Things to Do in Atlanta
Set in the northwest corner of Piedmont Park, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is a stunning 30 acre (12 hectare) garden composed of winding paths and a number of smaller themed gardens. Each themed garden contains different landscapes to display a variety of plants. Two woodland areas, Upper Woodland and Storza Woods, feature large trees, paved paths, a fern glade, bubbling brooks, and shade-loving flowers and undergrowth.
One of the major highlights of the Atlanta Botanical Garden is the Dorothy Chapman Fuqua Conservatory, a massive collection of plants from tropical rainforests and deserts. Another is the Tropical Rotunda, a rainforest populated by tropical birds, turtles, and several exhibits of poison dart frogs. For those wanting to see the woodland areas from above, try the Canopy Walk, which gives you a bird’s-eye view from 40 feet (12 meters) up.
Other highlights include a rock garden, a dwarf conifer garden, and an English knot herb garden.
“Home of the Braves” is a slogan most Georgians know by heart. Although Turner Field is best known as the home ballpark for the Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball team, it was originally constructed and used as the Centennial Olympic Stadium in the 1996 Olympic Games. It was converted to its current use the next year.
Turner Field, with its 49,000 seats, boasts state-of-the-art technology and high-class entertainment for visiting fans. There are 500 television monitors throughout the field, ensuring that fans catch every play, no matter where they are. The team’s catchy chant, the “tomahawk chop” is assisted by a 27-foot-long neon tomahawk situated over one of the large video boards. The Atlanta Braves announced plans in 2013 to move to a new stadium north of Turner Field by 2017, so while the stadium's past is ingrained in the minds of Atlanta fans, its future is undecided.
One of Atlanta’s major showstoppers is the Georgia Aquarium, a colossal facility billing itself as the world's largest aquarium. The aquarium’s 8 million gallons of marine and fresh water is home to more than 100,000 animals representing 500 different species. The aquarium's notable specimens include four young whale sharks, two beluga whales, and two manta rays.
The five permanent exhibits, each with its own habitat, will surely enthrall. Within these displays are Australian weedy sea dragons, giant Pacific octopus, Japanese spider crabs, otters, and piranha. There’s even a petting tank where visitors can touch horseshoe crabs, sea stars, stingrays, and shrimp. Take a walk through an acrylic tunnel, surrounded by water, and watch as gigantic whale sharks swim overhead.
Antebellum, Georgia comes to life in the 1939 classic film, Gone with the Wind. Often thought of as the greatest romantic movie ever made, the film's heroine and hero, Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler, are featured in the film and in the halls of the Gone With the Wind Museum. Memorabilia from the iconic film lines the halls, and the exhibits transport visitors back to the Civil War and Reconstruction eras.
Opened in 2003, the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum features an impressive collection of artifacts from the film. One of the top attractions on display is the original Bengaline honeymoon gown worn by O'Hara's character. The film is based on Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel of the same name, and many of the author’s personal volumes of the novel are on display here as well. Other notable displays include additional costume pieces, foreign prints of the novel and a personal script of an actress in the film.
More Things to Do in Atlanta
Immerse yourself in Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler's enigmatic romance at the Road To Tara Museum, which brings to life Tara, the mythical plantation where Gone With the Wind takes place. Margaret Mitchell, the novel's author, created Tara based on the sprawling Victorian homes she saw in Clayton County, Georgia ,so today, Clayton County and the city of Jonesboro have been officially designated by the Georgia State Legislature as the "home of Gone With the Wind." Fittingly, the Road to Tara Museum is housed in the 1867 Train Depot in downtown historic Jonesboro.
At the museum visitors can see original props, wardrobe items and keepsakes from the 1939 Atlanta premiere of the feature film. The centerpiece is a large original oil mural depicting Rhett and Scarlett from the film, while additional oil paintings flank this large one. The museum also has an exhibit on the Civil War, featuring the Battle of Jonesboro.
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