The Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University / Photo courtesy of Daniel Mayer/Creative Commons
The Swan House / Photo courtesy of Scott Garner/Creative Commons
Anthony Ames practices modern architectural design in Atlanta.
The High Museum of Art continues to be Atlanta's masterpiece. Designed by Richard Meier and completed in 1984, it was his first and probably is his best museum in the United States, and remains the only work of architecture in Atlanta worth the trip. The Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University designed by Michael Graves at about the same time, is thoughtful and elegant. It is one of the finest examples of his post-modern genius. There was actually something going on architecturally here, in the 1980's.
Best Historic Architecture
The Swan House, designed by the darling of Atlanta, classicist Philip Trammell Shutze, remains the city's favorite. Dramatically sited, it is stately, cultivated, picturesque, and naive. It is interesting that LeCorbusier designed the Villa Savoye contemporaneously.
Best Museum and Galleries
The High Museum is probably the only show in town. With an iconic building by Richard Meier and a sensitive addition by Renzo Piano, it benefits from a series of ambitious and inventive borrowed exhibitions (from The Louvre, MoMA, The Mauritshuis, The Victoria & Albert) and an aspiring contemporary collection (Ellsworth Kelly, Gerhard Richter, Sean Scully).
Bone's Restaurant is the best restaurant in Atlanta. It is authentic—real waiters and real food, and untrendy. Vegans, vegetarians, and the lactose-intolerant might be happier elsewhere. The One Star Ranch on Irby Avenue is not a ranch but it has authentic and nasty barbecue—baby back ribs, brunswick stew and jalapeno corn bread, so good...
Everyone thinks that all Atlanta needs is a beach—it has one. You just get in your car and drive 4-5 hours southeast.
They are all getting better and better.