While there is plenty to do right here at home in Charlotte, sometimes Charlotteans need a little time to get away from home and try offerings from another place. There’s no need to leave the region, however, when the big city of Atlanta is so close by. Atlanta boasts all the charm and friendliness that comes with being a southern city, with all of the convenience and life of a large city. Enjoy plenty of fun things to do, comfortable places to stay and delicious restaurants all just a road trip away.
Getting to Atlanta is easier than it would be to get lost. Just hop on I-85 and head south. There are no shortage of signs along the way to let you know you are headed in the right direction, and you’ll start seeing the skyline from a good 20 miles away on a clear day. Travel through upper South Carolina and part of Northern Georgia The drive is all interstate, but still pretty as it goes through mostly rural areas with lots of trees and hilly terrain. The total drive of 235 miles lasts roughly hours
What To Do
Stone Mountain Park
1000 Robert E. Lee Drive
Stone Mountain, GA 30083
Price: $10 parking fee per car
Sometimes called the Mount Rushmore of the South, Stone Mountain itself is a huge bald-faced granite mountain — the largest piece of exposed granite in the world — just outside of Atlanta. On its face is carved a large memorial depiction of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. Many attractions have been added to the park over the years, including family adventure parks, a train ride around the base of the mountain and a skyline cable car ride to the top of the mountain. Hike to the top: It takes about 90 minutes to do so, and there are pavilions along the way to stop and rest in a shady spot. By far the most popular attraction is a laser show that takes place on the face of the mountain, which is free with your parking fee.
Georgia State Capitol
206 Washington St.
Atlanta, GA 30334
On any given trip through Atlanta, a visitor to the city or even just passing through the city may notice the gold dome of the State Capitol Building, which is open for free self-guided tours. In addition, explore a museum in the building with a wide array of artifacts detailing Georgia history. Visit the Hall of Valor on the first floor to see preserved historic battle flags of years and battles gone by.
Self Discovery Center Bed and Breakfast
1315 S. Ponce de Leon Ave. Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30306
Price: from $85
Self Discovery Center is a yoga-focused inn. Enjoy one of three rooms, each with its own bathroom, and a vegetarian breakfast in the morning. The kitchen may be used by guests at other times during the day, only if it is used to prepare vegetarian meals. Yoga classes are offered to guests at half price, as is massage therapy. The brick house is located across the street from a park and offers plenty of parking space.
Sugar Magnolia B&B
804 Edgewood Ave. Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30307
Click here for prices and availability
Sugar Magnolia is a beautifully restored Victorian home in a historic neighborhood just minutes from downtown Atlanta. Painted ceilings, large fireplaces and a huge crystal chandalier near a grand staircase call to mind the beauty of old Atlanta. The home was built in 1892 by a well-known Atlanta businessman. Enjoy your continental breakfast in your room or in the elegant dining room. Another feature of this inn is a rooftop deck with a waterfall garden.
Where To Eat
Meehan’s Public House Downtown
200 Peachtree St. Northwest
Atlanta, GA 30303
Meehan’s is a bit of an Irish pub from the past: Beer, ale and other liquors abound, but there is plenty of good food to eat as well. Try some shepherd’s pie or bangers and mash (sausage and mashed potatoes). To stay within the familiar foods, Meehan’s also offers buffalo wings and hamburgers. While Meehan’s is right downtown, it does validate up to two hours free parking, and it is free all day on Saturdays and Sundays at Lanier Parking at the corner of Ellis and Carnegie, behind the building.
Gladys Knight and Ron Winans’ Chicken & Waffles
529 Peachtree St. Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30308
If you’re looking for a restaurant endorsed by big name celebrities, try Gladys Knight and Ron Winans’ Chicken & Waffles. In addition to the rather obvious main dish, enjoy southern favorite appetizers such as fried green tomatoes, fried catfish and collard green spring rolls. Dine on entrees such as omelets (several styles) and shrimp and grits. Several sandwiches and salad choices round the menu out nicely. There is a paid parking lot next door. Do be aware that this is very close to the Fox Theater and tends to get very busy as people leave the shows.