360 Travels to Alpharetta, GA
Looking for a new exciting destination? Awesome Alpharetta is the answer!
Our Mom’s Weekend Getaway
I can count on one hand things that will make me drive I-85. This unique spot on the map is one of those things. Nestled between the Georgia mountains and the mega metropolis of Atlanta is 750 acres of parkland and more shops and restaurants than you can imagine.
From humble beginnings as a Trading Post in the 1830’s, Alpharetta has grown to the twelfth largest populous city in Georgia.
As I sit here, swimming in the sounds of a full (very loud) house, I find myself wishing I was back in Alpharetta. Floating in the freedom that comes from traveling without kids. With homeschool about to begin, this Mom’s Weekend Getaway could not have come at a better time.
Our weekend included a stay in Sonesta ES Suites Atlanta Alpharetta Avalon. Perfect, compact, complete quarters. All the necessities of a kitchen in half the space. A full size refrigerator stood next to a stove top under a large microwave. We found all utensils tucked in a compartment under the counter next to a dishwasher. A big bathroom with a nice dressing area made getting ready to hit the town a breeze.
We headed to Avalon. A sub-city of Alpharetta. Avalon has everything you can imagine. It appears upscale, but the prices don’t match. Every stop we made was surprisingly affordable. I guess you really can’t judge a book by its’ cover. In the words of the brochure, “Avalon is a walkable, seamlessly connected community of shopping, dining, entertainment, living and working. It’s more than just another place to go, it’s a place to be – a hub of local art and activity that delivers the luxury of the modern South.”
Dinner took us to Antico’s Pizza, regularly voted Best Pizza in Atlanta. They certainly get my vote. Wood fired stoves bake hand-made pizzas to perfection. Add a salad! Mine was to die for.
Music is food for the soul and we got our fix at The Plaza with Avalon Nights Live. From babies in arms to retirees, everyone gets down and dances every Friday from 6-8pm. Strategically placed speakers broadcast the live music throughout Avalon.
Let me break here to pitch the parking. Garages are on almost every corner (behind the buildings, so look for the signs) and they’re FREE! All the time. Avalon is its own community. Once you’re parked, there’s no need to move your car until you’re ready to leave. FYI, you will never want to leave.
We made one last stop before calling it a night. The Tiramisu and Creme Brulee at CRU Food & Wine Bar are what dreams are made of.
“It’s a beautiful morning, ah I think I’ll go outside for a while – And just smile”
Downtown Alpharetta is up with the sun on Saturday. Park your car in one spot and explore all day. It’s walker friendly, regardless of your fitness level. Begin at the Farmers Market. Come hungry – you can make a meal from the samples. Can’t beat that price! Let your senses travel the world. There’s sights and smells from Europe to India. Kids of all ages gallop around on the green and splash on the pad. The Downtown Alpharetta Farmer’s Market is the poster child for small town charm. Plan to spend the majority of your Saturday here.
Shops and restaurants abound within a small walking radius. Plenty of shady resting places so you won’t get too tired too quick. We stopped for brunch at The Nest Cafe. Plentiful plates at petite prices. Put anything you want on a croissant, add a specialty coffee or slushy, and it’s a party for the palate. *Insider tip: order the caesar salad as your side – the dressing is homemade and some of the best I’ve had.
After browsing countless unique shops, take a respite at the Painted Horse Winery and Vineyards Tasting Room. Check out all the specialty cheeses and treats. The fact that it’s in an old white house adds to the charm.
Saturday night, we went down the street to Food Terminal, which serves a variety of Asian street food and Malaysian cuisine. Thankfully, the menu was like a magazine. Pictures of all the dishes made making choices so much easier. A full bar and simple desserts rounded out the meal.
Sunday breakfast at the Sonesta was a great way to greet the morning. We filled up on cheese omelets and bagels before embarking on our last day. We had to make one more trip through Avalon before heading home. For the record, I was not ready to go home.
We wandered into Marlow’s Tavern for a quick lunch. Criteria for choosing a restaurant was based solely on its’ proximity to the parking garage. After all our Awesome Alpharetta adventures, our energy levels were close to empty (the car wasn’t the only thing that needed a fill-up).
Luckily, the food fairies were smiling on us. This dining experience was WAY MORE than 5 stars! So impressed, we’ll be publishing a Marlow’s Tavern article over on my personal blog soon.
We could keep going and going and… bottomline, this is a trip you need to take. Alpharetta is 2 hours and 18 minutes from my driveway.
When you’re ready to impress your friends with an escape, we’ve got your Awesome Alpharetta itinerary all set!