Atlanta Weekender: Savor the Manhattan of the South with These Local Faves
By: Angela Braden
A city on the rise, Atlanta is becoming more and more of a tourist destination! If you’re coming down here for business or to see friends and family, you now have a lot more upscale options. With a little help from your friends at journeyPod, experience some of the finer things that Atlanta has to offer and make this road trip or weekend getaway truly memorable!
The Georgia Aquarium: The largest in the world, is not to be missed. Enjoy a scuba-divers view without getting wet, as you stroll trough galleries surrounded by creatures of the sea—look into the eyes of a Great White Shark as he swims inches from your nose or gaze up at the graceful whales and rays gliding through the sun-drenched water in the 100-foot-long underwater tunnel. With 4,574 square-feet of viewing windows, 185 tons of acrylic windows and the second largest viewing window in the world at 23 feet tall by 61 feet wide, the Ocean Voyager gallery puts the largest variety and size of fish, in the world on spectacular view.
Experience the largest living coral reef exhibit in any U.S. aquarium—the Tropical Diver exhibit is home to thousands of vibrantly-hued tropical fish. The recreation of a pacific barrier reef is completed by an overhead, synthesized crashing wave.
With 100,000 animals representing 500 species from around the globe and over 505,000 sq. ft of total space, this astonishing aquatic world will mesmerize and amaze the most well-traveled adventurer. The Georgia Aquarium is adjacent to Centinal Olympic Park so you can walk through and reflect on the drama of the 1996 Summer Games as well.
Fox Theatre: Get your cultural fix with a show at “the fabulous” Fox theatre (at Peachtree and Ponce de Leon). This aggressively-preserved landmark is worth seeing regardless of what’s on the screen. With its famous starry sky, a vaulted ceiling painted ultramarine blue with twinkling bulbs fixed above four-inch crystals, the Fox rivals the most beautiful theaters in Europe.
High Museum of Art: Through an elegant tour of the High Museum of Art, examine the sculpture that Leonardo Da Vinci studied, the drawings he created for his own sculptural projects, and his interactions with other Renaissance sculptors. Leonardo da Vinci: Hand of the Genius (through February 21st will feature approximately 50 works including more than 20 sketches and studies by Leonardo, some of which will be on view in the US for the first time. This extraordinary exhibition exemplifies Leonardo’s seminal role in the emergence of Renaissance sculpture. Other must see works at this world-class museum are two paintings by Pierre Auguste Renoir, “Woman Arranging Her Hat” (ca. 1890) and “Still-Life with Apples” (ca. 1890); a bronze sculpture by Rodin; as well as Impressionist paintings by Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Frederic Bazille—all in the permanent collections.
Tellus Northwest Georgia Science Museum: Though it’s a trek up I75, Tellus is newly-expanded and the home of the fascinating, 800-square-foot, Green Habitats Solar Decathlon House. This one-bedroom, one-bath, steel-framed structure runs completely on solar power and was an award-winning project of the Georgia Institute of Technology architecture students. The Steward of the House, John Lie-Nielsen (www.greenhabitats.org), hopes this green-home prototype will provide inspiration to thousands of future eco-conscious builders and designers. The house converts sunlight into at least 3,600 watts of electricity, supplying its daily energy needs with the capability to store solar energy for future use as well or sell it directly to the power company. The rooftop panels can be tilted to take best advantage of the most extreme angles of sunlight in winter and summer.
The Tellus museum also houses some of the world’s largest geodes. The transportation gallery has the cockpit of an airplane, a replica of a damaged Apollo 1 capsule, and a replica of the Wright Brothers 1903 airplane. The fossils range from the mouth of a giant shark to a Tyrannosaurus Rex. If you’re traveling with a future scientist, engineer, or architect, Tellus is a must see. Tellus is located one hour north of Atlanta in Cartersville, Georgia.
The Atlanta Botanical Garden: Offers over 30 acres of exquisite beauty in the heart of Atlanta, featuring breathtaking gardens, woodlands and unique displays of rotating artwork creatively intertwined among the lush plant life. One of the world’s largest permanent orchid displays is sure to tantalize, while the interactive children’s garden gives the little ones good reason to fall in love with nature. Rare and endangered plants and amphibians, from tropical rain forests and desert regions, are conserved here—your serenity just might be too.
Taking in these Atlanta gems ensures you experience some of the best exhibits the world has to offer in the largest city of the South. For a full list of our favorite restaurants, bars and boutique hotels make sure to check out our Atlanta Destination Guide!
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