The city of Atlanta has a rich history. Though it is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, it is also one of the cleanest. It is the only city in North America that has been destroyed by fire as an act of war. It is often referred to as the birth place of the civil rights movement. Numerous well known businesses such as Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola, and CNN originated in Atlanta; many other major corporations are based there. Atlanta (and the surrounding area) is filled with dozens of family friendly attractions. Visitors can purchase a CityPass and save 45% on five must-see Atlanta attractions - http://www.citypass.com/atlanta. Several of the attractions are within walking distance of each other.
World of Coca-Cola - http://www.worldofcoca-cola.com/ - (City Pass Attraction)
The World of Coca-Cola is appropriate for all ages. Anyone interested in nostalgic memorabilia will especially enjoy the attraction. A visit includes a brief presentation about Coca-Cola's history, facts about some of the most valuable on-site memorabilia, and a short animated movie in the Happiness Factory Theater. The self-guided portion of a visit allows patrons to have their photos taken with the iconic Coca-Cola bear, the opportunity to see how the soft drink is bottled, and a chance to sample Coke products from around the world. The Pop Culture Gallery features Coca-Cola in various art forms. There's a 4D experience called, "In Search of the Secret Formula". Favorite Coca-Cola commercials from previous decades can also be viewed. Merchandise is available for purchase in the store. There is a fee for parking in the Coca-Cola parking garage.
Location: 121 Baker Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30313-1807 (Parking Garage Address: 178 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd., Atlanta, GA 30313-1807)
Phone Number: 800-676-2653 or 404-676-5151
Plan Your Visit: http://www.worldofcoca-cola.com/planyourvisit.htm
Six Flags Over Georgia (Atlanta) - http://www.sixflags.com/overGeorgia/index.aspx
Six Flags Over Georgia is a roller coaster rider's paradise. Many of the coasters have jaw-dropping plunges and turns. The park is home to some of the fastest, tallest rides in the country, including a few record-breakers. Have no fear; there is a section in the park especially designed for younger children. Click this link to view the Six Flags list of 45 fun things for kids - http://www.sixflags.com/overGeorgia/rides/45FunThingsforKids.aspx. The park is shady because of its numerous trees and natural landscaping. One of the best places to sit back, relax, and enjoy the fresh air is in the old-fashioned rocking chairs located at the Riverview Carousel. (Be prepared for many ups and downs due to the hilly terrain.) Six Flags is a smoke-free park. There is a fee for on-site parking.
Location: 275 Riverside Parkway, SW, Austell, GA 30168
Phone Number: 770-948-9290
Plan Your Visit: http://www.sixflags.com/overGeorgia/info/parkInfo.aspx
Fernbank Museum - http://fernbankmuseum.org - (City Pass Attraction)
The grounds of the Fernbank Museum of Natural History are beautifully landscaped. The Dinosaur Entrance Plaza is extremely impressive. One of the museum's most spectacular exhibits is the Giants of the Mesozoic located in the museum's Great Hall. There visitors can stand next to fossil replicas of the world's largest dinosaurs. Permanent exhibitions include: A Walk Through Time in Georgia, Reflections of Culture, Conveyed in Clay: Stories from St. Catherines Island, Sensing Nature, World of Shells, and the Curator's Corner. The Star Gallery, Fernbank Forest, and the Rose Garden are permanent features at Fernbank. On-site parking is free.
Location: 767 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
Phone Number: 404-929-6300
Plan Your Visit: http://fernbankmuseum.org/visit-fernbank/
Zoo Atlanta - http://zooatlanta.org/ - (City Pass Attraction)
Zoo Atlanta is easy to navigate. By following the visitor's map guests are able to see all of the animal exhibits without getting lost or missing any of the animal habitats. The zoo is well shaded and the animals can be seen from several angles in most exhibits. Babies and children in strollers can ride easily through the zoo. Zoo Atlanta is home to a Giant Panda family. For a fee, guests can feed birds, giraffes, and small animals in the petting area. The World of Reptiles is air-conditioned and offers a variety of snakes and other creatures. There is no smoking allowed inside the zoo. On-site parking is free.
Location: 800 Cherokee Avenue, SE, Atlanta (Historic Grant Park), GA 30315
Phone Number: 404-624-9453
Plan Your Visit: http://www.zooatlanta.org/home/trip_planner
CNN Studio Tour - http://www.cnn.com/tour/ - (City Pass Attraction)
Go inside CNN's world headquarters - the largest of its 48 bureaus worldwide. The 55 minute guided walking tour begins with a ride on an escalator that climbs eight floors. On the tour visitors learn how a live broadcast is produced and sent to viewers all over the world. Guests can see and hear live video and audio feeds. The tour provides a chance to see inside a working studio and newsroom. Both CNN and HLN studios are located inside the CNN building. Tours depart approximately every 10 minutes. Visitors are assigned specific tour times. Advanced reservations are recommended. Entrance into the CNN building is free. The public area includes a food court and specialty retail stores. Centennial Park deck offers a parking discount with a CNN tour ticket stub.
Location: 190 Marietta Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone Number: 1-877-4CNN-TOUR or 404-827-2300
Plan Your Visit: http://www.cnn.com/tour/index.html
Georgia Aquarium - http://www.georgiaaquarium.org/ - (City Pass Attraction)
Georgia Aquarium is open 365 days a year. The hours of operation vary. Sundays through Thursdays are the least crowded days to visit the aquarium. Deepo's 4-D Theater has limited seating but multiple shows throughout the day. One of the aquarium's best experiences is the AT&T Dolphin Tales show. It incorporates talented dolphins, talented actors, and special effects. Tickets for the dolphin show often sell out so it's best to get tickets upon arrival. Kids should bring socks for playing in the children's play area. The exhibits and galleries include: Ocean Voyager, River Scout, Georgia Explorer, and Cold Water Quest. Each area is home to specific types of aquatic animals. Be sure to look for the completely white albino alligators.
Location: 225 Baker Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30313
Phone Number: 404-581-4000
Plan Your Visit: http://www.georgiaaquarium.org/plan-your-visit/
Underground Atlanta - http://www.underground-atlanta.com/
Underground Atlanta is located in the heart of downtown Atlanta. It offers retail shops, specialty and gift shops, fast food, entertainment, and special events. There are also fine restaurants in the area. Several popular family attractions are only blocks away. Read about the history of Underground Atlanta by clicking this link: http://underground-atlanta.com/about-us/history-of-underground.html.
Location: 50 Upper Alabama Street, Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone Number: 404-523-2311
Plan Your Visit: http://underground-atlanta.com/about-us/nearby-attractions.html
For assistance with planning a trip to Atlanta, contact the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. They can provide suggestions about what to do, where to stay, and special events. Click this link to visit their website: http://www.atlanta.net/.
For an Atlanta Visitors Guide click here: http://www.atlanta.net/Visitors/AtlantaNow.html
Special thanks to Chelsea Pelletier, the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, Laura Brown, and the Six Flags Over Georgia Public Relations Department for their assistance with this article.