Hidden Southern Gems: A Weekend in Alpharetta

Summer Weekends in the South ya’ll… it doesn’t get better. You might remember a few weeks ago I went on a weekend trip to Alpharetta Georgia. It was the absolute best weekend I’ve had in a long time. The suburbs of Atlanta often get overlooked, but trust me… one trip to Alpharetta Georgia and you’ll be booking your weekend trips there instead of Metro Atlanta. The city of Alpharetta has done so much work the past few years to truly turn this spot into a destination. I’m going to share the many reasons why you need to venture here today.

Hotel Avalon

Bedroom Views from the Courtyard Avalon/Alpharetta Georgia

Madewell at the Avalaon

Breakfast at Goldberg’s

The Chanel Beauty Boutique at the Avalon

Jeni’s Ice Cream at the Avalon

Cru Food and Wine Bistro

First Up: Avalon:


Avalon is a major hot spot for Alpharetta. The shopping trumps most anywhere I’ve shopped in the entire Atlanta area. You will find local shops alongside higher end national retailers for a truly unique shopping experience. My favorite stops along the way through Avalon for shopping were Chanel (the only beauty boutique for Chanel in the entire state of Georgia and also one of the only ones in the US), Paper Source (such a fun experience with a class experience option, highly recommend!), South Moon Under (one of my favorite stores based out of the Northeast near my family… I’ve been shopping with them for years!), Marine Layer (this shop is located in the center area in the coolest little building! It’s so cute and the staff is incredible!), The Cosmetic Market (I absolutely adore shopping here because of the selection. It feels like you died and went to beauty heaven shopping in here!), Loccitaine (they offer private events… something awesome to consider if you are doing a bachelorette or birthday party… or even just to treat yourself on your girls trip!), Kendra Scott, and so many more.


We had breakfast and lunch at the Avalon this trip. I can also add a couple of recommendations from my time in Alpharetta last summer as well.

For Breakfast, Goldberg’s is delicious. They have bagels of course, but their breakfast entree selections are divine! So many people had pancakes that morning, biscuits and gravy, and even french toast. I had a breakfast sandwich that was delish. Another breakfast recommendation would be Cafe Intermezzo. You can eat here all day, but their specialty is crepes and I think they are the absolute best option for brunch at the Avalon. So good! I’ve had both their breakfast and dinner crepes, let’s just say I didn’t have left-overs.

For lunch on this trip we tried out Cru Food and Wine Bar, it was delish. I was so blown away by the aesthetic of the restaurant as well. The walls are filled with bottles of wine. Beyond cool. Their food is amazing too. I highly recommend sharing small plates if you’re in a group. We tried the Fig and Gorgonzola Bruschetta (to die for), the Ahi Tartare (so delicious and light, perfect if it’s a hot summer day!), Lobster and Shrimp Potstickers (these were filled to the brim with lobster and shrimp and came with the best sauce), and goat cheese beignets. I also had the grilled cheese and tomato soup as an entree, but to be honest I didn’t need it because I was already so full! Other options that would be great for lunch: Barley Garden (a brewhouse vibe with great pub food and options for rooftop seating), South City Kitchen (inside hotel avalon and the food is divine!), and Marlow’s Tavern. Marlow’s, South City, and Barley Garden were from my last trip to Alpharetta. If you have more than one day at Avalon you could definitely fit all of these in in some capacity.

For dessert, head to Jeni’s for Ice Cream or Cafe Intermezzo has a delicious selection and prime views for people watching. I highly recommend the Brambleberry Crisp from Jeni’s. I get it every single time I go.

For Dinner, we went to Kona Grill. They have delicious sushi, poke bowls, and so much more. It’s Asian Fusion so you can get a wide array of options depending on your preference. I had two sushi rolls and they were so good. I opted for the Picasso and the Bama, both were a tad spicy, but so delish. Highly recommend. I will say that Marlow’s has a nice night time vibe and great views for the entertainment outside during warmer months. Cru would also be an amazing dinner option and they have great outdoor seating.

Where to stay:

At the Avalon the place to stay on grounds is Hotel Avalon. This is where we stayed for the Blog Societies conference last year. It is divine. There is a rooftop pool with bar, Starbucks + South City on site, and the best lobby to hang out in after hours. We sat down there every night before we wrapped up and had the best time. You can order a drink from the bar and take it over to the lobby. Such a great place to wind down.

On this trip we stayed directly across the street from the Avalon at the Courtyard Marriott Alpharetta/Avalon. Such a great place to stay. Being right across from the Avalon this would be a great alternative at lower price per night or if the Avalon is booked. I will say though, I just checked two hotel booking sites and the price is identical. The only thing you sacrifice being across the street is the ability to walk around more easily outside at the Avalon, the ability to leave your car and just walk the entire weekend (if staying at Avalon), and some of the ammenities within Hotel Avalon. The interior of the Courtyard is gorgeous, brand new, and very clean. The rooms were a great size too.

Tips for Your Time at the Avalon:

  • Parking is Free! The only paid parking is long term if you are staying at the Hotel Avalon.
  • Open Container: this is amazing! If there is a wait at the restaurant just grab a drink and take a stroll to wait for your table to be ready.
  • There are a lot of free things to do: yoga, live music, family activities. There is so much to do at Avalon for both adults and kids.
  • Head to the concierge first if it’s your first time. They offer valet parking (paid) if you like that, directions, strollers, etc. Such a great resource.
  • Make reservations at the restaurants for dinner. You may need to also do this for brunch, but dinner will be your trickiest time to grab a table! Most of the restaurants are on OpenTable so you can reserve a table easily and make dinner an even better experience.
  • Have fun. The Avalon is a safe place to shop, stroll, dine, and drink. It truly is a one-stop-shop for most anything you would like to do.

At the Farmer’s Market in Downtown Alpharetta

Downtown Alpharetta:

I can’t even explain how cute Downtown Alpharetta is in words. I love The Avalon, but downtown stole my heart. So many cute shops, amazing food, local events, and so much more. This is where you do Alpharetta like a local.

Shopping at Sis’n Moon

Brunch at Shade Street

The Wings at Coaltion

Dinner Views at Holmes

Cocktails at Holme’s

Views from our Wine Tasting at Fermented

Kilwin’s Downtown Alpharetta

Holme’s Downtown Alpharetta

Strolling around Downtown Alpharetta

Inside Coaltion

Comeback Vinyl

Things to Do:

The Alpharetta Farmer’s Market would be one of my top recommendations for anyone who will be traveling to the area for the weekend. There were so many vendors set up and you can grab local veggies, fruits, bread (sold out of a VW truck no less), and local food vendors. Its so quaint and right in the center of downtown. You could easily walk to brunch/lunch after. I would recommend doing this early for two reasons: one being that a lot of vendors sell out/close up early due to crowds and two that it gets really hot as the day goes on.

Wine tasting at Fermented. I highly recommend this. They had the most amazing charcuterie board prepared for us when we arrived and the wine and cheese pairings were out of this world. I really appreciated their selection and that they could find something for any budget with bottles ranging from 12-several hundred dollars.

Music in the park. Depending on the week they often have performances going on in the park. This was so picture-esque and felt like I was living in a movie. The orchestra performed the night that we went and it was so amazing. Did I mention that this is absolutely free?


Sis’n Moon was my favorite shop we visited. Everything was so unique and truly something you couldn’t get anywhere else. I got the cutest t-shirt from there and they had up-cycled Louis Vuitton pieces. Very cool.

Korner Soak would be a close second. Everything there was absolutely divine and luxurious. Pj’s, bath products, and even cute baby pieces. I really enjoyed the atmosphere inside.

Comeback Vinyl was such a fun experience. It’s family owned and has a great selection of new and old Vinyl. Fun Fact, if you reach out beforehand they allow photo shoots inside outside of business hours! Such a fun location to get some great content if you’re in the area and have time.

Some of my other favorites were Clothes Horse. This place is for the guys. The owner is a former football coach and all of his memorabilia lives inside. He carries a lot of Luke’s favorite brands. A truly great place to drop the guys off while you shop around. La Bella Maison had some really unique pieces and was very feminine inside. All Inspired was a favorite not only because the clothes were so cute, but because the owner was a true gem. They always have cofffee or drinks for all customers and really want to love on them. They also focus on local products and brands that give back to the community.

Perched was such a fun place to visit because it is so bright and happy and the mother-daughter team who own and operate the store are so happy you can’t help but smile around them. They have some of my favorite brands as well which is always a win. I can’t forget DressUp though. I’ve been shopping them for years. They are Georgia based and you will notice that a lot of their photos are taken in downtown Alpharetta for the site and socials if you pay attention to the backdrops. I love their clothes and they focus on items under $40!


For our first stop in downtown we had breakfast at Maple Street. While Maple Street is a chain, they are all franchised and you can always seem to find the local owner inside. I absolutely adore their breakfast. I got the biscuits and gravy and it was divine. They also have sweet biscuits and I highly recommend you get a side of those for your table. You won’t regret it.

Lunch that day was at Coalition. Such a great local option. I had their chicken sandwich and we split wings and I swear I died and went to heaven during lunch that day. They also serve lots of local craft beer options if that’s your thing. I grabbed a Paradiso from Creature Comfort’s of course… you know it’s my fave. The atmosphere inside is also gorgeous! This would be a great lunch or dinner option.

Dinner on our final night was at Holme’s in Downtown Alpharetta. This was my favorite meal of the trip. They do lots of small plates and encourage sharing. We got so many amazing dishes and the menu changes seasonally. The restaurant is inside a historic house and the wall art is out of this world. Every single room has some major character (even the bathroom). Oh, and let’s just say you have to scope out their cocktail menu. So Good! Make sure to check them out on your trip to Alpharetta.

Kilwin’s is such a staple and they had just opened a location in Alpharetta. We went there after dinner for a night cap and it was so good. I had the chocolate cherry and it was amazing.

For Sunday Brunch we went to Shade Street Food. This was such a great way to end the trip. The food is centered around global cuisine. I of course had to go with Chicken and Waffles though. When in Georgia… They were absolutely divine though. I’ve had chicken and waffles several times in my life and none compare to these.

Experiencing American Girl

Before the Chris Young Concert


I wanted to add in some details from our first night in Alpharetta. Sadly I had to miss a lot of the afternoon festivities, but I caught the end of the North Point Mall tour and I’m so glad. When I saw American Girl on the list I was like really? I was so happy we went though. The Bistro inside is so cute and to be honest I never got to go to American Girl when I was little… so it was really neat to see what all the hype is about. Also, I better have a girl because I have the cutest American Girl doll to pass down to her now.

North Point Mall is a great shopping alternative for those days you need something to do inside or need a true depa

The first night we also got to head to a concert at the Ameris Bank Amphitheater. Chris Young performed and it was a blast! I highly recommend upgrading your tickets to do VIP access too. The VIP area is so fun and you can enjoy dinner and drinks before your concert in a much more low key environment. Chris Young also put on a great show.

Final Thoughts:

I absolutely adore Alpharetta. It’s a place I could see myself moving in the future. I was pulling up Zillow listings the entire time we were there. There are so many reasons to plan a trip there, but here are some of my favorites.

  • Accessibility: Alpharetta is just 3.5 hours from me. While it feels like a whole new world from home for me, it’s an easy weekend trip and a short drive.
  • Ammenities: There is something to do for everyone in Alpharetta. Outdoor activities, community events, music, dining; it really hits all the bases for me.
  • Quality: Every single thing we did in Alpharetta was top notch. While it’s nice to have a lot of options to choose from, that usually means that some are lower quality than others. In Alpharetta you will never be disappointed.
  • Kindness: The people of Alpharetta Georgia are so incredibly kind and welcoming. This is a place you can visit and feel like a local immediately, not an outsider. We even ran into people from the days prior when we were out and about and they always recognized us and came over to say hello and ask what we had been up to that day. That, my friends is hard to find no matter where you go.

I absolutely cannot wait to plan my next trip back to Alpharetta Georgia. Now that I’ve been there twice, I think it’s time I take Luke for a visit. Stay Tuned for that! For more details and updates from the City of Alpharetta head here.

As always you can find all my travel content here. I focus on attainable travel for couples, girls trips, and solo travel.

Thank you so much to The City of Alpharetta Georgia for Sponsoring this trip. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own.