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Top Atlanta Tourist Attractions

Centennial Park, Atlanta
Chillin' at Atlanta's
Centennial Olympic Park...


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.

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.

World of Coca-Cola

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 world.

Georgia Aquarium

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.

CNN Studio Tour

CNN Studio Tour
Go behind the scenes
of cable network news.

Reservations 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.

King Center

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.

Atlanta Botanical Garden
See what's blooming ...

Atlanta Botanical Garden

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.

Underground Atlanta

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.

Stone Mountain by cable car
825 feet to the top.

Stone Mountain Park

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.

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