What to Do in Atlanta

What to Do in Atlanta

September 17, 2013 | Best Cities, Best Cities and Neighborhoods

By Niccole Schreck

Last week, I spent a couple of days at the RentPath (the company that owns Rent.com) office in Norcross, Georgia—just outside of Atlanta. Like my recent trip to Seattle, Atlanta was a city I had never explored, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to extend my trip for a day. I asked my Facebook friends what to do in Atlanta for the day, and I got some great suggestions. Here is how I spend my 24 hours in Atlanta:

Where to Stay in Atlanta

A college friend, Melissa, recommended that I stay in Midtown, so I booked a room at the Renaissance Hotel. The rate was reasonable; it was centrally located; the staff was friendly; and they serve free wine and appetizers every weekday from five to six in the evening. (If you have read any of my other articles on The Shared Wall, you know how much I love my wine.) As a bonus, my room was on the fifteenth floor, so I had a beautiful view of the city.

What to Do in Atlanta

With only one day to explore the city, I had to be picky about my activities. I was very happy about my selections: SweetWater Brewery and the Georgia Aquarium.

SweetWater Brewery: I took a short break from drinking wine to visit a local brewery. I’m so glad I did! For only $10, you get a souvenir glass and tickets for six beers. Plus, you can take a quick tour of the brewery to see where the magic happens.

SweetWater Brewery - Atlanta

On the tour, I learned why I had never heard of this beer brand: it’s only available in Southeastern states. I tried the SweetWater Blue, the IPA, Georgia Brown, and the 420 Extra Pale Ale—which was my personal favorite.

Georgia Aquarium: When I asked anyone what to do in Atlanta, the Georgia Aquarium, which is the largest aquarium in the world, was always the first suggestion. I spent nearly four hours exploring all six exhibits.

Gerogia Aquarium - Atlanta

When I purchased my ticket for the aquarium (general admission is $37.45 for adults), a volunteer told me to get to Dolphin Tales 45 minutes before the show started to get a good seat. In a theater that seats more than 1,800, I was in the third row—close enough to get splashed! The actor and story were painfully cheesy (i.e. a man wearing a light-up cape singing ridiculous songs), but the dolphins were amazing! Seriously, who doesn’t love dolphins?

Some other highlights of the Georgia Aquarium were getting up-close and personal with the penguins in the Cold Water Quest and walking through the acrylic tunnel in Ocean Voyager.

Where to Eat in Atlanta

My friend Melissa is a self-proclaimed foodie, so I let her tell me where to eat in Atlanta. She gets a gold star for her recommendations.

The Vortex Bar and Grill: I arrived in Atlanta on a Friday evening, so I went to The Vortex in Midtown, which was only a five minute walk from my hotel. I snagged a seat at the bar and ordered the Four Horsemen burger, topped with jack cheese, mushrooms, onions and horseradish sauce. It tasted fantastic, but the bottom bun was extremely soggy, which made it difficult to eat. I hate being the girl eating my burger with a fork.

Highland Bakery: Melissa and I went to Highland Bakery for brunch. I couldn’t remember if I liked grits (or if I had even tried them before), so I thought, when in the South, do as the Southerns do. I ordered the shrimp and grits, and as it turns out, I do like grits. Melissa ordered her favorite, the Fried Chicken Benedict. Now that’s how to do breakfast.

Highland Bakery - Atlanta

Two Urban Licks: I couldn’t have finished my Atlanta trip any better. I loved Two Urban Licks. I asked the bartender what to eat and she recommended the salmon chips and scallops with gouda grits. Two servings of grits in one day? Bring it on.

Two Urban Licks - Atlanta

The salmon chips are a staple at the restaurant with good reason. If you like smoked salmon, do not pass this appetizer up. My scallops were cooked to perfection, and in the battle of the grits, Two Urban Licks took the prize.

 

What are your favorite things to do in Atlanta?

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