August is here, and I can hardly believe it! How quickly the summer slips through our fingers. Here in Atlanta, the kids may be headed back to school, but that does not mean that fun in the sun has to end. There are so many ways to savor these final long Summer days before Fall is truly upon us. This month, I’ll be sharing my favorite things to do in Atlanta in August to keep the good vibes strong as we wind down this summer.
West End Beltline Crawl
I have to start the list out in my own neighborhood with an evening West End Beltline crawl. In addition to numerous breweries and restaurants, our little section of the Beltline features some stunning murals and a very moving photo memorial to victims of racist violence across our nation. If you haven’t been exploring this side of town, you have truly been missing out. Historic West End is, indeed, the “Best End.”
You certainly will not be disappointed by the selection of food and drinks on this side of the trail! Along the West End Beltline, you can find Monday Night Garage by Monday Night Brewery, ASW Distillery, Hop CIty Brewery and Boxcar restaurant alongside Wild Heaven Beer which features Finca to Filter coffee shop and FINA Comida restaurant. Just past these are Honeysuckle Gelato, Cultured South Fermentation Co. (brewing fresh kombucha), and Best End Brewing Co. with its restaurant and Grafiki Tiki Bar! And those are just in the Lee + White development. Follow the beltline further west and you will find Lean Draft House and Boggs Social + Supply featuring Gaja food truck!
Here’s my suggested itinerary for a lovely late summer evening in the West End.
Head over right after work and park at Monday Night Garage.
Head upstairs and grab an appetizer at Boxcar! I really love their Soft Baked Pretzel with Beer Cheese. If you’re a cocktail drinker, grab their “Bees in the Trap” with Mezcal + Lavender Honey and Rosemary… YUM! If you’re a beer drinker, check the draft list for the latest offerings. You may recognize Boxcar if you are a fan of the Cobra Kai Netflix series, as a few key scenes from season three were filmed here!
For this outing, I wore my favorite Morganite and Real Orchid Necklace, Moonstone Choker, Aquamarine Stretch Bracelet, with a sneak peek of my brand new Orchid Petal Bracelets!
Next stop - ASW Distillery! Grab a Bourbon slushy, or, if you are not a Bourbon drinker, Monday Night has a huge selection of beer and even some new Hard Seltzers! Grab your libation of choice and head back outside to the huge patio behind Monday Night, overlooking the Beltline. Savor your drinks here while you people watch and take in the scenery. If you listen closely, you’ll even hear the toads singing from among the cattails. Once you’re ready to move, just follow the path down to the beltline for a stroll.
Head toward the east (to the left) to take in some gorgeous murals painted by local artists under the Lee/Murphy Tunnel. These bright and colorful pieces address important issues like gentrification, climate change, race relations, and the human experience.
Continue on your journey and cross over Allene Street. Just past this crossing is where you’ll encounter the photo memorial to victims of murder due to racism and police brutality. These photos remind us, and the world, that there is a struggle at play in our society, and if we are not actively fighting racism, we are contributing to it. This is what West End Atlanta is all about, and it’s a sobering reminder that the fights for justice and equality are not over. I suggest you take time here with the photos to read each name and meditate on the sacrifice of each person pictured.
Once you’ve had a moment of mindfulness and reflection, head back the way you came for some more delicious food and drinks along the West End Beltline trail.
Next stop is Best End Brewing Co. This is my pick for dinner. You may not believe me, but this place has the best, most unique pizzas, and I HIGHLY recommend it! I love the “Foghorn Leghorn” and the “Sarajevo” pizzas. Best End also offers $5 food specials from Tuesday to Thursday, so you really can’t beat that! For cocktail lovers, order “She Doesn’t Even Go Here” featuring gin with hibiscus and honey syrup, or go for “The Limit Does Not Exist” featuring PEACH WHISKEY! Beer lovers, of course, the options for you are limitless at this brewery.
Make sure you sit at one of the colorful picnic tables along the Beltline at Best End and watch the sky turn to pink as the sun sets. Here by Best End, there is also a Pitcher Plant garden with so many interesting specimens to check out and a stunning and thought provoking mural by Erica Chisolm. You’ll also find a live band or DJ at Best End on the weekends and periodically on weeknights as well.
After Best End, if time permits, stop into Cultured South. (They close at 7pm Tues - Thurs & Sun, and at 9pm Fri - Sat. Closed on Mondays.) This is where you’ll want to order a Kombucha Float, which pairs any of their house-made kombuchas with any flavor Honeysuckle Gelato! This is DIVINE! The selections are always changing depending on what they are brewing, but my go-to this summer has been Herbal Cream Soda Kombucha + Honey Fig gelato. So. Good.
If Cultured South is already closed, head back toward Boxcar where you started your West End Beltline Crawl and grab a dessert, or stop into Hop City and head to the back of the bar to the hidden WINE SHOP! I’m so excited about this little hidden gem in the neighborhood. While you’re here, pick up some “Black Girl Magic” Red Blend or Rose to take home and support a Black, female-owned winery.
If you are still standing, you’ve made it through an evening on the West End Beltline Trail! Come out again and again to experience this slice of Atlanta on a weekday morning or a Sunday afternoon, and you’ll have a completely different itinerary (more coffee and art, less booze!) No matter what the day or hour, you simply cannot go wrong with time spent in this delightful neighborhood.