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Downtown Alpharetta offers tons of fun for all ages!

Petite yet plentiful, downtown Alpharetta offers a walkable area for a weekend getaway.

There’s no doubt that Alpharetta has become a destination hotspot for dining and shopping. But it also offers plenty of pursuits for an easy family-friendly weekend getaway. Here are my recommendations based on a recent jaunt with my family to downtown Alpharetta, just 30 minutes from Buckhead.

Stay: The Hamilton Alpharetta, part of Hilton’s Curio Collection, couldn’t be more convenient with the area’s walkable offerings just outside its doors. The modern vintage designed boutique hotel features rich colors of blues, grays and gold with nods to Alpharetta’s transportation history of the Western & Atlantic Railway, such as framed artwork in its 119 rooms and suites. Families can enjoy connecting rooms comfortably appointed with Waldorf Astoria beds, Frette robes and slippers, blackout curtains, 50-inch flatscreens and spacious closets, with plenty of room to stretch out for downtime in between exploring.

Turf-covered outdoor spaces welcome fun and games in downtown Alpharetta.
Turf-covered outdoor spaces welcome fun and games in downtown Alpharetta.

Play: Give a child a greenspace and see them run! That’s exactly what my daughter did in downtown’s Village Green, a large turf field in the city center where kids of all ages can kick a ball or try their hand at cornhole. A splash fountain is popular on hot days. While you’re strolling around, check out pottery painting studio All Fired Up (reservations recommended, but walk-ins welcome) and select from more than 700 pieces for your creation. Then continue the family art education with the Alpharetta Arts Walking Tour that boasts 11 pieces within close proximity to downtown. A digital map can be found on

Another walk worth your while is to Wills Park, with a paved trail and the Wacky World Playground, a large space with castle-like structures for climbing, swinging and sliding. Five minutes from the park, Fairway Social is an entertaining spot for indoor virtual sports (everything from golf to zombie dodgeball) and rooftop putt-putt.

Shop: Catty-corner from The Hamilton is Comeback Vinyl, where my 5-year-old selected Radiohead’s “Kid A” to add to our home collection. While the family was napping, I ventured out on a solo mom trek to the neighborhood’s women’s boutiques and found success with the boho wares at Spirited Boutiques and chic selections at Hemline.

The crispy pork rinds at South Main Kitchen are— pleasant gasp!—covered with shaved Benton's ham.
The crispy pork rinds at South Main Kitchen are— pleasant gasp!—covered with shaved Benton’s ham.

Eat: For a great cup of coffee, overnight oats or pastry, including gluten and dairy-free options, go to the quaint Valor across the street from the hotel. At lunch or snack time, check out Chiringa, a casual spot with a bright beach bar vibe complete with surfboards hanging from the ceiling and menu items such as fresh guacamole, chopped salads and tacos. We also loved Butcher & Brew, a gastropub that serves not-your-mama’s sandwiches, such as the Adrian with herb-crusted pork loin, broccolini and shredded white cheddar on a sesame hoagie roll, as well as kid favorites, such as mac and cheese and hamburgers. For dinner and/or drinks, don’t miss South Main Kitchen and Lapeer Steak & Seafood. South Main is your cozy spot for Southern food that finds a perfect balance between traditional flavors and modern cuisine (tip: order the crispy pork rinds starter). At Lapeer, we did it up with a tower of oysters on the half shell, crispy whole branzino and prime ribeye, all of which were impeccable. Get the creamy potato gratin side and thank me later.



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