Like a lot of larger cities, Atlanta has plenty of tourist attractions and sites to visit. Now, Atlanta’s also more spread out than a lot of big cities, so some of those places are a bit of jaunt to get to. However, you can still get your tourist on without having to go very far afield.
To start with, Centennial Olympic Park is just a few blocks down from the Hyatt. Built for the 1996 Games, the park features lots of green space, a rings-shaped fountain that plays musical shows, and a number of attractions on its edges:
The SkyView Atlanta ferris wheel gives awesome views of the Atlanta skyline day or night. Tickets: $15
The Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere and features dolphin and sea lion shows, a 4D theater, and a daily “Waddle Walk” featuring some of the resident penguins. Tickets: vary a lot, from under $30 after 4PM to around $48 for full-price admission (with extra charges for special programs like behind-the-scenes tours)
The World of Coca-Cola is an interactive museum dedicated to Atlanta’s most famous product. Watch films about the company’s history, check out all kind of memorabilia, and taste Coke products from all over the world. (Don’t miss the Beverly!) Tickets: $17
The Center for Civil and Human Rights is a museum and monument to the Civil Rights Movement and today’s global human rights movements. Tickets: $19
For the football fans, the College Football Hall of Fame is on the far side of Centennial Park. Tickets: $22
Also on that side of the park is CNN, which offers a behind-the-scenes studio tour. Tickets: $16
Other places of interest not far from the hotel:
The Margaret Mitchell House is about a mile and a half away, and just a block down from the Midtown MARTA station. Tickets: $13
The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum is just 3 miles away and includes a replica of the Oval Office and plenty of historic memorabilia. Tickets: $8
Zoo Atlanta is in Grant Park, about 5 miles from the hotel, and has baby pandas! Tickets: $26
Fernbank Museum of Natural History, also about 5 miles away, has lots of cool exhibits and two giant-screen film theaters. Tickets: start at $18 for museum only, $33 for museum + films
Also, RT is offering three different combinations tours on Monday and Tuesday of convention week (I have not checked status, so they could be full/cancelled):
Explore Atlanta! ($160) includes the World of Coca-Cola, the Krispy Kreme “mothership” location on Ponce de Leon, historic Inman Park and Little Five Points, Eagle Eye and Book Nook bookshops, lunch at Mary Mac’s Tea Room, and a trip to the Varsity.
History & Historic Homes Tour ($190) includes the King Center, historic homes including those of Joel Chandler Harris and Margaret Mitchell, a visit to the Atlanta History Center, and lunch at Swan Coach House.
Hunger Games/Walking Dead Tour ($200) includes visits to locations featured in the film and television series, including Swan House (President Snow’s home), the Marriott Marquis (the Capitol), Terminus, the CDC (TV version, not real-life version!), and lunch at Pittypat’s Porch.
Next time: more information about getting to and from the hotel!