Atlanta is the shopping mecca of the Southeast -- period. Visitors might say they come to Atlanta to steep themselves in southern history, take in a play or two, or contemplate the masterpieces in a museum, but what they really want to do is trot on over to Buckhead for a little retail therapy.
It's not just that there's a lot of shopping here, but the fact that it's so varied. There are chic boutiques that can hold their own with the best of Los Angeles or New York, flea markets bursting at the seams with antiques and collectibles, giant department stores, and interesting little browsable areas such as Virginia-Highland. And even if you don't want to buy anything, it's great fun to wander around the shopping areas, checking out the locals and taking the pulse of the city.
Atlanta is home to several permanent flea markets selling everything from custom furniture to antique toys, but the most exciting markets are those that set up shop once a month. The lineup of dealers -- from all parts of the country -- is ever-changing, so no matter how often you go, you'll always see something new and fresh.
If you're in search of real finds, shop on the first day as soon as the market opens -- that's when local dealers swoop in to snatch up the best merchandise. Serious bargaining often takes place in the closing hours of the last day, when many dealers are anxious to avoid lugging their wares home with them. Be sure to keep your admission ticket; it's good for the whole weekend.
Fresh Market Fare
If your idea of fun is watching other people cook for you, stop in at the Morningside Farmers' Market on a Saturday morning. Each week at 9:30am, one of the city's top chefs gives a free cooking demonstration, and the lucky audience gets to sample the results. Afterward, browse the market, a small but beautiful array of organic, locally grown vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. There are also handmade soaps, beeswax candles, primitive furniture, beaded jewelry, and other assorted artisanal items. The market, at 1411 N. Morningside Drive N.E, is open on Saturdays in late April through December from 8 to 11:30am.
We're also huge fans of the Krog Street Market (99 Krog St. N.E., pictured above), founded in 2014 in an abandoned 1920's-era warehouse building in the Inman Park neighborhood. Half eateries, and half retail, it's a fun place to browse, whether you're in the market for small batch chocolates, vintage clothing, local gourmet food items, or just a really well-mixed cocktail.
We have even more suggestions for neighborhoods and story in the best shopping areas part of this website.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.