Georgia, Georgia The whole day through (the whole day through) Just an old sweet song Keeps Georgia on my mind (Georgia on my mind)
I'm say Georgia, Georgia A song of you (a song of you) Comes as sweet and clear As moonlight through the pines
It's no wonder to me why Ray Charles was so passionate about his home state. Melani my fiancé and I decided to take a weekend road trip to Georgia with our girls Fiona the Chihuahua and Harlem the Frenchie; we had both been there before, but this time, it was like seeing a whole new state. Below you'll find links to the places we went to so you can explore Georgia like a local.
We rented a Jeep and packed up our kids and set out for the nine-hour drive. We decided to leave at night, and I started out the trip which led to me seeing two shooting stars. It was unbelievable how smooth and meditative it can be to drive on the highway at night. Travel Tip: When driving from Florida you will have tolls so make sure to pack your SunPass Transponder, an aux cable for jam sessions, pillows, blankets and snacks of course.
Melani usually handles the housing part of the trips and settled on an Airbnb. I don't usually look at it because I love being surprised but I this place by far was one of the BEST and cutest homes we've ever stayed at. It also had a nice yard for our girls to run around and the owner is an interior designer, so we were living in a place suit for a homestyle magazine.
Travel tip: Staying in residential areas insures you are living among the locals and if you Airbnb you host will more than likely be able to recommend places you must go to while on vacation. This works best for us because we rarely plan our trips, so we base it off of recommendations and Instagram hashtags. We stayed in the Virginia Highland area.
While in Atlanta, these are some of the places I recommend you eat/drink:
Dr. Bombay's Underwater Tea Party- It's a small tea shop with books and a wide variety of desserts and tea options. Locals just chill on the computer there and when we went a family was hosting a baby shower on the other side. If you look closely to the right you will see they were decked out.
Ponce City Market- I tried Ramen for the first time at Ton Ton Ramen & Yakitori and it was so tasty,plus the portions were perfect. The market is an an old historic building of Atlanta with a huge food hall, living quarters and retail shops.
During the summer cool off and get 2x1 Margaritas at Red Pepper Taqueria.
Brunch at Sun In My Belly
Pho 24 off of Buford Highway took us to a different part of the city where we finally saw some Latinos. In the same plaza, you can find a Dominican eatery. Everywhere we goo we must have phoo.
For some incredible drinks go to The Lawrence. I had The Wallonia Cocktail and the fried oysters. Trust me you don't want to leave without tasting them. And if you drive about a block north you'll end up in the gayborhood. I wanted to go and eat among my kind but the parking was a mission so we gave up.
While in Atlanta, these are some of the places I recommend you visit:
Krog Street Tunnel- The tunnel is like a small piece of Miami's Wynwood jam packed into an underpass. The neighboring areas are full of hipsters and it's a nice way to gauge the art and graffiti in ATL. They also have posters and stickers of things to do that weekend in the city, local bands and just awesome free art. Oh yeah it's dope A F and free to walk through. (see first pic.)
The Beltline- Is a beautiful outdoor park with paved lanes to ride a bike or walk, and it's an excellent place to people watch, also free.
For a romantic date go to the SkyView Ferris Wheel. Purchase your tickets on Groupon and save five dollars and it comes with a box of chocolates. You also have to pay almost two dollars in taxes even after purchasing the Groupon.
In the Little Five Points area we went to The Glenwood, and it turned out to be a crunk fest. The thing about Georgia is that the people aren't cliquey. Everyone dances and mingles and the DJ, a white guy was throwing on the jams like you wouldn't believe. Jean stains on the wall and sneaker marks from the twerkers. It went down. We were thinking of going to go to The Graveyard Tavern next door, but the cover wasn't worth it when the club was closing in an hour. The Glenwood had no cover and reasonable drinks.
Then we headed over to Edgewood Pizza because they are open late, and it's pretty much the afterparty for all the club-goers around.
By far one of best weekend trips we've done and honestly, if I could find a steady media gig in ATL I wouldn't hesitate to move there. That's how amazing it was. I was also surprised at how dog-friendly and green the city is. Let me know if you've been to ATL and what your thoughts are or if you have other places I should try. We definitely have a second trip in the works.