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Your Guide to Sandy Springs, the Perfect Atlanta Suburb for a Weekend Away

Insider Guides
by Gabbi Hall Oct 26, 2023

Just 20 minutes away from downtown Atlanta, you can experience a delicious blend of high-end hotel rooms, broad-ranging foods, and access to wide-open outdoor spaces in Sandy Springs, Georgia. Sandy Springs is the second largest city in the metropolitan Atlanta area, but it’s technically a newer city — officially incorporated in 2005. That spells good news for travelers: the entrepreneurial suburb is constantly launching new restaurants and experiences.

Add in the fact that Sandy Springs is easily accessible via MARTA, Atlanta’s main public transportation system, and it makes for the perfect day or weekend trip from Georgia’s capital city — although, with so much to do in and around Sandy Springs, you’re probably going to want to rent a car to see it all.

Things to do in Sandy Springs

Stroll through Big Trees Forest Preserve


Photo: Gabbi Hall

Head into the thick of Sandy Springs — the thick of the forest, that is — at Big Trees Forest Preserve. Covered in a green canopy, Big Trees Forest Preserve has 30 acres of wilderness, which is perfect for a gentle walk or a more spirited trail run.

Big Trees Forest Preserve: 7645 Roswell Rd, Sandy Springs, GA 30350

Get wild with paint at Splatter Studio


Photo: Gabbi Hall

Let go of your preconceived notions about an art activity. And while you’re at it, throw caution and perfectionism to the wind. At Splatter Studio, you make art like you’re the Princess of Genovia — but instead of throwing darts, à la Anne Hathaway’s character in The Princess Diaries — you’re throwing paint.

Splatter Studio’s warehouse has endless stations for date night or your group of friends to get together and let loose. After a brief tutorial from the staff, they set you free to create. There’s no overly prescriptive instruction here, just true expression. The staff gives you a full rainbow of paints — and they’ll mix you custom colors, too — plus a variety of brushes and a paint gun to let your inner child out. If you finish your canvas before the end of your time slot, you can buy a second canvas for $12 and keep the fun going.

Splatter Studio: 5920 Roswell Rd, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

See a show at the City Springs


Photo: Gabbi Hall

City Springs is the city’s hub, including easy underground parking and city hall. It’s also home to many festivals like the Blue Stone Music Festival, which featured ’90s powerhouse Soul Asylum in 2023, as well as wine festivals and farmers’ markets. There’s ample picnic tables, rocking chairs, and swings as you take in the activities. And it’s near all the best restaurants, so it’s easy to catch dinner and a show while you’re in town.

City Springs: 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

Go wine tasting at Beer & Wine Craft


Photo: Gabbi Hall

Georgia may not be known as wine country, but this Sandy Springs store stocks a unique blend of wines, as well as opportunities to learn about beer- and wine-making. Sit down for a tasting with the owner and let her tell you about their process, as well as the difference between a Georgia-grown Pinot Grigio and an Italian one — and then taste it for yourself.

Beer & Wine Craft: 203 Hilderbrand Drive, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

Where to eat in Sandy Springs

Under the Cork Tree


Photo: Gabbi Hall

Put a northern Mediterranean twist on your brunch experience at Under the Cork Tree. Served Saturday and Sunday from 11 AM to 3 PM, the restaurant’s brunch menu covers everything from burrata appetizers to a Basque breakfast with red snapper. You can get a classic mimosa or Bloody Mary to accompany your meal, or you could try a brunch cocktail like the Honeydew You, a vodka- and prosecco-based drink that features refreshing flavors such as yuzu liqueur and melon champagne syrup.

Sit on the patio while you enjoy the Basque breakfast — yes, the red snapper is worth a try even before noon. Be sure to leave room for the Greek donuts. Under the Cork Tree has perfected the doughy goodness of the sweet honey and pistachio balls.

Under the Cork Tree: 5600 Roswell Rd, Sandy Springs, GA 30342

McDaniel’s QN2


Photo: Gabbi Hall

Don’t let the strip mall location fool you. McDaniel’s QN2 is a local favorite for its home-style feel and drool-worthy barbecue — and for good reason. When you walk in, you’re greeted by the friendliest staff, such as Billy who recommended a perfect combination of meats and sides for two people to get a little bit of everything.

When you’re here, don’t skip the jalapeño grits, baked beans, brisket, chicken wings, and ribs. To top it off, the mustard barbecue sauce is particularly distinct — a savory kick that blends seamlessly with the sweetness of their traditional barbecue sauce. Pair it all with an Arnold Palmer, and save room for a slice of cobbler to end your meal.

McDaniel’s QN2: 200 Johnson Ferry Rd, Atlanta, GA 30328

Casi Cielo


Photo: Gabbi Hall

For a special night out, Casi Cielo is a can’t-miss experience for upscale mezcal cocktails and food inspired by the flavors of Oaxaca, Mexico, using locally grown ingredients.

Don’t miss out on the La Piñata cocktail with its mix of fruity and spicy flavors, as well as the Smokey Old Fashioned that’s brought to the table under a cloud of smoke to create a little drama. When you’re ready for food, order the esquites (a Mexican street corn salad that’s similar to elote but not on the cob) and the tartar de atún (made with tuna, mango, and avocado) as appetizers.

For the main course, there are no wrong answers, but the entrecote Mexicano (a perfectly cooked, 16-ounce ribeye with unreal chimichurri) and pato con mole negro (a make-your-own taco dish with duck carnitas and mole sauce) are something special.

Casi Cielo: 6125 Roswell Rd, Atlanta, GA 30328

Battle & Brew


Photo: Gabbi Hall

Calling all gamers: this is your spot. Battle & Brew offers a gaming and dining experience that can only be found in Sandy Springs. No, gaming doesn’t mean gambling. We’re talking about gaming consoles like Nintendo and Playstation, as well as PC gaming and virtual reality. And you can enjoy it all while drinking and eating with your friends.

Gaming spaces are reservable for two people or a group of friends for an hour at a time. TV stations with a couch go for $30 an hour. Board games are $7 for the whole night. If you drink, do a G.G. shot while you’re there (it tastes like a PB&J) and play Mario Kart for some childhood nostalgia.

Battle & Brew: 5920 Roswell Rd, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

The General Muir


Photo: Gabbi Hall

A Jewish deli in Georgia, the General Muir is right in the epicenter of Sandy Springs. The relaxed deli has bright decor with white subway tiles and two choices of where to sit: cozy booths or patio seating. Order a Vietnamese iced coffee along with some latkes (served with sour cream and applesauce) alongside the open-faced Avenue A bagel (classic lox but with added avocado and grapefruit to put a spin on the traditional).

The General Muir: 6405 Blue Stone Rd Ste 240, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

Where to stay in Sandy Springs

The Westin Atlanta Perimeter North


Photo: Expedia

We hope you love the Westin Atlanta Permiter North! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

This newly renovated hotel is just 10 minutes from anywhere in Sandy Springs. The Westin Atlanta Perimeter North has a crisp, modern interior and overlooks Sandy Springs’ unique tree-filled cityscape. You can live the suite life here — such as in room 1821 — with a comfortable living space that’s separate from the bedroom. This, of course, comes in handy if you’re an early riser and your travel companion likes to sleep in.

Beyond the heavenly beds and white-tea bathroom amenities, The Westin has a pool, gym, and on-site restaurant, Savor, that’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The breakfast buffet features classics like fruit and pastries, as well as Southern favorites like grits or biscuits with gravy. You can also order à la carte from a menu with waffles, eggs benedict, and more.

Westin Atlanta Perimeter North: 7 Concourse Pkwy NE, Sandy Springs, GA 30328
Price per night: From $83

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