The rare, the exceptional, the unusual, the unexpected: All may be found in Atlanta METRO. Take a hands-on cooking class at a one-of-a-kind school; slip into something fabulous from a boutique in an upscale shopping destination; pick up some just-picked produce at a farmer’s market; dine with a “redneck” or possibly Alan Jackson; fall for a sportsmen’s paradise—hook, line and sinker. There are come hither downtowns whose historic streets were made for strolling, gardens made fragrant with a profusion of herbs and florals, a winery whose grapes beg a sampling or two and more. Atlanta METRO’s special places put the exclamation point on any visit to the area.
Harry’s Farmers Market Salud! Cooking School
From hands-on instruction to demonstration classes, wine and cheese to tapas and sangria, Harry’s Farmer Market Salud! Cooking School offers an array of classes for every specialty and age group—proving there’s truly something for everyone on the menu here.
Address: 1180 Upper Hembree Road, Roswell, GA 30076
North Point Mall
With more than 140 stores, plus dining and entertainment options, North Point Mall is Destination: Fabulous and has something for everyone; it is the Alpharetta destination if you want to shop ‘til you drop. Don’t miss the American Girl Boutique and Bistro or the carousel located in the Food Court.
Address: 1000 North Point Circle, Alpharetta, GA 30022
Publix Apron’s Cooking School
Whether you’re a novice in the kitchen or an expert in all things culinary, there’s a class on the schedule for you at Publix Apron’s Cooking School in Alpharetta. The only one of its kind in Georgia and one of just five in the nation, Apron’s is always cooking up something delicious.
Address: 4305 State Bridge Road, Alpharetta, GA 30022
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
This historic district includes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birth Home and the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. At the Visitors Center, operated by the National Park Services, explore the featured exhibit, “Courage To Lead,” walk down “Freedom Road” and watch a video program in the theater. Nearby, visitors may reflect at Dr. and Mrs. King’s gravesites.
Address: 450 Auburn Avenue NE, Atlanta GA 30312
Atlanta State Farmers Market
Comprising 150 acres, this farmers market is considered to be one of the largest of its kind in the world. The market offers an array of outdoor stands where local farmers offer fresh produce, fruits and garden supplies.
Address: 16 Forest Parkway, Forest Park, GA 30297
Established in 1934, this 25-acre floral garden that once played host to ballet troupes and theater and Walt and Roy Disney, fell into disarray for many decades. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this garden sanctuary includes the Hillside Rock Garden, Japanese Garden and Sunken Garden with its trickling waterfall leading to a matching set of collecting pools. Other features: slate patios, waterfalls, goldfish ponds, hanging gardens and a one-acre granite outcrop.
Address: 3218 Roscoe Road/Highway 70, Newnan, GA 30263
Country music star Alan Jackson, who waited tables at Sprayberry's during high school, stops in for his barbecue, Brunswick stew and lemon pie when he's home. The late humorist/columnist, Lewis Grizzard, declared Sprayberry's to be “merely the best barbecue joint on earth.”
Address: 229 Jackson Street, Newnan, GA 30263 or Highway 34 at I-85 on Bullsboro Drive, Exit 47, Newnan, GA 30265
Phone: (Jackson Street) 770-253-4421 or (Bullsboro) 770-253-5080
The Redneck Gourmet
Pimento Cheese Burger, Gourmet Yardbird and Fried Pickles—it’s The Redneck Gourmet, owned and operated by two generations of the Smith family and voted the best restaurant to take out-of-towners to eat. Its evolution has paralleled the vibrant growth of Newnan itself and “The Redneck” has become the comfortable cornerstone of the beautiful Newnan square.
Address: 42 Main Street, Senoia, GA 30276 or 11 North Court Square, Newnan, GA 30263
Phone: (Senoia) 678-723-0235 or (Newnan) 770-251-0092
Oak Grove Plantation and Gardens
On the National Register of Historic Places, this circa 1835 plantation house is of Federal Vernacular design, four-over-four featuring central hallway with full third-story attic. The 20-acre estate comprises the original family’s cemetery and numerous garden areas, including four planned theme gardens: herb, pool, patience and vegetable.
Address: 4537 North Highway 29, Newnan, GA 30265
Phone: 770-463-3010 or 770-841-0789
Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
An architectural landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this Gothic-Tudor style mansion was originally built in 1920 for Charles Howard Candler, eldest son of The Coca-Cola Company founder Asa Candler. Today, it is one of the liveliest and finest arts education centers in the Southeast, offering more than 160 classes per quarter. Visitors enjoy poetry readings, storytelling evenings, music concerts, dance performances, opera presentations, gallery exhibits and special events each year. As one of the most photographed homes in Atlanta, Callanwolde is a favorite setting for weddings, corporate meetings or any special occasion.
Address: 980 Briarcliff Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
City of Decatur
The City of Decatur is located four miles east of downtown Atlanta and is easily accessible by the East Bound MARTA Rapid Rail. The city hosts a year-round calendar of events and has a large variety of restaurants, boutiques and more around the central Historic Old Courthouse Square.
Address: 101 East Court Square, PO Box 220, Decatur GA 30030
Phone: 404-371-8386 or Events Hotline: 404-371-8262
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Fernbank Museum of Natural History is Atlanta’s home to dinosaurs. Scientific discovery and exploration await in exhibits highlighting the world’s largest dinosaurs, the natural history of Georgia, objects of human culture, hands-on exploration of the world and more. Fernbank’s IMAX® films and special exhibitions change throughout the year, so there is always something new to discover.
Address: 767 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
Phone: (Info) 404-929-6300 or (Ticket Office) 404-929-6400
Stone Mountain Village
Nestled at the foot of the mountain, visitors will discover a quaint village of shops, businesses and restaurants. Stop by the Visitors Center, located in the old red caboose, to learn about the history of the area and its link to the Civil War. The Village hosts a variety of events year-round.
Address: 922 Main Street, Stone Mountain, GA 30083
Historic Downtown Douglasville
Downtown Douglasville is home to a variety of shopping—everything from antiques, gifts and collectibles to home furnishings and accessories to fashions and bridal accessories to Indian and Civil War artifacts. Dining options are equally diverse, with steakhouse, Irish pub, barbecue joint, Cajun café and more. Enjoy ambling along the streets of this Main Street City with downtown blocks listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Address: 6694 E. Broad Street, Douglasville, GA 30134
Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World
Bass Pro is a 130,000-square foot sportsmen’s paradise that encompasses a 26,000-square foot aquarium, a rock climbing wall, suspended float plane and Uncle Buck’s laser shooting arcade.
Address: 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045 (in Discover Mills)
Chateau Elan Winery and Resort
French provincial and Southern hospitality combine to create the 3,500-acre full-production winery that is one of Georgia’s largest producers of premium wines. Visitors may take a guided tour and tasting and dine at one of seven restaurants, together giving a cultural exploration of dishes and ingredients from regional Southern and All-American to Mediterranean and Classic French. Tour the art gallery and pick up the perfect gift in the Wine Market.
Address: 100 Rue Charlemagne, Braselton, GA 30517
Mall of Georgia
The Southeast’s largest shopping destination features Dillard's, Macy’s, Nordstrom, JC Penney and Belk, plus more than 225 of the most exciting stores in the country: Coach, Solstice, A|X Armani Exchange, Banana Republic, Christopher & Banks, Delia's, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Sephora and Williams-Sonoma. A shopping and entertainment complex, it also includes a 3-D IMAX movie theatre, restaurants and seasonal special events including free concerts, 4th of July and more.
Address: 3333 Buford Drive, Buford GA 30518
Discover Mills is Georgia’s value shopping, entertainment and dining destination, featuring the best names in one-of-a-kind retail and manufacturer outlets, specialty retailers and category dominant stores. Discover Mills is also the home of Bass Pro Outdoor World, AMC Theatres, Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament and more.
Website: www.discovermills.com or www.simon.com
Address: 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045
Historic Marietta Square
It’s hip to be square: Eclectic shopping, restaurants and museums, including the Marietta Museum of History and the Marietta Gone With the WindMuseum Scarlett on the Square, both located in old cotton warehouses—haunted, too—and all set around a beautiful turn-of-the-century town square.
Address: East, West, North and South Park Square (Streets), Marietta, GA 30064
Roswell’s Historic District
This 640-plus acre historic district is filled with antebellum homes that allow you to experience A Southern Trilogy - The Authentic Story of the American South, as well as a mill village, ghost walks, unique shops housed in period storefronts, excellent restaurants, special events, arts and theatre, bicycle rides and races and more.
Address: Roswell Visitors Center, 617 Atlanta Street, Roswell, GA 30075
Phone: 770-640-3253 or 1-800-776-7935
Antiques and Interiors
Find your shopping bliss at this 33,000-square foot showroom, home to more than 50 of the South’s most talented furniture dealers and artists. Famous for the beauty, style and comfort of the store and its relaxed shopping environment, Antiques and Interiors was voted by Atlanta Magazine as “Best Antique Mall in 2007.”
Address: 6336 Roswell Road NE, Sandy Springs, GA 30328
Chattahoochee National Recreation Area Lodge
Tucked into Island Ford Park at the northern end of Sandy Springs is the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area Lodge, a visitor center where you can visit with the park rangers, take a ranger-guided hike and pick up a Ranger Book for children that is filled with fun activities to learn more about nature on park explorations. The lodge is equipped with a meeting facility.
Address: 1978 Island Ford Pkwy, Sandy Springs, GA 30350
A unique shopping center development located in the heart of Sandy Springs, CityWalk is a shoppers’ paradise comprising upscale ladies and children’s clothing, home furnishings, gifts, books, jewelry and more. Browse the boutiques in their quaint town square setting where strolling and window shopping is cordially invited.
Address: 230 Hammond Drive, Sandy Springs, GA 30328
Heritage Green features the Sandy Springs Society Entertainment Lawn, the Williams-Payne House Museum, the original springs of the city, the Garden Room and gazebo, a wedding garden and a newly renovated office building with two meeting rooms. Heritage Green is home to the Sandy Springs Festival, Concerts by the Springs, Wind Down Wednesdays, Ghostly Gathering and more. The Entertainment Lawn overlooks the gardens and is an ideal spot for spreading a blanket and picnic and enjoying the music.
Address: 6110 Bluestone Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30328
Red Baron Antiques
International purveyors of high-caliber architectural antiques and antique American, French, Victorian and European styled furniture and classic cars, Red Baron is the oldest and largest antiques source in the Southeast. Its one-of-a kind inventory includes statuary carved by masters, exquisite lead crystal chandeliers, mantels built to warm castles, stained glass windows from Gilded Age manors and decorative arts fit for museums—all displayed in an 80,000-square foot facility. Auctions held annually.
Address: 6450 Roswell Road, Atlanta, GA 30328
Historic Downtown Villa Rica
About 80 percent of the buildings in Villa Rica’s North Business District, listed as a National Historic District, date from the late 1800s to early 1900s The district currently houses antique stores, specialty shops and restaurants, plus the police department and other commercial businesses. The new Amphitheatre/Park opens late fall 2009. Downtown hosts special events from April to December, including Highway 78 Yard Sale, free summer concerts, Gold Rush Festival and the Annual Pet Parade and Games.
Website: www.villarica-mainstreet.com; www.villaricatourism.com
Address: 571 W. Bankhead Highway, Villa Rica, GA 30180