Although I’m a nomad, Atlanta has been a home base for me off and on for the last several years. I initially moved to Atlanta in 2014, just before the acting boom (I thought I was gonna be in the talkies!) but it’s always been a safe haven for me to escape to. Every time I’m in town, however, I get the same question….what is there to do here?! I must admit, before a few years ago, there wasn’t much. Just the aquarium and some sketchy side streets you probably shouldn’t walk down alone. Oh, and of course the
infamous famous Coke-A-Cola museum. Now, I cannot hate on Coke, as it’s obviously a southerners drink, as well as a staple of Atlanta culture. But after a tour through the museum, what else is left to do in this city? Thankfully over the last several years, Atlanta has been growing at a rapid rate and is trying to convert itself into a real city. (I mean, c’mon, did you guys hear about that huge football game we won played in?!) They have primped and pressed, and now they are really seducing their visitors. Want to take advantage the beautiful work that has been put in for you? Here’s 5 ways to enjoy the new Atlanta…
Although it was founded in 2005, this is the first year that I’ve personally started to see things come together and I’m so excited! The Atlanta BeltLine is 22-miles of pedestrian friendly trails that run throughout Atlanta neighborhoods, making for easier navigation around the city. You can jump on the trail at any point and follow the paved roads in either direction. They are sure to bring you past some of the best parks, restaurants, and neighborhoods that Atlanta has to offer. Why not check out some of the dancing and fitness classes that take place in various areas along The BeltLine daily as well? From getting fit with the family to having a great first date, The BeltLine is sure to be a great idea! It is set to open in phases until the completion in 2030.
A $27 million dollar property that opened in 2014, the building that is now Ponce City Market was once Sears (from 1926-1979) as well as offices to the Atlanta fire and police departments (1990-2010). The doors officially closed to the public in March 2010. On July 2011, the property was purchased for $27 million dollars and renovated to become Ponce City Market. It opened to the public in 2015, and is now filled with a wide variety of specialty restaurants and shops. The restaurants include authentic Mexican, Moroccan, and Korean food, amongst many others. There’s sure to be something to appease any taste. The rooftop boasts an entertainment space called Skyline Park which provides drinking, golf, and carnival like amusements. There is direct access to the BeltLine from the main food court, so grab yourself a nice lunch, then take to the trail for a bike ride!
Quickly becoming “the trendiest neighborhood in Atlanta,” the Virginia Highlands is an eclectic mix of restaurants, bars, and shops. From brunch to shopping, casual lunch, and rooftop bars…Virginia Highlands has it all! You’re sure to find something to for anyone in your group, while also getting lost in the great artistic vibes of Atlanta. My favorite thing to do is take a Lyft to a random restaurant in the VaHi area, and walk from there, seeing where the day takes me. You may come across an outdoor farmer’s market, or even a festival!
Located between midtown and Virginia-Higlands is Piedmont Park. Home to some of the best festivals in Atlanta such as Music Midtown, The Atlanta Dogwood Festival, The Atlanta Jazz Festival, and Atlanta Pride; Piedmont Park is a staple of midtown Atlanta. On any given weekend you can find some sort of outdoor music or arts event taking place around the park. With 189 acres of lush greenery, the park is perfect for outdoor events or just getting in a little personal fitness. A public pool is housed in the center of the park area, as well as a childs splash-and-play area. The outskirts have activities such as bocce courts, soccer fields, playgrounds, and “the fitness loop” which has a fitness area to conduct body weight exercises.
Okay, okay, I had to throw in at least ONE true Atlanta staple. For those of you who don’t know what the Clermont Lounge is…you’re lucky. It is affectionately known in these parts as “the place where strippers go to die.” Now that might be a bit much, but it is Atlanta’s first and longest running strip club, that opened in 1965 beneath the now abandoned Clermont Motor Hotel. The Clermont Lounge has ladies from ages 40-90 dancing burlesque and stripping. The most famous is Blondie, who is known for crushing beer cans between her ta-tas onstage, and autographing them so you can return home with a souvenir. This place has also been a hotbed of activity for movie stars when they come to town. Anyone from Morgan Freeman, Robert DeNiro, Lady Gaga and Ashton Kutcher have been known to come here when they visit Atlanta. The Clermont Lounge does not serve food or draft beer, but strong cheap drinks for about $4 are a plenty…but remember the number one rule, as crazy and famous as this club is, there are NO PICTURES ALLOWED once you get inside!