As the leaves were changing colors in Georgia, I loaded the car with video equipment and headed off on a road trip from Augusta, Ga. My destination was Atlanta's almost-brand-new College Football Hall of Fame. The goal was to visit this museum (the term museum makes the center seem so dull, and while it does cover the history of college football, this place is far from boring), and then check out what I'd heard was one of the city's best sports bars, a place called The Ivy which is located in the Buckhead area of town.
About halfway between Augusta and Atlanta, I stopped to fuel up on some coffee in the quaint Southern town of Madison, Ga. If you're coming into Atlanta from the east, this town makes a great stop. Make sure to grab a locally-roasted cup of coffee at Perk Avenue, and if you have time, stop by the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center. Builti in 1895 as a Romanesque Revival-style public grade school, it's now a vibrant non-profit multidisciplinary performing and visual arts facility serving the entire Southeast.
When I reached Atlanta, I went directly to The College Football Hall of Fame in the city's downtown area. I spent much of the afternoon here (plan for at least 2 hours to take it all in), and this is my summary: The Hall of Fame is an incredible experience and a great stop for any ages. You have grown men acting like kids, and the kids here are probably dreaming of being hall-of-famers. It is extremely interactive and keeps you engaged, while being educational at the same time. This three-story building houses a great deal of video boards and historical items like old fashion equipment and artifacts—plus an indoor football field. My favorite part was the ultra-high definition 4K-feature film, "The Game of Your Life," which is shown in the Game Day Theater; I suggest watching it as soon as you arrive.
If you happen to be staying in the city for the evening, try catching a live sporting event at either the Georgia Dome, home of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, or at Philips Arena, home of the NBA's Hawks. Both venues are within walking distance of the Hall of Fame.
After leaving the Hall of Fame around 5 pm, I headed north to the neighborhood of Buckhead for a bite to eat at The Ivy restaurant just as it was starting to come alive with an after-work crowd of 20- and 30-somethings. This converted mansion is decked out with 28 flat-screen TVs and Buckhead's largest outdoor televisoin, which comes in at an impressive 300 inches.
Where to Go:
Madison — A charming southern town an hour east of Atlanta on Interstate 20. Take exit 113 when traveling from Atlanta.
College Football Hall of Fame — Home of the college greats and a wonderful place to learn about the sport. 250 Marietta St. NW, Atlanta
Philips Arena — Home court for the NBA's Atlanta Hawks. Look closely and you'll see "ATLANTA" spelled out in the architecture. 1 Philips Dr., Atlanta
Georgia Dome — The NFL's Atlanta Falcons play here. 1 Georgia Dome Dr., Atlanta
Buckhead — A wonderful neighborhood just north of Midtown. Intersection of Peachtree Rd. and East Paces Ferry Rd. NW, Atlanta
The Ivy — This savvy restaurant is a great place to watch a game and has an intimate feel if you're brining a significant other. 3713 Roswell Rd., Atlanta