There’s a reason Atlanta, Georgia, is one of America’s most popular travel destinations. Known for its Southern hospitality, sweet peaches and amazing attractions, it’s the perfect place to have fun and do business.
Atlanta is a major center of transportation, news and industry. It has the world’s busiest airport and serves as headquarters for several multinational corporations.
Coca-Cola®, for example, was invented in Atlanta in 1886, and now welcomes visitors to its factory/museum. On the World of Coca-Cola tour, visitors get a close-up look at the bottling process, enjoy a thrilling, 4-D movie experience, and can opt to sample more than 60 international beverages produced by the company. During the two-hour tour, guests will also see memorabilia, posters, vintage ads and artifacts, and get as close as they’ll ever be to Coca-Cola’s top-secret formula.
Another local icon is CNN, whose global headquarters are based in Atlanta. Visitors can tour this massive news operation and perhaps catch a glimpse of their favorite CNN newscaster. After ascending the world’s longest, freestanding escalator, visitors on the Inside CNN Studio Tour get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at CNN’s operations.
Also making a splash is the Georgia Aquarium. Known for its stunning beluga whale and dolphin shows, it’s a 10-million gallon wonderland of undersea fun. It also has water-loving mammals and birds, from cavorting sea otters to parading African penguins.
Step back to the days of the dinosaurs with a visit to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Inside the Giants of the Mesozoic exhibit, you’ll see Argentinosaurus, the largest land animal ever to walk the planet. Close behind is the Giganotosaurus. The names of these dinosaurs alone are enough to make the ground shiver and shake.
For a more contemporary look at animals, head to Zoo Atlanta, which boasts America’s only twin giant pandas and the country’s largest collection of gorillas and orangutans.
Two new attractions opened in Atlanta in 2014: The Center for Civil and Human Rights, which connects America’s Civil Rights Movement—as well as Atlanta’s pivotal role in that journey—to other human rights struggles around the globe, both contemporary and historical; and the College Football Hall of Fame. The Center for Civil and Human Rights features a rotating exhibition of the personal papers and items of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; the interactive “Spark of Conviction” gallery, which gives guests an understanding of how the struggle for human rights affects every person on the planet; and a re-creation of a Freedom Rider bus and other Civil Rights touchstones.
Goalposts and gridiron are at the heart of the newly opened College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience. This high-tech homage to American college football is state-of-the-art and highly interactive. On a 45-yard replica of a football field, guests can take a shot at kicking a field goal, move on to a quarterback challenge to rate their throwing accuracy, and wrap it all up with an obstacle course that tests agility and flexibility.
Before you leave Atlanta, take a journey through time and across continents at the High Museum of Art, where renowned collections of African, European, American, folk and contemporary art are housed in equally stunning buildings designed by famed architects Richard Meier and Renzo Piano.
Money-saving Tips: Atlanta is one of 11 American destinations that offer the CityPASS program. Each Atlanta CityPASS ticket booklet saves travelers more than 40 percent off combined admission to five attractions: the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Inside CNN Studio Tour, a choice between Zoo Atlanta or the Center for Civil and Human Rights, and a choice between Fernbank Museum of Natural History or the College Football Hall of Fame. The Fountain of Rings, the centerpiece of Centennial Olympic Park and the world’s largest interactive fountain, offers four free “Fountain of Rings” shows per day.