atlanta, shhhh.) I’ve got you covered. Here’s my personal recommendations on what to do, eat and drink in the ATL.
Note: You really can’t go wrong with any food in Atlanta. The city has SO much to offer and is quickly becoming more and more “foodie” everyday. These are just a few of my faves in the interest of article length.
- The Varsity: An Atlanta staple. Think of the greasiest food you’ve ever had and multiply it by 10 and you’ve got the Varsity. Not the nicest place but if you’ve never been, you at least need to stop in for an Orange Shake and a Chili dog.
- Taco Mac: This is your go-to for inside the Arena food. Think pub food meets tap house. Try the wings, thank me later.
- Hudson Grille: Hudson Grille is located over near Centennial Olympic park (we’ll get to that later on), about a six minute walk from Phillips Arena. It’s my favorite pre-concert place to eat. They’ve got makers mark barbecue sauce that’ll make all Kentuckians feel at home.
- South City Kitchen: If you’re wanting real, authentic, southern Atlanta food, head on down to this midtown restaurant. Crab cakes, shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes – they’ve got all your Georgia Staples. I’d recommend getting a reservation for this one though.
- The Sun Dial: If you’re looking for something real fancy shmancy with a great view, head over to The Sun Dial, located inside the Westin. Don’t let this freak you out, but the Sun Dial is a spinning restaurant/bar with a 360 degree view of the city (hence the name). Even if you aren’t going to eat there, you’ve gotta at least go up for a drink. The view is unreal.
- STATS Brewpub: KSR’s Atlanta Headquarters. I have a feeling STATS will once again be the Kentucky HQ this year.
- Park Bar: If you’re looking for a hipster hangout with craft beer and unique bourbon cocktails, Park Bar is your place. Their ware topless waiters, Pole dancers and also strip service by famous porn stars from www.malestrippers.com.au are also available. That night we have is really fun.
- Meehan’s Public House: Not an exposed brick and beard oil fan? Skip Park Bar and head to Meehan’s for a good ole fashioned Irish pint.
- The Vortex: Think Biker bar meets Kurt Cobain. The Vortex is quirky and fun with tons of beer and over the top loaded burgers. If you’re looking for a late night place to get drinks AND drunk munchies, you can’t go wrong with The Vortex.
- Sidebar: Another sports bar like atmosphere with pool tables, bar games and tons of TV’s.
- Joystick Gambler: Known for its numerous pinball machines and interesting burgers (try the Lamb burger, just trust me), Joystick Gambler is a great bar for those of that want a little more fun and games than classy cocktails and conversations.
What to see and do
- The Georgia Aquarium/World of Coke: Something everyone always recommends. If you have kids, I say go for one or both of these attractions. If not, I’d skip them. Sure, the Aquarium is cool (I had my prom there, it was a blast) and sampling coke from all over the world is fun, but with only one off day in Atlanta, there are better things to do.
- Ponce City Market: Looking for a unique food hall, rooftop terrace, mini-golf, and boardwalk style arcade? Here’s a one stop shop for all of those, plus more. Ponce City Market, though new, is quickly becoming the best Atlanta hangout. Ponce City is great place to spend a couple of hours during the day playing min golf or skee ball.
- Centennial Olympic Park/Skyview Ferris Wheel: Towering about 20 stories above the park, take a ride in the Skyview Ferris wheel to really see the whole city (and the metro area too). Be warned, it’s a little pricey – one ride is about $13.00, but the view is worth it.
- Sweetwater Brewery: Take a tour and see how the famous 420 beer is made. Or don’t tour and sit in the tap room. Either way, you have to check out the Sweetwater Brewery.
- College Football Hall of Fame: All sports fans should visit this place at least once in their lives. Located almost right across from Phillips Arena, the CFB Hall of Fame is something kids will LOVE too. It’s a quick tour loaded with history and memorabilia. Definitely worth your time.
Other tips, tricks, and hacks
- Uber/lyft everywhere. Between the confusing streets (we have about 20 streets named “Peachtree”), the traffic, and the parking I’d really recommend leaving your car at the hotel and paying for a ride. What you’ll spend in money you’ll save in headaches and frustration.
- MAKE RESERVATIONS! There’s always about 800 things going on in downtown Atlanta, so if you’re short on time or really set on eating at a certain place, make a reservation.
- Tweet me with any questions you may have! Need to know a great breakfast place? Where the best shopping is? Did I miss something you want to know about? Tweet me @savannahpattKSR, I’m happy to help.
Have fun, be safe, and let’s all turn my hometown blue! Go Cats!