Date taken: Nov. 11, 2013
There’s really only one thing you need to know about the first annual Atlanta Cheese Festival — grill cheese meltdown! Yes, eight local restaurants put their best grill cheese forward for festival goers to enjoy and vote on. High Road Creamery got my vote with its creative take — french toast grill cheese with vanilla ice cream. Of course, no cheese fest is complete without pimento cheese, mac and cheese, beer cheese soup and dozen of cheeses to taste and buy.
Location: Atlanta Greek Festival
Date taken: October 5, 2013
It’s the only festival I know of in Atlanta with a drive-thru and god of napkins. Yes, if you don’t have the time to park and walk around the annual Greek Festival, located at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral off Clairmont Road, you can simply drive through the parking lot and pick up your Greek meal. I recommend the pastries. Honey fritters — just the name made my mouth water — wedding cookies and baklava sundaes are all an integral part of this festival, which will appeal to your tastebuds more than your other senses. The entertainment lineup (dancing, music, etc.) is enjoyable, the tour of the cathedral is fascinating and the jewelry vendors might peak your interest, but you’ll likely come back for the food.
Location: #WeLoveAtl Mobile Photo Gallery
Date taken: October 5, 2013
It started as one art show. Now, it’s a ongoing exhibit with dozens of new photos added each week. #WeLoveAtl showcases Atlantans’ photos of their city and love of their city. Atlantans — those on Instagram — have been sharing their photos of skyline views, resident portraits, landmarks, neighborhoods and even various modes of transportation. #WeLoveAtl’s photos are now available for purchase, with proceeds going to the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Want to participate? Just grab your camera or smartphone, and snap a photo of your favorite Atlanta spot — don’t forget to hashtag #weloveatl.
Location: Wall Crawler Rock Club
Date taken: October 6, 2013
Intimidated by giant rock climbing walls? Don’t know where to put your hands and feet amid all the colorful holds? You like the sound of the word “belay” but have no idea what it means? Follow the smell of cookies baking (yes, there is a cookie factory just across the train tracks) to the Wall Crawler Rock Club on Dekalb Avenue, and you’ll find a intimate and laid back climbing gym. The walls are tall, but the learning curve feels a little smaller here. Of course, this is by no means a beginners only spot — there’s a crew of neighborhood regulars who call Wall Crawlers their home gym. Stop by, and you might become one of them.
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Date taken: October 12, 2013
It’s easy to pick up a pumpkin from your local grocery store, but if you really feel like embracing the Halloween spirit, head to a pumpkin patch. Pie pumpkins, white pumpkins, mini pumpkins, fairy tale pumpkins, gourds — the options are plentiful. And don’t forget your camera and your adorable toddler. A pumpkin patch makes a great fall photo backdrop.
Location: Kirkwood Wine Stroll
Date taken: September 27, 2013
Atlanta is home to numerous wine and beer festivals throughout the year, but none have quite the enthusiasm (and complimentary food!) of the Kirkwood Wine Stroll, which is held every September. In the heart of Kirkwood, a small commercial stretch along Hosea Williams Drive, all the businesses — from the car wash to the local pizza joint to the paint store — participate in the wine stroll. In addition to offering samples of wines, each stop serves up appetizers, pizza slices, bbq, desserts and other goodies to strollers. It’s a wine stroll brimming with neighborhood pride — and lots of glasses of wine.
Location: Star Provisions
Date taken: September 23, 2013
You’ve heard about the cronut — the croissant-donut hybrid that took New York City by storm earlier this year. Well, Atlanta has a few of its own forms of this tasty pastry. At Star Provisions on the Westside, it’s called the “dossant” and is available certain days of the week. At Sublime Doughnuts, you can indulge in a frosted croissant — and more than a dozen other genius donut creations.