Atlanta through the eyes of a local.

Atlanta through the eyes of a local

arriving in Atlanta airport

Atlanta through the eyes of a local

Hartsfield Jackson International airport, more passengers per day than any airport in the world

Where to stay in Atlanta

if your not visiting someone then you have many choices and it depends what your looking for. Transport? if your not renting a car then Atlanta’s public transport system is called MARTA and I use it regularly for going to and from the airport. Atlanta’s traffic can be pretty awful and this is just the best way. As for bus service I’ve never used it but it does exist. To use MARTA they have recently introduced a new system. You must first purchase a BREEZE card and you can do that at any machine or a ticket counter.  Fares cost $3.00 each way and you can go until the last stop if you wish making it the most economical way of transport to and from the airport.


A common question for Atlanta’s is, are you OTP or ITP? the perimeter as in I285 determines this. It will make a big difference to you lifestyle which one you choose. I’m an ITP girl myself and I know people who wouldn’t dream of dating someone in a different TP than themselves. Strange as I know people capable of having a relationship with someone on a different continent.

Coffee in Oakhurst

Coffee in Oakhurst

I lived in Atlanta for 7 years and I lived in several different areas. Dunwoody you can keep it unless your wanting to deal with GA 400 traffic on a daily basis and really its for families and quite sedate albeit very nice. Virginia Highlands a great spot close to downtown and the airport is a breeze also from here. This is a very social spot with lots of great bars and restaurants and its a very walkable area with loads of great streets and houses. Lots of apartments have popped up over the years as has the price tag.

Atlanta through the eyes of a local

Ariel view of Buckhead

Buckhead is where I lived for the longest time as the school district there was fabulous at the time way better than any others. The others have come a long way though over the years since my departure. Buckhead is Ritzy you could say well certain areas of it are and others were. Its located within the city of Atlanta so the taxes are high. The Governor’s mansion is here and this part of Buckhead Paces Ferry is high dollar. The Margaret Mitchel house is also here. I left in 2005 and the city started a campaign to change Buckhead and get rid of a lot of the bars and replace them with offices and small boutique like stores. That in itself is not a bad idea but with all the growth and high-rises being built this area has lost its charm. Any of the places I lived have been demolished and replaced with soul less condo’s. There are 2 main mall’s here both located at the intersection of Peachtree rd and Lenox Rd. Phipps Plaza and Lenox Mall. Lenox has some great restaurants a movie theater and great shopping lots of free parking and is filled with stores like Ann Taylor, Abercrombie to say the least. Phipps on the other hand has Sax 5th Avenue and lots of high dollar stores. It also has a food court and a movie theatre but is lacking a good coffee shop. Traffic is terrible in Buckhead be prepared.

The City of Decatur is another great spot as is Little 5 points, Candler Park, Morningside, Grant Park, East Atlanta, Sandy Springs and so many more……………..

Atlanta through the eyes of a local

The Waffle House, a southern institution 24/7 365

Atlanta through the eyes of a local

staff at the Buckhead Waffle Hse

Where to have breakfast? upscale, downscale middle of the road but a southern staple everyone has been to is the Waffle house located everywhere. You have to try it once in your life and if you live here you will learn to love it. The Waffle House is an Atlanta Staple first opened its doors in 1955 in Avondale Estates, Ga.  It has 1700 restaurants in 25 states but in my experience its a southern thing.  The concept is short order, friendly, quick no frills attached food 365 days a year even on Christmas Day. 
The cooks are also fantastic.  The waitstaff stand and shout order up and then yell their orders.  They keep all the orders in their heads and throw out the best breakfasts in town for a reasonable price.   No frills and no pri-madonna’s here and all for a price that wont break the bank.  Yes you will get your traditional grits and eggs here.  The Waffle House Museum is located in the original location of Avondale estates and tours can be arranged in advance only. Details at end of story.  

Atlanta through the eyes of a local

Dim Sum

If your around on a Sunday head to Bufurd Highway for DIM SUM. The best oriental restaurants and all things Asian are on Bufurd Hwy. Movie Theaters, cafe’s, grocery stores its all here and all fantastic. Its a must do thing in Atlanta. Atlanta through the eyes of a local


Avondale Estates itself is a small city in Dekalb county with a population of around three thousand people.  The city has experienced growth and re gentrification and properties have seriously gone up in value in the last ten years making it quite yuppie white families in my opinion.  It is pretty though and unusual compared to other places in Atlanta but there is no night life.  A few restaurants and coffee shops, antique and second hand stores a great pizza place Avondale Pizza but in general it has become a a young family place so if your in your mid twenties looking for a thriving night life scene then this probably isn’t the place for you. Friends who live there describe it as too sleepy. Candler Park is a bit like this in the evenings. Everything closes early but if your around for breakfast its a great spot.  My favourites and very popular are Oakhurst, the City of Decatur, Virginia Highlands and East Atlanta. All have great nightlife.

Atlanta The Convention Town

Atlanta is a convention town and busy with out of towners visiting all the time. Therefore the restaurant business is thriving especially in areas like Midtown and Buckhead and you will be spoiled for choice.

What to see in Atlanta

If I was visiting for a few days I would suggest staying in midtown its very walkable and has great spots, theaters restaurants. The fox theater is a famous Atlanta spot and my personal favourite is Whole World theater for improv comedy (Thursday night ladies night), both located in Midtown. The Atlanta Aquarium is the biggest in the world and very impressive. The zoo is great. Coca Cola the tour is really interesting. CNN do the tour and take part in talk back live. Piedmont Park, Oakland cemetery, and rent a car to do things like Stone Mountain and venture to the other neighbourhoods if you want.

Atlanta through the eyes of a local

Oakhurst, Atlanta’s secret village

Oakhurst is my new favourite. Click here for more details on Oakhurst. and for the last few years I’ve been going I’ve been sticking to the general Oakhurst area. The demographics have changed in the last ten years and its become cool and trendy even in a hipster way.

Atlanta through the eyes of a local

Stone Mountain

Stone Mountain is actually a city in Dekalb Ga, with a population of a around six thousand people.  The city is only 1.6 miles and .6 f that is water.   The city was a granite quarry.  Its referred to as Atalanta by a lot of people in GA just because of its proximity.  The Ku Klux Klan was revived in Stone Mountain in 1915, and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ”I Have a Dream” speech consequently includes the line “let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.”  Stone Mountain is a quartz monzonite dome monadnock and the site of Stone Mountain Park in Stone Mountain, GeorgiaUnited States. At its summit, the elevation is 1,686 feet (514 m) MSL and 825 feet (251 m) above the surrounding area. Stone Mountain is well-known not only for its geology, but also for the enormous bas-relief on its north face, the largest bas-relief in the world.  The carving depicts three figures of the Confederate States of AmericaStonewall JacksonRobert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis.

If you arrive by air chances are you will be blown away by the size of. Its bloody huge.  Its more efficient than small airports in the likes of Dublin for example. It handles more passengers per day than any airport in the world yet it does it really well.

Atlanta is well situated for a road trip to many great places, its driving distance to Roswell GA. Helen Ga. Athens Ga. New Orleans, Florida, Alabama.


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About Sandra

Just a girl from Ireland who wants to live everywhere. Not a planner, a winger when it comes to travel. I don't even like people who plan too much. Without spontaneity there is no depth. A jack of all trades. A great friend, loyal and passionate and I expect the same in return. Always ready for the next adventure at a moments notice.
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