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Family Vacations and Reviews
Atlanta, Georgia can be a great city to visit, especially if you live in the Southeast and can drive there. There are all sorts of fun family vacation activities both in and around the city. There is a wide variety of hotels, excellent shopping, and lots of great restaurants.
World of Coca-Cola
World of Coca-Cola
Right in the heart of downtown Atlanta you will find the World of Coca-Cola (aka the Coke Museum). This is a great location because it is right by the Georgia Aquarium and the Olympic Park. At the Coke Museum you will get to see all sorts of fun Coke memorabilia. You'll also learn about the history of Coca-Cola and see how Coke is made and bottled. Be sure to catch the 4-D movie and spend some time in the "Taste It!" area where you can sample over 100 different Coke flavors.
Right next to the Coke Museum is the Georgia Aquarium where thousands of aquatic animals live inside a 10 million gallon aquarium. Some of the most popular exhibits (at the time of this writing) include beluga whales, whale sharks, piranha, and dolphins. In one exhibit, you walk through a glass tunnel with the fish swimming directly overhead. We found this experience alone worth the price of admission. Be sure to check out the dolphin shows and the 4D movie as well.
Centennial Olympic Park
While at the Aquarium and World of Coke, you can walk right over to the Centennial Olympic Park. There is a large fountain that the kids can run through on hot days. The park provides good views of the Atlanta skyline and (at the time of this writing) there is a large Ferris wheel called SkyView Atlanta that you can ride to get even better views of the city.
Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
Not too far from the Olympic Park is the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site (not close enough to walk, though). This site is run by the National Park Service. There is a visitor center where you can get more information about the site as well as see an exhibit about Martin Luther King, Jr. called "Courage to Lead." You can register at the visitor center to tour Martin's childhood home. Note: the number of people that can tour is limited. We don't know how difficult it is to get on a tour. Other sites include the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Dr. King's tomb, the BEHOLD Monument, and the "I Have a Dream" World Peace Rose Garden.
Olympic Park and Atlanta Skyline
Stone Mountain Park
About a thirty minute drive east of downtown Atlanta (depending on traffic) is Stone Mountain Park. This can be a great place to visit with the family for some outdoor fun. If your kids are older and up for a hike, we recommend hiking to the top of the mountain. It's a good workout and the views from the top are beautiful. The hike is around 1.3 miles long, but it can be fairly steep at times. If you don't want to hike, you can also take the Skyride to the top.
If you are there in the summer, we highly recommend checking out the Stone Mountain Laser Show at night. You can sit on the large lawn and watch as the lasers shine a spectacular show against the side of the mountain and on the memorial carving.
Other things to do at Stone Mountain include a riverboat ride, tour the Antebellum Plantation, visit the Great Barn for lots of children's activities, and take a ride on the Stone Mountain Scenic Railroad. Depending on how much you want to do you can spent anywhere from half a day to two days visiting this beautiful park.
If you like baseball, then you are going to want to visit Turner Field for a Braves game while in Atlanta. Be sure to plan your trip while the Braves are in town. You can drive to the stadium and park or take the MARTA train to the game.
American Girl Doll Store
If you have a daughter who likes American Girl Dolls you won't want to miss the American Girl Doll Store in Atlanta. It is located north of the city at North Point Mall in Alpharetta. This is a decent drive, but worth it if you are into American Girl Dolls.
Six Flags Over Georgia
Around 20 minutes west of downtown Atlanta is the theme park Six Flags Over Georgia. It is packed with all sorts of rides from kiddie rides to roller coasters.
Other attractions of interest include the High Museum of Art, the CNN Studio Tour, Zoo Atlanta, and the Fernbank Museum of Natural History.
Fun Facts about Atlanta
- The word Peachtree is used in the names of more than 55 different streets in Atlanta.
- The Bank of America Plaza building in Atlanta is the tallest building in the US outside of New York and Chicago.
- The sculpture on the side of Stone Mountain is the largest bas-relief sculpture in the world.
- The largest drive-in fast food restaurant in the world is the Varsity in Midtown Atanta.
- Most of the city was burned during the Civil War.
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