A lively, vibrant city that seamlessly blends old and new, Atlanta is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. With its history as a key part of the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement, there is plenty to see and do in this southern city.
Whether you want to go on a shopping spree or explore art galleries, there is something for everyone in Atlanta.
Ponce City Market
Initially a Sears warehouse and showroom, the 2.1 million-square-foot Ponce City Market was purchased by Jamestown Properties in 2011 to reimagine it as a vibrant community space. Now home to pricy apartments, creative and tech studios, retail shops and a central food hall, the historic building has become one of Atlanta’s most popular destinations.
If you’re in the mood for a hearty noodle soup, head to Vietvana, which opened a location of its popular Vietnamese restaurant and pho shop in 2022. Owners Dinh Tran and Khanh Dang serve a menu of pho dac biet (hot beef noodle soup) and banh mi. Pair it with a pineapple coconut smoothie or a Vietnamese coffee at a bar seat.
There’s no wrong sandwich order at Hector Santiago’s counter stall, which serves the popular medianoche (Cuban sandwich) stuffed with Cuban roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and zippy yellow mustard on pressed brioche bread. It’s served with yuca fries or tostones and comes with a choice of sides.
Buford Highway in Atlanta is a bustling corridor that’s home to one of the nation’s most multicultural communities. Signs along the highway are often in Cantonese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Spanish or Bangladeshi languages, and the many ethnic shopping centers and restaurants showcase cuisines from countries worldwide.
The construction boom that followed the 1996 Olympics spawned an influx of immigrants to Chamblee and Doraville, and Buford Highway grew into a regional nexus of ethnic cuisines. In the years since, these immigrant-owned businesses have opened dozens of excellent spots where visitors can eat their way around the world.
The honey lemon pepper wings at Roc South Cuisine are a must try, as is the jasmine rice seafood gumbo, fried hot-honey chicken and mac ‘n’ cheese. Another Buford Highway spot worth checking out is Man Chun Hong for your favorites from Chinese and Korean cuisines like jjajangmyeon, or Korean black bean noodles and tangsuyuk, or Korean sweet and sour pork.
Stylish Buckhead is home to world-class shopping at Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza. It also features independent art galleries and a lively nightlife scene. Chicly dressed locals sip wine and dine in trendy restaurants while young twenty-somethings hang out at hip bars and clubs.
Shoppers will find upscale stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Gucci and Tiffany at Phipps Plaza, or more affordable options at Lenox Square Mall, across the street. You’ll also find local variety stores, such as Richards, that sell everything from ice cube trays to toys and cards.
The Buckhead Theater is a great spot to catch live entertainment and lectures. It has multiple monitors for watching whatever is on stage, and a full bar area greets concert-goers at the lower level.
Inman Park is a thriving Atlanta neighborhood with Victorian homes, tree-lined streets and a lively commercial district. It is also home to one of Atlanta’s most-anticipated annual festivals.
In the 1970’s, a group of dedicated residents launched a fight to preserve historic intown neighborhoods. Many of the buildings in Inman Park were to be demolished, paving the way for several highways.
The community fought to save its historic charm and has since reclaimed its status as a desirable intown neighborhood. Its diverse housing mix is a testament to its resilience and inclusivity.
As a walker or biker along Inman Park’s section of the BeltLine, local businesses lure you off the trail with open air dining and cocktails. Victory Sandwich Bar’s epically cheap sliders and Jack-and-Coke slushies pair well with peach popsicles at King of Pops’. Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall are among the progressive restaurants and bars that showcase the Inman Park spirit.