Wouldn't it be great if we could go on vacation twice a year for six months? Unfortunately, that's not the case, though! I recently got back from an excellent vacation to Atlanta, Georgia and I knew I had to share my trip with y'all. Do you want to see all the fun stuff I got into while in Atlanta? Keep reading!
Do you want to travel to another southern city? Check out my Memphis, Tennessee travel guide!
To go to Atlanta, my family used Greyhound. It was an adventure getting from my city to Atlanta, GA but using the Greyhound is SO cheap. It only costs us like $200 roundtrip for three people. If you have some time to travel, I encourage using Greyhound. You meet some interesting characters on the bus, but ultimately you save a lot of money you could spend on hotels or food on the trip.
We got in pretty late on Sunday night. By the time we got off our Greyhound, took a Lyft to our hotel, and got settled into our room, it was around 8 PM. Our original plan was to go out on Sunday night for dinner, but once we got close to the city, I knew that leaving the hotel wasn’t in my cards for the night. Then, I started to look into other options.
GrubHub is alive and well in Atlanta, Georgia like you would expect it to be in any big city. I felt like Chinese food would be the perfect food for me that night, so I ordered from a local restaurant called China Dragon through GrubHub. We got beef with broccoli and crab rangoon. Everything was hot when we got our food to our room, and there was an abundance of food.
When you get into a new town, try to get some delivery if you aren’t feeling leaving your hotel. You never know what food you will discover. I was delighted by my first meal in town, even if it was from the comfort of my hotel room.
After dinner, I went walking for a bit around my hotel with my dad. By the time we went outside after dinner, it was dark out so you could see the skyline all lit up. I am from a tiny town that seems to fall asleep after 9 PM, so it was interesting to see all these buildings lit up.
Monday was the first day we got out and about to do things. We went to a few of our CityPASS activities and a cool city market for dinner.
The day started with a hotel breakfast and a walk near our hotel. Our hotel was about a mile from the central part of downtown Atlanta with all our CityPass activities.
We were fortunate enough to stay at a hotel that served breakfast, and even one who offered a shuttle to anywhere within a two-mile radius. We used Lyft a lot during our trip, but having a shuttle available was very helpful especially in the mornings and on the way to dinner. In case you were wondering, we stayed at Hampton Inn Atlanta-Georgia Tech.
Address: 225 Baker St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313
The first thing we did in Atlanta was check out the Georgia Aquarium. It was a bit crowded during all the activities we did on Monday because it was sort of a holiday weekend for everyone because July 4th fell on a Wednesday last week.
We had so much fun checking out the exhibits in the Georgia Aquarium though! We even managed to make it to the first showing of the AT&T Dolphin Show that day.
You can't take pictures in the dolphin show, because it can distract the dolphins, but it's such a great show if you ever find yourself in the aquarium. The dolphins are really smart, and you can tell that the trainers care for the dolphins a whole lot. Plus, each show can fit hundreds and maybe even around a 1,000 people, so you will likely get to see a show as long as you keep up with the show times.
The Georgia Aquarium has a ton of different exhibits like the Tropical Diver, Cold Water Quest, and Ocean Voyager. Each one has different sea life animals in them.
Funny story: I am almost sure a shark wanted to 100% scare us because one of them looked straight at us swam really close and then jetted in another direction. I was almost scared until I remembered that it was behind a glass wall, y'all.
Address: 121 Baker St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313
I was excited to tackle the World of Coca-Cola, but honestly, I wasn't sure how much stuff could actually fit in the museum. I mean, an entire museum devoted to one beverage brand? But they managed to do it, and do it well.
I think the World of Coca-Cola should be on your itinerary during your trip to Atlanta because there is actually a ton to do there.
One of my favorite parts of the museum? The tasting room of course! We got to taste Coke products from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. Even some of the North American drinks I had never tasted (did you know Barq's made it a red creme soda?!) I fell in love with the soda Bibo from Africa, and now I kinda need an entire case of it.
I also loved checking out the 4D theater as well. They did a really great job with the effects, and I loved the moving seat element of it. I also enjoyed just checking out all the Coca-Cola memorabilia throughout the museum.
Address: 675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE Atlanta, Georgia 30308
Last, but not least, on day one we headed to the Ponce City Market for dinner. This was a recommended stop by one of my faves on the internet Denise of Denise Adele K, and she also used to make some of my favorite bangles ever when she owned Twirls & Pearls. She travels all the time and has a ton of travel inspo on her website right now so you should go check her out.
Anyway, she recommended Ponce City Market for our visit, so we decided to have dinner there. There were SO many restaurants to choose from, and we didn't truly get to explore as much as I would have liked, but we still got to check out a few of the food stalls and get dinner and drinks from the city market.
I wish I could tell you where we got the drinks from, but I wasn't with my mom and dad when they got the drinks (I was still waiting for our food to get done.)
We got Mediterranean food at a place called Marrakesh in Ponce City Market. I ended up getting beef kabobs with eggplant and sweet potato fries. Everything was tasty and well seasoned. There was also so much more food than I initially thought when I looked at the plate. It was all delicious, and I am so glad we stopped at Marrakesh to eat.
Day Two was one of the most adventurous days we had because we traveled out to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park. It was a much more civil rights centered day, and it was great to get out of the immediate downtown area for a bit to see other aspects of Atlanta.
Address: 100 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30313
The first place we headed to was one of our CityPass destinations. On the CityPass, you can choose between the Center for Civil and Human Rights OR Zoo Atlanta. We decided to go to the Center for Civil and Human Rights because we want to visit as many civil rights museums as we can in the south.
The Center for Civil & Human Rights was such an impressive civil rights museum. One cool thing it had was an exhibit called Voice To The Voiceless. It is a rotating exhibit that is curated based on Morehouse College's Martin Luther King Jr. collection.
The current collection is called “Aftermath of the Assassination,” and it features various letters that were sent after his assassination to people like Coretta Scott King, funeral arrangements, and more. It was interesting to see those things close up (in a glass case, of course.) You couldn't take any photos in the Voice To The Voiceless room, though.
The entire museum was really impressive. It was interactive, like the one in Memphis, and it was just a beautifully done museum. If you have any time to visit the museum in Atlanta, I really encourage it.
Address: 464 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312
We took a Lyft over to the side of town with the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park and we were all a bit hungry. So, we found a little tavern nearby called Edgewood Corner Tavern. It had a ton of great food, and I had the Jive Turkey Burger. The Jive Turkey Burger was a turkey burger with avocado, sriracha ranch, and mozzarella.
Overall it was a yummy and rather inexpensive meal. I would definitely go back to this place, especially at night when I felt more comfortable drinking. It was the middle of the day, so we didn't get a chance to drink any of their alcoholic beverages (although I did drink a ton of their water!)
Address: 450 Auburn Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30312
After we got lunch, we checked out the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park. We didn't have the opportunity to explore as much as we'd liked but we got a chance to see MLK and Coretta's burial grounds, the King Center, his old church, and so much more.
The MLK National Historical Park is filled with things to explore, plus they have pretty well-priced gift shops compared to the shop at the Center for Civil And Human Rights. Plus, visiting the park is free, so there is no harm in checking it out!
Address: 889 W Peachtree St NW, Atlanta, GA 30309
For dinner on the 2nd day, we checked out The Daiquiri Factory. We checked it out on Fat Tuesday, or $3 daiquiri day. During this day, most of the single flavor and mix daiquiris were $3 for the small, when they usually are $8. It was also $3 wing day, and you got 4 wings with a sauce for $3. I didn't get wings, as I was quite hungry, but I tasted one of my mom's wings, and they were good.
I got the crab cake sandwich, which was good, although I was expecting a bit more based on how long I waited for it. The daiquiris were the main pull to this restaurant, though, and they didn't disappoint.
If I were to go back to The Daiquiri Factory, I might avoid Fat Tuesday altogether. It seems that it really drew a college crowd so it was kind of loud and the service was slow to accommodate everyone. I would have liked to be there on a typical day when prices weren't as attractive, that way I might have gotten better service even if I couldn't drink as many daiquiris.
The last day, our goal was to get as much in as we could. We finished up the last couple of tickets in our CityPass booklet, got dinner, and ended the day by watching the city fireworks celebration for the 4th of July. We didn't actually head into the city center to watch it, though, as we were able to see it closer to our hotel without being in the crowded downtown of the city.
Address: 1 CNN Center, Atlanta, GA 30303
We started the day with a visit to CNN as we had a reservation for a Behind The Scenes tour at 11:20 AM. Going into the CNN center was so exciting, it was a much bigger space than I anticipated and the bottom floor is basically all shops. It's pretty cool going in there because there are things from other channels like Cartoon Network and TBS because those channels and CNN all have the same parent company.
After hanging out with Rick from Rick & Morty for a little bit, we checked out some of the stores and got ready for our tour.
The tour starts with an escalator up to a photo area. In the photo area, you take a few photographs to remember the tour by.
Then, you are off to the actual start of the tour where you slowly go down 8 flights of stairs as you check out the spaces where CNN, HLN, and a few of their international programs are filmed in Atlanta.
Overall, it was a neat experience. It was interesting to see the behind the scenes of the giant that is CNN. We got to see the filming spaces, where all the stories are created and fact-checked, and so much more. CNN is a massive organization, and it was interesting to see how it works on the inside.
Lunch At CNN
After our CNN tour, we checked out the food court on the bottom floor of the CNN Center. On the back of our tickets, we had a coupon for Burger Fi, so I decided that would be the best lunch for us to get. I ended up getting a Burger Fi bacon cheeseburger, but I decided to get a single patty instead of the double patty because I still had a lot of activities to do that day.
Even though Burger Fi is a chain, we don't have one anywhere in the state of Arkansas, so it was a new experience for me! There were other options at CNN, though, and they even had some more specific not chain seeming restaurants if you wanted something fancier.
Address: 250 Marietta St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313
The last CityPass ticket we needed to redeem was for the College Football Hall Of Fame. This was another OR ticket where you could choose the College Football Hall Of Fame OR the Fernbank Museum Of Natural History. We decided to go to the College Football Hall Of Fame mainly because of my dad, but it was actually an excellent experience.
They tell you to go to the 3rd floor first, but honestly, I feel like they say that because it's the most boring floor. I was a little underwhelmed with that being my first floor, but after I saw what was on the 2nd floor, I understand why they tell you to go to the 3rd floor first. We spent the most time on the 2nd floor as there were so many interactive exhibits.
The cool thing? You get an all-access pass to any cool interactive videos you do during your visit. There are a few recorded things like fight song karaoke, a chance to call a play, and even a College GameDay set where you can sit at a desk and predict a game. You can access those recordings up to 30 days after your visit so you can share them or save pictures from them.
We didn't actually go to the Indoor Playing Field because it was getting pretty late and we were trying to catch a Lyft out of downtown before it got too busy, but that's another thing you can do. The indoor playing field is filled with fun activities and an obstacle course.
Address: 437 Memorial Drive S.E. Atlanta, GA 30312 OR 685 11th Street
Atlanta, GA 30318
Last, but certainly not least, we had dinner at Six Feet Under which is a seafood restaurant in Atlanta, as you may have guessed. Atlanta has a ton of seafood restaurants. It's only a few hours drive from the coast, though, which is why seafood is so prevalent there.
My food? The fried catfish platter! When I first looked at my plate, I was stunned that there was only one fish filet, but this fish filet was huge, so I definitely had enough to eat by the end of dinner. I also got a peach margarita for my drinking delight. The fried catfish platter included fried catfish, fries, cole slaw, and jalapeño hush puppies.
Our Atlanta trip was terrific, and it all ended by watching the cities fireworks show a little less than a block from my hotel. We didn't feel like catching a Lyft or city transit to downtown, so we just checked out the show closer to our hotel. We were actually in between the city show, and another person randomly popping fireworks in a nearby neighborhood, so we got a lot of fireworks action.
I am so happy that I was able to take you on this journey with me. I loved my time in Atlanta, and I learned a whole lot from the museums I visited.