Here are some of my favourite attractions in Atlanta, USA . . .
We visited Piedmont Park after having a walk down Peachtree Street in Atlanta. It is easily accessible from there and clearly signposted from the street so you'll have no problems finding it, although it is downhill so bear in mind that you'll have to walk back up the hill afterwards! it was actually recommended by our guidebook as a place to visit and I'd recommend it too as it is a lovely large green space in the city.
You can walk around all the areas of the park easily enough although we decided to be proper tourists and rent a tandem bike to explore. There is a place right outside the park gates called Skate Escape where you can rent skates and bikes by the hour and day for a reasonable price. You need need photo ID (preferably a passport) to be able to rent anything though. Bikes are $6 per hour and tandems $12 per hour.
We loved cycling around and it is really easy to do because the pavements and paths through the park are nice and wide so there is plenty of room for everybody. There are lots of huge fields where you can play sports and there are a few nice little play areas and things for the kids. They have thought of everyone (well everything actually) at Piedmont park as there are also two areas that are gated off for dogs to play in (one for big dogs and one for little ones) complete with playground type things for them to explore and waste disposal units. We thought this was particularly good because it meant that there wasn't any dog mess anywhere else in the park. The park was indeed extremely clean and clearly well maintained which was nice and so it made for a very pleasant place to spend the afternoon. Definitely recommended.
I don't generally go to a lot of zoos, but when we were in the states, there was a lot of talk about Zoo Atlanta because of their brand new panda babies. Like many others, I couldn't resist and so we visited at the end of our Deep South road trip. I'm glad we went because the zoo is a nice one that is well laid out and just enough exhibits that you can see everything you want without overdoing it.
We went on a weekend and although it was busy, we didn't feel like it was overcrowded which was nice. The exhibits are nice and big so there are actually lots of different viewing platforms and areas for each exhibit. They have all the big hitters here including lions and tigers. Our favourite enclosures wwere the massive gorilla and orang utan ones. They have quite a few gorillas (including a couple of babies) and it is fascinating to stand and watch them either from the inside viewing area or the many outdoor ones. Unfortunately we didn't actually get to see the panda babies because they were too young to be out in public view but there s a pandacam where you can see them and the older ones are out so you can see them.
Something we liked about the zoo was the amount of educational information that was available all the way around. The signs all the way around are interesting and brightly coloured so they'll appeal to all ages and there are lots of question flip cards so you can test your knowledge.
There are plenty of places to get some food and, as you'd expect, the prices aren't cheap. I was surprised actually to find that the gift shop prices weren't too high though in comparison. The entry tickets were what you'd expect, but I'd say that the zoo is worth the money. Recommended.
-Centennial Olympic Park-
The Olympic Park, as you might have guessed by the name, is the legacy left by the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta Georgia and is a lovely place to go and relax in the middle of the city. If you are visiting any of the city's main attractions, such as the Aquarium, The World of Coca Cola and the CCN Centre, you'll not miss the park because it is right there in the thick of the action, offering a bit of calm in amongst the artificial lights and queues that come with the other sights.
We spent a lot of time in the park, either walking through it or sitting and eating lunch, and it is a perfect place to do both on a lovely day. There are lots of little different areas within the park and most of them have something interesting to look at. We particularly enjoyed the stones that listed all the winners in the games and the canopy of national flags. There is a nice little rock garden and water feature that has bridges and so on so will provide a bit of adventure for the kids and there are a couple of nice big grassy areas for ball games.
There is a little cafe near the entrance of the park and there are lots of seating areas if you have your own food. There is a bandstand where up and coming musicians come and play for people whilst they are enjoying the sun which we loved. The best thing about the park though is the interactive fountains which are shaped like the five Olympic rings and dance to music and lights at night. During the day you are free to play in them which lots of people did during the whether.
The park felt completely safe at all times of the day and evening. It is very clean and well maintained and it is free to enter. Definitely recommended.
So this just proves there is plenty to do and it doesn't have to cost the earth.