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Short breaks in Atlanta – two days of Southern museums and hospitality

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A short getaway in Atlanta allows just enough time to see the highlights. Follow this itinerary to make the best of two days and two nights in an Atlanta hotel.

Atlanta short break day one, morning

Begin your short getaway in Atlanta with a morning stroll through Centennial Olympic Park, the center of events for the 1996 Olympic Games. At the towering CNN Center, world headquarters for the news media giant, visitors can buy tickets to a one-hour behind-the-scenes tour. The Inside CNN Tour reveals how the newsroom gathers information from across the globe, edits and compiles newscasts and produces programs.

Start: Centennial Olympic Park.
Nearest MARTA stop Dome/GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN Center

Afternoon

DAY 1 It’s a short walk back across Centennial Olympic Park to the Georgia Aquarium. Growling stomachs can be satisfied with salads and sandwiches at the aquarium’s Café Aquaria. Then it’s time to explore what is claimed to be the world’s largest aquarium. Look up through an acrylic tunnel to see the graceful forms of the world’s largest fish, whale sharks, swimming overhead through six million gallons of water. Other tanks house beluga whales, colorful tropical fish, penguins and otters. Starfish and sleek rays can be stroked in the aquarium’s Touch Pools.

Start: Georgia Aquarium.
Nearest MARTA stop Dome/GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN Center

Evening

DAY 1 After an afternoon at the Georgia Aquarium you might feel squeamish eating fish. Be bold and take the MARTA train to trendy Buckhead and the Atlanta Fish Market. A 65-foot leaping copper fish marks the restaurant’s exterior. Inside, the menu is filled with southeastern America’s largest fresh seafood selection in a dining room resembling a train station. The restaurant’s Geechee Lounge offers a more casual option, with lighter fare and a full bar.

Start: Atlanta Fish Market.
Nearest MARTA stop Buckhead 

Atlanta short break day two, morning

Leave your Atlanta hotel for a quiet morning at the Martin Luther King National Historic Site. Photographs and artifacts in the National Park Service Visitors Center retell Dr. King’s life. The center also distributes free tickets to the King Birth Home. Finish with a stop at the massive, white marble tomb of the Civil Rights Leader. A short train ride to the MARTA North Ave. station brings you to The Varsity. The world’s largest drive-in serves inexpensive hamburgers, ‘dawgs’ and fries to 16,000 people every day. The restaurant is especially popular on Georgia Tech football game days. 

Start: Martin Luther King National Historic Site. 
Nearest MARTA stop King Memorial 

Afternoon

DAY 2 Two short train stops away is Atlanta’s white porcelain-tiled High Museum of Art. Inside, white walls set off over 10,000 works of traditional and contemporary art over four stories. The museum houses a large Hudson River School collection of paintings and an interesting exhibit of American Decorative Arts. Silver and glass household items since 1640 are on display. 

Start: High Museum of Art. 
Nearest MARTA stop Arts Center 

Evening

DAY 2 There’s more than tea on the menu at Mary Mac’s Tea Room. Round off your short getaway in Atlanta with authentic Southern specialties like fried chicken, ‘mudbugs’ (crawfish) and a side of fried green tomatoes or black-eyed peas at this Atlanta institution. 

Start: Mary Mac’s Tea Room. 
Nearest MARTA stop North Avenue