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Atlanta Attractions

Top 10 Things to Do in Atlanta

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More than 51 million visitors annually head to Atlanta, and with good reason. There’s plenty of fun activities in this great city, where visitors can enjoy pleasant weather, historic sites, and modern amenities.

While the list of fun things to do in Atlanta could be a very long one, here are 10 of the top activities to do on your visit.

  1. Visit the Georgia Aquarium: This world-renowned aquarium has everything from sea lions to a dolphin show to whale sharks. There’s more marine life in one place than you imagined you could see and you can spend an entire day enjoying the shows, watching the animals and enjoying the calming aquarium waters.
  2. Take a tour of the World of Coca Cola: Sample more than 100 beverages, learn the history of this iconic American soft drink and meet the Coca Cola bear at this exciting attraction.
  3. Visit the Delta Flight Museum: Delta is headquartered in Atlanta and their Flight Museum spans 68,000 educational acres. You can test your pilot skills with a flight simulator, see planes from days gone by, and enjoy immersive exhibits that are great fun for anyone who is fascinated by the miracle of flight.
  4. Take a CNN Studio Tour: This one is great for news junkies who want an insider’s view of how the news gets made. You may even catch a glimpse of some of your favorite tv show hosts that you see on cable news every night.
  5. Get your exercise on the Atlanta Beltline: Do you enjoy being outdoors and getting your blood pumping with a little physical activity? You can walk, run, or bike the Beltline while making sure to take plenty of breaks to enjoy art galleries, local restaurants, and shops.
  6. See a play at Alliance Theatre: This Tony-award winning theatre gives you the chance to see broadway hits before they hit the Big Apple.
  7. Visit the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum: If you’re a fan of politics, this one is for you. Jimmy Carter’s presidential library not only provides education on the accomplishments of America’s peanut-farming president, but there’s even a replica Oval Office so you can get a first-hand glimpse into what this room embodying American politics and power looks like.
  8. Take time to smell the roses: The Atlanta Botanical Gardens span 30 acres and provide ample opportunity to enjoy the beauty of lush gardens and fragrant exotic flowers.
  9. Shop at Krog Street Market: This food hall is sure to have delicious treats for every person’s taste. The market is set in a unique 1920’s warehouse space and you can sample a wide array of culinary delights from simple to fancy. While visiting, be sure to check out the street art at the Krog Street Tunnel too.
  10. Museum of Design Atlanta: Atlanta has plenty of great museums, but the Museum of Design has unique offerings not found elsewhere, including exhibits on fashion, furniture, and interiors.

These are just some of the many great activities you can enjoy on your visit to Atlanta. The best thing about the city is that there’s something for everyone to do, whether you like sports, culture, or classic American brands.

The Fox Theater in Atlanta

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Since 1928, the Fox Theatre in Atlanta has been host to can’t miss events. Visiting the Fox Theatre is a must when you’re in the Atlanta area, but you’ll enjoy this attraction much more if you know the history behind it.

The Fox Theatre was conceived originally to serve as the home of the Shriners organization, which is a national fraternal organization that’s considered to be a subgroup of the Masons.

Desiring a headquarters befitting their stature, the Shriners looked towards ancient temples and architectural gems from days-gone-by. The plan for the Shriner incorporated elements from the Temple of Kharnak in Egypt and the Alhambra in Spain, which meant that the inside and outside of the building were both majestic.  Much of the design was based on middle-eastern influences, and in fact the Shriners held a design contest and chose an Arabian theme conceived of by a local architecture firm that resembled a mosque.

There was just one problem: creating the elaborate and ornate design proved to be more financially burdensome than the Shriners had expected. After all, the design incorporated things like gold leaf and trompe l’oeil art, and all of that comes at a big price.  To solve their financial woes caused by their grand designs, the Shriners leased the auditorium they’d conceived of to a movie mogul named William Fox.

Fox had played an integral role in making trips to the movies a magical experience, creating movie palaces that served as the centerpiece of communities by the end of the 1920’s.  Fox worked with the Shriners and provided financial backing to pay for the construction of Fox Theatre. No expense was spared and, in fact, around $3 million was poured into the project. While that may not seem like much, keep in mind that once adjusted for inflation, that’s the equivalent of around $40 million. With money like that, you better believe that the Fox Theatre was a masterpiece.

Fox Theatre first opened in 1929 with a Christmas day premiere of Steamboat Willie, the first Disney cartoon to star the iconic Micky Mouse.  The theatre also featured the world’s largest Möller theatre organ, and this 3,622 pipe organ remains the largest in this world even to this day.

While Fox Theatre grew popular as word spread, the Great Depression led to a forced bankruptcy in 1932 and the theatre was auctioned off on the courthouse steps where a private company purchased it for only $75,000.  The bankruptcy happened just 125 weeks after the iconic theatre opened.

While Fox no longer owned it, the theatre kept its name and over three decades, hundreds of films and live performances attracted visitors from across the country.  Fox Theatre also became well known as a top dance destination during the Big Band era when swing was king throughout the country.

Today, Fox Theatre remains one of the largest movie theatres that was ever built. It spans 250,000 square feet and it remains a popular tourist attraction for those in the Atlanta area.