Atlanta’s Rolling Out the Red Carpet—and Much More—for Annual Conference Attendees
Many cities claim to have something for everyone, but Atlanta delivers on that promise. Society members coming to the city for next month’s annual conference will find something just right for them. Whether they’re planning dinner with colleagues or an evening out with the family, the city has an unparalleled dining scene, shopping, and more. From the Krog Street Market to the Atlanta Belt Line, and from the World of Coca-Cola to the Waffle House Museum, Atlanta is planning a warm welcome for the Society.
“We are thrilled to have our colleagues from across the country coming to Atlanta,” says Zia Khan, MD, CMD, president of the Georgia Medical Directors Association. “Atlanta has exploded into a wonderful cosmopolitan area. Its food scene is comparable to New York, and it’s a great place for tourists and business travelers alike.”
Among Dr. Khan’s favorite destinations is the Krog Street Market. Just minutes from downtown, this is the city’s newest hotspot with market stalls featuring goods and prepared foods, as well as several restaurants and retailers. Thursday evenings feature a free beer tasting at the Hop City Bar. Want more? Try the Ponce City Market with dozens of shops and restaurants, a rooftop amusement park, and a city winery with nightly live music.
The Krog Street Market is right off the Belt Line, a former railway corridor around the city’s core. While still under development, it currently offers several open trails and parks, an arboretum and urban farm, and a large temporary public art exhibition. Along the Belt Line there is easy access to many restaurants and entertainment venues. “The Belt Line is a beautiful walkway throughout the city, and it’s great fun for the whole family,” says Dr. Khan.
Other family entertainment can be found at the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta, which features more than 100,000 animals representing thousands of species, and the World of Coca-Cola, where you can taste 100-plus beverages and meet the Coca-Cola polar bear. For an educational outing, there is the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, a museum dedicated the U.S. civil rights movement and worldwide human rights; or you can tour the CNN studios.
Atlanta is full of colorful, unique neighborhoods--all with great dining. “We have many James Beard award-winning chefs and highly rated restaurants,” says Jenna B. Snyder, manager of convention services for the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. However, she notes that the city has delicious diners, dives, and drive-thrus, as well as fine dining. If you want to get out of downtown, neighborhoods such as Little Five Points have their own local vibe with restaurants, bars, shops, and more. Further out of the city (but still less than a 20-minute ride) is Decatur, which is home to the Waffle House Museum, a kitschy locale at the site of the first Waffle House restaurant. You can take a tour (by appointment) and enjoy a syrup-soaked treat.
The annual conference is in the heart of downtown Atlanta, which Dr. Khan calls a really beautiful area. “There’s lots of life and activity from morning till night. We venture into the city with our kids as often as we can, and there’s always something fun to do. There’s always a different restaurant to try,” she says. For those who are unsure about navigating the area, the Ambassador Force of Atlanta provides directional assistance and escorts to walk visitors to their destination within the area.