Hopping a plane to an exotic destination sure is a fun time, but it can get expensive. We live in a city with plenty to offer; yet we never take advantage of many of the unique cultural and entertainment events or delicious dining offerings because it seems out of the way. It’s time to change that, and we’re starting with a staycation in Midtown Atlanta.
For this staycation, I chose the Artmore Hotel in Midtown.This quaint and artsy hotel has a lovely courtyard with a fireplace, perfect for cool, fall evenings. The Artmore is across the street from the Arts Center Marta station, which means you can take the train in without having to pay hotel parking fees. And there is so much within walking distance of the hotel, who needs a car?
After getting checked in, get a cocktail and lounge in the courtyard before heading out to dinner. For a romantic kickoff to your weekend, head over to STK. It is about a half-mile walk from the hotel to the restaurant.
STK is part restaurant/part club. Passing by the beautiful bar, you’ll head up the stairs to the comfy rounded booths where your exceptional evening begins. Cocktails are a must here, so start with the cucumber stiletto. Some fantastic starters are the beef or tuna tartare. For entrees, scallops don’t disappoint, but at least one person in your party must get a steak. I recommend the sirloin, dripping with butter and served with eight, yes eight, dipping sauces.
After a night out, you need to a nice wake up. Coffee is served in the lobby of the Artmore until 10 a.m. Now it’s time to get your art on! The High Museum of Art is less than a mile away. There is always a terrific exhibit going on, so check it out.
You ate a light breakfast, right? Because you are about to get pretty stuffed at lunch. Head on over to the newly opened Tabla, an Indian restaurant in the heart of Midtown. Order one of the unique sodas like the kokum spritzer. Start with the okra fries and veggie samosas. If you are unsure what to order, get the thali – it comes with your choice of curry but also the veggie side, naan, rice and dessert. You also can’t go wrong with the tandoori shrimp or lamb shank with their aromatic spices and one-of-a-kind flavors.
From here, why not head to Piedmont Park or the Atlanta Botanical Garden? Or both? After an afternoon full of activities, head on over to TAP for some tasty brews and a late dinner. The patio makes for great people watching.
Before heading home, hit up one of the nearby spots for brunch if you are here on Sunday. An indulgent brunch would be Park 75 at the Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta, but a fun, more budget-friendly brunch is Front Page News. When the weather is nice, sit on the lovely patio.
Atlanta is a city full of pockets of neighborhoods uniquely their own. Staycate and take advantage of all they have to offer.
Malika Bowling is the author of Food Lovers' Guide to Atlanta and founder of Atlanta Restaurant Blog. She has been a contributing writer to USA Today and Urbanspoon and has been featured on the Huffington Post. Malika also has served as a judge at various culinary competitions and food festivals, including Taste of Atlanta. She is the president of the Association of Food Bloggers, and you can follow her on Twitter @ATLEatsNTweets and on Instagram @malika_bowling.