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24-hours

Home to America’s busiest airport, Atlanta has always been a popular stop for a long layover. But more travelers are dedicating an overnight stay to truly experience the city’s culture and diverse culinary scene. Buford Highway challenges Atlanta’s former Southern fried stereotype. And the new BeltLine Trail is dotted with projects from some of Atlanta’s most talented artisans and chefs. Art lovers can spend an entire day museum-hopping, while theater fans can find award-winning Broadway shows at Fox Theatre. 

Day

1

MORNING
  • Park It.

    Nature lovers should head to Piedmont Park, a 211-acre green space where locals jog around the meadow or reel in fish at Lake Clara Meer. Every April, the park serves as the backdrop for the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, an arts and crafts event that includes a 5K run and live music. If you’re in town in September, head to the Music Midtown Festival to see performers like Bruno Mars and Mumford & Sons.

  • Best Breakfast.

    Nestled in the vibrant Reynoldstown neighborhood, Home Grown serves home-cooked Southern goodness sourced from local farmers (hence the name). Start your day right with the Best French Toast Sandwich, with bacon, spinach and tomato between two pieces of battered, griddled bread. 

MIDDAY
  • Shopping Therapy.

    Explore the unique shops of Atlanta’s one-of-a-kind Westside. Literary lovers should stop at well-curated Cover Books. Crafted/Westside is a collective of mostly Atlanta-based artisans and designers. The shop has a great selection of kitchen and entertaining staples, including flour sacks and tea towels with adorable prints and conversation-starting coasters and glassware.

AFTERNOON
  • Star Chef Tasting Crawl.

    Ponce City Market, a mixed-use retail-food space from the developers behind Manhattan’s Chelsea Market, is like foodie nirvana with multiple outposts from James Beard Award-winning chefs under one roof, plus much more. Start with oysters at Anne Quatrano’s W.H. Stiles Fish Camp. Follow with fried catfish tacos from Sean Brock’s Minero. Then, split one of the insanely good burgers at H&F Burger by Linton Hopkins. 

  • Third-Wave Coffee Fix.

    Head to the city’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood for an afternoon pick-me-up. Chrome Yellow Trading Co. serves Stumptown Coffee in its front café. Once you’re caffeinated, check out the back space, which has a tightly curated selection of ceramics, indie magazines and small-batch brands like Ace & Jig.

  • Local Art Stars.

    Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia to view more than 1,000 works by Georgia artists. Upcoming exhibits highlight works from Chip Simone, a founding member of the city’s photography community.  

EVENING
  • The Happiest Hour.

    Enjoy a preshow cocktail at Lumen Bar in the lobby of The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta. Drink like a local with a Smoky Manhattan, which pairs bourbon, vermouth and bitters with a smoky Scotch whisky for a uniquely Southern sip.

  • Broadway in the South.

    Catch an early show at Fox Theatre, a former movie palace-turned-performing arts venue in Midtown that lures big names including Aretha Franklin, Hillary Clinton, David Sedaris and Bon Iver. In summer 2018, the Tony Award-winning sensation “Hamilton” is scheduled to stop at the Fox, along with Broadway hits “The King and I,” “The Color Purple,” “Rent” and “Love Never Dies: The Phantom Returns.”

  • Enjoy an Award-Winning Meal.

    In 2016, Bon Appétit named Staplehouse as America’s Best Restaurant. The restaurant in the city’s Fourth Ward was born from the Giving Kitchen, a nonprofit that helps restaurant workers facing unanticipated hardships. All the profits, after taxes and payroll, go to the charity. With a menu of grilled Isle Dauphine oysters with popcorn butter and chicken liver mousse with burnt honey gelée, it’s a delicious cause.