Atlanta's districts serve unique flavors of fun

October 1, 2008

Atlanta basically can be divided among five neighborhoods: Buckhead, downtown, Little Five Points, Midtown, and Virginia-Highland.








Downtown, home to CNN Center, the Georgia State Capitol, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, is brimming with cultural history, as evidenced by the King Center and Apex Museum, which underscore the city's critical role in the civil rights movement.

The restaurant and nightlife scene abounds (for more information, see "Dine at one of Atlanta's hot spots for delectable dishes"). One barbecue option would be Rolling Bones on Edgewood Avenue. For cheap burger joints, delis, and pizza parlors, go to Broad Street and the Fairlie-Poplar district. Upscale choices include Rathbun's; French American Brasserie; and the revolving restaurant, the Sun Dial Restaurant Bar & View. Kick up your heels at clubs such as Django Gypsy Kitchen & Saloon, Noir, and Harlem Bar. Underground Atlanta offers even more choices with Irish Bred Pub, Jamaica Jamaica, and Motion Atlanta.

Many of the city's main attractions are located downtown, including the Georgia Aquarium, Zoo Atlanta, New World of Coca-Cola, and Centennial Olympic Park. Shopping hubs include Underground Atlanta, which offers unique specialty shops, boutiques, and chain stores, and the Mall at Peachtree Center, which also has bookstores, kiosks, and apparel shops.

For an artistic view of Atlanta, include the neighborhood Little Five Points, or L5P, a take-off of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, on your itinerary. The place to be for Atlanta's artistic subculture, you'll discover many funky clothing boutiques, alternative bookstores, and body art shops.

Dining is easier on the wallet in L5P. Places to try include La Fonda Cantina, Little Five Points Pizza, Front Page News-Moreland Avenue, and Sabroso. The Vortex is said to serve the best burgers (beef or veggie) in town. For a nightcap, try the Corner Tavern, Star Community Bar, and the Euclid Avenue Yacht Club. For non-alcoholic nightlife, Dad's Garage has classic improv shows, and 7 Stages and Variety Playhouse offer memorable stage performances.

For a vintage shopping experience, shop Abbadabba's or Stefan's. Rene Rene specializes in sophisticated designer apparel. Sevananda sells natural products and health foods, and Wax 'n Facts is one of the few places in Atlanta where you'll find plenty of vinyl records.

Midtown, a fast-growing section of Atlanta, houses some of the city's finest dining locations. It is home to the Ansley Park neighborhood of grand estate homes. Dining experiences include a stroll down the Crescent Avenue area for restaurants such as Front Page News and Vickery's Bar & Grill. Posh nightclubs such as Opera and Leopard Lounge can be found here as well. The upscale tapas restaurant Table 1280 is located at Woodruff Arts Center. Stop by Atlantic Station, Midtown's "City within a City," for hot spots such as Ten Pin Alley, Geisha House, and Rosa Mexicano.