A melting pot of southern American flavours, Atlanta has boomed over the past few years into a cultural force to be reckoned with. Home to world-class museums, family friendly attractions and a legendary nightlife, Atlanta has been rightfully crowed by the locals as ‘the Capital of the South’. Situated in the US state of Georgia in Fulton County, visitors from all over the globe enjoy city breaks to Atlanta, making the most of bustling shopping centres and mouth-watering American cooking.
The show-stopping Georgia Aquarium is a real gem in Atlanta’s crown. When it opened in 2005 it was the world’s largest aquarium, although that title now goes to the Marine Life Park in Singapore. It is still however the largest aquarium in the western hemisphere and features over 100,000 different animals covering 500 different species. That is a lot of fish to see, and you could very easily spend your whole break exploring the different areas of this vast attraction. Another top family attraction in Atlanta is the World of Coca-Cola™, which encompasses a range of fascinating exhibitions on the history and development of the fizzy drink company, as well as free samples. Or if you’d rather see more animals, head to Zoo Atlanta where you’ll find an array of exotic species.
Atlanta’s connection to the Civil Rights Movement is best explored at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. This site covers several blocks and includes a visitor’s centre with a full range of information on the life and times of the great Civil Rights activist. Dr King’s legacy can be explored further at the King Center for Non-Violent Social Change, which includes his Nobel Peace Prize and his birthplace. For a wider look at the history of Atlanta, head to the Atlanta History Center where you’ll find the Atlanta History Museum and a number of historical gardens.
Atlanta plays an important role in America’s culture and media industries, and the city is home to a number of fantastic galleries. The High Museum of Art is the leading art museum in the southeast of the USA, housed in a striking contemporary building. The museum has over 14,000 different works in its permanent collection, including art by Claude Monet, Auguste Rodin and John Singer Sargent. Also in Atlanta are the headquarters of CNN, the CNN Centre, which has a regular behind-the-scenes tour of the 24-hour news organisation.
The South is world-famous for delicious cuisine and Atlanta wouldn’t be much of a ‘Capital of the South’ if it didn’t hold this reputation to account. Luckily, Atlanta excels when it comes to mouth-watering food and drink. For fresh seafood, make your way to Goin' Coastal, or for sumptuous slow-roasted beef head to Leon's Full Service. As for nightlife, the Brick Store Pub is the place for beer lovers while the Centennial Olympic Park has a regular line-up of live concerts.