Intown Adventure: Atlanta in One Day

Only have a day? Use our editor's tips for exploring the heart of the city and its classic neighborhoods.

Baby, it's cold outside. But that's not going to stop you from enjoying all that Atlanta has to offer. I've created a day’s itinerary chock-full of my favorite places, from presidential hideaways to blissful spas and neighborhood joints, all of which are located in the city's intown neighborhoods. So bundle up and enjoy.

8 am: Weekday Workouts 

Five days a week, Monday through Friday, I start my day at 6 am in Piedmont Park. I'm an instructor at Operation Boot Camp (OBC), and I love it. The workouts change every day; it’s a great group of people, and the sunrises are simply beautiful. And you don’t have to join OBC to get a great workout—believe it or not, there are plenty of people out and about that early.

9 am: Biscuits for Breakfast

For breakfast, head to an Atlanta staple, Flying Biscuit Cafe, for comforting mounds of biscuits, tasty omelettes, creamy grits and organic oatmeal pancakes. There are now more than a dozen Atlanta locations, but we suggest the original Candler Park location or Midtown, which is right down the street from Piedmont Park. 

10 am: Carter Center

President Jimmy Carter and wife Rosalynn have an apartment at his presidential library and museum located right off Freedom Parkway, and actually stay there quite often. And why not? The property boasts a library and archives, a museum, an exact replica of the Oval Office and beautiful gardens.

Noon: A Healthy Lunch

MetroFresh uses the freshest ingredients, and local, seasonal, and sustainable products to create an ever-changing menu of healthy and delicious soups, salads and sandwiches such as Turkey Chili (or Mitchili, named for the owner and head chef Mitchell Anderson), Caribbean butternut squash soup, the signature Veggie Trail mix, turkey and Havarti sandwiches. It's good and good for you. 

2 pm: Afternoon Bliss 

Treat yourself to a soothing massage or oxygen facial at Blue MedSpa, a zen-like spa in the heart of Midtown. You'll feel relaxed, of course, but even more important, you'll get results.

Blue MedSpa in Midtown Atlanta
(Courtesy Blue MedSpa)

4 pm: Happy Digging 

Spend a couple of hours browsing through the vintage and contemporary treasures at Paris on Ponce & POP Marché. It's 46,000 square feet, so you’re bound to find something including art, antiques, furnishings and oddities.

6 pm: Neighborhood Dining 

Atlanta’s dining scene rocks. The city has thousands of amazing restaurants—from small ethnic spots to fancy, four-star establishments. I like to eat in my neighborhood (Virginia-Highland) whenever possible, and one of my favorites is Murphy’s Restaurant, Bakery & Wine Shop. This place has been around for more than 30 years, so they must be doing something right. Order the Bonzo cake for dessert.

8 pm: Cheers!

”Sit. Drink. Stay." That is the motto of The Family Dog, a Ron Eyester neighborhood restaurant and bar. It  offers good food, a great beer list, friendly servers and TVs airing live sporting events. Sometimes there's live music, but there's always a good vibe.