Atlanta, a city with as many historical sites as posh clubs filled with A-List entertainers. I’m sure that I would need both hands to count the number of times that I have been to Atlanta, but I recently realized that I’ve never been to Atlanta as a tourist. So, while I was in Atlanta this weekend for the African American on the Move Book Club Awards, I decided to use my limited free time to visit some of Atlanta’s most popular tourist spots.
My plane touched down in Atlanta around 3pm on a blazing sunny Friday. With temperatures near the 100s and only about an hour to spare before having to get dressed for my first event of the weekend, I decided to take a stroll down Peachtree Avenue. Yes, I took a walk instead of rushing to get dressed, it’s the procrastinator in my blood. Truth be told, I have somewhat of a obession with walking cities, being that between Houston’s humid weather and spread out locations, walking is usually not a feasible option. One of the determining factors of choosing a hotel in Buckhead was being walking distance from Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza and only a short commute from Buckhead’s MARTA station. I used that to my full advantage on my limited schedule to be able to squeeze in my touristy travels in the midst of a weekend filled with award festivities. And let me not forget to mention that Uber was also my best friend. Unlike the higher fares that can be found in Houston, with the exception of my ride to Elizabeth Baptist Church, all of my rides around the city were less than $10 and even cheaper when I opted to use the pool option.
After my walk down Buckhead to scope out potential dinner restaurants, I spent a lovely evening at The Secrets movie screening with the movie cast and bestselling and aspiring authors discussing our literary chronicles.
Saturday, in order to make the most of my day, I awoke early to hit some of the most popular tourist spots on my list. With one of my closest friends as my guide, I was able to tour the Martin Luther King memorial, where both him and Coretta are interned, visit his childhood home, and walk through the Ebenezer Baptist Church where King was associate pastor until his assassination. Almost immediately around the corner, is the infamous Jackson Street Bridge, where I was able to get an amazing shot of the Atlanta Downtown Skyline. We ended the day at Lenox Mall and Wet Willies enjoying daiquiris before heading back to my hotel to get me dressed for the AAMBC Awards.
With Sunday being my last full day in Atlanta, I started off the morning at Elizabeth Baptist Church to celebrate the pastoral anniversary of Pastor Craig Oliver. Even though it crossed my mind to get some extra sleep, God has been too good to me for me to miss church in a city filled with so many phenomenal pastors. After a quick change back at my hotel room from my dressy church attire to jeans and a t-shirt, I headed over to the World of Coca Cola to be enlightened with a brief history surrounding my favorite beverage accompanied with a sampling of Coca Cola beverages from all over the world. I’m convinced that they are still putting the Coke in Coca Cola, because I swear I have been addicted for most of my life. Let me not tell y’all that one of my favorite parts of visiting Mexico were the Mexican Cokes that were restocked in our refrigerator each morning. Right outside of Coca Cola is the beautiful, scenic Centennial Park through which I strolled on my way to CNN. Due to my limited schedule, I didn’t get to take the official CNN tour, but I was able to walk through the building before heading to brunch. Sadly, I happened to be on vacation as another sadistic loser made history by shooting up a club in Orlando, and as I walked through the CNN building, I can’t explain the solemn silence that lingered in the air as people sat in the food court with their eyes glued to the news screens.
For a guided bus tour of Atlanta, click here.
It was bittersweet packing to head back to Houston from Atlanta, and being that I hadn’t seen my high school best friend, Victoria, in over a year, we decided to end my trip with dinner at Scales 925, rapper TI’s (now closed) restaurant. While the ambiance of the restaurant was sophisticated and elegant, we were so engulfed in our cocktails that we allowed the kitchen to close and ended up eating at Twin Peaks. I can’t say I was sad about it. I’m a sports bar girl at heart. I didn’t get to enjoy the Atlanta club scene this trip, but I still think this was one of best trips to Atlanta, yet.
Being that I have a sister that graduated from Spelman and a host of friends that live and have lived in Atlanta, I was blessed with a list of restaurants to fit my palates for any given night of the weekend. After leaving the awards show, I was famished, and being that it was such a great night, I was looking forward to a fancy dinner. Even though my Uber driver was appalled that I would be dining alone (and even volunteered to join me), I decided to dine at JCT Kitchen and Bar. Since I was in the mood for some good Southern comfort food, I couldn’t resist trying their Georgia Trout with a side of greens and house hot sauce. I would like to think I am well-versed in my Southern comfort food, and between the ambiance, good service, and delicious cuisine, JCT has made the must visit list on future trips to Atlanta.
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