Historic Atlanta is the capital of Georgia and its largest city as well. It has been growing rapidly in recent years, which can lead to urban sprawl, but it has also been praised by the Environmental Protection Agency and other groups for its contemporary eco-friendly policies. What follows are some of the special attractions that visitors and newcomers alike won't want to miss.
The exhibits at the Atlanta History Center trace the area's history with sections devoted to the Civil War, African-American history, folk crafts in the south, and the modern civil rights movement. The gardens that surround the museum feature a library, a fully restored farm, historic Swan House and several restaurants. The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, : the place where Dr. King, America's foremost civil rights leader was born, lived and worshipped : now serves as a memorial to him. Guided tours of this venue are provided by rangers from the National Park Service.
Centennial Olympic Park was the site of the 1996 Olympic Games and it includes 21 acres of rock gardens, green space and artwork. In the summer, children enjoy playing in the Olympic Rings, the park's main focus, as they shoot streams of water into the air to the beat of the various light-and-music concerts presented there throughout the day. Turner Field is the home of the world-famous Atlanta Braves, and the Ivan Allen Jr. Braves Museum and Hall of Fame is open to visitors during the off-season with 200 artifacts on display, including a prized possession: the World Series trophy the team won in 1995.
Piedmont Park is the city's largest and most popular park, attracting over two million visitors every year, including sports enthusiasts, sun bathers and dog owners. As the home of beautiful Lake Clara Meer and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, it is also the site of many of the city's best-known festivals and concerts. Covering 15 acres, the park includes a hardwood forest interlaced with walking trails surrounding the Fuqua Conservatory, which exhibits flora from around the world along with an impressive display of indigenous plants, and includes both a Japanese garden and a rock garden.
The Georgia Aquarium is the largest facility of its kind in the world, and 500 species of animals are represented here. The whale shark exhibit is a special feature of the aquarium since these sea creatures can grow to a length of 50 feet, along with a 100-foot-long tunnel and five eco-system galleries., Located in historic Grant Park, Zoo Atlanta features the most comprehensive collection of wildlife in the entire Southeast. Its exhibits, which are popular with visitors of all ages, include Chinese pandas, orangutan feedings and daily elephant shows. The World of Coca Cola is a unique museum that pays tribute to "Atlanta's most famous invention." This 20-acre complex features a vast collection of CokeÂ® memorabilia with a pop-culture gallery and a 4D cinematic presentation to provide a thorough study of the soft drink's history, production and distribution.
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