A yearly tradition is fast approaching, not Valentine’s Day per se, but the tradition of Internet journalists writing lists of Valentine’s Day suggestions. What are the top five date destinations in Atlanta? How can you spend a romantic date in Atlanta on a budget? First, we must remember that no one answer will provide our high culture fix; it’s entirely dependent on personal taste and sense of adventure. Still, there are useful tropes, styles of pursuit that help you happily consume art as a couple this February 14.
The Famous Exhibit will involve a destination like the High Museum of Art. The benefit of this type of date is the quality of the work on display but also the associated prestige. Visitors to major exhibits will have a guarantee that their visit will not be a wholesale mistake. This is due to the reputations of the artists and establishment and also because there are multiple temporary and permanent exhibitions to see at one time.
The Local Gallery requires a more specific focus and knowledge of personal preference. There are regularly scheduled activities like opening receptions on the first Friday of every month and the Westside Arts District Walk in Atlanta. If you already go to some of these events you can probably navigate your way around which gallery will fit your plans and taste. While specific exhibits maybe hit or miss, the surrounding metropolitan area will offer other distractions.
The Local Treasure is the most personal of options and most relaxed. There are non-traditional but semi-permanent attractions all around the city. While checking out the graffiti art on Krog Street is slightly hit-or-miss, the benefit of this strategy is that it will cost you nothing and you can easily leave whenever you want. Wandering around the city streets presents unique obstacles such as unreliable weather and the remoteness of your location. Plan these excursions for early in the day and have a back up plan.
A Tour can be an interesting compromise between visiting a major traveling exhibition and a walking tour of the streets. Places like the Governor’s Mansion or other historic homes in Atlanta will provide plenty to look at while also providing comfortable rails to your journey. The tour of historic homes is less likely to inspire you but also less likely to alienate non-art types. Visitors on private tours can expect to see the odd painting here and there and other craftsmanship on display without any of the pressure to understand curatorial purpose.
Local Decor is the most informal option. The expectations here are low risk but medium reward. Visitors can go to an eclectic new restaurant specifically to drink in the décor while drinking. The interior designs of many restaurants are works of art in themselves. Otherwise pick a scenic view of the city and its architecture. The Sundial on top of Peachtree tower is the classic example, but there are any numbers of restaurants at Atlantic Station worth exploring. As silly as it may seem to contrast the trendy work hanging in a restaurant with a visit to a museum it’s a low-pressure way to explore. It’s best to hedge one’s bets with multiple stops, though. Consider eating a light dinner and enjoying dessert at another location.
While there are countless ways for Atlantans to appreciate art, remember these five categories when you are making your choice. The “famous exhibit,” “the local gallery,” “the local treasure”,” the tour,” and “local decor” all satisfy in different ways.
Above all remember that anything you want to do on Valentine’s Day you can and should do year round.