Travel

ATL tips – my starter for 10

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I was really getting into character here!

Hi everyone!

Finally I am getting round to my travel posts! People have asked me what I get up to when I go to Atlanta (apart from doing my hair ha!) and what there is to do there. So I decided to put together a list of suggestions from things I have done or want to do. It’s not in anyway meant to be an exhaustive list or a Holy Grail, but more of a starter for 10 (click on the headings for links to the various sites and attractions).

SIGHTS AND ATTRACTIONS

CNN

Visit the CNN centre and see how the news is made, you can even try your hand at being a newscaster and see what really happens behind the scenes! I got to play at being a reporter and doing the weather (Geek alert – the green screen is soooo cool!). Warning, if you end up in a group where there are any little people (read children!), then the kids get to have the fun of being a reporter and not you. Sucks! The tour guides are extremely knowledgeable and have an answer to every question you have, it’s really well done. Totally recommend it!

World of Coca-Cola

Honestly, I’ve decided Coca-Cola is a cult because its promotion machine is second to none but I love it anyway. You can see the whole story of Coca-Cola, find out how the company has evolved over the years, sample a variety of flavours of Coca-cola drinks, and run away from the scary polar bear that is supposed to be cute but really just freaked me out! A must!

The Georgia Aquarium

If you’re a lover of big fish (and even if you’re not!), visit the Aquarium. The Georgia Aquarium is the largest in the world and you can just spend hours gazing at the big fish. This is definitely on my to-do list when I go next. I wanna see the fishies!

Stone Mountain

This is really picturesque and a lovely scene for a morning/early afternoon picnic. Be prepared for a bit of a hike though (great if you enjoy that sort of thing!) and parking is a nightmare at weekends but it’s definitely worth a visit, just don’t go on the weekend!

Martin Luther King Centre for Non-violent Social Change

The centre serves as a “living memorial” of Dr Martin Luther King and as a resource centre and community institution. There are a number of exhibitions on display including the Rosa Parks room and a photographic exhibition of the lives of Dr King and his wife Coretta Scott King. This is absolutely at the top of my bucket list for when I am next in Atlanta, I think it would be such a powerful and inspiring site. I haven’t been yet, but I will and I’m recommending it to you!

RETAIL THERAPY

A trip to ATL is not complete without some retail therapy. Make sure you have saved well and visit Lenox Mall  and Phipps Plaza and splurge on the goodies on offer. Macy’s in Lennox has some form of sale on 365 days a year it seems so there is always a bargain to be had! All the goodies and shops I can’t get to when in London (Ann Taylor and Madewell that’s you!) are there for my delectation and investment. It’s awesome!

If you want to really go all out shopping wise but want to stretch your dollar as much as possible, how about heading to the North Georgia Premium Outlet which is actually just outside Atlanta but offers ridiculous deals on clothes? Again, there are always special offers on there so you get discounts on the already discounted prices – how awesome is that?!

As a side comment, one thing I love about visiting ATL is the customer service. People in shops are so friendly and helpful and easy to chat to. I’m sure it’s because they have been trained that way in order to encourage people to spend more but you know what? I don’t care. I’m happy to spend my hard-earned cash in a shop that is welcoming and warm to me, rather than in a place where shop assistants are reluctant to help and are brimming with attitude.

SPORTS

If you enjoy sports or at least watching sports, Atlanta is home to many sports teams including the Atlanta Hawks  (NBA – basketball), the Atlanta Falcons (NFL – American football)  and the Atlanta Braves (MLB – baseball). I don’t follow basketball, but I had so much fun at the Hawks game I went. You can’t help but get caught up in the atmosphere, it’s awesome! You get a free t-shirt at the game and of course you also have to invest in the obligatory items from the giftshop. The cheerleaders are awesome and inspired me to start working out again so I can look that hot and go as a cheerleader to the next fancy dress party I go to!

Get tickets for the Hawks here;

Tickets for the Falcons here; and

Tickets for the Braves here.

FOOD

There is a plethora of cuisine on offer so consult the Zagat guide for Atlanta  or Urbanspoon for ideas on where you want to go. Some of my favourite places I’ve eaten at include the Capital Grille, Houstons, Fig Jam, TukTuk and of course no-one can resist lunch at Benihana!

GETTING AROUND

Be warned – Atlanta is truly enjoyed when you have a car at your disposal. If you’re like me and swear by your tube and bus chauffeurs, you may find it difficult to truly appreciate the joys of ATL. Things are quite spaced out so it’s hard to walk to places if you have multiple locations on your agenda. Unfortunately I don’t know what the public transport system, the MARTA, is like. I’m sure it functions just like any other regular public transport system but luckily I have always been in town with someone who drives so I haven’t had to put the MARTA to the test yet. My sister lived there and only recommends driving as the way to get around so I bow to her superior knowledge.

So there we have it, a starter list of things to do in ATL. Korea trip reports coming up in the next couple of days (promise!!) so keep an eye on the blog for them!

Now that I’ve done my bit for the Atlanta Tourism office (haha!), what are your thoughts on my list? Any additions or amendments you would make? And if you’re from ATL, what would you recommend us tourists do when we come to visit your lovely city? Feel free to share below in the comments!

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