Three ways to get your Southern fix in and around Atlanta.
The Sanctuary: Piedmont Park
Honking horns give way to birdsong in Piedmont Park’s dense hardwood forest—made more accessible by a new set of footbridges and paved trails. Next year the leafy 200-acre park, set among Midtown’s high-rises, celebrates its 110th anniversary by opening 12 1/2 more acres, plus open-air classrooms for courses on sustainability. Save some time for a stroll through the adjoining Atlanta Botanical Garden, where asters, goldenrods, and other fall blooms are opening this month.
The Neighborhood: Old Fourth Ward
History meets hip in the O4W, the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr. A short walk—but worlds away—from MLK’s National Historic Site is kitschy bar Sister Louisa’s Church, where Owen Wilson and Lady Gaga have been spotted playing Ping-Pong. At local favorite 4th & Swift ($$$), chef Jay Swift puts an upscale spin on comfort food (pheasant-confit mac-and-cheese; pork loin with bourbon peaches). Need a pick-me-up? Head to Dancing Goats Coffee Shop (pictured) in the new food-centric Ponce City Market.