How do you get the most out of visiting Atlanta? The secret is, know what it offers and the history behind it and this will make your trip amazing.
How to Start Your Atlanta Travel
After visiting several cities that offer Trolley services, we have learned the best way to start off the trip is by taking whatever the trolley tours they offer. Most cities have the hop on/ hop off rides. Unfortunately, Atlanta doesn’t have this yet. But PeachTree Trolley is a 90 minute tour of the highlights of Atlanta. Plus, the guides really know what they are talking about and can answer any questions you have.
What To Do and See in Atlanta
Atlanta, like any other city, is split up into different areas. Downtown is where the majority of tourist attractions are. Trust me, they are so worth the visit. Even if you’re into local stuff, getting the history of the most famous drink in the world and seeing the largest aquarium in the world is pretty cool.
Coca Cola World – This is where it all started. And visiting this attraction will make you a Coke lover, even if you’re not.
Atlanta Georgia Aquarium – Imagine visiting the largest aquarium in the world and seeing whale sharks and manta ray almost at a hands reach away. This has got to be one of the best aquarium we have ever been to anywhere in the world.
CNN Studio Tour – If you’re a news fan or junkie this tour is for you. If you’re mildly curious, it’s worth the one hour to visit as well.
A little further from Downtown, but easy to get to is a world famous site that can not be missed.
Martin Luther King Center – You can visit his birthplace house, Ebenezer Church where he preached, and his memorial site where he is buried along with his wife. The best part, it is completely free and fully funded by the State.
Atlanta Zoo – If you have time, and are a fan of animal parks, the zoo is a great place to visit for about two hours. The coolest exhibit is the Panda viewing area.
Atlanta – A Gastronomy Capital of the Southern US – Restaurants in Atlanta
The greatest surprise of all about Atlanta was the amazing culinary scene that is exploding at the seams.
Every restaurant we had a chance to visit had a more unique take on food, drinks and cocktails.
Flip Burger Boutique – if it’s possible to make a burger joint a boutique style restaurant, Flip Burger has found the way. They have the best burgers, and largest selection of ways to do it, than any place we’ve been at. And don’t forget to indulge in their milkshakes.
Ocean Prime – Fine dining at it’s best, without the formal wear and snobbery. Nothing beats a totally laid back, super creative menu and cocktails that you have never seen of before than a good dining experience. This is a perfect spot to come for a romantic meal where you can hang out for hours on end.
Cook Hall – Gastropubs are a new thing for my husband and I, and now that we’ve experienced it at Cook Hall, it’s probably one of our favorite ways to eat out. Smaller portions, allowing you to order more to taste all the different creations they offer. And they do offer incredible dishes. Plus, the cocktails are all works of art so make sure to try a few.
Quick Historical Facts About Atlanta
Knowing the origins of each place I visit brings that destination to life for me. And Atlanta has more history than most cities.
- The history of Atlanta dates back to 1836, when Georgia decided to build a railroad to the U.S. Midwest and a location was chosen to be the line’s terminus.
- The stake marking the founding of “Terminus” was driven into the ground in 1837 (called the Zero Mile Post).
- In 1839 the first homes and a store were built.
- Between 1845 and 1854 rail lines arrived from four different directions.
- During the American Civil War Atlanta became the target of a major Union campaign.
- In 1864 Union General Sherman’s troops set on fire and destroyed the city’s assets and buildings.
- Coca-Cola was launched here in 1886.
- Electric streetcars arrived in 1889, and the city added new “streetcar suburbs”.
- The city’s elite black colleges were founded between 1865 and 1885.
- By the early 20th century, “Sweet” Auburn Avenue was called “the most prosperous Negro street in the nation”.
- In the 1950s blacks started moving into city neighborhoods that had previously kept them out.
- Desegregation occurred in stages over the 1960s. Slums were razed and the new Atlanta Housing Authority built public housing projects.
- In 1973 the city elected its first black mayor, Maynard Jackson.
- From the mid-70s to mid-80s most of the MARTA rapid transit system was built.
- The city lost 21% of its population between 1970 and 1990.
- In 1996 Atlanta hosted the Summer Olympics, for which new facilities and infrastructure were built.
- Atlanta was home to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and a major center for the Civil Rights Movement.
- Atlanta was originally named Terminus and Marthasville and got its current name from railroad engineer J. Edgar Thompson. It’s thought to be a shortened version of “Atlantica-Pacifica.”
- There are over 55 streets with the name “Peachtree”
- Atlanta was the only city in North American destroyed as an act of war. That’s why the city’s symbol is a phoenix.
- Atlanta is Georgia’s fifth capital. Savannah, Augusta, Louisville, and Milledgeville had the title before.
- One of the largest Hindu temples outside of India is located in the Atlanta metro area.