Georgia's capital Atlanta is always worth a visit and offers plenty of attractions, exciting outdoor activities and historic sites, many of them within walking distance.
Earlier this month I was invited by Qatar Airways on a trip to Atlanta. It was all very spontaneous, and because Qatar Airways is named as the world's best airline, I decided to literally jump on board and fly all the way from Thailand to Atlanta.
The flight time from Thailand to Atlanta is nearly 24 hours, including a layover in Doha.
I was lucky to fly business class for the first time in my life and even on an Airbus A380!
The whole flight experience was absolutely extraordinary. I wrote an entire blog post and even created a video about my Business Class flight with Qatar Airways on the A380 from Doha to Atlanta.
Please go ahead and check it out!
Alright... Let's talk about Atlanta!
It was my first visit to the city and I was overjoyed to explore a place I haven't been before. Discover Atlanta provided me a CityPASS that promised three things: I would see the most famous attractions, get an amazing discount and I would skip the entrance lines. Sounded great to me!
Atlanta is very walkable and many attractions are close to each other. The public transportation is great because it brings you quickly and easily to most places... If you spend more time in the area, you could look for an RV rental in Atlanta.
Without further ado, here is my perfect Atlanta travel guide for you! You can do this itinerary easily within 3 days. Enjoy!
01 | World of Coca Cola
I'm not the biggest fan of sweet sodas, however visiting the World of Coca Cola was pretty impressive. The museum in Atlanta showcases the history of the Coca-Cola company in a quite entertaining way. There is a 4D cinema, multiple exhibits, a pop culture gallery, and loads of other attractions.
One of the highlights is to try more than 100 different coca cola beverages, from all around the world. They all have one thing in common: very sweet.
02 | CNN Center
Don't miss this: The CNN Studio Tour, It gives you an exciting glimpse behind the scenes of the global headquarters of CNN. There are several studios, news rooms, restaurants and stores are located within this gigantic building.
Impressive: The informative tour starts with the longest escalator in the world
03 | Georgia Aquarium
The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is the second largest aquarium in the world and the biggest in the United States. It houses over 500 species, such as whale sharks, dolphins, penguins, beluga whales, manta rays, turtles and many more. If you're brave, dive with the whale sharks!
On a side note, I was having a bit of a personal struggle promoting this place as I do not support animals in captivity. However, from a different perspective, aquariums for good for education and research. The aquarium is involved in several research initiatives, monitoring the health of the animals.
04 | Atlanta Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden in Atlanta is a 30 acres of lush green garden with several exhibits and beautiful flowers that are waiting to be explored. A great place to relax, perfect for an afternoon stroll. In case you get hungry, there is an excellent restaurant called Lintons Cafe, located inside the garden.
05 | Atlanta History Center and the Swan House
The History Museum was founded in 1926 and consists several exhibitions about Atlanta's past. You can easily spend an entire day there exploring over 6000 memorabilia from the Olympic games, such as uniforms, victory medals, etc. There is even an original running track.
My highlight was the historic Swan House which was recently featured in the Hunger Games. The building is one of the most photographed landmarks of Atlanta, the elegant mansion is stunningly beautiful, inside and outside.
06 | Shopping in Buckhead
Buckhead is an upscale neighborhood with ultra chic boutiques, cool cafés and fancy restaurants. Take a walk in its beautiful tree lined side streets which are often referred to as the "Beverly Hills of the East".
If you're into high-end retailers, you will completely lose yourself in Buckhead. You can find some of the world's best fashion brands including La Perla, Jimmy Choo, Helmut Lang, Louis Vuitton and Hermés.
07 | Stone Mountain Theme Park
Take a hike in the largest piece of exposed granite in the world. The Stone Mountain Theme Park is located on more than 3,000 acres and features interactive family friendly attractions, panoramic views of the city, plus natural and historical sights. Don't miss the spectacular laser show, projected on the mountain.
08 | Jackson Street Bridge
Photo Credit © Mike Eloff of Life of Mike
The Jackson Street Bridge is one of the best places to get a fantastic photo of Atlanta's gorgeous downtown skyline. Bring your camera and tripod and capture the scenic views of the city.
This spot is quite popular among photographers so if it gets too busy at sunset I suggest getting up early and catching a picture before sunrise.
Where I stayed in Atlanta
I stayed 3 nights at the grand Marriott Marquis Hotel in Atlanta. Located in the heart of downtown, the hotel is within a short walking distance to many major attractions including the World of Coca Cola, Georgia Aquarium and the headquarters of CNN.
The hotel itself is gigantic with over 1500 rooms spread on 48 floors. The ride with the glass elevator is quite impressive. The hotel features several in-house restaurants, bars and cafés (there is a Starbucks inside), plus a variety of great amenities including a swimming pool, jacuzzi and a fitness centre.
The pictures above and below are taken from my room on the 27th floor. Ask at the reception for a room on the higher floors to enjoy some panoramic city views.
I hope this little travel guide gave you some ideas for your trip to Atlanta! If you have more time, check out TripAdvisor's List of Top Things To Do, plenty of great ideas on how to have a good time in Atlanta. I wish you happy travels!
Have you been to Atlanta? What did I miss?
Thank you for reading. If you like this article, please share.
This trip was made possible by Qatar Airways and Discover Atlanta. All opinions are, as always, my own.
Thanks to my Editor Libby Ruth Green of EatAway.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sabrina Iovino is the founder of JustOneWayTicket.com. She's half German, half Italian and has traveled to more than 50 countries around the globe. She feels weird to write about herself in the third person, so she'll switch now. Phew...much better! Let's restart:
Hi, I'm Sab! This is my blog and I write about the things I love. Mostly.
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