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Holidays to Atlanta
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7 nights in Quality Hotel and Conference Center, Atlanta, departing Manchester on 30 / Apr / 2021 with Virgin AtlanticSubject to availability, prices correct of the last 24 hours
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Welcome to Atlanta
Featured holidays in Atlanta
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Atlanta travel guideAtlanta holidays… what to expect
Atlanta, Georgia enjoyed the spotlight when it hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 1996, since then it's remained one of the most visited cities in the United States. It features historical museums, the world's largest indoor aquarium and superb cultural and outdoor attractions. Atlanta’s airport is testament to its popularity. Since 1998, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been the world’s busiest by passenger traffic. Join the millions of people touching down in this shining cosmopolitan city and enjoy its old-school southern charm along with its modern skyline and attractions.
When is the best time to visit Atlanta?
With a subtropical climate, Atlanta enjoys fabulous hot and humid summers with highs of up to 30°C, winters are cool with temperatures dropping to 7°C. The best time to visit is spring and autumn where temperatures are comfortable.
Take a look at our climate a chart below.
Things to do in Atlanta
Whether you’re visiting Atlanta on a business trip and have some time to spare or are taking the whole family to the city for a holiday, there are plenty of sights and sounds to take in, all easily accessible via the excellent Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) train line.
Atlanta hosted the centennial Olympic Games in 1996, so head to the downtown area and visit the Centennial Olympic Park, which in amongst it’s flowing fountains offers great views of the skyline. There are often festivals, events and concerts in the park, so check if there’s anything interesting on during your stay. If you are visiting in the winter months, you will likely find the ice-skating rink is in full swing.
Grant Park is the city’s largest and most historic district and surrounds its oldest city park. Although it’s now primarily a residential neighbourhood, you can participate in a tour of its beautiful homes (aptly titled the Tour of Homes). The park also hosts an annual summer festival featuring artists’ markets, a fun run, live entertainment, and great food and drink under the shade of oak trees.
Just around the corner from Grant Park is Zoo Atlanta, home to one of the world’s largest captive gorilla populations, and one of only four zoos in the United States that cares for the critically endangered giant panda.
Atlanta Botanical Gardens is renowned for its impressive plant collections, beautifully curated displays and exhibitions of rare plants. This oasis in the heart of Atlanta’s urban midtown is home to 30 acres of outdoor gardens, an award-winning children’s garden, a canopy walk through the Storza forests, and a one-of-a-kind edible garden fitted with an outdoor demonstration kitchen.
Climb Stone Mountain, the world’s largest piece of exposed granite, before you head to Piedmont Park to chill out and recover from your exertions.
Museums and historical institutions
Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, sometimes also referred to as the High Museum, was the first in the world to have work lent from the Louvre in Paris. The museum houses a permanent collection of artworks, ranging from late 19th-century furniture to contemporary European and American paintings, as well as Georgian folk art.
Continue along the educational route at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, which offers plenty of excellent interactive displays.
The Ebenezer Baptist Church is part of the MLK Jr Historic District, where visitors can find the boyhood home of Martin Luther King Jr. The church is where both King and his father pastored, and serves to commemorate his legacy. Or make for Auburn Avenue and take the walking tour that will teach you about the life and struggles of the inspirational Martin Luther King; visit his place of birth, his grave and the church where his funeral was held.
Atlanta is home to Coca-Cola’s worldwide headquarters, as well as The World of Coca-Cola, a multimedia experience that celebrates the history of Coca-Cola.
The CNN headquarters are also to be found in Atlanta. Learn about a different aspect of USA history, or more specifically, how history has been reported on the Inside CNN Studio Tour where visitors can tour the studios to see for themselves what the CNN newsrooms look like behind the scenes.
Top 5 places to visit in Atlanta
Founded in 1889 by a travelling circus that ran out of money, Zoo Atlanta spans nearly 40 acres and accommodates over 200 species of animal. Make sure you don’t miss the only twin pandas in America.
Situated in the bustling downtown area of Atlanta, Georgia Aquarium is one of the world’s largest. Its 38,000 cubic metres of water are home to exotic coral reefs and roughly 500 species of sea creatures. Visitors enjoy “up close and personal” dolphin encounters, as well as a “monsters of the deep” exhibition.
World of Coca-Cola
Atlanta is home to the Coca-Cola company’s headquarters. At the World of Coca-Cola, you can try 64 different Coca-Cola products and have a look at a huge collection of memorabilia associated with the ever-popular drink.
Centennial Olympic Park
The home of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, the Centennial Olympic Park is a 21-acre public park with attractive grounds and a fountain that’s synchronised to music and lights. The park hosts several events, including concerts and an annual fireworks show.
Atlanta is a shopper’s paradise that rivals the high streets of New York and London. Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza offer everything from high-fashion to high-tech, with over 300 retail outlets.
If outdoor shopping is more your cup of (iced) tea, try out Underground Atlanta. This is a unique urban market that spans six blocks in the heart of Atlanta. As well as shops, it features dining, entertainment and nightlife.
Other shopping districts include Virginia Highlands (known for its restaurants, pubs and galleries), Town Brookhaven (home to both boutique and antique stores) and Little Five Points (a funky bohemian hangout filled with art, theatre, shopping – a perfect place for quirky gifts and trinkets).
The Ponce City Market located in a restored building - the beloved Sears building - in the city’s old southeast. It will contain a carefully considered mix of dining and shopping, a food hall, rooftop games and amusements, public gathering and performance spaces. It should be a shopping experience not to miss out on.
Relax and enjoy some background jazz while you take your time over some dinner, supplement your evening with a poetry reading, or get ready for a night of full on partying, Atlanta has the variety to suit all tastes and degrees of exclusivity.
Atlanta events - what's on when?
No matter what time of year you plan on visiting Atlanta, you’ll find yourself spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding what to do. Whether you’re interested in domestic or international sports, art galleries, live theatre or musical performances, there’s always something happening.
January – Martin Luther King Jr Celebration
A week-long festival is held in January to commemorate the birth of the Georgian civil rights hero, Martin Luther King Jr. Some notable features of the festival are the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s performance of “A King Celebration”, the MLK Rally in the Sweet Auburn District and the Salute to Greatness Awards and banquet, honouring individual community members for continuing to embody Martin Luther King’s ideals.
February – Black History Month
Black History Month is observed throughout the month of February. During the festival, which celebrates the achievements of African Americans, you can attend informative lectures or enjoy one of the several live concerts or art exhibitions around the city.
March – Atlanta Film Festival
Now running for over 40 years, the Atlanta Film Festival (AFF) is one of the longest running film festivals in America’s southeast. It’s also one of only a small group of Academy Award qualifying film festivals in the country. More than 25,000 people attend the festival each year, enjoying the films as well as after parties, red carpet events and more.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
It doesn’t matter if you’re not Irish. On St. Patrick’s Day, the whole of Atlanta joins in the fun with a parade that includes clowns, floats, bagpipes and drum corps.
April - Inman Park Festival
The Inman Park Festival is one of Atlanta’s most eclectic and colourful events, held in one of the city’s most vibrant neighbourhoods. The park itself is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Admission is free and includes a dance festival, parade, the Inman Park Tour of Homes, showcasing the beautiful 19th century houses in the area, a 5-kilometre costume run and a popular street market; where you’ll find everything from hand-crafted jewellery to farmer’s goods and antiques.
May - Atlanta Food and Wine Festival
Atlanta dedicates a weekend in May to celebrating hearty Southern cuisine. Stop by one of the many restaurants around the city to enjoy either some traditional soul food or a more modern fusion of old and new culinary traditions. You can also attend exclusive food and wine tastings and cooking classes at the Loews Atlanta Hotel.
June - Atlanta Summer Beer Fest
At the Atlanta Summer Beer Fest, you’ll find over 150 beers on offer. These include many from local Atlanta breweries – look out for Red Brick, Monday Night, Sweetwater and Wild Heaven. Along with beer, you can enjoy live music or even try your luck in one of multiple game zones.
Atlanta Ice Cream Festival
For more family-friendly fun, the Ice Cream Festival is a must. What could be better during a sweltering southern summer than an ice cold cone? Both local artisan makers and national favourites have stalls, so why not treat yourself.
July – Independence Day
Make sure you keep your eyes to the sky on the 4th of July. You’ll have an excellent view of the fireworks show from the Centennial Olympic Park or the Tuner Field. You could also spend the night partying at events hosted by two of Atlanta’s biggest malls, the Lenox Square and the Mall of Georgia – each accompanied by spectacular fireworks displays.
August - Grant Park Summer Shade Festival
This weekend-long festival takes place in one of Atlanta’s favourite green spots, Grant Park. With a variety of activities for all ages, it’s a perfect family outing. The festival includes a Saturday morning 5-kilometre fun run, plenty of food stalls, a kids’ zone with arts, crafts and storytellers and the ever-popular Spider Jump, which is a bungee trampoline.
September - DragonCon
DragonCon is far and away the nation’s most popular convention for fans of sci-fi and fantasy films, books, comic books and games. If you’re keen on seeing or joining up with a group of Stormtroopers, Klingons, aliens, ghouls, superheroes or villains, DragonCon is for you. Attend panel discussions with industry leaders, test out the newest games on the market, check out the incredibly detailed costumes, win great prizes and join in on the parade on Saturday morning.
October – Little 5 Points Halloween Festival and Parade
For family fun with a twist, there’s nothing like the Little 5 Points Halloween Festival and Parade. Now running for its 14th year, the party starts at noon and runs until 11 p.m. Guests are treated to a full day of festive fun, food and of course, frights. Some of the attractions include two stages with live entertainment, local artisan shops, a variety of specials offered by local businesses and a parade with floats.
November - Cabbage Town Chomp & Stomp
Before setting down for some “chomp”, participants go on the stomp – a flat, easy 5-kilometre run. After the run, participants settle down to breakfast and a beer in front of one of four stages with bands playing live bluegrass. If you’re up to the task, grab a spoon for $5 and head down to another attraction – chilli tasting. Also make your way around Cabbagetown, enjoying the arts, theatrical performances and games.
December – Chick-fil-A Bowl
One of the nation’s most exciting American college football games, the annual match features top teams from both the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Southeastern Conference, filling Atlanta’s Georgia Dome with atmosphere and the deafening chants of fans. Although the Georgia Dome includes a whopping 71,500 seats, tickets for the Chick-fil-a-Bowl have sold out for 15 consecutive years. So be sure to buy your tickets well ahead of the event.
Do you need a visa for Atlanta?
Everyone travelling into America must have completed the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation, or ESTA for short, a US Customs & Passport Control entry requirement. US Immigration may well refuse you entry at border control if you do not complete the online form.
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Key facts about Atlanta
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