This year, staycations are poised to take center stage as the preferred choice for vacation and trip enthusiasts, marking a shift from the recent trend of revenge traveling. The distinction between a vacation and a staycation hinges on personal definitions. Traditionally, a vacation implies leisure or recreation spent away from home. Interestingly, a staycation seamlessly fits this definition, involving time off to relax and enjoy oneself, even if the destination is within one’s home vicinity.

Furthermore, a staycation can be seen as a type of trip, suggesting a journey or excursion. Unlike traditional trips that require travel to distant locations, a staycation centers around exploring local attractions, engaging in nearby activities, or simply taking a break from the regular routine without venturing far from home. The flexibility of the term allows individuals to label it either a vacation, a trip, or both, as long as it provides an opportunity to unwind and partake in leisure activities without extensive travel.

The allure of staycations or quick drive vacations lies in their transformative power of rejuvenation without the hassle of long-distance travel. These bite-sized getaways offer an ideal escape from routine, enabling individuals to recharge and rediscover their surroundings. Whether it’s a tranquil retreat to a nearby town or a spontaneous day trip, the magic of these short excursions lies in their ability to deliver a refreshing change of scenery and experiences, fostering relaxation, adventure, and a renewed appreciation for the gems hidden just beyond one’s doorstep.

Nestled just a short drive north of Atlanta, Alpharetta has emerged as a local hidden gem, seamlessly blending tranquility and vibrancy for those seeking a refreshing staycation or a quick escape. Boasting 750 acres of lush green spaces and parks, complemented by a number of restaurants and cozy attractions, Alpharetta has swiftly become a go-to destination. My recent discovery of this suburb revealed a haven where relaxation and excitement coexist seamlessly. From exploring the vibrant cultural scene to indulging in culinary delights, my curated list of top things to do ensures that your stay is not just a retreat but a captivating adventure in the heart of downtown Alpharetta.



(Randall Porter/Contributed)

As downtown Alpharetta’s exclusive boutique hotel, The Hamilton captivates with its striking blend of classic and industrial design, emanating a timeless vintage feel while exuding modern charm. The ambiance is set by the thoughtful details, making each corner a visual delight. During my stay, I reveled in the hotel’s unique character, which added an extra layer of enjoyment to my overall experience.

Adding to the allure are the on-site dining options, including the delightful Carrie’s Conservatory, where we indulged in a boozy brunch that left a lasting impression. The culinary journey continued with Sorella Vicina, an authentic Italian restaurant boasting homemade pasta and an ambiance that transports you straight to the heart of Italy. This 119-room boutique hotel stands as a beacon of comfort, strategically positioned close to a broad range of restaurants, shops, and captivating attractions. Whether you’re accompanied by a romantic partner seeking an intimate getaway or with friends eager for a lively adventure, The Hamilton guarantees an enriching experience for all (and yes, they have a gym).



Enjoy the pinnacle of comfort and style during your staycation with Tommy John’s groundbreaking intimates. From contemporary underwear to opulent pajamas and lounge sets, Tommy John has redefined comfort, taking our trip to unprecedented levels. Embrace a confident and stylish experience as you immerse yourself in the unmatched comfort of Tommy John, turning every moment of this staycation into a lavish and memorable affair.

(Randall Porter/Contributed)


Our shopping escapade led us to Clothes Horse, a charming men’s boutique and an ode to southern culture, offering renowned brands like The Normal Brand and Rhone. Conveniently located right next to The Hamilton, this hidden gem offered more than just stylish finds. Meeting the owner, who exuded fantastic energy and hailed from Birmingham like myself, added a personal touch to the experience.

Among the treasures discovered, the chicest fit by Royal Highnies stole the spotlight (pictured). Take a steamer to it, pair with black loafers, add a dash of great attitude, and this ensemble is destined to slay on a yacht this summer. The boutique not only satisfied our fashion cravings but also created a memorable connection, making our shopping excursion a delightful highlight of the staycation.



Our culinary adventures extended beyond the hotel’s dining options, leading us to exquisite experiences in Alpharetta’s vibrant food scene. A standout evening unfolded at District III, where modern Vietnamese and Thai cuisine took center stage in a casually stylish environment. The fusion of flavors in this restaurant created a memorable dining experience, adding a delightful twist to our staycation.

Before bidding farewell to the charming town, we couldn’t resist indulging in brunch at The Southern Porch, a quaint eatery just a 3-minute walk from The Hamilton. Nestled in a charming old Southern-themed setting, this gem offered not only delectable cuisine but also a nostalgic journey through Southern flavors. Our culinary escapades beyond the hotel’s walls added a delightful layer to our stay, showcasing the diverse and delicious cuisine that Alpharetta had to offer.


(Randall Porter/Contributed)

We were transported to the roaring twenties at Roaring Social, the 20s-themed speakeasy bar located on-site at The Hamilton. Our night at Roaring Social became an unforgettable affair when my besties drove in from Atlanta to join the festivities. The atmosphere was filled with live music, and the creative and delicious cocktails only added to the excitement.

More than just a bar, Roaring Social started as an attitude—an ode to the belief that life should be fun and memorable. It stands as an unparalleled destination where friends, family, and cohorts come together to experience the unexpected and the unforgettable. The masterful concepting and design behind Roaring Social have created an unmatched celebration of food, drink, entertainment, and more. It’s not just a bar; it’s a journey back in time and a celebration of the joyous moments that make life truly remarkable.



We began our morning at Valor, where each cup is crafted with precision, offering a rich and invigorating start to our day. The cozy ambiance and friendly atmosphere make it an ideal spot to linger and savor the moment.

For a change of pace, we took a stroll to Warm Waves Coffee, where the welcoming atmosphere invites you to unwind and enjoy your coffee in a laid-back setting. The carefully curated selection of coffee blends and the skillful preparation ensured that every sip was a delightful experience. These nearby coffee havens, each with its unique charm, promise to add a warm and flavorful touch to your stay at The Hamilton.