Atlanta may be known for its busy airport and commercial headquarters, but there's much more to it. Young people have made their way back to Atlanta in recent years and with them came creativity and innovation. Artists have reclaimed the city’s historic buildings and warehouses and generous green spaces like the Botanic Gardens and downtown’s Olympic Centennial Park, have lead the way for innovative developments like Ponce City Market and the Westside Provisions district. All this investment set the stage for a vibrant food scene and a growing cultural legacy, making Atlanta the perfect destination for a solo trip.
Where to Stay
Atlanta is home to world class hotels. If you want to be in the middle of the downtown bustle, try the The Glenn Hotel (110 Marietta St.) . The rooms are spacious, many with views of Centennial park, and in addition to a great restaurant and cozy living room bar for casual drinks, there’s a rooftop bar that gets a big crowd on weekends. Buckhead is one of Atlanta's most popular neighborhoods. Try the The St. Regis Atlanta (88 West Paces Ferry Rd) or Mandarin Oriental Atlanta (3376 Peachtree Rd.). Apartment rentals are yet another option, with websites like Airbnb.com catering to those who need a little more room or who want to live like a local.
Atlanta is a driver’s city, and is infamously known for it's rush hour traffic. Avoid morning and evening commuting times and plan instead to spend a leisurely morning wandering near your hotel. Or hop on MARTA, the city’s aboveground subway. We suggest taking an Uber or cab at night.
What to Do
Downtown Atlanta has the four major sights on most visitor’s to-do lists: the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca Cola, the CNN Center, and the new National Center for Civil and Human Rights, all clustered within easy walking distance of one another. If you plan to take in all four sights, get the Atlanta CityPASS, which will save money and time spent in lines.
Get outside and get on the ATL Beltline (10th St. and Monroe Dr.), the redeveloped twenty-two miles of abandoned railway beds that encircle the city’s downtown core. For a starter course, check out the Eastside trail—two miles of hiking and biking trails that connect Piedmont Park and Ponce City Market. The Beltline is patrolled 24 hours a day and is safe for solo travelers.
The historic Fox Theater (660 Peachtree Street NE) is worth visiting for the ornate (and original) architectural details alone, but this is also the place to see dance, broadway shows, comedians, and live music. For art lovers, check out High Museum of Art (280 Peachtree St.). The High Museum of Art is home to more than 15,000 works in the permanent collection, spanning American, European, African, and folk art.
Where to Eat
Chef Ford Fry has been one of the driving forces in Atlanta's emerging food scene. Fry’s Atlanta empire includes Superica, St. Cecilia, King + Duke, Optimist, Beetlecat, et al. Any of Fry's Instagramable restaurants are a guaranteed memorable meal.
Another favorite of ours is Le Bilboquet (3027 Bolling Way), sn outpost of the longstanding uptown NYC French bistro. The sidewalk patio is a comfortable and chic place to dine solo. Miller Union (999 Brady Ave.) is one of Atlanta’s most celebrated restaurants and even the most cynical locals will tell you that the food lives up to the hype. Our pick for a fine-dining, white-tablecloth experience in Atlanta is Restaurant Eugene (2277 Peachtree Rd.).
With the success of Krog Street Market and Ponce City Market, the food hall has become a fixture on the Atlanta dining scene, offering chefs new venues for varied concepts, from small stalls to full-scale restaurants.