A is For Alpharetta
By Stephanie Grant
Atlanta has a bad reputation for traffic, making residents weary of driving beyond the perimeter of I-285. Consequently, the hour drive to Alpharetta seems as far away as Nashville, but it takes only a few minutes to see it’s well worth the trip. Who knows? You might just find yourself putting the city on at the top of your list for weekend getaways.
Eat, Drink, and Get Downtown
Currahee Brewing Company
Like Atlanta, Alpharetta is experiencing a period of growth; and empty lots are transforming into usable spaces, creating over 300 things for residents and visitors to do without leaving the city.
In Alpharetta’s historic downtown district, you’ll find Currahee Brewing Company, which moved to the area in 2018. This is the second location for the brewery, the first facility having opened in Franklin, North Carolina, in 2016.
The brewery tailors their beer list to the neighborhood’s palate, which is mostly IPAs and some sours and stouts. One stout is Kawi Stout, which won a bronze medal at GABF in 2017. Kawi is packed with copious amounts of cold-brewed Nicaraguan coffee, giving the beer incredible notes of coffee, roasted malt, and caramel. Another favorite is Frankenstark, a Belgian Pale Ale that has flavors of rye, wheat, and incredible Belgian yeast notes. It goes down way too smooth for its 8.2% ABV.
Once you’ve grabbed a beer, choose a seat at the bar and sit across from the gleaming stainless steel tanks or take a seat on their front patio, which faces Main Street and overlooks downtown Alpharetta. For something more secluded, get comfortable on the back patio.
While the brewery doesn’t serve food, there are plenty of options in the area, from Smokejack’s award-winning BBQ to South Main Kitchen’s fresh, elevated Southern cuisine.
Truck ‘n Tap Alpharetta
For something a little different, stop in at Truck ‘n Tap, where you’ll find 19 beers on tap and daily rotating food trucks. With its open-air design, there’s not a bad spot in the house. Depending on the day, you can sample different cuisines like Hawaiian-inspired poke bowls or Greek-inspired gyros. Truck ‘n Tap also offers ciders and wines as well as a full-service bar to make any cocktail your heart desires.
If you love Tex-Mex cuisine, stop in for a delicious meal at El Felix. Created by Chef Ford Fry and Chef Kevin Maxey, this restaurant offers a menu of fantastic dishes including the ever-popular Steak Tacos al Carbon made with wood-grilled skirt steak, charred onion, and avocado salsa verde. With such great food, it’s no surprise that locals love El Felix, so be prepared for a possible wait.
Enjoy Boutique Shopping Downtown
Alpharetta has 250 shops within a five-mile radius, so if you love shopping, you’re in the right place. After wetting your palate with beers from Currahee Brewing Company, take a stroll around the downtown area, which allows open containers. Grab your friends and a to-go beer and shop the boutiques for unique finds from shops like Alpharetta Outfitters, B.spectacled, Hemline Alpharetta, ElleB Gifts, and Sis & Moon’s.
Explore the Avalon
A weekend in Alpharetta requires a stay at The Hotel at Avalon, where resort living is taken to the next level. The 330-room luxury hotel is surrounded by 500,000 square feet of retail shops and features a 12-screen all premium theater as well as a conference center. They drape every corner of the hotel in modern Southern elegance and hospitality.
It might be hard to leave your room, but Avalon’s property deserves a day of exploration. The retail stores alone will keep you busy, with over 60 different shops to meet all your shopping needs. Whether you’re looking for upscale fashion, accessories, or home décor, Avalon has you covered. Choose from favorites like Lou & Grey, Anthropologie, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Madewell, and Tumi.
For lunch, check out one of the many dining options, including Kraig Torres’ Barleygarden Kitchen & Craft Bar. Pair one of Executive Chef Matt Hutchins’s hand-held dishes with a beer from one of Barleygarden’s 85 rotating taps. Head up to the rooftop and get treated to a glass of some of the finest beers from Belgian or Germany, or grab a seat downstairs and choose from craft ales and lagers from around America. The Hotel at Avalon is also open-container-friendly, so grab a beer to go if you’re still thirsty after lunch.
For dinner, you have several options to choose from on-site. True Food Kitchen specializes in eco-friendly cuisine for the health conscious, while Oak Steakhouse mixes classic steakhouse dishes with contemporary plates, and Kona Grill serves up award-winning sushi.
Next time you plan your next girl’s trip getaway, put Alpharetta on the list. You won’t be disappointed.