5 Atlanta attractions that you don't want to miss

Sokamoto@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 1, 2012 

We've picked out five Atlanta attractions for you. Two of them are outdoors, but three are inside where it's cool.

All five are different and will probably elicit a range of answers when you ask which of your family members want to do what.

To save money, try the CityPass. You can save 45 percent off the total of the ticket prices.

For $69 ($49 for children ages 3-12), you can go to the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola and the Inside CNN Tour. Options include the High Museum of Art or Fernbank Museum of Natural History and Zoo Atlanta or the Atlanta History Center.

The CityPass is valid for nine days from the first time you use it.

The best thing about the CityPass? You can usually bypass the long lines when you have it in your hand.

Call 888-330-5008 or go to http://www.citypass.com/atlanta

Georgia Aquarium

Opened in 2005, the Georgia Aquarium, 225 Baker St. NW, is the world's largest aquarium that has tanks that hold more than 8 million gallons of water and houses more than 500 species, including whale sharks, beluga whales, dolphins and sharks.

In the Georgia Explorer exhibit, visitors can touch a number of animals, including baby sharks and rays.

Other exhibits include Tropical Diver, Ocean Voyager, Cold Water Quest, River Scout and Dolphin Tales.

It's in an area called Pemberton Place, just north of Centennial Olympic Park, next to the World of Coca-Cola.

The aquarium is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday-Monday and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, July 1-Aug. 11; Aug. 12, it begins its regular hours of 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday-Friday and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets are $34.95; $28.95 for children 3-12.

Call 404-581-4000 or go to http://www.georgiaaquarium.org/

The World of Coca-Cola

It's all about the most popular soft drink in the world, but you'll find hardly a mention of Columbus, where pharmacist John S. Pemberton first made the concoction before moving to Atlanta to set up a pharmacy/soda fountain. It's at Pemberton Place, just north of Centennial Olympic Park, adjacent to the Georgia Aquarium.

One of the most popular exhibits is the sampling room. There, you can sample every Coca-Cola product from around the world from the bitter Italian drink to the super-sweet Chinese one.

There are exhibits of Coca-Cola memorabilia from antique vending machines to vending machines from around the world, rare collectibles and films.

The World of Coca-Cola, 121 Baker St. NW, is open 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Sunday; 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Saturday. Starting Sept. 3, it's 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, Saturday hours are 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. starting Sept. 8 and Sunday hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. starting Sept. 9. The box office will sell the last tickets of the day 90 minutes before closing.

Tickets are $12-$16.

Call 404-676-5151 or 800-676-2653 or go to http://www.worldofcoca-cola.com/

High Museum of Art

The museum, in Midtown Atlanta, 1280 Peachtree St. NE, was founded in 1905. In 1926, the museum began showing its exhibits in the former home of High family. In 1983, the High Museum opened in a building designed by architect Richard Meier, as part of the Woodruff Arts Center. Architect Renzo Piano designed three new buildings in 2002.

The High's exhibits have included a loan program with the Musée du Louvre in Paris.

The museum has more than 11,000 works in its permanent collection, which includes 19th and 20th century American and European art; decorative arts; modern and contemporary art and photography. Works by artists like Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Claude Monet, Martin Johnson Heade, Dorothea Lange, Clarence John Laughlin and Chuck Close, can be found in the collection.

Another interest the High has is in folk art, like that of the late Howard Finster of northwest Georgia.

The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $11-$18.

Call 404-733-5000 or go to http://www.high.org/

Stone Mountain Park

The "star" of Stone Mountain Park is the world's largest bas relief sculpture of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson carved into the side of the bare granite mountain.

The work on the carvings began in 1916 and after numerous delays, was completed in 1972.

You may either hike up the mountain and take the cable car to the top or ride the cable car and hike down.

Back off the mountain, there are plenty of activities for the whole family, including Geyser Towers, which opened March 31, where guests can climb to rope bridges or crawl through net tunnels. You can get wet or stay dry.

Sky Hike is a quarter-of-a-mile adventure course of rope and climbing nets and suspended bridges.

Don't forget the Lasershow Spectacular, a light show set to music, which is a summertime favorite.

Take a tour on the "Ride the Ducks" (an amphibious vehicle that both drives on dry land and on the lakes) or take a five-mile trip around the mountain on the Ride the Scenic Railroad.

There is also a hotel and campgrounds on site.

Hours are 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. daily.

Tickets are $22-$28. Parking is $10 per vehicle; $20 for vehicles with 15 or more passengers.

Stone Mountain is 15 miles east of downtown Atlanta on U.S. 78. Take Exit 39 B off U.S. 285 and follow U.S. 78 east for eight miles. The main entrance for Stone Mountain Park is Exit 8 off U.S. 78.

Call 770-498-5690 or 800-401-2407 or go to http://www.stonemountainpark.com/default.aspx

Zoo Atlanta

The Atlanta Fulton County Zoo, 800 Cherokee Ave., otherwise known as Zoo Atlanta, is one of just four zoos in the United States with giant pandas living there. One of the star attractions is Po (named after the "Kung Fu Panda" character), who was born at the zoo last November. His antics keep visitors entertained.

The zoo went from being named one of the worst zoos in the world in the early 1980s to one of the best less than a decade later. It features more than 1,000 animals, representing more than 200 species from around the world on almost 40 acres.

Besides the giant pandas, Zoo Atlanta is known for research into primates and reptiles.

It's open 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. The box office quits selling tickets one hour before closing.

Tickets are $16.99-$20.99.

Call 404-624-5600 or go to http://www.zooatlanta.org/

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service