I have never been to Altanta before and thought I ‘d book a ticket for my long weekend last November since flights are on sale. I heard bad things about it but I wanted to give this Peach City a chance.
If you are into the party life, I suggest you book a place in Midtown or Buckhead where all the night life happens. If you are a backpacker or art-lover like me, it is best to book a place in a good neighborhood in the east side. I stayed in Edgewood neighborhood and it was the best decision I made. It is 20min ride from the airport, short 10min walk to the metro that takes you to most places you can visit in Atlanta. Everything is mostly walkable or commute accessible to all the attractions in Atlanta. The neighborhood is quiet and safe and tucked away from the city life.
Before leaving for my trip I read a lot of reviews about getting lost driving in Atlanta and dealing with the terrible traffic. The funny thing mentioned so often is that there is a lot of “peach tree st” around. I did not encounter these problems as I was either walking or taking the metro. And I best advise you to do so.
As a solo female traveler, I took every advice seriously about getting around. I was told to avoid walking around alone at night. I made sure I was back at my place around 5-6pm because I was commuting. There are times I just took an uber to be sure. I was also told by locals to avoid going to west side of Atlanta. Several locals have told me about this places called the “Bluff” which has a movie about it too. Downtown Atlanta is not a good place to walk around either during night time according to them.
Good and Bad Reviews on places I visited:
1. Little Five points
Weird as some may say but fascinating for art lovers. Little Five Points is a place full of street murals, sculptures, statements, interesting merchandise (Check out the shop called Junkman’s Daughter),and a feel of something different in a southern state. I really liked this place.
2. Martin Luther King Museum
This is a free museum and I was able to spend an hour in this place. It gives us a glimpse of Martin Luther King Jr. His and his wife’s tomb are here in the middle of a reflecting pool. The museum is beside it. A 2-floor building filled with some information on King’s impact on America in an era of discrimination.
3. Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market
It was a 30min walk from MLK’s to here and it wasn’t bad on a great day. This historic brick and steel building was renovated to house restaurants and shops but still kept the charms of its past. Very stylish inside out. I saw a lot of young people hanging out here. I’ve heard they are developing this part of the city to attract younger generation to move in while creating more jobs. I won’t be surprised if the rent in this area would skyrocket soon. It is just a breathtaking part of town. A walk along the old beltline from Ponce City Market, I ended up in Krog Street Market. It is a more affordable place to grab some food compared to Ponce City Market. Try out their famous ice cream joint here and other appealing meals. It reminded me of a smaller Queen Street Market of Boston.
4. Atlanta Beltline
I can’t stress enough that this is my favorite place in Atlanta. It was a few minutes walk from Ponce City market.
The old beltline has been transformed into an outdoorsy museum, a place I am sure I can walk around multiple times and not get bored. Aside from admiring art, many people make this as their biking route, some walk their dogs, some stroll out from the luxurious apartments along the beltline, some come to meet up with friends at a happy hour or restaurant within the beltline. Generally, I saw a young crowd. And it was totally safe to walk around even up until the evening.
6. CNN center and Coca-cola Museum
I do not go to touristy places during my travel but decided to drop by and check the building out. I took a chance and just got the regular CNN pass and was disappointed with it. You practically tour outside the building but never actually get inside. They take a photo of you with a CNN news backdrop for $35 if you want to take it. Obviously I don’t think its worth it. I passed by the Coca Cola plant but did not enter. If you are a fan, you should purchase tickets beforehand as lines were steep when I was there. Personally, this is not my type to visit. It was too commercialized and not worth your bucks.
7. Folk Art Park
Walkable from the Coca Cola plant is a small art park. I was surprised that not much locals knew this when I was asking around after I found it in a website. It is a small art space in between a crossing.
8. Dekalb Market
This is far and out of the way. Plan to go here when you finished those places that are close to each other. This is an international fresh market. You will see a lot of flags hanging from the ceiling. Fresh produce from seafood, veggies, and my favorite was the chocolate store – fresh chocolate from everywhere. The food court and the bakery was a good place to get a takeaway at a budget price. That potato with some corn on the upper right was damn delicious. If you know the name of it please comment below so I could know 🙂
9. Downtown Dekatur and Dekatur courthouse
I was told to visit this place but regretted going there. It is not bad, it is just far from the rest I wanted to see. You can practically walk around the town square for 10min and courthouse for the same amount. I walked out on the outskirts of Dekatur and there wasn’t anything special to see.
A trivia I need to mention is that I pronounced it as “De-kah-twr” but was corrected by a local, stating it should be said as “De-kay-tehr”.
10. Oakland Cemetery
Aside from being the oldest municipal burial ground in Atlanta, it also grows oak and magnolia trees that look beautiful in autumn. It has this Victorian charm intact and preserved, from the tombstones and statues to the mausoleums. There is also another beautiful cemetery with historic significance but it is on the other side of town. It is called Westview Cemetery. I was supposed to check this out because of the great reviews but I ran out of time. Either way, Oakland was a good enough travel stop. Not that huge as Westview, but very interesting.
Overall, I liked Atlanta. It has it’s own unique character. Georgia definitely wasn’t a boring State to visit ( and believe me I’ve been to several). I stayed here for 4days (3 nights) but I think you can backpack around in 2-3days and enjoy what Atlanta has to offer. Also, just a fair warning, before you fly to Atlanta, make sure your stomach is full , because they have limited restaurants and food joints in the airport. And to my dismay I tried several food stalls and was disappointed – with the food and the price. One highlight of Atlanta that I must mention is that their metro was always on time, provided a smooth ride, and cheap! Kudos.
If you are a local of Atlanta or previously visited Atlanta and I missed to mention an awesome place, comment below and I might check it out on my next visit. 🙂