Affectionately known as “Hotlanta,” Georgia’s capital commingles big-city sophistication and small-town Southern charm across its three principal districts: Buckhead, Midtown and Downtown. The abundance of young sophisticates lends to its deserved moniker, and with Atlanta’s economy finally on the upswing, the city is poised to grow even hotter in the coming years.
Miles from Naples: 612
Why go: This emerging metropolis attracts more than 35 million visitors annually to revel in world-class accommodations and attractions, sizzling nightlife and fabulous restaurants.
Where to sleep: Rising 42 stories over Buckhead, The Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta (above) is a masterpiece of haute style. Expect one-of-a-kind treatments at the 15,000-square-foot spa, such as the Peaches and Cream: a scrub and massage using peach oil and Georgia clay. Grandeur abounds at the St. Regis Atlanta (below) in the marble-clad lobby, the 40,000-square-foot Pool Piazza, the wine-room atrium and the sumptuous rooms and suites, accessorized with handcrafted chandeliers and exquisite art.
For foodies: French bistro meets Atlanta glam at F&B, the personality-driven restaurant helmed by French-born Executive Chef Philippe Haddad. It’s standing room only at the St. Regis Bar, where the city’s bourgeoisie gathers for artisanal cocktails, fine wines and generous pours of luxe spirits, including the 2012 St. Regis Special Selection 3.0 bourbon by Woodford Reserve Distillery and the St. Regis Atlanta Herradura Private Selection Tequila.
Try this: Marvel at the whale sharks, beluga whales, sea otters, dolphins and penguins residing at the Georgia Aquarium (below), the world’s largest. While there, swim with the whale sharks or have close encounters with other tenants, like the penguins.
In partnership with Farmer D Organics (below), the Experience Farming package at the Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta takes guests an hour outside the city to Burge Plantation, where they’ll cultivate their own organic fruits and veggies.
Discover the genesis and social impact of the world’s most popular soft drink at the interactive World of Coca-Cola museum (below). You can sample more than 100 Coke products from around the world at the Beverage Lounge.