Once the domain of down and out neighborhoods and dilapidated factories, the largely industrial Westside is Atlanta's district in transition. It is here where a marketing partnership between the Westside Urban Market, opened in 1998, and White Provisions, which followed a decade later, has spawned the Westside Provisions District in West Midtown, a booming shopping and dining complex. Here, and along the BeltLine's soon-to-explode Westside Trail, are the focal points of this burgeoning destination entertainment district, which has been prime fodder for breweries and film studios.
The Westside is probably Atlanta's most difficult area to navigate. On one hand, there is so much at Westside Provisions District, you could park your car and stay for a few days browsing, shopping, dining and drinking your way through the fabulous shops, galleries, restaurants and bars of this district. On the other hand, this is one of the city's largest, most embryonic, most on-the-verge areas – and you really need a car to get around the various pockets as development takes hold across a vast area. There are a couple of approaches. You can easily kill a day at the aforementioned Westside Provisions District and then make dinner reservations at one of the many incredible restaurants in this area – Marcel and JCT Kitchen & Bar at Westside Provisions District itself, or Miller Union, Optimist, Bacchanalia and Star Provisions Market & Cafe nearby. Or you could explore the BeltLine's Westside Trail, which will soon offer a bevy of craft-beer breweries at the Lee+White development, which is transforming a previously abandoned industrial property near Lee and White Sts. For now, only Monday Night Garage has opened.
- Optimist Splurging on some of Atlanta's finest restaurants such as seafood at Optimist, New American at Miller Union or blowout steaks at Marcel.
- Shopping Exploring the hip emporiums and independent boutiques at Westside Provisions District, a massive shopping and dining district that spawned the Westside's renaissance.
- Painted Duck Downing craft cocktails while trying your luck at duckpin or Belgian feather bowling at this good-time adult playground.
- Monday Night Garage Knocking back craft brewskis at this industrial-hip brewery, the first of many that are popping up along the BeltLine's Westside Trail.
- Goat Farm Arts Center Immersing yourself in cutting-edge theater or a concert at this revamped 19th-century cotton-gin manufacturing factory turned experimental performing-arts space.
To explore the Westside beyond gluttonous dining and drinking, head over on Fridays, when Free Art Friday sees Atlanta artists hide small pieces of artwork and post images on Instagram, encouraging fans to locate the art in a scavenger hunt using the hashtag #FAFATL.