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Come to Atlanta and be cerebral! Some of the most significantly important historical things in the history of North America happened here, traveled through here or existed here. Start with the Martin Luther King Jr. Historical site, and start by visiting the home where the Civil Rights leader was born. Then head to Ebeneezer Baptist Church where he preached and close out the day hanging out in the memorial site where the legendary orator is buried. If you haven’t had your fill of memorial sites, head over to Oakland Cemetery where greats like Margaret Mitchell (the scribe behind “Gone With The Wind”) and golfing great Bobby Jones make their final resting home. Speaking of “Gone With The Wind,” you’d be remiss if you failed to stop over at the Margaret Mitchell House, which is a gorgeous turn-of-the century, three-story, Tudor building where Mitchell lived and wrote her Pulitzer Prize-winning book. There also is a very cool exibit here dedicated to the 1939 film adaptation of the book.
Like most major metropolitan cities in the U.S., Atlanta is loaded with plenty of things to check out on any given day. Here are five attractions that’ll have you coming back for more.
The World of Coca-Cola. Originally created for medicinal purposes in 1886, today Coca-Cola is one of the most recognizable brands around the globe. The World of Coca-Cola not only walks patrons through a history lesson of the company with a humble start, but also provides a smorgasbord of tastes from other countries.
Inside CNN Studio Tour. Get a bird-eye-view of how news is made at the world headquarters of the 24-hour cable news network, CNN, located in the heart of downtown.
The Georgia Aquarium. The largest aquarium in the world is home to some of the most incredible sea wildlife on the planet. Beluga whales, whale sharks, manta rays, and millions of gallons of water make the Georgia Aquarium a must-see.
Center For Puppetry Arts. Visionary Jim Henson personally cut the ribbon to the Center for Puppetry Arts at its opening in 1978. The museum focuses on the magic of imagination and world created by puppets.
Zoo Atlanta. Get your fill of cuteness with the giant pandas residing at Zoo Atlanta. Po, named after the “Kung Fu Panda” character, was born in 2010 and remains a popular attraction at the zoo.
Lego Land Discovery Center. In 2012 LEGO Land arrived at Phipps Plaza and the Danish import is a hit the young and the young at heart. Check out a room with a replica of Atlanta’s landmarks made from more than one-million Lego bricks, a 4-D cinema, chariot-themed interactive laser ride, flying swings, and earthquake tables -- this massive space is fun for the whole family.
Atlanta has a little bit of everything: great music, great food, great shopping, and great (well, sometimes) sports teams, but let's not forget another pretty great thing about the city: our weather. Here are your best bests for spending some time outdoors.
Catching the Falcons at the Georgia Dome or the Hawks at Phillips Arena is always fun, but there's no better summer pasttime than tailgating in the Blue Lot outside the Braves stadium, then heading into the Ted (as Atlantans call Turner Field) for nine innings of baseball, cold beer or frozen lemonade, and food options that go beyond the typical hot dogs and nachos (though there are plenty of those, too). To make your seventh-inning stretch a little more upscale, try the steak sandwiches at Kevin Rathbun Steak or the famous Holeman & Finch burger.
Not sports inclined? Check out Stone Mountain— whether you'd like to do the one-mile hike up to the top or you'd rather bring dinner and a picnic blanket and catch the evening laser show, this is the place for you. If you're not into BYOB, check out SweetWater Brewery. There, vistiors can tour the brewery itself and get six eight-ounce pours of SweetWater beers in a keepsake pint glass for $10. Enjoy them on the expansive patio while listening to live music.
There's also the newly opened Eastside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine. The paved, walkable trail spans a 2.25-mile stretch of the city, from Midtown to Inman Park. Spend an afternoon exploring— you'll see everything from great views of the city to unique graffiti. And if you need a bite to eat, there are quite a few restaurants along the 'Line that would be happy to host hungry cyclists, runners, and dog-walkers. For a more flowerly experience, try the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. They offer something for everyone: Cocktails in the Garden, canopy walks, a carnivorous plant hunt, tai chi classes, and more.