Nothing is more compelling than a riveting origin story to you. And perhaps this mentality is partially what’s led to Atlanta, Georgia, becoming the flourishing destination it is today. Established in 1837, the city sprung up out of need as the railroad was developed—but since that time, the Big Peach has become a hub of American history, business, and entertainment. You may find that your story begins to take shape as well while staying at one of the top hotels in Atlanta. After all, legends aren’t created overnight, they develop over time. So with ample time available to explore the opulent residences of Buckhead and the art galleries of Midtown, you head to the American South with the hopes of furthering your travel story.
Out and About in Atlanta
When in Atlanta, it’s best to pick up some tidbits about the city’s foundation before exploring it to the fullest. In the city’s Buckhead district, which has been around since 1838, you’ll marvel at larger-than-life mansions that line the street corners before heading to the Atlanta History Center. The museum comprises 33 acres of Georgia land and you’ll stroll through the lush grounds learning about the origins of the city. Further your tour down memory lane by visiting a site that holds special importance to the nation’s history—the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. Visit the place where Dr. King grew up, read his words that inspired and empowered millions, and pay homage to the man who helped change the course of American history for the better.
After spending the afternoon engaged in the past, you’ll feel a sense of calm wash over you as you immerse yourself in more modern attractions. You can think of no better place to start than the Georgia Aquarium, which houses thousands of aquatic creatures. Watch in awe as massive beluga whales peacefully swim through cerulean waters and otters playfully put on floating displays for anyone willing to stop and watch. Of course there’s no end of things to do in Atlanta, and you’ll find a place to stop and pause at the High Museum of Art. Contemporary marvels in conjunction with exhibitions of the past tactfully exist side-by-side—a phenomenon you’ve come to associate with the grandeur and modernity of the streets of Atlanta.
Eating and Drinking
To power yourself through your day of sightseeing, you’ll need to satiate yourself with some traditional Southern fare—not a bad assignment to have. Atlanta has become an international hub for commerce and has developed a reputable food scene to accommodate its foreign visitors, from swanky brunch bars in Midtown to mouthwatering Mexican cuisine in the Old Fourth Ward—but at its core, the city will always flourish at what it does best, classic Southern food and hospitality to boot.
Your eyes will surely be bigger than your stomach as you sit down in one of the countless eateries downtown serving up soulful cuisine. You take a deep breath and dive right into the menu as the waiter stands attentively nearby: extra crispy fried chicken, a sumptuous side of mac and cheese, deep-fried okra, and a dish of banana pudding topped with vanilla wafers for dessert. Expecting the waiter to be shocked, you pause. But instead, he returns a winning smile your way and turns to enter in the order—this must happen a lot in the Big Peach.
Green Spaces Galore
Atlanta has its fair amount of urban attractions to offer, from the sugary sights inside the World of Coca-Cola to the thrilling coasters at Six Flags Over Georgia. But amid the hustle and bustle of the city, there are still several treasured patches of greenery that you can flock to when you need a break from the sprawling city. Piedmont Park offers large luxurious lawns that you can lounge on and on any given day are full of families playing Frisbee, young lovers picnicking, and impromptu games of soccer unfolding. Massive in size, you could truly spend multiple days exploring Piedmont Park, and you might be tempted to. But after feeding ducks in the lake and admiring the city skyline, bid adieu to the 189-acre park and return to one of the best places to stay in Atlanta to reflect on the dreamy day you spent outdoors.
Day Trips from Atlanta
Now that you have a handle on what to eat and where to stay in Atlanta, you decide it’s time to investigate the roots of another well-known southern city: Chattanooga, Tennessee. Just 118 miles northwest of the Big Peach, Chattanooga overlooks the picturesque Tennessee River and offers scenic views of the Appalachian Mountains. These stunning shots of nature will give you an idea of the city’s geographical heritage, and its bustling downtown district will offer you a deeper look inside life in Tennessee. Spend the evening shrouded in soft lighting at a local jazz club and sip a resplendent glass of pinot noir from the local winery. As the band begins to play the famous “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” you take the song’s final notes as your cue to head back to Georgia.
A Bite from the Big Peach
You end your journey in Atlanta by walking through Centennial Olympic Park, where the 1996 Summer Olympics were held. Here, you are witness to the site where not just a city, or a nation, but the world made history, and for that you feel forever grateful. Your travels through Atlanta have left you much more knowledgeable about the city and more self-aware as well. Luckily, with the availability of affordable accommodations on Travelocity, you were able to secure a hotel that was not only comforting, but in close proximity to all the Big Peach has to offer. Until your next sojourn, you’ll remember your trip to Atlanta as one that was instrumental in shaping your origin story—a tale that will be shared with future travelers you encounter and forever treasured in your heart.