We’re super excited about our new City Guide series, and the first stop is Atlanta, Georgia with Chanel van Reenen.
Chanel shares some of her favourite spots around town; from sightseeing places not to be missed to the best sites to visit with little ones.
Chanel is a writer and blogger of beautiful lifestyle blog Chanel Moving Forward.
She attended college in New York City, where she earned a BFA in photography from Parsons School of Design. She met her husband in 2009 through mutual friends and the two were married in 2011. Together they have a son, Henry who is 5 and daughter, Evelyn, who is 2.
They live in the suburbs of Atlanta with their two cats, two fish and a dog.
Chanel absolutely loves to travel and is always planning her next getaway.
Read her Atlanta City Guide below.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING IN ATLANTA?
I have lived in Atlanta for nearly 30 years (minus college and a 2 year stint in LA).
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING HERE?
My family and friends! I also love that it’s within driving distance to so many other amazing cities in the South. Also, there is no shortage of amazing restaurants and food!
WHEN DO YOU THINK ATLANTA IS MOST MAGICAL?
Definitely Fall when the leaves are changing and the weather is cooling off. Our winters are also pretty mild compared to most so we are able to experience the outdoors year round. The Lake Lanier Christmas show is like no other. You can drive through in your car or rent a golf cart. It’s the perfect place for families.
FAVOURITE THING TO DO IN SUMMER?
Atlanta summers are absolutely brutal and they are accompanied by the worst humidity. Being near water in the summer is a must. Whether it’s setting up a slip n slide in your backyard, heading up to Lake Lanier, or visiting White Water, there are no shortage of water activities!
WHAT’S THE BEST THING TO DO DURING WEEKENDS?
We absolutely love the local farmers markets. My favourite is the Dekalb Farmers Market. It combines the virtues of a farmers market and an international market.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE PLACES TO HANG OUT WITH YOUR LITTLE ONES?
The Avalon in north Atlanta is amazing for kids, families, couples and girlfriends. It’s a true gem inside the treasure chest that is Atlanta. We also love Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Zoo.
If you can bear the heat,
hike up Stone Mountain or
be like me and take the
skyride. The views of the
city are incredible…
ANY SPECIAL EVENTS THAT HAPPEN EVERY YEAR?
Just north of Atlanta in the Georgia mountains is Burt’s Pumpkin Farm in Dawsonville. We have been going since Henry was 3 months old and is definitely the one tradition we make sure to do each year.
WHAT RESTAURANT WOULD YOU GO TO AND SPLURGE FOR A SPECIAL OCCASION?
UMI Sushi in Buckhead, hands down! Gunshow in Atlanta for a culinary journey will not disappoint.
SIGHTSEEING PLACES NOT TO BE MISSED?
If you can bear the heat, hike up Stone Mountain or be like me and take the skyride. The views of the city are incredible and there is so much history. The Georgia Aquarium is also a must when visiting!
Take a Tour and Discover
the Hidden Gems
Atlanta is full of fun things to do as a family. We’ve got the usual suspects: our amazing Atlanta Zoo, Georgia Aquarium, and Centennial Park. These are all fantastic spots to visit. However, they can be a little (maybe a lot) crowded, so I’m sharing with you some hidden gems in this wonderful city that are super kid friendly and laid back.
No day in Atlanta is complete without a stop at the famous Varsity. It’s a cultural experience like no other. From hamburgers to chill dogs to fried peach pie fries, The Varsity is an Atlanta staple. My favorite part is ordering at the drive up, popping open and trunk, and enjoying our food in the fresh air. Sometimes after a long day with the kids, the last thing they want to do is sit quietly in a restaurant and wait for food. The convenience is phenomenal for families!
Jake’s Ice Cream
Located right near Krog Street Market is Jake’s Ice Cream. After you’ve had a chance to take pictures by the Beltline murals, cool off at this old fashioned ice cream & sorbet shop. All their flavors are super creamy, sweet and decadent!
My favourite part is
ordering at the drive up,
popping open the trunk
and enjoying our food in
the fresh air.
A trail made from an old railway system, it is paved with beautiful murals along the path. You can even stop off at Krog Street Market and Ponce City Market and explore the bars, shops and restaurants if you want a break. It’s pet friendly and kid friendly. You can push a stroller, take a jog or bike alone the 22 miles of pedestrian friendly rail transit.
The Botanical Gardens in Atlanta
Surrounded by lush green leaves and exotic plants, The Botanical Gardens in Atlanta is one of a kind. Take a stroll through the Canopy Walk. The kids will love running the path along the forest floor on the suspended walkway. It’s shaded and cooler than the rest of the gardens with art installations throughout. Coming during the summer months? Don’t forget swimwear for the kids! There is an amazing splash pad where kids can cool off and play. It’s included in the price of admission as well.
ANY TIPS FOR FIRST-TIME VISITORS?
As with several popular places and attractions, arrive early or during off times to make the most of your visit. Since my whole family has a bunch of early birds, we are usually the first ones to arrive and couldn’t be happier. We end up having a good chunk of time to ourselves and the weather is cooler. On the flip side, a lot of attractions have a special rate after 4pm so definitely check websites for deals before going!
With thanks to Chanel van Reenen X
LOVE THE LOOK