Planning sucks, and bachelorette parties are a ton of work. So we’re taking all the guesswork out of planning a bachelorette party by breaking down top bachelorette destinations. Our guides will tell you where to stay, eat, party, how to get around, and give you a sample itinerary that you can follow. You’re welcome.
If your only associations with Atlanta are the Super Bowl and any of Coca Cola’s millions of diabetes-inducing drinks, allow a former ATL resident to open your eyes to all of the legit things the A has to offer. You’re welcome. Look, I’ll admit, Atlanta is not famous for being a travel destination, but that needs to change because it’s the fourth largest city in the f*cking world (land mass-wise, obv), which means there’s a lot of space for fun sh*t to go down. Let’s go!
How To Get There
One thing not enough Atlantans talked about is how f*cking huge the airport is, which is great because basically every airline flies into/out of Hartsfield-Jackson, so getting a flight could not be more easy. It’s also the Delta hub, so there’s also that. Unless you’re coming from, like, Nashville, I highly recommend flying from wherever you live to get to Atlanta. Please note, before you land: absolutely nobody down here calls it “Hotlanta”, so don’t embarrass yourself.
Where To Stay
So this part is tricky because where you stay will be completely dependent on what your personal vibe is and what you want to do. Because ice forms in a freezer faster than ATL traffic moves, you probably won’t venture too far out of whatever neighborhood you’re staying in a million times throughout the day. So, choose wisely. There are so many awesome neighborhoods here, so you really can’t go wrong, but the best three, IMHO, for a bach weekend are Buckhead, Virginia Highland, and Midtown. Read on for a brief breakdown on the neighborhoods so that, unlike that time you actually responded to that suspicious “hey stranger” text, you can now make a well-informed decision.
Virginia-Highland will make you want to drop what you’re doing and move there immediately. It kind of reminds me of Stars Hollow (if you don’t know that reference, you’re too young to be going on a bachelorette weekend). If you stay here, you’ll want to opt for an Airbnb, not a hotel. Make sure to get a baby biscuit from Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, which is literally the cutest cafe ever, if you ask me. If you’re thinking that Stars Hollow is not where you’d want to rage for your bach weekend, think again because this place is unrecognizable at night. Another great option here is Ponce City Market, which used to be Atlanta’s City Hall, but now it’s a giant and delicious food hall with amaze shopping (think like Chelsea market, but cheaper because it’s Atlanta). Cha-ching.
Buckhead is where you go if you want to party all day and night (and you’re a little on the preppy side). It’s by far the bougiest neighborhood and kind of looks like Midtown Manhattan/Murray Hill if you tilt your head and squint your eyes. For young people who enjoy life’s simple pleasures, like a proper cocktail that’s an unnatural shade of orange, you’ll like the Buckhead Strip, which is chock-full of every style of bar, from two-story clubs to tiny dives that play “Wagon Wheel” and have popcorn machines in the back. Buckhead is also a good place to be if you like being surrounded by five-star restaurants. Just saying.
Midtown is exactly what you’d expect: high-rises, dudes in suits, and a whole lot of taco joints. Midtown Atlanta honestly kind of resembles any other city’s midtown, but one thing that separates this midtown apart from the rest is Piedmont Park, which is 185 acres of yas. There is literally always something happening in this park and 99% of the time, the events involve drinking. I’ve been to beer fests, jazz fests…etc. here and I’ve always left drunker than I intended to. Whatever. It’s also the opposite of Central Park in that it’s not crawling with hot dog vendors and tourists, which, in my opinion, have ruined Central Park.
However, there are other cute neighborhoods. If you’re a little more artsy, get an Airbrb in Inman Park. If you like to be off the beaten path, stay near Old Fourth Ward, since you’ll likely be going out there anyway. If you’re looking for a yuppie hipster vibe, stay in West Midtown since it’s all completely new but still draws a young crowd.
If you want to stay at a hotel, you can’t go wrong with the W Midtown. It’s nice, convenient, and the bar is a pretty good time.
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How To Get Around
Atlanta technically has a public transportation system called MARTA, but it’s only useful if you’re going to or from the airport, since it stops legit in the airport. Otherwise, don’t f*cking bother. Once you’re in a neighborhood, you can obviously walk around, but to get from pocket to pocket, walking is a complete no-go. To illustrate how you will navigate Atlanta, allow me to direct you to this song, by Atlanta resident MadeinTYO.
But don’t worry! Uber, and life, in Atlanta is super cheap. You can legit Uber from midtown to a suburb outside the city limits for under $25. You’ll be fine.
Where To Eat
Ok this is another tough one, because the A is so f*cking delicious! Because each neighborhood has about a thousand amazing restaurants, I’m going to throw out the best of each. These are go-tos, so if you plan a trip to Atlanta and don’t make resies here, you’re fired. The Southern Gentleman (is there such a thing?) is, you guessed it, a southern restaurant in Buckhead. It’s classic southern food, but better because you won’t need a nap or an enema afterwards, so eat your heart out when you order the rainbow trout. Also, on weekends they have live music after 10pm and, let me just say, sh*t gets rowdy.
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Next on the list is South City Kitchen, which, despite its name, is very different from TSG. If you want a quiet and intimate dinner during which your girls can toast you and you can actually hear said toasts, book a res for upstairs, otherwise, the screened-in patio is the move. It’s loud, but not too loud, and you get good street views for people-watching while you deep-throat the cornbread that puts all other breads to shame. South City Kitchen offers upscale Southern fare.
Also in Midtown, but on the west end, JCT. Kitchen is a good alternative if you want to take a break from the South for a sec. It’s swanky, like, Paris circa the 1930s swanky. No, it’s not a French restaurant, but the decor is v chic. Think dimmed globe lamps, plush white leather, round cabaret-like tables…you get the picture. Show up to your res a few minutes early here so you can down a few cocktails on the outdoor deck and sway to some sweet, sweet Maroon 5 covers on the guitar.
If you’re staying in Virginia Highlands, you have to hit up Murphy’s, which, in my opinion, has the best mac and cheese in the world. Full disclosure, Murphy’s kind of looks like any other decently swanky restaurant, but the food is truly incredible. Like, no matter what you order, you’ll be happy. If your group is big enough, book a table in the private room where you’ll be doted on as if you’ve just solved all the world’s problems.
If you’re looking for legit Southern Comfort food, go to Mary Mac’s in midtown. It’s f*cking huge and you won’t need a reservation, and the food is amazing while remaining unpretentious.
For a classier dinner, make a reservation (seriously, do not try to walk in there unannounced, you will be waiting for 67 years because it’s so popular) at Barcelona for tapas. It’s perfect for people who like to order a few things and split them all, rather than everyone getting their own thing. Everything is amazing and surprisingly filling, so you won’t need to get fast food on the way home (but Atlanta has amazing drunk fast food, too).
For brunch, you absolutely must try to make it to Flying Biscuit. Anyone in your party who thinks grits are gross will become a believer once they have a bite of their creamy, dreamy heaven-in-a-bowl. There’s usually a wait, but there are multiple locations throughout the city. Little pro tip: the Flying Biscuit in Terminus (on Piedmont and Peachtree) is small, but nobody really knows about it, so it’s usually got less of a wait time. Flying Biscuit does not serve alcohol, so save this for your last day when you physically can’t look at alcohol anymore.
What To Do
Ugh, what isn’t there to do in Atlanta during the day? First of all, you’ll want to get brunch. Then, there are a bunch of fun neighborhoods to just walk around in. The Krog Street Tunnel is low-key famous for its graffiti (and therefore, Instagram opps), and once you’ve taken all the candids you need, head over to Krog Street Market for a hipster-y bite to eat. (Atlanta is big on markets, if you couldn’t tell.) You should also walk the Beltline—a trail that connects Cabbagetown to Piedmont Park. There are tons of cute restaurants, shops, and stuff along the way, including Ponce City Market, which you’ll need to spend a few hours in. If you’re feeling super lazy, just grab a bottle of $3 Trader Joe’s wine and sit in Piedmont Park and drink….out of Solo cups, obviously. Don’t think anyone wants to spend their bachelorette in the Fulton County jail.
Atlanta also has a ton of breweries, like the famed Sweetwater (makers of the Sweetwater IPA and Sweetwater 420 that you see at every bar everywhere), Orpheus (which overlooks Piedmont Park), and Red Brick that are fun af to go to during the day. You can go, drink, and take home a souvenir pint glass, all for less than what you’d pay for a few hours at the bar. Also, people often bring their dogs.
Where To Party
Arguably the most important. Sorry, but there are so many options that I can’t narrow them down by neighborhood. The good thing is that most of the bars within a neighborhood have a v similar feel, so you aren’t missing out if you go to different ones than the ones listed here. Let’s get into it, shall we?
Now, the thing about Park Bench, one of Buckhead’s best dives, is that it can have v college bar vibes, but only if you go at like 2am on a Thursday night. This is just like your typical bar, except there’s a pretty huge stage and there’s live music every damn night. It’s a good time. Big Sky is another great Buckhead classic for dancing and it’s slightly bougier than Park Bench. There are two levels, both of which have a massive bar, but the upper level has an outdoor patio and the lower level has the DJ. Take your pick, y’all! I mean, just think, this could be you!
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Ok, one of my fave bars is called Ormsby’s, which is in the same hood as JCT. Kitchen (West Midtown). Ormsby’s is a bar with games, but not in a boring or tacky way. Ormsby’s has old-school carnival games like skeeball and board games. It’s dark, it’s smoky, it’s loud. If you’re trying to dance and discover new Ariana Grande music, Ormsby’s is not the place for you, but if you want to pound whiskey, play a heated game of Uno and make new friends in the bathroom, Ormsby’s is the place for you.
Little Trouble is also in West Midtown, but it deserves a shout-out because this place was developed in the age of Instagram for a reason. They also have decent Asian-fusion food (like a sushi burrito), which is served on one side of the bar and cocktails on the other. It’s a tiny place, so make sure you don’t get there too late if standing in stilettos for hours on end isn’t your vibe. Same, girl.
Ya can’t be in the heart of the South without hitting up a church, right?! Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping-Pong Emporium, or Church, is a bar in Edgewood that pretty much sums up what Edgewood is: unpretentious, loud and a good f*cking time. The drinks are strong af because the bartenders don’t believe in stealing your money while keeping you sober, a simple concept most bars don’t abide by. And, as the name implies, it’s church themed. As in, there’s a Jesus statue upon entry, kitschy church memorabilia covers the walls, and they even have a nun habit and priest’s robe that you can try on if you ask the bartender nicely.
MJQ looks like a shed in the middle of a random parking lot across from the Belt Line Kroger, but once you go inside and downstairs, it’s actually a really fun club/dancing spot. Trust me on this.
Other fun places are Graveyard (East Atlanta), Dark Horse (Virginia Highland—they have karaoke downstairs), and Noni’s and Mother (if you’re already in Edgewood).
Friday, Day 1
- Arrive at Hartsfield-Jackson and age 10 years while you try to figure out how to somehow get outside. Pro tip: just take the Marta to the stop closest to where you’re staying, and Uber from there. It’s direct, no traffic, and costs like $2.50.
- Arrive at the hotel/Airbnb and unpack, decorate, chill for a few minutes before walking the BeltLine to Ponce City Market for a light pre-dinner snack and some shopping.
- Dinner and drinks at JCT. Kitchen.
- Walk across the street to Little Trouble for rounds on rounds of cocktails before finishing the night at Ormsby’s.
- Sleep in preparation for tomorrow.
Saturday, Day 2
- Good morning, world!
- Brunch at South City Kitchen. Do yourself a favor and order the malted buttermilk waffle.
- Walk the meal off at Piedmont Park, which is a v short walk away (for once!) and check out any mini festivals or cute dogs that are also in the park, before heading to…
- Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall for afternoon drinks. You’ll only want to go here if the weather is decent, which it usually is. If you follow anyone on Instagram who lives in Atlanta, chances are, you’ve already seen Ladybird. Big yellow umbrellas and gigantic cups of boozy lemonade ring a bell?
- Head back to the hotel/Airbnb to get ready for a nice dinner at Murphy’s. Make sure to order the Bonzo, which is basically a fudge brownie in pie-form.
- Get an Uber to the Buckhead bars, but make sure to start somewhere chill like The Ivy before making your way to Park Bench, Big Sky, and Dive Bar. If you want to dance, which, like, you should on a bach weekend, get in an Uber and head to Johnny’s Hideaway, which literally looks like the 70s in every way, shape and form. They play serious oldies and want everyone to go insane on the dance floor here. I concur.
- Good night, y’all.
Sunday, Day 3
- Brunch at The Flying Biscuit, a place I’m convinced was invented to soothe hungover bridal parties. My go-to here is a piping hot cup of coffee and the biscuit, eggs and gravy, a true Southern brunch. The biscuits are fluffy af and kind of sweet, so it really hits the spot. Ugh, I’m hungry!
- Head back to the hotel/Airbnb to pack and head back to Hartsfield-Jackson.
- Scream “ATL HO!” as your plane takes off the runway.
Images: watlmidtown, thesoutherngentlemanatl, jctkitchenandbar, bigskybuckhead, littletroubleatl / Instagram