Hot ‘Lanta

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear of Atlanta? The Georgia Aquarium? World of Coca-Cola? Or something else?

Atlanta, one of the busiest cities in the U.S., is defined by many things – Peachtree Road, 1996 Summer Olympics, Georgia Aquarium, and so on. The city is full of life and has many things to offer. When I was asked to travel to Atlanta for my first ever project trip, I was more than happy to be going to a new place to explore!

Where Did I Stay?

To be closer to my office which is in Downtown Atlanta, I stayed at the Ellis Hotel on Peachtree Street. It’s a decent but expensive option to stay and I’m sure you can find cheaper ones in and around Downtown.

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Downtown Atlanta

What Did I Do?

It honestly was difficult to visit all the places I wanted to because I was on a business trip which meant that I had time only post 5 pm every day. Also, most of the attractions end up closing at 5 pm. Trying my best to see as many places as I could, here are all the things I did in Atlanta!

Centennial Olympic Park

About 15 minutes from the hotel, the Centennial Olympic Park was built by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games as a part of the 1996 Summer Olympics.

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Centennial Olympic Park

It wasn’t too crowded when I went and there was a sense of peacefulness at the Park. There are mini waterfalls that you can walk down to and sit around, quite some Olympic history to read about and pretty cherry blossoms to admire. If you cross the road, you’ll see the World of Coca-Cola, the Georgia Aquarium and the CNN Studio Tours on the opposite side. Though everything was shut apart from the Aquarium, I walked around the World of Coca-Cola for a bit. If you’ve heard about the Pencil Building; the Bank of America Plaza which is the 107th tallest building in the world can directly be seen from here.

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The Pencil Building

Georgia Aquarium

I had heard great things about the Georgia Aquarium and couldn’t wait to explore it; I mean it was the largest aquarium in the world at one point and now ranks fourth! It’s fairly easy to get a ticket here, as you don’t really need to stand in a line at the ticket counter for a person to give you a ticket. They have kiosks right outside the aquarium that you can easily get tickets from. After getting it scanned, I made my way inside.

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The Ocean Voyager Exhibit at the Georgia Aquarium

Get a map for this place from the entrance because there are a lot of exhibits here! You can start wherever you want, but I recommend ending your tour at the Ocean Voyager. This aquarium was nothing like the other ones I’ve been to – it’s the best one so far! The exhibits are beautiful and well maintained. They’re immersive and you feel like being there for a long time. The Ocean Voyager exhibit that I’m recommending to end your tour with, will leave you spellbound. There are small steps that you can sit on or feel free to sit close to the glass as well but spend some time here. It’s quiet and peaceful and I assure you that you will feel content and happy here. I tried penning down this experience into words but what you’ll feel is beyond that.

Piedmont Park

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Piedmont Park

While I was searching for things to do in Atlanta in the evenings, I came across this park which was a 10-minute ride from my hotel. Piedmont Park is huge but beautiful. The best part? You can see Atlanta’s skyline from here. I strolled around the Piedmont Park trail for a bit and then decided to visit my next spot.

Ponce City Market

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Ponce City Market

The Ponce City Market was a 30-minute walk from the Park so I decided to walk it out instead of taking a cab. The Market is famously known for the variety of food it offers in the form of small food stalls along with some boutiques and stores to shop. While I didn’t have any plans for shopping, I was definitely going to try some food out there!

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Ponce City Market

It took me a little while to find the food market but when I found it and was walking through it, I could smell so many aromas! Of course, that made me hungry and I decided to have small plates at a couple of stalls and then get dessert at a third one. Do I really need to say how good the food was?! I also tried cookie dough ice-cream for the first time here and loved it so much that I decided to take some back to Denver as my flight was the next day.

World of Coca-Cola

On the day when I was supposed to fly back to Denver, I took a chance to visit the World of Coca-Cola for a very short span of time before heading to the airport. The reason I couldn’t visit it on any other day was that it shuts at 5 pm and I was usually still at work till then. Luckily, there wasn’t a huge line at the ticket counter and with an hour to spare, I rushed in.

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World of Coca-Cola

The moment you enter, they welcome you with your choice of Coca-Cola beverage. (Yes, you can take more than one. ;)) Then, they guide you towards a room where they tell you about the history of Coca-Cola. After that, they provide an overview of the different exhibits like the Vault of the Secret Formula, Bottle Works, Milestones of Refreshment, and the Tasting Room. I went to a couple of exhibits first and then stood in the line to take a picture with the Polar Bear! Then, I tried some Coca-Cola beverages in the Tasting Room that were from different parts of the world. They’ve divided the beverages by continents and you can taste as many as you want to!

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World of Coca-Cola

After getting some souvenirs from the Coca-Cola store, I made my way back to the hotel to grab my luggage and head to the airport just in time for my flight.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • If you have a good amount of time in this city, you have the option of buying the Atlanta CityPASS for $76. It’s valid at five attractions – Georgia Aquarium, CNN Studio Tours, World of Coca-Cola and you get to choose the last two attractions. You’ll end up saving up to 40% on regular ticket prices and it also saves time at entry. And don’t worry, it’s valid for nine days!
  • The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest airport in the world by total passenger traffic annually so try to be at the airport well ahead of your boarding time.
  • I didn’t feel unsafe here but try to avoid roaming outside alone post 9 pm if you’re new to the city as it gets quite dark.

Overall, I think I managed pretty well with the amount of time I had. Have you visited Atlanta yet? Let me know some places that you’ve been to! I would love to know. 🙂

4 Comments on “Hot ‘Lanta

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