Establishment neighborhood
Flora Bar
945 Madison Ave., Midtown
On the ground floor of the still-buzzy Met Breuer (the contemporary art annex of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, several blocks away from the main building), Flora Bar is the latest project from the team behind downtown favorites Estela and Café Altro Paradiso. But here’s the real reason it’s great: Flora Bar is the opposite from the sterile, often mediocre restaurants that are typical at many of the big museums. The space itself is striking: soaring ceilings, huge windows that overlook the expansive outdoor seating area and the modest garden. The menu is a mix of Japanese- and Spanish-influenced tapas, like scallop crudo with Asian pear and ramps, snow crab with miso mayonnaise, and lamb ribs with yogurt and mojo verde (a mixture of garlic, cumin, cilantro, and olive oil).
Stellar Bodies
44 12th St., Midtown
Owned by two ridiculously fit local trainers, Jeff Toney and Amy Selig, the workouts here are based on the Lagree Method, a pilates-based practice that uses a combination of cardio and strength training to get the posture and lengthening benefits of the former along with the calorie-burn and metabolism boost of the latter. Everything happens on a Megaformer, and since the room can only hold a few of them, the classes have the added benefit of always feeling super intimate and personalized. There's a second studio inBuckhead.
High Museum of Art
280 Peachtree St., Midtown
A visit to the High Museum is as much an architectural pilgrimage as an artistic one—though the museum was originally housed in a mansion that belonged to the High family, a grant from Coca-Cola in the late '70s made possible a major expansion into a brand-new, Richard-Meier-designed building to house the growing collection. More recently, a 2002 addition by Renzo Piano more than doubled the size of the building. There are more than 15,000 works in the permanent collection, spanning American, European, African, and folk art—a selection of the best, plus several significant works of outdoor public art, are always on display and the museum puts on traveling special exhibitions year-round as a supplement.
Bar Margot
75 14th St. NE, Midtown
The highlight of Atlanta’s Four Seasons is the delightful Bar Margot. As the name suggests, the cocktail menu here is a real draw; house specialties include the Lady Victoria, a lemon-fresh vodka-rosemary concoction, plus a local-beer program. The restaurant does lunch and dinner with a number of snackable, shareable items on each menu (e.g. crab toast, burrata with pistachio butter, deviled eggs) in addition to their more substantial plates (lobster roll at lunch, lobster thermidor or chicken mattone at dinner). After midnight, they have a short-lived but appropriately satisfying late-night menu—think fried chicken sandwiches and house burgers dressed with charred onions.
Fox Theater
660 Peachtree Street NE, Midtown
Like many Fox’s around the country, Atlanta’s oldest theatre was originally owned by movie mogul William Fox—it opened in the late 1920s, showing black-and-white movies with sound played by an enormous Möller organ that remains in the theatre today. In the 1960s, the city’s arts and cultural patrons banded together to save the theatre in its current incarnation as a performing arts venue. It’s worth visiting for the ornate (and original) architectural details alone, but this is also the place to see dance, broadway shows, comedians, and live music.
Isamu Noguchi Playscapes
Piedmont Ave. & 14th St., Midtown
Designer Isamu Noguchi is best known for his iconic Herman Miller collaborations and his notable public sculptures, but also spent much of his career studying the playing habits of children, and designing playscapes that would, as Noguchi said, “Instead of telling the child what to do, [would] become a place for endless exploration.” Noguchi’s only built playground in the United States opened in Piedmont Park in 1976, was recently restored and re-painted by (who else?) Herman Miller Cares.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
1345 Piedmont Ave., Midtown
We’re suckers for a lush botanical garden in a big city, and Atlanta's is no exception. Half of the acreage is taken up by the Storza Woods, a (rare) surviving urban forest that visitors can experience from above via a relatively new canopy-walking experience. In addition to the customary Conservatory, which holds beautiful specimens of rare plants (the orchid section is breathtaking), the garden is also home to an ambitious edible garden that showcases seasonal produce via healthy raised beds and an impressive vertical herb garden. Check the schedule for outdoor cooking demonstrations by local chefs.
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