Dunwoody, a small town full of southern charm just 10 miles north of the heart of Atlanta. It is unique in that it offers tourists a wide variety of things to do and places to visit. Just like so many southern historic cities, Dunwoody has undergone its own rebirth and has become more than just a tourist location. It is a beautiful city that attracts everyone from millennials to families. With a rich history, thriving arts community, stunning natural beauty, and fine dining, Dunwoody is one of those destinations you need to add to your travel itinerary.
My husband and I recently visited the area for our 29th anniversary. As someone that has always lived in the metro area, I never even realized just what this charming suburb of Atlanta has to offer beyond shopping. We invite you to discover the area through our weekend getaway.
Dunwoody Nature Center
You wouldn’t know that right outside the heart of a bustling urban city is a 22-acre nature adventure playground. Dunwoody Nature Center offers several activities centralized on and around educating children, families, and adults of all ages about the natural world and our place in it. Explore two miles of woodland hiking trails to absorb the views of stunning greenery of the Piedmont forest and wetlands. If you are traveling with little ones, there’s a treehouse classroom pavilion and a shaded playground area to explore.
Dunwoody Butterfly Experience
Each year the center hosts several events. One of the most popular is the Butterfly Experience held each year in late Summer. Guests of the Butterfly Experience can enjoy getting up close and personal with one of nature’s most fascinating creatures. Families can go inside enormous tents full of free-roaming butterflies as well as enjoy a variety of butterfly-themed activities. This year the festival featured a Pollinator Pathway that led butterfly enthusiasts to stations throughout the park that offered activities, crafts, and educational experiences for all ages.
The Spruill Gallery is a must if you are in the area. Located in a historic home on Ashford Dunwoody Road, Spruill Gallery has been promoting emerging artists, established artists, and the artwork created at the Education Center for over 45 years. Throughout the year, visitors can shop at the artist’s gift shop which offers unique pieces created by artists living in the metro area.
Throughout the home and grounds, you will find a collection of pieces that you can spend hours enjoying. When traveling to new areas, you might think that an art gallery is the last place you should add to your itinerary. Well, I am here to tell you that this is not the case. By visiting local galleries and museums you can enhance your experience with rich insights into the history of your tourist destination, all while having fun exploring your new surroundings. For instance, we discovered that the art mural that appears on the side of the smokehouse building on the gallery grounds was home to an expression that many in the area loved. It simply stated EVERYTHING WILL BE OK by Jason Kofke in 2009. It was an iconic selfie spot for many. Today it has become a focal point of the area. At the time of our visit and in honor of the Butterfly Festival, the mural has a beautiful monarch butterfly (seen below).
28th Annual Holiday Artist’s Market at Spruill Gallery
If you are heading to the area or live nearby, you need to make plans now to attend the 28th Annual Holiday Artist’s Market at Spruill Gallery. From beautiful hand-blown glass ornaments to cozy knitted pieces, Spruill Gallery has a holiday artist market you don’t want to miss. Support these local artists and find a unique gift for the people on your list. You can even give the gift of a gift card so your recipient can get whatever warms their heart.
The Donaldson-Bannister Farm sits on 5 acres right in the middle of Dunwoody. This charming two-story farmhouse is a reminder of days long ago. Beautifully landscaped, this farm is available for picnics, strolls, and so much more.
My husband and I enjoyed a picnic from Breadwinner Café and Bakery on the grounds. It was the perfect backdrop for a romantic picnic. The large oak trees and
Breadwinner Café and Bakery boasts a menu of homemade soups, salads, sandwiches, sides, and signature breads. Made fresh, in-house daily, Breadwinner Café and Bakery is the perfect place to pick up a picnic lunch. We enjoyed the Fancy Grilled Cheese made with all kinds of cheesy goodness! The Tomato Basil Bisque, a creamy blend of Italian plum tomatoes and basil, was delicious. Eating it with a backdrop such as Donaldson-Bannister Farm immediately brought me back to my childhood years when I would dip my grilled cheese into my tomato soup except for this time I was savoring every delicious bite.
Dunwoody Dining Scene
No trip is complete without sampling the culinary delights of an area and Dunwoody is known for having some of the area’s most sophisticated and trendy dining establishments. For our first night, we had dinner at Café Intermezzo. My husband had the Spicy Tortellini Alfredo while I enjoyed the Tomato Basil Pasta and both were truly mouth-watering. But I have to got to tell you I will be back for the cheese-stuffed tortellini topped with the creamy Alfredo sauce. It was the perfect balance of flavor with just a subtle bite of heat that doesn’t overpower the dish. It was delicious! Of course, the desserts were to die for! I devoured the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake while my husband enjoyed a large helping of carrot cake.
Not only was the food amazing, but the atmosphere of Café Intermezzo is something you’ve got to experience. It’s like you’re sitting outside at a French coffeehouse with the bistro tables and chairs. It’s quite charming and we quickly realized why this place is known as one of Dunwoody’s hidden gems.
The following evening we ate at the trendy Eclipse di Luna. Featuring authentic Spanish food, an extensive wine list, and craft cocktails, this place has been voted as one of the “Best Tapas,” by Creative Loafing, the “Best Place to Take a Date,” by Atlanta Magazine, and “Top 50 Restaurants,” by the AJC. My husband and I agree. Having eaten at a tapas before, I had no idea what to expect but quickly discovered I really love this concept. Small plates of bite-sized food allow you to share and sample a wider variety. A few of the items we enjoyed were Queso Frito Con Meil(fried goat cheese with caramelized onions and honey), Fondiodo Con Camarones )Georgia shrimp, smoked bacon, melted tetilla cheese spread served with warm ciabatta bread), and a salted caramel cheesecake.
This northern suburb of Atlanta features extraordinary shopping establishments, fine dining, and beautiful outdoor spaces. With its upscale appeal set in a classic southern city, Dunwoody is the ideal place to visit and shop at any time of the year.