Atlanta restaurants/getting around

Old Jan 16th, 2006, 07:18 AM
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Atlanta restaurants/getting around

Visiting Atlanta March 30 through April 2 for a volleyball tournament. We are staying at the Hyatt Regency downtown to be close to the tournament site. I will be traveling with my 18 year old daughter and another mother and her daughter. We are flying in. What is the best way to get to the hotel from the airport? I have been reading about MARTA and it sounds like the cheapest route. I have never been to Atlanta. Is the subway safe? We have used Chicago's and Washington D.C.'s systems. Also, any suggestions on restaurants that will not break the bank? We are planning on seeing the aquarium. Any other must see places 18 year old girls would be interested in? Thanks for your help!
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Old Jan 16th, 2006, 07:40 AM
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MARTA is relatively safe, but its coverage is not near as expansive a system as Chicago or D.C., i.e., you can't get to many places by using it. It will, however, be the least expensive choice to get downtown from the airport. Atlanta has some terrific restaurants, but many of the most reasonable ones will be found outside of the downtown area...more toward Midtown and Virginia Highlands area. Look at http://mapquest.digitalcity.com/atlanta/dining/ and http://atlantahappenings.creativeloa...GoodEats/index and click on the various neighborhoods.
Along with the Aquarium, you might find the CNN tour interesting. Many of the other sites require a car...Stone Mountain, Kennesaw Mtn Park, Cyclorama. Avoid Atlanta Underground and "the World of Coke". If you want an upscale mall, you can take MARTA to Lenox.
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Old Jan 16th, 2006, 08:15 AM
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I think MARTA is also the fastest way to get downtown from the airport.

Just exit Peachtree Center for the Hyatt. Peachtree Center is conected to the Hyatt so you don't have to go outside to get from the airport to your hotel.
 
Old Jan 16th, 2006, 11:54 AM
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I recommend renting a car. If you have AAA, you can get a pretty good price w/ the AAA discount + AAA coupon for a Hertz rental car. You could also get a good price in a car through Priceline. The only warning with driving is that there are literally 100 streets, avenues, etc. in Atlanta that start with "Peachtree". At the very least get yourself a map or, if you rent a car from Hertz, get it with the Neverlost System.
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Old Jan 16th, 2006, 12:03 PM
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If you are within walking distance to the tournament, do not get a car.

Parking is expensive, $20 per day.

You can access Buckhead and other points of interest via MARTA.

Driving around Atlanta is a big PIA. Miss a turn and you are 45 minutes getting back to where you started from.
 
Old Jan 16th, 2006, 12:12 PM
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Have to agree with GoTravel. Theoretically, having a car would allow you to see more, but driving in Atlanta is really tough...crazy traffic, roads that change names every few blocks, poor signage, expensive parking...the list goes on. Bottom line is I doubt it would be worth the hassle/trouble, especially for only a 4 day visit. See what you can with MARTA or touring companies.
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Old Jan 16th, 2006, 02:25 PM
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We'll be staying at the same hotel in May--what about restaurant recs for the area?
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Old Jan 16th, 2006, 02:43 PM
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What type of restaurants do you like? My favorite is an inexpensive, funky place called the Flying Biscuit. There are two locations--one near you in midtown. They have a website. Google them. Buckhead is an upscale neighborhood north of downtown that the girls might like. Tons of restaurants to choose from there.
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Old Jan 16th, 2006, 04:52 PM
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My favorite is Dailey's. Or at least it used to be.
 
Old Jan 16th, 2006, 05:04 PM
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As suggested before, take MARTA from airport to Peachtree Center station. Several downtown hotels are connected to Peachtree Center by sky bridges, so you can get around that area of downtown without really going out on the streets. There's a food court in Peachtree Center, but it caters to the business crowd. Good dining options during the day. At night, I'd suggest:

Mama Ninfa's - just outside the Peachree Center "mall" area - at the door to International Drive. "Mama" originated fajitas in her Houston restaurant. Very good Tex-Mex food.

Mick's - a moderate, casual Atlanta chain. Same location as Mama Ninfa's but to the left (instead of the right). Menu has a wide range of appetizers, burgers, pastas, soups, entrees, etc.

Dailey's - across the street (International Drive)from that entrance to Peachtree Center. VERY good, semi-pricey restaurant. The dessert bar is INCREDIBLE!

The kids would probably like the Hard Rock Cafe. Out the same door and up the hill a half of block to Peachtree Street. It's on the corner of P'tree and International.

For a real treat, check out the revolving lounge of the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel - at the same intersection of Ptree and International, but to the left.

Ray's in the City is very good seafood, on Peachtree within the block.

Don't rent a car. Atlanta traffic can be a bear. You could take a cab every night to somewhere else for less than the rental and parking.

If you want to venture further out (than walking distance) let us know.

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Old Jan 17th, 2006, 06:55 AM
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Thanks everyone for your input. Fodorites have never let me down. Have read some negatives on the Atlanta Underground and the World of Coke. Are these tourist traps or what? The aquarium and CNN are on our list of things to do. Keep any suggestions coming. I really appreciate it.
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Old Jan 17th, 2006, 07:37 AM
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There's a great french/seafood restaurant in Lenox Mall. Yes, I know I sound like an idiot, but seriously...it's a great restaurant, and it's in a mall. Brasserie Le Coze, sister restaurant to Le Bernardine in NYC.

Thought I'd mention it since Lenox is a MARTA stop.
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Old Jan 17th, 2006, 07:40 AM
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I think the four of you will be fine on MARTA. Avoid it late though. Would not recommend driving. From what I understand there are eateries within the Aquarium--Wolfgang Puck has one??Underground Atl is a bit rough. The girls would probably enjoy Lenox Mall which is accessable via MARTA
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Old Jan 17th, 2006, 07:48 AM
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The weird thing about Atlanta Underground is that every couple of years you hear it has been cleaned up and is a great shopping and dining mecca.

Then a couple years later you hear it is crime ridden and not a good place.
 
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