Recently I got a to spend a weekend in my friend Holly’s hometown, Atlanta, Georgia who visited me in Australia in January 2010. She organised a weekend of touristy fun in Atlanta for me after I showed here around my neck of the woods in Australia. Here’s a post I wrote about our Australian adventures together – 13 things to do in South East Queensland in four days.
So here’s 5 things to do on a weekend in Atlanta, Georgia.
1. Check out the World of Coke.
This is a very ‘American’ place to visit. You can sample over 50 different Coka-Cola products from around the world. My favourite was a Lemon Lime bitters flavour from the UK.
You can watch a semi weird 4D movie… it gets you wet and something pokes you in the back while you’re watching.
I also enjoyed checking out the Coka-Cola Pop Art. Some people sure are passionate about their Coke!
We only had about 2 hours to go through. Probably if you wanted to get your money’s worth you should probably allow a bit more time to get sick at the taste testing! Tickets are $16.
2. Climb Stone Mountain
Stone Mountain was a fascinating climb that gives you a view of Atlanta’s skyline. It’s a really steady 1.3 mile climb up a huge Qaurtz rock and has sporadic trees over it making some of the hike in shade. We successfully climbed in our sandals - so it’s a relatively easy climb. Stone mountain has become a huge tourist attraction. You can even catch a cable car to the top and eat at a restaurant or buy a souvenir on the top. It costs $10 to park.
Whilst climbing the mountain I couldn’t help wander how it differed to Uluru – my favourite ‘big rock’ in Australia that I once got to visit. So here’s some facts I’ve found out!
Elevation - 514 m (1,686 ft) Prominence 251 m (825 ft)
Stone Mountain granite extends underground 9 miles (14 km) and is more than 8km (5 miles) in circumference at its base.
Elevation - 863 m (2,831 ft) Prominence 348 m (1,142 ft)
Uluru is made from sandstone and is 3.6 km long (2.2 miles) and 1.9 km wide (1.2 miles) and is 9.4 km (5.8 miles) around the base (that’s walking) and has very little vegetation on it. It is unclear how deep the rock is underground. Read more here. Uluru, from an Aboriginal point of view, is very sacred and they’d prefer if tourists didn’t climb it… and if it’s too hot… too windy… too wet… the rangers WONT let you climb anyway. Check out my blog post here.
3. Get some American patriotism on and watch Stone Mountain’s Laser show
One of the many gimmicky things to do at Stone Mountain is watch the FREE Lasershow Spectacular. Pack a picnic dinner, a blanket and some camping chairs and chill out. It’s on just about every night in the summer I believe and is projected on the side of the rock. There is an absolutely HUGE Confederate Memorial Carving in the side of the rock depicting three Confederate leaders of the Civil War, President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson (and their favorite horses, “Blackjack”, “Traveller“, and “Little Sorrel”, respectively). Apparently a man can stand in the horses mouth on the carving! More details of how huge it is here. Get there a few hours early if you wanna find a parking spot.
It’s very patriotic… you’ll find out lots of random facts about America via lasers lights and massive projector screens.
4. Explore Underground Atlanta
Under the city of Atlanta, remnants of an ‘underground city’ can be found. ”During the 1920′s, construction of the concrete “viaducts” elevated the street system one level to permit a better flow of traffic. Merchants moved their operations to the second floor, leaving the old fronts for storage and service. Thus, giving birth to what is now Underground Atlanta.” Wikipedia
The ‘Underground’ has a bit of an ‘interesting’ vibe. Lots of African American merchants selling everything from shoes, clothes, souvenirs and just a whole bunch of random junk really. I do recommend checking out the shoe store down there… I got a pair of heels for $10! I don’t think I would want to explore this area alone day or night.
5. Get cultured and eat at Atlanta’s very own Australian bakery
My favourite place of all time would have to be the Australian Bakery of course! Yep! An Aussie has started his own cafe/bakery in Marietta, GA and sells all the Aussie specialties including meat pies, lamingtons, pavlova, ginger beer, hot cross buns at Easter and real bread!!! (For whatever reason over here when you visit an American bakery you don’t find fresh bread…. haven’t worked that one out yet!) Nevel started the bakery in 1991 and knows pretty much every Aussie in Franklin and Nashville I reckon! He distributes meat pies up this way regularly to the ex-pats! Definitely recommend stopping by!
So thanks Holly for an awesome tour of Atlanta! I definitely feel like I spent more time on Atlanta roads then anywhere else though!