The Next Destinations: Atlanta and Athens

Atlanta is hot right now — literally and figuratively. The TV show is up for a slew of Emmys and rightful so, it brings into spotlight the odd nature and social, economic and racial dynamics of the former Olympic city. It’s also home to the world’s busiest airport (depending on what list you look at), which why the Donald Glover character works there.

This is a just a quick two-day weekend drive-by where I’ll be splitting my time between there and the more eclectic Athens, which is a 90-minute drive away. I’ve never been to either, and I’m sure there’s plenty to do, but it’s one of those situations where I eventually I had to visit.

Besides the TV show, two high profile summer movies filmed on the streets and on soundstages. Baby Driver takes place in Atlanta proper while Spider-Man: Homecoming took advantage of the Georgia tax breaks to film in studios there. Add in the fact that their football team lost in the Super Bowl, and Atlanta is in the spotlight.

As for Athens, it was the home of two of the most beloved bands in indie and modern rock, R.E.M. and the B-52s. The mid-sized town has always attracted artistic types. Today, it’s a destination for those seeking a quieter, more low-key scene then Atlanta.

My list of things to do is relatively small. Atlanta has the big touristy Coke-Cola World where I’m hoping I can swim in a lake of soda. Athens has the state botanical gardens and natural history. Unfortunately, Atlanta’s big history museum is under construction until 2018. It does have a respected High Art Museum.

Beer wise I should be taken care of but Georgia has some whack laws limitin hours and beer sales on premises. Athens is home to Terrapin and Creature Comforts, while Atlanta boasts one of the nation’s largest craft breweries, Sweetwater.

Food wise, I’ve got my eyes on the small regional chain, The Varsity, The Vortex and JR Cricketts. No word if the Clermont Lounge has a decent food menu.

As for the Clermont Lounge, It’s not yet an UNESCO World Heritage site. In any event, let’s see what I discover in two days.


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