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Aquarium of the Pacific/Photo courtesy of the Aquarium of the Pacific

What to do in Atlanta Say hello to a whale shark and other denizens of the deep at the Georgia Aquarium (225 Baker St. N.W.) where exhibits range from tropical coral reefs to freshwater rivers. Among the exotic inhabitants at this state-of-the-art facility are perpetually smiling beluga whales, bizarre-looking cuttlefish and dapper penguins.

flickr/Ron Cogswell
Stone Mountain (I-285 & US 78) is bowl-shaped rather than pointy, making the 1.3-mile hike to the summit easier than you might think; just follow the yellow-dotted line painted on the ground. If visibility is good you can see Atlanta's skyline and even the north Georgia mountains in the distance. Stick around at night to catch the Lasershow Spectacular.

World of Coca-Cola
Ever taste Vegitabeta or Sparberry? Now is your chance. Try more than 100 beverages from around the globe—including Coca-Cola varieties—at the World of Coca-Cola (121 Baker St. N.W.). It's one of the most popular things to do in Atlanta.

If it's a hot day, head downtown to Centennial Olympic Park (265 Park Ave. West N.W.) and frolic in the Fountain of Rings. The park's lawn also happens to be a nice spot for a picnic.

Tour the Fox Theatre (660 Peachtree St. N.E.) an opulent throwback to the days when an old-fashioned movie premiere was a real event. The tour is a fascinating look at a building that came close to being demolished in the early '70s but staged a comeback in the '80s after an extensive, and still ongoing, renovation.

Journey to the Archibald Smith Plantation Home (935 Alpharetta St. in nearby Roswell) to explore lavish antebellum mansions that were an integral part of the Deep South. Docent-led tours explore the house—complete with original furnishings—and outbuildings.

AAA/Greg Weekes
Founded in 1850 when Atlanta outgrew its municipal graveyard and subsequently enlarged when the city needed space to lay to rest some 7,000 Civil War soldiers, Historic Oakland Cemetery (248 Oakland Ave. S.E.) contains rows of anonymous headstones as well as impressive marble mausoleums and monuments. “Gone With the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell is one of the notable Atlantans laid to rest here.

flickr/Chris Yunker
Guided tours of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site (450 Auburn Ave. N.E.) visit King's boyhood home, his crypt and the church where he preached. Portions of the Sweet Auburn neighborhood he grew up in have been preserved. Atlanta's many historical destinations provide options for family or group travel arrangements.

Delve further into the civil rights movement—and current human rights movements—at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights (100 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd.). Learn how past movements have impacted society, and see how you can get involved in an issue you feel passionately about.

Sip a specialty cocktail at the bar in The Sun Dial (73rd floor of The Westin Peachtree Plaza , 210 Peachtree St. N.W.). Are you looking for things for couples to do? Have a romantic meal at the restaurant, and enjoy the splendid panorama of downtown.

Hang out in the Little Five Points neighborhood (junction Euclid and Moreland aves). Bohemian is the buzzword here, from music to fashion to art, and there are some funky shops selling all kinds of cool stuff.

Holeman and Finch Public House/Bart Sasso
Learn where to eat from your favorite show. The Food Network has called the burger at Holeman and Finch Public House (2277 Peachtree Rd. N.E.) one of the country's best. It's a classic double-patty cheeseburger on a house-made bun, with homemade ketchup and mustard. It's easily one of the best places to eat in Atlanta.

AAA/iStockphoto.com
Note that there are plenty of fun things to do for sports enthusiasts as well, including the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame (250 Marietta St. N.W.). Explore the museum and have fun at Skill Zone, where you get to be the player.

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Atlanta, GA

Top AAA Diamond Hotels

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Embassy Suites by Hilton Atlanta Buckhead

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210 Peachtree St NW. Atlanta, GA 30303

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Embassy Suites by Hilton Atlanta Perimeter Center

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Travel Information

City Population

420,003

Elevation

1,050 ft.

Sales Tax

The sales tax in the Atlanta metro area is 8.9 percent. An additional 7 percent is levied on hotel rooms, bringing the total tax on hotel stays to 15 percent.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(404) 614-6544

Time and Temperature

(770) 455-7141

Hospitals

Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center, (404) 265-4000; Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, (678) 843-7001; Emory University Hospital, (404) 712-2000; Grady Memorial Hospital, (404) 616-1000; Northside Hospital, (404) 851-8000; Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, (404) 605-5000.

Visitor Information

233 Peachtree St. N.E. Suite 1400 Atlanta, GA 30303. Phone:(404)521-6600 or (800)285-2682

Air Travel

Atlanta is served by

Rental Cars

Hertz, with offices downtown and at the airport, offers discounts to AAA members; phone (404) 530-2925 or (800) 654-3080. For listings of other agencies check the telephone directory.

Rail Service

Amtrak train service is provided out of Southern Railway's Peachtree Station, known locally as Brookwood Station, at 1688 Peachtree St. N.W.; phone (800) 872-7245. Atlanta is a major stop on Amtrak's route known as “The Crescent,” which connects New York City with New Orleans.

Buses

Greyhound Lines Inc., 232 Forsyth St. S.W., is the major bus line serving Atlanta; phone (404) 584-1728 for recorded information or (800) 231-2222. There is a location at the airport at 6000 N. Terminal Dr.; phone (404) 765-9598.

Taxis

Cab companies include Checker Cab, (404) 351-1111; and Yellow, (404) 521-0200. Taxis are metered. Base fare for Checker Cab and Yellow is $2.50, $2 for each additional one-eighth mile and $2 for each additional passenger. A fuel surcharge may apply. Other taxi companies are listed in the telephone directory.

Public Transportation

Atlanta's public transportation consists of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority's (MARTA) bus, rail and subway systems. See Public Transportation for details.

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