It seems like every other time I take a trip, it's because I'm escaping a hurricane. This time around I was running from Hurricane Michael, which went from a tropical storm to a Category 4 in the span of 2 days. It was headed directly towards us and after about 10 minutes of discussion, we decided that it's always better to be safe than sorry. So we headed to Atlanta, hoping the storm would die before it reached that far north.
We tried to refrain from spending too much, so we mostly ate fast food except for the first night. We went out to Metro Diner in downtown, and I would give it a solid 4 stars. The food was great, the prices were good, but the part that made it 4 stars... the ATMOSPHERE. It's a retro-themed diner with dope lights and classics playing. Definitely would recommend it if you're looking for some classic American food with a good time.
Our first day we spent at the Lenox Square Mall in Buckhead, Atlanta. If you're into high fashion or shopping, this is a rad stop to make. But make sure you know, if you want to walk the entire mall, you will be in there for 4 or more hours. We spent about 5 hours just window shopping.
It's mostly high-end stores with $5,000 purses or $7,000 puffy coats, but there's a few "normie" stores as I like to call them. Personally, I like any and all stores, so Lenox Square is a great place for me.
The highlight of the entire trip was (by far) the Georgia Aquarium. It was my first time going and most of the day my jaw was on the floor. When I tell you it was life changing, I'm not even being dramatic. Okay, well, a little bit dramatic, but I need you to understand just how rad it was. You walk into the main lobby of the aquarium and see two floors, 7 exhibits surrounding you, and even a cafeteria (with chicken tenders... very important).
The entry tunnel itself is part of the aquarium. There's a moving sidewalk so you can just stand and appreciate the walls/ceiling being filled with fishies and sharks and all other kinds of marine life. If you're paranoid like me, it's a little terrifying to have sharks hanging over your head, but I'd do it again. From there, we went to see the giant tank (6.3 million gallons of salt water), the jellyfish, crabs, penguins, puffins, baluga whales, dolphins, and basically any other sea creature you could think of. My favorite part had to be the Sea Lion show.
From what I've heard about aquariums, I wasn't super psyched to be going to the show. I was worried that I was supporting these poor babies getting abused or something of the sorts. But during the show, they explained that the Sea Lions in the show are rescued (if they get hurt, abandoned, or are malnourished). Once they're rescued and brought back to the aquarium, they're nursed back to health. Once the Sea Lion is ready, they take them back out to the wild to be released. It put my mind at ease a little bit, although I couldn't help but wonder if they were actually happy being forced into learning tricks and such. The tricks they learned were pretty minimal - waving and barking and such- so that also helped ease my mind. Besides all of my worries, it was really cool to see how smart these animals are. They clearly recognized their trainers and seemed to love them.
The aquarium is expensive, but well worth the price. You're getting 4+ hours of entertainment between the viewing rooms, the shows, and the theatre. The food is sold separately (and expensive... like $9 for chicken fingers) so take that into consideration when you plan to go. Maybe try to go after you eat lunch. The aquarium is open til 9 pm, so you'll definitely have ample time even if you start in the afternoon. All in all, if you haven't been yet, I suggest putting it on your bucket list.
After the aquarium we stopped at Stats, a sporty restaurant in downtown with a rooftop patio. The rooftop patio doesn't open until 5 so we didn't get to experience it, but it had lights strung up and some trendy decor. So if you're looking for a good spot for drinks and cute pictures, this might be your spot. The food was good. I don't think I would seek it out, but it wasn't bad.
This time around I missed out on going to the College Football Hall of Fame, and I won't lie- it broke my heart a little bit. If you know me personally, you know I live and die for college football. I was raised to be a crazy Ohio State fan, and I worked for the Florida State football team for 2 years. So missing out on the Hall of Fame? Yeah, heartbreaker.
No worries though, I'm already planning a trip back to go through the Hall of Fame and stop by Centennial Olympic Park for some snow cones. Maybe even stop by the World of Coca Cola? We did so much in our short time there, and there's still so much to do! I guess that's what makes Atlanta great.
Be on the lookout for my video of our trip coming soon!
Much love, xoxo.