One Day, two nights in Atlanta - Suggestions?

Old Oct 13th, 2004, 08:09 PM
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One Day, two nights in Atlanta - Suggestions?

Two of us (middle-aged New Englanders) will be in Atlanta for two nights, February 11-13 2005. We arrive mid-afternoon on Friday and need to be back at the airport at 7:30 am Sunday. (Quick trip, I know - it's brief stop on the way elsewhere.)

Neither of us has been to Atlanta before. I would love recommendations for hotels - is it better to stay near the airport and travel into the city for the day for sight-seeing, or would it be better to stay in the city somewhere interesting so we could walk or take public transportation to more sites? I figure that either way, we'll be making one trip into and out of the city between arriving Friday and leaving Sunday morning, but I'm not certain about travel times and costs between the airport and the various areas of Atlanta itself.

And what activities would be you recommend for people who like museums, history, and cultural sites? We're not interested in the World of Coca-Cola, and we're not shoppers. We like gardens and would love to learn about some Southern history. We like to walk in interesting neighborhoods and eat in small local restaurants.

So, in what area should we stay? Any specific hotel recommendations? And what activities would you suggest?

Thank you all for taking the time to read this and make any suggestions. I have been reading lots of past posts to get some ideas, but thought it might be worth asking specifically about these topics.
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Old Oct 14th, 2004, 04:20 AM
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Hi jessw, I lived in ATL for 13 years and only recently before I moved, did I go to the Atlanta History Center...I thought it was a wonderful, very detailed and well executed display and showcase for local history...I recommend looking into it and they usually have traveling exhibits of interest as well...Marriott Midtown on 14th st. was outside my back door and where family stayed when visiting me..it's a good central location...you can walk to the park and there are tons of restaurants everywhere...enjoy !
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Old Oct 14th, 2004, 04:53 AM
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The Atlanta History Museum is a wonderful idea. The exhibits are great and make time to have lunch at the Swan Coach house (its on site). Also you can go to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Margaret Mitchell house, Stone Mountain, Fernbank Museum, High Museum, Piedmont Park. Most of the these places you can get to by using MARTA. However you would need to rent a car to see Stone Mountain.

I would not stay near the airport. It's not a nice area and there is nothing to do out there. Midtown or Buckhead would be a better choice. Any hotels in that area will be nice and clean.
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Old Oct 14th, 2004, 05:06 AM
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For what its worth, I am also a middle-aged New Englander. My wife and I spent just 24 hours in Atlanta last July so I can relate to your situation. As the above two posters mentioned, the Atlanta History Center is a must. You can easily spend the better part of the day there. There is a good write-up on what to do there on Frommers.com (sorry, Fodors). We stayed at Embassy Suites in Buckhead. We felt it was a good value and a good location, about 5 minutes by car from the History Center. I think mid-February might be a little early in the year to enjoy any gardens outdoors. You might check the Atlanta Botanical Gardens website to see if anything is going on at that time. You could spend a couple of hours at Zoo Atlanta as we did. Also we thought the CNN tour was quite interesting - reserve on cnn.com. We were in Atlanta on the holiday weekend and found getting around by car quite easy. For you, the traffic might be difficult on Friday though.
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Old Oct 14th, 2004, 01:19 PM
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Jessw,
You've gotten good advice so far. Directly from the airport, you can take the train (MARTA) north to Midtown or Buckhead. Like you've been told, those areas are FAR better than staying around the airport!

I agree with touristy suggestions above too. AHC is terrific. In Midtown, there is the High Museum of Art. It's not the Met in NY or the Louvre but it's ok. I think it's always nice to walk around Virginia- Highland where you can find cafes and yummy restaurants and funky shops. You would probably need to take a short cab ride over there b/c there really aren't any hotels in walking distance.

I hope you enjoy your trip to Atlanta. I came to visit a friend 9 yrs ago and ended up moving here!
Debbie
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Old Oct 14th, 2004, 01:55 PM
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I highly recommend visiting the Martin Luther King Center while you're in Atlanta. It's one of the best museums I've ever visited, and it's quite an emotional experience. Be prepared to cry a lot but also to learn a lot. I am terrible with directions so I can't tell you how to get there, but I'm sure some others could help with that.
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Old Oct 14th, 2004, 03:26 PM
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Don't know if you're a Gone With the Wind Fan but you could check out the Margaret Mitchell Museum in Midtown.
www.gwtw.org/
They were merging with the Atlanta History Center.

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Old Oct 14th, 2004, 03:35 PM
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Emory University's Carlos Museum has a wonderful collection. http://carlos.emory.edu/ Emory is near Fernbank.

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Old Oct 14th, 2004, 03:55 PM
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My first and only visit to Atlanta was last July. Had an awesome time. Did much of what was stated above. Thought I would chime in about the hotel where I stayed - which was directly across from the Margaret Mitchell House. The Wyndom was had for $50/night through Priceline.com. We felt it to be a very nice hotel and loved the peaceful yet central location in Midtown. Great local restaurants and shops within walking distance too. Like Craig, I also enjoyed the CNN tour. Have fun - I loved my visit!
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Old Oct 16th, 2004, 12:52 PM
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Thank you so much to everyone who responded! I think I will book a hotel in Buckhead, close to the MARTA station if possible so we can get there easily from the airport. Sounds like the Atlanta History Center is just what we're looking for.

Thanks to all your suggestions, I'm sure we'll have a great whirlwind tour of Atlanta. Many thanks.

Jessica
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Old Oct 20th, 2004, 07:58 PM
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There are some good (free or cheap) walking tours offered by a historical group. I loved the tour of the Fox Theatre. There's a "Driving Miss Daisy" tour too. Let me know if you want more info and I'll try to find out details.
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Old Oct 20th, 2004, 07:59 PM
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I've stayed at both the Wyndham that has been mentioned and the Sheraton at Colony Square via Priceline by bidding "Midtown".
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