Follow the "in One day" suggestions for your first day in town. On your second day, get up early, go over to Auburn Avenue, and visit the many sites operated by the National Parks Service, a touching tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., and Atlanta's rich African-American history. Depending on how much energy you're willing to put into day 2, you may decide to skip a site or two, opting to stay longer at one or more of the others. You could while away many hours at most of these sightseeing options. Start: Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site (drive or MARTA to Five Points station).
If driving, take I-75/85 north- or southbound, then exit 248C Freedom Pkwy.; right on Boulevard NE; right at next light on John Wesley Dobbs Ave.; parking on left. Or, take MARTA bus 3 to Five Points station to:
1. Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site
Start your morning in the Auburn district early, as the entire neighborhood is packed full of historic treasures, starting with the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site. Designated a national historic site, these blocks include the Birth Home of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King's father and grandfather were ministers and King served as a copastor. In the area, you'll also find the King Center, where King is buried, and the APEX Museum.
Drive west on Auburn Ave. NE; right at Fort St. NE; take ramp to I-75/85 N. for exit 249D Spring St.; right on Spring St. NW; left at Centennial Olympic Park Dr., and right at Baker St. NW. Park in Pemberton Place deck. Or, from Five Points station, take MARTA to Peachtree Center or Omni/Dome/GWCC station to:
2. World of Coca-Cola
At the World of Coca-Cola, you can meet the Coke polar bear, mingle in the Pop Culture Gallery, and drink free carbonated beverages from around the world until your head spins from the sugar and caffeine buzz. Memorabilia galore awaits those interested in the history of this popular beverage invented right here in Atlanta. A short film in the Happiness Factory Theater allows visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the bottling process, which they later see at the actual in-house bottling line.
Drive east on Baker St. and turn right on Centennial Olympic Park Dr.; left on Marietta St. NW; continue on Decatur St. SE; right on Hill St. SE; left at Memorial Dr. SE; and right onto Cherokee Ave. Take MARTA bus 97 to Cherokee Ave.
3. Atlanta Cyclorama
Located in Grant Park next to Zoo Atlanta, the Atlanta Cyclorama features a 42-foot-high rotating cylindrical oil painting, depicting the events of the Battle of Atlanta on July 22, 1864, in meticulous detail. The total program here lasts just 35 minutes but packs a historic wallop.
Exit the Cyclorama and turn left to find the Zoo Atlanta ticket booths just yards away.
4. Zoo Atlanta
Among the highlights in this world-class zoo are the giant pandas. The happy couple welcomed their second baby in 2008, named Xi Lan, after the traditional 100-day waiting period for naming baby pandas. Cute as she is, though, Xi Lan isn't the only draw; Zuri, the baby giraffe, arrived last summer to a hail of cheers. The 40-acre Zoo Atlanta features some 200 species of animals from around the world.
From I-75/85 N., take exit 250 10th/14th sts.; merge onto Williams St.; right on 10th St. NW; left on W. Peachtree St. NW; left on 17th St. NW. Or, take MARTA to Arts Center station and hop the free shuttle to:
5. Atlantic Station
You might be too tired for shopping at this point, but you've got to eat, right? Atlantic Station, a mixed-use development packed with your favorite stores, from Ann Taylor LOFT to IKEA, also has a wide variety of dining options. And who knows, once you refuel, you just might be ready to hit the shops before calling it a day.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.