If there’s one city that’s a crowd pleaser is Atlanta, Georgia. It has history, delicious food, and fun things to do for children and adults. It’s also accessible and perfect to explore during a weekend. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about spending a weekend in Atlanta.
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How to get to Atlanta, GA?
Driving – The major Interstate Highways that’ll take you to Atlanta are Interstate 85 (I-85) and Interstate 75 (I-75). I-85 is a Northeast-Southwest route that runs across Alabama up to Virginia. I-75 is a North-South route that goes from Florida to Michigan.
As long as there are no traffic incidents, these are your best options. However, I recommend not driving during peak hours because traffic can get extremely congested.
As always, we recommend downloading an offline version of the map of where you are traveling. Having an offline ‘copy’ of the map will come in handy in situations where you don’t have cellular coverage or data for any reason. Google explains here how to do it.
By Train – The closest Amtrak Station is Peachtree Station. From there, you can connect with MARTA, the city’s rapid transit system. You can also use a ridesharing app, or catch a cab to move around the city.
By Bus – Atlanta is serviced by Greyhound, and here is a link with the address of its bus station location. From there, you can connect with MARTA, the city’s rapid transit system. You can also use a ridesharing app, or catch a cab to move around the city.
By Plane – Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Aiport (ATL) is one, if not the most, world’s busiest airport. The upside to it is that there are a vast amount of flights to and from Atlanta at decent prices. Here you can pick up a rental car, connect with MARTA, call a cab, or use a ridesharing app.
Should I book a car for Atlanta, GA?
I’m going to say yes if you’re planning to go somewhere else than the Downtown/Midtown areas. I’m going to say no if you’re not used to driving in busy cities and only exploring the Downtown.
Renting a car in Atlanta doesn’t have to be expensive, and sometimes it can help you save money. Hotels in Downtown ATL can get pricy, and staying in the outskirts of the city can help stretch your budget.
How many days to spend in Atlanta, GA?
After you finish reading this article, you’ll realize there are lots to do. The minimum recommended stay for you to experience at least a bit of everything would be a three day/two-night stay.
Where to stay in Atlanta, GA?
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View from a corner room at The Westin – Buckhead.
Before you make a choice, make sure to read ‘How to Avoid a Disastrous Stay at a Hotel.’ The following Atlanta hotels are my preferred choices, and those that I can recommend based on me having stayed in them, or someone I trust.
Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center: It would be difficult to find a better location than the one this hotel has. Almost every major attraction in Downtown Atlanta is at walking distance, or a short Uber or Lyft ride away.
The Westin – Buckhead: A beautiful, clean hotel in a lovely location. The Lennox Mall is right beside it. I felt spoiled by the hotel when I visited after they assigned me a corner suite. The views were unbelievable, and the room was spacious.
Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead: This hotel used to be Atlanta’s Mandarin Oriental, but not anymore. However, it is still a 5-star hotel, and if it is in your budget, it has exceptional spa facilities. It is located on Peachtree Street in the prestigious Buckhead neighborhood.
Emory Conference Center Hotel: A hotel designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Located in a gorgeous forest preserve where I slept like a baby. I have found the rates to be similar (and even cheaper) than those in Downtown Atlanta on many occasions. It does book fast, so don’t wait until the last minute.
Hampton Inn & Suites Atlanta Perimeter Dunwoody: This Hampton is 20 minutes from Downtown Atlanta, but it still has excellent amenities and is close to many shops and restaurants. It also includes free breakfast and parking, which is not easy to find in city center hotels.
Another option is to stay on an Airbnb. Click here to receive $40 off your first trip of $75 or more after signing up.
What to pack for Atlanta, GA?
Weather in Atlanta fluctuates from ‘balmy’ during Early Spring and Late Fall, to warm and incredibly hot during the summer. During ‘winter’ there are rare occasions where it snows but is never the norm.
Because of this never forget sunblock, mosquito repellent, sunglasses, and ‘hot weather appropriate clothes.’ Also, if you’re going out for dinner don’t think people will be in flip-flops, tank tops, and shorts. Locals and visitors alike tend to put a bit of effort into how they look when going out, so don’t forget about that when packing clothes.
Regarding makeup, I made a list for Florida, but that also applies to anywhere where it’s warm and humid. Click here to read ‘The Only Makeup You Need for a Florida Vacation.’
Where to eat/drink in Atlanta, GA?
Atlanta’s Buttermilk Kitchen
If there’s something not lacking in Atlanta, its excellent food. The tricky thing with recommending places to eat is that what I think is tasty, might not be your cup of tea. But, I’ll highlight two places where I always (and I mean always) stop when I visit ATL.
Buttermilk Kitchen – I’ll dare you to not add the Buttermilk Kitchen to your ‘Top Something Breakfast Places in the USA’ list after visiting. I’m not sure if it is the fresh and local ingredients, the talented chefs, the exceptional service, its rustic decoration, or all of the above, but this place is special. You will not be disappointed ordering any of the following: Pimento Omelet, Chicken Biscuit, Pimento Grits, Housemade Jelly, House Blend Coffee, and probably the rest of the menu.
Bonus Tip: The Buttermilk Kitchen does not accept reservations. I had no issues visiting on Fridays (at the most a 10-min wait), but during the weekend you need to be prepared to wait longer.
The Vortex Bar & Grill – The Vortex has two locations. I have only visited the one in Little Five Points, and because of how consistently good the food is I haven’t felt the need to betray it. If you enjoy burgers, this is an obligated stop. I’ll always go for the Classic Bypass and the Dixie Wrecked Taters with their homemade white sausage gravy. The Vortex House Beer is also a crowd pleaser.
Bonus Tip: The Vortex Bar & Grill is, as the name says it, a bar. Because of this, you will only be able to enter if you’re over 21+ Years Old.
Martin Luther King, Jr. & Coretta Scott King Resting Place
What attractions are a must on a visit to Atlanta, GA?
- World of Coca-Cola
- Centennial Olympic Park
- Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park
- Atlanta Botanical Garden
- Center for Civil and Human Rights