What do you think of when you think of Atlanta? Maybe the world’s largest beverage company, Coca-Cola? Or perhaps a variety of professional sports teams? Or maybe even reality television (did someone say The Real Housewives)? Being such a diverse city, Atlanta is all these things—and more which is why we are putting together a girlfriend getaway guide to the Peach state. So gather your friends for a weekend of food, fun and culture in Atlanta. Let’s explore where you stay, eat and play while in Atlanta.
Where to Stay
The Crowne Plaza Atlanta Midtown
Recently renovated, the 360-room Crowne Plaza hotel is located in Midtown and includes fitness, center, business center, outdoor pool with barbeque grills and fire pits and multiple restaurants. (I will be dishing about them below) This is one of the first dual-branded hotels in Atlanta (sharing a location with Staybridge Suites) and is centrally located for guests to indulge in shopping at Ponce City Market, Atlantic Station or Lenox Square (just a 7 minute Uber ride away), fine dining and tourist attractions including the World of Coca-Cola, Georgia Aquarium, CNN Center and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Where to Eat
Breakfast: No need to travel far, just go downstairs and enjoy a full American breakfast buffet at FIRST, Crowne Plaza’s new breakfast restaurant that includes traditional items and local Southern specialties.
Tip: In addition to the breakfast buffet you can order items like pancakes, breakfast wraps, smoothies and more off their full menu for an additional fee.
After an afternoon of shopping at the market, it’s only right that you try some of the on-site restaurants. Get a variety of tacos from Minero, a casual Mexican restaurant with James Beard Award winning chef, Sean Brock. Bounce around to Hop’s Chicken whose line is usually wrapped around its small space. Don’t forget the biscuits and sauce (try frim fram even if you usually go sauce less). An on-site libation option? Try a Mai Tai. The hostess said they have one of the best!
With over 20 types of sake, a selection of wines, draft and composed cocktails, O-Ku Sushi in West Midtown is a great happy hour option. Be sure to stop by on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday to take part in the after-work sushi and drink specials between 5pm-7pm.
Love sushi? Consider staying for dinner. Led by Executive Chef Jackie Chang, menu items stem from the chef’s South Korean roots and are intertwined with innovation. The outcome? Creative dishes like spicy yellowtail crunch which includes yellowtail, chili paste and scallions over crispy rice, scallop tiradito includes torched scallops, truffle soy, shaved truffle and caviar and misoyaki which includes miso, marinated black cod, spinach and glass noodles.
Back at Crowne Plaza, NEXT restaurant mixes Southern flavors with classic dishes. Looking for something light? Try their signature Coca Cola BBQ chicken wings. For a full dinner, order the petite beef tenderloin filets, which were cooked to perfection and come with roasted fingerling potatoes, chef’s vegetable and a choice of red wine demi or mushroom peppercorn cream.
What to Do
Spa day anyone? Prepare to be greeted with slippers and taken on indulgent and relaxing beauty journey at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta. The professional staff at the spa can take care of you from head to toe, literally. Some treatments include skin revival, body detox and tone, manicures, pedicures, facials and massages which are all personalized to your needs. Not sure what to try? Consider the 80-minute Oriental Essence Massage that centers on all stress areas of the body and will leave you wondering if you’ve ever really had a massage before. I guarantee to you, not like that. Pure bliss.
Take in a show at Philips Arena, sports, music and entertainment venue located downtown. Yes this is the home of the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Dream but the space is used for so much more. It welcomes 1.6 million guests annually and hosts 160 events including national musical acts throughout the year. Coming up? Charlie Wilson (with Fantasia and Johnny Gill), Ariana Grande, Neil Diamond, The Weeknd and Lady Gaga. What a lineup!
For some culture, check out the High Museum of Art which boasts a celebrated collection of classic and contemporary. Some of the current collections include an exhibition of Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Tiovivo: Whimsical Sculptures by Jaime Hayon and Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College.
Tip: Every 1st Friday of the month, the museum will have drop-in art making sessions, live performances, and drinks from 6 to 9 pm, all included in your museum admission.
Fast Facts about Atlanta
- Atlanta has become the fifth city to be the capital of the state of Georgia. It was preceded by Savannah, Augusta, Louisville, and Milledgeville.
- Atlanta was named one of the Top 10 places in the U.S. to visit in 2017 by Lonely Planet, the world’s most successful travel publisher.
- There are more than 65 streets with the word Peachtree in Atlanta.
- Travel and Leisure readers who participated in the magazine’s America’s Favorite Places survey say Atlanta is No. 8 in the country for the most attractive people.