Visitors to Atlanta are spoiled for choice in terms of places to stay. But the city’s northern suburbs have plenty to offer if you want to relax without worrying about traffic. Dunwoody, in particular, is well located to downtown and the airport via MARTA rail. Surrounded by big-name businesses like Cox and Intercontinental Hotel Group, this community is popular for business travelers but also brings in family reunions and weddings. There’s always something going on, whether it’s the nationally televised Caffeine & Octane car show at Perimeter Mall every month or the arts festivals. I recently enjoyed a “staycation” in Dunwoody and can attest to its appeal for both travelers and locals like myself.
Where to Eat
I’d been to some of Dunwoody’s restaurants before but found even more places I’d quickly return to. The dining scene of this area includes both well-known chains and local spots, high-end steakhouses and casual eateries. And, of course, you’ll find all ranges of cuisine, including Mexican, Thai, and Italian. Some of my favorites not included below are Tin Lizzy’s, Cowfish, and Farm Burger.
Crema Cafe– Grab your morning boost at this neighborhood cafe that serves espresso and coffee drinks, croissants and other baked goods, and larger dishes like sandwiches, salads, quiches, and pasta. Try one of their flaky French almond croissants.
Alon’s Bakery– This European-style cafe is a longtime favorite near Perimeter Mall. The market setup has different booths for desserts, prepared dishes, coffee, and even wine. I loved the Israeli breakfast, pictured above.
DaVinci’s Donuts– The bakery is well-known for its quirky donut creations. The smaller cake donuts can be topped with DaVinci’s signature styles or you can build your own. I recommend the pumpkin spice and birthday cake flavors.
Village Burger– There are many burgers in town, but nowhere is better than this local spot. Their burgers can be topped with their signature sauce and are best paired with a seasoning-salt covered order of fries and a milkshake.
Press Blend Squeeze– Just across the street is a healthy option that serves freshly squeezed juices, wraps, salads, toasts, and acai bowls.
Wright’s Gourmet Shoppe– Locals flock to this longtime gourmet market that has been open since 1984. They serve sandwiches like the fried chicken club, pimento cheese, and Cubans.
Vino Venue– Unlike anywhere else in town, this restaurant and wine shop offers pour your own glasses with labels from around the world. The menu includes dishes like burgers, crab cakes, and brussels sprouts.
Novo Cucina– This casual Italian restaurant comes recommended for its wood-fired pizza, house-made pasta, and house-made gelato. They’re open for happy hour, lunch, and dinner.
Com Vietnamese Grill– Serving traditional Vietnamese cuisine since 2009, Com is open daily with items like soups, salads, and entrees.
Morelli’s Ice Cream– End the night at this locally owned ice cream chain, located inside Farm Burger. They have standard flavors as well as unique ones like Krispy Kreme, strawberry rosewater, and ginger lavender.
What to Do
Before spending the weekend in Dunwoody, I knew very little about the attractions. But it’s a thriving community for the arts and culture as well as a shopping destination for both boutiques and big-name chains. Families will also love public parks and green spaces.
Spruill Gallery– Works of photography and other mediums are featured on the walls of this historic home turned art gallery. Their building is painted with the phrase “Everything Will Be Okay,” reassuring passersby and the gift shop sells wares from local makers.
Spruill Center for the Arts– This non-profit arts organization offers classes and exhibits, as well as community events like their annual ceramic bowl, jewelry, and artwork sales.
Stage Door Players– Located next door to Spruill, this group puts on productions of well-known and up-and-coming plays.
Dunwoody Nature Center– This 35-acre green space features trails, geocaching, playgrounds, and camping. Don’t miss the hammock garden and the treehouse. They also host events like outdoor plays.
Treetop Quest – Dunwoody– Zip through the trees at this zipline and high ropes obstacle course, which has different courses for ages 4 and up. It’s located within Brook Run Park, a 110-acre space with a skate park, dog park, and a community garden.
Historic buildings- Established in the 1830s, the area has a surprising number of preserved historic buildings, including the Dunwoody Farmhouse, one of the most iconic structures in the city, and the Donaldson-Bannister Farm, a preserved farmhouse now open for educational experiences.
Shopping- Centered around Perimeter Mall, Dunwoody has so many offerings in terms of stores. Some of my favorites within the mall are Anthropologie, Box Lunch, Kendra Scott, and LUSH. Dunwoody also has locally owned stores like Under the Pecan Tree, where I bought the eye mask pictured below, and Enchanted Forest, a great place for Georgia and Dunwoody-focused gifts.
Where to Stay
I’d never stayed in a hotel in Dunwoody, since I live about 15 minutes away, so this was a nice treat. All of the big hotel chains have locations nearby, including Marriott and IHG, a company that is headquartered in the city. Le Meridien Atlanta Perimeter was my home away from home, a stylish property right across the street from the mall. I enjoyed the cozy beds, Netflix on the televisions, plush bathrobes, and in-room Illy espresso machines. I also got to check out the pool, but it wasn’t quite warm enough for me to swim. There was both a wedding and bar mitzvah going on that weekend, so I would definitely recommend it for big events.