So, you’re planning your trip to Atlanta, but you don't want to stay downtown. You want to access all that the city has to offer, but you prefer surroundings that are a little quieter and more relaxed. Well, you’re in luck. Located less than 20 miles north of downtown Atlanta, the city of Sandy Springs offers visitors a comfortable place to stay, while still providing convenient access to popular destinations around metro Atlanta.
Sandy Springs may be Georgia’s seventh-largest city, but it won’t feel like it as you’re relaxing in a tranquil park, hiking along the Chattahoochee River, browsing small shops, or enjoying a meal at a locally-owned restaurant.
If you’re still deciding where to stay while visiting Atlanta, consider the following great reasons to make Sandy Springs your temporary home.
Easy Access to Atlanta Hot Spots
Whether you’re hoping to visit museums or catch a sporting event, you’ll be close to the action in Sandy Springs. A 20-minute car ride will get you to downtown Atlanta, while shorter commutes will get you to Buckhead and retail centers. Just east of Sandy Springs, you’ll find Perimeter Mall and some of metro Atlanta’s best shopping. And, if you travel just 10 miles to the west, you’ll reach Truist Park, the new home of the Braves.
Three MARTA train stations offer easy connections to the rest of Atlanta, with short runs to attractions like the High Museum of Art in Midtown, Piedmont Park, the Georgia Aquarium downtown, and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Short Drive to Other Great Southern Cities
Interested in road tripping around the South? Sandy Springs is the perfect central location to kick off an adventure in the southeast. Other popular destinations such as Birmingham, AL, Greenville, SC and Chattanooga, TN are all less than three hours away.
If you want to visit a diverse metropolitan area with a rich history, consider taking a short drive to Birmingham. You can visit Atlanta’s Civil Right Museum and The King Center while staying in Sandy Springs before taking a trip to Alabama and doing Birmingham’s Civil Rights Tour.
For those who want to explore the great outdoors, Chattanooga is the perfect day trip from Sandy Springs. There you can hike, raft and even rock climb! Spend a day in Sandy Springs floating down the Chattahoochee River and visit the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park the next day.
Art lovers can combine a trip to Sandy Springs and Greenville to enjoy a wide variety of engaging and inspiring attractions. After enjoying a show at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center and strolling through to the City Green sculpture garden, you can head to South Carolina to visit the Greenville Center for Creative Arts and the Village of West Greenville, which is known for its local artists and galleries.
Of course, you can always stick around Sandy Springs and have an exciting yet relaxing vacation without ever leaving city limits.
A Relaxed Vibe
In between your outings to explore Atlanta, you can retreat to Sandy Springs to unwind and enjoy a little of its neighborhood charm. At City Springs, the brand new downtown area of Sandy Springs, you can stroll to shops and restaurants, and the City Green features fountains and bench swings if you're looking to enjoy a few hours of fresh air and relaxation.
Grab an early morning bite at Cafe Vendome, and then add a few items to your wardrobe at Veronica's Attic. When you need to decompress, retreat to one of the city’s 16 parks to enjoy a quiet picnic and kick back in the shade with a good book. Or, stretch your legs on a trail or well-maintained walkway. If you’d like to pick up some food on your way to a park, grab a wrap from Flower Child. (We recommend the Flying Avocado with smoked turkey, gouda, romaine, tomato, and avocado hummus.)
Close to Outdoor Recreation
If you're looking to reconnect with nature, consider exploring the trails along the Chattahoochee River, which flows along the edge of Sandy Springs. The waterway serves as a recreation hub, and its presence has made the outdoors an important part of life for locals
Forty-eight miles of the river form the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA), which is broken up into 15 individual land units. Twenty-two miles of river shoreline, and three of the best units of the entire CRNRA (Island Ford, Powers Island, and East Palisades) are found in Sandy Springs.
For a relaxing hike with nice views, visit Island Ford, and take the 5.5-mile trail that skirts the banks of the river and winds through the forest. Along the way, you’ll encounter several spots where you can sit and enjoy broad views of the river and perhaps catch sight of a great blue heron soaring above the water.
Rafting, kayaking, and hiking are popular activities along the Chattahoochee, and Morgan Falls Overlook Park is a perfect place to get on the water. From April to October, High Country Outfitters offers kayak and paddleboard rentals at their on site paddleshack. Plus, the park has well-maintained playgrounds for kids (and shaded seating for parents), calm waters, and a few short hiking trails.
In addition to the Chattahoochee River, there are more than a dozen parks in Sandy Springs to explore. At the 4-acre City Green park at City Springs, you can unwind among attractive fountains. Traveling with kids? They're sure to love the playable art park at Abernathy Greenway.
Plenty of Options for a Good Night’s Rest
Even though you’re not staying in the heart of Atlanta, you’ll still have your choice of top-notch accommodations in Sandy Springs. In town, there are 20 hotels that suit every type of budget.
Atlanta Perimeter Center Hotel & Suites offers reasonable rates, and it’s within walking distance of a MARTA station, so you’ll have easy access to downtown Atlanta's attractions. For those who prefer full-service accommodations, The Westin Atlanta Perimeter North promises a sophisticated and relaxing experience.
Tons of Great Restaurants
Be sure to bring your appetite, because the restaurants in Sandy Springs will satisfy any craving. Think of a dish, type it into your search bar, and it’s likely a restaurant will pop up in Sandy Springs.Can't decide between breakfast and lunch? One of your best bets is the Egg Harbor Cafe. Here, you can start your day with a breakfast skillet or delicious omelet, or you can venture there for lunch to try the many soups, burgers, and sandwiches.
And for dinner, head to Il Giallo Osteria & Bar to enjoy classic Italian dishes with a twist, such as the Crazy Lasagna with short ribs.
For a special dining experience, make a reservation at Ray's on the River, where you can carve into a prime steak or indulge in succulent seafood while enjoying views of the Chattahoochee River in the background.
A Fun Nightlife Scene
You don’t have to venture to Atlanta for a full night of fun, as Sandy Springs offers plenty of night-time entertainment. If you’re a fan of craft beer and video games, head to Battle and Brew to kick back on the couch and sip a Cardigans of the Galaxy IPA while battling your friends in Donkey Kong on Super Smash Brothers: Brawl.
For cocktails and dancing, make your way to the Three Sheets. The drink menu includes a wide selection of whiskey, bourbon, tequila, and scotch, and DJs host themed dance parties throughout the year.
If you’re in a laid-back mood, catch some jazz at the iconic Cafe 290. (Check their calendar for shows and cover charges.) Or, see a theatre performance or live show at the city’s new Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center at City Springs. Its diverse lineup includes everything from ballet performances and Broadway musicals, to concerts by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and comedy shows.
After a few days in Sandy Springs, you’ll understand why this town is thriving. While it sits at the northern edge of a booming metro area, Sandy Springs has maintained the feel of a close-knit community, and it serves as a respite from hectic city life. At the same time, Sandy Springs offers a rich array of experiences, whether it’s hiking along the river, watching a play, or dancing the night away. If you’re the kind of person who prefers a mix of urban excitement and neighborhood charm, you’ll find a home away from home just north of Atlanta.
Written by Clay Duda for Matcha in partnership with Sandy Springs .