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How to Have an Atlanta Staycation

atlanta staycation

Baby sister in Decatur

Living in the suburbs can sometimes make me feel like I don’t live in Atlanta (and some would argue that I don’t). But as much as I loathe the term “staycation,” it’s nice to spend time away from home but within the city. I’ve done it a few times before when staying at hotels to review them, namely the Omni Hotel at CNN Center and The Westin Buckhead Atlanta. This time around was over Labor Day weekend for my youngest sister’s 21st birthday, so we had to show her the town on someone else’s dime. It’s a time of year appropriately dubbed by a local newspaper as “Clusterfest” for all the activities going on including Gay Pride, DragonCon and Decatur Book Festival.

atlanta staycation

Edgewood AirBnB

I was in charge of planning the weekend so I booked us a night at an AirBnB in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. It was located in a warehouse-turned loft within walking distance of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and Sweet Auburn Curb Market. I wanted to stay near the places we’d be going and didn’t want to deal with the exorbitant rates of downtown.

Despite the fact that they didn’t take reservations, we went early to Kimball House, known as one of the best restaurants in Atlanta. I soon understood why, from the decor to the cocktails to the delicious food. All three of us nearly licked our plates clean.

atlanta staycation

Cocktails at Kimball House

From there, we hopped around town going from bar to bar, including The Brick Store PubWrecking Bar BrewpubSister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium and Joystick Gamebar, a video game bar where I used all my quarters on a Dolly Parton pinball game. We ended up riding around with a friend of my sister’s, but this is a great part of town for taking Uber and riding the Streetcar.

The next morning we were up for coffee, wandering down Edgewood to check out a new place Rachel had heard about, Chrome Yellow Trading Co., a hip coffee shop and boutique. From there we needed to run errands and get back to the suburbs to meet the family for lunch. On our way, we went by one of my favorite places, Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand, which serves quick breakfasts all day. We got their Mother Clucker, a breakfast sandwich made up of a chicken sausage, cheese, fried egg and comeback sauce.

atlanta staycation

Sister Louisa’s Church of the Ping Pong Emporium

Planning Your Own Atlanta Staycation (or Vacation)

Book yourself a place to stay that will be within walking distance, or short drive, from where you’ll be hanging out. Don’t get sucked into the downtown hotels if you’ve already seen all the tourist attractions. This isn’t where you want to go out to eat and drink. Check out the funky Urban Oasis Bed & Breakfast, which is right next to the Beltline Trail and Krog Street Market, or The Highland Inn, which is in the heart of Poncey-Highlands. You can walk to favorites like Manuel’s Tavern and Majestic Diner.

Splurge on a nice dinner. It doesn’t have to be crazy expensive but spend at least more than you would on an average Friday night. I highly recommend Kimball House, as mentioned above, as well as The Optimist and Miller Union on the Westside, Rathbun’s in Cabbagetown and Polaris for dinner with a killer view.

Pick a neighborhood to go out in and create your own pub crawl. This is essentially what we did on Edgewood Avenue, although we started in Decatur and Little Five Points. On Edgewood, check out Sister Louisa’s (“Church”), Noni’s Bar & Deli and Joystick. In Little Five Points, stop by Brewhouse Cafe IncThe Porter Beer Bar and Wrecking Bar. In Virginia Highland, make time for Moe’s & Joe’sFontaine’s Oyster House and Neighbor’s Pub. And in Inman Park, it’s got to be Barcelona Wine Bar & RestaurantVictory Sandwich Bar and Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall.

Brunch is the most important meal of the weekend. Get yourself up early enough to elbow your way into becoming the first mimosa served at 12:30. Everyone has their favorite brunch spot, but be prepared to wait in line at most places. Ria’s Bluebird is one of my most beloved, as is Folk Art Restaurant.

Do you have any more tips for an Atlanta staycation?

Get $25 towards your first stay when you sign up for AirBnB today!

Mentioned in this post
  1. Omni Hotel at CNN Center
    Hotel in Atlanta Georgia

    190 Marietta St NW
    Atlanta Georgia
    (404) 659-0000
    http://www.omnihotels.com/FindAHotel/AtlantaCNNCenter.aspx
  2. The Westin Buckhead Atlanta
    Hotel in Fulton County Georgia

    3391 Peachtree Rd
    Fulton County Georgia
    (404) 365-0065
    http://www.westinbuckheadatlanta.com
  3. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
    Attraction in Atlanta Georgia

    450 Auburn Avenue
    Atlanta Georgia
    (404) 331-5190
    http://www.nps.gov/malu/index.htm
  4. Sweet Auburn Curb Market
    Attraction in Atlanta Georgia

    209 Edgewood Ave SE
    Atlanta Georgia
    (678) 927-9401
    http://sweetauburnbakery.com
  5. Kimball House
    Restaurant in Decatur Georgia

    303 E Howard Ave
    Decatur Georgia
    (404) 378-3502
    http://www.kimball-house.com/
  6. The Brick Store Pub
    Restaurant in Decatur Georgia

    125 East Court Square
    Decatur Georgia
    (404) 687-0990
    http://www.brickstorepub.com/
  7. Wrecking Bar Brewpub
    Restaurant in Atlanta Georgia

    292 Moreland Ave NE
    Atlanta Georgia
    (404) 221-2600
    http://www.wreckingbarbrewpub.com/
  8. Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium
    Restaurant in Atlanta Georgia

    466 Edgewood Ave NE
    Atlanta Georgia
    (404) 522-8275
    http://www.sisterlouisaschurch.com/
  9. Joystick Gamebar
    Restaurant in Atlanta Georgia

    427 Edgewood Ave SE
    Atlanta Georgia
    (404) 525-3002
    http://www.joystickgamebar.com/
  10. Chrome Yellow Trading Co.
    Attraction in Atlanta Georgia

    501 Edgewood Ave SE
    Atlanta Georgia
    http://www.chromeyellowtradingco.com/
  11. Delia's Chicken Sausage Stand
    Restaurant in Atlanta Georgia

    881 Marietta St NW
    Atlanta Georgia
    (404) 254-0408
    http://thesausagestand.com/
  12. Urban Oasis Bed & Breakfast
    Hotel in Atlanta Georgia

    130 Krog St NE
    Atlanta Georgia
    (770) 714-8618
    http://www.urbanoasisbandb.com/
  13. Beltline Trail
    Attraction in Atlanta Georgia

    Beltline Trail
    Atlanta Georgia
  14. Krog Street Market
    Attraction in Atlanta Georgia

    99 Krog St
    Atlanta Georgia
    (770) 434-2400
    http://www.krogstreetmarket.com/
  15. The Highland Inn
    Hotel in Atlanta Georgia

    644 North Highland Avenue Northeast
    Atlanta Georgia
    (404) 874-5756
    http://www.thehighlandinn.com/
  16. Manuel's Tavern
    Restaurant in Atlanta Georgia

    602 North Highland Ave NE
    Atlanta Georgia
    (404) 525-3447
    http://www.manuelstavern.com/
  17. Majestic Diner
    Restaurant in Atlanta Georgia

    1031 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
    Atlanta Georgia
    (404) 875-0276
    http://www.majesticdiner.com/
  18. The Optimist
    Restaurant in Atlanta Georgia

    914 Howell Mill Rd
    Atlanta Georgia
    (404) 477-6260
    http://www.theoptimistrestaurant.com/
  19. Miller Union
    Restaurant in Atlanta Georgia

    999 Brady Avenue NW
    Atlanta Georgia
    678-733-8550
    http://www.millerunion.com
  20. Rathbun's
    Restaurant in Atlanta Georgia

    112 Krog St NE
    Atlanta Georgia
    (404) 524-8280
    http://www.rathbunsrestaurant.com/
  21. Polaris
    Restaurant in Atlanta Georgia

    265 Peachtree St NE
    Atlanta Georgia
    (404) 460-6425
    http://www.polarisatlanta.com/
  22. Noni's Bar & Deli
    Attraction in Atlanta Georgia

    357 Edgewood Ave. NE
    Atlanta Georgia
  23. Brewhouse Cafe Inc
    Restaurant in Atlanta Georgia

    401 Moreland Ave NE
    Atlanta Georgia
    (404) 525-7799
    http://www.brewhousecafe.com/
  24. The Porter Beer Bar
    Restaurant in Atlanta Georgia

    1156 Euclid Ave NE
    Atlanta Georgia
    (404) 223-0393
    http://www.theporterbeerbar.com/
  25. Moe's & Joe's
    Restaurant in Atlanta Georgia

    1033 North Highland Avenue Northeast
    Atlanta Georgia
    (404) 873-6090
    http://www.moesandjoes.com/
  26. Fontaine's Oyster House
    Restaurant in Atlanta Georgia

    1026 1/2 North Highland Avenue Northeast
    Atlanta Georgia
    (404) 872-0869
    http://nightcapfoodandspirits.com/
  27. Neighbor's Pub
    Restaurant in Atlanta Georgia

    752 North Highland Avenue Northeast
    Atlanta Georgia
    (404) 872-5440
    http://www.neighborsatlanta.com/
  28. Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant
    Restaurant in Atlanta Georgia

    240 North Highland Avenue Northeast
    Atlanta Georgia
    (404) 589-1010
    http://www.barcelonawinebar.com/atlanta.htm
  29. Victory Sandwich Bar
    Attraction in Atlanta Georgia

    280 Elizabeth St NE
    Atlanta Georgia
    http://www.vicsandwich.com/
  30. Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall
    Restaurant in Atlanta Georgia

    684 John Wesley Dobbs Ave NE
    Atlanta Georgia
    (404) 458-6838
    http://www.ladybirdatlanta.com/
  31. Ria's Bluebird
    Restaurant in Atlanta Georgia

    421 Memorial Drive Southeast
    Atlanta Georgia
    (404) 521-3737
    http://riasbluebird.com/
  32. Folk Art Restaurant
    Restaurant in Fulton County Georgia

    465 North Highland Avenue Northeast
    Fulton County Georgia
    (404) 537-4493
    http://folkartrestaurant.com/

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