Next time you’re passing through the Peach State, do yourself a favor and meander down Peachtree Street. We don’t mean just any Peachtree Street, either; while Atlanta(and much of Georgia) is crawling with “Peachtree Streets,” the one we recommend is the capital city’s main drag.
Wander along this street to partake in local history, tasty Southern grub, and the sort of community feeling you wouldn’t expect in a big city. So set aside your Netflix and step outside—whether you’re just hanging out in the Westin Peachtree Plaza between business meetings or making a point to get to know the neighborhood, you’ll find plenty of things to do on Peachtree Street.
Peachtree Street is old, and as expected, it’s dotted with historic properties. Rhodes Hall is one such landmark. The former home of furniture builder Amos Rhodes, “The Castle on Peachtree” is now open for tours. Climb its spiral, mahogany staircase, tilt your head back to look at the ornate light fixtures, and get a taste of local history in its stately halls. Just remember to behave—no sliding down the banister, no matter how tempting it looks.
From here, head just a few blocks south to the Woodruff Arts Center. Originally built in the late 1960s as a tribute to several leaders in Atlanta’s art community, the center now houses the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the High Museum of Art, among other venues. The latter museum includes more than 15,000 pieces from all over the world, including African and European contributions. Much of what you’ll see here is centuries old, and an excellent chronicle of humanity’s creative journey.
Wandering around Woodruff will help you work up an appetite, and Peachtree is ready to assist in satiating your appetite. We recommend a stop at Neighborhood Eats, located just over a mile north at 1819 Peachtree Road. This hole in the wall is stuffed into an office building, so you may have to do some hunting to find it, but when you do—heck yeah, food! Say hi to the friendly owner, go over the gigantic menu, and figure out what sounds good. The turkey sandwich is a local favorite, or, if you’re into carbs, try the Blue Plate Breakfast Platter. Eggs, hash browns, and bacon? You can’t go wrong.
Unless you’re a vegetarian, in which case we don’t know what to tell you.
For slightly fancier fare, make your way to Tavernpointe over at 1545 Peachtree—a 2-minute drive south from Neighborhood Eats. This gastropub has something for just about everyone. The Sunday brunch is a local favorite, and you’ve absolutely got to try the smoked, Peruvian-style meats that are the centerpiece of the menu. They’re not cheap, but they’re also nothing you’re used to eating. Really. Stop reading this and try them now.
The dinner menu also includes sharable dishes, like baked macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes and gravy, so bring along that cutie from across the street that you’ve been trying to impress. They’ll be so dazzled by the food, they’re sure to go out with you again.
Since it’s considered the main drag, Peachtree Street hosts numerous parades throughout the year. If you’re visiting during the holidays, bring the little ones to the Atlanta Children’s Christmas Parade. The parade starts at 16th and Peachtree, then makes its way to 5th Street by noon. Your kiddos will love the Atlanta Christmas Parade floats—and of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas if Santa Claus didn’t make an appearance.
If your preferences lean more toward shamrocks and leprechauns, then visit Georgia in March. The Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Parade is for everyone, even if you aren’t Irish. Like the Christmas event, the parade runs down Peachtree Street from 16th to 5th Street, just as it has since 1858. Musicians, dancers, and costumes abound; you can say hello to everyone from Darth Vader to city councilors. So bust out the kilts and the green mustaches, because this is one shindig you don’t want to miss.
Like we said, there’s plenty to do on Peachtree Street, so why are you still inside? Grab your phone and get ready to take a bite out of the Peach State!