You can’t visit Atlanta without exploring the arts and culture. We mean that quite literally. Given the location of the Kimpton Shane — smack in the hub of the Midtown Union neighborhood — it is nearly impossible to enter or leave the hotel without exposure to the vibrant, bustling mix of Atlanta’s flourishing art scene.
One dead giveaway is the street itself: The hotel sits on a road called “Arts Center Way.” Some go-to nearby culture:
It’s a two-block walk to The High Museum of Art, where you’ll find a world-class offering of African art, southern art, and Civil Rights photography. Then stroll down Peachtree Street to hit SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film, which is the rare museum that has exhibitions ranging from Alexander McQueen to Black Panther.
And don’t sleep on the nearby Center For Puppetry Arts, where your inner-child can geek out on over 5,000 puppets, from Kermit the Frog to Fraggle Rock.
Explore the natural beauty of Atlanta at the Botanical Gardens, the emerald jewel in the crown of Atlanta culture. The annual Orchid Daze exhibit celebrating the return of Spring is on display now and features inventive murals created by three Southeastern artists.
Also make sure to check out a brand new exhibit at the Gardens, Trolls: Save the Humans, featuring giant wooden trolls — ranging from 15 feet tall to 25 feet wide — that blend art, nature, and messages of sustainability in a unique outdoor installation. This is a spectacular exhibit — make sure to catch it before it’s gone.
Not in the mood for a museum? No problem, as any random walk will lead you to outdoor art with historical and cultural significance. The closest exhibit of public art is right outside the doors of the Shane and Midtown Union where Atlanta based artist and SCAD graduate Joe Dreher (aka @JoeKingATL) painted two giant murals up the side of the building.
The murals represent the artist’s tribute to the idea of bringing the city together, since Midtown is the bridge between North Atlanta, Downtown, and South Atlanta. (Fun fact: The faces intertwined in the murals are members of the artist’s own family.) Make sure to look up before heading out for the day.
Take the “Rainbow Crosswalk,” about a mile from the Shane — bold rainbow stripes cover the crosswalk to celebrate LGBTQ pride. Or walk to The Bridge, dedicated to John Lewis’ sacrifice for civil rights. And make sure to check out the Albert Einstein Memorial at the nearby Georgia Institute of Technology. (The Shane’s concierge can recommend a good tour, or you can just try and knock out as many of these as possible.)
It’s (obviously) worth the quick Uber to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park which includes his birth home, Ebenezer Baptist Church (where Dr. King was a co-pastor for nearly a decade), his final resting place, and the eternal flame. A block away you’ll find “WERD Atlanta,” the revival of the nation’s first Black-owned radio station — and the building which once housed Dr. King’s office.
It’s a tried-and-true travel hack: You can get the deeper, less touristy sense of a place through the vibes of a local bookstore. And you can’t go wrong with For Keeps Books, a hybrid bookstore (with classic and scarce books from Black writers) and community reading center.
Local Art at the Shane
Then there’s the hotel itself. After a long day exploring the arts and culture of Atlanta, stop by Hartley for an expertly crafted meal. Boasting a menu of traditional American classics layered with contemporary updates, Hartley embodies a new Southern tradition. If you’re simply in the mood for a signature cocktail (or a nightcap) — head upstairs to Aveline. This lively indoor-outdoor lounge specializes in botanically infused cocktails and overlooks one of Midtown Atlanta’s most beautiful green spaces.
Located in the “Heart of the Arts,” the Shane regularly features work and exhibitions from local artists. Art, of course, serves a greater purpose than just prettying up a room. Art can inspire, teach, and even heal.
As a commitment to the healing power of art, the Shane has a new package: a $10 donation for every night’s stay will be made to Drawchange, a local non-profit organization, which is dedicated to empowering impoverished children through the use of art therapy based-programming.
Where to stay: The Kimpton Shane