By Katie McElveen
If your experience with Atlanta is limited to its sprawling airport (it’s the world’s busiest), it’s time to head further afield. Beyond the runways, this bustling state capital is loaded with cool activities you won’t find elsewhere.
Take the museums. Beyond an impressive collection of 20th-century European and American works, the High Museum of Art showcases 1,200 pieces created by self-taught and folk artists. It also holds one of the nation’s leading photography collections. The National Center for Civil and Human Rights brings the struggle for equality to life with interactive exhibits that depict the sights and sounds of the American Civil Rights Movement.
Specialty museums offer a vast array of irresistible experiences like diving with the massive whale sharks and manta rays that inhabit a 6.3-million gallon tank within the Georgia Aquarium. You can also create your own soft-drink formula at the World of Coca-Cola or kick a field goal at the College Football Hall of Fame.
Outdoor adventures also abound in Atlanta. Check out the graffiti-clad Krog Street Tunnel and the Oakland Cemetery, where famous residents like Gone with the Wind author Margaret Mitchell rest amid 48 acres of manicured gardens. The three-mile-long Atlanta Beltline Eastside Trail welcomes cyclists, walkers and joggers to its flat, paved surface. Along the way, there’s public art, parkland, shops and restaurants. Just 20 minutes from downtown, the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area surrounds 48 miles of the Chattahoochee River with land trails and water access for tubing, kayaking, fishing and boating.
Atlanta’s food scene has become increasingly diverse (don’t miss the vegan doughnuts at Great Rising). For a taste of what’s happening, check out Krog Street Market and Ponce City Market, food halls where chefs combine creativity with quality ingredients from local producers.
Striking new interiors and a collection of local art give Atlanta’s AAA Five Diamond-rated Four Seasons Hotel a contemporary vibe. You’ll want to linger over cocktails at sleek Bar Margot. Another Five Diamond stay, St. Regis Atlanta provides a serene and perfectly proper experience. Here your butler will unpack your bags, and afternoon tea is offered each day.
For a taste of luxury in Atlanta’s vibrant Buckhead neighborhood, opt for a stay at The Whitley. This AAA Four Diamond-rated property is chic and welcoming, and boasts panoramic views of the city and surrounding area from high-floor rooms.
Ready for an Atlanta getaway? Call your local AAA Travel Agent at 800-750-5386 or visit AAA.com/Travel and book your trip today!
(Traveler Summer 2020)
(photo by Gene Phillips/AtlantaCVB)