Georgia Aquarium#12 in Best Things To Do in Atlanta
Considered one of the world's largest aquariums, the Georgia Aquarium boasts more than 100,000 animals from 700 species represented in seven different galleries. Housing everything from freshwater animals in its Southern Company River Scout gallery to a 6.3-million-gallon whale shark tank in its Ocean Voyager gallery, it's safe to say the aquarium runs the gamut in terms of its marine life.
This facility (especially its Ocean Voyager exhibit) is a popular tourist attraction, so expect crowds when you visit. Previous visitors raved about the property's free dolphin show and recommend paying to swim or dive with the aquarium's whale sharks, but some warned that these experiences quickly fill up, so consider purchasing your tickets in advance on the attraction's ticket portal page.
If you buy your tickets on-site the day of your visit, you'll pay $39.95 for adult admission (ages 13 to 64), $36.95 for senior passes (ages 65 and older) and $33.95 for children's tickets (ages 3 to 12). You can shave $4 to $8 off of each entry fee by purchasing your tickets online. Another way to save: Select the Early Bird Total Ticket Online Discount to receive $3 to $9 off each visit during the first hour that the aquarium is open. You can also purchase an Atlanta CityPASS, which includes entry to the aquarium. All admissions cover access to the property's galleries, animal shows, cafe, phone charging lounge, restrooms, theater and gift shop.
You can get to the aquarium by driving or using public transportation. The Atlanta Streetcar stops by Centennial Olympic Park, which is within walking distance, and MARTA's Civic Center train station is about a half-mile away. Parking in the on-site lot costs extra. The aquarium is open 365 days a year, but hours change depending on the time of year. Visit the aquarium's website for more information.
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#1 Atlanta History Center
Spread across 33 acres in Atlanta's trendy Buckhead neighborhood, the Atlanta History Center seeks to explore Georgia's past through comprehensive exhibitions, historic homes and miles of gardens and trails. The center's primary facility is the Atlanta History Museum, which showcases exhibits that span the region's history, from Native American culture to life in the antebellum South.
Near the museum is the Swan House, a restored estate originally built in 1928. Living up to its name, every room allegedly features at least one swan (motif). Outside the house, the Swan Woods Trail is lined with beautiful plants native to Georgia. Nearby, you can also see how the other half lived at the Smith Family Farm, a plantation house from the mid-1800s. Meanwhile, bookworms won't want to miss a tour of the Margaret Mitchell House, where the author penned her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "Gone With the Wind."
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