The annual neighborhood guide put out by Atlanta’s Creative Loafing (our main weekly “alternative” publication) is like Christmas in March for those who love exploring our fair city. Every year they put a different spin on the theme and this time they went with a “dos and don’ts” angle. This being Creative Loafing, you can expect the best intowner-insider info with a healthy dose of snark. Here’s our favorite tips from the Loaf, as well as some pointers culled from our own experiences.
Creative Loafing’s Best “Dos”
- Gawk tipsily at the street life (Poncey-Highland)
“The only thing better than drinking on an Atlanta patio is drinking on an Atlanta patio while rubbernecking at Ponce de Leon Avenue’s street characters. Drink a margarita outside of El Azteca or down a Cherry Bomb in the screened porch of Friends on Ponce. Think of it as free entertainment.”
- Pay respects to Mitchell Street (Downtown Atlanta)
“This south downtown street- one block of which has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places - boasts one of the city’s best (and most affordable) restaurants, NBA players’ go-to shoe store, and a voodoo shop. If you’re looking for clippers, cross the street and pick ‘em up at the barber supply store. The best part? They’re all locally owned businesses.”
- Have a beer, spy on artists at the Goat Farm (Westside)
“Over the last two years, this dilapidated former cotton gin has morphed into a creative sanctuary. At any given moment the Southern Gothic compound is flush with working artists rehearsing, welding, and hosting dinners. Take a gander at the official and unofficial goings-on while making your way to the Victorian-tinged on-site bar/coffee shop Warhorse.”
Clickscape’s Atlanta Neighborhood “Dos”
- Take the official Beltline Tour
It’s free, it’s informative, and it’s fascinating. The Beltline project has the potential to transform Atlanta’s growth pattern and connectivity, and there’s no better way to get the full scoop on its history and happenings. The Beltline tour is a very popular outing, so reservations are an absolute must. They’re held every Saturday and Friday morning and last three hours - check out the deets here.
- Avoid only taking your out-of-town guests to the usual tourist traps.
One of Creative Loafing’s tips was avoiding Underground Atlanta, but we’ll take it a step further and advise you to avoid the whole Atlanta tourist scene to the greatest of your ability. Okay, fine, spend a few hours at the aquarium and the World of Coke, but make time for other experiences that your guests will really remember. Rent bikes or roller skates and wheel your way through Piedmont Park; spend a Saturday afternoon exploring the wonders of North Highland Avenue from Morningside to Inman Park; see some ancient stuff at the Carlos Museum. Make some non-manufactured memories.
- Seek out the King of Pops
Barring those with sensitive teeth, who doesn’t love popsicles? Especially when said sicles are the product of a local purveyor committed to neighborhood building and ecological awareness? Savoring the tasty pleasures of KoPs is especially imperative when the temperature in Atlanta reaches into the Hades category. You can access the website, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter for the details on where their cart will be docked next. My personal favorite: Grapefruit Mint!
Check back next week when we review the top Atlanta "don'ts!"