Downtown Atlanta is the perfect ‘grown up’ getaway. I had no idea it’s such a large city (and WOW, crazy big airport!). We were in ‘Hot-lanta’ for my husband’s work convention. While he was busy in the day time I explored Atlanta. And in the evenings we played!
My Best Tip: Stay Right in Downtown. The traffic is tricky, but use your GPS, valet park your car and LEAVE it! There’s so much to see and do all in walking distance…
You can wander through gorgeous Centennial Park (site of the 1996 Summer Olympics). And flanking the park on the south is the CNN center, on the north is Coca-Cola World (And they run a two-fer pass for both to save a few $$). Next to Coca-Cola World is the huge Georgia Aquarium… I know that sounds like a kid-thing. But kid things are fun grown up ‘date-things’ too!
Ask the Doorman for help!
Don’t leave Atlanta without taking a horse and carriage ride. We asked our Marriott doorman (name was Sinatra) if he could help us catch a ride and he ‘knew’ someone who came right to our hotel door to pick us up! The horse’s name was Tina Turner and the driver was called Goose. Only in Atlanta, people! The cost for a 30 minute ride for 2 adults was $70 after the tip. Goose showed us several sites we didn’t even know about!
7 Additional CAN’T-MISS ‘Grown-Up’ things to do in Atlanta:
- Cyclorama: A huge mural that spins around, you sit and watch the history unfold! (TIP: It’s next door to the zoo, and while kids wouldn’t enjoy the cyclorama it would be a good afternoon get out-of-the-sun, after the zoo!)
- The Victory for Lunch: World’s largest drive-in. Just burgers and such, but worth seeing this Atlanta Landmark.
- Margaret Mitchell’s House: For all the Gone With the Wind fans you won’t find ‘Tara’ if you are looking, but the author’s apartment on Peachtree Street (Longest Street in America BTW). Short tour but worth the $13. (Kids would NOT enjoy this.)
- Fox Theater: Known for the ‘Mighty Mo’ pipe organ and Broadway type theater productions.
- Martin Luther King National Historic Site: This is run by the National Park Service and it’s a large area with his home, church and burial tomb.
- The Carter Center: Former US President Jimmy Carter’s home and Library, about 10 miles out of downtown
- Fernbank Science Museum: Kids WOULD love this, but any adults seeking an iMAX experience this is worth the drive (near the Carter Center so make it a two for one afternoon.
When it’s just the two of you, EAT LIKE THE LOCALS!!
I’m not a fan of eating at chain restaurants while out of town. Even high end fancy spots don’t make me blink. I want local favorites. (Ask the hotel clerk, or the doorman for good local spots and be prepared to wait if they are really popular!)
We ate at the bar at ‘Ted’s Montana Grill’. The wait was hours and hours otherwise, but the food was totally worth it (and bar service is FASTER)! If you do nothing else, ORDER the Chopped Salad!! WOW. And many items on the menu are Buffalo based. PS. Ted Turner lives in the penthouse on the top of the Restaurant building!
Another fun restaurant in Atlanta’s downtown is Truva: Turkish cuisine complete with live Belly Dancing! We walked right in and sat down immediately. The food was fabulous, (hummus & fresh bread and stuffed cabbage) however you will wait between courses and they are in NO hurry to bring the check.
Last suggestion is Jalepeno Charlie’s, I won’t say this is the best Mexican meal I’ve ever eaten but it was a fun atmosphere and if it’s not too ‘hotlanta’ for you, ask to eat on the 2nd floor patio!