After a great first day in Atlanta, we moved on to a fun-filled day in the city. We got off to an early start and stayed busy all day long.
We spent the first half of our day at the Georgia Aquarium. My husband loves aquariums so when he heard the world’s largest aquarium was in Atlanta, he definitely made sure it was at the top of our list. I wasn’t sure if the Georgia Aquarium could live up to our high expectations but it exceeded them.
The aquarium is divided into 5 main areas: Tropical Diver, Cold Water Quest, Georgia Explorer, River Scout, and Ocean Voyager. Kids really seemed to love the Tropical Diver section because of all its tropical fish like “Nemo” and “Dory” so this section was quite busy. Younger kids loved the Georgia Explorer with its touch tanks and playground. People of all ages also seemed to like the Cold Water Quest section with its penguins and beluga whales. The River Scout section holds piranhas and other freshwater fish.
The best section had to be the Ocean Voyager section. We loved it so much we went through it twice. At the beginning of the section is a giant tunnel that lets you peak into the largest aquarium habitat in the world. The viewing tunnel is 100 feet long and you will be amazed at what swims over you.
After you get your fill of the tunnel, move onto the 23 foot tall and 61 foot wide viewing window. The room has tiered viewing and seats with music playing and projector screens displaying facts. During our first stay we must have spent 20 minutes in this room alone. On our second time through it was feeding time so a staff member explained the process to the crowd. The feeding frenzy was unbelievable to watch.
Some of the creatures in the Ocean Voyager section include whale sharks, the only manta rays in a United States aquarium, sting rays, great hammerhead sharks and schools of fish.
Centennial Olympic Park
After the aquarium we spent time in Centennial Olympic Park, both before and after dark. If you grew up like me, you were probably once glued to the television during the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games. The park is an amazing legacy of an amazing Olympics. It was all decked out for the holidays with an ice skating rink inside the park and Christmas lights all over.
One of the best parts of the park is the amazing light show at the Fountain of Rings. We managed to catch the show right before it ended. The lights and water of the fountain were synchronized to music like “In the Mood” and made for a fun show.
Both of these activities were featured in my $1000 Atlanta post and I highly recommend stopping by both of them. This really was a perfect day activity-wise and both attractions are worth it. Make sure to buy a City Pass if you’re looking to do the Aquarium or check out one of their many combo passes.
For lunch we stopped into Rosa’s Pizza on Broad Street in downtown Atlanta. There are a ton of spots to stop in at if pizza isn’t your thing but on this day we wanted pizza and we wanted it fast. Rosa’s was happy to answer our stomach’s call. It’s a tiny little stop with a small menu but huge portions. While I hear the lasagna is good, I went with the special, a 2-slice double slice deal with a drink for $6. This is what I ended up with:
You won’t go hungry at Rosa’s.
For dinner my husband and I wanted to eat at a spot downtown near all the action. We chose Ted’s Montana Grill for its bison burgers and amazing location. We weren’t disappointed. The restaurant bills itself as eco-friendly and you can see that from the hand driers in the bathroom to the paper straws for your drinks. I treated myself to a strawberry margarita while my husband had a Big Sky Lemonade. Both had a good blend of alcohol and flavor.
For dinner we both had bison burgers. My husband had the George’s Cadillac Bison Burger which had cheese, bacon, and BBQ sauce. I had the Peppercorn Bison Burger which had plenty of spices, Gruyere cheese, and dijon mustard.
I have no clue how but we managed to fit a dessert in us as well. After the light show at Centennial Olympic Park we were looking for an open spot with dessert. Most of the places downtown close early so when we found Cafe Intermezzo it was the perfect spot.
The restaurant had a food menu but we were interested in dessert. They had a pretty big coffee menu but we stuck to sweet tea and cake. The menu lists plenty of desserts but they had a what-you-see-is-what-you-get approach in a dessert case. We saw a ton but limited ourselves to a red velvet cake and a slice of oreo cheesecake. It was amazing. If you go you’ll probably never fit another meal in your stomach again but it’ll be worth it.