+ Figo Serves Up Good Italian
Technically named “Osteria del Figo” but simply called “Figo”, the Howell Mill edition of this popular metro-area upscale Italian chain plays well with both the business and leisure crowd. Casual and cool, Figo is modern with lots of Italian flair beginning with the walls bathed in amber and the wooden bar and tables. It’s more spacious than it appears, accommodating large and small parties alike. Orders are made at the front of the house with guests then receiving colorfully festive pepper shakers to place at their table for food delivery.
Simplicity is king here, with the build-your-own-pasta serving as the main draw. Make a ravioli, short or long pasta selection and then pair it with a sauce. For traditional fare with a pleasant kick, try the Tuscan Sausage and Apple Ravioli with the Arrabbiata sauce (spicy tomato sauce with garlic and chili peppers). The Spinach Penne with the Salmone con Piselli (oak-smoked salmon and English peas in pink vodka sauce) is also good but, with over a dozen ravioli and pasta choices and nearly that many sauces, the combinations are truly endless.
The Caprese Salad, prepared with buffalo mozzarella and vine-ripe tomatoes, is a nice jump-starter. Tiramisu is a given but Kenny’s Key Lime pie, from the locally-based super pie company, is a welcomed American indulgence.
+ The Grotta Ristorante Italiano in Atlanta is not to be missed!
The Grotta Ristorante Italiano in Atlanta is an Italian eatery not to be missed. La Grotta Ristorante Italiano, an Atlanta tradition since 1978, offers fine dining in an intimate ambience overlooking a beautiful garden located in the heart of Buckhead. La Grotta has been voted the Best Italian Restaurant by Atlanta Magazine for 18 years in a row.
The Grotta Ristorante Italiano is also open at the Ravinia complex in Dunwoody.
The primary focus is Northern Italian and regional cuisine with some global influences. The dishes are inspired by the very old traditional family recipes yet are innovative enough to meet today’s sophisticated expectations. Menus are continually updated, providing Atlanta with the most interesting Italian cuisine. Among the selections you will find high quality vegetarian, cholesterol-free and grilled specialties along with unique pasta dishes and a wide variety of meat and fish dishes.
La Grotta Ristorante – Buckhead ٠ 2637 Peachtree Road NE ٠ Atlanta, GA
La Grotta Ravinia – Dunwoody ٠ 4355 Ashford Dunwoody Road, NE ٠ Atlanta, GA
Visit lagrottaatlanta.com for more information.
+ The Varsity – The World’s Largest Drive-In
The Varsity is the world’s largest drive-in restaurant, serving customers in Atlanta since 1928. People from all over the world come to experience The Varsity because there is nothing like it anywhere!
The original Varsity, located at 61 North Avenue, near Georgia Tech, opened in 1928 on a 70′ X 120′ lot with a white picket fence by a man named Frank Gordy; a man with a $2000 nest egg and “million dollar taste buds.” Through his dedication to freshness, superior quality, advanced technology and serving the best food fast, he gained a reputation that is known worldwide. The Varsity has hosted well known people from the entertainment industry, the sports industry, the Governor’s mansion, the White House, as well as visitors from all over the globe. Through Frank Gordy’s determination, the original Varsity has grown into a two-story “Lunching Pad” and there are now 7 sister locations. The Varsity has become an Atlanta institution known and loved by all.
There are now 7 locations in and around the Atlanta area. Stop by for some amazing food. Click thevarsity.com for more information.
+ Sweetwater Brewery
Grab a few friends and join us at the brewery. Tours run about thirty minutes beginning after the doors open so that leaves plenty of time for sampling and merch shopping – just be 21 and able to prove it. A designated driver is always the smartest bet. See you there!!
The tours are free, but $10 gets you a souvenir SweetWater pint glass, with 6 sample tickets for 5.5oz samples of SweetWater’s brews.
+ Tex’s Tacos
Affectionately dubbed the ‘Antonio Banderas’ of food trucks, Tex’s Tacos is nothing short of suavé – a fully equipped kitchen & restaurant on wheels. Serving-up a delicious array of ‘Nueva Texicana’ eats with style and grace, we keep the good times rolling…literally. Spice up your day and embark on a friendly adventure to our taco trough. What’s there not to love about eating deliciously fresh tacos, quesadillas, & lime fries out of a truck!?!? See texstacos.com for more information and locations.
+ Swim with Sharks at the Georgia Aquarium
Only one place can boast as the world’s largest aquarium and have a months-long waiting list for one of its exhibits- and that’s the Georgia Aquarium. Safe to say it’s one of Atlanta’s most popular destinations, pulling in millions of sightseers from around the world, and drawing even the likes of celebrities to its 550,000 square feet facility. It boasts a whopping eight million gallons of aquatic life, including over 100,000 exotic mammals from 500 different species.
Local visitors and tourists alike are overcome with wonder and excitement when exploring the scenic paths of more than 60 exhibits – with the main attraction being the Ocean Voyager. The Ocean Voyager exhibit houses thousands of fish including whale sharks, zebra sharks, sawfish, bowmouth guitarfish and humphead wrasses. Offering a swim and dive program, novice guests can take a dip with these gentle giants as their voyage with the largest fish in the world comes complete with mask, fins, booties and wet suit to round out your scuba gear. Skilled water enthusiasts can take an even bigger plunge as certified divers can journey underwater. If being hands-on isn’t your thing, watch all the action through a picturesque window.
Such an adventure is bound to work up an appetite for Café Aquaria – the resident eatery – which serves up traditional classics like burgers and fries, pizza and ice cream, or onsite catering from Wolfgang Puck, where you can gaze into an eye-popping backdrop of fish. It also hosts special events from weddings to Mother’s Day brunches. What other restaurant allows you to swim or just eat Wolfgang Puck in the company of sharks?
+ First Thursdays Downtown Arts Walk
This is the perfect opportunity to experience Atlanta’s art scene inside and out! Take a self-guided tour of the galleries — with no beginning or ending point — and move at your own pace as you soak up some fabulous contemporary Southern art. With its growth, First Thursdays has become more than just an arts walk. It’s an event where singles can meet, business people can unwind, and couples can enjoy the beauty of downtown Atlanta’s landscape.
Each month you’re invited to stroll through magnificent buildings and streets to enjoy the beauty of Downtown and the gallery experience. Come take a walk with us the First Thursday of each month, from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
First Thursdays ArtsWalk has grown with new programs and additional venues so that art lovers can view the arts, tour the historic districts of Downtown and enjoy various discounts at Downtown restaurants. Click here for more information.
+ Party with the Past – Presented by the Atlanta History Center
This monthly event introduces you to the story of Atlanta with free history and cold beer. This series takes place at a different historic spot in the city each month. Each event focuses on one aspect of Atlanta’s history.
History is the passion of the Atlanta History Center and this event series will be a great way to introduce people to Atlanta, the museum staff, and famous Atlantans (alive and dead). Please visit atlantahistorycenter.com for more information or to make a reservation or call 404.814.4000.
+ Stone Mountain Is A Nearby Adventure!
Stone Mountain Park is Georgia’s most popular attraction and features a wide variety of family activities. Located on 3,200 acres of natural beauty, adventure awaits as you discover interactive family friendly attractions and many natural and historical sights. Plus you won’t want to miss dozens of fun annual events such as Spring FUN Break, Summer at the Rock, Yellow Daisy Festival, Indian Festival and Pow-Wow, Stone Mountain Christmas and Snow Mountain. Stone Mountain activities are suitable for all ages
You can play in the spray or stay high and dry on the all-new Geyser Towers®. Or trek through the treetops on SkyHike®, the nation’s largest adventure course. Take a cable car to the top of Stone Mountain and get an up-close look at the Stone Mountain Carving. Relax on the scenic train ride around the mountain. And end your day at the world’s largest laser light show featuring a fantastic fireworks finale!
Visit stonemountainpark.com/ for more information.
+ Gems of Africa
You don’t have to travel to Africa to view authentic African art.
A family business owned and operated by Keith Washington and Wallene Jones since 1981. Originally located in New York, we have been in business in Atlanta since 1997.
The staff at the Gems of Africa Gallery is dedicated to presenting you the best of African Art. To ensure the quality of their merchandise and to keep abreast of new artists and artifacts available, they travel to Africa twice a year and hand pick all of the items for the gallery. Many of the artists that they deal with are not interested in the marketing aspect of the business, so they provide the marketing expertise for them.
They are Atlanta’s leading resource in contemporary African art. Featuring original paintings, Shona sculptures, Tribal masks, South African pottery, Ngwenya Glass and many other items which are all hand crafted in Africa. Although they carry art from many countries in Africa, we specialize in original art and sculpture from South Africa and Zimbabwe. Although the actual retail gallery closed at the end of May, the online gallery is free for you to view at gemsofafricagallery.com. Feel free to contact Keith or Wallene at 404-876-8200.
+ Brina Beads & Range Clothing
Range Clothing Boutique in Buckhead, GA. Opened in September 2007 in the same space as it’s in-store bead and jewelry shop, the wildly popular Brina Beads, beckons gawkers to the minimalist boutique, where every four to six weeks she curates a tightly-edited combo of dresses, tops and Ts that can take you from you from work to weekends to a night out on the town in utmost style. Featuring mostly Los Angeles-based designers intermixed with select collections from around the world, Davis hand-picks each and every piece of clothing in store and has used her California style of dressing to influence Atlanta’s most savvy shoppers.
With Range serving as an exclusive carrier of the majority of the labels on its racks, and with limited quantities of each item, Brina Beads & Range Clothing is the go-to-shop for finding original ensembles that won’t break the Balenciaga. The pricing is just as upfront as the staff (nothing is marked higher than $250), with intricate, one-of-a-kind pieces that are impossibly affordable. But perhaps the best part about Range? While a lot of the clothing is figure flattering and not too fitted, Range Clothing brings sexy back for Fall with dresses that go from day to evening with just a change of accessories. Click here for more information.
+ Save time with custom delivered kids clothing from Gandzee.com
Gandzee offers entire wardrobe collections of clothes and individual pieces for babies and kids ages 2 to 7—perfect for busy moms and dads.
+ Check out heritage brand Etienne Aigner’s new flagship store in Soho
Etienne Aigner is a heritage brand that’s been respected for its value, quality, and devotion to classic fashion for decades. The brand just opened up a 3,500-square-foot flagship store in Soho, located at 65 Greene Street.
+ Sweet Samba Spa
Sweet Samba is a hip lifestyle boutique & spa with an authentic vibe and most importantly a clean, professional environment where you can relax and unwind while enjoying the highest quality spa services. Whether you enjoy shopping the boutique, enjoying a signature Organic Facial or experiencing our award winning Brazilian waxing, Sweet Samba offers an innovative and rejuvenating experience.
Sweet Samba Spa has four locations:
Athens: 121 W. Washington St. Athens, GA 30601, Telephone: 706.543.0099
Buckhead: 3167 Peachtree Road Ste. E. Atlanta, GA 30305, Telephone: 404.869.8888
Vinings: 4600 West Village Place Suite 3001 Smyrna, GA 30080, Telephone: 770.435.5505
Midtown: 884 Monroe Drive NE Atlanta, GA 30308, Telephone: 404.347.5211
Visit sweetsamba.com for more information.
+ The Beehive
The beehive is a boutique collective comprised of independent designers with a focus on the local entrepreneur. Their product selection includes apparel, housewares, accessories and jewelry for everyone.
Designer owned and run, Beehive strives to provide a platform whereby new and established designers and artists may increase their brand visibility through sales, community outreach, and the ability to engage with a network of like-minded entrepreneurs.
Introducing stylish, locally designed products in a chic modern boutique setting. The beehive boasts the area’s best handmade goods, and provides customers the opportunity to directly interact and engage with the artists who made their products. Visit thebeehiveatl.com for more information.
+ Find World-Class Luxury at the St. Regis Atlanta
Embracing one of the world’s finest hotels was very easy for Atlantans clamoring for world-class luxury. So far, the St. Regis hasn’t disappointed. Tucked away near the heart of Buckhead, the St. Regis is both accessible and exclusive, so there’s a resort feel without the hassle of having to travel far to find things.
But why travel at all when everything needed is right there? Work out anytime at the 24-hour fitness facility. Relax at Remède Spa where there’s no one service fits all policy. Instead, services are unique and customized to the guest. Therefore, no facial or massage is the same.
Envision high living on the Mediterranean at the sprawling pool piazza, with its tropical plants and cascading waterfall. Don’t lift a finger thanks to the private butler service, but do bring on the night with the traditional Champagne Sabering dating back to Napoleon Bonaparte’s era. And, of course, fine dining is a requirement at Paces 88. For serious unwinding, there’s the Wine Room or the even more popular St. Regis Bar.
With plush accommodations and such fabulous amenities, no wonder locals and travelers alike rave about the St. Regis Atlanta. All hotels are clearly not equal.
+ The W Buckhead Pops for Atlanta
Sexy, fun, and vibrant but definitely respectable enough to get some business done, the W Buckhead stands out from Atlanta’s other Ws while still retaining its local charm. Simultaneously retro and modern chic, the lobby has many floral details that recall the 1950s/1960swithout any hint of stuffiness though.
Rooms are typically cozy but there are eleven suites for larger ambitions. Of them, the Extreme Wow Suite is all that and more. Spacious beyond imagination, with an eclectically, stylish pop that would make Andy Warhol proud, there’s a half bath as well as a full bath designed for two. Dreamy beds are a W standard and so are the ever nice plasma screens and the uber-fab bliss products.
Staying in the room is so boring so get fit at Sweat (where cable goes well with treadmills), cool off at Wet (the adorable pool overlooking Peachtree) and dance it off at Whiskey Blue (their elevated, rooftop club). Hungry? Just dine at Market, a delicious part of the Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s culinary empire, or lounge at Living Room.
Actually, if clothes were not required, the Living Room might rival the rooms. It has plasma TVs plus comfortably oversized chairs and nice couches which help getting neighborly a breeze. Music by a jazz trio or DJ isn’t uncommon either. And, then, there are nibbles like the truffle pizza and lamb chops from Market plus great drinks like the truly fantastic ginger margarita.
It’s pop life for sure at the W Buckhead.
+ The Georgian Terrace is the Grand Dame of Atlanta’s Hotels
Built in 1910, The Georgian Terrace holds a special place in Atlanta’s history, with its rich heritage and elegant charm. Once dubbed Atlanta’s “Paris hotel,” the building’s nineteen-story design features stunning architectural details, floor-to-ceiling Palladian-styled windows, white marble columns along with crystal chandeliers, making it the grand dame of hotels in the city’s glamorous midtown district.
Saunter the Italian tiled floors to your spacious, luxurious suite with classic furnishings and modern amenities including full kitchens, pillow-top mattresses with 300-thread count cotton bedding, 37-inch flat screen HD TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi. Feed your soul inside the hotel’s Livingston Restaurant and Bar, where guests can dress up for a four-course evening at the restaurant or dress down for cocktails and a light supper at the bar, while surrounded by classic architecture and early 20-century glamour.
Whether you’re a local in need of a “staycation” or visiting from out-of-town on real vacation, there’s an exclusive package catered to your specific needs, such as the Pampered Girlfriends or Romance Special.
While The Georgian Terrace first opened its doors a century ago, it still remains a notable Atlanta landmark located on the corner of Peachtree Street and Ponce de Leon Avenue across from the world-renowned Fox Theatre. It also accommodated the likes of American Idol winner Fantasia during her time in the city as the star of The Color Purple Broadway musical.
+ Twelve Reasons to Love TWELVE Atlantic Station
Behind the sleek glass doors of TWELVE Atlantic Station lies urban sophistication, as the stylish décor and modern furnishings take this boutique hotel beyond drab to fab. It’s all about location, as this preferred luxury boutique hotel sits in the heart of the bustling midtown district.
Standing 26-stories high, these chic one and two bedroom suites offer skyline views, contemporary designs, luxurious linens and 24-hour room service. The simplicity of GHOST in-room technology is indeed paranormal as guests can access the internet to check e-mail, the latest news and weather updates, or reach concierge and housekeeping with the click of a mouse. Amenities such as complimentary Wi-Fi, fitness center, outdoor pool and fully-equipped kitchenette with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops are parallel to your dream condo in the city – making you feel right at home.
If urban cool describes you, commune with the movers and shakers and young professionals at the onsite bar, Lobby at TWELVE, which is open to the public. Watch as the chef prepares your favorite traditional American dish with a modern twist in the open-style kitchen where a wood-burning grill and pizza oven serve as the backdrop.
Situated at the forefront of one of Atlanta’s vigorous live/play communities – access to trendy bars, upscale restaurants and prime retail shops is right at your footsteps – within walking distance to each other. Of course, they didn’t forget about those kid-friendly trips, offering Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola and Family Date-Night packages.
+ Business & Pleasure at InterContinental Buckhead
New neighbors haven’t disturbed the InterContinental Buckhead’s groove. Still a top choice for many, the InterContinental is contemporary in feel, but traditional in service. “Space, space, space” is a welcoming theme as there’s plenty to be had from conference rooms to guest rooms. Relaxed and elegant is the general verve. While guests at the club level do enjoy the added amenities of a private fitness center and lounge, great service is a perk available to all.
Dining at Au Pied de Cochon, the InterContinental’s very own outpost of the famous Paris eatery, is a first class, 24-hour affair. Few places serve fresher oysters. Staying at just the hotel isn’t mandatory either, not with Lenox Mall and Phipps Plaza on the same street along with the many restaurants and handful of clubs in the area. It’s not just fun and games; at the InterContinental Buckhead, business and pleasure are great bedfellows.