Atlanta has come a long way since the city burned to the ground during the Civil War. The city has the insignia of the phoenix. The phoenix, as all Harry Potter fans know, is a mythical bird that burns to death and then rises every more beautiful and powerful from its own ashes. Atlanta has done just that, and if you are looking for a great city to spend your time, then you should consider hopping down.
Atlanta gets a bad reputation for its traffic, but the truth is that there are a lot of people who just drive too slowly. Avoid I-285. Stay on I-75, and you will be better off. Watch the street signs above you as well so that you know where you are going. If you are aware of your surroundings, you will be just fine.
You can start your day with a trip to Centennial Park. This park is beautiful and was built in the years before Atlanta was the site of the 1996 summer Olympics. The park today has flags of the world as well as a really neat fountain. You can walk around the Centennial Park area and see all types of shops and people.
When you are ready for lunch, head over to The Varsity. There are two of these restaurants, one in Atlanta by Georgia Tech and one in Athens by the University of Georgia. The Tech restaurant is the original, and the food is greasy and delicious! Their chilidogs are their specialty but watch out for heartburn. Also try their shakes as they are yummy as well. While you are there, you can look at the newspaper clippings along the walls and on the tabletops and find out all about sports in Georgia.
Wash down The Varsity with a shot of coke from around the world at the World of Coca-Cola museum. If you get bad vibes when you hear the word museum, you will not anymore. The Coke museum is amazing! You can see how coke is made and watch it flow through the tubes. You can participate in interactive exhibits and see videos. Find out all about the history of the soft drink. Then, in what is probably the most interesting attraction there, you can go into a huge room and get fountain drinks from around the world. While you might have thought Coke was Coke, it is not. There are special drinks from different parts of the globe, and you can try them all.
After the Coke museum, try some shopping in Little Five Points. This once eclectic, gothic part of town has become a haven for young professionals as well. The Junkman’s Daughter is one of the shops you can visit and see all types of interesting items from 12-inch heels to hanging beads.
For dinner, head to The Westin. This hotel sits right smack in downtown Atlanta. It is on the top floor of a circular building that rotates. From this restaurant, you will get a beautiful view of all parts of the city.
When nighttime hits, you can head over to Underground Atlanta. During the day this part of the city is full of people shopping and spending time together. While you will still find some shopping at night, people are there to party! This part of town has great nightlife, and you will never find a dull moment.
Whatever you enjoy, Atlanta has something to offer you. They have amusement parks, water locales, and even the beginnings of the Appalachian mountain range. The zoo is amazing, and the new aquarium is the largest in the world. You can catch baseball, football, basketball, and even hockey among the major league sports in this fun town. Take some time to enjoy the sights. Plan to stay at least a few days. Otherwise you will never find enough time do everything.
The best part is that despite the sprawling metropolis that Atlanta has become, deep down it is still a small Southern town. Most people did not grow up in the South, but they have embraced the warmth and hospitality of its culture. The next time you are looking for a place to visit, consider the big city of Atlanta.
By Julia Mercer