Travel advice for Atlanta please!
January 24, 2015 10:18 AM   Subscribe

Hey mefites of Atlanta! I am going to be traveling to your fabulous city for work in early February and I would like your advice!

I am interested in finding vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free food; tea; a decent place to walk around; art or history museums; weird bookstores, especially anywhere that carries zines; and anything else cool that you can think of. I will basically have an afternoon and evening and then perhaps some time the next morning. I will have a car, but am also interested in my public transit options.
posted by bile and syntax to Travel & Transportation around Atlanta, GA (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You're definitely going to want to check out Little 5 Points. It's a great small area to walk around.
posted by polywomp at 10:46 AM on January 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: This really, really depends on where you're going to be. Metro Atlanta is big.

If you're only going to be in town for a meeting and will be in the core of the city, you may not actually want a car. Our light-rail system MARTA is solid, with two lines that run straight from the terminal at Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport (still the busiest in the world in terms of passengers) to downtown Atlanta.

A bit farther off the beaten path and you'll definitely want a car. Public transit beyond the MARTA lines tends to be a bit sketch, though I highly recommend MARTA for extremely interesting experiences. It is a safe place to ride, but there is always something funny happening whenever I ride it (and as a small woman, I am comfortable riding late at night, etc.).

I'm a huge fan of the walkability of Midtown, if you are flexible on location. Lots of tasty restaurants. All the ones I immediately think of are not vegetarian, but have vegetarian options. Piedmont Park is gorgeous and really fun to walk around in, and just on the SW corner of the park there is a bookstore across from the Flying Biscuit (a commonly-recommended Atlanta staple, it is good, but basically it is an elevated Denny's with some Southern options) that will meet your quirky goals.

Also in Midtown: the High Art museum and a bunch of other awesome stuff. I walk in this area day or night with total confidence.

If you do end up with a car, a visit to Atlanta won't be complete without a voyage to Your Dekalb Farmer's Market.
posted by arnicae at 10:47 AM on January 24, 2015 [3 favorites]

Where in Atlanta - which city in the Atlanta region? :)

If you're in the Midtown/Buckhead area, check out R. Thomas. It's a great veggie-friendly restaurant.
posted by heathrowga at 11:06 AM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

check out R. Thomas. It's a great veggie-friendly restaurant.

And open 24 hours a day!
posted by arnicae at 11:18 AM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I'm flying in and my work stuff is in Decatur, which is why I'm getting a car. I'm free to structure things however I want beyond that.
posted by bile and syntax at 12:14 PM on January 24, 2015

Decatur has an amazing dining scene and the square has a lot of walkable fun. Enjoy!
posted by heathrowga at 12:48 PM on January 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Decatur is so cute all on it's own!

Head over on Ponce De Leon to Your Dekalb Farmers Market. Bask in the amazingness, check out all the weird and wonderful foods they have!

There's a hot food bar with tons of veggie, non gluten items. They make a couple of gluten-free muffins in the bakery so you might want to get some of those to take with you.

I usually spend about 3 hours per trip in there.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:39 PM on January 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

You might try the new Atlanta Streetcar -- I think it's free to ride for all the first three months it's open. Here's a link with a map:

On this map, the blue square labeled [M] shows the Marta stops. From Decatur you could ride the East-West Marta line (the station is right on the square) to downtown Atlanta Five Points Station and then walk to the streetcar.

But as others said, Decatur has lots of interesting stuff -- you don't have to go downtown.

Have fun!
posted by gilast at 6:22 PM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This former Atlantan highly recommends Dr Bombay's Underwater Tea Party in Candler Park if you'd like some decent tea in the ATL.

Also, if you've got the $$$, Bacchanalia on the west side is simply transplendent. Best dining experience I've ever had.
posted by dis_integration at 6:36 PM on January 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

As a visitor I loved the botanical gardens!
posted by Toddles at 7:46 PM on January 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

I highly recommend the Michael C. Carlos Museum on Emory University's campus in Decatur. It has a great collection of ancient art and is a hidden gem. As for used bookstores, I've always liked the Book Nook at the corner of North Druid Hills Road and Clairmont Road in Decatur. I moved away from the Atlanta metropolitan area in 2005 and I was happy when I found out it's still around. It's unassuming, but has a great selection and knowledgeable staff.
posted by tecg at 9:37 PM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

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