A few weekends ago, our little family packed up for a weekend staycation in Atlanta – Dekalb County – to meet up with the Discover Dekalb CVB team who hosted us throughout the weekend. We flew in on Friday, spent Saturday and Sunday experiencing the area, and then back home on Monday. This was our little nugget’s first trip, so we wanted to make sure that this trip was family-friendly and comfortable for him since he was only 4 months during the trip. And I will say it was extremely family-friendly and he did phenomenal the full trip. Though our time there was quite short, we were able to do some fun activities, get a lot to eat, and experience the comfort and hospitality of Atlanta.
So in the typical fashion of my travel posts, I want to share with you where you should stay, where you can eat and what you should do during your own trip to Dekalb County / Atlanta.
WHERE YOU SHOULD STAY IN DEKALB COUNTY
HYATT REGENCY ATLANTA PERIMETER AT VILLA CHRISTINA
For our trip, we had the privilege of staying at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta Perimeter at Villa Christina. Located in the Perimeter, as a part of Brookhaven, the hotel sits away from the busy streets and the highway. The hotel is tucked back in a convenient location so that when you are tired from your busy day, you can head back to your room and not be bothered by the outside noise – which is always something that we appreciate when we travel.
The room we stayed in was an amazing suite that included a king-size bed in the master bedroom with a bathroom with a full-size tub, a stand-in shower, and a separate bathroom for privacy. And outside the master bedroom, you have a guest bathroom, a kitchen area, a living space, and a dining area with additional patio space for when you want to sit outside in the morning with your coffee and just relax.
One main aspect that I loved about staying at the Hyatt Regency was the amenities that were offered. If you had forgotten anything at all – toothpaste, shampoo, shaving cream, diapers – you can just call down to the front desk and they would provide it for you. We were even able to request a humidifier to help with our son’s cough since he had a little cold while we were on the trip.
Our room was always kept tidy and we were well taken care of. There was nothing but easy, comfort, and luxury when staying at the Hyatt Regency. And when we decide to come back to Atlanta for another vacation, we will definitely be making this the first place we check for room availability.
WHERE YOU SHOULD EAT IN DEKALB COUNTY
On our first night in Dekalb County, we at the very popular Food Terminal. I will admit that when I first heard that this is where we would be eating, I completely expected something else but was pleasantly surprised.
On Buford Highway, you’ll find the Food Terminal serving a menu reflecting Malaysian cuisine. The vast menu offers different plates that can appease any palate. With my husband and I both having very different food preferences, it was great that we were both able to find food that we both enjoyed. As we looked through the menu, we actually had to sit and talk about what we were going to narrow our choices down so that we didn’t order the whole menu.
I ended up ordering the braised beef noodle soup that I gobbled down. And to keep it 100 – I don’t often finish my food. I am always one that ends up with a to-go bag that I usually leave on the table because I don’t pay attention. But not this time, I ate the beef, the noodles and finished out by slurping down the broth all before taking a look at the tempting dessert menu.
Other than the delicious food, the service was great. We were attended to quickly and the food came out fast and piping hot. And for those that know me, when I’m hungry, I have very little patience, and now that we have a baby, I have less patience because there is a window to which he’ll stay content while we are in the restaurant – especially if we arrive and he’s awake.
KALEIDOSCOPE BISTRO & PUB
On Sunday, we decided to sleep in a little and have brunch a little before noon. We headed to the Brookhaven area and headed into the popular Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub.
The one main draw that brings people into the pub for brunch is the unlimited mimosas that are absolutely delicious. For those that know, you can either have a good mimosa or one that is not well balanced and the place had very well balanced mimosas. And once your glass got low, they were on top of it and filled it up right away. It wasn’t like some places where you only end up getting two mimosas within the time frame because they take so long to figure out that your glass is empty.
I ended up getting the shrimp & grits which, again, I devoured. No to-go box for me. And I’m very picky when it comes to grits. As a girl who grew up with a grandmother who was born in the South, she sets the bar high with food and if it’s not close to hers, I won’t eat it.
For the table, we ordered the pub fries which had a mayo sauce that was surprisingly tasteful. Even my husband, who is not a huge fan of mayo at all, ended up almost trying to double-dip into the sauce.
THE OLDE BLIND DOG
Another popular food location in Dekalb County is The Olde Blind Dog in Brookhaven – a pub that not only serves Irish delectables but has the most intriguing decor. Once you step inside the pub it is like you just teleported to Ireland. The floors are like the cobblestones of the streets and around the space, there are, what looks like, storefronts to popular Irish locations.
I was so taken back by the outlook of the place that when the server came by to take our order, I hadn’t even looked at the menu yet because I was so amazed. I mean, yes, we all like to make sure that we can eat, but if you’re looking for a place to eat and get those Instagram worthy shots, I would definitely make this a stop on your itinerary. You can literally look like you’re in a different place by just walking around the pub itself.
For the food, I highly recommend getting the ale & cheddar dip that is accompanied by the pretzels. It’s an appetizer that we ordered for the table, but as my husband and our host, Laura, were talking, I was secretly devouring the appetizer and probably taking more than my share.
For those pizza lovers who love a good drink and a wood-fired pizza in Dekalb County, you’ll need to head over the Brookhaven area and indulge in Vero Pizzeria.
The intimate setting allows for a relaxed feel and makes you feel as if you are able to connect with those who are making your pizza as well as enjoying the atmosphere and positive energy of the other pizza lovers that have stopped by for a bite. The pizzeria also offers takeout if you’re looking to get your wood-fired pizza and take it back to your room to lounge.
We decided to eat in and started off with a charcuterie board that includes seasonal elements, which means that you can get something different as the seasons change. That is something I always appreciate about a charcuterie board – if I can come back and order it again and it be different, then that’s something that will bring me back to the restaurant.
For the table, we split two red sauced pizza – cheese and meat lovers – and I was not disappointed. The crust was made just right and there was enough sauce and cheese to get the excellent flavor of red sauced pizza without taken away from the flavor of the crust.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IN DEKALB COUNTY
MICHAEL C. CARLOS MUSEUM
There are a few museums in Dekalb County that are worth visiting. We headed to the Michael C. Carlos Museum that is located on Emory’s campus. The historical art museum showcased art from various centuries and various cultures.
I was specifically blown away by the Greek, Egyptian, and African art that was on display and the intricate details that were explained on the plaques next to each piece. Additionally, the exhibit carries mummies that you can see in and out of sarcophaguses. Don’t think of the Mummy the movie, but think of actually wrapped mummies. Authentic – not movie.
It was interesting to learn about the various arts and the history behind them. To see the amount of work that artists of these cultures was fascinating because of the details that they were able to include with tools that, we today, probably could not use as well because we are so used to technologies.
For a super family-friendly museum in Dekalb County, the Fernbank Museum is where you want to head to. Even though our son was not able to take part in experiencing this museum, the little kid in my husband definitely came out as we walking around to the various scientific and historical exhibits.
We had the great opportunity of being able to walk through the Silk Road exhibit that showed the value of silk and the various trade and historical changes that took place along that “road”. Typically, I am one that stops and reads most of the placards, but my husband was the one that was taking his time to learn everything about it.
One of the super fun things that we took part in was the interactive science exhibit where we were able to touch, experiment and learn. If you’re taking your family here, this is one of those places that you could probably spend half the day going through because of the indoor and outdoor exhibits, the 3D shows available and the different sessions that they have.
Also as a note, if you’re taking your baby, similar to as we did, they have nursing rooms which is a huge perk!
For more of an adult day in Dekalb County, after brunch, take part in the brewery crawl through Dekalb County. You can head to breweries such as 3Taverns, Wild Heaven Beer, The Lost Druid, Hopstix, and Tucker Brewing Company. All local breweries where you can enjoy different flavored beers that are made at their brewery and some are sold in restaurants in the area.
The first few breweries are located within 5 minutes of each other while a few are about 20 minutes away. So, make sure that you have a designated driver – which was me for this experience since I am nursing, but I was able to taste some of the beers and 3Taverns had some of my favorite flavors.
Each place has a vastly different flavor and atmosphere. The Lost Druid offers more of a dinner and drinks feel while you’ll have more of a hanging out in a pet-friendly area at the Tucker Brewing Company. Each place has its own unique aesthetic that matches with the beers that they brew.
BUHI EATERY CRAWL
For the foodies like me, the BuHi Food Crawl is where it is at. The first thing you’ll want to do is download the app so that you can get the full experience of the BuHi Food Trail.
You’ll travel up and down Buford Highway to experience foods from various cultures and get different flavors. With the area being one of the most diverse communities in metro Atlanta, you’ll be able to taste food from more than 20 international countries and cultures. From getting dim sum to tacos, to delectable desserts, your tastebuds will be thanking you by the end of the day.
The app provides you with a directory and uses your GPS to track where you have been. You’ll be able to unlock hidden prizes by just visiting the various eateries as you experience the trail. And don’t think that you’ll have to do it all in one day. We started with heading to about 4 to get apps, then a second course, then a main course, and then dessert. For us, we just wanted to try different flavors, but you can do it all at your own pace. Maybe, you just want to head to one eatery on one day or you jump around from breakfast all the to dinner by just staying on the trail. It’s all up to you.
We checked off our places on our trail app and when we head back, we’ll start on the trail again and check off some more.