My Second Lifer Staycation

Heading out in Atlanta, for me, has become a true adventure. As a “Second Lifer,” newly single with older kids, I am finally getting the chance to experience the city on my terms. It is only in the past few years that I have ventured outside my own Sandy Springs community, where I have encountered history, culture and philanthropy. This summer will afford me a chance to enjoy an Atlanta “staycation.”

As a Sicilian from Boston, I am accustomed to great food. Atlanta has proven over and over that this city rivals New York, New Orleans and any other foodie mecca in the country. Great restauranteurs and chefs like Ford Fry, Kevin Rathbun, Tom Catherall and Kevin Gillespie, to name a few, raise the bar for Atlanta diners. I love to read about, visit and experience the wonderful eclectic food offerings in each of the boroughs as well as the burbs.

Patio season here begins sometime in April and extends into the fall. Restaurants, bars, nightclubs and hotels host events on their patios throughout the season with food and drink specials accompanied by live music. Many of my favorite venues are Atlanta staples.  However, I try to visit one new restaurant or hot spot a week. Living Atlanta is a segment of my radio show where I inform my audience about what is happening in and around the city. My research affords me a first glimpse of grand openings and other events. I pull from various sources including social media, subscribed emails and recommendations. When I do step out, many times I fly solo.  I do meet friends, a blind date or guests that have been on my show. It all depends on the venue, what the Buckhead crowd is doing and how I feel.

Outdoors, I head to the The Silver Comet Trail or The BeltLine to walk or bike. Outdoor music venues like Chastain Park Amphitheater and Park Tavern on Piedmont boast various genres while you sip wine at your table with friends. I love to catch at least one or two Braves games every season, too.

Atlanta’s music scene has always been important, but now it’s downright hot. Almost every night of the week during summer, you can hear live music. Atlanta favorites like Smith’s Olde Bar and The Tabernacle bust at the seams with a non-stop calendar. Supper clubs are popping up all over Atlanta as well as outside the Perimeter. Places like Venkman’s, Sweet Georgia Juke, 37 Main and Cosmopolitan Live host bands that take me back to the 80s and earlier.

If I need to cool off I can head to Lake Lanier, Lake Allatoona and Lake Oconee to retreat from the city life. Savannah, Hilton Head and the Panhandle are all driving distance from Atlanta when I want to dip my toe in the ocean.

This summer I will be spending all of July in and around Atlanta. As far as I am concerned, every day in this city is a vacation day for me. There is no need to hop a plane. I will be chilling here in Hotlanta during my summer staycation.

Steph Palermo is a local author, talk show host and event emcee. After successfully raising four boys and recognizing her own worth and potential, Steph decided to use her experiences to share her message. She has realized that everybody has two lives, and the second one begins when you acknowledge you only have one. Everyone deserves a fresh start and Steph points the way. Join her Thursdays 11-12:30 on Love 860 am. or visit