When Atlanta is mentioned, most people think of the site of the high-security summer Olympic Games of 1996 – but the capital of Georgia has much more to offer tourists than sporting facilities.
Situated in the southern part of the east coast, the city was central to the Civil War and since then has turned into a student hub boasting a large number of colleges and universities. It is a cosmopolitan centre where races and cultures from all over the world have come together, living side by side in the quaint neighbourhoods and residential suburbs.
If you are on holiday here, it is worth taking a stroll around various parts of the city to see how the street life develops from day to day, rather than wasting time in one of hundreds of identical shopping malls.
For those visiting, taking a look at the racially tense history of the city and surrounding area can be interesting and rewarding. Starting at the Atlanta Historical Centre, holiday makers can explore many aspects of the past as well as learning about how the city is looking to the future.
More information on the civil rights movement is available at the Martin Luther King Junior Historical Site, where visitors can explore that area that commemorates the work, legacy and life of the father of America’s struggle to end racial discrimination.
There might be those among you more interested in finding out about how modern day 24-hour news services work and what better way to discover this than at the CNN tower in downtown Atlanta.
The home to the worldwide TV channel gives 50-minute tours every throughout the day and allows visitors a look at the CNN Headline news desk – it is a highlight for many visitors to the city.
From there, head for the Centennial Olympic Park where it possible to have a look at the awesome stadium that housed the athletics, and many other sporting events, during the 1996 spectacle.
It is also worth remembering what most of us know Atlanta for, namely the backdrop to one of the world’s favourite love stories – Gone with the Wind. Though set in the outskirts of the city, in the town of Savannah, the author of the novel wrote it while living in a flat near the town centre. Visitors can view Margaret Mitchell’s home and then have a look through the Gone with the Wind museum.
And in truly cosmopolitan style – from history to news to sports to novels – what better way to end a stay in Atlanta than visiting one of the all time American icons – Coca Cola.
The World of Coca-Cola will appeal to children and adults of all ages and features a live soda jerk telling everyone who cares to listen about the virtues of the soft drink as well as a multitude of memorabilia. Advertising junkies will be pleased to see posters and other paraphernalia dating back to Coke’s origins in Atlanta in 1886.