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Fall-Inspired Food & Experiences in Atlanta

Indulge in Atlanta's fall bounty with these four festive ideas

There’s something about crisp autumn air that creates a hankering for anything spiced. Just before the holidays and grays of winter, fall evokes settling down and cozying up. Complement Atlanta’s colorful fall palette with these four products, experiences and dishes that quintessentially and unmistakably capture this season of transition. 

Ritz-Carlton facial in Atlanta, Georgia
Relaxing facial at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead spa (Courtesy The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead)

Pumpkin Facial

The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead’s purifying pumpkin facial calms and detoxifies before the rush of the holidays. The relaxing treatment calls on pumpkin’s naturally rejuvenating effects.

Long leveraged as spooky, goofy or elaborate candle-lit decor, this fall fruit is far more than just a jack-o’-lantern. Rich in vitamins A, C and E, pumpkin combats stress and naturally rebalances the skin. The squash’s abundant beta-carotenes keep wrinkles at bay by neutralizing free radicals (which also help prevent cancer). The facial is just one piece of the stress-eradicating experience.

The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead’s spa is one of Atlanta’s best and most comprehensive. With an entire level devoted to the spa—including spa-level guest rooms and a full dining menu—it’s no surprise. Arrive early for your appointment, sink into the plush seating in the tranquil spa lounge and indulge in complimentary champagne or mimosas, healthful bites and infused waters.

A day at this luxurious haven is the right way to prepare for the family, gift- and event-filled holiday season. Invite a friend as a gift, or send the in-laws when there are too many cooks in the kitchen.

Pie Shop sweet potato pie in Atlanta, Georgia
The Pie Shop's sweet potato pie with brown sugar streusel (©Christina Chang)

Pecan & Sweet Potato Pies

Arguably the best way to capture fall’s flavors is with a homemade, melt-in-your-mouth pie. Atlanta’s renowned The Pie Shop takes the cake with its autumn menu.

The dark, earthy flavors of the bourbon pecan pie pay homage to the classic Southern recipe, which is less sweet and more nut-focused than today’s store-bought pies. Pecans may play the leading role in this luxurious dessert, but the creamy molasses and Jack Daniels filling adds a jolt of modern zest.

For those who prefer less liquor and more sweetness, the sweet potato pie with brown sugar streusel is a knockout. Whole sweet potatoes are baked and pureed in-house, treated to a signature blend of spices and topped with a crunchy brown sugar streusel. The resulting pie is a moderately sweet delight that enhances the rich flavor of the headlining starch.

Preserving Place preserves
Adult pear preserves from Preserving Place (Courtesy Preserving Place)

Autumn Preserves

Preserving Place offers a hands-on experience for food lovers. The quaint shop opened just over a year ago in the industrial Westside Provisions District, and draws on owner Martha McMillin’s Southern upbringing. McMillin uses her family’s age-old methods to pack jars with sauces, preserves and jams made from Georgia-sourced produce.

Let your inner preserver shine at one of her monthly on-site canning and food preservation classes. Autumn classes celebrate the season by canning its most bountiful fruits, like apple or pear, and pickling okra or carrots.

After making your own treat, scour the house-made products filling the shop’s shelves. You’ll find apple butter made with a blend of freshly picked Pink Lady, Mutsu, Cripps' Pink and Fuji apples from North Georgia’s Mercier Orchards. Hints of vanilla bean and orange in this apple butter are a welcome departure from the classic cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.