The City in the Forest, the capital city of Georgia, was a recent destination for our big “Let’s Go America! Tour.” Atlanta has thousands of trees planted within its city limits, giving it a lush feel among the historic southern buildings and modern sky scrapers that is vastly different than what you’ll see in other cities — hence the nickname. We based ourselves at the beautiful Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead — a Hilton property — which is conveniently located within walking distance to many restaurants and the boutiques of Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza. For families, the Legoland Discovery Center is a 5 minute walk, and the area is populated with many top companies for corporate travelers.
In addition to the magnolia trees, southern pines and grand oak trees growing amidst the city buildings — Atlanta’s a city of other contrasts which may surprise many travelers. It ranks 3rd in the U.S. with only Hollywood and New York City ahead in the number of films and TV shows filmed on location. Six Flags Georgia just 20 minutes outside of Atlanta was the 2nd park in the Six Flags theme park chain. The world’s largest drive through restaurant, the iconic Varsity, has been going strong since 1928 and is across from the Georgia Tech campus. Atlanta is a major business center, with Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport the world’s largest and hub for hometown airline Delta, but you’ll find Atlanta to also be a city for family travelers with a plethora of unique sites and attractions.
One family friendly site that includes several important attractions is Centennial Olympic Park, the site of the 1996 Olympic Games — visitors could spend at least 3 days at this 22 acre greenspace and still not fully immerse in all there is to see and do. Included here is the World of Coca-Cola, The College Football Hall of Fame, The Georgia Aquarium, CNN Center, The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, The National Center for Civil & Human Rights, and of course the park itself with its monuments, brick paths and information on the Olympic Legacy.
We found the Beluga Whale and Whale Shark exhibits fascinating at the Georgia Aquarium and as the U.S.’s largest aquarium, we recommend visitors plan to spend at least 3 to 4 hours there. The new Scent Discovery exhibit at the World of Coca-Cola puts visitors in the world of aroma profiles which are a key element in the origins of flavors and the final product. You’ll get to guess the flavor profile based on the sense of smell only. Harder than it sounds, we promise — but a whole lot of fun! And then for anyone who loves performance cars and wants to raise the adrenalin — there’s the Porsche Experience Center adjacent to Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. This is an enjoyable and challenging experience to test your driving skills in various conditions on the track, plus they feature simulators and a historic museum, it’s family friendly as well.
There are only 14 U.S. cities with four or more major sports teams. Atlanta has 5 — so it’s safe to say it’s a town for sports lovers and a place to enjoy professional baseball, football, basketball, hockey, soccer, an array of college sports and more. The state of the art Mercedes Benz Stadium is also a great place to catch a concert too! Atlanta is a vibrant, bustling modern city but it’s also a historic city. Dr. Martin Luther King’s boyhood home and Ebenezer Church where he, his father and his grandfather preached are located on Auburn Avenue — and you can stroll down this street and visit both that remain unchanged over the years. MLK is also buried here along with Coretta Scott King and there are 2 museums to visit as well, along with a reflecting pool.
Atlanta is the kind of U.S. city that’s friendly, offers many lodging and food choices to satisfy every traveler’s tastes and budgets — and is going to deliver on activities, fun and southern warmth and hospitality. And the “Frosted Orange” drink from the Varsity’s not too bad either :) :)… Let’s Go America!
Robert & Mary Carey,
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