Overview : Just 15 minutes from Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, easily accessible by Interstate and rapid transit (CNN Center MARTA... more »
Overview : Just 15 minutes from Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, easily accessible by Interstate and rapid transit (CNN Center MARTA... more » Station stop), is Centennial Olympic Park, a legacy from the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. Surrounding the park are some of Atlanta’s most visited attractions, including the Georgia Aquarium, CNN Studio Tour, Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta and World of Coca-Cola. Plans are in the works for additional attractions as well. less «
In Summer, bring a bathing suit and towel to splash in the Centennial Olympic Foundations. In winter, wear layers. Atlanta's... more » temperatures can vary and it does get colder at night.
Getting There: Atlanta's Rapid Transit System MARTA has a stop at the CNN Center. If you are driving, there are ample surface parking lots, as well as garages around Centennial Olympic Park. Price varies depending on season, time of day and activities going on in the area and can be as low as $5 or as high as $40.
Centennial Park and the surrounding attractions are part of the Lucky Marietta District. There are several different restaurants and a variety of hotel types within the District. less «
The CNN Studio Tour is located within CNN Center. The 55-minute tour takes you up the world's tallest freestanding escalator into the newsrooms of CNN and a chance to watch some of the programs like Morning Express with Robin Meade and get a picture behind the CNN News desk.
If you don’t have time for the tour, you can still take pictures with... More life-sized cutouts of CNN personalities in the gift shop.
Inside CNN Studio Tour
One CNN Center
Hours: 9-5 pm
Seniors (65+) and students with ID: $14
Children ages 4-12: $12
Begin your tour at the Centennial Park Visitors Center where you can learn about the history of Centennial Olympic Park, shop or grab lunch at Googie Burger, a great fast food restaurant with hand cut fries, fresh burgers and fantastic milkshakes. There are also restrooms located in the building.
Six international cities bid to host the 1996... More Centennial Olympic Games. Athens Greece was the sentimental favorite, having hosted the first modern Olympiad. Atlanta was a distinct underdog in the competition. Some called Atlanta a second tier city and felt its Confederate history a problem. Through a team of city boosters led by Billy Payne and including civil rights leader and US Ambassador to the UN Andrew Young, Atlanta was awarded the 100th Olympic Games. For 17 days in the summer of 1996, Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta was the town square for the world.
Hosting an Olympics is not cheap and Atlanta spent millions bidding and preparing for the games. The estimated $75 million it cost to develop Centennial Olympic Park came from private-sector donations. A portion of those donations were in the form of commemorative bricks. Almost 500,000 commemorative bricks make up the sidewalks within the park. Each has a special message or name.
In the Visitors Center you can use a kiosk to find individual bricks and then walk around the park to see them in person. Even if you aren't looking for a specific brick, the kiosks are a great place to learn the history of the park and take a look at what it looked like before the Olympic Games.Less
The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games CEO Billy Payne was the visionary who transformed a seedy, run-down series of city blocks into a gathering spot for the world during the Centennial Olympic Games.
After the Games, the park closed and was redesigned for daily public use. It reopened in March 1998 with expanded amenities. At the... More northern-most portion of the park, the 1,200 seat Southern Company Amphitheatre hosts free summer concerts from April-September. Wednesday WindDown is 5:30-8 pm and Music @Noon is every Tuesday and Thursday.Less
Centennial Plaza is exactly 100 meters square, commemorating the distance of the 100 meter track race. The most distinct feature of the Plaza is the Fountain of Rings. The Rings are the centerpiece of Centennial Olympic Park and one of the most recognized and photographed landmarks in Georgia. When you go, be sure to take a towel and change of... More clothes because no one can resist jumping from ring to ring between the shooting water.
Take a break from splashing during select times and watch the water show that includes water, lights and music. Shows are daily at 12:30, 3:30, 6:30 and 9 pm.
After the show, marvel at the 23 Willow Oak tree planters surrounding the plaza. These honor the 23 host cities of the first 100 Olympic Games, as do the flags.
There are eight 65-foot lighted towers that encircle the Plaza. These “Herme’s Towers” were named for Greek god Hermes and a reproduction of the markers that led the way to significant events in ancient Greece.Less
The Great Lawn at Centennial Olympic Park is perfect for a football game, or tossing the Frisbee. During the holidays, stroll through the 21 acre park at night and enjoy the holiday lights, as well as ice skating on the outdoor ice rink.
During summer months, enjoy the Fourth Saturday Family Fun Day. Each month is a different theme and includes... More interactive educational programming, specialty workshops, touring shows, street performers, crafts and more.
Centennial Park also hosts a fabulous Fourth of July Spectacular each year with over-the-top fireworks, and local celebrities.
The Great Lawn is also home to the sculpture “Gateway of Dreams,” which pays homage to the founder of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, and is a favorite photo stop.Less
On the East side of the park are five small sections or ‘quilts.’ The Quilt of Remembrance, the Quilt of Origins, the Quilt of Olympic Spirit, and the Quilt of Nations. These quilts salute the nations that participated in the games, the athletes who competed, the essence of the games through history and a memorial to the 111 people injured by the ... More1996 Olympic Park bombing. An eternal light shines for Alice Hawthorne, who died. Ms. Hawthorne had brought her daughter to the park that day to hear a free concert.Less
If you are touring with little ones, you will want to save plenty of time to head across Centennial Olympic Park Drive to Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta. This hands-on museum is for the preschool and young elementary school set. Exhibits include a life-size John Deere tractor, wooden trains, moon sand station, UPS truck, water play... More area and a morph gallery that hosts traveling exhibits.
There is also a section just for the crawling set, with soft walls, mats to climb on, over and under, musical instruments to play and even a waterbed.
Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta
275 Centennial Olympic Park Dr
Admission: $12.75 for anyone age 1 or older
Phone: (404) 659-5437Less
Pemberton Place is located across the street from Centennial Olympic Park and is where you’ll find the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola. The plaza is named for John Pemberton, the inventor of Coca-Cola. During the summer months, Coke generally has special events or promotions going on within the plaza.
The Georgia... More Aquarium is the world’s largest with more than 8 million gallons of fresh and marine water and more aquatic life than any other aquarium. The building itself is shaped like a giant ship, and was a gift to the city from Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus. Some fun facts: the Aquarium’s filtration system contains more than 70 miles of pipe, enough to more than encircle the city of Atlanta on the I-285 loop. The Georgia Aquarium’s habitats hold the equivalent water volume to more than 100 million cans of Coke.
The Aquarium is a good half to full-day or more experience. There are five galleries, a 4D Theatre, an indoor kids play area, and a Broadway-esque dolphin show. My favorites are the bizarre sci-fi looking spider crabs and the playful sea otters. My kids really enjoyed the dolphin show, but I felt it was a bit campy. Watching the beluga whales is quite calming with a soundtrack from the Atlanta Symphony playing in the background. If you don't have time to visit the Aquarium, you can browse in the gift shop. Just go to the Aquarium exit and tell a security guard that you would like to shop to be escorted into the building.
225 Baker Street Northwest
Seniors (65+) $30.95
Children ages 3-12: $28.95
Under 3: Free
Phone: (404) 581-4000
The World of Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola’s worldwide brand makes the World of Coca-Cola a perennial favorite for visitors. The most popular gallery with kids is the tasting room where you can sample more than 60 different Coca-Cola products from around the world. Try the Beverly; it will be a conversation starter.
If you’ve ever wondered how Coke is bottled, there is a fully functioning bottling line that produces commemorative 8-ounce bottles of Coca-Cola that are given to each visitor as they leave.
If you don’t have time for the World of Coca-Cola attraction, the Coca-Cola store can be accessed through an outside entrance behind the ticket booths. The store itself is like a museum and includes traditional mementos, as well as products that use recycled Coke bottles or cans. My favorites are a flip top purse, chandelier from Coke bottles and the Coke bottle jewelry.
World of Coca-Cola
121 Baker Street Northwest
Monday-Thursday and Sunday: 10am–6:30pm
Ages 13-64: $16
Ages 65+: $15
Ages 3-12: $12
Phone: (404) 676-5151