the Wren’s Nest
More than half a century after its starring role as the backdrop for one of America’s most celebrated and iconic books turned Oscar-winning films (Gone With the Wind, for you youngsters), Atlanta is as beguiling as ever.
If You Go...Sid Mashburn
1198 Howell Mill Road NW
(404) 350-7135Visit WebsiteTulipano
3145 Peachtree Road
(404) 816-3550Visit WebsiteBistro Niko
3344 Peachtree Road
(404) 261-6456Visit WebsiteLeRoy’s Fried Chicken
1021 Howell Mill Road NW
(404) 872-7888Morelli’s Ice Cream
749 Moreland Ave. SE
(404) 622-0210Visit WebsiteGeorgia Aquarium
225 Baker St. NW
(404) 581-4000Visit WebsiteWren’s Nest
1050 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. SW
(404) 753-7735Visit WebsiteSt. Regis Atlanta
, from $299
88 W. Paces Ferry Road
(404) 563-7900Visit WebsiteGeorgian Terrace
, from $134
659 Peachtree St. NE
(800) 651-2316Visit WebsiteMargaret Mitchell House
990 Peachtree St.
(404) 249-7015Visit WebsiteGone With the Wind Museum: Scarlett on the Square
18 Whitlock Ave.
(770) 794-5576Visit Website
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the release of Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Gone With the Wind, a book that forever changed the way the world viewed Atlanta. A lot has changed since the post–Civil War days of the story, but Georgia’s bustling capital is still full of charm and brimming with more Southern hospitality than one could possibly imagine — just like a certain heroine we all know and love.
Shop For dapper menswear, locals and visitors alike flock to Sid Mashburn’s eponymous store on Atlanta’s West Side. The former J.Crew designer was named one of the 10 Most Stylish Men in America in 2009 by GQ, and he passes his style savvy on with his own designs as well as a carefully curated mix of made-to-measure suits, casual wear and accessories. Ladies will love the personalized service at Tulipano in Buckhead (the district is known as the shopping hub of the South). The eclectic mix of Southern designers (Leona, Hunter Dixon and Hyla DeWitt) as well as more nationally recognized names like Halston Heritage, Diane von Furstenberg and Shoshanna make it a one-stop shop for fashion-forward gals.
Eat No restaurant in Atlanta is buzzing like the Buckhead district’s Bistro Niko. The fashionable see-and-be-seen crowd flocks to the restaurant after work for potent classic cocktails such as the Moscow Mule and the house signature, Specialite le St. Germain (elderflower liqueur and Champagne). The menu highlights fresh, local ingredients in both traditional and modern French dishes (such as coq au vin and beef bourguignon), and the result is sublime. For a more casual — and decidedly down-home — dining experience, visit LeRoy’s Fried Chicken stand. The house specialty is, of course, fried chicken (cooked to order, in lard), and the tangy collard greens and dreamy mac and cheese make perfect accompaniments. For a sweet treat, mosey over to Morelli’s Ice Cream, which features a weekly rotation of offbeat (but so tasty) flavors like Coconut Jalapeno, Ginger Lavender and Maple Bacon Brittle.
See It’s hard to mention things to see in Atlanta without including the Georgia Aquarium, the largest in the world. The colossal collection of sea life includes beluga whales, whale sharks, penguins, harbor seals, manta rays, dolphins and many more in 10 million gallons of water. For a taste of some real Southern history, visit the Wren’s Nest, the restored Victorian home of Joel Chandler Harris, who compiled the Brer Rabbit stories narrated by Uncle Remus — which are read regularly by professional storytellers inside the home and its grand gardens.
Sleep St. Regis Atlanta is the city’s finest place to lay your head after a long day of shopping, dining and sightseeing. Even standard rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, 300-thread-count sheets and original artwork, largely by local artists. Feeling indulgent? Treat yourself to a luxurious service at the property’s on-site spa, Remède. Make sure to arrive early to chill out in the plush relaxation suite (separated by gender) and nibble on the hotel’s complimentary house-made artisan chocolates.
A Gone Withthe Wind Tour
Famed Atlanta landmark the Georgian Terrace Hotel
is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year with an $11 million renovation. This is where Margaret Mitchell famously handed off her original, unfinished manuscript toMacmillan editor Harold Latham and also where the movie cast stayed for the premiere of the film in 1939.
While you’re on Peachtree Street, be sure to wander a few blocks north to the terra-cotta-hued Margaret Mitchell House
, where Mitchell penned her work.
For those on a true pilgrimage, the Gone With the Wind Museum
in Marietta — about 20 minutes north of town — is a must-see. Housed in a former cotton warehouse (circa 1875), it contains artifacts ranging from the honeymoon gown Vivien Leigh wore in the film to first-edition international copies of the book (including the Iranian edition in Farsi).