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Atlanta, Georgia

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Did You Know…?

  • Atlanta’s Georgia Grown Farmer’s Market is the world’s largest, covering 150 acres.
  • About half of all Georgians live in Atlanta’s metropolitan area.
  • The Confederate Memorial Carving at Stone Mountain Park is the world’s largest relief sculpture.
  • On average, 13,000 of Coca-Cola’s beverages are consumed per second worldwide.
  • The Georgia Aquarium is the world’s largest with 8 million gallons of water.

Remembering Scarlett, Dr. King

Atlanta is a well-rounded American city where visitors come for the arts and entertainment, to remember some uniquely American chapters in history and for conventions and other business or personal interests. The city’s attractions also include a mild climate and southern hospitality (sometimes delivered by transplanted northerners).

Many people see Georgia’s capital for the first time while on a business trip. Others come because they want to see the new South or visit friends and relatives.

Visitors find a bustling business center, with all the usual amenities, plus parks and a variety of museums and other attractions meant to entertain locals and visitors alike. Atlanta offers a fine collection of art galleries and music choices, including the city’s symphony. Stone Mountain Park and Six Flags Over Georgia are near at hand, as well.

The best known of the city’s enterprises are a soft-drink business, Coca-Cola, and a news business, CNN. Both are global operations, and visitors can gain more insight into both during on-site guided tours.

In modern times, Georgia’s capital may have come to be appreciated for its galleries and cultural activities, but it first appears on the radar for most Americans as the city that General Sherman famously burned.

Indeed, for those who qualify as Civil War junkies, Atlanta is a must-visit. Fortunately, the Union Army did not manage to burn everything in it — leaving us with some antebellum and Civil War mementos to pursue. We also have the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History.

Scarlett O’Hara is a fictional character, but “Gone With the Wind,” the book where she was born, popularized one version of this city’s past and also has generated a package of sightseeing attractions for the visitor.

In a fine twist, the city that took a punishing beating in the war that ended slavery in America became a center of the modern civil rights movement. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is remembered at a national historic site that encompasses his birthplace and his burial site. For history buffs or those with an African-American focus, it too is a must-see.

Things to do for Venturers

  • In the wee hours of the morning, eat chicken and waffles, a unique combo meant to capture dinner and breakfast, dating from 1930s Harlem and recreated at Gladys Knight and Ron Winans Chicken and Waffles. The restaurant stays open until 4 a.m. on weekends.
  • Go canoeing or kayaking on the Chattahoochee River. Or, ride a bicycle along the river.
  • Ride a giant roller coaster called Goliath, which rises 200 feet above Six Flags Over Georgia. Or get your thrills aboard the flying roller coaster called Superman Ultimate Flight, which features pretzel-shaped inverted loops.  Or, go for the hydro thrills at Six Flags White Water. For example, there is the Cliffhanger, which has you dropping nine stories in one of the tallest free falls on Earth.
  • Here is one for the venturesome family: Book a Family NightCrawler overnight at Zoo Atlanta for after-hours encounters with the animals and other activities.
  • Visit the Little Five Points area for the city’s coolest neighborhood for art, theater and alternative bars and restaurants.
  • Attend the National Black Arts Festival in July; it is the world’s largest celebration of African-American art.  Alternatively, attend a production by the True Colors Theatre Company, which is committed to staging groundbreaking plays by African-Americans.

Things to do for Centrics

  • Attend a cabaret show, or choose a night of jazz or the blues. Attend the annual Atlanta Jazz Festival.
  • Order southern specialties like barbeque, fried chicken and salmon croquettes at Mary Mac’s Tea Room. Tell your waiter you are a first-timer and you receive a complimentary bowl of pot likker with cornbread.
  • Take the 55-minute, behind-the-scenes CNN Studio Tour, which includes the main newsroom, the control room theater and special effects theater.
  • Follow the Atlanta Campaign Heritage Trail. This driving journey follows the routes taken by the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War campaigns of 1863 and 1864.
  • Fashion a “Gone With the Wind” day. Tour the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum, and see the Gone With the Wind Movie Museum. Time this right and you can hear well-known authors read during an evening reception at the Margaret Mitchell House.  Then have dinner at PittyPat’s Porch, a downtown restaurant decorated with book and movie memorabilia. Sit on the porch as waitresses in hoop skirts serve mint juleps. (There are related museums in Jonesboro and Marietta, as well.)
  • Visit the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site which includes a visitor center, the restored home where King was born, the Ebenezer Baptist Church where three generations of Kings preached and King’s burial site.

Things to do for Authentics

  • Take the kids to places you will love, too: the Yellow River Game Ranch, which shows off animals that eat out of your hand — and a few you don’t want to get that close to, and the Kangaroo Conservation Center, home to the largest population of kangaroos outside Australia.
  • Be the subject of a caricature drawing or have your fortune told in Underground Atlanta, which occupies six city blocks in the city’s downtown. Also, shop there in specialty stores and from street-cart merchants.
  • Visit the Carter Center, site of the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum. It stands on a hill where it is said General Sherman sat to watch Atlanta burn. Sherman used the house that once stood on the hill as his headquarters.
  • During a tour of the World of Coca-Cola, taste 23 exotic beverages that Coca-Cola makes abroad but not in the U.S.
  • Dine in a 200-year-old antebellum home, at the upscale Anthony’s restaurant in Buckhead.
  • Take a guided walking tour of Oakland Cemetery, noted for its Victorian statuary, where nearly 3,000 Confederate soldiers, 16 Union soldiers and “Gone With the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell are buried.

Additional Resources

For more information, consult the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.atlanta.net