Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: November 2021

Atlanta is the capital of Georgia and is one of the largest cities in the United States. It was founded in 1837 and was initially named Terminus as it served as the final stop of the Western and Atlantic Railroad that provided a link between Savannah and the Midwest. It soon became the convergence point among multiple railroads, which helped shape the city’s history. While its name changed, Atlanta still serves as a major transportation hub today.

Speaking of today, it was American Thanksgiving so most things were closed, with the exception of the Georgia Aquarium. The Georgia Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in the world and contains seven major galleries that correspond to a specific environment. Some of the highlights include a whale shark, manta rays, sea dragons, jellyfish, African penguins, beluga whales, giant starfish, tiger sharks and hammer heads. We also watched the dolphin and sea lion presentations, which were included with our general admission ticket, but we were required to reserve our seats in advance on the day of our visit.

After touring through all the various exhibits, we were eager to head out as the aquarium was getting busy. We went for a stroll around the grounds. The World of Coca-Cola, which showcases the history of the iconic brand of soda, is located across from the Georgia Aquarium. While it was closed for the day, we admired all the Coca-Cola themed Christmas decorations.

We then walked to the nearby Centennial Olympic Park to check out the various monuments and view of the Atlanta skyline. The park was built for when Atlanta hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics and features a few Olympics-related attractions, including the Olympic Rings and Fountain of Rings.

We headed back to the parking garage and drove to the Jackson Street Bridge to get an awesome view of the Atlanta skyline. This viewpoint was prominently featured in the first season of the tv series “The Walking Dead”. The nice thing about visiting the bridge (and just driving around the city in general) on a holiday was that there was no traffic and the roads were mostly empty.

After our quick detour at the bridge, we drove to Piedmont Park to meet up with one of K’s co-workers who lives in Atlanta. Piedmont Park is located just northeast of downtown Atlanta and is the oldest and largest park in the city. It features several walking trails, a running track, gardens, picnic facilities, tennis courts, basketball courts, softball fields, and even a few historic sites. It also provides excellent views of the Atlanta skyline.

Once we wrapped up our stroll through Piedmont Park, we said our goodbyes to K’s colleague and were ready to hit the road again. Since we still had a few hours of daylight left, and most things were closed, we decided to make a detour to Brasstown Bald to check out the highest point in Georgia.


83 thoughts on “Atlanta

  1. travelling_han says:

    Ahh we visited Atlanta in November 2019 for 3 days and the weather was EXACTLY the same and all our photos look identical 🙂 I even got the same Christmas baubles (I think you might call them ornaments) shot! Thanks for bringing back the happy memories 🙂

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Great minds think alike when it comes to travelling in the off-season. We found the temperature quite pleasant for strolling around and I’m glad we didn’t have to deal with the heat. I imagine they don’t call it Hotlanta for nothing. Baubles sounds so much cuter than ornaments. I’m definitely going to use that term now.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Driving into Atlanta the day before Thanksgiving was a nightmare. I’m glad the city was a total ghost town the next day, which made it super easy to drive around. The only downside was that most of the museums were closed.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        No kidding. Traffic in and around Toronto is terrible. And it’s not very scenic with having like six lanes on the highway … on one side. It does make me miss our road trip through Northern Ontario were there were hardly any cars on the roads and just being surrounded by forests, rolling hills and lakes.

      • John says:

        Big difference! That’s like driving out of Las Vegas, you are suddenly surrounded by nothing but open desert for thousands of square miles!

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Sounds lovely. We’ve actually been thinking about taking a road trip through the southwestern US. The desert landscape looks so neat and I would love to see a Joshua Tree.

  2. kagould17 says:

    It was likely a great time to visit Atlanta to avoid the oppressive heat of the summer. The Thanksgiving holiday makes the city seem as empty as it might be for the Walking Dead. Great weather and shots Linda. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I can’t stand the heat (or the crowds) and much prefer visiting during the quiet season anyway. It’s too bad that most things were closed because of the holiday, but it sure made driving through the city much easier. It felt like a total ghost (or zombie?) town. Thanks for reading. Linda

  3. michellecj333 says:

    Atlanta is a place I’ve been hundreds of times as it’s only 2 hours from where i live. I have NEVER seen it absent of traffic!!! That’s amazing! Their aquarium is fantastic- and you chose some excellent spots with it all closed down for the holiday!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. We weren’t sure what to expect given that we visited over a holiday, but we had a pleasant day in the city and didn’t have to deal with the traffic.

  4. Monkey's Tale says:

    I’ve only been to Atlanta for work, and it was mid summer so I really didn’t get to enjoy any of it. The view from the park looks nice, and glad there weren’t any zombies! Maggie

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I guess it’s not called Hotlanta for nothing. I’m not a fan of the heat (or the crowds). I typically try to travel in the off-season or shoulder season as much as I can. But if you’re going somewhere for work, it’s not like you have much of a choice!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. We had a fun time exploring the Georgia Aquarium and I was thankful that it was open on a holiday. It’s great that the city left the park that was built to commemorate the Olympics. It’s always great to have some green spaces in the city. We often don’t have enough of them.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks. It’s been a couple of years since we’ve gone diving because of the pandemic so I enjoyed visiting the Georgia Aquarium to remember how colourful and pretty life is under the sea. It’s a whole different world down there.

  5. leightontravels says:

    Visiting Atlanta on Thanksgiving almost re-created the ghostly emptiness of ‘The Walking Dead’ which was a great show when it first came out. I love photographing jellyfish, they are such amazing and photogenic creatures. The US Aquariums are really something else, sounds like a very cool experience.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was a bit eerie driving through the empty streets in Atlanta, but I’ll take it over sitting in traffic. I agree about the Walking Dead. The first season was easily the best and then it started to go downhill. It’s pretty amazing to get a sneak peak of what lives under the sea. It’s a whole other world down there.

  6. Little Miss Traveller says:

    Some great photos and insights into Atlanta Linda. I’ve transited through the airport but that doesn’t count as a visit as we didn’t leave the terminal. The Olympic Park is interesting, we have visited several around the world which have brought back memories of watching the Games on TV. and the ones with museums were really interesting. The city skyline looks good and I liked those giant Coca-Cola baubles.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. It was too bad that most things were closed because of the Thanksgiving holiday, but on the plus side, we got to experience a more quieter side of the city. It’s nice how some places have kept the parks they created because of the Olympics. It’s a great way to keep some of the monuments and statues and to carve out some green space in the city. Christmas is my favourite holiday and I couldn’t resist taking some pictures of the baubles. They were very cute.

  7. Ab says:

    I really enjoyed your post. When I saw the photo at the top, I immediately thought about The Walking Dead! It looks like they may have edited some of the houses on both sides from the shot that appeared on the show. But very distinct for sure!

    The Olympic sites looked lovely as did the aquarium. Loved the Coca Cola memorabilia too!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s funny because it felt kind of eerie being at the bridge and seeing hardly any cars on the highway below. It felt like a ghost town, but thankfully we didn’t see any zombies. Now that you mention it, it does look like a few things have been edited from cover of the first season in terms of the lanes on the road and houses on the sides. It still looks very similar though.

      The Georgia Aquarium was awesome. They also host a Sleep Under the Sea event where guests can have a sleepover in the aquarium. I really wanted to do this, but unfortunately the timing didn’t work out when we were in the US.

  8. Bama says:

    That opening shot for some reason reminds me of that feeling when I was walking in downtown Sydney around Kings Cross area. But then I haven’t watched Walking Dead, so I don’t get the reference. Looks like the weather was consistently pleasant once you were in Georgia.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      You’re not missing much. The first season of the Walking Dead was really good, but then it goes downhill fast. Essentially it’s about a zombie apocalypse. It was eerie visiting on a holiday and to see the streets so empty, which is very abnormal for Atlanta. This worked out well as we were able to drive around without getting stuck in traffic. I couldn’t believe how fabulous the weather was. I can see why so many people head down south in the winter now.

  9. arbind kumar says:

    Your tour diary to Atlanta is eye catching . I went through it as if I myself was moving around the city of Atlanta . Terminus became Atlanta , a city of beautiful Zoo and parks , attracts our attention patiently . Thanks !

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. It was nice to visit over a holiday and to experience a quieter side of Atlanta. Since most things were closed, we got to explore more of the green spaces in and around the city. Thankfully we had such nice weather for being outdoors.

  10. wetanddustyroads says:

    Ah, the wonder world of sea life! Lovely pictures of these creatures. I am indeed amazed at those empty roads – on a public holiday here in SA, the most cities’ streets are buzzing! Haven’t watched Walking Dead, but I like your photo of Atlanta’s skyline.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s pretty amazing how much life there is under the sea and just how colourful it is. We haven’t been diving in the last couple of years because of the pandemic (and I refuse to go in the freezing cold water here in Canada), so visiting an aquarium has had to do. I was surprised at how empty the streets were in Atlanta too as it’s the complete opposite on a holiday where I live as well. Then again, traffic is always terrible.

  11. Josy A says:

    You left Canada!!

    It looks like you had a fantastic time in Atlanta. I loooove big aquariums – the Georgia Aquarium’s giant tanks are really impressive! Were the roads that empty the whole time? It’s so funny seeing car-free roads in the States!!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was great!! The timing worked out well as a couple weeks after we returned, the Omicron variant became cause for concern. The Georgia Aquarium was very impressive. It was neat to see a whale shark in person. I would love to swim with these gentle giants someday. It felt strange seeing the roads so empty in such a big city as Atlanta. I guess that was one of the benefits of visiting on the American Thanksgiving. It definitely made driving around super easy.

      • Josy A says:

        The whale sharks are gorgeous aren’t they!? I’ve seen them in the massive aquariums in Japan too – they are so graceful. 🙂

  12. Diana says:

    Fun! I haven’t been to Atlanta in years and all I remember doing there (aside from visiting family) is seeing the Olympic Park. Looks like there’s plenty of other things to see and do. What a fun trip!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. It can be super stressful to drive through a big city like Atlanta. I’m glad we visited over a holiday when traffic wasn’t too bad. I much prefer the winding country roads though.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      You are too kind. Atlanta was a nice place to visit over a holiday when the city (and roads) were quiet. We had a blast at the Georgia Aquarium and it was nice to explore some of the green spaces in the city.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        For sure. Sitting in traffic is the worst and is such a waste of time. We were lucky to have visited Atlanta over a holiday where most people leave the city to spend time with family.

      • annemariedemyen says:

        We have train tracks crossing our major streets, long trains, and they are constantly going back and forth to switch tracks or add cars. It is especially bad in the industrial area where I used to work. 🤨

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Sounds like bad planning on the part of the city. What a hassle. We’re dealing with increased traffic, but for other reasons. Housing is going up like crazy, but the roads aren’t being widened and there are no additional amenities or services being added.

      • annemariedemyen says:

        The city was built around the tracks. We have the same issues here. Lots of building in the last ten years or so – no planning or foresight.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        It’s such a shame. All these decisions seem to be so short sighted and to make a quick buck. I wonder how well these neighbourhoods will fare in the future.

      • annemariedemyen says:

        I wonder what will happen to all of the empty malls that are around nowadays. The same as the little neighbourhood stores that sit vacant and abandoned around the city, I suppose. 😢

  13. BrittnyLee says:

    That’s so neat that that area was in the Walking Dead! When it first came out, I really enjoyed it. You got a really nice shit of the bridge. It’s awesome when there isn’t a lot of traffic because that made for a great photo. The aquarium photos are lovely, too. I love aquariums. I’ve been to a few. I would love the one you described here, though. I would be lost for hours 🙂

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Same, the first season was so good, but then it went downhill real fast. I think I stopped watching after the second or third season. Even though most things were closed because of the American Thanksgiving, it was really nice to drive around the empty city without having to deal with traffic. The Georgia Aquarium was probably the highlight of our day it Atlanta. It was really neat to see a whale shark.

      • BrittnyLee says:

        Yeah what sharks are so cool looking. I love seeing rare species or even species that aren’t typically in my area. I find it really interesting. My client just had a field trip recently and it was pretty neat. They taught the kids about beavers and geese. I always love learning something new. My kiddo enjoyed it as well. I was glad 😊 . I’m glad you got to get your traveling in without the traffic and enjoy the aquarium. That aquarium is one I would love to visit !

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Then you would definitely enjoy the Georgia Aquarium. They had a lot of neat creatures and species, including a whale shark. I would love to snorkel with these gentle giants someday.

      • BrittnyLee says:

        That would be amazing. I have heard pretty neat stories about dolphins, too. I’ve heard many stories about dolphins saving lives of people. That’s wild thinking about that . It’s neat that whale sharks are giants with a gentle disposition awwww. They’re really cool looking. I love nature and creatures. I really do

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Agreed, dolphins are pretty amazing creatures. I’ve heard of stories too about how dolphins have saved people from sharks. All this talk about dolphins makes me want to re-watch the movie Flipper.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. I find jellyfish so fascinating (although I would never want to go swimming with them). The Georgia Aquarium is pretty impressive and was one of the highlights of our day in Atlanta.

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