TA Away Game Travel Guide to Atlanta

26 May 2018 1:07 PM | Darren Lloyd (Administrator)

—by Nic Gulas; last updated 12/02/2018 by Darren Lloyd

Welcome to Atlanta where the playa’s play! The capital of the South is excited to welcome you as the home of Delta, Coca-Cola, and one of the worst sports towns in America. Well, until Atlanta United. The spectacle inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be something for all of you to behold, but it’ll be a grand chance for traveling TA to continue making a name for ourselves. As the central area of the Southeast, expect TA from Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Florida to all invade ATL along with you. Now, take a look below for everything you need to know for the Cup! Well, and any other time you find yourself in the A.

Things to Know

  • This is the largest venue in MLS in a city heavily reliant on their cars, so be prepared for lots of traffic if you have a car. Atlanta traffic doesn’t care if it’s 4pm on a Tuesday or 8am on a Sunday. There will be a slowdown, especially at the I-75/85/20 area where most of the action will be taking place. Do your best to arrive early wherever you want to go and be prepared to not really move after the match, either.

  • As stated above, MARTA drops off right at MBS/Phillips Arena/Georgia World Congress Center. This will be just as crowded as the streets around the stadium, so keep that in mind for post match travel, as well.

  • WEATHER: Weather predictions shouldn’t be trusted this far in advance, but MBS is an indoor stadium, so it will not affect the match.

Travel

If you are planning to fly into Atlanta, you will fly into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). Be advised, this is the busiest airport in the world, serving over 100 million people a year. ATL offers taxis, rideshares, rental cars, and connects to the MARTA red/orange line.

MARTA trains run through many parts of the city. Some areas, especially to the west and south, can be a little dicey, but using it from the Airport to the city as well as within greater ATL is a great tool to have. MARTA, however, does not venture out into Cobb County, which is northwest of the city and where Marietta is located.

Atlanta is one of the most reliant cities on their cars. Traffic in the city is constantly ranked among the top 10 worst in the country, but if you want to get to some of the “See & Do” locations that are listed below, a car will be the way to go, and those locations will be marked as such.

Atlanta has three major interstates converge in the middle of the city: I-20 from the east and west then I-75 and I-85 that run north and south. In a four hour radius, these can get you to Charlotte, Nashville, Birmingham, and Savannah. I-285 is the outer loop interstate that runs through Marietta, Alpharetta, and the ATL airport. It takes about an hour to drive the entire loop, but remember, it’s a loop, so you don’t get lost on it.  

If you are staying in the greater downtown, Midtown, Buckhead area, ride sharing is a great way to get around. Rates are reasonable for a major city and will usually get you where you need to go in good time.

Stay

Atlanta has plenty of hotels both in and around the city. It’s best to stay close to what you plan to do or spend most your time on, especially if you opt for no car. Downtown will be your best bet if you’re coming for the match, and there are plenty of high end as well as economic options throughout downtown. For the Cup, I would suggest staying as close to Centennial Olympic Park as your budget will allow. There are plenty of AirBnb options around town, as well.

Caffeinate

Atlanta isn’t really a coffee hotbed. It’s very much dominated by the Starbucks and Dunkins of the world. With that said, there are a couple of places worth checking out if you need to perk up and want to support the local guys.

  • Ebrik Coffee Room, Downtown: A cozy little coffee shop on the Georgia State campus.

  • Revelator/Octane, multiple locations: All Octanes are in the process of being transformed to Revelators, who bought them out, but there are many locations in the Midtown/Downtown area for fresh brewed Joe.

Eat

Atlanta has plenty of good food options, both of the notable chain variety as well as local flair. The thing is, you’re in the South, so don’t be surprised when you see a bunch of fried stuff mentioned below.

  • Waffle House, multiple locations: You’re in the South, you have to eat at Waffle House. The 24-hour breakfast-themed diners are scattered all over the place and are definitely better at 2am. Don’t ask how, they just are.

  • The Varsity, Georgia Tech campus: “Whatta’ya have?!” If you approach the register at The Varsity without knowing the answer to that question, you will be screamed at repeatedly. Fast food grease pit is the best way to describe this Atlanta staple. Make sure to grab an Orange Creamsicle milkshake with whatever you eat.

  • Fox Brothers BBQ, Little Five Points: Again, you’re in the South, so finding the best BBQ is clearly a priority. Fox Brothers is consistently considered the best pork and ribs in Atlanta. Fox Brothers can also be found inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

  • The Vortex, Little Five Points/Midtown: If you can, make it to the Little Five Points location. A small hole in the wall bar, The Vortex also offers up the best hamburger in Atlanta in a unique part of town. There are multiple bars close by, as well, so if you’re looking for a night out in one area, starting at the Vortex or Fox Bros is highly recommended.

  • Recess, Krog Street Market: Here’s a lighter, vegetarian option after a bunch of greasy food. Recess offers bowls, salads, and sandwiches in a relaxed, casual atmosphere.

  • Atlanta Breakfast Club, Downtown: If you’re looking for a traditional breakfast or brunch, or want to grab some chicken and waffles, give Atlanta Breakfast Club a try.

  • Empire State South, Midtown: If you want a more high end brunch that won’t disappoint, Hugh Acheson’s Empire State South is a great place for it. While you wait, try your hand at the bocce ball court just outside.

Drink

  • PSA: You’re Oregonians; when you’re in Atlanta you’re going to seek our craft beer. People will recommend Scofflaw. They actually make pretty decent beer but DO NOT visit. They’re pro-Trump reductive assholes, and exist to piss people off. They are completely contradictory to the values of TA.

  • Sweetwater Brewing Company, Piedmont Heights: One of the most successful breweries in the South, Sweetwater has been slinging suds since 1997. If you enjoy IPAs, this is the brewery for you. Almost every offering from Sweetwater is an IPA.

  • Monday Night Brewing Company, West Midtown: If you want a bigger variety of beer, try Monday Night Brewing. Most of their beers have lower ABVs and focus more on flavor profiles, aimed at being enjoyed every day of the week rather than living for the weekend.

  • Other Breweries: Red Brick Brewing, Red Hare Brewing, Orpheus Brewing, Second Self Brewing

  • STATS and Der Biergarten, Centennial Olympic Park area: These two spots are located next door to each other just down the road from the College Football Hall of Fame and Georgia Aquarium. STATS is a great local sports bar and grill with a full bar. Der Biergarten has both indoor and outdoor space great to enjoy a wide choice of German beer and fare.

  • Holman and Finch Public House, Peachtree Hills: If you want some of the best spirits and small plates in ATL, this is your location. Tucked in along Peachtree Road, H&F is a calm, casual atmosphere. If you can, get there early enough for lunch or dinner to get one of their hamburgers. You have to be quick, because they only have 24 per service.

  • Elliott Street Deli and Pub, Downtown ATL: Located just blocks from Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Elliott St Deli and Pub is a neighborhood spot in the middle of the hustle and bustle of ATL. Known for its charm and sandwich menu, there’s also a wall of taps with a rotating selection of beers.  

  • Barcelona Wine Bar, Atlantic Station area: If you want to skip the beer and spirits, Barcelona Wine Bar is your place. There’s EIGHTEEN pages of wines to choose from, so yes, they have something you will like. Their locations also have full menus to find that perfect pairing.

See & Do

Home to four major sports franchises, multiple Fortune 500 companies, and a central location during the American Civil Rights movement, there’s plenty to see and do in the Atlanta area. Less than an hour outside the city limits, you can find great hiking and rivers. No matter your interests, there’s something for you in ATL.

  • World of Coke Museum: If you want to learn everything about America’s favorite soft drink, this is the place. The World of Coke museum covers the history of the soda, including their ad campaigns. Take a picture with the animatronic polar bear and finish the tour by trying Coke products from all over the world.

  • Georgia Aquarium: The Largest Aquarium in the Western Hemisphere, the Georgia Aquarium houses more than 10,000 animals in fresh and saltwater tanks as well as a few places for land creatures. See beluga whales being fed or walk in a tunnel under one of the tanks.

  • Centennial Olympic Park: The main gathering area for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Centennial Olympic Park is located in the middle of everything to see and do in the Downtown area. Surrounded by the Georgia Aquarium, Coke Museum, CNN Center, Philips Arena, and the College Football Hall of Fame, the park has an Olympic Ring fountain as well as art of summer olympic events. If you want to see the torch from the 1996 Games, head toward Georgia State’s football stadium, which is the former home of the Atlanta Braves and served as Olympic Stadium for the Games.

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial: Located at the King Center, this is the final resting place of MLK Jr. The King Center houses many documents from King’s fight at the forefront of the American Civil Rights movement as well as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization founded by Dr. King.

  • CNN Center: The original home of Cable News Network is located in the heart of Atlanta. Tours of the studios are available, but sadly not guided by Anderson Cooper. The lower level of the CNN Center has a food court that is connected to Philips Arena and roughly three blocks to MBS. A couple of the food options sell rather large beers that can be taken outside on gamedays to the grassy areas around MBS.

  • Six Flags Over Georgia: (Car necessary) Six Flags Over Georgia is located about 10 miles outside the city down I-20. Home of 8 different roller coasters, including Batman, Superman, and the Ninja, Six Flags is a fun getaway with plenty of fun rides and shows. In the hot months, Thunder River is a solid choice for a cool down. If you have younger kids, they can see their favorite Looney Tunes characters around the park. Pro Tip: buy a can of Coke to bring down the admission price. Most individual cans have coupons for $10 or $15 off.

  • Piedmont Park: Located in the heart of the city, Piedmont Park is a great place to relax and enjoy a great day outside. The park has great views of the Atlanta skyline with plenty of open space for pets or a quick kickaround.

  • College Football Hall of Fame: One of the newest attractions in Atlanta, the College Football Hall of Fame moved down from South Bend, Indiana in 2014. The most popular sport in the South is represented in multiple halls and interactive areas to cover over 150 years of college football. The main entrance hall has a wall of every current college football helmet from every division.

  • Stone Mountain: (Car necessary) If you need to get out of the city and into nature, this is the place. Stone Mountain has plenty of hiking, biking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities to enjoy.

  • Atlanta Braves/Hawks/Falcons: Depending when you visit, any of the other Atlanta teams may be in season. The Falcons also play in Mercedes-Benz Stadium while the Hawks play next door in Philips Arena. If you want to take in a Braves game, you’ll need a car to get out to Cobb County. If you want to make a day of it, there’s plenty to do around SunTrust Park in The Battery ATL.

Comments

  • 04 Dec 2018 5:33 PM | Keith Moring
    Thank you to the 107st's travel group! Rolling the ATL on Friday w my teenage son and this is very helpful for our planning. Go Timbers!
    Link  •  Reply


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