Tag Archives: ATL

Atlanta: A Million Skyline Looks.

The skyline. Anyone who follows me on this blog or on social media knows I like to capture city skylines. With that I got excited starting the A Million Skyline Looks series.

Toronto, Chicago, Auckland and now it is Atlanta’s turn. The unofficial capitol of the South has distinct skylines in both Midtown and Downtown.

Photo opportunities to capture both from parks, bridges, high up-top sky rises and from right out on the open road (as a passenger of course) have presented themselves, along with many more. Coming up with a million skyline looks of a place I’ve lived in and visited a lot is easy. Well without further ado:

Atlanta skyline - from The Varsity

Eat a burger from this ATL institution, the Varsity, while capturing the city.

Atlanta skyline

Sometimes random Atlanta city skyline shots just present themselves.

Atlanta skyline from immy Carter Library and Museum

Head to the park behind the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood.

Atlanta skyline from immy Carter Library and Museum

Skyline trying to peek out from the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum.

Atlanta skyline from near Turner Field

The Downtown skyline and state capitol from near Turner FIeld.

Atlanta skyline from near Turner Field

The Downtown skyline and state capitol from what was once Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium.

Atlanta skyline from World of Coca-Cola

Downtown helping to protect the World of Coca-Cola.

Atlanta skyline from up-top The Sun Dial restaurant

Midtown view from 73rd floor of The Westin Peachtree Plaza at The Sun Dial restaurant.

Atlanta skyline from up-top The Sun Dial restaurant

View from 73rd floor of The Westin Peachtree Plaza at The Sun Dial restaurant. SunTrust Plaza is standing tall.

Atlanta skyline

Love looking straight up in a big city.

Atlanta skyline from up-top The Sun Dial restaurant

View from 73rd floor of The Westin Peachtree Plaza at The Sun Dial restaurant.

Atlanta skyline from Piedmont Park

Midtown standing tall from Piedmont Park.

Atlanta skyline from Piedmont Park

The skyline is playing peekabo in Piedmont Park.

Downtown Atlanta skyline from the Downtown Connector

Exit for the Downtown ATL skyline anyone?

Midtown Atlanta skyline from the Downtown Connector

One Atlantic Center, the tallest building in Atlanta, standing in Midtown.

Midtown Atlanta skyline from the Downtown Connector

Heading right into the heart, northbound on the Downtown Connector (I-75/I-85).

Atlanta skyline from the Downtown Connector

Heading southbound on the Downtown Connector (I-75/I-85). Skyline hugging the guard rail.

Midtown skyline from the Downtown Connector

Heading into the city from the south. Can you see the Georgia State Capitol?

Atlanta skyline from Piedmont Park

The pond and spot to grab a city shot within Piedmont Park.

Atlanta skyline from Piedmont Park

Midtown will greet you at the end of a climb in Piedmont Park.

Atlanta skyline from Piedmont Park

Midtown in Autumn, straight ahead at Piedmont Park.

Atlanta skyline from Old Fourth Ward neighborhood

Good reason you think to pull off the road on Boulevard NE in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood?

Atlanta skyline from Old Fourth Ward neighborhood

More Atlanta skyline opportunity out on the open road in Old Fourth Ward.

Midtown skyline from the Downtown Connector

Heading off the interstate and into the heart of the Midtown skyline.

My favorite place to capture the ATL skyline is the 17th Street Bridge, my peaceful place.

Atlanta skyline from the 17th Street Bridge

Many, many, many lanes heading into the city from the 17th Street Bridge.

What other spots would you recommend capturing the Atlanta skyline from?

Soaking in The Fall Colors of Suwanee, Georgia

Do you have a chance to capture Autumn colors and the leaves falling to the ground in Georgia each year? You bet. Suwanee just northeast of Atlanta is no exception. The suburban town provides a scenic backdrop annually for those looking to walk to take in the colors of the season.

Fall colors in Gwinnett County outside Atlanta.

A rainbow of Autumn colors along Sims Lake.

My Suwanee Fall color tour started at Sims Lake Park which offers hills, picturesque and lake side views. I next headed to Town Center Park for Fall scenery with a small-town view. The park sits in the heart of town and is the home to many special events throughout the year. Looking for a long distance Autumn stroll, I then ventured onto the the Suwanee Creek Greenway. The greenway provides miles of trails through wetlands and wooded areas. Well without further ado.

Sims Lake Park, Suwanee, Georgia

The Fall along Sims Lake of Gwinnett County and Suwanee in Georgia.

Sims Lake Park, Suwanee, Georgia

The Fall colors of Sims Lake of Gwinnett County and Suwanee in Georgia.

Sims Lake Park, Suwanee, Georgia

The orange Fall colors of Sims Lake Park.

Sims Lake Park, Suwanee, Georgia

Plenty of yellow color to be found at Sims Lake Park too.

Sims Lake Park, Suwanee, Georgia

The Fall colors of Sims Lake Park in the Atlanta area.

Fall colors in Gwinnett County outside Atlanta.

Out on the open Atlanta area Fall color trail.

Fall colors in Gwinnett County outside Atlanta.

Looks like I’m not the only one checking out the Georgia Fall color.

Fall colors in Gwinnett County outside Atlanta.

Out on the open Atlanta area Fall color trail.

Fall colors in Gwinnett County outside Atlanta.

Sims Lake Park outside Atlanta, Georgia.

Fall colors in Gwinnett County outside Atlanta.

Sims Lake Park outside Atlanta, Georgia.

Suwanee Creek Greenway outside Atlanta

The Fall colors of Sims Lake Park of Gwinnett County and Suwanee in Georgia.

Sims Lake Park, Suwanee, Georgia

The Fall colors of Sims Lake Park of Gwinnett County and Suwanee in Georgia.

Town Center Park in Suwanee, Georgia

In the heart of downtown Suwanee, Georgia. The Autumn leaf landed there on its own.

Town Center Park in Suwanee, Georgia

In the heart of downtown Suwanee, Georgia.

Town Center Park in Suwanee, Georgia

Town Center Park in Suwanee, Georgia

Town Center Park in Suwanee, Georgia

Town Center Park in Suwanee, Georgia

Town Center Park in Suwanee, Georgia

Town Center Park in Suwanee, Georgia

Autumn leaves of the Deep South and Georgia

The Autumn leaves of Georgia.

Suwanee Creek Greenway in Gwinnett County, Georgia.

The trash bin is soaking in the Fall color in the Deep South.

Suwanee Creek Greenway in Gwinnett County, Georgia.

Out on the open Suwanee Creek Greenway in Gwinnett County, Georgia.

Suwanee Creek Greenway outside Atlanta

Miles of Fall colors await on the Suwanee Creek Greenway.

Suwanee Creek Greenway in Georgia

Suwanee Creek Greenway in Suwanee, Georgia.

What other spots in and around Atlanta and in Georgia would you recommend for checking out Fall colors?

Walking Atlanta’s Historic Oakland Cemetery

When researching places to go in a big city, the cemetery is not a place that readily comes to mind. After making a couple of visits to Oakland Cemetery in the Grant Park neighborhood of Atlanta, I’ve completely changed my tune.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery represents the Old South. It takes you back into history when within. It’s the oldest cemetery in Atlanta founded in 1850. It sits on six acres and has roughly 70,000 graves. Past mayors, governors of Georgia and famous Atlantans rest here, along with many soldiers dating back to the Civil War era. The famous golfer Bobby Jones and Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With The Mind, also reside here.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Marvel at all the various architecture featured throughout. Oakland Cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places which helps with the upkeep and preserving.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Along with being a cemetery it’s also a vast botanical garden and park with beautiful colors all year long. I was lucky to make a trip here in Autumn and being able to experience the Fall colors throughout.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

This Grant Park neighborhood cemetery is also a beautiful spot to capture the downtown Atlanta skyline from. Always keep the camera out when walking the grounds!

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Grab a coffee from Octane Coffee across the street and head in in the early morning hours. The park has many entrances, I recommend going in from Oakland Avenue. Your feet will take you onto the red bricked paths of many named narrow streets throughout. I walked around on my own, but guided tours are also available.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Some additional info:

  • Being a public park, Oakland cemetery is open dawn to dusk every day of the year.
  • No fees to enter.
  • Go on an official self-guided tour. Download the Android or iPhone app.
  • Guided tours are available every weekend during the warmer months and for tour groups and schools.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Tip: When on the Northeast end of the cemetery checkout the Fulton Bag & Cotton Mills plant off in the distance.

What other historic cemeteries would you recommend checking out?

2014: The Year in Travel, Instagram Style.

It’s hard to believe the end of 2014 is already upon us. A great year it has been with lots of time out on the open road. I’m going to highlight the year in travel by picking my favorite Instagram photo from each month.

Winter in Michigan brings snow, cold temperatures and way to early in the day sunsets. Those sunsets though with snow and ice in the foreground never seem to disappoint as on this January evening roaming around Kensington Park in Milford.

Kensington Park, Michigan, sunset

There are many places I try to get to once a season to capture photographs. Edgewater Park just west of Downtown Cleveland is one of those spots. The camera is always directed back to the east and the Cleveland skyline, with February usually bringing piles upon piles of lake effect snow.

Edgewater Park, Cleveland, Ohio skyline

College town Ann Arbor offers many architectural marvels on-and-off the University of Michigan campus. One such place, a favorite of mine to walk through, is Nickels Arcade. On this March day, I hung out on the ground to get a different feel of this gem.

Nickels Arcade, Ann Arbor, Michigan

The end of April brought lots of time out on the Michigan open road along Lake Michigan. Hoffmaster State Park near Muskegon brought picturesque views, a remote beach and made me feel like I was hanging out along the Pacific. My hand in the photo was showing off that I was indeed in The Mitten (Michigan’s Lower Peninsula). I was also up to something else in that photo. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Hoffmaster State Park, Muskegon, Michigan

May brought lots of time in Niagara Falls and not just a trip or a vacation, but also my honeymoon. The Ontario, Canada tourist town served as the first place I got to experience with my wife. While there we passed by scores of flowers, including these yellow daffodils which were guarding the American and Bridal Veil Falls.

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

The beginning of summer and June brought me to the Windy City. One of my favorite spots to walk when in Chicago is Grant Park because of the greenery and skyline views.

Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois skyline

Another month, another honeymoon. Niagara Falls wasn’t enough, so my wife and I decided to take another trip, this time to St. Pete Beach, Florida. Every evening it didn’t matter what we were doing, as long as it involved being on or along the beach at sunset. Watching the sun go down into the Gulf of Mexico night after night was one of the more beautiful scenes I have seen.

St. Pete Beach, Florida sunset

August brought me back to roaming Michigan, this time the Lake Huron coastline. It’s not just sunsets with me. Getting up and on the road super early leads to scenes like down below. The beautiful sunrise near Tawas City opened a new day of travel possibilities!

Lake Huron sunrise, Michigan

I have spent a lot of time in small-town Findlay, Ohio over the years, but it took until this September to visit the Findlay Reservoir just outside of town. So close to civilization, yet this gem gives off the feel of being far away from everything. I climbed the stairs to reach its vast body of water. It was a relaxing morning with just me and reservoir hanging out.

Findlay Reservoir, Ohio

It being October in Michigan and the Midwest meant I was out roaming and capturing as much Autumn color as possible. The most memorable spot I found was Parker Mill County Park in Ann Arbor. The variety of colors, along with the piles of leaves decorating the ground made for a great place to relax and enjoy the season.

Parker Mill County Park, Ann Arbor, Michigan

I gravitated to Atlanta, Georgia in November, where the Autumn color was still in full swing. That meant going to my favorite place in the city to walk around, Piedmont Park. Right in the heart of Midtown beautiful color and ATL skyline views awaited me at every turn.

Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia, Autumn skyline

In December I figured to finish the year out right by visiting arguably my favorite spot in Michigan. I climbed up the sand dunes at Grand Haven State Park along Lake Michigan to checkout the lighthouses, catwalk, pier and vast body of water. A romantic spot and view if there was one. 🙂

Grand Haven State Park, Michigan, Lake Michigan

2014 brought lots of roadtripping and being out on the open road but ultimately when I think back on the year travel won’t be the first thing that comes to mind. That special day in the Spring when I married the love of my life, Erin, will always be front-and-center! 🙂 My favorite Instagram shot of the year, look The Mitten now has a ring. The picture earlier was taken a week before, my last trip as a single guy.

elATLboy Wedding, Wedding Day

The elATLboy is wishing everyone a safe and happy start to the holiday season. Almost time to get Instagram and my camera ready for some 2015 travel adventures. 🙂

Cheers!
Aaron

Why are those my favorite Atlanta Coffee Shops?

Looking back to the Fall of 2010, when I wrote the post It’s a coffeehouse bonanza. How do I choose?, electrical outlets, Wi-Fi and beverage selection tastes all had their place. As with anything, over time, tastes change.

The coffee shop is still a second home for me when on the road and at home and over these last few years I’ve gotten a lot more particular about what kind of shops I visit and spend time in. It really got me thinking while at Star Provisions and at other coffee hot spots in the heart of Atlanta.

Star Provisions, Atlanta, Georgia

When on a road trip the number of electrical outlets a coffee shop has is important if I need to get work done. If I am just looking to charge my gadgets, now that I have a USB port in my car, a working cigarette lighter, and a portable pocket USB charger, a coffee shop could have them or not and it won’t alter my feelings on the place.

Wi-Fi in coffee shops seems to be a touchy subject these days. I could go either way on the matter. Sure there are times when I want to research upcoming destinations, checkout my social networks and surf the web on my laptop and doing so to some java is perfect. At the same time though you want to take the time to enjoy the coffee, the atmosphere, the conversation, the town or city you are in and having no Wi-Fi enables you to do just that.

Dancing Goats Coffee, Ponce City Market, Atlanta, Georgia, pour over, coffee

Inside the shop, the layout and type of seating has taken a backseat (no pun intended) to the general décor of the shop. High ceilings, artwork and the type of coffee equipment being used, all catches the eye more now. Sitting in front of the coffee machine at Café Intermezzo in Atlanta airport did the trick, not to mention all the conversation between strangers and fellow travelers at the bar.

Cafe Intermezzo, Atlanta, Georgia

As far as seating goes, I’m sure window seating will still catch the eye as well as outside seating opportunities and being able to take in the fresh air.

The front entrance of a coffee shop and the roaming opportunities that surround it are as important as ever to me. The entrance to a shop tells you something right away, whether it’s popular, kept up, unique, etc. When the shop is in a neighborhood, city or part of town that I have not been in the traveler in me wants to see exploration options. A walk with some of the shops brew to beautiful scenery will likely lead me to come back over-and-over again.

As soon as I saw the outside to Condesa Coffee in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood I was hooked. The Midtown skyline views that sat right outside the doors drew me in even more combined with their outstanding coffee.

Condesa Coffee, Atlanta, Georgia, skyline

When going to a coffee shop, I will always give their signature drink a look even if it’s a specialty drink or latte. These days though I am more inclined to experience the coffee itself. Sugar, milk, creamer, chocolate syrup, etc. all have their place, but watching a pour over being made right in front of you and smelling the beans and coffee in its natural state gives me goose bumps. Watching a Kenyan pour over being made at Dancing Goats Coffee Bar within Ponce City Market gave me such a feeling.

Dancing Goats, Ponce City Market, Atlanta, Georgia, pour over, coffee

I did go the signature drink route when at Octane Coffee in Grant Park. Their Ameri-cola, Atlanta’s own Coca-Cola combined with espresso shots, definitely did the trick on that morning.

Octane Coffee, Atlanta, Georgia, Ameri-cola

Doing a basic Google search always helps when looking for independent coffee shops to explore. I’ve found that Swarm (Foursquare), Yelp and asking the Twitter-verse are just as effective. In the states, the blue signs along the interstate in regards to coffee usually will highlight Starbucks, Tim Horton’s and the other big chains. They don’t catch the eye as much now-a-days.

If I do stop for a Waffle House coffee, there should at least be some loaded hash browns alongside. As far as Starbucks goes, I’m not going to lie, the Egg Nog and Pumpkin Spiced Lattes do draw me in from time-to-time, just not nearly as much as before. Tis the season. 🙂

No Google, no maps, no problem. The unplanned, random spot sometimes turns out to be the best. Drip Coffee in the small downtown of Hapeville was such a place. The off the beaten path coffee shop nestled between the downtown ATL and the airport had the eyes wide open as I hung out inside and captured the outside scene.

Drip Coffee, Hapeville, Georgia

Drip Coffee, Hapeville, Georgia

I’m sure a couple of years from now when I revisit this post my tastes in regards to coffee shops will have changed some. By continuing to check out the coffee scene in Atlanta and elsewhere I look forward to discovering the next thing that will give me goose bumps.

What do you look for when exploring coffee shops around home and in your travels?