Sippin Gypsy "The BEST I've Ever Had!": Creative Cocktail "What's Up Doc?" from Luma in Winter Park FL.
Cheers Sippin Gypsy Travelers! This post comes to you while enjoying one of the most unique cocktails I have ever tried, "Whats Up Doc?" from Luma in the neighborhood of Winter Park of Orlando FL. You can find my other tips for Orlando and Central Florida HERE.
Winter Park is one of my favorite neighborhoods to visit. She offers charming boutiques and some of the best food spots in Orlando. Luma is my go to spot for amazing creative cocktails and delicious food. For my husband's birthday we spent the afternoon and evening in and out of some of our favorite spots along Park Ave. Luma always impresses us with friendly and knowledgeable bartenders who truly love their craft and conjure up fun cocktails for us to try. Today really presented me a truly memorable cocktail that has reminded me why it's fun to play with flavors and ingredients you may not think to put in a cocktail, but once well blended can be absolutely incredible! "What's Up Doc" plays with carrot as inspired by the beloved bunny who's always munching on his carrot stick. Our Bartender T.J. blended the carrot shrub and gin as well as other well placed enhancements to craft a most creative cocktail. Well done T.J. and Luma for amazing us with a unique cocktail and as always providing a great experience
Cheers Sippin Gypsy Team Gin! This post comes to you while enjoying my Gin and Lavender Lemonade inspired by the beautiful topiaries, flowers and tasty finds at EPCOT for their annual Flower and Garden Festival. You can find all of my tips and experiences in Orlando and Central Florida HERE.
EPCOT is one of my favorite Walt Disney World parks. I appreciate the events they host throughout the year and the chance to get outside and sip and stroll! For almost all of the festivals EPCOT now hosts, there are themed booths that offer small bites and cocktails, wine or beer that reflect on the country or theme of that booth.
What's especially enjoyable about the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival is the chance to see truly amazing creations made entirely of plants and flowers. Beloved Disney characters tastefully displayed as well as lush and simply stunning garden beds...the air is so fragrant!
As a resident and pass holder, I find it easiest to take in EPCOT's festivals a little bit at a time. We go for a few hours in the afternoon or evening to try a few different things each time. But if your travels only leave you one or two days to enjoy Disney World and EPCOT, come hungry!
EPCOT is divided into two halves. The first half: Future World takes you through the pursuit of space exploration with Mission Space, improving technology in Test Track and Spaceship Earth as well our obligations to being good citizens of our planet in preservation and conservation in The Land and Soarin' and The Seas with Nemo and Friends. I try to get Fast Passes for Soarin' and Test Track if possible. They are fun experiences and different from what you could find at other theme parks.
The second half of EPCOT is World Showcase. This is truly what hosts the Flower and Garden Festival as well as representations of beautiful countries around the world. Each country nestled on the lake takes you into iconic locations of that country, a Mayan Temple in Mexico, A Stave Church and village in Norway (as well as Anna and Elsa from Frozen), Zen Gardens in Japan and a Marketplace in Morocco to name a few. Each of these countries offers shopping, food and beverages with goods indigenous to that country. As you travel around EPCOT, no need to book a reservation for a full sit down meal. The small bites offered at the additional countries will fill you up by the end of your trek around World Showcase. I love going with friends, then each of us can order something different and try a few bites of each other's plate to enjoy more flavors and variety. Canada, France, Germany, China and America typically have a balance of substantial plates that include meat. Its easy to fill up within the first four stops...but take your time. Too often I've been too full to enjoy something across the lake because I ate too much in the first few stops. EPCOT offers a guide book to let you know what is offered at each stop. Use this to help pace yourself.
I do love Sippin and Strollin, and EPCOT makes the beverage more than accessible. Take it slow and hydrate often. The warm Florida sun can help that 4th wine tasting or 3rd cocktail hit you a little faster or harder than expected. I bring a bottle of water or two with me and do my best to drink water in between my walk from country to county.
EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival is enjoyable for the whole family. Your younger family members will certainly like seeing their Disney Friends created out of flowers and plants. Older children may want to move faster through the countries. Every time we go for lunch or dinner, we all commit to trying something different that we hadn't had before, then I allow my boys to head off and go back to Future World while we adults take our time in World Showcase.
I hope your travels leave you time to enjoy EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival. Cheers!
Sippin Gypsy "The BEST I've Ever Had!" Barbecue from Green Street Smoked Meats in Chicago IL.
Cheers Sippin Gypsy Team Vodka! This post comes to you while enjoying my Sippin Gypsy Sorbet Sparkler with peach sorbet, mint from my garden and gin, a refeshing little cocktail that reminded me of the bold flavors I enjoyed memories of gathering around a grill with family and friend and my new found Best I've ever had barbecue while in Chicago Illinois at Green Street Smoked Meats!
I was raised in Midwest America. Smoked meats and barbecue resonates with the happiest of summer and fall memories where friends and family gathered around the grill picking at spicy smoky flavors of barbecued meats. My father taught me how to grill, and to this day, every summer I enjoy the process of preparing ribs, steaks, chicken for a low a slow barbecue and gathering around the grill for great conversation, cocktails and of course meat!
While in Chicago Illinois, I met up with my cousin Ryan and to his excellent suggestion savored the best barbecue I've had from a restaurant ever! Green Street Smoked Meats was a casual comfortable spot with community style seating and truly the most flavor packed, tender, delicious smoked meats! We sat for hours enjoying cocktails and barbecue and catching up on memories. Thank you Ryan for suggesting Green Street Smoked Meats...it truly was a meal to remember! Find more about Chicago at my Sippin Gypsy Quick Tips here.
Sippin Gypsy "The BEST I've Ever Had!": Pina Colada from The Nest Bar in Orlando FL
Cheers Sippin Gypsy Team Rum! This post comes to you while enjoying the BEST Pina Colada cocktail I've ever had from The Nest Bar in the Lake Baldwin neighborhood of Orlando FL! Check out all my tips for Orlando and Central Florida HERE.
I had one Pina Colada once when I first turned 21 at some pool bar on vacation. I thought it was horrible, way too sweet and not refreshing... It took the better part of a decade and a lot of well crafted cocktails to understand why I didn't like that first and only Pina Colada... Cocktails shouldn't be poured out of a box and come from a noisy machine where it sits for several days...
The Nest Bar already impressed me with knowledgeable bartenders who love their craft and take time to blend fresh ingredients into a well balanced cocktail....it was here I gave enough trust to once again try a cocktail I thought I had sworn off for life...
So. Glad. I. Did. The Pina Colada conjured up by Daniel was what the Pina Colada should've always been. Well done Nest Bar and mixologist extraordinaire Daniel! You crafted a beautiful Pina Colada and my new standard for refreshing vacation cocktails! Cheers!
10 Foods to Try in Peru
Cheers Travelers! This post comes to you while enjoying a Pisco Sour, an amazing cocktail recommended by my friend Tiffany of Live, Love & Voyage. Tiffany just recently returned from Peru and had some great cocktails and local dishes to try! Below are Tif's post with amazing Peruvian suggestions! Enjoy!
Traveling to Peru?
These are your Must try Peru Foods.Peru is a huge country. It has some of the most ancient cultures and the population is very multiethnic. Much of the population is based on the coast, due to the resources from the ocean and due to the multiethnic varieties in the country, there are many Peru foods you must try, starting with these ten.
Must Try Peru Beverages:
1. Pisco Sour:This Peruvian alcoholic beverage uses the Peruvian Pisco as the base liquor, lime juice, simple syrup and one egg white. On top they do a dash of Angostura bitters. Made in the region of Peru and Chile, Peruvian pisco is a yellowish colored brandy and wasn't until the last ten years that people were able to buy pisco in the United States. Tourists can buy pisco at any bar or restaurant in Peru.
2. 15+ Ingredient Drink:Tourist won't find this drink in any bar or restaurant, they will have to find it at one of the street vendors along the side walks of Lima and Cusco. They name off health benefits and serve it warm and thick.
3. Inca Kola:Inca Cola is nothing like the coca-cola you can get elsewhere. It is a yellow colored soft drink that has a fruity-taste. Tourists can buy this popular drink at convenience stores, on plane rides and restaurants.
Must Try Peru Foods:
4. Cuy:Cuy is not something that you would see much of in the United States, but it is very popular in the Andes Reagion. Yes, Cuy is Guinea pig. Guinea pig is most commonly found in the street markets or vendors in the city. Tourists will find it either baked or barbecued, head on, with a small game taste. This is one animal you would need a side with, a lot of little bones and not much meat.
5. Ceviche:Peru's National Food! Ceviche, meaning "fresh fish", is very popular in the Capital city, Lima. This fresh fish can come as soup or mixed with fresh ingredients. Find this in all restaurants and plenty of street vendors.
6. Anticuchos:Anticuchos (meat skewers) are found at many restaurants as appetizers or main dishes, these skewers are also popular with the street vendors. It can be any meat skewers, the most common being cow heart skewers. This practice was first developed from Peruvian slaves that were given the 'scrapes' of the animals, being the organs.
7. Peruvian potatoes:Peruvian potatoes have been a huge staple dating back to the Chile and Peru war. The potatoes are used in so many ways, but one way you may see is called Causa. It is a cut, cold potatoe layered with many different ingredients. People may find them at restaurants as a side or an entree with meat mixed in.
8. Choclo:Choclo, aka Peruvian Corn, is a large kernel corn that is grown in the Andes. The corn not as sweet as sweet corn and has more of a starchy taste. You can find this in restaurants as a side, on the street corners as corn on the cob or, my favorite way, given to you for free when you sit down at restaurants, toasted and salted.
9. Alpaca:Alpaca, very popular in the Andes Region, are very similar to llamas but smaller in nature. When cooked it is very lean and similar to buffalo meat. People can find in restaurants and bought as jerky, for a snack.
10. Suspiro a la Limena:Suspiro a la Limena is one of Peru's delights. The name comes from, the romantic, poet Jose Galvez meaning 'sigh of a Lima lady'. This dessert is very sweet and a mix of dulce de leche, caramelized sugar and smooth meringue. Served beautifully in individual dishes.
Peru has so many reasons it won't disappoint. The activities, the sites and the food all combine for a once and a lifetime visit. While you are there, you must try these Peru Foods. What Peru Foods would you add to this list?
Tif is the creator of Live, Love, & Voyage to document her travels and share her stories. She loves the off beaten track & the adventures of the traveling lifestyle. When she isn’t traveling to a new state or country she is exploring locally in Minnesota, USA. Visit Live, Love & Voyage today to see where your next adventure should be.
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Gin, fruits and herbs compliment each other very well in cocktails. I had been searching for that spring cocktail to share and as usual, the components all came together for a harmonious blend of intoxicating flavor that resonates all things spring.
I wanted to feature the delicious jams that my friend Melisa makes (see her guest post submission below with the recipe!!) She suggested a very simple Strawberry Jam recipe that reminded me of the jams my grandmother used to make. Nostalgia paired beautifully with Gin, Jam and Sage for this cocktail that simply makes me smile! Thank you Melisa for the suggestion and the recipe through your guest post! Enjoy!
1 oz Gin
1 tsp strawberry jam (see Melissa's recipe below)
Juice from 1 lemon
Hellfire bitters to taste ( I used 7-8 drops)
3 oz sparkling water
In a small tin shaker add Ice, Gin, Jam, Lemon Juice and Hellfire bitters. Slap 3-4 sage leaves to release the oils and add to tin. Shake vigorously until tin is VERY cold to the touch. Pour into your favorite sippin vessel and add sparkling water, Cheers!
Melisa's Jam Recipe/Guest Post
Step-by- step grandmother`s recipe of a strawberry jam
Many of us love summer not for a good weather only but also for a chance to
enjoy one of the most delicious berry, which a strawberry is. So you and your close
people could enjoy it when it is cold outside, it is worth to think about a strawberry jam
Being little kids, many of us saw our grandmothers to make a jam and it seemed
as if a total magic ritual. Besides a truly delicious dainty came out of two ingredients
only, strawberries and sugar.
You are able to do this kind of magic yourself following a recipe below:
Strawberry – 1 kg
Sugar – 1 kg
Sort out all the strawberry you have putting away all the rotten ones wash out
well in multi-water and delete sepals. You may cut in two those berries, which are rather
big. Put strawberries into enamel pan and cover with sugar.
Put the pan on fire and bring to the boil. Boil it for 5 minutes on a moderate heat.
Simmer for 5 minutes on a moderate heat skimming.
Put a pan aside and leave it for some time to get cold covering with a clean
towel. It might take about 10 hours.
Put a cold jam on fire, bring to the boil, skim, boil thoroughly for 5 minutes and
put aside. Leave the jam for the second time until it is cooled down.
Bring the jam to the boil for the third time, boil thoroughly for 5 minutes, put aside
and cool down during an hour. Pour the jam into sterilized cans and close with sterilized
covers. A strawberry jam is boiled for three times just so it was not looking like an
unpleasant mixture but looked good.
Now you know the secret and can surprise your friends and relatives with a tasty
About the author: Melisa Marzett is an excellent writer of guest posts, see a collection of her works on her Google profile, Currently Melisa is writing for Sky Writing Service. she creates brilliant posts for use at college assignments or the workplace.
Cheers Sippin Gypsy Team Vodka! This post comes to you while enjoying my Sippin Gypsy Spicy Vodka Sip while reminiscing of my adventure in Chicago. You can check out other tips for Chicago HERE!
Chicago is an amazing city. I've been to most of the "large cities' here in America and Chicago is simply wonderful. I really appreciate the balance of industry and community. Set on beautiful Lake Michigan, and cradling Grant Park, Chicago offers everything from impressive high rises to peaceful outdoor retreats. My time in Chicago was not nearly long enough to begin to uncover all the true gems this city offers for entertainment and adventure. But if this is your first time to Chicago, this list will certainly get you started and give you the slightest taste of this incredible city.
1. The Sky Deck at The Willis Tower
I highly recommend taking in the majesty of the Chicago skyline from 110 floors up. This is a great way to start your first day in Chicago to understand how massive her sprawl really is. Plan on going before sunset to give yourself time to get to the top then watch the magic unfold as the sun sets and the city lights dust across the city as far as your eye can see. Its truly a humbling and inspiring experience. I would highly recommend purchasing the City PASS for the Sky Deck as well as a few of the other places they include that I suggest on this post.
2.Grant Park and Millenium Park
I love green space. Both Millenium Park and Grant park is a peaceful oasis cradled from the bustle of the Chicago streets. The iconic Cloud Gate sits just steps into Millenium Park. There are playground areas and isolated reading benches and a stunning landmark,Buckingham Fountain. As in any city park, there are events and festivals held regularly. Refer to local publications and the parks websites to see what is happening during your visit. Grab a sandwich and snacks and give yourself an afternoon enjoying the park before heading out for a night on the town.
You know me, I'm a sucker for a good ghost tour, but I always try to get in a history or architecture tour in any city I visit. Chicago has SO MANY TOURS! Top on my list is the Prohibition Tour where you get to visit Chicago's speakeasies and learn more about the dark history of alcohol during prohibition. This tour does not include the cost of cocktails as you travel, so bring a little extra to sip as you learn. TheChicago First Lady Tour is a great way to learn about the iconic architecture of Chicago from the comfort of a boat! And good news, you can Sip and Sail on the First Lady Tour, they have a full bar that is available for a separate price. I also tried to check out the Free Chicago Walking Tours. Because this is run locally as the tour guide is available, the calendar is limited to getting the tour you may want when it fits within your schedule. But this is run by passionate Chicago locals who are excited to take you on a journey of their city. Give it a try if it works with you agenda!
4. Tour a Museum
Remember that City PASS I recommended you get? This is where it really comes in handy. Chicago is home to many amazing Museums and Exhibits that would certainly rival the Smithsonian in Washington DC. The Art Institute of Chicago, The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium or Adler Planetarium are all great ways to spend an afternoon and they are all included as options with your City PASS. If you stay in Chicago allows, pick one Museum each day, spend a few hours enjoying the exhibits before continuing to other great activities.
5. Stroll through the charming historic Gold Coast neighborhood
This neighborhood was one of the few spared in the fire of 1871, so many of the stunning buildings are original. The neighborhood is growing with eclectic spots for food and drinks and some of the most coveted shops in the country. There are local tours offered for this neighborhood too, walk in the footsteps of some of richest men in Chicago that initiated the high rise and skyscraper revolution to put Chicago on the map for some of the highest and architecturally unique structures in America and the world.
6. Enjoy the Chicago skyline from a rooftop bar or restaurant
Chicago has several rooftop bars and restaurants throughout the city that offer breathtaking views of the skyline and shoreline. Depending on where you stay, or what activities you have planned, save time to sit and sip and savor the view! Check out my Sippin Gypsy Quick Tips for Sippin': Chicago for specific spots with great cocktails and cuisine in the city.
7. Live Music
Several bars and hotel lounges will offer live music on most evenings. Like New Orleans you can almost follow your ears to great music. One of my favorite spots that I ended up going back to two more times was Andy's Jazz Club. The musicians they brought in were passionate performers and the ambiance was lively and energetic. I also enjoyed the Tortoise Club for dinner and live music. It was fun to get dressed up for the evening and step back into this swanky spot with a richly appointed decor of dark woods and elegant details. The drinks here were some of the best I had in Chicago and the food was truly favor packed and delicious.
Cheers Sippin Gypsy Team Rum! This post comes to you while enjoying a refreshing Sippin Gypsy Mojito with Wicked Dolphin Rum from Cape Coral FL. See all my Sippin Gypsy tips for Orlando and Central Florida HERE.
I love living in Central Florida. I'm halfway between two coasts and have a myriad of options for food and entertainment at any given moment. What I love even more about Florida is the weather. I was raised in the north. Snow and ice are not anything I enjoy...at all. I've learned to not bother really styling my hair in the summer (the humidity ruins it within seconds of stepping outside) and as a local you actually look forward to the refreshing afternoon rain storms that cools everything off before a perfect evening and sunset.
I'm constantly asked "why Orlando!?" My friends know I love history and culture. Every moment I get I'm driving up to Savannah GA or St. Augustine FL or preparing for my upcoming trips to Europe and South America. But Orlando is central to the great things that Florida offers. Orlando is full of amazing people from all over the world who are hard working and open minded. Just this past week I had dinner with a friend from Bulgaria, drinks with a friends from Poland and Puerto Rico and relaxed by the pool with friends from Brazil. The cultural immersion in this city is growing and its been fun to watch a cornucopia shops and restaurants open up boasting goods and recipes from all over the world.
I will not hide the facts. I do enjoy the theme parks. I have a Disney Pass and frequent the parks regularly. But I also enjoy the quaint neighborhoods around Orlando and Central Florida. They each have rhythm all their own with unique spots to make an afternoon or evening there a lot of fun.
1. Lake Eola
Created as a result of a sink hole, Lake Eola has become the center of a posh community of professionals who all congregate around the lake to walk their dog, jog, grab a glass of wine or enjoy a weekend festival. Lake Eola cradles an outdoor theater that hosts everything from Shakespeare to local bands. At the holidays, Lake Eola is festive with a Fourth of July show to rival Disney and charming lights through out December to add to the magic of the season. Check out The City Of Orlando page to see what Lake Eola is hosting while you're in town. Sunday is a definite day to visit downtown to select some great treats from the Farmers Market. While downtown, you're not far from a few of my favorite spots. The Rusty Spoon and Ceviche are regular spots for dinner then Mathers Social Gathering is the spot to be seen (or not, since the entrance is well guarded for a speakeasy feel) with great cocktails in a comfortable but chic environment.
2. Baldwin Park
This charming community offers a bustling street with shops, restaurants and bars nestled against beautiful Lake Baldwin. This a great community to visit for an evening of shopping, dining and cocktails. The Baldwin Park community also hosts fun festivals and events regularly. I use the Baldwin Park Events page to help me plan out when to venture to this side of town. When you make it over to Baldwin Park, please enjoy a cocktail or three at my favorite bar in Orlando The Nest. The interior is eclectic and cozy and the drinks are hands down the best in Orlando.
3. Winter Park
Swanky and sophisticated with a well balanced blend of shops as well as cocktail and cuisine spots, Winter Park has definitely earned the title "foodie capital of Orlando". There are so many tempting food options and charming boutiques, you should plan on enjoying the whole day here. Break up your time eating, drinking and shopping with a boat ride the Scenic Boat Tours. Winter Park hosts their own great festivals and community events as well as a Farmers Market. I use the City of Winter Park page to plan out my times to Winter Park. While you're in the neighborhood, you really can not go wrong with any of the restaurant or lounge options, Wine Room andLuma are two of my usual go to spots for a little pre or post dinner sippin. Wine Room is a fun wine tasting concept that allows you to pick from a vast variety of wines to try. Luma offers creative cocktails and a truly posh lounge perfect for a special date or girls night out. When it comes to cuisine Winter Park delivers: I typically do not like to just list spots, but there really are so many that I enjoy! My top locations I frequent in the Winter Park area are:
Domu: Ramen cuisine in with a great lounge area with well crafted cocktails. There will be a wait, so come early and enjoy a cocktail or 3!
Annas: The spot for authentic Polish cuisine in a comfortable homey environment. The portions are filling! Make sure everyone orders something different so you can try more!
Prato : Italian cuisine in a very comfortable chic atmosphere. Prato is my go to in Winter Park when hanging out with friends.
Ravenous Pig: A casual but posh environment for American cuisine. Each dish is flavor packed not afraid of flavor and supports locally sourced produce. I really appreciate their cocktail menu, creative and bold with playful twists on classics.
4. Historic Downtown Kissimmee
If you are staying close to the attractions, some of my other suggestions may be quite a drive for you. Downtown Kissimmee can be a short excursion and break from the crowds of the theme parks. What I enjoy most about downtown Kissimmee is the antique shops and boutiques. I usually head down to Kissimmee for lunch at Nadias for the best gyros in Orlando, then spend my afternoon browsing through the antique shops like Lanier's then find super cute outfits and jewelry at Branded B Boutique. In the evenings, 3 Sister Speakeasy is a fun spot to grab drinks and catch live music.
5. Other Must Dos
The challenge with Orlando is that her offerings are very spread out. A few of the following locations are also listed in my Sippin Gypsy Tips for Sippin' in Orlando, but these four locations really are a fun experience and worth the cross over from a cocktail and cuisine post to an activity post. All of these locations are perfect for a group and create such a fun environment that these are easily a place to hang out for the evening with great friends. I wanted to make sure I offered you a few of my other favorite spots. I live near the tourist areas of Orlando, and I find the following locations worth my drive on a regular basis:
The Pharmacy: A hidden gem in the Dr. Phillips area of Orlando. There is no sign outside, you simply find the correct elevator door and push the button to 'go up' and in! The cocktails are strong and respect prohibition style craft. The food here is amazing! Enjoy an experience at The Pharmacy, you won't forget it!
Canvas: This delicious spot sits in the blossoming neighborhood of Lake Nona. Canvas is nestled right on a lake, so the sunsets are spectacular and the cocktails and cuisine are delicious and packed with flavor. Canvas also has a charming market with fun and unique gifts.
Santiago's Bodega: Not too far from the reaches of downtown Orlando, Santiago's has been the go to spot when wanting great cocktails and cuisine while out with friends. The environment is artsy and posh and the food is so enjoyable and easy to share to try more.
Cafe Tu Tu Tangos: I know this post is referring you to spots away from the tourist traps and theme parks. But as a local this truly is one of my favorite locations, and I would make the drive to Tu Tu Tangos no matter where the location in Orlando would be. I have frequented Tu Tu Tangos for the better part of 12 years, enjoying the revolving menu based on seasonal flavors and the eclectic assortment of art available to view and purchase. While dining, local artists create on location, artists painting, sculptors sculpting and belly dancers dancing. Tu Tu Tangos is such a fun location to experience while in Orlando!
5. State Parks
I can image you might be about done of the eating and shopping and ready to just get out and really enjoy nature. Orlando has several State Parks that all offer hiking, water activities and relaxing. If you have your own boat or canoe, Lake Louisa is a great spot for hiking and secure water craft activity. Wekiwa Springs has a lot of variety from canoeing, paddle boarding swimming and snorkeling. Kelly Park is another Spring that is absolutely beautiful and even less visited and very relaxing. Many of the parks offer camping options as well. Please note, Florida does have her share of Alligators and other dangerous wildlife, but if you follow the advisories and rules per each park, you will have a fun, safe and memorable time.
Cheers Sippin Gypsy Team Tequila! This post comes to you while enjoying a Jalapeno Margarita inspired by the delicious cocktail made at Superica at Krog Street Market in Atlanta which you can read about in my Quick Tips for Sippin post, and find all of my tips for Atlanta HERE.
When reaching out to several of my friends and business contacts in Atlanta for where I should look for hotels the unanimous vote was to stay "downtown". By a few hours into my first visit I understood why. By staying downtown I was able to easily get to the different neighborhoods downtown, and many of the places I could walk to! I also saw a few stunning industrial loft options on AirBNB but I personally haven't stayed in any of them...yet. The following are my choice of places that I have stayed in over the years in my travels to Atlanta!
1. The Glenn Hotel
I love small boutique hotels with a staff you can get to know during your stay. The team at the Glenn exudes southern hospitality and sincere care and interest in their guests. While the rooms are small, they are clean and modern with the comforts of a shaker and martini glasses to company my ice bucket! The lobby was swanky and the bar hours were perfect and crafted great cocktails. I enjoyed live music on the Saturday evening I was there. My last evening in Atlanta was appropriately crowned with an evening at The Sky Lounge which offered beautiful views of Centennial Olympic Park and the city skyline. I had both breakfast and dinner through the Glenn Kitchen. The food was good and well priced for hotel/downtown pricing. The Glenn Hotel is my top pick for staying downtown Atlanta
2. Twelve Hotel
If your travels to Atlanta will have you lingering for more than four or five days, or you have children with you, Twelve Hotel will be the most comfortable home away from home. Rooms are truly more like luxury condos, fully furnished with a kitchen, living room area and separate bedrooms, it would be easy to grab some groceries and prepare meals right in your room (but there is so much great food to eat all around Atlanta, I highly recommend taking advantage of all the deliciousness around ATL.
3. The Marriott Mariquis
This hotel is so much fun architecturally. I've stayed here for business and for fun with my family. The rooms are very spacious and with 52 floors, your view is certain to be outstanding. The pool area is unique with options to swim outside or inside at the same time! Even if you don't stay here during your trip to Atlanta, step inside to enjoy the details and height of this modern structure.
4. The Westin
Although it had been a few years since my stay at the Westin, I've always enjoyed this unique circular structure and the ease of going to up 72 floors to the Sun Dial to enjoy city views through out the day or evening. The rooms are comfortable and spacious and the location is ideal to anything you have planned for downtown or the surrounding neighborhoods of Atlanta.
5. Georgian Terrace
If you appreciate history and architecture, the Georgian Terrace will absolutely delight you. Designed with Parisian details by famed Architect William Lee Stoddard, this hotel is the embodiment of Southern Charm and hospitality. One of the most popular places in Atlanta for formal events, the Georgian Terrace is picturesque and elegant.
6. Ellis Hotel
A swanky chic hotel in a historic building with quite a tumultuous past. The Ellis Hotel is nestled in the heart of downtown Atlanta and easy walking distance to restaurants and bars. The original building burned down in 1946, but it has been rebuilt and served the Atlanta community in various capacities including a retirement home for a time, as well as a gift shop during the Olympics. The Ellis Hotel was restored as boutique hotel in 2007 and is a true delight in the heart of Atlanta.
Cheers Sippin Gypsy Team Gin! This post comes to you while enjoying my Gin Sorbet Sparkler flavored with peach sorbet inspired the Old Forth Distillery Gin and the beautiful state of Georgia! Check out all my tips about Atlanta HERE.
Atlanta is a diverse city that exudes a passion for her people through so many facets. Sports fans flock to Atlanta, some of musics greatest artists grew up out of Atlanta. Appreciation of the arts is evident on almost every street corner. Atlanta is packed of amazing things to do and try.
A lot of what Atlanta offers may require transportation other than your two feet. Be prepared with the Park Mobile APP if you're going to drive around yourself. This great APP allows you to pay from your phone at most of the parking lots and spaces through Atlanta and notifies you via text when your time is almost up so you can add more time without leaving your adventure.
When packing for Atlanta, be prepared for temperature swings. Layering options are ideal since the weather can change quickly. Atlanta also offers swanky and posh activities... bring at least one option to dress to impress just in case.
1. Atlanta Belt Line
Atlanta has taken the beautiful parks, charming neighborhoods and talented street artists and pulled the community together with a beltway that connects the city. Give yourself time to get out and walk the belt line and enjoy seeing the eclectic variety between the neighborhoods. Atlanta is an evolving showroom for Street Art. Talented artists with a passionate platform have used the concrete walls as a canvas to transform the city. Check out my Quick Tips for Sippin' and enjoy a bite or cocktail along your trek!
2. 18.21 Bitters Tasting at Ponce City Market
Take your cocktails to the next level with bitters and syrups from the 18.21 family. Their store is also their production kitchen and you can try a variety of combinations to take home to play! While you're already at Ponce City Market, stay and sip a while. There are a variety of great restaurants and shops and this one of the places in Atlanta you can 'sip and stroll'.
3. Centennial Olympic Park
Atlanta was home to Olympics in 1996. This park has become a pulsing community center to downtown Atlanta and her surrounding neighborhoods. This can easily be a full afternoon between lounging on the grass with a picnic lunch, giving the kids time to play in fountains and riding Sky View Atlanta (especially at sunset!) Check out the site linked above for live music and other festivals the park may be hosting while you're in town!
4. Georgia Aquarium
I love this Aquarium. They have carefully plotted out thoughtful exhibits that make you feel like you've stepped into the depths of the oceans or experiencing the marshes of the south. There are animal encounters for a separate price. My bucket list is to dive with a whale shark!
5. College Football Hall of Fame
To traveling sport fans, this is a popular exhibit to celebrate the young talent that has shaped the future of football. Ideal for kids or as a date this is a great way to dodge the raindrops or take a break from the southern sun and enjoy a journey through some of College Footballs greatest moments.
6. Local Farmers Markets
I know I also referenced this in my Quick Tips for Sippin' but I am a huge fan of supporting local when traveling to any town. If your visit to Atlanta has you available over the weekends, various neighborhoods host different markets. These are local farmers and vendors with quality crafts and goods to take home and enjoy. I plan out which neighborhood I want to spend the morning in, and plan on breakfast from the Market to start my day. The 365 Atlanta Page was really helpful when planing my visits to take advantage to what was going on in different communities adjacent to downtown Atlanta.
7. Stone Mountain Park
While I strongly suggested taking time of some of the parks you'll encounter along the Atlanta Belt Line trek, Stone Mountain Park is out of the city but a full day experience all on its own. Hiking, ropes courses and other activities make this a great getaway solo or with the family. I would plan on venturing to Stone Mountain on one of the nicest weather days of your stay. Atlanta can get very muggy in the summer and quite bitter in the winter.
8. Sun Dial Restaurant
I know I referenced the Sun Dial Restaurant atop the Westin Hotel in my Quick Tips for Sippin, however this really offers a stunning view of the city and is something to plan to do even if not for dinner. Have a glass of wine or a cocktail to toast in the evening and watch the city come alive at night from 72 floors above the city. This would also be a great spot to enjoy while dressed up before seeing a show or performance while downtown.
9. Catch a show or concert
Atlanta loves to support her performing arts. There are so many theaters that offer a cornucopia of options during your visit to Atlanta. Popular musicals and shows come through the Cobb Energy Center but no trip to Atlanta would be complete without enjoying something at the iconic Fox Theater. Just a reminder there are several festivals and concerts held in the parks through out Atlanta too, check out the agenda on Atlanta.net for more information during your travel.
Lover of travel to charming places dusted with unique flavor. Join me as I explore the world sip by sip. Cheers!