Atlanta is a great city! We knew that already… but somehow over the years the two of us began to take it for granted. So when Xeric approached me about taking a tour of the city that I have called home for my entire life, I was less than excited. But, I decided to go with the flow and I am so glad that I did.
The tour was conducted by Atlanta Sightseeing Bus Tours.
For about 50 bucks you can take a general five hour tour covering the City’s main attractions including: the Margaret Mitchell House (where “Gone With the Wind” was written), Georgia Aquarium (the largest in the nation), World of Coke and Centennial Olympic Park.
The tour began with a visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Center http://www.nps.gov/malu/planyourvisit/index.htm . The Center is filled with Dr. King’s personal items.
His Bible, pastoral robe, and Grammy Award are all on display.
Also on display is the carriage that was used for Dr. King’s funeral processional following his assassination in 1968.
Leaving the Memorial, we crossed Auburn Avenue and entered the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. Although the original church no longer holds church services, it is still a beacon of light in the community. During our visit we witnessed food and supplies being distributed by the church.
Dr. King pastured Ebenezer from 1960-1968.
The Memorial houses the crypts of Dr. King and Mrs Coretta Scott King along with an eternal flame that burns in Dr. King’s honor.
During our time there we also learned things about Mrs. King. Not only a supportive wife, Mrs. King was a gifted singer, scholar, and humanitarian in her own right. The Memorial also highlights Dr. King’s ideological mentor, Mohandas Gandhi.
Just steps away you can view Dr. King’s birthplace and childhood home. Tours are given by rangers with the National Parks Service.
After leaving the memorial, we grabbed lunch at CNN Center (CNN is Headquartered in Atlanta). Tours are offered daily www.cnn.com/tour.
We also visited Atlanta’s bustling neighborhoods: Old Forth Ward, Inman Park, the Virginia Highlands and Midtown.
The tour concluded with a short visit to Stone Mountain Park.
The park http://www.stonemountainpark.com is located about 25 minutes outside of Atlanta in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Park goers can enjoy several attractions including a water park, lake, hiking trails, golf and the famous laser show. The mountain itself is pretty impressive. It stands 825 feet and covers 583 acres. Three men who played important roles during the Civil War: President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee and Lt. General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson are carved into the face of the mountain. The entire carved surface of the Memorial Carving measures three acres (larger than a football field).
After leaving Stone Mountain we headed back to our starting point with a renewed interest in our remarkable city!
If you are considering a visit to Atlanta, GA you will not be disappointed. There are great restaurants, hotels, and exciting attractions to explore. If you are a local, take another look, you may just fall in love all over again.