Atlanta: A Quick Trip
WHALE SHARK: Guests view the fish and whale shark at the Georgia Aquarium. ©2014, Gene Phillips, Courtesy of ACVB & AtlantaPhotos.com; COKE BOTTLES: The World of Coca-Cola in Centennial Olympic Park. Giant bottle display in main exhibit hall. ©2010, Kevin C. Rose, Courtesy of ACVB & AtlantaPhotos.com; FOUNTAINS: The SkyView Atlanta ferris wheel, surrounded by the downtown Atlanta skyline with kids playing in Centennial Olympic Park Fountain. ©2013, Gene Phillips, Courtesy of ACVB & AtlantaPhotos.com; DUSK: Centennial Olympic Park fountain at dusk, looking back toward buildings. ©2014, Gene Phillips, Courtesy of ACVB & AtlantaPhotos.com
Love to travel? To visit new places but have to do it on a budget? If you’ve never been, Atlanta may be the ticket! After all, they don’t call it Hot-lanta for nothing.
Because it’s a major airline hub, you can hop on a plane to the Georgia city for a deal most times. Bonus? The flights are almost always a direct shot. From Philadelphia, you can be there 1.5 hours from the time you’re wheels up.
Where to Stay
We particularly enjoyed our visit to the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, especially as we visited during a particularly unusual cold snap in January and it was one of the only downtown properties with an indoor pool. Even nicer was that it was a good size and had a glass canopy roof, allowing you to enjoy lush tropical plants during your dip – even as the thermometer read a mere 34 degrees outside.
The rooms have incredibly comfortable beds for a wonderful night’s sleep after a day out exploring the town. If you want to splurge, go for club access. It includes complimentary breakfast and daily snacks and drinks, sometimes featuring a southern flair (think grits and biscuits).
Where to Go: Under the Sea
If you’re a fan of marine life, you have to plan a trip to the nearby Georgia Aquarium. It’s home to plenty of unique creatures, like Beluga whales, Manta rays and one exclusive to the property – the Whale shark. Be sure to read over your times guide to see when their scheduled feeding is to catch it in action. It’s simply amazing.
Especially neat for the kiddos is that the aquarium really took the time to make many of the exhibits interactive. There are glass tunnels for tykes to get an up-close view at the penguins, piranhas and more. Very cool.
But be sure to purchase your admission tickets in advance. The aquarium is immensely popular and crowds are staggered so you’re not crammed in and unable to get a good view.
A Touch of Hollywood
Atlanta – it has a Golden-Globe winning TV show by the same name, and has become quite the attraction in the filming industry. Just ask the folks at Atlanta Movie Tours. The group does a variety of tours on a regularly rotating schedule, but perhaps the most popular of itineraries offered belongs to those focused on one of Atlanta’s biggest names: The Walking Dead. In fact, there are three tours offered focused on a look into shooting sites from the television mega hit, set in Atlanta, Senoia and other rural parts of Georgia.
We chose and loved Big Zombie Tour #2. Boarding a television-equipped shuttle in the city, we took the roughly 45-minute drive to Senoia, viewing an episode of the show to pass the time. Before the tour itself we did all things Walking Dead in the small town: shopped in The Woodbury Shoppe, and grabbed a bite at The Walking Dead Café. For fans, it’s a must-do.
You might be aware that the city’s football team, the Atlanta Falcons, recently punched their playoff ticket to the Super Bowl in Houston after defeating the Green Bay Packers during the last game to be played at the Georgia Dome. If you’re a fan of the team or football in general, it may be worth the trip to schedule a trip to the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium set to open for next season. The one-of-a-kind architectural design is unique to say the least, and quite a site to be seen.
And that’s just the tip of the ice berg! Atlanta is also home to the famous World of Coca-Cola, Centennial Olympic Park, the famous Atlanta Zoo pandas and more, making it a great spot for a fun family getaway!