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See the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca Cola and 15 More Things to Do on Your Atlanta Vacation

In Atlanta, you’ll find that fine dining, shopping and rich history combine with inspiration-inducing attractions to create a city with Southern charm and world-class sophistication. It’s easy to see why Atlanta, Georgia is one of the most popular destinations in the Southeast to live and to visit.

One of the best things about the Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola is that they are right next to each other – separated only by a beautiful courtyard. Then you are literally right across the street from Centennial Olympic Park and it’s wonderful fountain. Cross the park and you’ll land at the front door of the CNN Center and the SkyView Ferris Wheel! 

As an Atlanta resident, they are among my favorite “not-to-be-missed” excursions. 

Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium

As one of Atlanta’s newest attractions, the Georgia Aquarium has a simple claim to fame: It is the largest aquarium in the world. The amazing aquarium in Atlanta offers more than 60 exhibits showcase an immense variety of marine life, including playful belugas, massive whale sharks, frolicking otters, and ethereal jellyfish.

The Aquarium is open 7 days a week, but get the latest info on exhibits and special events by connecting with them  on Facebook and Twitter.

World of Coca-Cola

World of Coke

Few could have dreamed that Dr. John S. Pemberton’s “headache remedy” of the late 1800s would become the world’s most recognized beverage. Check out the recipe for Coca Cola in the high security vault! Visit the Taste It! gallery, which offers free sampling of the 63 beverages marketed by Coca-Cola in nations around the world.  Revel in the history of Coca-Cola and view the galleries devoted to advertising campaigns, the bottling process, and Coke in pop culture.

This is a fabulous, interactive tour that you won’t soon forget. You’ll even get to take home a small bottle of Coca-Cola right off the line!

The World of Coca-Cola is on Facebook and Twitter.

Inside CNN Studio Tour

CNN Center, world headquarters of the international news channel, offers an inside look at news production. Take a ride on the world’s longest freestanding escalator, which starts the tour. Try your hand at “cold reading” the news in Studio 7E.  Watch a newscast as it occurs! And check out the station’s control room on the studio tour – complete with real-time direction and an explanation of technology used (including “blue screen”).

High Museum of Art

Dramatic architecture by Richard Meier and Renzo Piano might stop you in wonder outside, but a wealth of treasure awaits inside. Visit the curatorial department devoted to folk art. The High Museum is particularly strong in 19th and 20th century American art. More than 12,000 works of art in its permanent collection – including those by Auguste Rodin, Georgia O’Keeffe, Robert Rauschenberg and Roy Lichtenstein.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Surrounded by a 65-acre (26.3 hectares) forest, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History offers an observatory, a planetarium, an IMAX movie theater, and oodles of fascinating exhibits. Participate in Nature’s hands-on activities that helps visitors become aware of how their senses interpret the world around them. Discover virtual waterfalls and the insides of a mighty red oak tree at NatureQuest, which lets kids explore the nooks and crannies of a multi-level clubhouse.

Zoo Atlanta

Occupying nearly 40 acres (16 hectares) in Grant Park, Zoo Atlanta’s lush natural habitats showcase more than 1,000 animals representing some 200 species from around the world.  If you have kids, visiting Zoo Atlanta is one of the best family things to do in Atlanta. The zoo is best known for its gorillas – more reside here than anywhere else in the United States – and for being one of four U.S. zoos that house giant pandas.

Atlanta History Center

Hunger Games Swan House

Travel back in time at the Atlanta History Center in this 30,000-square-foot (2,787 square meters) museum. Revisit the Civil War (and see the world’s most comprehensive collection of Civil War artifacts), review the city’s history, and reflect on folk art unique to the South.

Don’t miss the Swan House, a 1928 mansion built in the classical style and the “home” of President Snow in the Hunger Games movies!

Centennial Olympic Park

Centennial Olympic Park

Created to be a gathering place for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, Centennial Olympic Park is a verdant oasis that serves both locals and tourists. With a children’s playground, eateries on-site and short steps away, and its prime downtown Atlanta location, the park can be either destination or way station. Feel free to play in the pop-up water fountain!

Martin Luther King Jr. National History Site

Visitors can pay tribute and learn about Martin Luther King Jr. at this National Historic Site. Hear recordings of his sermons and speeches that play inside the church, bringing his message – in his own voice – to new generations of listeners. His childhood home; his crypt, with eternal flame; Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he served as pastor; and a visitor center that showcases his important civil rights work.

National Center for Civil & Human Rights

Civil and Human Rights Center Museum

Adjacent to the World of Coke and the Aquarium, the Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta is an engaging cultural attraction that connects the American Civil Rights Movement to today’s Global Human Rights Movements. The bottom level Dr. King Collection, in partnership with Morehouse College, rounds out the journey. The tranquil shrine displays artifacts such as King’s handwritten (and typed) notes and belongings. King’s documents.A mural of the famed orator’s library sits parallel to tiled high definition monitors with “I Have a Dream” crawling horizontally in over 20 languages.

Center for Puppetry Arts

Center for Puppetry Arts

The Center for Puppetry Arts is a unique cultural treasure – a magical place where children and adults are educated, enlightened and entertained. Since 1978, the Center has introduced millions of visitors to the wonder and art of puppetry and has touched the lives of many through enchanting performances, curriculum-based workshops and the hands-on Museum. “Shake a Tail Feather with Mother Goose” is on the calendar during the Type-A Conference week.

SkyView Atlanta

SkyView Atlanta

The 200-foot-tall SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel, which made its inaugural revolution last year, comes equipped with 42 climate-controlled gondolas that each hold up to six people. It is strategically located in Centennial Olympic Park, but it was originally part of a traveling program that visited several cities.  Now, Atlanta is SkyView’s permanent home.

Wren’s Nest House Museum

Home to Joel Chandler Harris from 1876-1901 where he recreated the oral tradition of the Brer Rabbit tales in print, and found success with the Uncle Remus stories. The Wren’s Nest offers storytelling on Saturdays at 1 pm. The Wren’s House is celebrating it’s 100th Anniversary!

The Varsity 

The Varsity

No trip to Atlanta is complete without visiting the Varsity! What’ll ya have?  What’ll ya have?  The World’s Largest Drive-in Restaurant, serving customers  in Atlanta since 1928. People from all over the world come to experience The Varsity because there is nothing like it anywhere!  Over two miles of hot dogs are served every day with 300 gallons of chili. Be ready when you get to the counter and don’t forget your Orange Freeze!

Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves

See an Atlanta Braves baseball game while you’re in town! The Braves will take on the New York Mets the weekend of the conference and tickets are still available. Turner Field is another legendary Atlanta site to visit and you can take the stadium tour while you’re there.

Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons

If you’ll be in town on Thursday (Sept 18- the day before the conference) you can catch Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome as they play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is a nationally televised Thursday night game and should be exciting!  Rise up, Falcons!

Stone Mountain Park

Stone Mountain

Spread across 3,200 beautiful acres, Stone Mountain Park is Georgia’s most-visited attraction – and with good reason.  The largest high relief sculpture in the world lives here, the Confederate Memorial Carving, and depicts three Confederate heroes of the Civil War, President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. The entire carved surface measures three-acres, larger than a football field and Mount Rushmore. Visit the park, built around the world’s largest piece of exposed granite (that’d be Stone Mountain), and check out Geyser Towers, Sky Hike, Summit Skyride, Scenic Railroad, The Great Barn, The Antebellum Plantation, Farmyard and Ride the Ducks. Not to mention the miles and miles of hiking trails, beautiful lake, fishing, golfing and the awesome Laser Show on Saturday night!

 

If we’ve overlooked your favorites, be sure to add them in the Comments below.