Football fans flocking to Atlanta for the Super Bowl will be wowed by the city’s new $1.6 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium. But Atlanta Hawk shooting guard Kent Bazemore says Atlanta offers much more than the glitz and glamour on display in the new arena. “It has its own pace. It’s a cool place to be.” Bazemore, a North Carolina native who started his career in California, says he now considers Atlanta his home. He shares some favorite spots with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY.
The best place to get a feel for the city is to walk the BeltLine, an urban walking trail reclaimed from former rail lines once circling the area. Today it fronts food halls, bars and new parks. Bazemore says he and his wife love to walk the path and people-watch. “We spend a couple hours out there and meet friends. You could be out there all day and night.” beltline.org
The One Sushi Plus, Brookhaven, Georgia
When Bazemore played for the Golden State Warriors, he and his girlfriend (now wife) used to have a regular sushi date in San Francisco. When they moved to Atlanta, the couple launched a sushi tour to find a new favorite spot. Then they discovered this restaurant. “That’s where our journey kind of stopped. It’s got great ambiance and is pretty laid back. In the summertime you get to sit out on the patio and get that warm Atlanta breeze at night.” theonesushiplus.com
Supply & Demand
This speakeasy-style bar in Bazemore’s Buckhead neighborhood has a classy vibe, with a chic, sexy dress code. “It has this old-school New York feel. Big beefy couches and a cool bar scene,” he says. supplydemandatl.com
Hawks Ridge Golf Club, Ball Ground, Georgia
Bazemore’s day job may be basketball, but for fun, he hits the links. This private club, located about 40 miles outside Atlanta, is popular with Hawks players and management. It’s one of the top courses in the state. “The greens and the course stay in great condition,” he says. For visitors who don’t know a member to get them on the course, the nearby Echelon Golf Club (echelongolf.com) is open to the public. hawksridge.com