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Safe to walk downtown

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Dundee, Michigan
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760 posts
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Safe to walk downtown

My family and I are staying in Atlanta for the first time in April, and we will be staying at the Sheraton Atlanta Downtown. Are most of the downtown attractions within safe walking distance of this hotel? (It is at Courtland St. and International Blvd.) On the map that I have, it looks like some of the attractions such as World of Coca-Cola are several blocks away. Also, where are some family-friendly places to eat downtown?

Atlanta, GA
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90 posts
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1. Re: Safe to walk downtown

During the day, Peachtree Street downtown is pretty bustling with office workers and conventioneers. There are also Downtown Ambassadors around to answer your questions. Other downtown streets are less bustling but you should be very safe.

You probably will see some panhandlers and there are homeless people congregating in Forsyth Park (on the way to Underground Atlanta and the World of Coca Cola) but it's ok. The area around the Five Points Marta station and south is sketchy.

At night, Downtown tends to be relatively deserted. Crime isn't a problem but it might not be comfortable walking around.

There are a few things worth seeing downtown - the CNN Center tour and World of Coca Cola for instance. The King Center is not far. The Georgia Dome and Philips Arena are in downtown and Turner Field is close. Underground Atlanta is still working on its revival (and is basically an unimpressive mall).

To appreciate Atlanta you'll need to explore other neighborhoods. Atlanta is one of the most heavily treed citioes in the US (until they are all cut down for development) but you wouldn't know it in Downtown which is pretty much a concrete jungle. Check out Midtown (High Museum, Botanical Garden esp. in April, Piedmont Park); Buckhead (very upscale malls, Atlanta History Center, beautiful residential streets); Virginia-Highland (nice walking area with restaurants and shops); Zoo Atlanta, Carter Center, Emory Univ. area (Fernbank Science Museum, Carlos Museum at Emory [mummies]), Little Five Points (a "hippy" area not to be mistaken for Five Points) and in the suburbs Stone Mountain Park and Kennesaw Mountain.

There are plenty of fun destinations an hour or so drive away too (Mountains, lakes, interesting small towns). Callaway Gardens is definitely worth checking out in the spring and FDR's Little White House is close-by.

There are a lot of restaurants all over the city that are family friendly. Howwever, downtown near Peachtree Center, there is a Hard Rock Cafe, Micks and Azios (also Mexican and Chinese choices). CNN Center has a Jocks and Jills (Sports bar/ restaurant) and other restaurants. There are food courts in Peachtree Center and CNN Center.

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2. Re: Safe to walk downtown

Take your family to the Old Spaghetti Factory. It's has WONDERFUL food for an even better price. Around $8 gets you a main course, bread, soft drink, salad, and dessert! Also, visit the Sundial Restaurant and observation deck in The Westin Peachtree Hotel and a trip to Centennial Olympic Park is FUN! Go see the fountain show there. Check the sign by the fountains in the park for show times. It's free and amazing. See it both during the day and at night to get the full effect. It was so neat. Our 7 year old and 9 year old LOVED this part.

Dunedin, New Zealand
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157 posts
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3. Re: Safe to walk downtown

I pretty much agree with ATLLaw about the neighborhoods. If you are from the suburbs downtown can look pretty rough around the edges, and you will probably be hit up by panhandlers, but I don't think there's any real danger if you stick around the well-populated places.

For restaurants downtown: Ted's Montana Grill is Ted Turner's casual dining place; nothing too crazy but good bison burgers. Rays in the City is also pretty good. Azio's is good Italian food, but might be pushing the limit on "family friendly" -- might want to go there for lunch, instead.