This last week of summer, we’re exploring the idea of a homestown staycation. Not just your typical staycation. We’re not visiting Atlanta’s Most Popular Attractions. We’re exploring some of my favorite places in the city that sometimes miss the typical “Top 10” list! If we miss your favorite, please let us know! Oakland Cemetery – Oakland is the oldest cemetery in Atlanta. It’s a neat place to learn about history- famous people buried here include the writer of Gone with the Wind, the founders of the Rich’s department store, the owner of Pemberton’s pharmacy, employees of the W&A during the Great Locomotive Chase, and so many more. It’s a beautiful place to walk around, as well. Living Walls ATL – Living Walls is one of the best things to happen to Atlanta in recent years (in my opinion.) This group uses street art to change our perception of community and public space. You’ll find a complete map of the installations on their web page. I encourage you to explore the city with your kids…make a scavenger hunt of it. The new places you will find, and the art you will see, are extremely rewarding. Step out of your comfort zone. Did you know that Atlanta is sometimes called The City in a Forest because of the sheer number of trees? That’s pretty unique for such a large urban city. Jonah McDonald recently brought this to life with his book, Hiking Atlanta’s Hidden Forests. 20 of the 60 hikes in this book are inside the Perimeter. We haven’t completed all of the yet, but of those we’ve done our favorites are Lullwater Park near Emory, and Cascade Springs Nature Center. (PS. My photos will never be as great as Atlanta Trails’ photos, but I’ll keep trying!)
Cascade Springs: So the chatter has already started about the next Hunger Games movie. After watching the first, I headed with the boys to The Goat Farm, which is an artists haven, but was also a filming location for this movie (and The Walking Dead.) My boys are so young, they didn’t understand much more than “this is a cool place to explore.” But I knew. So younger ones or older, I encourage a visit to this boho setting in the city. If you fancy a delicious lunch while you are there, Urban Pl8 is right around the corner and serves up a great menu that includes Paleo fare and outdoor seating.
Have you walked the Atlanta Beltline, yet? Maybe tried a Play Day there? We love the eastside skate park and playground, as well as the art. And we park near Arden’s Garden, which is always a special treat. If you don’t know much about the Beltline, take a moment to read my post about the value of these types of trails…which I learned at the Georgia Trails Summit. And whatever you do, try the trail. It’s a pretty exciting new part of the city’s future. If you would rather ride the trail, Discover Atlanta recommends Atlanta Beltline Bicycle for as cheap as $15 a day. They also told me about free tours every weekend.
If you’re going to visit all the latest and greatest that Atlanta has to offer, you’ve got to eat local too! I highly recommend Mary Mac’s. It’s always my first choice; however, there are several great places to choose from. Here are 15 kid-friendly restaurants that are locally owned and managed.
It’s our last day to highlight Atlanta Staycation ideas. While Georgia Aquarium fits into the “typical” Atanta attraction, I’m going to challenge you to experience it in a new way. We loved the Behind the Scenes Tour! It does cost a bit more than the average ticket, but it is well worth every penny.