Being able to driving to other states and amazing cities is one of the many advantages of living in the south. Tyler had a class in Atlanta for his physical therapy license, which meant a quick weekend trip to Georgia, a state I had never been. We checked into the only boutique hotel in downtown Atlanta, The Ellis Hotel. Although the room was a bit small (And I don’t know if I would classify it as luxury), it was a great hotel walking distance to midtown and a short Uber to the Inman Park area. We grabbed dinner steps from our hotel at Alma Cucina, an elevated, contemporary take on Mexican and Latin American cuisine. I ordered the Just Wear Black made with milagro blanco tequila, agave syrup, and hand-squeezed lime juice. And, yes, I ordered it spicy (and minimal agave). It was a refreshing drink after driving six hours. From there, we ordered guacamole; the salsa trio; grilled carrots with queso requeson, Brussels sprouts, hazelnuts, and mole vinaigrette; grilled octopus confit with marble potatoes, chorizo verde, and salsa macha verde; delicata squash salad with poblanos, roasted apples, pepitas, and apple guajillo; and fried cod street tacos with cabbage slaw and passion fruit vinegar. Everything was bright, fresh, and surprising light for Mexican fare.
The next morning we grabbed a quick coffee, Tyler headed to his class and I walked to a Pilates class at Stellar Bodies. Atlanta’s downtown and midtown are walkable and the 2 mile walk was a great warm up for my workout. Sadly, there aren’t any Pilates studios in Raleigh (or the surrounding areas) that teach the Lagree Method (megaformer), so when I found that type of class at Stellar Bodies, I jumped at the chance to join in my favorite method of Pilates. Stellar Bodies is tucked away in a adorable little bungalow in the middle of midtown. I quickly got myself situated on my machine and was on my way. The instructor was incredibly friendly, energizing, and pushed us all to our limit. If you want a great workout while visiting Atlanta, I highly recommend getting yourself a megaformer at Stellar Bodies.
After my walk back to our hotel, I grabbed a quick Uber to the Ponce City Market. Housed in the historic Sears, Roebuck & Co. building, the Ponce City Market is a vibrant community hub with a Central Food Hall, various shops, flats and offices. There’s also a beer garden on their roof you can only access with a reservation (so make one in advance) or by paying a $10 fee to the amusement park on the roof. After walking around the shops, which includes national stores and stores unique to Atlanta, I grabbed lunch at Minero, a casual Mexican (I guess I was craving Mexican) eatery. The James Beard award-winning Chef Sean Brock offers a collection of dishes inspired by the flavors and culture of Mexico in a the fun and lively environment. I had visited their Charleston, SC, location and had the best cauliflower tacos, so this time around I tried their delicious Mexican chopped salad. It came with an avocado vinaigrette, that I wish I could have bottled and taken home. I also recommend their guacamole and salsa trio. It’s a great start to your meal.
I headed back to the hotel and prepared for my glam session. Yep, beGlammed, a mobile hair, makeup, and nails app services Atlanta (and 24 other cities), so I figured I would take this time for some much needed pampering. In the hands of Jasmane and Ronda, I had my makeup, hair and nails done. Not having much of an idea of what I wanted, Ronda, the makeup artist, did a perfect look for a casual night out. When I have my makeup done, sometimes the artist can cake it on, but my skin could breathe and the makeup felt light. Jasmane did a simple, clean gel manicure and pedicure. Have you had your nails done at your home or hotel? I don’t ever want to do it any other way now! Jasmane finished the look with voluminous waves and a braid and I was ready for my night out! If you are traveling and want a little pamper session (because we all deserve it), download their app. The whole process is super easy and their appointment managers are easily accessible and will help you along the way.
That night we started at New Realm Brewing, a huge brewery in warehouse on the Beltline. With a gorgeous view of the city from their large outdoor space, it was a great place to share a pint before heading to dinner. We walked on the Beltline to the neighborhood of Inman Park. It reminded both Tyler and I of Abbot Kinney in Los Angeles. Streets full of people and full of unique restaurants. We headed to Hampton + Hudson, a restaurant and bar with local fare and craft beer and cocktails. Just a little warning, any restaurant over in this area will have a bit of a wait and crowds. From there, we made our last stop at Barcelona Wine Bar (they are paperless for all payments) for a night cap!
With the rain pouring down and a six hour drive ahead of us, we headed back to Raleigh the next morning. Although it was a quick trip, we had a blast and really got to experience a good chunk of Atlanta. We can’t wait to go back and continue the exploring.