Atlanta, Georgia is a thriving metropolis that offers a splendor of delectable eats, trendy neighborhoods, and world-class attractions. There's more to the self-proclaimed “capital of the south” than meets the eye, and to get you started, here's a look at three spots that you have to go check out.
The Georgia Aquarium
This is the world's largest aquarium and is a serious show stopper because it makes every other aquarium look like child's play. Inside, you'll find a massive array of marine life that ranges from the majestic whaleshark to belugas, jellyfish, stingrays, and penguins. They even have an impressive “Pirates of the Caribbean” meets dolphins action-packed show that's included with your ticket. Another highlight is the Ocean Voyager Exhibit which has a moving conveyor belt you can stand on as you're transported through a glass domed tunnel.
One word of caution is that the aquarium draws in mega crowds so my best recommendation is to head there when it first opens. Also make sure you buy your tickets online beforehand to help speed things up. You'll need roughly three hours to see everything so plan accordingly.
World of Coca-Cola
If you didn't know before, Coca-Cola is actually headquartered in Atlanta and so right across from the aquarium is the mecca of everyone's favorite soft drink. This multi-media rich experience takes guests through the history of the company from the beginning, and includes a fully functioning bottling line, a 4-D theater, and just tons and tons of memorabilia. The best part about the whole experience is when you make it to the Taste It beverage lounge where you can sample 100+ different flavors of Coca-Cola from all over the world.
General admission to World of Coca-Cola is $16 for adults but you can upgrade to the VIP experience, which comes with a dedicated guide, for $28.
Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
Atlanta is where it all began for one of America's most pivotal figures in the fight for civil rights. Being his birthplace and final resting place, a 35-acre area was turned into a national historic site in 1980. Today visitors have a chance to take a tour with a National Park Service ranger to see Martin Luther King Jr.'s home where he grew up in, his church, and final resting place. The site is both moving and inspirational as you get to walk in his footsteps and even get to hear his voice in the church that sparked a revolution.
Don't forget to start at the visitor center first as this is where you can sign up for tours and walk through the featured exhibit which does an amazing job at providing the overview of the history and the events of that time period that fueled King's work. Keep in mind that there are a limited number of tours to the house so try to sign up as early as possible in the day.
These three sights are really only the tip of the iceberg. From restaurants, outdoor activities, museums, shopping, and affordable hotels in Atlanta, there's really something for everyone.
What you should read next