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Exploring the New Atlanta

Atlanta, Georgia

Photo: iStock

Widely known as "the capital of the New South," bustling, modern Atlanta is a city that constantly redefines itself. Once a sultry antebellum outpost—and then a charred ruin in the wake of General William T. Sherman’s 1864 march to the sea—Atlanta is today a cityscape of glittering high-rise towers (more of which seem to pop up every week), and both a center of world news (CNN is headquartered here) and international business (the city’s airport is the busiest in the country).

Hotels (7)

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    The Glenn

    Quirky, fun, and hip, the boutique-size Glenn occupies a former 1923 office building on a busy downtown block. A trio of supersize, bright red plan

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    The Twelve Hotel & Residences Atlantic Station

    A sleek, contemporary tower that anchors the newly revived Atlantic Station shopping/dining/living area, this all-suite property caters to families

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    Shellmont Inn

    Victorian both inside and out, this stately five-room inn—originally designed in 1891 by Walter T. Downing, one of Atlanta's premier architects—is

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    The Ellis Hotel

    This beautiful 1913 high-rise building, once home to Atlanta's soigné Winecoff Hotel, has been reinvented as a sleek, clean-lined boutique property

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    Four Seasons Hotel, Atlanta

    A grand, sweeping, chandeliered stairway right inside the entrance of this hotel lets you know as soon as you arrive: old-school opulence with a so

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    Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation

    This sprawling, lush resort known for its world-class golf courses occupies 10,000 acres along the western shore of Lake Oconee—a glittering blue e

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    Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead

    The grande dame of Atlanta's luxury hotels, the Ritz has pride of place on Buckhead's main drag, where fabulous shops and department stores abound

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Restaurants (7)

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    Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q

    Barbecue joints in Atlanta ain't fancy—they tend to be off the beaten path, littered with woodpiles, and somewhere between slightly and pretty scru

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    Watershed

    Emily Saliers—otherwise known as one half of the Indigo Girls—and friends launched this terrific southern-comfort-food restaurant in what used to b

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    Kyma

    Atlanta's long-established Greek community takes pride in this chic, modern paean to its ancestral cuisine. In a dining room that can only be descr

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    Restaurant Eugene

    Atlanta chef Linton Hopkins is a believer in the secret menu. When the clock strikes 10 each night at his classic public house, Holeman & Finch, 24

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    Bacchanalia

    Since 1993, partner chefs Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison have drawn raves for their seasonally changing, all-organic menus—often using produce

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    Table 1280

    Occupying a soaring glass, Renzo Piano-designed space inside the Woodruff Arts Center, this hip, minimalist brasserie has what may be Atlanta’s mos

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    Mary Mac's Tea Room

    If you only have one meal out in Atlanta, make sure it’s in the yellow-painted, country-kitchen-style dining room of this 60-year-old Atlanta insti

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Activities (16)

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    CNN Center Tour

    When R. E. "Ted" Turner bought WJRJ-Atlanta, Channel 17 in 1970, he laid the foundation for today's Cable News Network—the news organization still

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    Zoo Atlanta

    Founded in 1889—originally with animals stranded from a traveling circus gone bankrupt—Zoo Atlanta is now a state-of-the-art facility, where all cr

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    Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum

    The Victorian neighborhood of Grant Park (just south of Downtown) is home to the world's largest oil painting: the Atlanta Cyclorama, a 19th-centur

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    Atlanta History Center

    Set on the grounds of Swan House, one of Atlanta's classic historic estates, the Atlanta History Center features permanent and special exhibitions

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    World of Coca-Cola

    The history of the world's most recognizable brand—which was created right here in Atlanta back in 1886—is documented at this fun, interactive muse

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    Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site

    Encompassing a collection of different museums and historic buildings within easy walking distance of one another, the Martin Luther King, Jr., Nat

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    Georgia Aquarium

    The world's largest aquarium is one of Atlanta's absolute must-visits. More than 60 different exhibit tanks here hold some eight million gallons of

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    Krogbar

    Inspired by a trip to Spain, chef Kevin Rathbun personally designed this unique Spanish wine bar that has an excellent wine selection and scrumptio

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    Sambuca

    Part intimate jazz club and part restaurant, Sambuca is a good choice if you want a sophisticated evening out. The music outranks the food; the hea

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    Loca Luna

    Atlanta's sweet young things don glitter gear, stiletto heels, and designer blue jeans to shake their stuff on Loca Luna's large, high-energy dance

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    Huff Fine Furniture & Design

    This venerable retail establishment in Atlanta (open since 1957) is run by a father-son team of designers, Jim and Jimmy Huff. Many of the sleek, r

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    Peoples

    Peoples is a high-end clothing store for women of all ages, specializing in designer items shoppers simply can’t find in department stores. Co-owne

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    Vespermann-Cooper Glass Studio and Gallery

    Entirely devoted to glass art, Vespermann Glass Gallery showcases the work of more than 200 mostly American glass art specialists, including both e

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    Lexington Chocolatier

    Calorie counters might want to stay far away from James Chalifoux's boutique, where all manner of decadent treats are made with creamy, custom-blen

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    Kudzu Antiques

    Owners Kate and George Lawes have been welcoming collectors for more than 32 years at this charming Decatur antique mall. Named for the iconic vine

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Similar Trips (3)

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  • Green Travel in Atlanta

    Atlanta, Downtown

    Atlanta's green draws include the LEED-certified World of Coca-Cola museum, Segway tours, and Green Seal-designated hotels.

  • Atlanta's Homegrown Restaurants

    Atlanta, Atlantic Station

    Whether they’re in Atlantic Station or Inman Park, Atlanta restaurants—many with homegrown chefs— have hit their stride.

  • A Family Visit to Atlanta

    Atlanta, Downtown, Atlantic Station, Buckhead

    It may be a landlocked city, but with the recent opening of the Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta is now awash in more than 100,000 fish swimming in 8 million gallons of water.

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