We’ve arrived in Atlanta and the welcome committee has already shown us the true meaning of Southern hospitality. Check out some launch party pics here.

We turned to two of our Atlanta-based Hosts, also design tastemakers, Emily Porche and Morgan Bullard, to tell us the best spots for dinner, shopping, and spending time outside in and around Atlanta.

Centennial Park Fountain

Downtown Atlanta, GA

Downtown Atlanta is a hotbed of activity, including the food, nightlife, sports, and music scenes. Here, our guides dutifully help us narrow down the overwhelming “best of” lists with some of their personal favorites.

Restaurants

Gunshow

Gunshow
Gunshow is our favorite for a date night. So much fun and delicious food!” says Porche. The entire experience at Chef Kevin Gillespie’s Gunshow in Glenwood Park is highly interactive. Waiters wheel carts of food to the tables where guests can then choose their dinner from the display. Chefs whip up the selections in their exposed kitchen. The menu changes frequently, and features about 15 different items per night — everything from squid ink ragu to mapo tofu.

Superica
Superica in Buckhead is one of the Porche family’s favorites; Southwestern decor matches its Tex-Mex style menu.

The Painted Pin

The Painted Pin
“This boutique bowling alley in Buckhead is fantastic,” says Bullard, “I babysat for the family who owns it in college.” The family-owned spot has amazing food and frozen moscow mules on tap.

Outdoor destinations

Centennial Park
Bullard’s family loves the Ferris Wheel in Centennial Park, which is a visitor’s destination for good reason: it’s beautiful all lit up at night and offers spectacular views of the city below.

Piedmont Park

Porche recommends checking out Piedmont Park for a healthy mix of nature, live events, and a taste of Atlanta. Bullard seconds that, and suggests swinging by Busy’s which serves shaved ice and coffees out of an airstream trailer.

Shopping

Swan Coach House

Swan Coach House

“The gift shop at the Swan Coach House has the cutest Atlanta Southern gifts,” says Porche. Be sure to tour the Swan House and Atlanta History Center while you’re there to soak up some of Atlanta’s history.

Marietta, GA

Porche’s hometown of Marietta, located just northwest of downtown Atlanta, was founded in 1845. Civil War- and Reconstruction-era artifacts and landmarks are sprinkled throughout, providing a unique historical backdrop for the local community.

Restaurants

Canton Street
Canton Street restaurants are our favorite for a date night,” says Porche. She suggests checking out Roux or Table & Main. Then take an after-dinner stroll around the charming street, or heading over to Gate City Brewing.

Moxie Taco
Casual weeknights call for some family-friendly spots like Moxie Taco, a fan favorite for the kids because of the huge whiteboard for drawing, and King of Pops, for tasty desserts.

Outdoor destinations

Chattahoochee River

Chattahoochee River
Spend a day lazily floating down the Chattahoochee River — or hiking or fishing.

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Or spend an afternoon exploring the grounds of the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, 2,965 acres of preserved Civil War battleground. Located at the southern end point of the Appalachians, it’s now a popular destination for hiking, bird watching, and picnicking.

Shopping

Linen and Flax Home

Linen & Flax
Emily loves home decor, and says Linen & Flax is an absolute must. They have an abundance of elegant yet comfortable furnishings, accessories, and of course, linens for the well-appointed Georgia home.

McDonough, GA

Design and lifestyle blogger Morgan Bullard lives in the quaint town of McDonough, just about a half-hour southeast of downtown Georgia.

Restaurants

Queen Bee Coffee Company

Queen Bee Coffee
Bullard suggests starting the day at Queen Bee Coffee for their apple fritters and coffee. They purchase the beans direct from farmers and roast them on-site for some of the freshest, richest brew in town.

Pasta Max Cafe
For dinner, Bullard loves Pasta Max Cafe. It’s on the finer end of dining, making it perfect for a date night or special occasion. They have a wide range of classic Italian dishes including pizzas, pasta, and seafood entrees.

French Market & Tavern
Last up, French Market & Tavern remains one of Bullard and fam’s beloved go-tos. The bistro-style spot features several New Orleans classics: shrimp and grits, jambalaya, and beignets. They’re open all day too, and the brunch (including a bourbon-glazed chicken and waffles) is not to be missed.

Outdoor Activities

Southern Belle Farm

Southern Belle Farm
Henry County is dotted with beautiful farms, creeks, rivers and parks. One such place is Southern Belle Farm, open seasonally. Perfect for a family day, the farm allows guests to pick fresh fruit from their crops, or purchase it at their market. In fall they have a pumpkin patch, 4-acre corn maze, and, of course, apple picking.

Have more Atlanta-based recos? We want to hear all about them, tag us in your adventures on Instagram and let us know how you’re spending time outside this season.