Where we stayed...
We stayed at the Omni Hotel CNN Centre as this was the best for price and location. With Centennial Olympic Park across the road and shops and restaurants on the other side of the park, most things were in walking distance. The hotel is also connected directly to the CNN Center where you can take a tour for $16.50, or simply head to the food court. We really recommend the ice cream at Naturals.
How to get around Atlanta…
The transport system in Atlanta is called Marta, it includes streetcars, buses, and rail. The streetcar has a variety of ticket options, but an all-day pass costs $3 and was the best option for us. The streetcars also have visual and audio announcements to indicate the next stop, making it really accessible.
We used the streetcar from Centennial Olympic Park to go to both Sweet Auburn Market, and King Historic District stops. It runs in a loop, so make sure you plan ahead where you want to go to and when!
We also used the rail to take us to Cheesecake Factory, boarding the gold line to Lenox Square. The rail station, Peachtree Center, was about a 15-minute walk from our hotel. This is also one of the stops on the streetcar line!
Walking around Downtown Atlanta was also very easy as everything is reasonably close together. However, on one of the days, we wanted to roam outside of downtown to Walmart. Although the walk was not too far, it was undeniable that it was not really the place to walk to. Some of the paths were unkept, and we found that we had to walk along the roads. There was no reason for us to have felt unsafe, but we were cautious as we were very clearly tourists.
What to do in Atlanta...
After checking in at our hotel, we strolled through Centennial Olympic Park on our way to Hooters on Peachtree Street for dinner as I had never been. This street felt like the liveliest street in downtown, as this is where we found most bars and restaurants.
After dinner, we headed back for dessert at the CNN centre, where mum fell in love with their praline ice cream.
The next day, we went for breakfast at Waffle House and then decided to spend the rest of the day learning about Black history. We spent a few hours at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, which cost $20 per person.
The museum is interactive and provides you with a simulated experience of a peaceful protestor at a lunch counter. This is achieved by sitting down at a chair which moves with some headphones on. Without wanting to give too much away, this is an experience everyone should have to fully understand the civil rights movement.
For lunch that day, we headed to Sweet Auburn Curb Market (also known as The Municipal Market) where we ate crab quesadillas. After exploring the market for a little while, we continued on the streetcar route to the Martin Luther King Jr National Historical Park.
Here, you will find another museum-type visitor centre showcasing the difficulties that African Americans faced (and still face) in America. It includes an exhibition on what a voting rights march looked like and a variety of videos. The surrounding park area is a dedicated memorial to MLK and civil rights. Outside features both poems written by school children and a walk of fame with tiles engraved with footprints of Civil Rights icons.
The next day we decided to have a pool day, but we can’t have a pool day without snacks. This was when we decided to walk to the nearest Walmart. We shopped for chocolate, fruit and a sub-sandwich to eat by the pool. So, after shopping, we got an uber back which cost $7.20. The rest of the day was spent relaxing in the radiant heat we so rarely feel here in England. That evening we went to The Cheesecake Factory at Lenox Square.
The final day, we didn’t have much time before having to leave for the airport. So, we spent the morning at the World of Coca-Cola. Upon entry, you receive a free can of coke while you wait for your tour to begin. During the experience, you’ll get to go on an immersive journey to find the vault of the secret formula and meet the Coca-Cola Polar Bear. As you go through, you eventually reach the Beverage Tasting Experience, which seems to be where most people gather. This contains flavours from all over the world.
Let us know the strangest one you liked!