We’ve already gotten some teases of spring and are gearing up for the weather change. What’s a great urban oasis to enjoy nature?
The Atlanta History Center offers 22 acres of gardens, woodlands and trails for young and old to explore. Walk through the Goizueta Gardens to see how many fauna and flora you can name—(hint: wildflowers bloom in April!) Head on over near the Emory University campus to view a grand Tudor mansion, the waterfall or the dramatic 210-foot suspension bridge over Peachtree Creek at Lullwater Preserve. Also, just north of Atlantic Station you will find Loring Heights Park which offers a tranquil haven. This is the perfect spot to relax under a tree, read a book or have a picnic all next to the duck pond.
Festival season is about to be in full swing. What’s a spring festival coming up that should be on everyone's radar?
April is my favorite month for festivals! Not to be missed are the Atlanta Dogwood Festival and Inman Park Festival. Both are filled with entertainment, food, music and art. The Inman Park Festival has a tour of homes and a street parade, and the Dogwood Festival has a wonderful kid’s village. Both festivals offer so much and great people-watching!
Name a restaurant (or a few) with enjoyable al fresco dining.
Many in Atlanta look forward to the seasonal change to dine al fresco. Whether you want to grab a drink after work with friends or share a romantic dinner with someone special, there is no shortage of spots to see the sky and stars.
In Buckhead, I recommend Gypsy Kitchen and King + Duke. Over on the Westside, hit up JCT. Kitchen, Six Feet Under, O-Ku or bartaco. In Midtown, go to Henry’s or 9 Mile Station at Ponce City Market, and Inman Park has Barcelona Wine Bar and Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall. All are wonderful, and these are only a few of what the city has to offer.
Ramen is the perfect rainy day food. Name your favorite ramen spot in the city.
As ramen is becoming increasingly popular in Atlanta, there are a few spots I can recommend. If you are in Buckhead, stop at Jinya Ramen Bar and order the “Cha Cha Cha.” Based out of Los Angeles, California, this chain also has a location in Sandy Springs. If you are catching a wonderful independent movie at the Tara theatre, you may want to pop into Hajime, especially if spicy is to your taste. Another great spot is Guy Wong’s Ton Ton in Ponce City Market.
Name a place to keep the kids entertained when the weather isn’t ideal.
A very special place to visit for kids (and adults) is Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary. Located in Locust Grove, less than an hour south of Atlanta, this non-profit offers a permanent home for more than 1,500 rescue animals. See Baloo, Shere Khan, Leo and their friends! Although there is no admission, they do accept donations and I recommend taking the guided tour. It’s best to go in the morning, and often better if the weather is cooler or overcast. After your visit, you can eat lunch and shop in the cute town.
This one is for the tea lovers: where can you pick up a cup of warm tea?
Candler Park offers a truly unique spot for tea called Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party. The name alone draws you to this fun neighborhood tea and coffee shop that also sells books. You’ll be surrounding in vintage furniture and décor, [and it's also] the home of The Learning Tea.
Another always popular spot in the city is Café Intermezzo. They offer a delightful menu filled with breakfast and lunch favorites, and is always hopping late night.
Art exhibits are always a great way to dodge some rainy weather. Where can you find a few in the city?
I highly recommend the High Museum of Art as it is the leading art museum in the Southeast. Currently there is a powerful exhibit on the top floor commemorating the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Taking the title from his speech, “'A Fire That No Water Could Put Out': Civil Rights Photography" is on view until April 29.
In November, a highly anticipated exhibit is coming to the High Museum. Entitled "Infinity Mirrors," this not-to-be-missed exhibition will showcase the work of Yayoi Kusama, one of the twentieth century’s most influential artists.