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Going To Atlanta...Any Suggestions?

Repo Man

Cyburbian
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2,550
Points
24
I am going to Atlanta this weekend and I have never been there before. Does anybody have any "must-see" things. Braves game and CNN tour are already on the schedule.

Any info. would be greatly appreciated.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
1. If you get outside the City, go see Stone Mountain - it's the southern Mt. Rushmore. You can ride a tram to the top of the Mountain too.

2. There is a great restaurant - I beleive called The Abbey - in a converted cathedral. Slightly pricey but excellent.

3. Olympic Square / Park

4. Clubbing in Buckhead - there's a great regae bar I think called The Landing - it has trees growing through the building.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,078
Points
33
If you have the time, Savanna. You'll see a lot of ugly sprawl all along the way, but the old city itself is wonderful.
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
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28
I would add a tour of the older homes of Atlanta, the Druid Hills area. It was a planned area in the then burbs of Atl where homes were built in the oh i guess 1850+/- *correct me if im wrong here folks*

fantastic examples of carriage entrances to homes, summer sleeping porches, Georgian architecture, formal gardens etc.

Cruse down Ponce De Leone Blvd and the homes are out of this world :)

D
 

dbarch

Cyburbian
Messages
52
Points
4
Lots of interesting stuff to do in Atlanta if you stay inside the Perimeter (I-285, the loop around the city).

Inman Park--east of downtown. Neighborhood of Victorian and Craftsman houses. Great for strolling. Adjacent retail area, Little Five Points good for shopping for vintage clothes, funky jewelry, piercings and tattoos. Also good for people watching. Little 5 also has a large concentration of theatres, inexpensive restaurants and bars. Best burgers in town at the Vortex, plus your server is guaranteed to come with a tattoo, piercings and an attitude!

Druid Hills--just north and east of Inman Park, along Ponce de Leon Avenue. Ponce has a string of Olmstead designed parks that are being restored. Druid Hills is mostly to its north and contains a large concentration of mostly 20's era homes. Also close to Emory Univerisity. Several good college-oriented restaurants near Emory, but not much other commercial activity. Location of Fernbank Natural History Museum. Carlos Museum at Emory small but interesting.

Virginia Highlands--NE of downtown, about a mile and a half north of Inman Park. Greatest concentration of intown restaurants, shopping and nightlife strung along Highland Avenue, centering on the intersection with Virginia Avenue. Lots of restaurants and bars frequented by locals. My favorite area for nightlife.

Midtown--directly north of downtown, along Peachtree Street. Real urban center of town. High concentration of trendy restaurants, with few chains. Piedmont Park a great place to people watch, picnic, cycle and roller blade. High Museum of Art located on Peachtree Street has great exhibits. (Also check out the branch of the High downtown in the Georgia Pacific building if you are there during the week.)

Buckhead--further NE of downtown. (further up Peachtree)Higher-end dining, shopping and bars than Va-Hi or Midtown but lots more chains. Spend the time to look for locally-owned places. Shopping at Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza great if you like malls: Tiffany, Nieman's, Saks, Restoration Hardware . . . you get the idea. Bars here tend to be bigger "meat markets" than neighborhoods above.

Downtown--generally closes up at 5 and on weekends, but is improving. CNN center tour can be interesting. High Museum branch only open during week. Most restaurants are touristy and overpriced, but if you hunt, you can find alternatives. Twenty-somethings enjoy the "On the Bricks" free concerts in Centennial Olympic Park on Friday nights.

If you want to plan ahead, many of these neighborhoods have websites. Once you arrive here, you can look for a free weekly, Creative Loafing for restaurant and nightlife reviews. Also check out restaurant reviews at: http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/living/dining/

Braves rock--but you seem to already know that.

Stone Mountain and Six Flags are good for family entertainment, but they are not particularly unique to Atlanta. If you're coming with small kids, the Atlanta Zoo in Grant Park has a wonderful Panda exhibit. Slightly older kids may prefer the Chattahoochee Nature Center north of town (near the perimeter).

I know that metro Atlanta is the pits as far as urban design is concerned. That's why I live, work and seldom go out of the intown areas listed above.
 

Juliea

Member
Messages
18
Points
1
I would add a tour of the older homes of Atlanta, the Druid Hills area. It was a planned area in the then burbs of Atl where homes were built in the oh i guess 1850+/- *correct me if im wrong here folks*
Druid Hills was mostly built in the 1910-1930 era. It's roughly the same vintage as the older mansions in Buckhead and Brookhaven, although building continued on in the north side for many decades.
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
Virginia Highlands and Mid Town are my favorite places to go to dinner or just hang out and people watch. dbark is right in that downtown does generally shut down after work, however, if you have an hour to kill I would suggest going and having a couple of cocktails at revolving bar at the top of the Westin. Sure, the building interior is looking dated these days, but it's still fun. A few other suggestions:

There's nothing in Buckhead that you couldn't get or do in Chicago and probably have more fun doing it.

I've never been there in the winter but Chet is right is right about Stone Mountain.

Completely overrated and not worth the visit is Underground Atlanta, a tourist trap in downtown without any real shopping. Also overrated is the World of Coke. I may revisit after the new one opens next to the Georgia Aquarium, but I'd pass for now.
 

AubieTurtle

Cyburbian
Messages
894
Points
21
The new World of Coke is suppose to have 90% new exhibits and be about twice the size of the old one. I've lived in Atlanta for almost seven years and in neighboring Alabama for probably around twenty years and have never gone to the World of Coke. Since the new one is opening up across the street from me (yes, I'm going to have a huge round Coca-Cola neon sign as a large part of my view now... in addition to the world's largest Coca-Cola bottle), I guess I'll have to go at some point. Since I don't consume caffeine, I'll probably have to skip most of the colas from around the world (I hear that one named "Beverly" is particularly nasty tasting).

Downtown is improving. Georgia State University has put a lot more students on the streets in the evenings and there are more bars and restaurants catering to locals rather than just the business and convention crowds but it does have a way to go before it catches up with other hot areas like midtown and Virginia-Highland.

Also, if anyone happens to be in Atlanta on April 7, let me know. That's the night I'm hosting the eleventh MARTA pub crawl. It's a lot of fun and lets you get a wide view of the city (actually most of the MARTA pub crawls end up hitting one or two cities outside of Atlanta).
 

Flying Monkeys

Cyburbian
Messages
607
Points
18
The new aquarium is pretty good. But you may be to late to get a reservation. It gets really packed. When we went (one of the first million) it was fun until about 10:30, then it was to packed to move. And the Buckhead advice is good.
 

jmello

Cyburbian
Messages
2,583
Points
21
As a stroller, I would recommend Virginia-Highland, Little Five Points, and Midtown. As a tourist: MLK Memorial, aquarium, and Sweet Auburn. As a planner, I would suggest checking out Atlantic Station and Glenwood Park. I was not really impressed by either. Although, Atlantic Station is huge. Buckhead has lost its glamour to Midtown. The bars are all run down and the collection of eateries is really pretty sad. I would skip it.

I will be back in Atlanta at the end of March. Is downtown Decatur worth checking out?
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
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25
[OT]
As a stroller, I would recommend Virginia-Highland, Little Five Points, and Midtown. As a tourist: MLK Memorial, aquarium, and Sweet Auburn. As a planner, I would suggest checking out Atlantic Station and Glenwood Park. I was not really impressed by either. Although, Atlantic Station is huge. Buckhead has lost its glamour to Midtown. The bars are all run down and the collection of eateries is really pretty sad. I would skip it.
I didn't mention Atlantic Station for specifically that reason. Yeah, as a planner I'd suggest checking it out if for no other reason than to try and figure out why ULI thinks it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. They get props for doing something with such a huge brownfield site, but it just made me wish I had bought stock in a red-brick factory.[/OT]
 

Bubba

Cyburbian
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4,778
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28
I will be back in Atlanta at the end of March. Is downtown Decatur worth checking out?
Yep - and if you're staying intown, head east on Ponce de Leon to Decatur and check out the Druid Hills neighborhood on your way - streetcar suburb with Olmsted designed linear parks.

TOFB said:
The 'burbs. Sprawl capital of the universe.
Thanks for sharing.:r:
 
Messages
1,264
Points
22
The Varsity for burgers and dogs.
A b-ball game at Georgia Tech. The arena has to be the smallest in the ACC besides that shack in Durham, NC. There are no bad sightlines. I saw a Hawks game there, when Phillips Arena was being constructed.
I think somebody mentioned the The World of Coca-Cola.
Drag racing on I-285.
'Sightseeing' in Lenox Square Mall and Phipps Plaza.
 

Reductionist

Cyburbian
Messages
68
Points
4
[OT] I didn't mention Atlantic Station for specifically that reason. Yeah, as a planner I'd suggest checking it out if for no other reason than to try and figure out why ULI thinks it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. They get props for doing something with such a huge brownfield site, but it just made me wish I had bought stock in a red-brick factory.[/OT]
If you're looking for a planning excursion I'd suggest skipping Atlantic Station and going to see Charles Brewer's Glenwood Park TND. It's much better of large scale infill in terms of design, context and human scale than Atlantic Station which feels bloated and unwieldy by comparison. However both suffer from the sterility of newness and lack the complex patina and aura that only comes from the passage of time.
 

AubieTurtle

Cyburbian
Messages
894
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21
Are you going to be intown for the NCAA Final Four or something unrelated?

I'd be up for some burgers at the Vortex, if for no other reason than to get Bubba's autograph since he's in those Geico commercials. If you're interested in the World of Coca-Cola, the old museum is closing in late April so you should be able to get one last look at the original temple to our number one corporate brand.

I'm not sure I agree with skipping Atlantic Station. As much can be learned from mistakes as can be learned from good execution of design. Seventeenth Street is a perfect example of what a suburban oriented DOT can do to mess up an attempt to build a pedestrian-transit type environment. Many pedestrian elements requested by the developer, such as short blocks, mid-block crossings, extensive use of trees, etc. were not allowed by the state DOT. There is also the Disney feel of AS, which may be due in part to the way sightlines are cut off in the same way Disney (and movies) does.

biscuit, your investment in a brick factory would have been for naught. Most of the "brick" in Atlantic Station is really pressed and colored concrete. This also leads to the Disney feel of the place because while one might not consciously notice that the brick isn't real, your brain gets a sense that something about it just isn't right.
 

The One

Cyburbian
Messages
8,289
Points
29
Ahh.....

I am going to Atlanta this weekend and I have never been there before. Does anybody have any "must-see" things. Braves game and CNN tour are already on the schedule.

Any info. would be greatly appreciated.
Yeah:

1. Stop in Chicago for a pizza.....and stay there...har har har....:-c ;-)

2. Nashville seems to be a vibrant and energetic city with a great future....:-|


Atlanta is .....ok.....I guess.....kinda like a Phoenix with green plants and grass.....:-o :r:
 

Tresmo

Cyburbian
Messages
873
Points
19
I love Atlanta and am really enjoying reading this thread because I plan to move there in 3 months and am interested in all it has to offer. But I did just notice that the original post in this thread was four and a half years ago, so Repo Man's Atlanta trip probably already happened.

Anyone with neighborhood information can feel free to give ME advice, though. ;-) :-D
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
I love Atlanta and am really enjoying reading this thread because I plan to move there in 3 months and am interested in all it has to offer. But I did just notice that the original post in this thread was four and a half years ago, so Repo Man's Atlanta trip probably already happened.

Anyone with neighborhood information can feel free to give ME advice, though. ;-) :-D
Doh! Mr. Attentive stricks again. I just saw the latest post and started going. I hope Repo Man enjoyed his trip. :-$
 

Tresmo

Cyburbian
Messages
873
Points
19
Doh! Mr. Attentive stricks again. I just saw the latest post and started going. I hope Repo Man enjoyed his trip. :-$
Hey, no worries. Everyone else joined in, too. I love hearing about cities and things to do there, even when I'm not going there! ;-)
 

AubieTurtle

Cyburbian
Messages
894
Points
21
I love Atlanta and am really enjoying reading this thread because I plan to move there in 3 months and am interested in all it has to offer. But I did just notice that the original post in this thread was four and a half years ago, so Repo Man's Atlanta trip probably already happened.

Anyone with neighborhood information can feel free to give ME advice, though. ;-) :-D
I can give you advice on some neighborhoods but the number one thing I would suggest is that you only shop for a home very close to work or in places with a good transit connection to where you will be working. Working in one suburb and living in another one close by is just as bad as commuting from the suburbs to the city (and many times worse). If you're buying, the real estate agent will lie, lie, LIE, about your commute. It might seem easy when you do it at 10:30am with the agent and it may seem like it isn't that far, but be very careful. Seemingly unusued two lane backroads can easily be the main commute aterty for thousands of new homes that you don't know about until you hit the road for the first time at 8am. Also, there really is no such thing as a reverse commute, especially in the afternoon where your commute may be twice as long as the morning commute.

If you have kids and school is an issue, don't automatically assume that suburb = good and city = bad. As a group this is true but on the individual level you can easily end up in a bad school district in the suburbs and there are some good schools in the city, but they are the exception rather than the rule so you need to do your homework on data from the past couple of years. Any data older than that is useless given the very rapid demographic changes that happen in the metro.
 

Tresmo

Cyburbian
Messages
873
Points
19
I can give you advice on some neighborhoods but the number one thing I would suggest is that you only shop for a home very close to work or in places with a good transit connection to where you will be working. Working in one suburb and living in another one close by is just as bad as commuting from the suburbs to the city (and many times worse). If you're buying, the real estate agent will lie, lie, LIE, about your commute. It might seem easy when you do it at 10:30am with the agent and it may seem like it isn't that far, but be very careful. Seemingly unusued two lane backroads can easily be the main commute aterty for thousands of new homes that you don't know about until you hit the road for the first time at 8am. Also, there really is no such thing as a reverse commute, especially in the afternoon where your commute may be twice as long as the morning commute.

If you have kids and school is an issue, don't automatically assume that suburb = good and city = bad. As a group this is true but on the individual level you can easily end up in a bad school district in the suburbs and there are some good schools in the city, but they are the exception rather than the rule so you need to do your homework on data from the past couple of years. Any data older than that is useless given the very rapid demographic changes that happen in the metro.
That's good to know. I'll be moving there with my significant other, who is a MURP, as well. We will both have to get jobs there, and ideally in the same area, but since we have the same degree, I'm sure that will be difficult. I think it will be hard to live in one area that is close to both our jobs (at least close enough to avoid a nightmarish commute).

Between us, we have two cars, a van, and a boat (one car is mine ;-), he has the rest). I'm guessing it's not easy to find a place with parking for all that stuff (which he wants) that also lends itself to urban living (near transit, outdoor recreation nearby, restaurants and shopping within walking distance, etc.).

Any thoughts on how to balance that mess are welcome. At least school districts aren't a concern.:r:
 
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