Take in this major Georgia metro area that still manages to put on quite a show while maintaining its friendly, southern charm. There's no place like it.
So here, without further ado (and in no particular
order), are the major must-sees on any trip to Atlanta.
If you only
have a short time in the city, an easy excursion might include the
Georgia Aquarium, the CNN Center and the World of Coca Cola, all
within a short walking distance from "the heartbeat of Atlanta", Centennial Olympic Park.
This lovely green expanse in the heart of Downtown commemorates
the city as host of the 1996 Olympic Games. Today, the park plays
host to family picnics, school outings, and flocks of tourists.
Grab a bite to eat at the outdoor cafe, and watch the park fountain
dance in syncopated rhythm to scheduled music broadcasts.
Family-friendly fun is in store in the city where Coca Cola was
born. Recently, the old museum was replaced with more modern digs
conveniently located right near Centennial Olympic Park. Inside,
take in the historic displays - including interactive exhibits,
advertisements and memorabilia.
Or, have a seat to view a filmed
historical presentation along with a handful of classic Coke commercials.
At tour's end, don't miss the "pause that refreshes"
in the free tasting room to sample Coke brands from around the
Next store to the Coca Cola Museum, other liquid refreshment
awaits at the world's largest aquarium -- featuring world class exhibits of spooky jellyfish, grotesque
"humpheads" along with huge and menacing whale sharks.
Take time out for up and close encounters with dolphins (see video, below), or just hop on the mechanical walkway to move through a glass arched enclosure
for a fascinating look at the creatures of the deep as they swim
above and around you.
are highly recommended for the CNN Center, one of Atlanta's most
popular attractions located near the entrance to Centennial Olympic Park.
The one-hour tour features a "mile high" escalator ride
to the top of the center, then a walk down eight flights of stairs
for a peak at what goes on behind-the-scenes at the famous cable news network.
Once inside, listen to directors
give split-second commands, learn how breaking stories are covered,
and come away with a new appreciation for how cable news is produced,
packaged and presented 24/7.
This loving tribute to the civil rights leader was established
by his wife, Coretta Scott King, in 1968. Today, some 650,000
people from around the world come to visit the center annually
to learn more about the non-violent movement for equality and
civil rights told in interactive exhibits. The complex includes
the King Center Library, archives, Martin Luther King Jr.'s birth
home and final resting place.
Natural and stunning beauty is on view in the heart of Atlanta
with a walk through the Japanese gardens, aquatic flora, the Children's
Garden, the orchid center, and lots more along with kid-friendly
activities, special concerts, and jazz nights during the summer.
Depending on your attitude, this below-street level mall is either
a tacky tourist trap, or an exciting, frenzied urban scene. To
truly enjoy Underground Atlanta, go with the flow as product demonstrators
and shop owners hawk everything from Georgia peach jam and local
wines to key rings and T-shirts. If nothing else, souvenir shopping
here can be done and over with in minutes.
In stark contrast, Stone Mountain lies just 13 miles outside the
city, offering natural vistas including a cable car view of one
of the world's largest stone carvings (825 feet high) depicting
three Confederate heroes of the Civil War on horseback etched
into the side of the mountain. Take in special holiday events,
see the 19th century reenactment village, or stick around after
sunset to see the famous laser show. Ask your hotel to book you
a tour, or take the MARTA
city train to the Avondale stop where buses wait to whisk
you to Stone Mountain Village.