Because it would take too long to explore the city end-to-end in one fell swoop, consider discovering Atlanta one pocket at a time. In Downtown you can stroll through the Georgia Aquarium, tour the CNN Center, and visit the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, then finish off the day with dinner and a glass of wine outside at the historic Ellis Hotel’s Terrace restaurant. Another good pocket includes three adjoining, very walkable neighborhoods, all known for their canopies of trees, cute shops, and fun bistros: Virginia-Highland, Little Five Points, and Inman Park. From there you can drive to East Atlanta and check out its casual bars, tattoo shops, restaurants, and live music. Your third pocket should be Buckhead, and depending on when you go you will either see a neighborhood in metamorphosis or, if all goes according to plan, a shopper's mecca. Two constants there are Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza, great shopping spots in their own right. Finally, there's the beer-loving, literary hotspot of Decatur (home to the 2012–13 U.S. Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey), which is increasingly being recognized for its top-notch restaurants.
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