Population: 442,775 Nickname: Hotlanta
Keep dreaming: Atlanta is the hometown of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the city commemorates the civil rights leader and the civil rights movement in the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site (nps.gov/malu), the 10-block area around his boyhood home and the Baptist church where he was minister. It's a must-see for travelers -- alone worth it for the quiet moment in the screening room listening to the "I Have a Dream" speech.
To find the best places to shop, we talked with bloggers Rhoda Vickers (southernhospitalityblog.com), Kelly Marzka (viewalongtheway.com), and Jewel Hazelton (eatdrinkshoplove.com) who share their no-fail faves in the ATL.
Download the full guide HERE.
Boxwoods Garden 100 East Andrews Drive boxwoodsonline.com Seasonal displays and decor vignettes in this gem in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood present garden and home decor like no other, earning local shopping accolades each year. Bonus score: Their dedicated tabletop design boutique is just across the street.
Kudzu Antiques 2928 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Decatur, Georgia kudzuantiques.com Most people would miss this unassuming Decatur, Georgia, group shop widely considered metro Atlanta's best antiques shop since 1979. Its 25,000 square feet are packed with one-of-a-kind finds where shoppers are as likely to unearth a cigar-store Indian statue as a midcentury table.
Scarlett Loves Rhettro 436 Ponce de Leon Avenue NE scarlettlovesrhettro.com Just down the street from Kudzu (the area is lined with vintage shops), retro finds pile to the ceiling and spill out the door at this quirky shop resembling an archeological dig. "Don't forget the tiny upstairs attic where all the discounts live," says Kelly Marzka, View Along the Way.
West Midtown Design District 541 10th Street, #418 westmidtowndesigndistrict.com
Designers, architects, and entertainment pros love this former warehouse district that now serves as a style superhighway. Our stylists love top-notch Forsyth Fabrics (forsythfabrics.com), with thousands of in-stock high-end draperies and trims, and Lewis & Sheron Textiles (lsfabrics.com), which adds art, rugs, and furniture to the mix. The gorgeous stationery, bath products, tabletops, linens, and vintage furniture at the recently expanded Merchant at Howell Mill (themerchantatl.tumblr.com) feels curated by a best girlfriend, says Hazelton, Eat Drink Shop Love. Atlanta Made (atlantamade.us) sells art, furniture, and apparel all designed and made by local artisans. It is right across the street from the terrific shop-and-dine Star Provisions (starprovisions.com), owned by rising star chef Anne Quatrano (shrimp po'boys, people). Or sit down at one of the farm-to-table eateries such as the excellent JCT Kitchen & Bar (jctkitchen.com).
Woodstock Market 5500 Bells Ferry Road, Acworth, Georgia woodstockmarket.com This massive home consignment store is a treasure hunt for repurposed furniture, fabrics, crockery and dishware, vintage hardware, and more. Some vendors earn cult followings, such as the maker of a local paint line. Watch the website for events and junk days.
Fabrics & Fringe Warehouse 2440 Canton Road, Marietta, Georgia www.fabricsandfringe.com Shoppers will find thousands of fabrics in this 16,000-square-foot Marietta, Georgia, warehouse with the motto "We shop the world so you don't have to." Great trims and fair prices have built a loyal local following.
Pieces 3234-A Roswell Road piecesinc.com Interior designer Lee Klinefelter's Buckhead-neighborhood boutique interplays white space and color. Oft-rotated inventory ranges from high-style cocktailery to the latest in acrylic plastic. Nearby café Souper Jenny (souperjennyatl.com) serves yummy lobster rolls in summer.
Scott Antique Markets 3650 Jonesboro Road scottantiquemarket.com Billed as "America's Favorite Treasure Hunt," this monthly market is on everybody's must-do list. Scads of vendors deal in everything including high-end furniture and rusty, old metalwork from all over the United States and Europe.
Ballard's Backroom 1670 DeFoor Avenue ballarddesigns.com Half of this retail space showcases furniture retailer Ballard Designs' catalog offerings, but the other half is an outlet store offloading a different portion of stock each week -- patio, bedding, art, you name it. The website's e-newsletter announces the weekly sale theme.
Paris on Ponce 716 Ponce de Leon Place, NE parisonponce.com Visitors vibe out on retro Euro goods in this eclectic Midtown collective of more than 30 boutiques set up to feel like a stroll through 1940s Paris markets. Shoppers score café furniture, whimsical taxidermy, art, high-end vintage clothing, and tons more.
Atlanta Decorative Arts Center Sample Sale 351 Peachtree Hills Avenue adacatlanta.com Every spring, this premier design center for home furnishings holds a blowout sample sale open to the general public, with up to 80 percent off retail. The date is announced via e-mail blast from the website. This is one of the region's major shopping events.
Loews Atlanta Hotel 1065 Peachtree St., NE loewshotels.com/Atlanta-Hotel Though Atlanta is a driving town, this stylish Midtown hotel chain offers nearby access to great shopping, dining, and the High Museum of Art (high.org). The spa's Turkish hammam bathhouse is complimentary for guests.
Outrageous Interiors Several locations outrageousinteriors.com This longstanding Atlanta chain with free in-house design services specializes in furnishings, lighting, and wall decor from traditional to avant-garde.
Decorating Mart 2932 Canton Road, Marietta, Georgia decoratingmart.com Ever-changing stock at this longtime family-owned outlet center in Marietta, Georgia, includes drapery hardware, tassels and trim, upholstery fabric, and wallpaper. It is a favorite among local interior designers.
Nadeau 2359 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia and 1062 Johnson Ferry Road Suite A130, Marietta, Georgia furniturewithasoul.com With locations in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood and in Marietta, Georgia, their "furniture with a soul" earns raves for being handcrafted, affordable furniture from India, and the stores maintain an ever-changing roster of cool pieces.