Small Towns - Atlanta Magazine

Get Out of the City

  • Fairhope, Alabama offers golf, galleries, and grub

    Mobile Bay destination presents a versatile blend of activities in a quaint town

    Alabama didn’t end up with much oceanfront, but the towns tucked along Mobile Bay provide enough culture, architecture, and good food that visitors don’t miss the white sand. Fairhope, on the eastern side of the inlet, is just five hours or so from Atlanta and in some ways has more in common with Highlands, North Carolina, than sand-and-surf destinations like Panama City Beach. Read More
  • Cape San Blas will rekindle your love for the Florida Panhandle

    The "Forgotten Coast" provides quiet relaxation

    “Well,” I said to my husband, “I don’t think I have ever dined out looking so grubby in my life—but I don’t remember when I last felt this relaxed.” With another swig from a bottle of PBR, I leaned back in the wooden bench on the wide front porch of Indian Pass Trading Post and listened as Kerry James, whose sun-streaked hair and leathered skin testified to decades of beach bumming, belted his way through “Sweet Caroline.” Read More
  • Get away to High Point & Hickory

    The best bargains at the Furniture Capital of the World are all under two (very big) roofs

    First things first: Can you save money by driving five hours to shop for furniture in North Carolina? Yes, although an industrious shopper in Atlanta could perhaps find similar savings by following sales, asking for discounts, and trolling Craigslist. The advantage to shopping in the Furniture Capital of the World is that so many discounted brands and floor samples are together under one roof. Read More
  • Go North: See Rock City

    Along the back roads of northwest Georgia

    From the sunset side of Interstate 75 to the Alabama border, you won’t spot a municipality themed to an Alpine village or wine trails with slick marketing campaigns. Read More
  • Go East: Here lie dragons

    Exploring Flannery O'Connor territory

    On a table in the foyer of Andalusia, Flannery O’Connor’s ancestral home, next to the bird-watching pamphlets and the fishbowl stuffed with cash donations, sits a stack of maps bearing the signature of one J.K. King. Read More
  • Go South: God's little acre

    A South Georgia girl goes home again

    I grew up in South Georgia, which, at fifteen, was hard to think of as a tourist attraction. My neck of the woods seemed like a place you’d travel through, not to. “It’s a land of red clay and despair,” I recall churlishly telling a college friend. Read More

Cover Story

We sent three writers in three different directions—northwest, east, and south—from the heart of Atlanta to search for the soul of Georgia. They visited 22 small towns, encountered two Yesterday cafes, sipped muscadine slushies, dropped by Billy Carter’s Service Station, and tasted more than a little Southern gothic.

See where we went

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Small Town Vignettes