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5 Awesome Things To Do in Atlanta

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Through my 17 years of travelling around the world, I’ve passed through the Atlanta airport on numerous occasions, but I’d never actually set foot outside of the airport. Well, that was until recently when I flew into the USA on the inaugural Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Atlanta.

Once we arrived into Atlanta, we were shown around this amazing city by the Atlanta Tourism Board over the 72 hours that followed our arrival.

Watch my Travel Diary Video from this epic trip before going any further!

5 Awesome Things To Do in Atlanta

We saw some incredible places, ate proper american food and experienced proper “Southern Hospitality” everyone has always told me about. So if you happen to have 72 hours in Atlanta, here’s a little guide to help you see the most.

1. Visit The World of Coca-Cola

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If you’ve got half a day to spare, why not go in search of John Pemberton’s secret recipe at The World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, you’ll not be sorry, this I promise.

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Once inside, you’ll be taken on a tour through the journey of how Coca-Cola became a household name, which was really fun and informative. You even get to see the ultra high security vault where the Secret Recipe is stored. Don’t mess with it, the alarm WILL sound. I know…

The tour itself lasts about 30 minutes, but once you’re through with that, there are loads of other activities to do before you leave.

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Here are a few of the things to do inside The World of Coca-Cola:

  • Watch a Fun 4D Movie and be sure to take a rain cover for your camera.
  • Check out the Taste Room and sample almost 60 varieties of flavours linked to Coca-Cola. They even have the same Sparberry and Gingerbeer we get here in South Africa.
  • Drink as much FREE Coca-Cola as you want.
  • Hug the Coca-Cola Polar Bear.
  • Watch the assembly line of how Coca-Cola is bottled.
  • Visit the Gift Shop where everything imaginable is available with their branding.

2. Take a Deep Breathe and go underwater at the Georgia Aquarium

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The Atlanta Aquarium is the 2nd largest in the world, so being able to visit this “SUPER-HUB” of information about Sea and Fresh water life was something I was really looking forward to.

Its not often that you can see a whale shark swimming mere meters away from you, or see an albino alligator. It’s also quite special to find an aquarium that not only looks after its animals as well as they do, but they educate MILLIONS of people every year with much needed knowledge on why our Ocean Life and River Life is so important.

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The Georgia Aquarium has it all, from turtles, albino alligators and otters in their River Scout Gallery, to the Ocean Voyager gallery where you can walk through a tunnel with manta rays and sharks above your head and watch the Whale Sharks being fed.

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3. Take a tour around the CNN Headquarters

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Being able to visit one of the biggest news networks in the world was certainly a “Must-See” while visiting Atlanta, not only because you get to see what goes on behind the scenes, but also to hear a little history on how this news hub became who they are today.

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You’ll also get to take a ride on the longest elevator in the world, certified by the Guinness World Records. This is also the entrance to the tour itself, so enjoy the ride and watch the news on TV sets mounted all the way up. I got to watch Hillary Clinton ripping Donald Trump a new one LIVE while I was on it.

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4. Time-travel back in time at the Atlanta History Centre

History is a fascinating thing, and Atlanta is JAM PACKED with some amazing historical events, landmarks and more, which you can see at the Atlanta History Centre.

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On our visit, we were given a brief tour of the the gallery’s they have in the main building, and were also taken on a main tour of the gardens and one of the 4 historical houses on the property, The Swan House.

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Fun Fact: The Swan House was recently used in scenes from the Hunger Games movies like President Snow’s mansion, the gardens where Katness gets married and more!

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The galleries inside the main building of the Atlanta History Centre include:

  • A temporary gallery called “Atlanta in 50 Objects”, which holds 50 displays linked to the amazing city, like the handwritten acceptance speech Martin Luther King wrote when he won a nobel peace prize amongst others.
  • Their signature gallery that transports you back to the Civil War and then of course the evolution of the Southern Culture & Traditions.

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5. Look onto Atlanta’s Famous Skyline at Night from the Jackson Street Bridge

If you visit Atlanta and you don’t make a stop on the Jackson Street Bridge, it’s like visiting Cape Town and not heading up to Signal Hill to marvel the majestic Table Mountain.

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This bridge has the perfect view of one of the THREE skylines Atlanta has to offer, and also one of the most famous.

If you don’t believe me, here’s just one example of a famous T.V. Series Poster from “The Walking Dead” which was taken from this very spot.

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The reason I say you should visit this bridge at night however is because if you’re a time-lapse or night photographer like me, you’ll understand how much content potential this little space has. I didn’t have time for a lapse while there, but I do plan on going back to Atlanta one day to do just this.

TOP TIP: The moon and sun both rise behind the buildings, making this an EPIC spot to watch the Full Moon Rise or one of the famous Atlanta Sunrises I got to witness from my room every morning.

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