Planning a short getaway to Atlanta? If you only have 36 or 48 hours in Atlanta, we have the perfect 2 days in Atlanta itinerary written by a local including the best things to do, where to eat and where to stay.
36 – 48 Hours in Atlanta: The Perfect 2 Day Itinerary
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Atlanta is a constantly growing city with more and more to offer every day. As a native ATLien that has lived here for over twenty years watching the city and its metro areas evolve has been really exciting. If you have the weekend to enjoy the city there is so much you can do! If you are visiting Atlanta for the first time it’s impossible to get a full experience but hopefully, with this itinerary, you can hit a couple of spots that make your trip exciting and moves Atlanta onto your list of favorite places to visit.
Where to Stay in Atlanta
When you visit Atlanta if you are on a mission to hit all of the tourist spots I recommend staying in Downtown, Midtown, or Buckhead. Each of these areas is safe, and there are close MARTA stations, Atlanta’s train system if you are planning on using the train as your main form of transportation.
Day 1 of Atlanta Itinerary
For breakfast head to Another Broken Egg in Buckhead. This Cajun-inspired restaurant focuses solely on brunch and it will not disappoint. Although it is not on the menu I recommend starting your brunch with a side of fried green tomatoes. Fried green tomatoes are a southern staple and Another Broken Egg has a great balance of batter and tomato. For your entree, I recommend one of the skillets. I usually get the Louisiana Crawfish Skillet which is like crawfish etouffee with an egg base instead of rice. After you finish brunch you can take the MARTA from Lindbergh Station (which is about a mile away) or an Uber/Lyft into downtown.
If you decided to ride the MARTA take the red/ orange line to the Peachtree Center Station, and you are roughly 5 blocks from Centennial Park. In 1996 the Olympics were held in Atlanta, and Centennial Park is one of the most popular and well-maintained remnants from the 1996 Olympics. With playgrounds, a fountain, a paved walking trail, a ferris wheel that gives you a view of the Atlanta skyline, and a concession stand Centennial Park is a great place to relax and eat some ice cream, or to give your kids a chance let out some energy. Centennial Park is also in the center of most of Downtown Atlanta’s most popular attractions.
The Georgia Aquarium, College Football Hall of Fame, World of Coke, CNN Center, Mercedes Benz Stadium, and Philips Arena are all within a 10-minute walk. If you are interested in going to a couple of these locations then you should consider purchasing a City Pass. The city pass gives you admission to five attractions for less than $100 which is a significant discount compared to the price of the attractions individually. For lunch, there are a lot of restaurants around Centennial Park including a food court in the CNN center.
To finish your day, take an Uber or Lyft to Little Five Points. Little Five Points is one of the most artistic and eclectic neighborhoods in Atlanta. There are a ton of shops with handmade crafts as well as vendors selling unique hand-crafted items. Do not let the idea of vendors deter because they are not pushy. There are also a couple of bars if you want to grab a drink during happy hour before dinner. After you explore a little you should grab dinner at The Vortex. The Vortex is a landmark and cultural staple in Atlanta known best for its burgers and giant skull that serves as the door to the restaurant. In addition to the restaurant, there is a comedy club, The Laughing Skull in the back of the restaurant that usually has comedy acts scheduled on Friday and Saturday nights.
Day 2 of Atlanta Itinerary
For your second day in Atlanta, you should start your day with brunch at Greens and Gravy. This restaurant is located in the southwest part of Atlanta in the Westview Commercial District. It is a traditional southern restaurant with great fried chicken. If you have never tried chicken and waffles now is the time. Their unique honey lemon pepper fried chicken is so good and they also have great tasting biscuits. The only downside is they have a limited number of drink options (cherry kool-aid, grape kool-aid, tea, lemonade, and water). I would not let this deter you from going because the food is great!
Honey Lemon Pepper Fried Chicken and a Biscuit from Greens and Gravy
After brunch order an Uber/ Lyft to Piedmont Park. One of the largest green spaces in the city of Atlanta. With over 200 acres of park space, Piedmont Park is like Atlanta’s Central Park. Piedmont Park often hosts festivals so you should check out their website in anticipation of your visit to see what will be going on in the park that day. If there is nothing on the park’s calendar do not worry because the Atlanta Botanical Garden is located inside of Piedmont Park. Atlanta Botanical Garden occupies 30 acres Piedmont Park and is filled with beautiful garden displays. One of the most prominent features, Earth Goddess served as a scenic backdrop in the movie Nappily Ever After.
After the botanical garden, you can walk to Mary Mac’s Tea Room for lunch. If you are a fan of Gone With the Wind the Margaret Mitchell House is on your way to Mary Mac’s Tea Room. This is the residence she and her husband lived in and is currently a museum that you can visit.
Mary Mac’s Tea Room is another historical landmark in Atlanta because it has been open since the 1940s. This traditional meat and three serves southern cuisine and has signature dishes like Brunswick stew, fried okra, fried green tomatoes, and biscuits and gravy. Whatever you pick for lunch from Mary Mac’s you can not go wrong, and if you have space you should grab a slice of the Georgia Peach Cobbler.
Entrance to The High Museum of Art in Atlanta
Your next stop after lunch is The Woodruff Arts Center. The Woodruff Arts Center is the name of the complex that contains The High Museum of Art, Alliance Theater, and The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The High Museum of Art is not only Atlanta’s premier art museum it is also one of the most regarded in the southeast United States so it is definitely worth a visit. With exhibits like Picasso, Monet, Warhol, and Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors there is always a breathtaking feature exhibit. In addition to the traveling feature exhibits the High’s permanent collection is consistently rotated and worth viewing while you are in the museum. The last time I was there, there was a Jean- Michel Basquiat painting in the modern gallery.
Ahi Tuna Nachos from Gyu-Kaku in Atlantic Station
To finish your 48 hours in Atlanta grab a ride to Atlantic Station. Atlantic Station was one of Atlanta’s first commercial- residential hybrid communities. With more than 30 places to shop and 15+ places to eat there should be something for everyone in Atlantic Station. One of my favorite restaurants is Gyu-Kaku, a Japanese BBQ restaurant.You can find more things to do in Atlanta here.
Having lived in Atlanta for more than twenty years this is my recommendation for great places to hit in Atlanta if you are only there for the weekend or 48 hours.
My name is Allie. I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. I am a southern girl through and through, and I cannot imagine living anywhere that is not warm most of the year, but that does not stop me from exploring so many other places. Although I work full time, exploring the cities I have lived in as well as the others I have only visited is truly a passion of mine. My blog (woctravel.com) is about being a woman of color exploring the world. I love sharing my experiences and all of the new spaces and places that I have visited because I want to encourage other women to get out and travel and share their experiences. Follow me on Instagram here.
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That’s a perfect Atlanta itinerary covering the best places. The pictures have come out to be so good. Thanks for the suggestion of what to do and what to see in a day-by-day order. It makes it easy for a first-timer to plan.
Great stuff, I’ll definitely bookmark this as I’ve always wanted to go to Atlanta!