Written by Jennifer Bradley Franklin
Even as summer temperatures soar, this hip Southern capital city has myriad places to keep you cool. Visit Atlanta and discover why it’s a cultural and culinary destination.
Find a high-end home base at the elegant Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta, where a stay feels like having a pied-à-terre in the upmarket Buckhead neighbourhood. Since you’ll already be in the city’s shopping hub, make stops at Miller Brothers for tailored menswear and at Hunter Collective for hip jewellery from designers like Rona Pfeiffer and Tai.
Next, take in some culture, starting at the High Museum of Art, where massive permanent collections of European, African, and American art are currently joined by temporary exhibits featuring work by acclaimed illustrator Eric Carle and painted plates by Molly Hatch. The Fernbank Museum is a must-visit for natural history buffs. Visitors can walk among a re-creation of the prehistoric Patagonian badlands, where some of the largest dinosaurs were unearthed. You’ll marvel at cast replicas of giants of the Cretaceous period and learn about the rich archaeological history of the Southern United States, all set up to entertain and educate.
Finally, pay a visit to the Atlanta Botanical Garden, where you’ll walk among 12 hectares of fragrant exotic and native plants, under a lush canopy of hardwood trees. Until the end of October, stand in awe of the Chihuly in the Garden installation, with 19 jaw-dropping blown-glass works of technicolour art by famed American artist Dale Chihuly. Cap off your visit with a meal at Linton’s in the Garden, where award-winning chef Linton Hopkins presents flavourful fare from locally sourced ingredients.
Serenbemay be just a 40-minute drive southwest of Atlanta’s city centre, but the sustainable pastoral community may as well be on another planet. Plan to stay overnight at The Inn at Serenbe, surrounded by 360 lush hectares. Enjoy a Southern-style meal of hyper-locally sourced ingredients at The Hil, before seeing a roving outdoor show by the award-winning Serenbe Playhouse theatre company. You’ll be blissfully unaware that you’re near a major city.
Distance: 12,055 km
Flight Time: 14 hours, 55 minutes