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    Atlanta what to see: attractions and places of interest in the capital of Georgia

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    Lluis Enric Mayans

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    After several trips to the United States we decide to visit the Georgia, a southern state (the name derives from the English King George II), one of the first thirteen colonies, with its beaches overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, colonial villas, cotton fields and its most famous city, Atlanta. What to see in the city made famous by the Olympics and from Coca-Cola?

    Want to know more about the state of Georgia? This state is large on average, ranking 24th among the fifty in the union. Even if its size is small, it still ranks eighth by population. During the 19th century this land lived there civil war fought against the army of the northern union. And in fact Atlanta is an example; after several battles, in November 1864, it was razed to the ground by enemy fire. Its inhabitants did not give up and gradually rebuilt the city. But what was Atlanta like before the civil war?

    Creek Indians lived in the area and later Europeans took possession of their lands, then in 1837, at the intersection of two railway lines, the city began to develop. Today Atlanta is located in Fuller County, in northwestern Georgia, is the capital and largest city of the state. Geographically it is surrounded by rolling hills at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains at 320 meters above sea level. The metropolitan area is in 9th place among the cities of the United States and its population is mainly composed of people of color, in fact it is one of the American cities with the highest concentration of African Americans; followed by white, Latino and Asian ethnic groups.


    • A city famous for the Olympics
    • What to see in Atlanta
      • The headquarters of Coca Cola: history of the drink born by mistake
      • The CNN Center: a tour to the center of the news
      • The places of Martin Luther King
      • Center for Civil & Human Rights
      • Midtown neighborhood
      • The Georgia Aquarium and the Zoo
      • Jimmy Carter Presidential Library
      • Stone Mountain Park
      • Atlanta's amusement parks: between Lego and roller coasters
      • Atlanta theaters
    • The Atlanta CityPass
    • Atlanta's most famous events
    • Where to sleep in Atlanta: useful tips for choosing
    • Getting around in Atlanta

    A city famous for the Olympics

    The 1996 Atlanta Olympics played a significant role and, as always happens, brought prestige to the host city. Three years earlier the named Olympic stadium was built Centennial Olympic Stadium (755 Hank Aaron Dr. SE), later used as a baseball stadium and renamed Turner Field and finally closed for good in 2016.

    Another symbol related to the Olympics is the Centennial Olympic Park (265 Park Avenue Dr. NW), a large green area in the city center. Inside is the Fountain of the Rings, the largest interactive fountain in the world. It does not have the classic shape that one would expect because it reproduces the five Olympic circles positioned on a pavement where, four times a day, jets of water sprout from the rings, all with background music. The more tolerant parents let their children jump freely in the splashes of water.

    Remaining in the area and always on the subject of sport, the Philips Arena (1 Philips Dr.) is the perfect place to attend major sporting events such as games for the Atlanta Hawks, the local NBA team.

    What to see in Atlanta

    In Atlanta there are so many things to see for all ages. It is therefore not surprising that in 2010 it was the seventh most visited city in the United States. Our tour in the city center makes a stop at State Capitol (206 Washington St. SW), the neo-classical style building seat of the Georgian government. It is recognized for its golden dome surmounted by a statue nicknamed Miss Freedom.

    Even if the Capitol might not be a must see for some visitors, when the sky is clear and the dome stands out against the blue, the visual-photographic impact is remarkable. Inside are statues of famous Georgian characters, portraits of governors, historical flags and a museum. Close to the State Capitol is the City Hall (68 Mitchell St. SW), the Town Hall, a high-rise building in the Neo-Gothic style.

    The headquarters of Coca Cola: history of the drink born by mistake

    Il museum par excellence in Atlanta, fun and original, is the World of Coca Cola (121 Baker St. NW). Perhaps not everyone knows that Coca Cola, the best known drink in the world, was born by chance on May 8, 1886 thanks to a error by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton who was supposed to create a pain reliever syrup. The result was not a medicine, but the most drunk drink on the face of the earth, without its creator imagining what mass phenomenon would be created around that product.

    Tickets to the World of Coca Cola

    In the building you can follow the historical path of the drink: there are glasses, trays, paintings, posters and much more, you can observe the bottling process, take a picture with the big and smiling polar bear symbol of the brand and even taste it for free. various drinks of the world under the Coca Cola brand. The gift shop is always crowded with customers looking for interesting, new or vintage-style items.

    Info on the CNN - Coca Cola combo tour

    The CNN Center: a tour to the center of the news

    But this city has a lot to offer, such as places of interest that attract thousands of people from all over the world, starting with CNN Center (190 Marietta St. NW), the complex of one of the best known American television networks. At CNN (Cable News Network) a 50-minute guided walking tour starts every twenty minutes during which it is explained how and from where the programs are broadcast: in addition to this you can hear stories about the history of the television channel. There are shops in its atrium, including one dedicated to the CNN channel and another to souvenirs of the city.

    Info on the CNN Studio Tour

    As you know, in the States the shops attached to the places to visit are never lacking! At the CNN Center there is also a food court, a refreshment area in which to choose between different types of food, there is a room for organizing events and overall it is possible to stay overnight at theOmni Hotel, with its modern rooms and suites overlooking the CNN atrium or the city center.

    The places of Martin Luther King

    Speaking of Atlanta one cannot forget about Martin Luther King Jr., arguably its most famous citizen in the world, a Baptist church minister who died at the young age of 39 in Memphis, Tennessee. In a confined area of ​​the city in the Sweet Auburn neighborhood you can visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park which includes some of the most important buildings and monuments related to him including:

    • la home, Christmas (501 Auburn Ave. NE): A two story Queen Anne style house with a porch.
    • la Ebenezer Baptist Church (101 Jackson St. NE) of which he was pastor.
    • its grave (449 Auburn Ave NE) inserted inside a large pool of clear water.

    One of the best ways to start visiting this area of ​​Atlanta can be to start from Visitor Center (450 Auburn Ave NE) where you will find an interactive exhibition on the history of Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement. Here you can also collect all the information you will need to continue the visit on your own. You can reach it by crossing theInternational Civil Rights Walk of Fame.

    Those interested in aspects related to African-American culture and art can go to Downtown at 155 Auburn Ave and visit the museo APEX (African American Panoramic Experience).

    Center for Civil & Human Rights

    For those who want to further explore the history linked to the battles for civil rights of African Americans can go to the Center for Civil & Human Rights (100 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd). It is located in a completely different area of ​​the city than the places described above, the museum is in fact located between the Wolrd of Coca Cola and the Georgia Aquarium. The entrance ticket costs about $ 20 and will allow you to enter, more than inside a museum, in a real time machine that through testimonies, documents and interactive simulations will make you experience what it meant to be an African American in the States. of South Americans during the 60s.

    The main exhibit is located on the second floor of the museum and is titled Rolls Down Like Water: The American Civil Rights Movement. Here the most engaging moment is certainly the simulation of a so-called "Lunch Counter", that is a small restaurant similar to a diner that we all know, in which you will sit down, wear headphones and you can hear firsthand how an African American was addressed. of the time if he dared to sit in a white club. In some moments the chair will also begin to vibrate simulating the action of a person who has kicked you. All this to share in the courage that those who participated in these protest sit-ins had in premises that did not allow black people to enter.

    Tickets for the Center for Civil & Human Rights

    Midtown neighborhood

    Within the lovely Midtown neighborhood you can visit the Botanical Gardens (1345 Piedmont Ave. NE) among palm trees, colorful flowers, aquatic and tropical plants you will find the largest concentration of orchids in the United States. From February to April theOrchid Daze, the celebration of this beautiful flower. In the botanical garden there are also turtles, sculptures and fountains. A Japanese garden well cared for completes the visit to the park.

    Al Piedmont Park (400 Park Dr. NE) you can relax, play sports and fish in the lake while the children have fun in the recreation area. There is also a picnic area where you can enjoy food brought from home or you can take advantage of the stalls on site. This city park is also the scene of numerous events.

    For the little ones Atlanta dedicates a museum in a particular way: The Center for Puppetry Arts (1404 Spring St. NW). Opened in 1987, it houses the largest organization dedicated to the art of puppets and puppets divided into the exhibition sector, education and the museum part. It is an irresistible attraction for children and families to watch classic and new story shows adapted to puppets and marionettes.

    Another noteworthy character is the writer Margaret Mitchell, which won the Pulitzer Prize for the book Gone with the wind (Gone with the Wind), from which the famous film of the same name was based. His house, the Margaret Mitchell House & Museum (979 Crescent Ave. NE) is a three story Tudor Revival house. During the daily tours the motivation that prompted the author to write her best seller is explained and the life of her that she led with her husband of her in the 20s in Atlanta is told.

    Those who are truly nostalgic for Gone with the Wind can also go about 30-40 minutes by car to Marietta where is the Gone by the Wind Museum (18 Whitlock Ave. N-W) e poi a Covington al Tweleve Oaks B&B (2176 Monticello St. SW), as the building inspired the writer and was mentioned in her novel.

    The Georgia Aquarium and the Zoo

    Al Grant park (800 Cherokee Ave. SE), Atlanta's oldest park, surrounded by the historic district of the same name, is located zoo. Animal lovers will find their paradise here, with the opportunity to feed the giraffes, see great bird shows and admire the giant panda. This is one of four US zoos that are lucky enough to host it. There are also children's play areas, food and beverage outlets, shops and a small train on which to enjoy a leisurely tour of the area. If you visit the zoo outside the summer season, before buying your ticket, make sure how many and which animals you will actually be able to see.

    Remaining on the theme of wildlife, an attraction not to be missed is certainly the Georgia Aquarium (225 Barker St. NW), the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere, where, among other things, you can also swim or dive with whales, sharks and manta rays. You will of course also find exhibitions and shows in a 4D cinema.

    Entrance tickets to the Georgia Aquarium

    A few steps from the aquarium is the Children's Museum (275 Centennial Olympic Park Dr. NW). This creative, interactive and educational museum was created with the aim of giving free rein to the creativity of its young guests. Among the various activities proposed there are moments of dancing and singing, a workshop for building, cooking lessons, scientific performances, an artistic study and a moment of reading. If you are traveling with children, it might therefore be a good idea to combine the visit of the aquarium with that of this particular museum.

    Jimmy Carter Presidential Library

    Il Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum (441 Freedom Pkwy) is a museum dedicated to the life and political career of the 2002th American president from Georgia and winner of the 453 Nobel Prize, for finding peace solutions in international conflicts, supporting democracy and human rights, promoting development economic and social through the work done at the Carter Center (XNUMX Freedom Pkwy NE), a non-profit organization. In the museum of this center, in addition to an exhibition that traces the personal and political history of the president, there is also a replica of the "oval room" of the White House in Washington.

    The tones are understandably a bit self-congratulatory (as happens in all Presidential Libraries), but lovers of American history will certainly find the visit pleasant thanks to the well-kept park in which the whole structure was built.

    Stone Mountain Park

    Surely one of the most beautiful, particular and at the same time controversial parks in Atlanta and all of Georgia (it is in fact the most visited attraction in the state). Particular because this park is dominated by a huge rock (in monadnock jargon) that rises up to 500 meters above the surrounding area. Controversial because on the huge wall of this rock the largest bas-relief in the world was carved depicting three of the Southern leaders of the Civil War (Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and Stonewall Jackson).

    Once inside this park you can undertake many activities including reaching the top of Stone Mountain itself or in comfort, by means of a cable car, or by walking. In addition to this it is definitely worth visiting theHistoric Square, a large area created inside the park in which a typical 800th century Georgia village has been reconstructed, also using original buildings of the time.

    It may therefore be a good idea to visit this park given the many activities present (there is also a Luna Park and a theme park dedicated to dinosaurs) if you want to spend a day outdoors combining history and fun. Admission is paid and the price is determined by the number of activities you want to undertake, so I refer you to the official website of the park where you will find an overview with all prices and types.

    Atlanta's amusement parks: between Lego and roller coasters

    In the north area of ​​Atlanta called North Buckhead is the Legoland Discovery Center (3500 Peachtree Rd NE), naturally a world made entirely of Lego where you can wander between the 4D theater, take a tour of the factory where the famous bricks are produced, visit Miniland (a city built with almost one and a half million pieces) , play in an interactive area on a ship, rescue a princess in a castle and visit Merlin's magic potions room. Before visiting, keep in mind that adults must be accompanied by at least one child to enter.

    Tickets for Legoland Atlanta

    West of Atlanta is the amusement park Six Flags Over Georgia (275 Riverside Pkwy SW), belonging to the Six Flags chain also present in other American cities. This park is famous for its spectacular and daring roller coasters. Those who do not have a means of transport can reach it via a bus of the transport company MARTA.

    Atlanta theaters

    For lovers of shows and events we recommend the Fox Theater (660 Peachtree St. NE) in midtown Atlanta. It is a beautiful Moorish-style theater opened in 1929 also referred to as the Fabulous Fox. Previously it was a cinema. The interior is worth a visit even if you don't see a show. You can also take a pleasant walk in the historic district that hosts it.

    For music lovers we recommend the performances of theAtlanta Symphony Orchestra whose performances take place mainly at Woodruff Arts Center (1280 Peachtree St. NE).

    The Atlanta CityPass

    The Atlanta City Pass is a great way to save as it includes entry to the following attractions:

    • Georgia Aquarium with skip the line option
    • World of Coca-Cola
    • CNN studio tour
    • One entrance at your choice between the Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Zoo
    • Admission to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History or the College Football Hall of Fame.

    If you are planning to spend some time in Atlanta exploring it extensively, this is a solution to take absolutely in consideration.

    Info sull’Atlanta City Pass

    Shopping and dining in Atlanta: how to enjoy relaxation in the city

    Four noteworthy shopping malls are: The Mall at Peachtree Center (225 Peachtree St. N-E, downtown), Colony Square Mall (1197 Peachtree St. N-E, midtown), Lenox Square (3393 Peachtree Rd. NE, Buckhead / uptown). Ideal destination for "fashionistas" is Greenbriar Mall (2841 Greenbriar Pkwy SW) approximately ten minutes from Atlanta Airport.

    The city offers a wide choice of restaurants for all tastes and we recommend a few. For lovers of good meat, and in particular that of buffalo which is the local specialty, we recommend Ted's montana grill (133 Luckie St. NW, downtown or 1874 Peachtree Rd., Midtown). This restaurant is also found in other American cities. To the Pittypat’s Porch Restaurant (25 Andrew Young International Blvd NW, downtown) taste classic cuisine with an old southern charm. The restaurant is named after Scarlett O 'Hara's aunt from the movie "Gone with the Wind". The Oceanaire Seafood Room (1100 Peachtree St., midtown) is renowned for its seafood cuisine where excellent seafood is served based on market availability; shrimp and oysters are delicious. This excellent restaurant is also present in other American cities.

    Those who like more exotic dishes can go to No more! Farm & Canteen (180 Walker St. NW, downtown) with its Mexican specialties. Those who have already turned 21 can taste the tequila in the tasting room. For some, combining the meal with a moment of shopping could be interesting and here it can be done in the adjacent area with more than 300 collections created by Mexican artisans. Do not miss theHard Rock Cafe (215 Peachtree St. ne, downtown) which offers good food but attracts visitors mainly for its American rock n roll style and clothing that can be purchased in the shop.

    Atlanta's most famous events

    You can think of visiting Atlanta in conjunction with an event. In the city there are many. The "colored" people of the world gather here in February for the Black History Month Parade. A costume parade, to celebrate the month of "black history". The route starts from Centennial Olympic Park drive and ends at Baker St. Also in February, for the wildest, there is the Mardi Gras Streetcar Adventure. It consists of an afternoon of adventure and exploration, boarding the tram and making eleven stops between attractions, bars and restaurants. Participation in carnival costume is welcome. In July it is time forIce Cream Festival at Piedmont park (521 Park Dr.). Among the various activities we highlight the five-kilometer walk to promote the fight against cancer, skipping rope, throwing the Frisbee, wellness activities and even a free health screening. There is also a hula hoop and ice cream endurance contest.

    La Children’s Christmas Parade which takes place in December along Peachtree St. is the largest Christmas parade in the American Southeast and is the most loved Christmas tradition in Atlanta. The parade of children and young people is cheered up by large balloons inflated with helium depicting puppets and characters, bands and a lot of festive spirit. The event is also covered by the WSB-TV television channel. The parade helps raise money for Atlanta's Children's healthcare hospital. Before the parade, many children and their families have breakfast at the neighbor Four Season Hotel (7514 14th St. NE, downtown) where they meet Santa.

    There is no shortage of ethnic festivals that celebrate the multiculturalism of the city. In March the St. Patrick Day Parade (midtown), in May the Caribbean Festival at Central park (400 Merritts Ave. NE, downtown), in August the Festival Peachtree Latino at Piedmont park (521 Park Dr. NE, midtown) and finally in September the Greek Festival at the Byzantine-style Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation (2500 Clairmont Rd., Clairmont district).

    Where to sleep in Atlanta: useful tips for choosing

    There are many possibilities to stay overnight in Atlanta. We would like to point out a few.

    • The Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel (210 Peachtree St. NW, downtown), from whose elegant rooms and suites you can enjoy a sweeping view of the city thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows. Each morning there is a free copy of the USA Today newspaper available to the customer. In the rooms there is also the kennel for a possible "four-legged" friend. Inside there is a souvenir shop and the famous coffee shop Starbucks. The flagships of this hotel are the Sun Dial, a restaurant with American cuisine (on the 71st floor) and the rooftop bar with its cocktails and its excellent menu (on the 73rd floor). The restaurant has a slow rotation movement to allow customers to enjoy the view of the city from the windows. Panoramic view also from the 72nd floor where there is an observatory. Really beautiful and romantic especially at sunset on a clear day. We also recommend two nice B & Bs where you can stay overnight in a completely different atmosphere.
    • Lo Stonehurst Place (923 Piedmont Ave. NE, midtown) is a historic property with rooms and suites in different styles where white, cream, beige and dark wood predominate. A room with a piano, a dining room and an ideal porch during the summer, complete the building.
    • The Social Goat (548 Robinson Ave. SE, downtown), is a Queen Anne-Victorian style building where you can choose to sleep in rooms, suites and apartments. On the property, which was once a farm, there is a miniature barn. In addition to the owners in the flesh, guests are welcomed by friendly goats, chickens and turkeys.

    All accommodations available in Atlanta

    Getting around in Atlanta

    For those who do not have a means of getting around the city, we recommend using the aforementioned network of buses, trains and underground trains MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) which connects the central and suburban neighborhoods of the Atlanta metropolitan area, while lo street car is a city tram that runs for twelve stops between Centennial Olympic Park, the Martin Luther King Jr Site and the eastern districts of the city. Anyone wishing to travel from the Atlanta metropolitan area will find the Amtrak train station al 168 di Peachtree St. N-W.

    The reference airport of Atlanta is theHartsfield–Jackson, located between the neighborhoods of College Park and Hapeville. Transfers to and from the airport are carried out through the services of MARTA. Enjoy the countless possibilities that the city offers to its visitors of all ages and tastes. Enjoy Atlanta!

    If, after reading what the city of Atlanta has to offer, you want to find out more about the attractions of this state in the South of the United States, read our article on Top 10 of Georgia.

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