Our adventure began at Chicago Midway airport with a very late arrival at Atlanta airport. We underestimated that Atlanta airport is the busiest airport in the world. The airport is huge and did not go well with a tired teenager.
Before traveling in or out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, have a digital or printed map. A general idea of how to get to and from your terminal will save you frustration and time.
The first thing you want to do is get a CityPass. The pass allows you to visit the five top attractions (Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, and Zoo Atlanta, then pick two attractions from the following National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, or the College Football Hall of Fame) for one price.
Georgia Aquarium – Day 1
There are several areas to sit and watch sea life, from the smallest fish to the giant whale sharks. The crowd level was low while we were there, making the viewing spectacular. We never felt rushed to move to give others a turn. Many exhibits give you the feeling of being underwater without getting wet. Viewing areas designed to go from the floor and over your head gives you the feeling of being underwater. It is incredible to look up and see a whale shark swimming over your head.
If you visit the George Aquarium while school is in session, crowd levels are lower. There is so much to see. I suggest planning on spending most of your day there.
Truist Park Tour – Day 2
If you love baseball touring Truist Park is a must. The guided tour is around USD 25 per person for 2 hours. The highlights were being in the press box, on the field, and sitting in the Braves dugout! It was a great deal. The best part was that I got to experience it with my daughter. At first, she didn’t want to go, but she was so glad she went. One important note is that tickets must be purchased for at least one day, so plan accordingly.
Atlanta Zoo – Day 3
The Atlanta zoo was full of animal antics during our visit. I don’t think I have ever been to a zoo when the animals were so active. Sophia was excited to see the orangutans and giraffes. I loved seeing the pandas and elephants. With a great layout getting around is a piece of cake. It was a fantastic day.
Hyatt Place Hotel Downtown
As for accommodations, you can’t do any better than the Hyatt Place Hotel Downtown. Located a short walk (across the street) from the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, National Center for Civil and Human Rights. The Olympic Centennial Park and College Football Hall of Fame are a short walk.
World of Coca-Cola – Day 4
Explore the history of the world’s most famous beverage brand at the World of Coca-Cola—the dynamic multimedia home of Coke’s secret formula. Get closer than ever to the vault that holds the secret Coca-Cola recipe. See over 1,200 rare artifacts and get a behind-the-scenes look at the bottling process. Then take a trip worldwide in a thrilling 3-D movie experience before sampling more than 100 different beverages.
Our highlight was the tasting room. We were able to try 60 international types of Coke. My favorite was cucumber Sprite. I’m not going to lie; there were a few that I could have done without trying.
The World of Coca-Cola and the College Football Hall of Fame perfectly match. We arrived right after they opened, so we didn’t need to rush and still had the afternoon for the Hall of Fame.
Plan plenty of time to spend in the gift shop after your tour. Also, ask about the surprise bags that can be purchased at checkout. There are different sizes to choose from, but if you love a deal as I do, you will probably get all three. I was shocked at how much stuff was in each.
College Football Hall of Fame – Day 4
On arrival, you select a college team and are given a player pass. Your pass allows you to have a visit tailored to you based on your chosen school. While you are there, talk to Terry LeCount, a retired NFL player. Terry took the time to show us around and make our visit more memorable. Before finishing your day, head to the Chick-fil-a indoor 45-yard football field. While there, try your luck kicking a 20-yard field goal and throwing a touchdown pass. I wasn’t great at either. Here is a Pro tip for you; wear gym shoes.
The 1996 Summer Olympic Games Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park, a 22-acre (9-hectare) site that remains one of the city’s top public spaces. Come to splash in—or photograph—the park’s central icon, the Fountain of Rings, a computer-controlled fountain with lights and jets of water that display the Olympic logo. The park is also a free attraction.
Our time in Atlanta was just a tiny snippet of what Atlanta offers. It is well worth visiting. Next time, I think we will go a little later in the spring. Hopefully, it will be less gloomy.