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Outdoors

Top Rated Attractions in Atlanta

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Piedmont Park

The most expansive and popular of Atlanta's city parks were originally laid out for the Cotton States and International Exposition of 1895, and it now attracts more than 2 million visitors annually. Dog owners, sun-seekers and sports enthusiasts flock to the Piedmont Park to enjoy the fair weather, largely unaware that this was the spot of the Battle of Peachtree Creek during the Civil War. Its picturesque locales also offer a romantic ambience. The 189-acre (76.48-hectare) facility is home to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and scenic Lake Clara Meer, and plays host to many of Atlanta's favorite concerts and festivals.

Atlanta Botanical Garden

The Atlanta Botanical Garden is one of the largest spectacles of plant life in the Southeast. Sprawling over 15 acres (six hectares), this natural oasis was established in 1976 and is located within stumbling distance of the famous Piedmont Park. It is home to the Fuqua Conservatory and Japanese gardens, both rich in globe-spanning flora. Follow a walking trail, great for couples, and admire exotic rose plantations and carnivorous specimens. In addition, guided tours and seasonal shows guarantee an entertaining botany lesson.

Stone Mountain Park

Just east of Atlanta, Stone Mountain Park is a 3200-acre (1300-hectare) park centres on the world's largest exposed granite mountain. Skylift gondolas whisk visitors 825 feet (251 meters) to the top, where commanding views of the Georgia countryside await them. The north face's bas-relief memorial to Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson is one of the world's largest. An antebellum plantation, an antique auto museum and a petting zoo are all located within the park. Playing host to myriad activities such as camping, dining, and lodging, this park bears wooden mountain slopes bearing recherche Georgia oak, natural pools as well as delightful, verdant foliage. During the summer, there are evening laser light shows on the mountain, whereas the Great Barn and Geyser Towers are other attractions in the park. Some of the major trails coursing through the park include the Cherokee Trail, Walk-Up Trail, Nature Garden Trail, and Songbird Habitat Trail.

Centennial Olympic Park

A rolling oasis nestled in the heart of downtown Atlanta, this lush park is interspersed with sprawling rock gardens. Built to enhance the infrastructure for the 1996 Summer Olympics, this park is fringed by a tapestry of buildings significant to the city, like the CNN Center, Philips Arena, and the Georgia World Congress Center. The nearly 500,000 commemorative bricks that make up its main walkway were part of fundraising efforts for the Games. During scorching Atlanta summers, children frolic in the ground-level Olympic Rings, which periodically shoot streams of water through their seven rings. One of the most promising features of the park is the fascinating 'Fountain of Rings', a technology-controlled fountain complete with music, light towers and a splash pad; not only is the fountain is a hive of fun and frolic, but it is also a great architectural feat. The park is also home to several other water features and is a massive locus for live music in the city's downtown. Bearing stunning semblances of natural wonders and an iconic Olympic legacy, Centennial Olympic Park is a site that Atlanta holds close to its heart.

Georgia Aquarium

The Georgia Aquarium opened in 2005 as one of the largest aquariums in the world. Located in downtown Atlanta, it is undoubtedly a breathtaking experience for all its visitors. A generous endowment from Bernard Marcus, the co-founder of Home Depot, made this dynamic aquarium possible. It showcases exotic sea creatures such as giant groupers, beluga whales and whale sharks. With 500 species, you will see something new and different no matter when you visit. One can opt for sleepovers with friends and enjoy a night-time experience of the aquarium. In addition, it also offers an expansive educational program for students of all ages and several interactive animal experiences.

Zoo Atlanta

Just minutes from downtown Atlanta in historic Grant Park, the exciting Zoo Atlanta features the Southeast's most impressive collection of wildlife from around the globe. Legend says that the zoo got its start when the owners of a traveling animal show went bankrupt and suddenly fled town. Today, popular exhibits include daily elephant demonstrations, giraffe feedings, and the acquired Chinese pandas. Various spots within the zoo make for wonderful locations to host private celebrations.

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