Short Stay in Atlanta: Going for the Aquarium, Staying for the Neighborhoods

The principle reason I have always wanted to go to Atlanta was to visit its renowned aquarium and since we were passing through the city on our way to Nashville, I had to go see it.

Considered one of the largest is the world, the Georgia Aquarium is home to tens of thousands of animals, representing numerous different species where they live in particularly constructed habitats.

The entire complex is so remarkably large, that it took us more than two hours of a not-so-leisurely-stroll to see everything!

The highlight of the aquarium is its enormous tank with 6.3 million gallons of water, four whale sharks, sting rays as well as a variety of different fish and marine plants. Like everyone else, we stood in front of the tank's large glass screen and felt dwarfed by the immense animals that swam within it. 

When we finally left, we still had lots of daylight, so we decided to spend it by exploring some of the different neighborhoods that make-up the city.

Atlanta’s downtown - where the aquarium is located - is primarily a business center with very few residential buildings. Its Olympic Centennial Park is where most visitors go since its home to some of the city’s major attractions including the World of Coke, CNN Center as well as the Children’s Museum.

Modern restaurants, historical streets and vintage shops… Atlanta has incredible neighborhoods:

  • Midtown: If you enjoy a pedestrian friendly district, scattered with new high-rises and a young crowd, you are going to enjoy Midtown. This neighborhood has a wonderful blend of businesses and restaurants placed amid several tall, mirrored skyscrapers. It is quite busy with college students since the district is adjacent to a few colleges and universities.

  • Virginia-Highlands: Only a ten minute drive from Midtown, this neighborhood is popular for shopping, dining and especially for walking ( head to North Highland Avenue, the area’s principal drag). It somewhat reminded us of the neighborhoods we have in New England where historical buildings have been transformed into boutiques and period homes can be toured.

  • Little Five Points: Unfortunately, this was the last neighborhood we were able to visit, but its distinctive vintage shops and sidewalk vendors made it for a great end-of-the-day drive! It can be best described as a melting pot of eclectic people, eccentric cultures and artistic buildings designs that we hope to explore on our next trip. 


The Wrap-Up: We truly enjoyed our short time in Atlanta! We were surprised when traveling between its neighborhoods as the city is extremely spread out when compared to the compact city of Boston. Atlanta gave us much more than we had expected in part due to its exciting blend of neighborhoods, great food and hospitality.  After leaving, we felt we needed to come back and explore it even further. 

The Restaurant: Cypress Street Pint & Plate is a bar/burger house in Midtown. Try their Krispy Cream Doughnut Burger alongside their excellent beer selection!