Georgia On My Mind – Road Trip Part I: Atlanta


I recently spent a few days enjoying a road trip around the state of Georgia. It was a spur of the moment journey that covered quite a bit of territory starting in the south of the state then up to Atlanta, across to Athens then south again. I experienced history, nature, bustling cities, huge storms and more! There is just so much to see and do when Georgia is on your mind.

georgia USA road map peach
Georgia on my mind

My first destination was the Museum of Aviation at the Warner Robins Air Force Base. It took almost 6 hours of driving from Florida to get there but the journey was well worth it to see this excellent museum. Aircraft on display cover World War Two, the Cold War, the Vietnam War and current USAF aircraft. I had actually underestimated the size of the place and really needed an extra hour to take it all in but I managed to see everything I wanted to with the door of the Vietnam hangar being locked behind me as I was the last visitor to leave for the day!

Museum of Aviation  - Convair F-106 Delta Dart and Convair F-102 Delta Dagger Warner Robins Georgia
Museum of Aviation – Convair F-106 Delta Dart and Convair F-102 Delta Dagger

I moved onto Atlanta. This is big city southern USA and a bustling place with lots to see and do. My time was limited and I only scratched the surface of what this city has to offer. A good place to start is with a wander through the Centennial Olympic Park (Atlanta hosted the 1996 summer Olympic games) which gives you a great view of the nearby downtown cityscape.

Downtown Atlanta from Olympic Centennial Park
Downtown Atlanta from Olympic Centennial Park
Centennial Olympic Park Atlanta Georgia
Centennial Olympic Park – that fountain is a huge hit with kids on a hot day!

Whilst downtown I took a tour of the CNN World Headquarters which was interesting to see something behind the scenes of the news network. I recommend you go on a weekday though as they don’t really do any live shows there on weekends. Some HLN shows are made there too.

CNN World Headquarters Atlanta Georgia
CNN World Headquarters
CNN Newsroom Atlanta
CNN Newsroom
Sid and Marty Krofft with H.R. Pufnstuf
Sid and Marty Krofft with H.R. Pufnstuf

It seems bizarre today but before CNN this building was known as the Omni International Complex and there used to be a Sid and Marty Krofft amusement park inside there. They were famous for making entertaining (and trippy) children’s fantasy TV shows (especially in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970’s) featuring puppets and super low-budget special effects like H.R. Pufnstuf and many more like Land of the Lost. They also designed the sets and characters for the excellent Hanna-Barbera’s The Banana Splits.

The World of Sid and Marty Krofft was opened in 1976 and was the worlds first indoor amusement park. It wasn’t very successful though and closed down in just 6 months. It was expensive and pretty crap by all accounts! Ted Turner purchased the building in the mid 1980’s and moved CNN there from their original smaller building (CNN first kicked off in 1980). Things have been a tad more successful since!

The World of Sid and Marty Krofft 1976 Georgia Atlanta
The World of Sid and Marty Krofft 1976. There used to be an ice skating rink on the ground floor too.
CNN World Headquarters today (apparently that is the largest freestanding escalator in the world) Atlanta Georgia
CNN World Headquarters today (apparently that is the largest freestanding escalator in the world)

On the opposite side of Olympic Centennial Park is the gigantic Georgia Aquarium (at the time of my visit it was the largest aquarium in the world but apparently China has recently taken that claim with Ocean Kingdom). Georgia Aquarium is complete with Whale Sharks, Beluga Whales, Dolphins and hundreds of other forms of sea life. The Ocean Voyager tank in that place is incredible (a massive 23.85 million litre / 6.3 million gallon tank)! OK aquariums are not for everyone but this is still an amazing place to visit (I will expand on my visit here in a future post).

A Whale Shark swims by in the massive Ocean Voyager tank at Georgia Aquarium
A Whale Shark swims by in the massive Ocean Voyager tank at Georgia Aquarium

Next door is Coca Cola World where you can tour the building, see a bottling plant demonstration, try Coke products from around the world and learn about the company history. I was a day early but a civil rights museum has now opened in that part of downtown too.

John Pemberton invented Coca-Cola in 1886
John Pemberton invented Coca-Cola in 1886
Coca Cola World Atlanta Georgia
Coca Cola World
Atlanta the home of Coca Cola
Atlanta is the home of Coca Cola

So that was my brief but fun time in Atlanta. There were many other places I just didn’t have time to get to see but would be well worth a revisit some day. From here I headed east to Stone Mountain and beyond. More on that in my next post.

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