A Summer Visit to Atlanta, Georgia
It was a hot and humid afternoon in Georgia. Atlanta, to be exact. By humid, I mean it. I was a sweaty mess as I walked to the botanical gardens and wondered, how the heck do the Georgia locals deal with this? I also wondered why the heck I had makeup on as it dripped off. Since I was in town for only a few days I’d decided to use MARTA subways and Uber when needed. Otherwise, I just got around on foot. Despite the intensity of the southern weather, I adored every minute of this trip and to nearby Roswell.
As I cruise Instagram, a reel or shot of the “Peach City” often comes up. It’s making me yearn for another visit to this fantastic, diverse spot. Although I may not align with a lot of the politics of the southern states, I adore visiting them nonetheless. The locals make places like Atlanta very memorable for me. My trip in the summer of 2019 remains one of my top favorites. Reminisce with me!
Where to Stay in Atlanta, Georgia
While this was my first time exploring Atlanta, it was my second flying into Georgia’s Hartsfield–Jackson. There’s a MARTA train station within the airport so that made it easy to get downtown to my hotel. I was fortunate to stay with the American Hotel, a DoubleTree property by Hilton. The American is in the heart of downtown and has an incredible history.
When it opened as the Americana in the 1960s, they were the first hotel in the Georgia’s state capitol to welcome guests of all races. Names you might recognize like Elvis Presley and President Carter also stayed here. Their lobby takes you right back to the 60s mod era. I expected Andy Warhol to sashay by. Black and white photographs adorn the walls with pictures of icons like Jimi Hendrix and Marilyn Monroe.
My suite was ideal. I loved the ease of hopping around the city and easily returning for a break. I slept like a baby and enjoyed the included breakfast each morning. Speaking of babies, I was not yet a mom when I took this trip. I can’t wait to one day take Mabel to Atlanta and the American is a fair option with kids in tow as long as you don’t need easy access to a car. There’s no self-parking on-site and valet is $50 a day.
That being said, the American is less than a 10-minute walk to Centennial Park. Here, you’ll find several of the “must-see’s” of the city. Especially for young ones.
This brings me to…..
“Am I within walking distance to the Georgia Aquarium?” I asked the friendly associate at the hotel desk. Turns out, I was less than 10 minutes away and almost everything else I’d be touring with my CityPASS was awaiting me at Centennial Park.
The park is where the 1996 Summer Olympics were held and many monuments and sculptures pay homage to that honor. I took my time strolling as I made my way to the Georgia Aquarium which was my first stop after checking in. After a few minutes inside, it was clear to see why this institute is continually named one of the best aquariums in the world. It is spacious and truly transforms visitors into “under the sea.”
Other highlights at the park were the Coca-Cola Museum and CNN Headquarters. Had there been more time to “lounge” (when I have limited time in a new city, I tend to be nonstop if I’m up to it), I would have loved to sit down and hang out.
Atlanta Botanical Gardens
We all know botanical gardens are a weakness of mine. If I’m in a beautiful setting surrounded by vibrant, live plants, I’ll be happy. Although this was the most difficult day weather-wise, it turned out to be the most gorgeous.
The Atlanta Botanical Gardens sits in the Midtown district adjacent to Piedmont Park. It boasts 30 acres for visitors to get immersed in exotic plants, flowers, and works of art. My solo excursion even included a mid-day thunderstorm in the 90 degree weather. This was a highlight of my visit. Their website offers a fun Garden Guide which invites guests to answer a few questions about their visit and an itinerary will be offered.
Perhaps I’m biased as I’ve only visited once but I highly recommend a day of solo wandering at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Much like the Huntsville Botanical Gardens and Huntington Library, it’s a truly tranquil experience to lose yourself among such beauty.
Ponce City Market
In between the gardens, I also covered a lot of Midtown. I popped into some of their funky, fun boutiques and got a little too excited to find a Caribou Coffee. I was also feeling hungry and discovered a local favorite. The Flying Biscuit Cafe. I covered more about dining in and around Atlanta here.
Once I returned back to the hotel, I freshened up and treated myself to an air conditioned Uber ride. The destination? Ponce City Market. I cannot think of a better place to enjoy a summer evening in Atlanta than here. Ponce City Market brought to mind San Antonio’s Pearl District or even the Grove here in Los Angeles. Their food hall has a great variety of eats, unique shops, and the rooftop offers superb city skyline views.
With plenty of wide open space, it’s a great place to grab some grub and a drink (or two) and chill out on the grass.
It’s safe to say I loved this tour of Georgia’s most famous peach city. I hope to return soon and show Mabel all of these favorites of mine. xo
(*Disclosure: Special thanks to Discover Atlanta for hosting me for many of these experiences. All opinions are my own.)