Monday, November 18, 2019

How to spend a layover at ATL

Have you ever found yourself with an exceptionally long layover and wishing for something better to do than eating fast-food and sitting at your gate? Well a few months back I found myself with about 4 hours to kill at ATL. I'd made a quick fly in and out same day work trip. Traveling for work is a fun perk I've started doing more often, but this was my first in / out in the same day trip. I was visiting to tour a few hotels for possible events in the future, to give me enough time to complete my tours I had to schedule a latish flight home, but in order to avoid the worst of Atlanta traffic that meant getting me to the airport extra early. Luckily the Hartsfield Jackson International Airport was the perfect airport to have this much time. Here are my tips on how to spend a layover at ATL.

Eat at One Flew South - A good sit down restaurant in an airport, does such a thing exist? It does in terminal E at ATL! This restaurant was suggested by one of the hotel sales managers I met with and I'm so glad she told me about it. One Flew South has been written about in numerous travel magazines and food blogs and was even named one of the top 10 airport restaurants in North America this year. They describe the menu as spirited global fare, which I think if a good description for anything from sushi to an open faced meatloaf sandwich. I ordered the pulled duck sandwich which had a delish fig and peanut relish that really made it special! I usually try to avoid a layover at ATL but this sandwich alone has me rethinking that.

Walk between the terminals - You could ride the train from security to your terminal but I highly advise skipping that in favor of walking. Not only is walking a good idea when you're about to hop on a plane, but you get the added bonus of exploring some very cool exhibits. I don't know if the exhibits change periodically but when I visited there was an African art exhibit, jungle themed installation, and Georgia history exhibits. It was a kinda long walk to walk between every terminal, but you could always hop on the train if you get tired.

View the art at the gates - Not only does ATL have art exhibits between terminals but they have pieces at different gates. When I first realized I was going to have this long amount of time to burn at ATL this was my original plan of what to do. My aunt is an artist and actually has her art on display at one of the gates in the E terminal! On my way to find her piece I got to see some other really cool pieces. I couldn't find anything on the ATL website about the art so I don't know if they ever change it out or how they picked what's on display. But if you ever find yourself with a layover at ATL this is such a great way to spend your time!

Have just a short layover at ATL? Be sure to make time to grab something from The Varsity! This Atlanta institution has a few locations in the airport so hopefully you'll have one close to your gate. I grabbed a fried peach hand pie and a frosted orange. I highly recommend both!

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