Traveling on a Budget: Atlanta
Traveling is something we all want to do and if you read my first two articles in this category, How to Find Cheap Flights 101 and Where to Stay While Traveling 101, then you are ready to go explore a new city. I want to highlight some of my travels to give you inspiration for a future trip. First up on the list, Atlanta.
Atlanta, otherwise known as the Big A, ATL, or the City in the Forest is a place I hold near and dear to my heart and consider myself somewhat of an expert on traveling to. Why? Because well, I lived there. People consider the U.S. a giant melting pot of cultures and backgrounds and while I agree with this I think it is magnified times one hundred in Atlanta. On one corner you can be listening to live jazz music and a block later you could be having the best Chicken Curry Skewers that you’ve had in your life.
Atlanta is huge, with a population just short of six million it can be hard to figure out what you want to spend your time there doing and that’s why I’m here to help.
Traveling to Atlanta
First off, no matter where you are coming from getting a flight to Atlanta will be reasonable. I can say that without even looking it up. Why? Well, Atlanta has the largest airport in the WORLD. Chances are if you are located near an airport you can get a flight for cheap to the ATL. I’m talking from the west coast for around $250.
If you are lucky enough to be within driving distance then be prepared for a smooth, scenic, trip. That is until you hit the city. Like I said above, 6 million people live here so traffic is heavy and rush hour can extend a drive by hours. It’s not enjoyable but it’s what you should expect from the 9th largest metropolitan area in the U.S.
Once you’re in the city getting around takes no time at all. There are tons of attractions that are all within walking distance and the city does have a subway system called Marta that is extremely affordable. If all else fails there is always Uber or Lyft and with an oversupply of drivers, rides are fairly cheap.
Where to Eat
The first thing any sensible person would do once they landed in a new city is find some amazing food. I could go on and on about the food but instead, I’ll just drop some suggestions with pictures and approximate pricing. WARNING!! These pictures will make your taste buds salivate.
- Highland Bakery – Amazing breakfast food and pastries. I’m not a coffee drinker but I’ve been told it is some of the best in town. ($8-$12)
- Big Pie in the Sky – Huge pizzas that I promise you’ll have a hard time finishing. ($15-$30)
- Smokebelly – BBQ and Drinks. Get the Smothered Fries, trust me. ($15-$25)
- Sublime Doughnuts – Obviously doughnuts. Sweet, delicious, doughnuts. ($2-$4)
- Sun Dial Restaurant – Located on the 73rd floor of the Westin in downtown Atlanta this is a great date spot with reasonably priced food ($15-$30)
- Ponce City Market – 20+ restaurants ranging from Thai to Cuban.
What to Do
Ok, you’re now probably stuffed beyond belief but there is still a whole city to explore. LIke anywhere you go to you can spend as much as you want and while I’d love to suggest riding the ferris wheel downtown for $15 there are much better options that will give you a better view of the city for FREE!
- Centennial Park – Built for the 1996 Summer Olympics, Centennial Park is located right in the middle of downtown and host attractions like the Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Center for Civil and Human Rights, and the College Football Hall of Fame.
- Skylounge – This is one the coolest bars in all of Atlanta. It overlooks Centennial Park and is a great spot to grab a drink before a game at Mercedes Benz Stadium.
- Piedmont Park – The Central Park of the south. A huge piece of nature located in the middle of the city that hosts events every weekend such as, Music Midtown and Atlanta Dogwood Festival.
- Kennesaw Mountain/Chattahoochee National Park – If you are feeling a little more adventurous and want to really dive into nature then check out the hundreds of hikes north of the city.
Wrapping Things Up
Atlanta is in the South but it offers aspects of every corner of the world. What would seem to be like a fast-paced, overpopulated city, is really a slow-moving collection of different neighborhoods. The amount of free/low-cost events this city has to offer is what every traveler on a budget dreams about. Moreover, with the ability to grab a cheap flight here any day of the week I believe there is no excuse not to visit this city at least once.
Trust me, you won’t regret it.