Back in the ’60s, Atlanta received the unofficial nickname of “The City Too Busy To Hate.” The marketing slogan was used to fight racism and spark economic growth. It worked. By the ’90s, cranes and commotion filled the city — and stayed. Only now, a stuffed calendar of hotel openings, cultural happenings and sporting events compounds the constant construction. The capital of the South does not take a weekend off.
Luckily, tourists and locals alike benefit from all the busyness. It doesn’t matter if you’re in town for work or relaxation over the next few months, you’ll find something intriguing happening during your stay in the A.
The Hotel Excitement
While Midtown and Downtown Atlanta have their share of high-end accommodations, on your next visit stay in Buckhead, the city’s toniest neighborhood. One of the most refined overnight options, InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta sits less than a five-minute trek from luxury shopping destinations like Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza and a 20-minute Uber ride from the heart of town.
Fresh off a full makeover that ushered changes to everything from a modern color palette to a new Italian-American restaurant from celebrity chef Scott Conant to a reimagined Club Lounge, the InterContinental looks even more attractive. But the thing we love most about a stay here — not to take anything away from the stylish Signature Suites and rebranded spa featuring Biologique Recherche treatments, of course — remains the hotel’s long-standing reputation for warmth and genuine care that does not get lost in all the newness.
The Cultural Calendar
The six-acre expanse behind Midtown’s Atlantic Station supplies space for numerous events throughout the year, like tennis tournaments, car demonstrations and holiday light shows. Through December 24, the space transforms into a whimsical world of invention and imagination with Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities. Billed as a magical mechanical world where “reality is all relative,” the show creates a wonderous escape from the all-day conference also on your week’s agenda.
And speaking of escapes, the fully immersive “Harry Potter: The Exhibition” will appeal to anyone who dreams of seeing the pages of J.K. Rowling’s books come to life. Dazzling from October 21 until early 2023 at the 200 Peachtree Building, the exhibit includes prop and costume displays, interactive storytelling and Quidditch challenges.
For those looking for an experience a bit more grounded in reality, visit the renowned High Museum of Art this season for two just-opened showings from Black creatives. “Stephen Burks: Shelter in Place” (through March 5, 2023) takes a holistic look at the award-winning artist’s industrial designs and crafts. “Deana Lawson” (through February 19, 2023), the first museum collection centered around the eponymous photographer, showcases 60-plus works considering Black identities and bodies.
The Sports Headlines
October marks an exciting month for sports fans around town. Besides cheering for the Atlanta Braves’ annual march toward the World Series, you also have the new-look Hawks (welcome to the ATL, Dejounte Murray!) and still-trying-to-figure-things-out Falcons in action. While the latter sometimes frustrates on the field, the fan experience at Mercedes-Benz Stadium continues to win. On October 2, the venue debuted ATL Market, a cashless, checkout-free concession stand (think: the Amazon Fresh stores) where revelers simply wave their credit card for entry, grab their snacks and walk out without ever interacting with a cashier, ensuring fans get back to their seats faster than ever.
If you’re in the city for the SEC Championship (December 3) or College Football Playoff Semifinal (December 31), make your way to the College Football Hall of Fame for the attraction’s newest exhibit celebrating the 2022 College Football Hall of Fame class. A collection of more than 150 helmets, photos and game-worn equipment from gridiron greats such as Champ Bailey and Andrew Luck makes a dynamic, must-see display for football fans.
After your hall of fame visit, walk across the street to Centennial Olympic Park, a popular greenspace with obstruction-free views of the cityscape’s old skyscrapers and new cranes.