Piedmont Park

Planning Your Trip

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Just as Atlanta is home to an exciting diversity of activities, so too does it welcome a range of attire. Whether you arrive for a high-powered meeting, to indulge in the latest Southern cuisine or to explore the wealth of attractions just steps away from this five-star hotel, here is what should be in your suitcase.

Ritz Carlton Hotel image
Ritz Carlton Hotel image
What to Pack

Make sure to see what musicians are in town. Atlanta’s Fox Theatre is a stop on almost every major music act’s schedule, while the lower-key City Winery brings in legendary performers who want a more intimate setting for their solo performances.

Business Travel
  • Southern hospitality is Atlanta’s specialty, and you can return that graciousness by packing clothes that adhere to the city’s unofficial corporate dress code.

  • Though a stylish fit is always preferred, Atlanta embraces color and pattern. Bring on your gingham button-downs, square-checked suits and bright pocket squares.

  • Linen is a classic in the South, so feel free to pack classic khaki linen suits and shirts. Keeping cool is a top priority, and you will not be judged for creases.

  • Accessorize with a pair of neutral pumps and understated jewelry. Men can add a pair of nice cuff links for an extra sharp look.
Exploring the City
  • Atlanta recently debuted a new streetcar, a climate-controlled electric car whose 2.7-mile loop stops at some of downtown Atlanta’s biggest attractions. Be prepared  with this quick packing list.

  • A comfortable pair of flat shoes will help you navigate the city in style and safety. Some of the local museums suggest closed-toed shoes, so best to pack accordingly.

  • In late winter and early spring, temperatures can dip at night, so pack a light winter coat that can keep you insulated if cold weather comes into play.

  • Bring your running or walking shoes because no visitor should miss the Atlanta Beltline, an urban reconstruction project that transformed 22 miles of abandoned railroad lines into trails and parks.    
Weekend Getaway
  • Home to more sports stadiums than nearly any other town in the South and a plethora of beautiful parks, Atlanta welcomes you to explore its great outdoors. Tackle the weekend in style with these essential items.

  • Pack your baseball cap for a day at Truist Park, home of the beloved Atlanta Braves. The ballpark opened in 2017 with exciting dining outlets including Gu’s Dumplings and Fox Bros Bar-B-Q.
  • A stylish brunch is a must in the South. Men should pack pastel shirts and bright shorts; women might wear a bright dress or chic jumpsuit.

  • If you plan to spend a night out in fashionable Buckhead, bring your sharpest nighttime ensembles. Some clubs do not allow T-shirts, sneakers or shorts.   
Whale shark swimming with fish in a tank
Whale shark swimming with fish in a tank
What to Reserve

With so much to see and do in Atlanta, a little planning goes a long way. Here’s what you should book ahead, from meals that define your romantic getaway to day trips that take you out of the city and into unforgettable experiences.

Southern cuisine is now a global culinary phenomenon, but nowhere is it done better than in the place where it started. The recently reimagined AG Modern Bar and Steakhouse inside The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta executes pitch-perfect Southern classics, such as braised pork belly and fried green tomatoes, stocked full of local ingredients. For a true local’s brunch, head to Murphy’s in the Virginia Highland neighborhood.

Head north on Interstate 85 for two hours to land in the scenic town of Greenville, South Carolina. With more than 600 restaurants (despite having only 60,000 residents) the town is a launch pad for Southern culinary stars. Make sure to stop at Passerelle Bistro, a local favorite known for its roasted trout and bistro burger. Another Southeast gem, the town of Athens is an alternative music mecca (R.E.M. and the Indigo Girls started out here) in addition to having the University of Georgia’s main campus. Whether you’re a fan of college football or independent music, the 1.5-hour drive south is worth it. 

The High Museum of Art is the leading art museum in the Southeast. The spacious galleries and beautiful architecture are a tribute to the 103 prominent Atlanta residents who died in an Air France crash in 1962 as they returned from visiting museums in Paris. The Louvre donated the Rodin sculpture called “The Shade” at the museum’s entrance. And Atlanta offers a wealth of attractions for all the senses. The World of Coca-Cola is a museum for the taste buds — see how the brand developed its secret recipe, and taste 60 versions of Coca-Cola from around the world. To offset your sugar buzz, head to the Atlanta Botanical Garden to walk through 30 acres of groomed greenery and see dozens of permanent sculptures.

Inman Park and Old 4th Ward are the newest neighborhoods to be seen in. Start your night at The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta, where Lumen Lobby Bar has a lively happy hour. Your next move is to taste the flavors of Cajun-meets Vietnamese at Bon Ton with craft cocktails and boiled seafood. Enjoy the house style classic cocktails before setting out for Nine Mile Station, where you can enjoy the city skyline from Buckhead to downtwon along with local craft beers from Burnt Hickory Brewery.

Ritz Carlton Hotel image
Ritz Carlton Hotel image

It’s not hard to find inspiration for your visit to Atlanta, but it helps to organize activities in a way that maximizes the fun and minimizes the logistics. Here, we jumpstart the process for you with two options: One for a 24-hour, whirlwind tour; and another for a weekend getaway that hits all the highlights.


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. 


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.


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.  


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.

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.


Sizzling Skillets. Breakfast is a serious affair in Atlanta, and AG at The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta is no exception. The Pig & Grits is the dish to order, mixed with Geechie Boy Mill pimento cheese grits, thick sliced Benton’s bacon and poached eggs.


Civil Rights Legacy.  No trip to Atlanta should pass without a visit to the Center for Civil and Human Rights, a museum dedicated to the achievements of both the civil rights movement in the U.S. and the broader worldwide human rights movements, as well as the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. King’s birth home is one of a series of sites that make up the complex. Others include the King Center, which his widow, Coretta Scott King, formed in 1968 as the Martin Luther King Jr. 


Food Crawl. Krog Street Market, a food hall housed in a 1920s warehouse along the BeltLine Trail, is home to some of Atlanta’s most exciting culinary enterprises. Taste your way through the stalls, ordering a po’ boy from Fred’s Meat & Bread, a local draft from Hop City, Hot Chicken from Richard’s Southern Fried and, if you have room, splurge on dessert from the Little Tart Bakeshop.

Walk It Off. Don’t feel guilty for overindulging. Atlanta offers plenty of chances to work up an appetite or walk off your lunch. Walk along the BeltLine’s Trail, a historic railway corridor turned multiuse train and green space, which stretches from Krog Street Market to Piedmont Park with expansions on the Eastside and Westside coming soon. As you stroll, take in the street art and sculptures, including William Massey III’s “The Art of Reconciliation.”

Late Afternoon

Modern Art Appreciation. The High Museum of Art in Midtown, the Southeast’s leading contemporary art museum, is home to nearly 15,000 works and of-the-moment exhibitions that have included a retrospective on Brazilian artist and photographer Vik Muniz. 

Fashion Fix. Georgia’s highly regarded Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) opened its fashion museum, SCAD Fash, in Atlanta in 2015. Fashionistas won’t want to miss the 27,000-square-foot homage to style and design, which includes a lecture hall and media lounge. Past exhibits have examined the influence of legends like Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera.


Black Swan. Catch a performance by the Atlanta Ballet, the longest continuously performing ballet company in the country. The annual “Nutcracker” show is always a favorite.

Southern Hospitality. Enjoy a late dinner at prolific Atlanta restaurateur Ford Fry’s convivial Beetlecat restaurant., where oysters and globally inspired seafood are the star of the show. Order a dozen on the half-shell to start before moving on to mains like whole branzino and crispy cod. 


Sweat up an Appetite. Wake up early and get a jump on your way with a work out at the reimagined Fitness Center located on the 4th floor. Offering Peloton Bikes, additional space with free weights, equipment by TechnoGym and FitnessOnDemand™ classes in the dedicated movement studio, it’s easy to find your favorite way to stay fit.

Southern Brunch. Brunch is an all-day affair at West Egg Café. Order like a local and pair a Peppered Pig Bloody Mary, spiked with bacon and olives, with the country ham eggs Benedict served with garlic grits.


Old School. Shop for antique furnishings, limited-edition art prints, vintage suitcases, taxidermy and other oddities at Paris on Ponce, a 46,000-square-foot antiques emporium with 30-plus vendors.

Be a Bookworm. Browse the independent shops and boutiques along the Westside. Wordsmiths and literary lovers won’t want to skip Cover Books, home to a highbrow selection of coffee-table tomes and limited-edition zines. 


A Moveable Feast. Explore Buford Highway, home to some of the city’s best global cuisine. Start your evening with dumplings at Northern China Eatery, then sample a few bites of a Banh Mi at Lee’s Bakery, before moving on to Yet Tuh for Korean Barbecue.

A Final Toast. End your weekend with a nightcap at Lumen Bar in the lobby of The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta. Try a Southern Skies Julep, which is a delightful mix of bourbon, fresh blackberries, fresh mint, lemon juice, simple syrup and plum bitters.