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Atlanta GA

Atlanta, GA

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Atlanta marks the spot where Old and New South collide—in the best possible way. Visitors to this metropolitan force discover refined Southern hospitality set alongside gleaming skyscrapers, couture shopping, gourmet dining and world-class pro sports. A burgeoning nightlife and established cultural scene provide around-the-clock entertainment. Whether travelers seek family-oriented attractions or high-culture theater, Atlanta delivers.

The Georgia Aquarium draws scores of visitors to the Peach State’s capital city. Holding 10 million gallons of water and more than 120,000 animals of 500 species, the aquarium is the largest in the world. Naturally, it should top the list of Atlanta attractions; kids of all ages flock here to watch sea otters play in the Cold Water Quest and river critters (think alligators and boas) in the River Scout adventure. In the Beluga & Friends interactive exhibit, visitors get to see, pet and chat with chummy whales. Dolphin Tales is the first of its kind: a musical theater performance with both dolphin and human players.

For more traditional drama, the Alliance Theatre at the Woodruff, located on Peachtree Street, offers productions as varied as “Zorro” and “Charlotte’s Web.” The theater has earned its share of accolades, including the Regional Theatre Tony Award. If you want to put the Alliance on your docket, be sure to reserve seats well in advance. In some cases, shows are booked six months before the curtain rises. Unfortunately, the Alliance Theatre is not one of A-Town’s best-kept secrets.

When looking and trekking work up an appetite, travelers can explore a wealth of dining choices in Atlanta. And if the show must go on, dinner theater is the obvious answer. Medieval Times, loved by kids and kids-at-heart, serves an 11th-century banquet with a side of theatrics. The whole family can feast on oven-roasted chicken and spare ribs while cheering for their favorite armored knights in the jousting tournament.

If there is one thing better than dinner theater, it is after-dinner theater. Square away the tummy grumbles early enough so the crew has time to cruise over to one of the top attractions in Atlanta: Stone Mountain Park. Located 16 miles east of downtown, the 3,200-acre adventure park is a very popular spot. Visitors will find a massive granite mountain carved with the images of three Confederate leaders. After dark, they can settle down on a comfy blanket to take in the Lasershow Spectacular. The display is set to lively music and broadcast on the face of the mountain.

For another nighttime adventure, follow the nearest Morlock to the legendary Underground Atlanta. This subterranean second city is chock full of nightclubs, eateries and shops. Footprints Jamaican Restaurant & Lounge is a round-trip island vacation for your taste buds. The Georgia Peach serves up Southern soul food with a huge helping of hospitality. To burn off extra calories after dinner, head over to Frequency Nightclub, where the music is pumping and the dance floor is jumping.

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