This business hub is also a happening vacation spot. Here’s how to navigate the sprawling city. —By Mike JordanLess
WHERE TO GO | Take a day to tour the Martin Luther King Jr., National Historical Park, which encompasses several buildings around Auburn Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward. Don’t miss Ebenezer Baptist Church (where Dr. King preached Sunday sermons); the King Center, which displays some of his writings; and the eternal flame near Coretta and Martin’s tombs at the King Center.
WHERE TO EAT | While Atlanta has no shortage of winning breakfast restaurants, Erika Council’s Bomb Biscuits are among the best in this highly competitive biscuit-baking town, particularly when crafted as “Glori-Fried” chicken sandwiches.
WHERE TO DRINK | Ticonderoga Club, at the Krog Street Market, is a cozy, eccentrically furnished cocktail den that offers well-priced wines, various ways to enjoy Sherry (glass, bottle or flight) and first-rate cocktails like the Hootchy Cider Punch.
THE ESSENTIAL STOP | Among the most significant city landmarks to open in the last decade is Ponce City Market, housed in a 2.1-million-square-foot building that once served as a Sears, Roebuck and Co. retail and distribution center. Whether you’re looking for a flower shop, bookstore, women’s or men’s apparel, toys or furniture, there’s plenty to purchase, plus a wide-ranging food hall downstairs, a carnival-inspired rooftop area and always a steady flow of visitors.
WHERE TO STAY | Embracing its somewhat seedy history as part of its beguiling appeal, the 1920s Hotel Clermont energetically reopened in 2018, with 94 restored rooms and public areas (including a panoramic-view rooftop and a French-American restaurant) and quotes from Atlanta hip-hop group OutKast etched on room safes. The building’s basement is still home to Atlanta’s oldest strip club, Clermont Lounge.
WHERE TO GO | Full of history and meticulously maintained, the 54-acre Decatur Cemetery encompasses winding walkable paths and a pond that hosts swans, ducks, fish and turtles. It’s also the final resting place to more than 20,000 people, with the earliest graves dating back to 1827. Take a self-guided walking tour that points out some of the more notable occupants.
WHERE TO EAT | Atlanta native Ron Hsu and Aaron Phillip honed their chef skills together at New York City’s Le Bernardin before opening the exceptional-yet-deceptively-casual Lazy Betty. On offer: arguably the city’s most impressive tasting menu.
WHERE TO DRINK | Among the first Black-owned brick-and-mortar breweries in Georgia, Hippin Hops began with a lounge in the always hopping East Atlanta Village neighborhood. There’s now another location, in the East Lake neighborhood, which distills its own spirits. Stop in at either spot for a Beer Mosa pitcher (peach, mango and pineapple juices topped with sour beer), or a flight of several fresh-brewed beers.
THE ESSENTIAL STOP | Lively Decatur Square is lined with shops. Check out Sq/Ft for eclectic gifts, Squash Blossom for earthy women’s fashion and a well-curated selection of books at Little Shop of Stories.
WHERE TO STAY | Set in a bamboo forest in the middle of East Atlanta is a small farm for rescued llamas and alpacas. That’s also where you’ll find the Atlanta Alpaca Treehouse, a vacation rental built for two and furnished with antiques. If you’d rather not spend the night, you can also follow in the footsteps of singer Billie Eilish and take a one-hour tour of the alpaca farm.