Travel Diaries: Atlanta Recap

One of my husband’s goals is to see all of the MLB stadiums in America. Being the great wife that I am, for his 30th birthday I gifted him tickets to see the Braves and Brewers play at SunTrust stadium in Atlanta. It didn’t hurt that now that we’re in the south, Atlanta is only a 4-hour drive and the closest stadium to our home city of Charlotte. Perfect for a weekend trip!

We kicked the weekend off by taking a half day on Friday to drive to our AirBnb in Atlanta. I chose a reasonably-priced one-bedroom apartment in midtown Atlanta with free parking and gym access. It was also conveniently located with lots of great places to walk to nearby! When we travel, we typically only use the AirBnb’s for showering and sleeping, so amenities aren’t that important to me, but the gym on site was great!

Once we dropped off our bags, we walked about a block away to get dinner at Papi’s Cuban Grill. I’d never had authentic Cuban food and this did not disappoint! Their skinny marg and Pollo Vaca Frita (pictured below) was exactly what I needed after that drive. Tequila, vegetables, and chicken: what more could I ask for?

After dinner, we decided to check out the Georgia Aquarium (it was a nice little break before we started drinking more, okay?). Once I knew we were going to Atlanta, this is one of the first “must-do” activities I put on the list. I’d never been to an aquarium before and this set the bar pretty high. The range of sea life was amazing! I particularly loved the jellyfish, penguins, and the area where you could walk through a glass hallway underneath/among a huge pool of different fish. I highly recommend making the trip if you’re in Atlanta. It’s a kid-friendly activity, but as adults, we definitely enjoyed it too. As an added bonus: all of the tourist attractions of Atlanta are located right next to each other, so if you plan on touring Coca-Cola or CNN (neither of which we did) or walking through Centennial Park (this we did do!) then you can knock them all out in a few hours without transportation.

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I asked around for advice on what we should do while in Atlanta, and multiple people suggested Ponce City Market, which is where we headed next! It’s super cool and full of different shops and restaurants. We got edible cookie dough from Batter Cookie Dough Counter and walked around. I enjoyed it, but if I did this trip over again, I would’ve saved Ponce City Market for a brunch trip. It’s nice because since there’s a food hall, you can get food and (alcoholic) drinks from multiple restaurants and consume it anywhere. So, if you’re with friends and you all want different things, no problem. Order from the restaurant of your choice and meet up in the middle to eat together! We also had a hard time figuring out how to get onto the rooftop, and by the time we figured it out, we were over it and skipped out. That’s one other thing I’d do if I go back to Atlanta: get on that rooftop!

By this point we were starting to wind down and walked to a brewery near our AirBnb called Torched Hop. They had great beers and we loved the vibe! I prefer breweries during the day and have a hard time drinking craft beer at night, but they had great cocktails so I was saved. My husband loved the beers though! We were really happy to find a good brewery because the craft beer scene is so big in Charlotte that we’re used to spending more time at breweries than bars these days.

That was our last stop of the night before heading back to our AirBnb to rest up for the long Saturday ahead!

Saturday kicked off at the gym in our AirBnb. My husband and I did a partner workout (in the caption here). We like to work for our beer, so a quick HIIT session did the trick!

Post-workout, we walked to brunch at Babs Midtown, where we had Blood Orange Mimosas with our breakfast food. I don’t remember what we got to eat, but I remember it being good, and I definitely remember those mimosas!

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Once we’d kicked off the day with drinks, we decided to embark on a drinking tour of Atlanta. First stop (at my husband’s request): an Irish bar called Meehan’s Public House. I usually love Irish bars, but it was a dark bar with only indoor seating and it was so beautiful outside I couldn’t stay too long. It would be a great spot to watch a game or spend some time in the rainy weather, though.

We headed out down the block to the Atlanta Braves bar in anticipation of the game later on! I didn’t have high expectations of a sports bar in the city, but my god, the service at this place blew me away! Our bartenders were extremely friendly and carried on interesting conversations with us while slinging amazing drinks. When we decided to leave, they handwrote a list of cool places for us to check out. It was so nice! If I go back to Atlanta, I will 100% go back to this bar for the service.

Based on the list given to us by these friendly bartenders, we headed to Little Five Points (not to be mistaken with Five Points–apparently if it’s not “Little” Five Points, you’ll have big problems!). This artsy neighborhood is full of vintage shops and dive bars and reminded us of our neighborhood in Charlotte, Plaza Midwood. We went to Little 5 Corner Tavern, a fun little dive bar. This is definitely an area I would explore more if I ever go back to Atlanta! It feels less touristy than the downtown area and I’m a sucker for neighborhoods with character, which Little Five Points had in abundance!

By this point in the day, we were ready for some lunch and headed to SweetWater Brewing at the recommendation of a friend. This was one of my favorite things we did in Atlanta. The brewery is a good size and has a lot of outdoor seating (perfect for day drinking in the beautiful Southern weather). The food and beer selection was also great! Apparently, they’re pretty new to serving food, but we were not disappointed. We each had a salad and beers (mine sours, Colin’s IPA’s). It’s not my favorite brewery of all-time (currently that’s Sierra Nevada in Asheville) but I’d put it in my top 10!

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Last but not least, we decided it was time to head to SunTrust Park for the Braves game. I had not been looking forward to it (my husband loves baseball enough for the both of us–I personally find it pretty boring) but it was the surprise of the trip. It ended up being my favorite thing we did! The park is brand new and beautiful. Working in marketing, I can fully appreciate the effort that went into creating the ultimate fan experience. It’s not just a baseball stadium: there are bars surrounding it and carnival games and a zipline within it. The food and drinks were super cheap (which I did NOT expect since Yankee Stadium was my only prior MLB experience). If you plan on visiting any MLB stadiums, move this one up on your list. And if you don’t, but you find yourself in Atlanta, I highly recommend catching a game here!

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After a long Saturday, we Ubered back to our AirBnb. We woke up Sunday and went to breakfast at Flying Biscuit (YUM – biscuits are the king of breakfast in the South and I judge people who don’t order them). They’re actually a franchise with locations in Charlotte but we had never been and it was highly rated so we checked it out. It was good and the service was quick, but my favorite thing about eating here was actually that the restaurant was located right near a big, beautiful park that we walked around as our breakfast digested. This also gave us time to wait for our last stop of the trip to open up: the College Football Hall of Fame.

Again, this was not something I was particularly interested in (sensing a theme here? not a big sports fan!). And again, I was surprised. Where I was expecting a traditional museum, this was instead a digitally personalized experience. Upon entering you get a “pass” that identifies you and your team of choice. The exhibits then change to display facts about your school. I wasn’t expecting to see much as a Syracuse University alum, but I ended up learning a lot about my school’s history with football. Colin, of course, had plenty to do as a Penn State fan. We also enjoyed the indoor playing field where I threw a pretty solid spiral directly into the target! Overall, it was a pretty good experience.

I enjoyed Atlanta, and while I mentioned there were things I’d do if I go back, it’s not someplace I’m dying to go back to (unlike Asheville, where I would go 100 more times). Have you been? I’d love to know what you think of the city and what you did while you were there!

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