Atlanta, the capital of Georgia, known as the Peach State, is big enough so that certain neighborhoods have their own hidden gems, and yet small enough so each destination is just a short walk away. It’s one of those cities that used to be affordable, until development came into play and people from all over started flocking into the city to turn it into the main hub of the South. In this article we take a look at downtown Atlanta – home to some corporations like Coca-Cola and CNN, and a great tourist destination.
If you are a fan of the soda Coca-Cola, then Atlanta may just be a dream destination of yours. It’s the home of the World of Coca-Cola, a museum dedicated solely to the fizzy drink. The Coca-Cola headquarters is located in Atlanta, so where else is a better fit for this museum, right?
From its humble beginnings to its eventual popularity around the world, you’ll find all sorts of knick-knacks, marketing materials, and even the fizzy drink’s history in this indoor museum. A few highlights of your trip here include having a photo with the Coca-Cola polar bear (he is too cute), the gift shop (endless racks of merchandise), and the grand finale: the Taste It section!
You’ll be able to taste a sampling of sodas, waters, and fruit juices from around the world. They’ll give you a cup and you can drink all you want! But wait, there’s more: even if you’ve finally had enough and are ready to exit, you get a complimentary bottle of Coke (with soda inside that you can drink when you get home), as a souvenir. Try to go to the World of Coca-Cola as early as you can, as the queues can be terrible in the afternoon!
The largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere
Just a short hop, skip, and a jump away from the World of Coca-Cola, the Georgia Aquarium is probably Atlanta’s biggest draw. Literally. As soon as you start walking from the World of Coca-Cola, you may see a long queue of people waiting to buy tickets across the park. However, if you get the CityPass, it will save you all this time as you’ll go through the VIP entrance – no more queueing (and will help save you money). The aquarium is massive: it has several animal habitats, the most notable is the Ocean Voyager area featuring the whale sharks – it is so huge, it’s literally floor to ceiling from the observation area.
You may be able to see people scuba diving in the pool if you’re lucky – these divers go up to the observation glass and wave to say hello. Another notable attraction is the Dolphin Tales Show. This indoor theater is something that’s quite different from the other shows you’ve seen before: with strobe lighting effects and a great ambiance, it’s literally a sight to see. However, the place does get packed, so best to secure seats early, queue up outside the entrance as they close the doors as soon as capacity is filled.
If you’re looking for something to eat, the Cafe Aquaria can be your stop. It can be a bit pricey though, as they weigh your food (which ranges from salads to pizzas to rice and chicken), but it’s quick and convenient!
This is CNN
If you ever had dreams of becoming a newscaster or are just curious about what happens behind the scenes of a news program, then the Inside CNN tour is the tour for you. Housed inside an old hotel, the global headquarters of CNN shows you how they broadcast and film their newscasts. You’ll even hear the conversation that goes on with the producers inside a live newscast.
Starting with a long elevator ride up, and eventually working your way down, it is a fun way to get immersed in this world. Note that you’ll have to be on time with whatever slot is printed on your ticket– otherwise you won’t be admitted on the tour.
Walkable and compact
The downtown Atlanta area has its gems, and they are all within a quick walking distance from each other, with the Centennial Olympic Park surrounding the tourist spots and nearby hotels and offices. After a day of touring, go to Morton’s Steakhouse for a cut of steak and some wine, and then catch the tram or walk to your next destination, be it the hotel for a good night’s sleep or to a night spot.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.