Amazingly, Coca-Cola has managed to create an entire attraction that is centered around advertising their products. The World of Coke is nothing but a giant marketing gimmick, a cheesy and corny tourist attraction, but yet it is a fun visit.
Visitors will start by watching a short video that includes clips of Coke advertisements over the years and details some fun Coke statistics. You'll learn the basic history of this soft drink giant and how it's home is right in Atlanta, Georgia.
The rest of the place features exhibits, many of which are rotating but may include a guessing game of the ingredients and flavors or art inspired by the red and white symbol. The best part of the attraction is definitely upstairs, where you can try soft drinks made by Coca-Cola and sold around the world. It's actually quite amazing seeing how many sodas are featured!
While I wouldn't call this a must-do, it is an interesting look at Americana, marketing throughout the years, and how a brand can become an international icon.
If you're planning on visiting the World of Coke, you can save on admission by buying a combo ticket with CNN and/or the Georgia Aquarium (both in walking distance) or by getting a CityPASS.
Take the Tour of CNN is a MUST as the Americans say. They are the biggest studios of CNN and they are open 24/7, 365 days a year. The guided tour takes about 1 hour and security is tight, prohibiting taking photos in some of the studios. They have a little history of Turner Television and CNN news and in that minute the news is transmitted in multiple languages, as CNN is in many countries. You can see the big touch screens updated minute by minute, pre-recorded programs and newsroom journalists who have to write scripts to read out loud and Live. It is a megastructure that ends in a souvenir shop. A place to visit in the tourist area of Atlanta, Georgia.
Stone Mountain is the place to visit on the outskirts of Atlanta. The main attraction is the vast mountain of granite with sculptures of President Lee and two generals of the Confederate States, which is considered the largest in the world and is truly amazing. Initially, I went with the idea of visiting the mountain, which is accessible by cable car and is known as the sky ride, but I was surprised to arrive and find an entire amusement park to spend the day, and all related to Stone Mountain; climbing and the adventurous life. In addition to the beautiful mountains there are different attractions such as the walk around the lake, the 4-d movie Yogi, a climbing area, information on the sculpture and how it was made, a train ride, mini-golf and the many souvenir shops that you can not miss. I highly recommend going.
Centennial Park was built in the heart of Atlanta in 1996 to commemorate the first centennial of the modern Olympic Games. The park is surrounded by important places like the World of Coca Cola, the Aquarium, the Children's Museum, the CNN Tower, the Georgia Dome and the Convention Center. There is open space that can be used to enjoy outdoor activities by people of all ages. It has an interactive water fountain, the largest in the world, made of the five Olympic rings. It also has playgrounds, roads, green spaces and places to host events and meetings like fairs, festivals and concerts. Visiting the park is easy and enjoyable. There are lots of stations nearby if you are coming by Marta, and lots of parking if you are coming by car.
The Children's Museum of Atlanta, if can't say if I like it or not, because we had a very different idea of what it would be like. The entrance area, as in many other museum, has lockers and brochures. The price was high, about $12 per person (9 euros), compared to what I was used to and the place is funny because it does not have its own building, it is located on the ground floor of an apartment building. However, it is more than a museum, there are interactive displays and a park of diversions to which children can go on their own and play with different elements but practically understand the operation of each. For me it was frustrating, I wanted more educational support to explain to my kids the reason for everything and I ended up sitting down and let them roll. I must admit that every space understood or not, is so much fun, especially with eight years on the mechanical side, making a crane with balls and seeing how each circuit generated some other movement, action and reaction. There was also a mini farm and you could learn about all stages of food, from the farm, the garden, packaging, transport and store. There was a story area with costumes for imaginative play and a musical. It's a place to play. Admission is valid for all day, and inside there are machines with snacks and drinks, but there is the option of going out to eat and then returning. We spent all day there, because we were happy, but you could also bring a good book to sit and wait while exhausted. The museum can also organize on site events and children's parties. It has no parking, but in the area has plenty. THe are also has the highest concentration of tourist attractions and is near the centennial park.
At carnival time in Spain I always imagined American Halloween, not its meaning, but to see them all in one environment and at a costume party. This year my son had his first typical American Halloween. It was a good experience. The decoration of houses is amazing, some more, some less, all too willing to let the kids run around the grounds, knocking on doors and singing the Trick or Treat. This festival is one of those that you show some American traditions, along with Valentine's Day and Easter where you collect chocolate eggs. A date to enjoy with family and friends.
One of the activities that make American culture, are the Boy Scouts of America, and although they are all over the world, here they still have many traditions of its inception over 125 years ago. My son joined this year, and he is a Cub Scout and is in the Bears Den. When you start the school year, we had to buy the uniform and got the information from one of the major stores in Atlanta, which is at 1800 Circle 75 Parkway. The place also has offices and meeting rooms, all dedicated to the Scouts. The store has all types of things, besides the uniforms and emblems, they have souvenirs, decorative items, books, notebooks, school supplies and even balloons and decorated plates, like most things in America. It is a place to visit, and if you like hiking there you will find backpacks, tents and sleeping bags, as well as flashlights, repellents and cookware.
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is in the heart of the city and is big. It is one of my favorite places to go. You can visit the tropical greenhouses or look at different species of orchids. There are statues of Niki de Saint Phalle that decorate the garden and make it a unique place to visit. I recommend visiting in spring or summer to take advantage of the flowers and colors.
The Chapel of Berkeley Lake, located just across from the city hall, gives that area the air of an urban place within a green landscape that ends with a beautiful view of the lake, now dry due to technical problems, which are in process of being resolved. The current forest environment is nice, and when it is finished the lake patadise will again be a part of the landscape, ... Meanwhile, although it is private, it opens its doors to visitors and rents its space out for social and community events. The number of times I've been there, have been for Scouting ceremonies, where children receive their honors before moving to a new challenge within the organization, what they call the "Cross Over" 'in the tradition established over 100 years ago. A quiet place with picnic tables, that when they do reinstate the lake, will take a major role in its environment.
Piedmont Park is in the heart of downtown Atlanta, and is considered the city's smaller "Central Park". You can admire the city's skyscrapers in the background while picnicking on the lawn or jogging. I suggest going to Georgia in the fall, when nature is the most impressive.
North of Atlanta, in the town of Marietta, there is a museum dedicated to the film based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind. The museum is open Monday to Saturday inviting visitors to see objects that were used in the filming of the movie, along with costumes and period photographs. It also has a souvenir shop with products sporting the logo of the film and memorable images. Admission is $7, about 5 euros, and there are discounts for seniors, students and groups. It's one of the main attractions promoted by the tourist office in Atlanta, along with the writer's own house and some southern homes that display what life was like before the war of succession that marks North American history. The museum can be rented for events.
Its no wonder that in Spain, small populations take advantage of the festival to generate commercial and recreational activities. They turn a public space into a meeting place, and that is exactly what I felt last fall when we were at the Duluth Festival. There were many area businesses, from multinationals to family businesses, that would display their work, handing out leaflets and some even giving samples.
There were also artisan groups who shared their works and used the place to demonstrate in front of the council facilities. The center of Duluth spreads out onto a few streets, but the institutional buildings are easy to spot and people value the parks and surrounding activities. We went out of curiosity, but in the end my son enjoyed the mechanical attractions which were set up in the area. We got to spend a couple of hours of very nice family time, getting to know the place, its customs and people. These meetings make you more closer to the place you visit and better understand their environment, even at a popular market.
Upon entering the Morgan Falls Park lookout, at the back and overlooking the lake, there is an old fireplace. It's a landmark here, a reminder that more than 200 years ago this was the home of a powerful family. This mason fireplace is typical of the early 19th century, and although the mortar has washed over time, it still stands upright, making this architectural element a point of interest here. This area has an interesting history.
This is said to be one of the most photographed streets in the United States and rightly so, as it is very scenic with red brick sidewalks and narrow cobblestone streets that were maintained from the time. The windows feature beautiful flower arrangements and colorful doors. It is located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood, certainly a place you can not miss.
This museum opened in the year 1905 by the Atlanta Art Association. Currently it is the biggest art museum in the southeastern United States. It is in the arts and shopping district of the city, and is proud to offer a permanent collection of over 11,000 works. In November of the year2005, this majestic museum opened 3 new buildings, in a lively city of the arts in Midtown Atlanta: the Woodruff Arts Center.
This places was created in the year 1980 with the objective to preserve every one of the places where Martin Luther King lived and died. Here you can take a long walk around the visitor center, which traces his life and his work, as well as the church where he was born.
This the the very square where Forrest Gump told his story to those sitting next to him, with his box of chocolates. A very English city, with its streets full of houses and trees. make sure you park well. I actully got 2 fines in less than 24 hours for not doing it.