Atlanta: Old and new, sassy and sedate, Atlanta's attractions please every taste

May 1, 2006

Welcome to "Hotlanta"! Don't let the nickname fool you. With an average temperature of 73° F, October is one of the most beautiful months in Atlanta. The balmy days are perfect for strolling through Centennial Olympic Park on a lunch break or heading over to the world's largest aquarium. There is something for everyone here, from history buffs to nature lovers. Use this list to guide your explorations of this southern metropolis.

Welcome to "Hotlanta"! Don't let the nickname fool you. With an average temperature of 73° F, October is one of the most beautiful months in Atlanta. The balmy days are perfect for strolling through Centennial Olympic Park on a lunch break or heading over to the world's largest aquarium. There is something for everyone here, from history buffs to nature lovers. Use this list to guide your explorations of this southern metropolis.

Listed below are some Atlanta spots. (Area codes for all phone numbers are 404, unless otherwise specified.)

The Atlanta Botanical Garden (876-5859) may be the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the AAP meeting. Set on 30 acres just 3 miles from downtown Atlanta, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is a haven for more than 3,000 plants. Strolling through the serene Japanese Garden, sumptuous Rose Garden, and lovely Woodland Shade Garden is a splendid way to enjoy spring. Don't miss the Fuqua Conservatory and Orchid Center, which houses a tropical rain forest complete with waterfall, flitting birds, poisonous dart frogs, and a tremendous orchid collection. Hours are 9 am–7 pm, Tuesday through Sunday. Adult admission: $12.

For a quick break from the bustle of the meeting, head over to Centennial Olympic Park to soak up some sun. The site of a fatal bombing during the 1996 Olympics, the park holds a memorial to victims of that event. Despite that tragedy, the park remains a symbol of hope and optimism for Atlantans. On warm days, children of all ages frolic in shooting streams of water in the Fountain of Rings and sunbathe on the large, open lawns. Admission is free, and the park is open all day, every day.

CNN Center (1-877-4CNNTOUR or 827-2300), adjacent to the convention center, is open daily for studio tours of the world's first 24-hour news station. Founded by Ted Turner in 1980, CNN broadcasts to more than 1 billion people in more than 212 countries and territories, primarily from its studios in Atlanta. The 50-minute tour includes a model control room where visitors can watch a live broadcast, a special effects demonstration where a volunteer is asked to simulate a weather broadcast, and a showcase of other Turner Broadcasting channels. Tours depart every 10 minutes between 9 am and 5 pm every day. Adult admission: $12. Reservations are recommended.