For as much as travel is my drug, there is something glorious about returning home. When I am on a trip, I hate the thought of leaving. But, as soon as the leave process begins, I want to be home that instant. Perhaps that is one of the reasons I hate road trips. The strange thing that I realized a few years ago is that Atlanta really is home now.
When I moved to Atlanta I did not intend to be here long. After all I’m from Texas, the greatest state, and normally if people leave they go right back. But then something happened, I fell in love with Atlanta and fell in love.
It makes it so much easier to come home when you enjoy the place you live… but for many Atlanta IS the destination. I have been looking forward to sharing my favorite “trips” in my city, but first the things you should NOT do. I know how this seems, but establishing the ‘no play list’ is an essential part of trip planning strategy.
1. The Aquarium – WHAT!!!??? Atlanta’s is home to world’s largest aquarium (8.5 million gallons). The aquarium has everything from fresh water fish to whale sharks. There are moments when it is actually quite breathtaking and remarkable. For me those experiences occurred when I was lucky enough to visit the aquarium when it was closed for private functions. When I have visited during regular hours it has been crowded, loud, over-branded, and close to impossible to get a good look at the fish. (Oh my word… I feel like my father saying that.)
2. Downtown Convention Zone – Many of the biggest hotels in Atlanta are located in downtown. Their proximity to destinations like Philip’s Arena, the Georgia Dome and Convention Center make them convenient. But, the restaurants located in downtown provide for inauthentic experience of Atlanta and the food just isn’t good. (There are a few exceptions… Juke Joint, Meehan’s (bar food), and Ray’s.)
3. The World of Coke – An entire museum dedicated to Coca-Cola. I don’t think this one requires more explanation.
4. Driving in Traffic – Driving in a new city is always a bit stressful, but driving in Atlanta during traffic is just miserable. And, if you are just in town for a visit, it can ruin what should be a great trip. My suggestions are utilize MARTA or travel across town when it isn’t rush hour.
Now that I’ve made you never want to visit Atlanta. Ever. Be sure to come back tomorrow for reasons you should.