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Sunday, 15 November 2009 23:13
If you're ever at a convention or conference in Atlanta, get out of your hotel; there's lots to do and see in this great city.  With help from the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, here's  just a few of the sightseeing opportunities in this southern metropolis. The World of Coca Cola Pavilion is located in the heart of the city on 55 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.  It’s the focal point of Underground Atlanta, a “city within a city” featuring all the shopping and other amenities that you would expect.   The main drop off point for Underground Atlanta is at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot, an historical landmark completed in 1869.  Along with the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot is among the oldest pre-1860’s buildings in Atlanta.  The Coca-Cola Pavilion was originally designed to be a tongue in cheek celebration of Coca Cola collectibles.   The Pavilion—a large square-shaped building divided into three pyramid-topped sections—is connected by glass walls and a covered plaza.  The ultimate shrine to what the French have dubbed “American Champaign”: Coca Cola! Speaking of shrines, just one block from the Georgia Railroad Depot, you will find Atlanta’s oldest religious establishment: the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.   The original church on this site was completed in 1848 and was one of the few structures that survived the attack of the Union army some years later.   Legend has it that a wily Irish priest, a Father O’Reilly, convinced General Sherman that there would be a price to pay if he touched the building!  Damaged in the war, the church was upgraded and rebuilt.  It’s now one of the architectural gems of Atlanta.  Severely damaged by fire in 1982, it has since undergone a restoration.  This site is a major attraction in Atlanta.The Georgia State Capitol is reminiscent of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC.  The building is constructed of Indiana limestone; however, Georgia marble is used extensively in the interior.  The central dome was gilded in 1981.   The building is located in a park-like area with various monuments, markers, etc.    The Capitol is located on Washington Street and is a relaxing stop on a tour of the city.The Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Building was originally built as Atlanta’s main post office.  The building is designed in a stripped-down classical style, typical of many structures built in the 1930’s.  The USPS vacated the building in the early 1980’s; it now houses government offices.The Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library is an impressive building occupying an entire city block.  It’s reputed to be Atlanta’s finest public building in the Beaux-Arts style.   Landscaped plazas, including Margaret Mitchell Square, are located on all sides of this structure.Centennial Olympic Park is a legacy from the 1996 Olympic Games, which were hosted by Atlanta.  It’s a popular downtown attraction featuring the world’s largest fountain: the Fountain of Rings, adjacent to The Children’s Museum and restaurants.Do you want to know the formula for Coca Cola?  It’s consistent quality, good marketing and solid branding!  Seriously, you could visit SunTrust Bank in downtown Atlanta.  The original formula is stored in the main vault.  Be forewarned: you’re not likely to get to see the world’s most famous trade secret!!!The Marietta Artery begins at Olympic Park and stretches for three miles along the former Western & Atlantic Railway.   The Artery boasts many excellent restaurants , while the upper tip of the district has a heavy concentration of galleries and theaters.Back to Underground Atlanta, located near the Coca Cola Pavilion, this area offers six city blocks of shopping, entertainment and restaurants .  The area encompasses twelve acres on three different levels!Buckhead is a legendary Atlanta hot spot located within easy reach of the Renaissance Waverly hotel.  Buckhead consists of over one hundred bars and clubs, excellent dining, high-end homes, the Governor's Mansion and the Atlanta History Center.Ten Other Sites in Atlanta1. The Atlanta Botanical Garden has 30 acres of gardens, an urban forest, an orchid display, and a glass enclosure with over 5,000 rare tropical and desert plants.   (404)876-58592. The Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum  tells the story of the 1864 Battle of Atlanta through an enormous painting with accompanying narration.  This site is a major attraction for all history buffs.  (404)624-10713. Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome is must-see for all sports fans.  This  site of the 1996 Olympics  and the XXXIV Super Bowl offers tours to the public. (404)223-86874. The Center for Puppetry Arts is the largest center in North America that’s dedicated to the art of puppetry.   The center has performances sure to delight all.  (404)873-33915. CNN Studio Tours are available at the headquarters of this news empire.  Visit the Control Room Theater and the Main Newsroom.  For information call (404)827-23006. Fernbank Museum of Natural History features exhibition galleries and an IMAX theater.   This 150 acre complex boasts an observatory and planetarium.  (404)378-01277. The Gone with the Wind Experience may be had by visiting the Margaret Mitchell House & Museum.  For those who give a darn about the classic movie, call (404)249-70128. Jimmy Carter Library and Museum is dedicated to the work of this peripatetic former president!  (404)865-71009. Six Flags over Georgia—enuf said?  (404)424-928310. William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum explores Jewish heritage and its relationship to other cultures and religions.  The museum has two permanent galleries.  (404)873-1661The Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau invites you to visit their website where you can get more great information about the city.  The site may be found at http://attend.atlanta.net/
 

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