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Posted: Wednesday January 26, 2000 07:56 AM

Coming to Atlanta for the Super Bowl? Let us show you around. If you've got a fat wallet, stay on the left side of this page. If you can barely afford to make this trip, veer to your right. For more on what to do in Atlanta, check out The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's special online guide. Enjoy your stay!

From the Newsstand

Spend It All Save A Buck
There's a place called The Martini Lounge, in midtown, that fits its upper-class name. But for sheer class, a stunning view and decent cocktails to boot, you can't beat the Sun Dial Restaurant, Bar & View at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel. Plus, it's about as far away from the traffic as you can get. Some locals in the know have made a popular dive out of Five Paces Inn, a quaint but friendly bar hidden just steps from some of the more swanky Buckhead places. Speaking of which, the Buckhead Saloon, right on Peachtree, features cheap bear, free peanuts, a live band and usually throngs of patrons. A couple other suggestions for cheap, alcohol-enhanced evenings: Moe's and Joe's, which actually has Pabst Blue Ribbon, and George's.
Pano's and Paul's may be the most famous eatery in town. Don't let the strip mall locale, barely a waiting-list walk off I-75, fool you. This is regarded by many as Atlanta's finest restaurant, and their jumbo cold water lobster tail with Chinese honey mustard will show you the chefs here are serious about their food. Also, steak eaters, check out Bones, and Canoe is a top-shelf chow hall, too. Any trip to Atlanta starts at The Varsity for hot dogs. Eats, on Ponce de Leon, will fill you up on jerk chicken and black beans and rice for $5 and change. Try Raging Burrito on Piedmont for Mexican, Fat Matt's for barbeque and the psychedelic Mellow Mushroom for pizza. And for that rare football fan who seeks trendiness, Doc Chey's Noodle House in Virginia Highlands is your best bet under $10.
If it's not too cold, Chateau Elan in Brasleton is a meticulously maintained 63-hole wonderland. Ask about rates, but expect to spend at least $65 on the weekend, or $27 after 1:30 in the afternoon. The Woodlands course, 6,800-yards-plus, is maybe the best of the Elan courses. It plays with the water on 10 of its holes. Big, rolling greens on a Tom Fazio course make White Columns worth the drive to Alpharetta. You'll decide whether it's worth the hefty fees, which can be as much as $100. For public courses, you can't beat Bobby Jones in Fulton County, built in 1930. Get in by Friday and pay $19 for 18, $22 over the weekend. Others: Fox Creek in Smyrna ($20 walking) and Brown's Mill municipal course ($22). If you're not picky but just want a tee time wherever available, call 770 664-GOLF once in town.
If it has the initials "RC" on the towels, you know it's pretty spiffy. The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead lives up to that establishment's fine reputation. More down to earth is the Marriott downtown, a fine place to sleep in late on gameday. And then there's The Four Seasons, one of the nicer hotels in any city. Three words: Not in Atlanta. If you don't yet have reservations, don't even think about anything inside the Perimeter (the area in and including downtown circled by I-285). In fact, if you're desperate to avoid price gouging, here's a little lesson on Atlanta geography: Rome, Duluth, Gainesville, La Grange, Macon and Auburn, Ala., are among the metropolises located within a 90-minute drive; better luck there.
If you're not in a stretch limo this week, you're not living. There are at least 50 places throughout the metro area that rent out the big jobs, places like A Touch of Class, which proudly features the 1999 Lincoln Stretch Coach. Or you can try Olympus, which can rent you a 1964 Rolls or a 21-passenger "limobus." MARTA buses and trains cost only $1.50 a ride, but if you think you'll accrue more than $9 worth, pick up a pass at the airport. The Southbound MARTA rail runs from the airport to the city. For the game, avoid $20 parking fees and ride Westbound MARTA to the Georgia Dome (trains in all four directions run through the central Five Points station, one stop from the Dome).
Phipps Plaza, in Buckhead of course, is the highest-class mall in town, with Saks, Tiffany's, Gucci and the like, along with several one-of-a-kind shops. Across the street is Lenox Square, a bit less snooty but still plenty pricey and nice. If you're out in the Northern suburbs, up Alpharetta way, the North Point Mall is very nice, and it's surrounded by all the mall-type accoutrements you can dream of. Hmm ... Atlanta, cheap and shopping, all in the same sentence? Not likely. First suggestion: Stay away from Lenox, Phipps and any of the other ritzy malls that rule this town. Then, head to Little Five Points, Atlanta's incarnation of New York's East Village or Belmont in Chicago. The used-record and other novelty stores are cheap-spender heaven, just be warned you might be expected to don nose ring and green hair walking here.

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