The First-Time Visitor’s Guide

to Atlanta, Georgia
Visiting Atlanta for the first time? Lucky you! There are so many fun things to see and
do, your biggest challenge will be deciding how to fit it all in! Hopefully, this overview
will help you explore this great southern city and take in the events and attractions
you don't want to miss.

Local Food and Drink

With more than 300 restaurants in the downtown area alone, there is no shortage of amazing places to eat
and lots of variety. Many of the favorite places with visitors and locals alike are burger pubs and barbecue
places, but there are plenty of more formal restaurants as well as a bustling culinary event scene, especially
during the more temperate months of the year.
For Burger Lovers
• Try the Holeman and Finch Public House. These are the burgers you can buy at Turner Field or at
Ponce City Market, and they are a 50/50 blend of grass-fed chuck and brisket.
• The Shake Shack is a hipster counter-service restaurant that features gourmet burgers and frozen custard.
• Ann's Snack Bar is known for its huge burgers, minimal decor, and dirt-cheap pricing.
• Grindhouse Killer Burgers offers chili, burgers and shakes in a cool space that projects B-movies
on the walls continuously.
For Great BBQ
Barbecue is a staple in Atlanta, and there is a wealth of fantastic barbecue spots around town.
• Community Q offers chicken, beef and pulled pork that are moist and meaty, along with mac and cheese
made with rigatoni, cheddar, Parmesan, Monterey Jack and heavy cream.
• Heirloom Market BBQ specializes in southern barbecue with a Korean twist,
you’ll find both standard pulled pork and Kimchi topped Korean BBQ.
• Grand Champion BBQ serves up hickory-smoked meats that will delight barbecue lovers
in a straightforward BBQ menu.
• Sam and Dave’s BBQ-1 opened in 2004, and was the precursor for many of the local barbecue restaurants.
Their pork and beef is slow smoked and needs no embellishment; it keeps locals coming back and visitors
seeking it out.
Atlanta History & Good Eats
We could not leave out The Varsity, the world’s biggest drive-in restaurant, open since 1928. Even with room
for 600 cars outside, and an extra 800 people inside, there is always a long line. Nothing fancy - burgers, hot
dogs and frosted orange drinks - but the food is great and the experience one of a kind.
Formal Dining
If you prefer white tablecloths with your meal, look to Ray's In the City for prime cuts of meat, sushi and
other seafood, extensive wine list and live jazz on the weekends.
• Polaris is an Atlanta icon; it rotates atop the Hyatt Regency downtown, and resembles a space-age
Jetson’s-style home. This is a sleek restaurant that serves up southern food and retro daiquiris.
• Pittypat’s Porch is a relaxed restaurant with a rocking chair lounge and a full bar,
serving southern comfort food and mint juleps.

Nature & Outdoors

Getting Around

Even though it is a bustling metropolis, the city
offers lots of opportunities to commune with

There are many ways to get around town - from the
Streetcar to MARTA buses and trains, to electric car,
bicycle and Segway tours.

The Atlanta Beltline is a rails-to-trails conversion
that allows you to explore on foot or by bike.
Piedmont Park is home to the Atlanta Botanical
Garden and much more. You can bring your best
friend to play at the dog park, your fishing rod to
angle from the bridge at Lake Clara Meer, or just
relax in this in-town park. The botanical garden
boasts over 30 acres of lush green beauty.

Atlanta’s newest transportation system, the Atlanta
Streetcar is a 2.7 mile loop with 12 stops that
connect Centennial Olympic Park and the Martin
Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site and other
nearby sites and neighborhoods on the east side of

Atlanta sports events are fun for all ages, from the
Atlanta Braves games at Turner Field (and soon to
be SunTrust Park) to events at the Georgia Dome,
which range from Atlanta Falcons games to
mega-concerts. In 2017, the new Mercedes-Benz
Stadium will open with a retractable roof.
Movie Tours abound in Atlanta, as the city is now a
bustling film and TV industry spot. From The Blind
Side, Anchorman 2, or The Walking Dead, check
out the filming sites for your favorites.
Centennial Olympic Park recalls the city’s Olympic
legacy as it hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics, the
only southern US city to have done so.
The Historic Oakland Cemetery is the final resting
place of Civil War soldiers and Civil Rights fighters,
and author Margaret Mitchell and Atlanta’s mayor
Maynard Jackson.

The Streetcar also connects directly at the MARTA
Peachtree Center Station to allow longer trips to
further areas of the city.
Many Atlanta historic sites and favorite restaurants
are close to the Atlanta Streetcar, offering easy
transportation and added walkability to the
convention and entertainment district.
The Streetcar operates from Monday through
Thursday, 6 am to 11 pm, Fridays from 6 am to 1
am, Saturday from 8:30 am to 1 am, and Sunday
from 9 am to 11 pm, with streetcars running about
every 10 to 15 minutes through town. It’s an easy
way for visitors to get from the hotel district
downtown to all the sites they want to see. (And
locals to get from the suburbs to downtown without
the cost and hassle of parking.)

Finally, no visit to Atlanta should skip the birth
home of Martin Luther King Jr. and the King Center.

Popular Attractions

The CNN Center allows you to get a look at TV news in action. You can take a guided walking tour of the CNN
Studios and watch part of the broadcast. CNN Center also offers a food court, sit-down restaurants, a beauty salon,
shops and a post office.
The Georgia Aquarium features thousands of marine species, 10 million gallons of water and specimens like beluga
whales, bottlenose dolphins and manta rays.
Pemberton Place, located downtown is home to the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, and the Center for
Civil and Human Rights.
Philips Arena is an indoor arena that is home to the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA, and their sister team, the Atlanta
Dream, of the WNBA.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site includes MLK, Jr.’s Birth Home, and the Historic Ebenezer Baptist
Church as well as Freedom Hall.
National Center for Civil and Human Rights, dedicated to the achievements of the US civil rights movement and
the global human rights movement as well.
The World of Coca-Cola is an interactive experience offering a museum that showcases the history of the popular
drink that debuted in Atlanta in 1886, memorabilia, films and a tasting room where you can sample dozens of
The Atlanta History Center offers a range of displays about the city, including its part in the Civil War and the 1996
Olympics. A little further out, don’t miss Stone Mountain if you are a Civil War buff.

Staying at the Ellis Hotel in Downtown Atlanta
If you desire lodging that is a cut above the rest, look to the perfectly located Ellis Hotel. As downtown
Atlanta’s sole remaining independent boutique hotel, our luxury accommodations & intimate size make us
the definitive choice of travelers looking for an alternative to the cookie cutter chain hotel experience. Our
offerings strike the perfect balance between classic and contemporary, infusing the design and décor worthy
of a Peachtree Street landmark with all the perks you’d expect, and many you would not imagine. However,
more than anything else, it’s our personalized service that truly sets us apart. Our friendly staff is skilled in
the art of anticipating your needs like no other, ensuring that every moment of your stay is quiet, relaxing
and enjoyable. Whether you are visiting for business or leisure, book your Atlanta accommodations at the
Ellis Hotel, and let us surprise you with what’s in store.

The Ellis Hotel
176 Peachtree Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA
T: (877) 211-2545
F: (404) 523-5155