Read Part I HERE
Stepping foot off hotel premises certainly wasn't necessary. I would have happily stayed at the St. Regis Atlanta for the whole duration of my trip. But, for the sake of "research," I dragged myself away from that incredible pool and bid adieu to my personal butler. It was time for me to see the surrounding sights and experience some local Georgian flavor.
See the City
First, I soaked up some heritage at the beautifully restored Swan House. Built in 1928 for the Inman family, heirs to a cotton brokerage fortune, the historic mansion currently serves as one of Atlanta's most iconic landmarks. A guided tour of this pretentious pad, from the quaint butler quarters to the mega master bedroom, provided a genuine glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of this over-the-top family.
Founded in 1968, the fabulous Frabel Glass Art Studio is a stone's throw from the St Regis. There, Hans Godo Frabel's glass-blown masterpieces attract wealthy collectors (including Oprah!) from all around the world. I was blown away by his eclectic, phenomenal collection. Get it?
Stroll and Spend
I couldn't get enough of the town of Buckhead. It's just the loveliest little neighborhood. The grounds were groomed and gorgeous, and the mansions that adorned them were even more spectacular. I strolled around the awe-inspiring avenues for hours admiring every noble estate, from white Georgian houses to Tudor-style homes.
I worked up quite an appetite at Lenox Square, the premier shopping destination in the Southeast. With 250 specialty stores including Louis Vuitton, David Yurman, FENDI, and Neiman Marcus, I had burned through lots of calories... and even more cash. I devoured my meal at Flip Burger Boutique, an innovative eatery that takes unexpected twists on the traditional burger. (Seriously, if you're into fried pickles, unique burgers, and creamy milkshakes, you need to check out this Mecca of greasy deliciousness.)
Nothing celebrates the South more than a tasty batch of fried chicken from JCT. Kitchen & Bar. Add some bacon mac-and-cheese and a side of parmesan truffle fries and you've got me wrapped around your little finger. (Carbs + carbs = Heaven.) I barely had room for the Meyer lemon donut drops, espresso ice cream, rum-soaked coconut cake, and Georgia peach fried pies with chocolate ice cream and caramel, but, like I said, I had to do my research. It's a tough job/life...
The morning of my departure came too quickly. I knew that I had to relish the short time I had left at the St. Regis, so I made two quick phone calls. In-room breakfast: check... Butler to pack my belongings: check. All in the name of â€“ say it with me â€“ research. And for the record, Jeeves had some serious folding skills. (Get that guy a part-time gig at the Gap.)
From the moment I walked into the luxurious St. Regis lobby, I was spoiled silly. I was swept away by the exceptional service and stunning setting of the incredible hotel, and felt like the belle of the ball. Atlanta was everything I thought it would be â€“ warm, hospitable, and picturesque. I did my daintiest curtsy, gave my best Miss America wave, and said goodbye. What an incredible trip. I may be back home in New York City, but I've still got Georgia on my mind.