We asked Ernest Zenarosa, Head Concierge at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta, to gather the savviest sight-seeing suggestions he could find—not just his own, but also those of other local connoisseurs, including some he works with every day at the Hotel. Atlanta is known for its lively mix of hospitality and its role as an important business centre. The city offers historic and cultural sites along with a passion for sports.
Good Enough to Eat
This city of neighbourhoods offers a lively mix of American eats that include Miller Union, The Spence and Abattoir. In the chic Buckhead area, try Restaurant Eugene, owned and operated by James Beard Award–winning chef Linton Hopkins, who emphasises regional ingredients and Southern-inspired dishes. In Midtown, the homey South City Kitchen serves buttermilk fried chicken in a renovated house. And downtown, check out the sleek Rathbun’s in the stylish Stove Works, a century-old refurbished factory building where modern American cuisine is prepared by its celebrated Iron Chef, Kevin Rathbun.
Got the Beat
When locals want the blues, they head to Blind Willie’s on Highland Avenue, Atlanta’s best blues hangout, with a stew of blues from Chicago, Memphis and New Orleans. For a wider mix of live music with an equally gritty feel, Smith’s Olde Bar hosts everything from jazz to country to Southern rock, and a combination of local up-and-comers and national acts. True jazz connoisseurs will appreciate the upscale classic sounds of the Churchill Grounds jazz club, featuring both well-known and local talent.
The Fox Theatre on Peachtree Road is a glamorous 1929 movie palace with Moorish-Egyptian styling on the National Register of Historic Places—reason enough to stop by. But this also is the place to see the Atlanta Ballet and everything from Broadway productions to hot-ticket concerts. Locals can also make an evening of it at the Tony Award winning Alliance Theater, Ansley Park Playhouse or Chastain Park Amphitheater, where concerts combine with al fresco dining and guests can picnic with table linens, flowers and candles.
A Family Affair
You can’t miss one of the city’s top attractions, the Georgia Aquarium, where whale sharks and beluga whales join a wildly diverse collection of marine life and a petting tank lures kids. For drier fun, take the kids to the innovative Center for Puppetry Arts, three decades old and the first of its kind, where the whole family can enjoy performances and a chance to operate some of the centre’s treasure trove of puppets. The World of Coca-Cola, Stone Mountain Park, and Legoland are great places to keep everyone entertained. Of course, families may prefer the simple pleasures of skating and biking, fishing and picnics, sliding and swinging at Piedmont Park. And nine innings of fun can be found watching the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.