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Old 02-11-2013, 05:25 AM   #1
DisneyWalle
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Any Atlanta Ga People On Here -- Have a question

We are looking at celebrating my DS's 13th birthday in Atlanta sometime in September. He loves museums (big history buff) and trying new foods (loves Epcot because of this). So I'm looking for recommendations on several things. (Please keep in mind I'm coming from a small Alabama town and I hate driving in Atlanta - so the closer and best routes the better).

This is what I'm thinking:
2 night/3day stay at Omni Hotel - CNN Center (will be during the week)
Purchasing the CityPass which will include all the following: Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Inside CNN Tour, Atlanta History Center and Fernbank Natural History Museum
(Any other ideas or recommendations/suggestions?)

Need to find:
Good bakery for birthday cake or celebratory dessert
Restuarants: they can be quirky, fun or casual -- but nothing with a fancy or stuffy atmosphere -- definitely want the food to be good and can be any kind of cuisine
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:41 AM   #2
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The Spence. It's the restaurant owned and run by Top Chef winner Richard Blaise.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:40 AM   #3
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Since your ds is a history buff and you're coming from Alabama, Warm Springs and Little Whitehouse might not be too far out of the way to stop at. It doesn't look like it would take very long to see.

We've never been, but DS 12 is a history buff too and we just watched the movie and now he really wants to go. We watched the director / writer narrated version too and learned that it was actually filmed there. The movie is surprisingly accurate and they also used FDR's wheel chair and hand controlled car in it.

I never realized that spending so much time in the rural South, helped formed a lot of his ideas and plans.

In Atlanta, I've always wanted to try Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffle restaurant
http://gladysandron.net/index.html

Have fun planning!

Last edited by Snoopymom; 02-11-2013 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:40 AM   #4
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Der Biergarten (german obviously) restaurant is walking distance (2 blocks) from the Omni. Pretty authentic for not being in Germany. Very casual.

There's a sports bar/restaurant called Stats next to door to the Biergarten. Also, walking distance from the Omni. There's a sushi place in that block too.

Max Lager's is a casual, microbrew pub place. Kid friendly. Good food. Less than 5 minute cab ride from the Omni.

There's a Benihana downtown near where you're staying.

The Varsity is the world's either oldest or largest drive-in. It's just north of downtown. Chili dogs, naked dogs and burgers.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:43 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Snoopymom View Post
Since your ds is a history buff and you're coming from Alabama, Warm Springs and Little Whitehouse might not be too far out of the way to stop at. It doesn't look like it would take very long to see.

We've never been, but DS 12 is a history buff too and we just watched the movie and now he really wants to go. We watched the director / writer narrated version too and learned that it was actally filmed there. The movie is surprisingly accurate and they also used FDR's wheel chair and hand controlled car in it.

I never realized that spending so much time in the rural South, helped formed a lot of his ideas and plans.

In Atlanta, I've always wanted to try Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffle restaurant
http://gladysandron.net/index.html

Have fun planning!
I've always wanted to go to Gladys Knight's restaurant too. There's usually a line out the door. Go early.

Warm Springs is worth the detour if you have time. If it's nice weather, Kennesaw Mountain battlefield is well preserved. About 30 minutes from downtown.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:10 AM   #6
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Cyclorama, next to the zoo, is a good stop for your history buff. A unique Atlanta attraction.

Also, you should go to the King Center. Atlanta's only "national park."

Emory's Carlos Museum (antiquities, mummies) is Atlanta's best museum. 20 minutes from downtown.

Jimmy Carter's library and museum at the Carter Center. 10 minutes by car from Omni, on the way to Carlos Museum.

Historic Oakland Cemetary, near King Center and Cyclorama, has many famous Atlantans buried thre. There are guided walking tours. Check for times. A creepy but fascinating place.

I think all of the above are more interesting than the Atlanta History Center and Fernbank. Fernbank does have an Imax theater. There's not much to AHC and Fernbank. You can tour them faster than you might think. If you go to the AHC, there's a bakery around the corner called Henri's. You can get a cake there. Be sure you call the Buckhead location to order, not Sandy Springs.

I live in ATL and have teenage sons. We've been to all of the places you list and I have suggested. Have a great trip!
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:23 AM   #7
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I love eating at Yeah Burger in Virginia Highland, about 15 minutes away from the Omni, 5 minutes away from Fernbank if y'all end up going there. It is a little expensive for a counter-service place--about $8-10 per person, but I think it's worth it. Build your own burger, organic grass fed stuff, pretty neat. Very very casual place. Here is the menu if you're interested http://www.yeahburger.com/documents/...a-Highland.pdf
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padams View Post
Cyclorama, next to the zoo, is a good stop for your history buff. A unique Atlanta attraction.

Also, you should go to the King Center. Atlanta's only "national park."

Emory's Carlos Museum (antiquities, mummies) is Atlanta's best museum. 20 minutes from downtown.

Jimmy Carter's library and museum at the Carter Center. 10 minutes by car from Omni, on the way to Carlos Museum.

Historic Oakland Cemetary, near King Center and Cyclorama, has many famous Atlantans buried thre. There are guided walking tours. Check for times. A creepy but fascinating place.

I think all of the above are more interesting than the Atlanta History Center and Fernbank. Fernbank does have an Imax theater. There's not much to AHC and Fernbank. You can tour them faster than you might think. If you go to the AHC, there's a bakery around the corner called Henri's. You can get a cake there. Be sure you call the Buckhead location to order, not Sandy Springs.

I live in ATL and have teenage sons. We've been to all of the places you list and I have suggested. Have a great trip!
Another Atlantian here. I agree with these suggestions, especially the Cyclorama, I've always loved it. I you visit Oakland Cemetary check out 6 Feet Under, right across the street for lunch or dinner.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyWalle View Post
We are looking at celebrating my DS's 13th birthday in Atlanta sometime in September. He loves museums (big history buff) and trying new foods (loves Epcot because of this). So I'm looking for recommendations on several things. (Please keep in mind I'm coming from a small Alabama town and I hate driving in Atlanta - so the closer and best routes the better).

This is what I'm thinking:
2 night/3day stay at Omni Hotel - CNN Center (will be during the week)
Purchasing the CityPass which will include all the following: Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Inside CNN Tour, Atlanta History Center and Fernbank Natural History Museum
(Any other ideas or recommendations/suggestions?)

Need to find:
Good bakery for birthday cake or celebratory dessert
Alon'sBakery http://www.alons.com/ Great cakes and desserts.
The Atlanta Cupcake Factory http://www.theatlantacupcakefactory.com/Fantastic cupcakes!


Restuarants: they can be quirky, fun or casual -- but nothing with a fancy or stuffy atmosphere -- definitely want the food to be good and can be any kind of cuisine
HD1-The Haute Doggery http://www.hd1restaurant.com/ Another brain child of Top Chef contestant Richard Blaise. This is a funky hot dog restaurant. DD13 LOVES this place. Her favorite hot dog is "The Whiz"
Atkins Park Tavern http://www.atkinspark.com/ This is a locally owned restaurant and one of our favorites.
My suggestions are above in red.

All of these places are in the neighborhoods of Virginia Highlands/Morningside and would be relatively convenient if you visit Fernbank. Driving in these neighborhoods isn't bad during the week if you avoid morning/evening rush hour.

Padams gave you some good suggestions near your hotel. The Atlanta History Center is in Buckhead. There's lots of restaurants in that neighborhood as well. DH works near there, so I'll ask him if he has any suggestions.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:39 AM   #10
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I highly recommend Piece of Cake for your dessert. They do not decorate cakes for birthdays etc. but their cakes are the best ever!!
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:48 AM   #11
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I highly recommend Piece of Cake for your dessert. They do not decorate cakes for birthdays etc. but their cakes are the best ever!!
Piece of Cake will deliver to your hotel. My office uses them for employee birthday cakes. However, they are not traditional decorated birthday cakes.

Castmember's suggestion of 6 Feet Under is brilliant. Definitely fits your request for quirky dining. Now I'm thinking about another outing of my own to Oakland.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:32 AM   #12
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Thank you for all the suggestions so far -- please keep them coming.

We took a field trip to Atlanta probably 5 years ago now (my sister drove so I didn't pay much attention to the roads). During that trip, we did visit the Carlos museum and DS loved the mummies and other artifacts -- we also toured Fernbank but neither DS or myself remember anything other than the big Dinosaurs right when you first walk in (thought maybe we just forgot but apparently that might have been all of it) So perhaps the citypass isn't such a good deal after all.

The weather is bad at home right now so since I can't do anything else -- I'm going to check into some of these suggestions.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:31 PM   #13
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The dinosaurs are the most memorable part of Fernbank. That's my point (there are other exhibits). I was there a few weeks ago with some out of town family members. The preschooler and kindergartener thought Fernbank was great. The 9 year old was not as interested. Fernbank shows the Imax documentary films (but no commercial Imax films). If one is showing that is interesting to you, then the whole place is worth a visit. Otherwise, I'd skip it.

The places on the City pass are the tourist attractions. You asked for the locals' advice. For a young man who is mature enough to appreciate history, we've given you more interesting suggestions than looking at the dinosaur bones again.

Let me say about the World of Coke, if you do not consume soft drinks or have an interest in old Coke memorabilia (and maybe that will interest your history buff), it is not worth the entrance fee.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:35 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by padams View Post
The dinosaurs are the most memorable part of Fernbank. That's my point (there are other exhibits). I was there a few weeks ago with some out of town family members. The preschooler and kindergartener thought Fernbank was great. The 9 year old was not as interested. Fernbank shows the Imax documentary films (but no commercial Imax films). If one is showing that is interesting to you, then the whole place is worth a visit. Otherwise, I'd skip it.

The places on the City pass are the tourist attractions. You asked for the locals' advice. For a young man who is mature enough to appreciate history, we've given you more interesting suggestions than looking at the dinosaur bones again.

Let me say about the World of Coke, if you do not consume soft drinks or have an interest in old Coke memorabilia (and maybe that will interest your history buff), it is not worth the entrance fee.
My girls are 13 and 15 and I tend to agree with Padams that Fernbank and World of Coke may not be all that interesting to your son.

Fernbank is definitely geared towards younger kids and World of Coke is pretty expensive for what it is... a giant advertisement for Coca-Cola. It's good for a quick walk-through, but I don't think it's worth the price of admission. If you do "Coke Rewards" you maybe able to get free or discounted tickets.

You may want to check out The Bodies Exhibit http://www.bodiestheexhibition.com/atlanta/ and The Titanic Exhibit http://www.rmstitanic.net/. DD15 went to both of these exhibits as school field trips last year and thought they were pretty good. Both of these are located in Atlantic Station. There is also shopping and plenty of restaurants in that area (mostly chains, though).

The restaurant Six Feet Under http://sixfeetunderatlanta.com/, which was mentioned earlier in the thread has a location not far from Atlantic Station. This would be the "Westside Location" not the one in Grant Park that was mentioned earlier. Both locations are good.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:24 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by padams View Post
The dinosaurs are the most memorable part of Fernbank. That's my point (there are other exhibits). I was there a few weeks ago with some out of town family members. The preschooler and kindergartener thought Fernbank was great. The 9 year old was not as interested. Fernbank shows the Imax documentary films (but no commercial Imax films). If one is showing that is interesting to you, then the whole place is worth a visit. Otherwise, I'd skip it.

The places on the City pass are the tourist attractions. You asked for the locals' advice. For a young man who is mature enough to appreciate history, we've given you more interesting suggestions than looking at the dinosaur bones again.

Let me say about the World of Coke, if you do not consume soft drinks or have an interest in old Coke memorabilia (and maybe that will interest your history buff), it is not worth the entrance fee.

The only reason I was considering the World of Coke was because of the tasting room. DS loves the tasting room in Epcot - and my best understanding that the World of Coke's tasting room is bigger with more selections. I know it might be a waste just for that -- but I know for sure its something he would like.

And I greatly appreciate the local advice -- thats the reason I was asking. I knew that locals would know the best places, best times to visit and even hole in the wall establishments that one might not typically walk into but are normally the best places to visit.
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