Like I mentioned in this week’s Real Talk on experiential education, we here at Val in Real Life are do-ers. We like to get out and get our hands on things. While we like to keep a good bit of variety in our lives, Fred and George do have some favorite Atlanta haunts that they never seem to tire of and that they wanted me to share with you. Granted, when I posed the question to them, it resulted in an huge debate and elaborate ranking system, Fred and George style. Seriously, be careful what you ask those two!
So with that, here’s a quick roundup of our Top Five Atlanta outings of the urban variety…
Atlanta Botanical Garden…
Where else can you see such a variety of plants from around the world in one place than a botanical garden? Like with any garden, at ABG you can spend a few hours casually enjoying the sights and sounds or all day exploring the intricacies. There’s something for everyone to explore amongst all the different gardens and facilities but ABG also offers classes, special exhibits, and concerts.
The world according to Fred and George: Fred says be sure to check out the lotuses near the Fuqua Orchid Center. George says don’t miss the Edible Garden.
For current hours, entrance fees and other general info, go check out Atlanta Botanical Garden’s site.
World of Coca-Cola…
While this is not my favorite place, it holds quite an allure for Fred and George. The World of Coca-Cola houses gobs of Coca-Cola history as well as a look at the manufacturing process among other exhibits. On our latest visit they even had one of the torches from the 2012 London Olympics which was pretty neat to see.
The world according to Fred and George: They were unanimous in their recommendation of Taste It as a must-see…or in this case, must-taste. I’m sure it won’t shock you that they would recommend a room full of sodas from around the world that you can sample to your hearts content.
Here’s the World of Coca-Cola site for current hours, entrance fees and other general info.
You’ve probably heard about this world-class facility because of the whale sharks. They alone are worth the visit but there’s plenty to see within all of the fabulous galleries at the aquarium. With several hands-on tanks, a dolphin show, and even an indoor playground, little ones should be quite engaged. For us adult types, there’s aquatic life from all over the world to discover…unless the whale shark slide is more your speed that is.
The world according to Fred and George: Fred, oddly enough, loves the tank with the Jacks right as you enter the aquarium. I guess he finds it soothing but he could spend a lot of time watching them. Mr. George is obsessed with the Ocean Voyager exhibit that is home to the whale sharks.
Located right next to the World of Coca-Cola, you can reasonably visit both facilities in one day but it will be a long, tiring one…especially for little ones. Check out the Georgia Aquarium website for more details.
Stone Mountain Park…
Oh where to start with Stone Mountain, Atlanta’s Pet Rock? Still a haven of natural beauty in it’s trails and lakes, it’s also got many theme park-style entertainment options as well as Civil War history to explore. I guess it’s got a little something for everyone…including many, many geocaches if you’re so inclined. I’ve written about climbing Stone Mountain before but there are obviously many other activities to get involved in there. You could spend days there if you wanted to try to see it all.
The world according to Fred and George: I got another unanimous recommendation from the minions in this one. While granola mom here would like to think climbing the mountain or geocaching would be their favorite part, they both adore the brand-new Geyser Tower.
To get started on the wealth of things to do, head over to the Stone Mountain Park website.
Center for Puppetry Arts…
Like I mentioned in Places You Should Go: The Center for Puppetry Arts, this is a place that doesn’t seem to get the attention it deserves, especially amongst out-of-towners. I won’t go into more detail here since I wrote a whole post about it already but I will give you…
The world according to Fred and George: The puppet place is pretty much about the shows. While Fred and George enjoy the other offerings there, it just wouldn’t be a visit to the Center without seeing a performance so catching a show is their advice.
Click on over to the Center for Puppetry Arts for more info.
Since the top five are a still a matter of contention here, I have to give a shout out to these fabulous places that also get the Fred and George seal of approval even if they didn’t make the top of the list in this round of debate:
- Atlanta History Center
- Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center
- Fernbank Museum of Natural History
- High Museum
- Chattahoochee Nature Center
I was actually quite surprised by the results of my little Fred and George survey and what ended up in the top five. I think the fact that this prompted such a raucous discussion here shows that you can’t go wrong with any of these options if you find yourself in the Atlanta area. Enjoy!