Our arrival into Atlanta, Georgia was delayed but it didn’t matter to us- we were HERE!
We travelled by cab to our hotel, arriving just before midnight, showered and went straight to bed. By 3am, our English body clocks were in full blown time to wake up mode- this always happens to us in the USA! So by 7am we had had our breakfast and were out of the hotel, stretching our legs!
We walked from our hotel, opposite the Turner stadium right up to the city and to Martin Luther King’s house.
We took in the historic Auburn street area, which had beautiful wooden houses lining each side, one of which was the birthplace and childhood home of Martin Luther King. We saw the church in which his family belonged to and it was all rather overwhelming.
From here we continued on foot to Piedmont Park which offered wonderful views of the Atlanta City skyline.
By now we had clocked up 6 miles on foot and some of the areas in which we had walked had felt not so safe (this may have been unfounded- but we felt vulnerable more than once) so we decided to give our feet a rest and take Ubers for the rest of the day.
We visited Coca Cola world as Atlanta was where the Coca Cola first was “brewed”, and we learnt lots of fascinating information about the history of Coca Cola.
A highlight was seeing the $10 million vault in which the secret recipe is stored.
The whole experience really was excellent and we would recommend it to anyone visiting Atlanta regardless of your age.
From here we made our way on foot through Olympic Park- Atlanta hosted the Olympics in 96 and as such there are several remaining torches, sculptures etc etc. it’s obviously something that the city is really very proud of.
After a lunch at Ted’s (bison nachos omg!) we continued walking, exploring some areas of the city centre, before making our way to Ponce City Market- about 2 miles on the outskirts.
This is a converted warehouse factory which is now a really trendy hub of local food vendors, bars, and shops. It was our favourite place that we’d found to hang out in the city and we enjoyed some local drinks there along with bilatong sharing boards too, whilst chatting to a local lady who was fascinated by our adventures!
We returned back to our hotel, and almost caved into the jet lag by calling it a night at 6pm but pushed ourselves instead showering changing and getting a cab back into Ted’s for dinner. We passed through a film set- Atlanta is used a lot for filming as it’s much cheaper to produce films here than in LA.
After dinner we made our way back to the hotel and crashed out at 9pm. And waking up at 4am the next morning! #jetlag
We took advantage of our early morning and got an early Uber to the airport- no we weren’t flying home already, we were picking up some wheels!
It was time to leave Atlanta, but before we did we made a stop at Stone Mountain Park, about 20 miles outside of Atlanta. It’s hailed as one of Georgia’s top tourist attractions and we can see why. It blew our mind!
The first view was the incredible looking mountain, made out of granite stone and eroded over millions of years, water has made the surface so smooth. It looks unbelievable.
On the side of the Stone Mountain is the world’s largest Fresia- depicting the Conf. We had no idea, we knew about the carvings at Mount Rushmore but have never heard of this one. It’ a real wonder!
We took the first cable car up to the summit of Stone Mountain- a dramatic and exciting trip which only takes a few minutes but offers tremendous views in all directions over Georgia’s landscape.
We made our way back down from the summit and took a drive round the park, stopping at a historic wooden mill, Grist Mill, which dates over 100 years old.
We then had an adventure on a covered bridge which dates from the late 1800s.
We stopped off to see a large Carrillon on the side of the West Lake- we’ve never seen one of these before- it’s a large wooden sculpture which has bells within it and a musician sits about 100 metres away and plays a type of organ keyboard.
Fascinating to see. Unfortunately we didn’t see it being played but found this on YouTube to give you (and us) an idea.
From here we completed the loop of the park circumference and parked up at the main crossroads so we could board the Locomotive for a scenic journey.
The train dates from the 1940s and is just picture perfect.
We had fun on the train ride – especially trying to get the nose press in time with a horn ring!
We absolutely ADORED Stone Mountain park- it was amazing.
But- It was time to move on and cross the state border, next stop Tennessee- specifically Chattanooga!
We’d enjoyed our time in Atlanta and the things that we’d done but, I will be honest and say it wasn’t my favourite USA City and I wouldn’t rush back to the city of Atlanta. Part of this is to do with our AWFUL hotel. Country inn and suites – AVOID. It was filthy, smelly, we had cockroaches in our room. The toilet didn’t flush properly. It was the grim est hotel I’ve ever stayed in.
We’ve done a lot of USA cities and this would be top if my list for feeling unsafe. It didn’t help that we were visiting on a Sunday and alot of places therefore were closed. Just our opinion- we enjoyed our time but we’re ready to move on.
Tennessee is next- stay tuned for updates!