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Caroline’s Atlanta

Caroline Eubanks has lived everywhere from Charleston to Sydney, but continually finds herself drawn back to her place of origin: Atlanta, Georgia. She shares her hometown pride on her blogs Caroline in the City and This Is My South and now she’s sharing some of her hard-won insider secrets with the Intelligent Travel community.

Follow Caroline’s story on Twitter and on Pinterest @cairinthecity.

Atlanta is My City

When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is The Varsity, the “world’s largest drive-in,” whose giant “V” sign greets you as you enter the city.

Spring is the best time to visit my city because it’s not too hot yet, there are plenty of festivals going on, and baseball season begins.

You can see my city best from Oakland Cemetery in Cabbagetown.

Locals know to skip Underground Atlanta and check out Sweet Auburn Curb Market instead.

The boutiques of Virginia Highland are the places to buy authentic, local souvenirs, namely cleverly designed local T-shirts.

In the past, notable people like UsherElton John, and Evander Holyfield have called my city home.

My city’s best museum is the High Museum of Art because it features traveling exhibits like China’s “terra-cotta warriors” as well as featuring folk art from regional artists like Howard Finster.

If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s that both traffic and public transportation are terrible. There’s no good solution yet.

The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is Piedmont Park, our answer to New York City’s Central Park.

My city really knows how to celebrate July 4th because we host the Peachtree Road Race, the largest 10-K race in the world, followed by a day full of parties.

You can tell if someone is from my city if they avoid using the terms “Hotlanta” and “The ATL” at all costs.

For a fancy night out, I try one of the amazing restaurants on the Westside, which is home to award winners such as Bacchanalia, Bocado, and Miller Union.

Just outside my city, you can visit the Buford Highway Farmers Market, the city’s corridor of international cuisine.

My city is known for being home to the world’s busiest airport, but it’s really the capital of the New South.

The best outdoor market in my city is the Atlanta Food Truck Park and Market, which sells all manner of food and drinks.

West Egg Cafe is my favorite place to grab breakfast, and Octopus Bar is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, check out the Creative Loafing site.

My city’s biggest sports event is any Atlanta Braves baseball game. Watch it at Turner Field, affectionately known as “The Ted,” named for local philanthropist and entrepreneur Ted Turner.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I head to vintage and secondhand stores like Clothing Warehouse, Rag-O-Rama, and Buffalo Exchange.

To escape the crowds, I avoid Buckhead in favor of neighborhoods like Old Fourth Ward and Cabbagetown.

If my city were a celebrity it’d be Ted Turner because he’s opinionated, yet reserved.

The dish that represents my city best is the chicken sandwich, “invented” by local chain Chik-fil-A, and Coca-Cola is my city’s signature drink.

Bank of America Plaza is my favorite building in town because it’s the first thing I spot when I’m flying home.

The most random thing about my city is that Coca-Cola was developed here.

Eddie’s Attic is the best place to see live music, but if you’re in the mood to dance, check out Johnny’s Hideaway.

Restaurants where international cuisine meets soul food could only happen in my city.

In the spring you should go to one of the city’s many festivals. The Dogwood Festival is my favorite.

In the summer you should grab a float, some friends, and beers, and “shoot the Hooch,” (the Chattahoochee River), to cool off.

In the fall you should enjoy the kitsch of the North Georgia State Fair.

In the winter you should grab a chai latte from Octane Coffee and check out the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s holiday lights.

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss the Georgia Aquarium. It may be touristy, but it’s that way for a reason!

The best book about my city is Gone with the Wind.

When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight and the Pips.

In 140 characters or less, the world should heart my city because it’s nothing like what you’ve heard and everything you wouldn’t expect.

Do YOU heart where you live? Fill out our I Heart My City questionnaire for a chance to share the love on the Intelligent Travel blog.

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