If you live in Atlanta (or Metro Atlanta) you may realize the divide between OTP and ITP individuals.
OTP means Outside of the Perimeter and ITP means Inside of the Perimeter. According to some, you’re not cool if you live outside of the Perimeter (Highway 285) which I have to dispute because being both a OTP and ITP resident at times in my life, I say to each his own.
One of my favorite cities I’ve lived in has been Alpharetta for awesome food and great local shopping to name a few things and these can all be done without running into mass amounts of crowds and people.
A couple of weekends ago, I returned to my roots to do a staycation in Alpharetta to explore it and share an Alpharetta Travel Guide with you all.
I halfway regret writing this post because now y’all will all find out that the best things are OTP and it may (or may not) convince you that the OTP lifestyle is the one for you.
If so, see you at my favorite restaurant, South Main Kitchen!
Places to Eat
South Main Kitchen: Go for their brussel sprouts and delicious cocktails. Great for all meals; for brunch they have a coffee waffle!
Mugs on Milton: My absolute FAVORITE coffee shop in Atlanta. The owners are amazingly nice and the coffee, biscuits, CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES and baked goods are TO DIE FOR. The saddest thing about leaving Alpharetta has been the loss of my beloved Mugs.
Bite Bistro Bar: Tried them recently and everything we ate was AMAZING. The fig flatbread was awesome as well as the Chicken I ordered. Highly recommend checking them out.
La Campania: My favorite OTP Neapolitan style pizza.
Branch & Barrel: You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. The space is a little cramped and I forsee them outgrowing their space soon enough, but it’s well worth the wait! Located in the Avalon next to Gap.
Goldberg’s Deli: I’m not always in the mood for bagels, but when I am, it’s from Goldberg’s. They do a Lox bagel like no one else.
Sushi Nami: Thank goodness there is a Sushi Nami near where I live now, but this is the best (and most affordable) sushi I’ve had. If you’re on a diet, try their Akami roll. Even when I’m not dieting, it’s my go to!
BurgerFi: I hate putting a chain on here, but damn, these burgers are AWESOME. I don’t like their custard shakes (too rich for me) but their french fries, onion rings and strawberry lemonade is what I crave on the weekends.
The El Felix: OTP’s version of Superica that Ford Fry blessed us with. The menu is much the same as Superica and the margaritas and green salsa are the bomb.com.
Made Kitchen & Cocktails: From the guys who own Pure Taqueria, they opened up a Spanish tapas place just up the road from Main Street. Go for their grilled artichokes and stay for the cocktails! Everyone on the menu is good and wonderful for sharing!
Places to Shop
Main Street Alpharetta: From Sis & Moons to U before Me, there are a plethora of little boutiques to get lost in on Main Street. Just up the street near Highway 9, my favorite boutique, South Harmony, always has the best collection of unique Revolve quality items! I can never leave here empty handed.
Honey & Hazel Boutique: For fun non-chain boutique clothing turn to Honey & Hazel. I’ve known them since they’ve opened so we go back a couple of years! The owners are absolutely lovely so I love to support them.
The Avalon: I’d be remiss to not mention The Avalon in shopping because it has all of the greats (like Anthropologie, Madewell, J McLaughlin) and with a wonderful twist on a regular mall by being outdoors with excellent restaurants and stretches of fun outdoor patio games.
The American Girl Store: If you have little ones then you’re probably aware of the American Girl Store. What I’m sad about is that this wasn’t around when I toted my Heather doll around everywhere.
What to Do
Spa Sydell: I had the best facial of my life here. I didn’t have to wear makeup for 3 days afterwards because my skin was so clear! I can’t wait to make Spa Sydell facials a regular part of my routine after this. It was extremely relaxing after a long day exploring Alpharetta!
Ride a Bike on the Greenway: Or walk your dog. The Greenway stretches from Roswell up through Alpharetta and will soon be connected to stretch into Cumming for a total of 28 miles of trail! Definitely too long for a walk, but great for bikers!
Enjoy watching Equestrian Sports at Wills Park: If you know me, you know I ride (rode) horses so I love getting out to Wills Park on the weekend to watch the horse shows! Makes me really miss riding and I have to laugh while watching the little girls in braids bounce around a course on their ornery ponies.
Farmers Market: Secrets out: Alpharetta has the best Farmer’s Market in (out of) Atlanta. I love the vendors that come here and they shut down all of Main Street to sell their fares! It’s a delicious alternative to going out to brunch on a Saturday.
Thursday’s are for Food Truck Alley: You can get all of the great Atlanta food trucks in one spot every Thursday at Food Truck Alley in Alpharetta. This was my highlight of the summer time in Alpharetta. There were hardly any lines and I could eat all the Fry Guy without being judged to horribly.
Take a Barre Class at Exhale: I’ve taken many a barre class in my life and Exhale offers one of the best! I love that it’s a fusion between yoga and barre, so it’s extra challenging and has some relief via the yoga aspect.
Take a Brewery Tour at Jekyll Brewing: I don’t typically like beer, but Jekyll has some beers that even convince me to drink a full glass without wincing. I like their Southern Social Ale and they even send you home with a to go (canned) beer for later! It’s pretty great for an afternoon.
Get a Makeover at Cosmetic Market: With any purchase at Cosmetic Market you are able to get a free makeover! You just have to schedule it in advance. I’ve had them do my makeup twice and they did a pretty great job!
Get a Blowout at DryBar: My favorite DryBar location is the one in the Avalon. It’s smaller than the Buckhead location but much more well organized and the staff is more friendly. Plus everytime I get my hair done at the Alpharetta one I end up coming out with #hairgoals.
So while Alpharetta may be 40 minutes from the heart of Atlanta, it’s still the center of my heart in terms of places to live! With its quiet streets and low crime rate it’s going to be where I would love to end up with a couple of horses in my backyard. I love its unique suburban charm with all the great qualities of a big city.