Sealife abounds at the Georgia Aquarium. (Photo: Alamy)
Atlanta is a city brimming with Southern warmth and charm, and welcomes visitors to get up-close-and-personal with the city’s myriad sights. Many of Atlanta’s attractions boast unique behind-the-scenes-style tours and events, allowing visitors to feel like they’re privy to the VIP treatment — or at least getting an inside look into this unforgettable city.
“Behind-the-Seas” at Atlanta’s Georgia Aquarium
Georgia Aquarium’s series of Behind-the-Seas tours allows visitors to encounter the “stars” of the aquarium under unique circumstances. Private VIP tours offer a glimpse of what it takes to keep one of the largest aquariums in the country running, and include guided visits to the topside decks of Ocean Voyager and Tropical Diver, and a visit to the Ocean Voyager filtration room, which houses the equipment used to filter the aquarium’s 6.3 million gallon habitat.
A less expensive option is the Aquarium’s guided “All-Access Backstage Pass” tours, where you’ll experience many of the day-to-day operations at Georgia Aquarium.
Nightcrawlers at the Atlanta Zoo
Spend the night at the Atlanta Zoo and enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience. The Nightcrawlers Overnight program offers sleepover activities for every age group, and even a themed scavenger hunt in the zoo for adults. The program includes a private, guided tour of the zoo, behind-the-scenes experiences with the animals, educational programs with the zoo’s animal ambassadors, a sleepover in an indoor room, and breakfast.
“Taste the Feeling” of 100 Varieties of Coca-Cola
Sample delightful drinks from around the world and learn the storied history of one of the globe’s most popular beverages on a VIP tour of the World of Coca-Cola. This Atlanta museum is a showcase of the beverage company’s history and even serves as one of Atlanta’s unique event venues in the evenings – hosting intimate dinners for as few as 10 people, and large-scale events for over 1,000.
Martinis & IMAX®
Every Friday night, it’s possible to kick back at at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History with special cocktails, small plates, live entertainment, dancing as you watch a film on the biggest screen in town. In addition to the Martinis & IMAX® event, the museum also hosts live entertainment like salsa dancing and performances by local bands.
Hop On the Longest Free-Standing Escalator in the World
CNN’s global headquarters tour offers visitors a glimpse into the new organization’s studios and the chance to explore one of Atlanta’s most popular attractions. To begin your tour, you’ll ride up the world’s longest free-standing escalator, then witness the buzzing newsrooms in action. For an added insider experience, check out the VIP tour where you’ll visit the HLN control room and go inside Studio 7, where much of CNN’s daily broadcasting takes place.
See the Atlanta Braves Clubhouse
Tour Turner Field in Atlanta to see the game from the players’ level. As you wander through the ballpark on your guided tour, you’ll visit the Braves Museum & Hall of Fame, as well as Coca-Cola Sky Field, Scouts Alley, and the broadcast booth. See how the other half watches sports with a peek inside a luxury suite and the press box clubhouse (subject to availability).
Where to Stay:
- Atlanta Marriott Marquis
- Glenn Hotel, Autograph Collection
- Fairfield Inn & Suites Atlanta Downtown
- Twelve Centennial Park
- Courtyard Atlanta Downtown
- The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta
- Residence Inn Atlanta Downtown
- Renaissance Atlanta Midtown Hotel
- Courtyard Atlanta Midtown/Georgia Tech
- Twelve Atlantic Station
- Residence Inn Atlanta Midtown/Georgia Tech
- Atlanta Marriott Suites Midtown