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Top 10 places to visit in Atlanta

By Billy O'Keefe

TAREN FUJIMOTO / The Working Press
Photos by James Brosher / The Working Press
Stop. Put down the bourbon. Step away from the bar. Explore the best Atlanta has to offer. Take a walk, hop on MARTA or take a short cab ride to see these sights.

Two tourists walk past a mural inside the CNN Center.

Two tourists walk past a mural inside the CNN Center.

Centennial Olympic Park – Built for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, this 21-acre park is a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike. The Fountain of Rings show, with jets of water synchronized to popular songs, is one of Atlanta’s most famous attractions and is shown several times daily. 265 Park Ave. West NW. (404) 223-4636. Daily 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. MARTA: Take the West Line to the Dome/GWCC/Philips Arena Station (W-1), or take the North Line to Peachtree Center (N-1), and follow the signs. 20- minute walk from the Hyatt.

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site – Visit the birth home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on a National Park Service ranger-led tour. The Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, currently closed for renovation, is where Dr. King was baptized and named co-pastor with his father, “Daddy” King, in 1960. The crypts of Dr. King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, are on a rising in the center of a reflection pool. 450 Auburn Ave., NE (404) 331-6922. Daily 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Admission and parking are free. 15-minute cab ride from the Hyatt.
Underground Atlanta – Six blocks and two street levels of shops, restaurants and nightlife spots are what remain of Atlanta’s pre-1900s city level – before viaducts were built over existing streets to carry local traffic. 50 Upper Alabama St., Ste. 7. (404) 523-2311. Mon. – Sat. 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sun. 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. 20-minute walk from the Hyatt.

World of Coca-Cola at Pemberton Place – Visitors can sample more than 60 different beverages at World of Coca-Cola’s new location on the edge of Centennial Olympic Park and next to the Georgia Aquarium. There are two levels of attractions, including a 4-D multi-sensory movie about the secret Coca-Cola formula and a behind-the-scenes view of the bottling process. 121 Baker St. NW. (404) 676-5151. Mon. – Sat. 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Sun. 10 a.m. -5 p.m. Adults: $15; Seniors $13. MARTA stop W-1: Dome/GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN Center or MARTA stop N-1: Peachtree Center. Five-to-10-minute walk from either station. 20-minute walk from the Hyatt. 5 to 10 minute walk from either station.
The Georgia Aquarium – With more than eight million gallons of water and five unique galleries, the Georgia Aquarium houses the world’s largest collection of aquatic animals and species. Touch horseshoe crabs, sea stars, and stingrays in the Georgia Explorer gallery. View tropical coral reef as living art in the Tropical Diver gallery—a staff member and visitor favorite. 225 Baker St., NW. (404) 581-4000. Sun. – Thurs. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Fri. 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sat. 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Adults: $26; Seniors: $21.50; Children 3-12: $19.50
High Museum of Art – A unique collection of classic and contemporary art including “Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement 1956-1968,” an exhibit containing images from the Freedom Rides of 1961 and the Selma-Montgomery March of 1965. 1280 Peachtree Street, N.E. (404) 733-4400. Hours vary. Adults: $18; Seniors and students: $15.
Atlantic Station – Atlantic Station is quickly becoming a hot spot for young hipsters and college students to shop, eat, work and play in Atlanta’s newest district of shops, townhouses, and office buildings. Fox Sports Bar & Grill is a popular weekend hangout perfect for watching sporting events. The Atlantic Station Market hosts an Artists Market every Friday, and an open-air public market ever Saturday and Sunday. Seventeenth Street in Midtown. (404) 845-0793. MARTA: Take the North Line to Arts Center, then a free shuttle to Atlantic Station.
Margaret Mitchell House & Museum – Visit the home where Margaret Mitchell wrote her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that inspired the classic American movie, “Gone With the Wind.” Take a tour of the historic house listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The site also boasts a movie museum and gift shop. 990 Peachtree St. (404) 249-7015. Mon. – Sat., 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Adult $12; Senior/Student $9.
Landmark Diner Restaurant – Located at the corner of Forsyth and Luckie streets, the Landmark Diner is an affordable, 24-hour eatery for Georgia State University students and locals alike. The funky, retro-inspired restaurant won the December 2004 Best of Atlanta award for its fusion of American, Italian and Greek cuisine. (404) 816 – 9090.
CNN Atlanta Studio – A ride up on the world’s largest freestanding escalator brings guests to the front door of CNN’s global headquarters. Tour participants can check out the 50-foot-tall globe, containing more than 25 years of CNN history via interactive kiosks and experience the CNN Control Room, giving viewers an inside look at CNN’s live broadcasts. Studio 7E, CNN’s black-box studio, offers guests an up-close look at the technology used. One CNN Center. (404) 827-2300. Guided tours are 55 minutes long and leave every 10 minutes. Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult $12; Senior $11.