When I think Atlanta, I think Usher, John Mayer, and Ludacris who all got their big musical breaks in ATL. So forgive me if I ever thought Atlanta was only good for parties and good music. This is a very hip hop centric city based on what we see in the media. As a traveler, I'm always looking to do some sightseeing and when I found myself in Atlanta, I didn't want any different. I didn't want the regular party and drink scene, I wanted to see more of the city from a tourist and exploration point of view. Here are some of the things I did there.
Skyview Atlanta is basically a gondola ride that gives a great view of Downtown Atlanta. It is a 20 story ride with a scenic view of the city. Downtown Atlanta is home to CNN, Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Centennial Olympic Park, 191 Peach Tree and so on. This to me is the best thing about Atlanta. A tourist’s dream is to have all the attractions close to each other, so major points for Atlanta there!
I love aquariums and the opportunity to see different species of animals and truly embrace and appreciate nature and this is why I knew a stop at the Georgia Aquarium was a must. This aquarium is open to the public and you can buy the tickets online. Georgia Aquarium has seven major galleries and is home to hundreds of species and thousands of animals, all of which reside in more than 10 million US gallons of fresh and saltwater. If you ever do visit Atlanta, make sure to stop by at this place as you'll get the chance to learn so much as well as see some really cool animals in their national habitat, because who doesn't want that?
Martin Luther King Jr. National History Park
Any opportunity to visit the Martin Luther King Jr. establishment is always welcome, so I definitely jumped on the chance to see the national history park. MLK definitely did a lot for the Black community and was a strong voice in his time (still is!). This park is a great way to learn more about the history, life and work of the civil rights leader. At 35 acres, it is also quite huge, which I think is befitting of a man of his calibre. I recommend anyone who wants to learn more about MLK and the great work he did as a civil rights activist, to visit this national history park, as well as other MLK parks around the United States.
Honestly the most stunning park on this list, and arguably one of the most beautiful parks in the United States. And it just happens to be in Atlanta, Georgia! How cool? This land was originally owned by Dr. Benjamin Walker and it used to be hos out of town farm and residence. It has since been converted into a tourist hotspot for people to enjoy. You can have a picnic here or come here with friends to cool off after a long day walking and exploring. There's a scenic river and this place was used to host some music festivals when things were still normal back in the day. Thoroughly enjoyed this one.
Do not go to Atlanta without doing this. I repeat. Do not go to Atlanta without doing this. It’s amazing how a behind-the-scenes action can give you so much insight on something you thought you already knew and this was exactly what this experience did for me. The place is calm on the outside but absolutely chaotic on the inside. Major props to the people who work in such a fast-paced, changing environment as this. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring this place and learning more about this news giant. I caught a few live shows (from the outside of course) and enjoyed learning so much here.
World of Coca-Cola
This one made me remember business school and the endless case studies we had to dissect . I remember how the history of Coca-Cola, one of the biggest brands in the world was hammered on but nothing gave me insight and great understanding as much as a tour around the World of Coca-Cola did. This is a museum where you get to see the history of the Coca Cola Company and the behind the scenes of some of the products. It's a 20-acre complex that's open to tourists who want to learn more about the iconic company. I left there feeling an urgent need to build myself a legacy. This is what I love about traveling, a chance to learn and gain insight.
Centennial Olympic Park
This was where the 1996 Olympic games happened and this place is packed with so much history. The fascinating thing about this place was that people donated $35 to fund the walkways for the Olympics and they had their names engraved on the bricks that they bought which was about 500,000. Amazing the magic that can happen when people decide to come together! BUT, that's not all there is to the Centennial Olympic Park. There's more! This is also the place where a terrorist pipe bomb attack happened, which was also during the summer olympics. A very sad time as one person was killed with over 100 people injured. Another person in the bomb attack later died of a heart attack. This place is packed with history and I honored the grounds I walked on.
My final thoughts
I found Atlanta to be pretty decent. There are lots of hotspots to visit and explore. The city has it all really - from the great food to the beautiful monuments. I did party (can you blame me?) but I also saw a different side of the city than what I'm used to from the media, so I definitely met my goal here. If you're planning a trip to Atlanta when it is safer to do so, I hope you enjoy and take a break from the parties and go see the other sides to Atlanta.