Posted November 4, 2021

A Guide to Buckhead’s Hidden Gems

Destinations

With a nickname like “The Beverly Hills of the South,” it’s no surprise Buckhead—a swanky part of uptown Atlanta—has developed quite the stylish reputation. Located just seven miles from city center, Buckhead is perhaps best known for its bevy of in-vogue restaurants, high-style shopping and stately mansions standing along tree-lined streets. But sometimes it pays to take the road less traveled: the buzzy district is also home to 45 distinct neighborhoods, each ripe for exploration. Here are a few locally-loved picks you’ll find off the beaten path.

Atlanta, GA – Photo by Ronny Sison

Let’s Talk Shop: Andrews Square

Buckhead has been synonymous with shopping since Lenox Mall (now Lenox Square) opened as one of the first U.S. malls back in 1959. Not much has changed in the ensuing years: the area is currently home to one of the largest concentrations of upscale boutiques in the country, thanks to popular destinations like the posh Phipps Plaza and the trendy Buckhead Village District.

Tucked in Buckhead’s West Village neighborhood is Andrews Square, a shopping center brimming with local character. Browse bustling aisles of bright produce, fresh flowers and made-in-Georgia gifts at locally owned Lucy’s Market, or pop into Poppy’s of Atlanta, a chic women’s boutique that’s been a Buckhead staple for 40-plus years. When you’ve shopped until you’ve dropped, lay out a picnic in the cozy courtyard square and listen to the strumming of the in-house guitarist.

The Chastain, Photo by Michael Thompson

Everything Under the Sun: Chastain Park

At roughly 268 acres, Buckhead’s sprawling Chastain Park is the local go-to for recreation and Vitamin D. Hop on the color-coded walking trails that loop through the park’s woodsy landscape and you’ll discover a golf course, tennis courts, horse stables and even an arts center—all open to Buckhead residents and out-of-towners alike. During warmer months, catch a show at the historic Cadence Bank Amphitheatre, Atlanta’s oldest outdoor concert venue. When you’re ready to get out of the sun, head across the street to newly opened neighborhood bistro, The Chastain. Housed inside a former roadside country store, this dreamy all-day cafe serves up original takes on Southern comfort food classics using ingredients sourced from its backyard garden. Ask for a spot on the terrace under the historic oak tree to enjoy pastoral views of the park over breakfast, lunch (coming soon!) or dinner.

Lucy’s Market, Andrews Square – Photo by EDENS

Toast the Town: Himitsu

With a name that translates to “secret,” it doesn’t get more hidden gem than Himitsu. This chic Japanese speakeasy is camouflaged behind an unassuming faux storefront in One Buckhead Plaza, and when you do find it, you’ll need a secret passcode to get in. Once inside, you’ll discover a luxe cocktail lounge with a Tokyo-inspired menu of sushi, small bites and specially-crafted cocktails—topped with shimmering branded ice cubes—by bartender Shingo Gokan. Snag a reservation and try not to get *too* starstruck when you rub elbows with the likes of Jon Hamm, Daniel Craig or Ludacris at the gleaming copper bar. If slots are all booked up during your trip, try Himitsu’s sister restaurant, Umi, just a few doors down (and don’t worry, this one’s clearly marked!).

Foxglove Antiques, Shops at Miami Circle

Hit the Pavement: Path400 Greenway Trail

Want to stretch your legs? Lace up your sneaks and head out to the Path400 Greenway Trail, a tree-lined pedestrian trail that runs along the spine of Georgia State Route 400. One day, it will connect Buckhead to the iconic Atlanta BeltLine, a network of disused rail lines-turned-walkways that loops around the city. But for now, Path400 is your scenic route to many of the district’s gems, including Lenox Square Mall and the eclectic Shops at Miami Circle. No matter your pace, don’t forget to take a stretch break and pause to explore the public art installations—large-scale murals, decorative picnic tables and ornate birdhouses—that have popped up alongside the path. They showcase just a few of Atlanta’s most talented creators.

St. Julep, Kimpton Sylvan Hotel

Catch Some Zzz’s: The Kimpton Sylvan Hotel

When it’s time to call it a day, let Kimpton Sylvan Hotel be your gracious host. Once a sprawling 1950s residential building, this newly reimagined boutique property is a verdant refuge in bustling Buckhead. True to its name (the roots of “Sylvan” are tied to the word “woods”), Kimpton Sylvan is home to nearly 5,000 square feet of flourishing gardens and greenery for guests to explore, plus an inviting (but private!) resort-style pool. Mid-century style meets Southern comfort inside old-school supper club The Betty, whimsical secret garden Willow Bar and cheeky rooftop lounge St. Julep. We think it’s a destination in itself, but if you want to get out and meet our new neighbors, you’re in luck—you’ll be just steps from the best Buckhead has to offer.

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