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We left Savannah’s 90 degree heat and drove over 248 miles to arrive in a chilly, rainy Atlanta – our second to last stop on the NYC2NOLA road trip.

The dark cloud that loomed over us threatened more rain than it actually produced, but luckily we each had Atlanta CityPasses, which gave us the freedom to explore the best (indoor) attractions in Atlanta.

Atlanta skyscrapers

The CNN tour at the CNN building offers a fascinating look behind the scenes at one of the world’s largest TV stations. We saw studios, the newsroom, and learned why, despite being able to choose their own outfits, anchormen and women should never wear green.

CNN Jess

Next we headed over to the World of Coca Cola. At first, the experience is like jumping inside your TV into a Coca Cola commercial, but we’re glad we stuck it out til the end. The last room is a tasting center, where you can sample 64 different colas from around the world and tried out a hi-tech vending machine with every flavor of Coke you can imagine, including rare ‘Zero’ options like Pibb and Cherry Vanilla Zero. We gave up drinking soda a year ago for the most part, but this was like traveling around the world in 64 flavors: Inca Kola from Peru, a Melon soda from Thailand, and other drinks from as far as Africa or Germany (much to Dani’s delight!).

World of coke tasting room

Our City Passes also included Atlanta’s aquarium, which is conveniently located right next to the World of Coke and which is the largest aquarium in the world! We saw massive manta rays that reminded us of snorkeling in Belize, and 18 foot long whale sharks that made us wish we had made the trip to swim with them in their natural habitat in Holbox while we were in the Yucatan in Mexico.

atlanta aquarium whale shark

The most exciting part was the Behind the Scenes tour we went on which comes as standard for holders of the CityPass! The tour allows views of the exhibits from above. Here, above the giant tank with Mantas and Whale Sharks (can you spot him in the picture below?), we spotted six snorkelers! It turns out that for $275 you can snorkel in the tank, for $350 you can dive.

Atlanta Aquarium behind the scenes with whale shark

We got a good feeling of the city while walking around, from the downtown financial district to chic Buckhead, and from the charming area of Vinings to the up-and-coming East Point, where many of our favorite rappers come from. There was no stalking…though we may have also driven by Usher’s house. Maybe.

Atlanta building with muralAnother highlight was dinner at Mary Mac’s Tea Room, an Atlanta dining institution, where our good friend Nicole introduced us to classic Southern cuisine and desserts. We stuffed our bellies with ‘vegetable’ options like home-made fried green tomatoes, mac’n’cheese and vegetable soufflés (ah, the South!) and melt-in-your-mouth desserts like banana pudding, bread pudding and Georgia peach cobbler.Sure, we might each out on fifteen pounds from this road trip, but we’re loving every minute of it!

Mary Macs Tea Room Atlanta

Thanks to the Atlanta Visitors Bureau for the great suggestions and helping us maximize our  short time in the city by providing us with a pair of CityPasses.

Tags : atlantageorgiaNYC2NOLA

5 Comments

  1. Am about to head to Atlanta for a quick conference trip and was excited to find your review here 🙂 I’m staying close to the Coke and Aquarium, so those two are a must on my list already. Do you have restaurant suggestions in that area by any chance?
    Sabrina recently posted..Only in Texas: Kolaches

    1. Hi Sabrina, we don’t have a recommendation for that area, but the restaurant we mentioned in the post (Mary Mac’s Tea Room) is well worth the trip there (10 minutes from downtown) – they’re famed for their Southern cooking! We’re looking forward to hear how you like Atlanta.

  2. I’ll see if I can make it to that restaurant. It’s a conference trip and I won’t have a car, so it’ll depend on if I meet people with a car or if I’ll find decent public transportation. I heard the subway is pretty good in Atlanta. Is Mary Mac’s Tea Room a place you could enjoy by yourself or is one of those places best enjoyed with other people there?
    Sabrina recently posted..Only in Texas: Kolaches

    1. I think Mary Mac’s is definitely a place best enjoyed with a group of people – big rooms with big tables. I have been thinking again about downtown restaurants and the Vortex was recommended to us by several people: http://www.thevortexbarandgrill.com. It is right on Peachtree Street and the entrance is a big skull, so you can’t miss it. People were raving about that place but we didn’t make it there.

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