Atlanta Journals

Looking for the Cool in Atlanta

Best of IgoUgo

A June 2007 trip to Atlanta by Little Ayun

CNN Studio Tour Photo, Atlanta, Georgia More Photos
Quote: Business brought me to Atlanta, my first trip below the Mason/Dixon line. It's nice to try new things, right?

Looking for the Cool in Atlanta

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Woodruff Arts Center Sculpture Photo, Atlanta, Georgia
Quote:
Atlanta was a bit of a challenge for me. I traveled there for work, taking a couple of extra days at the beginning of my trip to explore the city, which I'd never visited. What I found was a mixed bag - Atlanta's been angling for World Class City status since it was selected to host the 1996 Olympics, but I think it still has a little ways to go, especially when it comes to smoothing the way for tourist-friendly transit to obvious destinations like the downtown museums.There are good reasons to visit, though, and I've got plenty of advice if you want to avoid the pitfalls I landed in, so read on!Most of the best things about the city take a little digging to find, but there are...Read More

Omni Hotel at CNN Center

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Quote:
If you’re in town for an event at the Georgia World Congress Center, stay at the Omni if you can – many hotels are within walking distance of the GWCC, but the Omni is the closest by far, and quite a nice place to stay, too. I wouldn’t recommend it for a tourist visit, though. Travelers would be better off staying in more neighborhood-y parts of the city. The only nearby tourist attractions are the (must-see) Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola exhibit, as well as Centennial Olympic Park and the CNN Center/Studio Tour, but they’re right on top of each other, and can all be visited in one day. I spent five nights at the Omni, booked through two separate reservations made on two diff...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 11, 2007

Omni Hotel at CNN Center
100 CNN Center
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
(404) 659-0000

Dailey's Restaurant Bar

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Some of my colleagues chose Dailey’s for a semi-splashy expense-account dinner, and even though I didn’t pay a dime for my meal, I still left feeling like I’d been a little ripped off. The entire experience made me think of how a certain type of guy will describe a woman as a "Monet" – good-looking, until you get close enough to see what a mess she is. Dailey’s is a total Monet of a restaurant. There’s a dramatic second-floor dining room with dark wood walls and low-key decor oriented around an old carousel. It’s enough to distract you for a good ten minutes from the fact that you’re sitting on a cheap-o bent metal and padded vinyl chair, one step up from molded plastic. The hum of conversation and mu...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on September 11, 2007

Dailey's Restaurant Bar
17 International Blvd
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
+1 404 681 3303

Ray's in the City

Restaurant

Quote:
Here’s a rhetorical question for you. It’s kind of like one of those zen koans: What do you call a seafood restaurant that has run out of almost every fish listed on the menu? The kitchen had run out of salmon, tuna, grouper and scallops by the time we showed up for dinner (admittedly on a Sunday night, which is the time when restaurants are most likely to run out of perishable food), leaving us about 5 different entrée choices, only two of them actually involving seafood. The rub is that we weren’t looking at a menu that gets handed to every customer every day of the week. Ray’s does a different menu every day, and the chef decided to offer multiple renditions of the most popular fish to get the menu...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 11, 2008

Ray's in the City
240 Peachtree St.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
(404) 524-9224

Rare

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
For sheer Atlanta-ness, Rare was hands-down the best restaurant I found in the city: a tapas-style take on soul food served in a plush, lounge-y room to a crowd of very well-dressed professional-types (seriously, I was a little embarrassed by my going-to-a-baseball-game-later outfit). There are bar seats and a cafe section near the front of the house, but you'll want to sit in the dramatic main dining room where a lucky few will eat their meals from pillow-laden cushioned benches. Everyone else will get more typical seating, but the fabulous casbah-inspired atmosphere should keep you from getting too envious, and once the food arrives you'll be past caring what you're sitting on.The...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 18, 2008

Rare
554 Piedmont Ave. Ne
Atlanta 30308
(404) 541-0665

Georgia Aquarium

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Attraction

Georgia Aquarium Photo, Atlanta, Georgia
Quote:
I was actually able to visit the Georgia Aquarium for free, because the conference I attended held an opening-night reception there, but I would have gladly paid the adult admission cost, which is $23 ($17 for kids). That’s not much more than what my local aquarium in Boston charges, and the Georgia Aquarium beats it by a mile. About three thousand teachers and school administrators, on top of the visitors who were already there, filled the place to bursting, and every exhibit was jam-packed so tight you could barely move. The pungent smell of not-so-appetizing catered food and Sterno carried throughout the entire building, and camera flashes went off approximately eighty million times a minute. Despi...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 11, 2007

Georgia Aquarium
225 Baker Street
Atlanta, Georgia 30313
(404) 581-4000

Turner Field

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Attraction

Turner Field Photo, Atlanta, Georgia
Quote:
Turner Field, in addition to being a great venue for a baseball game, is also a pretty fun place to hang out. It’s not a vertigo-inducing canyon like US Cellular Field in Chicago, or so protective of its heritage that it can be a little boring if you’re not riveted to the game and/or drunk like Fenway or Wrigley Field. The park was originally built as a venue for the 1996 Olympics, and was inspired by the then-new "throwback" style of Camden Yards in Baltimore. It’s got the big scoreboard and endless distractions that are de rigueur in the ADD age, including a number of kid-oriented activity areas, and there are tons of observation areas and standing-room spots that allow you to wander around to watch...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 11, 2007

Turner Field
755 Hank Aaron Dr Sw
Atlanta, Georgia 30315
(404) 522-7630

CNN Studio Tour

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

CNN Studio Tour Photo, Atlanta, Georgia
Quote:
First things first: No, you groupies, Anderson Cooper will not be personally leading your tour. In fact, you’re unlikely to see any of the more famous CNN personalities in the Atlanta studios at all – many shows are shot and broadcast out of NYC, including nearly all of the personality-driven shows like Cooper’s. But that doesn’t mean the tour’s a waste of time. For $12, you’ll get a trip through the back hallways of the studio, with stops to look down from observation windows at the studio floors for both CNN and Headline News (I watched one production staff member slacking off, looking at celebrity gossip websites.) You’ll also spend some time in a small theater to watch in real-time how all the dif...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 12, 2007

CNN Studio Tour
190 Marietta Street
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
(404) 827-2300

Criminal Records

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Criminal Records466 Moreland AveWax 'n Facts432 Moreland AveI was sort of disgusted by the readership of Creative Loafing when I read the newspaper’s Best of Atlanta 2006 list: The editors opted for local businesses, but the reader’s poll named Best Buy as the best record store in Atlanta. After visiting Wax & Facts and Criminal, both within a block of each other in Little Five Points, I understood what they were getting at. Both places have a well-chosen but ultimately tiny selection, heavy on indie-flavored rock, most of which is stored out of customer’s reach, in locked cabinets or behind the counter. I found the latest National album at ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 12, 2007

Criminal Records
466 Moreland Ave
Atlanta, Georgia 30307
+1 404 215 9511

Gastronomical (Mis)Adventures in Atlanta

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
This isn’t so much an "experience" as a set of recommendations for anyone who intends to eat a lot of meals out and doesn’t have a local source in the know. I’m in no way a snob about eating out, but overall I think Atlanta’s restaurants are so hit-or-miss that some work is necessary if you don’t want to be disappointed by your meal. I had a couple of terrific meals, but I had to go looking for them, and I paid way too much for food that wasn’t worth half its price more than once.I don’t generally think of myself as a foodie, nor do I make a habit of researching the heck out of restaurant choices the way I do bookstores and obscure museums when visiting a new city. Most places I’ve been, i...Read More