Busy and Relaxed
I lived here for a while in 1989. A while ago but I still keep in touch with some of the people there. I had an excellent time and the people were super friendly. I lived in Sandy Springs. Plenty of places to shop, eat, have a coffee, arty places. A clean town and mixed religion. I am Christian and stayed with a wonderful Jewish family - I felt very at home with all the people I met.
Must go to Helen Georgia, where father Christmas lives. A touristy, but not crammed place which makes you feel relaxed and as though a part of one big family with the rest of the people there.
Night life good in Atlanta, lots of different types of places to go, including Jazz Cafes, Irish clubs, bars, clubs...no end to the variety.
You will need a car.
Oyster Fest is a weekend festival held in February in the Buckhead District. It is basically a large block party where beer and alcohol are more popular than oysters. Live music plays and the street, restaurants and bars are jam packed. The festival draws a large crowd and runs from early afternoon until the evening on both Saturday and Sunday. The party continues in the neighborhood bars until closing time.
Chattahoochee Recreational Area
This is the Chattahoochee River. Nothing to write home about, is it? Poet Sidney Lanier wrote poetry about this river. If he only knew how polluted it is today.
The Chattahoochee Recreational Area is a well-maintained park with a 3.7 mile gravel loop. If you are a runner, walker, or biker, this is the place. No passing cars to avoid, no exhaust fumes to inhale. Part of the loop runs along side the river, the other part cuts through a peaceful field of wild flowers, lush trees and vegetation. After walking there every day for years, I have encountered: snakes, rabbits, a gray owl, a silver fox, squirrels, chipmunks, gray herons, frogs, scorpions, and lots of butterflies.
On the back trail, I can only hear wind through the trees, singing birds, and my own footsteps.
In my opinion, this trail is the most beautiful place in Atlanta.
Phipps Plaza is one of two malls located within a short distance of each other in the Buckhead District. As far as shopping goes, I think Lenox Mall has better shops and better prices. Phipps is definitely the more high end of the two, with its Neiman Marcus anchor store, Gucci and Tiffany's and the like.
But there are a few good reasons to visit Phipps. There is a movie theatre here, which is good for passing a rainy winter day in Atlanta. Also, the Tavern at Phipps (see nightlife tips) is a great Friday night spot which serves reasonably priced food. If you're looking for sales, head to Lenox Mall, which is about 2 blocks away. This is the place for high end merchandise.
The MARTA is Atlanta's light rail system. It has two main lines, one going north and south (the airport is the southern most stop) and another going east and west. They intersect at Five Points, where you could transfer from one to another. Watch out for where each train is heading, though, since there are branches in each line. It is an easy way to get to all the major attractions in Altanta. A round-trip ride is $1.75 (upto 2 children under the age of 6 can ride free with an adult), but it might make sense to get a multiple day pass (press visitor pass on the machine). It comes about every 15 min and runs until about 1:30 AM. I was told by some that it might not be a good idea to ride it late at night, but I didn't really see anything that made me worried.