If you’re lost in Atlanta, chances are you’re on Peachtree street. Georgia’s capital city has upwards of 70 roads, lanes, avenues, drives, and thoroughfares with some variant of that name. If you’re looking for the main one—the one along which Scarlett O’Hara lived during the Civil War in Gone with the Wind—you’ll want to find the Five Points intersection downtown. Situated under a big round Coca-Cola sign, this spot is considered by many Atlantans to be the exact center of town.
Peachtree starts here and runs north through Midtown, passing gleaming glass-and-steel skyscrapers as well as many of the city’s most important historical and cultural landmarks along the way, including Bank of America Plaza (the city’s tallest building), the “Fabulous” Fox Theatre, and the Woodruff Arts Center, home to the High Museum of Art and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Of course, there’s a lot more to this warm, welcoming Southern city. Visitors to Atlanta fly into the world’s busiest airport only to find a laid-back metropolis with balmy weather, public parks galore, and the scent of magnolias in the air. With happening nightlife and a serious restaurant scene, Atlanta is the cultural flower of the Deep South.
Sites to See
- Oakland Cemetery: This big, beautiful necropolis in the middle of the city has lovely/creepy angel monuments, lush landscaping, and the gravesites of Civil War soldiers and Gone with the Wind author Margaret Mitchell.
- * Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site*: Within a few blocks, you can see the home where the great Civil Rights leader was born, Ebenezer Baptist Church (where he preached), and his burial site.
- Piedmont Park: Stroll through 185 acres of botanical gardens, hiking trails, and oak trees just north of downtown.
Southern Comfort Food
- Fried chicken: Try the super-hot fried chicken at One Eared Stag for a mouthful of sweet, spicy, crispy goodness.
- The perfect burger is served every night at 10 p.m. sharp at Holeman & Finch. Only 24 of these double-patty beauties are available at a time, so don’t be late.
- All the Cokes! Head to World of Coca-Cola downtown—where the sugary beverage was born—to sample more than 100 soda flavors from around the world. Flavors range from minty to spicy.
Where to Stay
- For history: The Georgian Terrace, a circa-1911 grand hotel filled with crystal chandeliers and white marble columns. The premiere gala for Gone with the Wind was held here in 1939.
- For travelers on a budget: Consider a small, boutique property like the Artmore Hotel in Midtown. Housed in a restored 1920s Mediterranean-style building, the hotel prides itself on providing exceptional personalized service.
- For a splurge: The sleek and modern Loews Atlanta Hotel downtown features sumptuous rooms and a farm-to-table restaurant. It’s within walking distance of the Fox Theatre, the Georgia Aquarium, and the Atlanta Botanical Garden.