Photo Credit: Creative Market
When I moved to Atlanta from New England five years ago, I didn’t know a single soul in the city. In hopes of making new connections (and guaranteeing myself something to talk about!), I asked every person I met for their personal recommendation on things to do in Atlanta.
There was no shortage of ideas. In fact, I’ve yet to cross off all the 200 restaurants and mini-adventures. The list ranges from classic southern cuisine to outdoor activities and even a sprinkle of “treat yourself” spa treatments.
I love Atlanta for it’s upcoming wellness scene. You’ll get southern (healthy!) hospitality whether you’re here for a long weekend with the girls, a family vacation or a solo trip.
For fast food without the grease: Kale Me Crazy | Kale Me Crazy is a local favorite for healthy smoothies, juices, salads and wraps. With many locations throughout the city, you’ll likely find one within a few miles of wherever you are. I’m guilty of hitting up the Brookhaven location weekly for a lunch break! I order their Quinoa Salad or Poke Bowl and if I’m on-the-go and need a pick-me-up, I opt for their classic Kale Yeah! green juice. MORE INFO
For a make-your-own experience: Upbeet | Upbeet is new to Atlanta and became popular for its Instagram-worthy aesthetic as well as its delicious blends of non-GMO, organic and seasonal ingredients. Grab a casual lunch or dinner here. You can make your own meal using their assembly line-style order process, or choose one of their created concoctions. I love the Eggcellent Grain Bowl if I’m dining in or I’ll hit up their separate, faster line for drinks and smoothies: the Glow Getter is yummy! MORE INFO
For a meditation-worthy meal: SAMA Food For Balance | This new spot is an Ayurveda dream: grounding meals designed for each of the three doshas as well as a stunning meditation room. If you’re going for breakfast, try one of their smoothie bowls and their Mushroom Mylk espresso. This is a great spot whether you want a quick, casual vibe or want to sit down and soak in your Sunday morning. MORE INFO
For your post-shopping recovery meal: True Food Kitchen | Buckhead’s Lenox square is a shopper’s delight! After you walk around the shops in the mall and around Lenox, head over to True Food Kitchen to experience Dr. Andrew Weil’s seasonal, anti-flammation menu. It’s perfect for a healthy cocktail, delicious dinner and a satisfying dessert. I love the Ancient Grains Bowl and the Organic Tuscan Kale Salad. Be sure to make a reservation! MORE INFO
For a healthy twist on Southern comfort: South City Kitchen | We love venturing to South City Kitchen with our friends on a Saturday night. The atmosphere has a bungalow feel to it and the food is incredible. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu with their options changing each season. They’re also accommodating to gluten-free folks, too (though their kitchen is not fully GF, to my knowledge). MORE INFO
For getting your zen on: Exhale Spa | My heart flutters a little just thinking about Exhale! While there are locations across the country, Atlanta is home to their signature spa location. They have everything from nail services to massages and facials, from yoga to HIIT classes, and saunas to showers. If you’re anything like me, you’ll love getting in a sweat, cleaning up and then getting pampered. Bonus: Exhale is located within the Loews Atlanta Hotel, so if you’re looking for a place to stay, this is it. MORE INFO
For virtually everything else: Ponce City Market | Situated in the heart of Atlanta, Ponce City Market is a charming restoration of the former Sears, Roebuck & Company building. You’ll find shopping, food, rooftop activities and more at PCM. My favorites? Sugarboo for gifts, succulents and home goods… Candlefish for making your own soy-based scents… Core Power Yoga for a calming flow… and Modern Mystic Shop for crystals and spiritual grounding. MORE INFO
If the weather is great: Piedmont Park and Atlanta Beltline | Piedmont Park is nestled in the heart of Midtown and is known for its expansive green space for picnics and their Active Oval (one of the best views of Midtown’s skyline). Afterwards, head to Park Tavern for a cocktail or over to the Atlanta Beltline, a series of paved trails that run through the whole city. The route from Piedmont Park will take you to Ponce City Market, Inman Park and Krog Street Market, all adorable niche neighborhoods with great healthy options. MORE INFO
For the unbearably hot days: Chattachoochee River | If you have enough time available during your weekend in Atlanta, consider heading to the Chattahoochee River with the kids for tubing and kayaking. Local Atlantans do this to cool off on a hot day. There are many local companies along the river to get you set up with rentals. MORE INFO
For a sweaty morning hike: Stone Mountain | Stone Mountain is a beautiful park where you can bike, run or picnic. The best part about Stone Mountain is their Walk-Up trail; a steep but very manageable 30-minute walk to the top will give you the best view of the entire city’s skyline. MORE INFO
I love hosting guests, so when you’re in town, I hope you’ll connect with me on Instagram to show me where you end up eating and enjoying our beautiful city!
Lauren Stickney is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who can be found cozied up in Atlanta’s coffee shops, perusing the local farmer’s market, crushing meal prep, and reminding women and girls that their health can be the vehicle to a happier life. Lauren serves those who are inspired for more: more confidence, energy, can’t-stop-smiling happiness. They’re the go-getters, the “no-excuses” type… but are also prone to burn-out. She provides women the tools to clean up their diet, ditch the food guilt, reach their goal weight and feel energized. For free resources, visit Lauren’s website. To chat with her, head to her latest Instagram post.