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Atlanta travel guide (source taken from Expedia’s YouTube channel)

April 7, 2017

All rights belong to Expedia.

The US city of Atlanta is situated in the southeastern state of Georgia, near the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains. Atlanta is the center of sprawling metropolitan area of 5.5 million people in growing.

Atlanta’s downtown is over there, on their horizon, but the rest of the city is a little harder to see. It’s under all those trees. Atlanta is blessed with such a thick, continuous canopy of greenery, it’s often referred to as “The City in a Forest”.

Journey through the city’s past, at the Atlanta History Center. From the city’s beginning as a railway terminal in 1837, and through the plantation era to the American Civil War, when the city was almost completely burned to the ground.

The museum holds one of the largest collections of Civil War memorabilia in the country. But it’s not all flags and cannons; many exhibits focus on the human cost of this terrible conflict.

Overtime, the city rebuilt and boomed. First the freeways came, and then the Civil Rights era, when Atlanta took the front seat in the drive towards racial equality, earning it the title “A City Too Busy to Hate”.

In 1996, the city lit up again, this time for the Centennial Olympic Games. Atlanta got all gussied up, and was presented to the world, and it just gets more graceful with every passing season.

Atlanta today is a dynamic center of innovation and investment. Two of its leading corporations are also major tourist attractions. Go behind the scenes at CNN’s global headquarters by taking a guided tour through the television network which pioneered 24-hour news.

Nearby, you can learn some – but not all – of the secrets behind a little more homegrown product. At the World of Coca-Cola, travel along a bottling line, and through the 125-year history of a company that produces over a billion gallons of cola every year.

Right next door, and containing 10 million gallons of water, is the Georgia Aquarium, one of the world’s largest. The aquarium features six exhibits, from cold water to displays featuring beluga whales to touch tanks featuring rays, crabs, and starfish. But by far, the biggest attraction is a massive saltwater tank, the Ocean Voyager, where you can actually swim with whale sharks.

Atlanta is a city filled with architecture, synonymous with Southern style and grace. But for a taste of pure 1920s indulgence, step into the Fabulous Fox. Like a vision from Arabian Nights, the Fox Theater features a ceiling embedded with more stars than a moonless night in Georgia.

Atlanta has long been an arts-loving community. One of the world’s greatest stories, “Gone with the Wind”, was written and set here. Visit the humble apartment where novelist Margaret Mitchell once lived, and worked before her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel set the world on fire.

While Atlanta’s favorite novelist dreamed of best sellers, one Atlanta’s son dared to voice the shared dream of millions of African-Americans; equality. The Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site celebrates the journey of one of history’s most inspiring man. Visit the Civil Rights leader’s humble birthplace, the museum dedicated to his achievements, and the Baptist church where he once preached, and now lays at eternal rest.

Step back a little farther in time, at the Fernberg Museum of Natural History, and the adjacent Science Center, which examines history and science from the Big Bang, to more contemporary times.

If you prefer your animals a little more active, head over to Zoo Atlanta, where fabulous collections of giant pandas, gorillas, giraffes, and rhinos await. For a different kind of wildlife, spend an hour to explore the vintage emporiums and bars in Little Five Points, one of Atlanta’s many diverse neighborhoods.

Atlanta wears its gracious parks like a Southern Belle’s ball gown. Cool off in Centennial Olympic Park near the city’s downtown, or stretch out and rest awhile, in Midtown’s Piedmont Park. But for the best views of all, head east to Stone Mountain Park. Take the scenic train around the 5-mile circumference of the world’s largest exposed granite monolith. Then mosey on up to the summit via the hiking trail or the summit’s skyride cable car.

There it is again, Atlanta, Georgia. Sitting pretty under all those trees, just waiting to be discovered.

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