I love being in a city. I’m a city girl at heart and always have been. I will very happily visit, walk, explore and live in a city. One of the things I find I like most about cities, especially those that are big and busy, is that you can still manage to maintain a respectable level of solitude while there. And cities are not about shopping for me either. I love the energy and pace of cities, I love the architecture and the streets, the way the city becomes a melting pot from prosperity to poverty, the way it feels as though it has a life and heartbeat of its own and Atlanta is no different. It is a big, brash, bold and energetic place.
Atlanta, originally established in 1837, is the capital of Georgia and is one of the most populated cities in the United States. During the civil war Atlanta was deliberately set alight and it almost burned entirely to the ground, the act of which destroyed most of the cities original historic buildings. Fear not, there are still plenty to see though which are wonderfully mixed with modern architecture. Atlanta also has three major districts – downtown, midtown and Buckhead. Downtown Atlanta is the main central business district, midtown is the second largest business district situated between the financial and commerce sectors and Buckhead is in the uptown district. It is said of Buckhead that ‘old money lives there and new money parties there’.
Atlanta is normally about one and a half hours drive from our home. Almost a 200 mile round trip. Atlanta’s traffic both in and out of the city very often come to a very slow crawl or to a complete standstill. If you have an appointment or a plane to catch it is always a good idea to leave a little extra early…….just in case. I don’t think I have ever ventured to Atlanta and not been caught up in some sort of traffic jam and this trip was no different. It actually took us just over three and a half hours to drive the Atlanta route with a jam snaking back for just over 10 miles. At times like this there is little you can do but sit back, relax and enjoy some music while watching the other drivers and how they handle the ‘go-slow’ predicament which can often swing between being very hilarious to very interesting to down right frightening! Patience in traffic in the United States is a virtue.
This trip to Atlanta was primarily to see an NBA (basketball) game between the Atlanta Hawks and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night at the Phillips Arena. The game was good – it was our first basketball game in the States, the half time entertainment was good however I somehow enjoyed the ice hockey in Nashville much more. Having said that, I cannot wait for the baseball season to begin with my chosen team being the Atlanta Braves.
Atlanta is beautiful at present. It is spring and the town is in full bloom with tulips and daffodils, dogwoods and azaleas, cherry blossom and the ever southern magnolias. Everywhere you look there is beauty and colour.
There is plenty to see and do in Atlanta. Not only do you have the city sky line to marvel at but Skyview Atlanta (a giant Ferris wheel), impressive sporting arenas, arts, Centennial Olympic park, sports games, great food, entertainment, theatres – there is always a show on be it independent or a major production, festivals, hotels – from opulent to affordable, shopping, gardens, history, wildlife (there is always wildlife in cities – you just have to know where to look), people – be they quirky or not, general city life and southern hospitality – bless your heart I’m understanding and so enjoying southern traditions.
If you are staying in Atlanta for an extended period you can and should purchase an ‘Atlanta City Pass’ which will give you admission into 5 of Atlanta’s best attractions such as the Georgia Aquarium, Zoo Atlanta, the Atlanta History centre and Margaret Mitchells house, the world of Coca-Cola, CNN studios, the High Museum of Art or the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. The city pass for adults is around $74 (you will save approximately $64).
On this trip to Atlanta we took a ride on the Skyview……which was amazing!! You get an air conditioned booth with comfy seating to yourself and a birds eye view of a stunning city.
Against the backdrop of the city you can see how tall the ‘wheel’ is
Dining out in Atlanta is a gem. From hot dog street vendors, local established eateries such as Mary Mac’s (it has been around for just over 70 years) to where we dined this time – Ted’s Montana Grill which specialises in Bison. Bison burgers, Bison steaks, Bison meatloaf, Bison ribs. The food and service here is great which is always a bonus. It is located downtown so if you are a meat eater (and you happen to be in Atlanta) I recommend you drop in here and grab a seat at the bar.
Breakfast from street hot dog vendors. First dog of the day…beef with sauerkraut, cheese and spicy mustard
Mid morning snack – second dog of the day – beef, onion, coleslaw, spicy chipolata sauce and banana peppers washed down with the local’s favourite drink….coca cola
Bison rib eye at Ted’s Montana Grill
Atlanta day or night is great. The best way to see it is on foot (of course) but don’t approach this modern city gently. This is the sort of place where you really have to jump on in with both feet then hit the ground running xx