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creekland

Kudos to the GA Aquarium (in Atlanta)

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Just a shout out of approval to the GA Aquarium in case anyone out there is looking for a trip idea.  We've been to many aquariums over our years and even have a membership at the National Aquarium in Baltimore... but GA's just topped our "Aquariums to recommend to others" list.

 

Why?

 

Whale Sharks, Beluga Whales, Manta Rays, and a pretty darn awesome dolphin show.  ;)  (And they have more typical other critters too, like penguins, otters, sea dragons, etc.)  The interior set up is quite nice.  One can tell it's a "newer" aquarium with quite a bit of thought put into the design.

 

Beware of crowds.  Beware of super high food prices.

 

That said, if we lived closer, I'd have a membership there and just enjoy plenty of time relaxing watching the critters.

 

Obviously it's not a place for those who don't believe in Aquariums - or dolphin shows - or similar, but for those of us who love these places, it's well worth consideration when planning trips.

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Did you swim with the 🳠sharks? 😊

 

Nah, we just admired them.

 

Honestly?  Scuba diving inside a fish tank has no appeal to us whatsoever.  When we dive, it's out in their world... and then, the mantas are even more breathtaking. Dolphins are too - especially Spinners (not the type in aquariums, but natural jumpers in the wild).   :coolgleamA:  We've yet to see Whale Sharks on a dive - and Belugas live in water way too cold for our diving preferences!

 

Aquariums give us the chance to admire critters at far less cost though - and more critters.  It's a very relaxing for us.

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Glad you enjoyed it. We didn't. It felt like being in an arcade and the viewing areas seemed so small. I guess we've been spoiled by the Tennessee Aquarium's calm interior and larger viewing areas. For me GA aquarium was sensory overload. Dh and dd enjoyed the viewing tunnel but I couldn't go through because it aggravated my vertigo and made me feel like throwing up. We're closer to the GA aquarium but drive to TN because we prefer it, though it was neat to see some different animals than the usual ones in TN.

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Glad you enjoyed it. We didn't. It felt like being in an arcade and the viewing areas seemed so small. I guess we've been spoiled by the Tennessee Aquarium's calm interior and larger viewing areas. For me GA aquarium was sensory overload. Dh and dd enjoyed the viewing tunnel but I couldn't go through because it aggravated my vertigo and made me feel like throwing up. We're closer to the GA aquarium but drive to TN because we prefer it, though it was neat to see some different animals than the usual ones in TN.

Completely agree. I loved the TN aquarium and was disappointed in the GA aquarium.

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I loved the GA Aquarium!  We went a few years ago... well, maybe it was more than a few at this point.  :)  But it was absolutely beautiful.  Like you, we love to just sit and watch.  It's all so calm and peaceful.  I could sit in some of those rooms and just watch for hours.

 

 

 

I've been to the TN aquarium as a teenager.  I remember it being nice but older.  I don't remember much else.

 

I've not been to the National Aquarium.  A friend of mine who used to live there strongly recommends not going there lol, so I've not been too tempted to check it out.  

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I liked GA more than TN. I visited GA 4 years ago and TN 1 year ago. I did enjoy both. We spent most of a day at both. I think whale sharks give GA the edge.

 

Crowds are an issue. The day we went to GA they were open an hour earlier than their posted time because it was spring break. We didn't know, but arrived early to get tickets. It helped to get in a little early. Then we just moved slow. We had not planned anything else that day so as crowds thinned we took advantage.

 

I thought TN had crowds too. The staff at TN helped us with a problem my ds who has disabilities had. We bought tickets for one of their river tours. DS is afraid of heights, but I've managed to get him to walk on piers and bridges before. However the pier to the TN aquarium boat changes from solid to metal grate halfway. You can see through. This paralyzed DS (he's almost his full adult height and weighs 160lbs so I wasn't moving him). I was stuck in the middle of the pier. We had started down the pier over 30 minutes ahead so all other passengers passed us. I guess they told staff. A staff member came. I told her if I had a wheelchair he'd ride with no problem down the pier. She summoned a wheelchair for us. This effort delayed the boat tour by 15 min or so. But we got down the pier and on the boat quickly when the wheel chair arrived. And he did enjoy the boat. I'm always grateful for such patience. She was skeptical that DS would be OK on the boat (it moved fast). It would have been their right to say we were late and forfeited our tickets. But they helped me and trusted my assessment that DS would be OK once on the boat.

 

The other thing is GA is all in one building. TN has two buildings. You have to go through security for each one.

 

I think they are both worth a trip.

 

ETA National Aquarium is a lot smaller than either GA or TN. It's ok, but not really anything compared to GA or TN. I go every few years when I've missed going to any aquarium. It's not a whole day activity though. It's only an hour from me.

Edited by Diana P.
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I have seen an "Extra" (when viewers in the USA are getting commercials, we get "Extras") about that aquarium and the Whale Sharks, which are apparently gentle creatures who seem to enjoy humans swimming with them.  They are probably doing a much better job than Sea World is.

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I do think there is a distinct difference between the TN and the GA aquariums. BUT I love them both and appreciate that the creative concepts that these planners bring to the public. 

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Glad you enjoyed it. We didn't. It felt like being in an arcade and the viewing areas seemed so small. I guess we've been spoiled by the Tennessee Aquarium's calm interior and larger viewing areas. For me GA aquarium was sensory overload. Dh and dd enjoyed the viewing tunnel but I couldn't go through because it aggravated my vertigo and made me feel like throwing up. We're closer to the GA aquarium but drive to TN because we prefer it, though it was neat to see some different animals than the usual ones in TN.

 

This definitely shows people are different!  We've been to the TN Aquarium a LOT due to my son previously living just outside Chattanooga.  That one has a better fresh water section (one of their two buildings) for sure, but I don't feel their salt water building really compares well at all - and we prefer salt water critters I suppose (prettier, usually larger).  The viewing tunnel in GA was a huge plus for us.  I can see how that difference can color thoughts as it's a major part of GA's.  TN has their winding salt water tanks, but there's not nearly as much (of what we want to see) in it.

 

That said, we like both and definitely consider both better than the National Aquarium, esp now that the National Aquarium has opted to get rid of their dolphins.  We just keep the membership to the NA due to it's relative closeness to us and sometimes we just want to relax looking at pretty sea life.  The National Aquarium is a bit more like Chattanooga's than Atlanta's.

 

I have seen an "Extra" (when viewers in the USA are getting commercials, we get "Extras") about that aquarium and the Whale Sharks, which are apparently gentle creatures who seem to enjoy humans swimming with them.  They are probably doing a much better job than Sea World is.

 

I definitely prefer many Aquariums to Sea World - GA's included.

 

It's been awhile since we've been to FL's (in Tampa).  Now I'm wondering if we should go there again to update my mental map for comparison.  (We'll be visiting that son soon and he lives right across the bay in St Pete.)

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I do think there is a distinct difference between the TN and the GA aquariums. BUT I love them both and appreciate that the creative concepts that these planners bring to the public. 

 

:iagree:   We enjoy most Aquariums.  We just keep our own mental list of Top Aquariums to visit - similar to our Top National Parks, Top Beaches. Top Caverns, and Top Restaurants, etc.   :coolgleamA:   

 

To get on our "Top" list is worthy... right now, GA tops our Aquarium list, but definitely be aware of crowds - they top the "most crowded of Aquariums list too if I think about it - and we didn't even go on a weekend in season.

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:iagree: We enjoy most Aquariums. We just keep our own mental list of Top Aquariums to visit - similar to our Top National Parks, Top Beaches. Top Caverns, and Top Restaurants, etc. :coolgleamA:

 

To get on our "Top" list is worthy... right now, GA tops our Aquarium list, but definitely be aware of crowds - they top the "most crowded of Aquariums list too if I think about it - and we didn't even go on a weekend in season.

I'd like to see your list. I don't get travel like you. I've been to

GA

TN

NC in the outer banks (there is another location)

VA Beach

SC Charleston

Nat'l Baltimore

Shed Chicago

 

It's been years since I did NC. I remember it as very unimpressive.

VA Beach is a nice small aquarium. Don't go on a rainy day when every beach tourist descends upon it. It was a docent there who told me about GA and I made a plan to get to GA.

SC was OK until they did a mermaid show. I found that horrifying. I guess it is supposed to be cute for little kids. We did an extra behind the scenes tour there and saw there turtles hospital. The turtle hospital was small but I liked seeing it.

I remember liking Shed, but it's been more than 16 years so I don't have specifics, except that my national zoo membership got me a discount.

I've already commented on GA,TN and Nat'l

 

I've heard Mystic is worth a trip

I've wondered about Ripley's Gatlinburg Aquarium.

 

If I make it to the west coast, I'd like to go to Monterey.

Edited by Diana P.

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Wait the national aquarium is getting rid of their dolphins? I knew they stopped doing shows a few years ago but hadn't heard they're getting rid of the dolphins themselves.

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Wait the national aquarium is getting rid of their dolphins? I knew they stopped doing shows a few years ago but hadn't heard they're getting rid of the dolphins themselves.

 

 

They stopped the shows, but they were in the news a bit about the health of the dolphins. So, I think they decided that they weren't providing what the dolphins needed and what they were doing in terms of research was not quantitatively balancing that out. At that's what I remember. Perhaps I got that all wrong. 

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The TN aquarium is focused heavily on freshwater research. They are heavily represented at JMIH (on both the herpetology and ichthyology sides-they work a lot with salamanders as well as fish). GA aquarium is well represented on the zoo/aquarium side, but is much less focused on the field and lab applications to wildlife biology side.

 

GA has a lot more of the aquatic charismatic megafauna. TN focuses more on bringing the backyard wildlife to the people. Both have a place in conservation and education.

 

Ripley's in Gatlinburg is somewhere between the two, IMO.

 

My personal favorite so far is the Shedd aquarium in Chicago, which has both a big freshwater section and lots of charismatic megafauna. Not to mention that it's the only aquarium we've visited that has an anaconda!

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Gently--please consider that what is relaxing for us is far from relaxing for marine mammals kept in captivity. Rather than swimming hundreds of miles a day with their family groups, they are imprisoned in what, to them, amounts to a chlorinated bathtub. They are routinely dosed with antacids in an attempt to prevent stress-induced bleeding ulcers. Things aren't likely to change for them until people speak with their money and stop supporting this kind of entertainment. 

 

I'm sorry. Somebody had to say it.  :(

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Gently--please consider that what is relaxing for us is far from relaxing for marine mammals kept in captivity. Rather than swimming hundreds of miles a day with their family groups, they are imprisoned in what, to them, amounts to a chlorinated bathtub. They are routinely dosed with antacids in an attempt to prevent stress-induced bleeding ulcers. Things aren't likely to change for them until people speak with their money and stop supporting this kind of entertainment. 

 

I'm sorry. Somebody had to say it.  :(

 

Sorry, I disagree. This was a happy recommendation to those who like aquariums. You could have started your own thread to actually discuss the issue if it's so important to you. You shouldn't have jumped in with it here. Just my opinion of course.

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Sorry, I disagree. This was a happy recommendation to those who like aquariums. You could have started your own thread to actually discuss the issue if it's so important to you. You shouldn't have jumped in with it here. Just my opinion of course.

 

If the thread had been labeled JAWM, I would not have posted.

 

Where better to bring up the issue of captive marine mammals than in a thread about aquariums? Do we always need to start a new thread to share our views on a particular topic? This is an honest question. I am not trying to be snarky or disrespect you.

 

I deliberated on posting for a while. I decided it was an important enough issue to risk offending people and/or disrupting the flow of a happy thread. It's not a pleasant topic for me, either.

 

creekland is someone who is open about her own views, and I didn't think she would object--at least in principle--to me sharing mine.

Edited by MercyA

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If the thread had been labeled JAWM, I would not have posted.

 

Where better to bring up the issue of captive marine mammals than in a thread about aquariums? Do we always need to start a new thread to share our views on a particular topic? This is an honest question. I am not trying to be snarky or disrespect you.

 

I deliberated on posting for a while. I decided it was an important enough issue to risk offending people and/or disrupting the flow of a happy thread. It's not a pleasant topic for me, either.

 

I personally think a new thread should be started when the topic will differ from the OP. Otherwise the thread goes off on a tangent and gets confusing. Lots of threads go off on tangents but I think it works better if you discuss the spirit of the OP and start your own thread on your own topic.

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I personally think a new thread should be started when the topic will differ from the OP. Otherwise the thread goes off on a tangent and gets confusing. Lots of threads go off on tangents but I think it works better if you discuss the spirit of the OP and start your own thread on your own topic.

 

Thanks for the thoughts, Beth. I'm going to leave what I've already posted, but will otherwise bow out. 

 

Have a good Saturday, all.  :)

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I'd like to see your list. I don't get travel like you. I've been to

GA

TN

NC in the outer banks (there is another location)

VA Beach

SC Charleston

Nat'l Baltimore

She'd Chicago

 

It's been years since I did NC. I remember it as very unimpressive.

VA Beach is a nice small aquarium. Don't go on a rainy day when every beach tourist descends upon it. It was a docent there who told me about GA and I made a plan to get to GA.

SC was OK until they did a mermaid show. I found that horrifying. I guess it is supposed to be cute for little kids. We did an extra behind the scenes tour there and saw there turtles hospital. The turtle hospital was small but I liked seeing it.

I remember liking Shed, but it's been more than 16 years so I don't have specifics, except that my national zoo membership got me a discount.

I've already commented on GA,TN and Nat'l

 

I've heard Mystic is worth a trip

I've wondered about Ripley's Gatlinburg Aquarium.

 

If I make it to the west coast, I'd like to go to Monterey.

 

Ha!  We haven't been to all that many when I think about it - mainly because Aquariums are in cities and we travel/vacation outside of cities - avoiding them when possible.  ;)  We've totally avoided Chicago (other than seeing it in the distance), so haven't been there - and our trips to CA have mostly had us doing National and State Parks - brief visit to San Fran and a long ago visit to San Diego (including Sea World, but it was literally ages ago, so who knows what's changed).

 

That said, we'll be going to Tampa's again soon - 'cause I just discussed it with hubby and we want to update our mental maps on it (loved it back when we lived in St Pete ourselves, but it was new then - who knows what it's like now 20 years later).

 

Middle son just returned from a trip to Toronto's new one and really liked it.  They apparently have a tube like GA's where one can feel immersed with the critters.

 

So I just googled Top Aquariums and came up with this list:

 

http://www.conservationinstitute.org/10-largest-biggest-best-aquariums-in-the-world/

 

Now I'm drooling... ;)  But I wonder - since they also list GA's as best in the world - what would we think of the others?  I need an unlimited travel budget.  (sigh)  Chances are I'd like all of them on that list.

 

My dream job would actually be traveling and keeping our notes updated on all sorts of these "natural" type things/places.

 

With what we have seen (within the last 10 years as older data is just not that reliable), GA tops the list.  TN would be second.  Tampa would be third.  Baltimore fourth, Disney's Living Seas next - those are the larger ones.  Smaller places (like the Outer Banks or Va Beach) are far more regional so come under a different category to us.  Those are places we go to if the weather is bad and we're not preferring to be outdoors.   :coolgleamA:   We devote a whole day to larger places so we can sit and simply enjoy it all.  Smaller places are often just a couple of hours stretch break and not really worth it if we could be walking a beach instead.

 

 

Wait the national aquarium is getting rid of their dolphins? I knew they stopped doing shows a few years ago but hadn't heard they're getting rid of the dolphins themselves.

 

Yes, they are totally going - and comparing what they had to what GA has, I can understand why.  We enjoy dolphins and dolphin shows though, so whether we keep our membership or not is going to depend heavily on what they do with that area now.  If they make it interesting, it's still worth it.  If not, I'm not so sure it is.  When they opted to get rid of their show we weren't sure we wanted to go again TBH, but we still enjoy looking at colorful fish, jellyfish, etc, and it's relatively close to home so we can just hop down there when we want a "fix."

 

If the thread had been labeled JAWM, I would not have posted.

 

Where better to bring up the issue of captive marine mammals than in a thread about aquariums? Do we always need to start a new thread to share our views on a particular topic? This is an honest question. I am not trying to be snarky or disrespect you.

 

I deliberated on posting for a while. I decided it was an important enough issue to risk offending people and/or disrupting the flow of a happy thread. It's not a pleasant topic for me, either.

 

creekland is someone who is open about her own views, and I didn't think she would object--at least in principle--to me sharing mine.

 

Eh, I'm ok with you posting your views.  We all have to decide for ourselves.  Even with our pony raising part of life we understand that there are some who are opposed to riding and showing, etc.  Obviously, we're not in that category, but I'm not against those who are.  

 

I'm only against those who try to end what we do (via legal methods) to support their personal views as not everyone shares those views.

 

If I were a fish, I suspect I'd feel a whole lot safer in an Aquarium than out in the open water!  Our ponies have it pretty darn good compared to their wild counterparts too.

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The TN aquarium is focused heavily on freshwater research. They are heavily represented at JMIH (on both the herpetology and ichthyology sides-they work a lot with salamanders as well as fish). GA aquarium is well represented on the zoo/aquarium side, but is much less focused on the field and lab applications to wildlife biology side.

 

GA has a lot more of the aquatic charismatic megafauna. TN focuses more on bringing the backyard wildlife to the people. Both have a place in conservation and education.

 

This is a great description!  We enjoy them both, but our personal love for that top spot goes to GA due to the larger critters one just can't see elsewhere.  TN does a good job, but I don't recall seeing much "unique" there.  I'm sure there must be some, but I'm not googling to refresh my memory at the moment.  Ditto that latter bit with Baltimore's.  Baltimore and TN are fairly similar in what they try to do - having land based portions in both too (vs just underwater).

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GA's is total sensory overload for me! The last time I went was with a Girl Scout thing I think. I was pregnant and cursed those stupid half-chairs in the dolphin show. I thought it was pretty depressing as well, especially as the Sea World stories were coming public at that time.

 

Anyway, glad you enjoyed it. What else did you get to do here? :)

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GA's is total sensory overload for me! The last time I went was with a Girl Scout thing I think. I was pregnant and cursed those stupid half-chairs in the dolphin show. I thought it was pretty depressing as well, especially as the Sea World stories were coming public at that time.

 

Anyway, glad you enjoyed it. What else did you get to do here? :)

 

In (or near) Atlanta?  We just added a day to visit the Aquarium as our Valentine's present to each other (not exactly on Valentine's Day but we're not picky about that).  Quite honestly, we're not city (or Coke) people so nothing else appeals to us.

 

We're enjoying spending time with our son and DIL though before moving on and he's introduced us to tasty Greek, Italian-style pizza, Korean, and tomorrow will be Jamaican restaurants - none in Atlanta, but all relatively close.  We introduced them to the movie, Hidden Figures.  Otherwise we've been playing games together - he taught us Castles.  

 

In general, when visiting relatives, we mostly enjoy the time with them, catching up, playing games, when not in cities doing things like hiking, etc... but for this visit we tacked on the additional day hitting the Aquarium while they worked. I'm super glad we did as it was a last minute totally spontaneous decision to do so.  And now we're plotting a potential second visit to it in May - IF my mom feels up to traveling.  She'd love it and I've been looking for Bucket List opportunities for her (with my guys).  ;)

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That is so cool! Have fun. I bet the weather is better than PA right now

 

Just checked... the weather was warmer in PA today than here (70 vs 60)... but that's ok - we love traveling.  It's been an odd winter in PA!

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Thanks!  I live 35 minutes from it and have never been.   :svengo:   Maybe I'll brave the traffic.  My DS would LOVE to see a whale shark for sure.

Edited by CES2005
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Thanks!  I live 35 minutes from it and have never been.   :svengo:   Maybe I'll brave the traffic.  My DS would LOVE to see a whale shark for sure.

 

My suggestions (from all of one visit) would be to pick a Tues, Weds, or Thurs if possible.  Get there early (they currently open at 10am - we were there around 9:30am and were among the first to get in - the line was considerably longer by 9:50am).  And pre-pay for your ticket online to avoid standing in line to buy tickets (and pay more for them) when there.  We only needed our cell phones to show that we had bought our tickets.  Buying them the night before worked out just fine.

 

You can pre-pay for parking too if you want to save $1 and park in the garage or there are places that advertise parking for $5 nearby.  We used the garage.

 

Google was accurate with our time to reach the Aquarium, but we used the Aquarium's directions on how to get to the garage rather than google.  Google wanted short cuts, but with traffic, a turn or two could have been more difficult.

 

The whale sharks are literally awesome.  I think they have three.  If you go, enjoy your trip!

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You can also take Marta. We took our young nieces downtown shortly after they'd gone to the aquarium with other family. Their biggest impression of the aquarium was sitting in traffic for a couple hours there and back. We were going elsewhere, but they examined the whole map. When they saw the aquarium, they cried out "what, we could have been on a train instead of all that traffic?!"

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The balance between the charismatic megafauna and smaller species is highly debated. The fact is that charismatic megafauna pay the bills and bring in people in ways smaller species don't. And ultimately, conservation and research takes money. So, the Knoxville zoo, which has some of the top tortoise and turtle conservation programs in the USA, particularly for the Bog Turtle (which is cute, but not particularly charismatic) has Aldebaran tortoises (2nd largest in the world) and an exhibit where you can pay extra to feed Sulcata tortoises. The big, impressive tortoises help fund the little endangered ones. And the fact is, people pay to conserve animals they know. That's why Sea World is one of the most effective programs out there for marine animal research and rehabilitation. The orca, dolphins, sharks (and roller coasters) bring them in. And yes, the husbandry and care can be controversial. But that pays for a lot of boat injured manatee and cold-shocked sea turtles. (And we know a lot more about marine mammal husbandry due to Sea World).

Edited by dmmetler
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We don't often get a chance to go to an aquarium.  Our nearest one is hours away.  I do remember taking the kids to the Baltimore one and being not impressed, but we visited the Boston aquarium a few weeks ago and it was lovely.  I don't know if we hit it on a perfect day or what, but it was the people who made the difference.  It was quiet, and my 1st grader had the chance to talk to many of the workers and get information about the exhibits that we might not have known otherwise.  We spent a good 4 hours there wandering and listening to people who were really enthusiastic about their work.

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In (or near) Atlanta?  We just added a day to visit the Aquarium as our Valentine's present to each other (not exactly on Valentine's Day but we're not picky about that).  Quite honestly, we're not city (or Coke) people so nothing else appeals to us.

 

We're enjoying spending time with our son and DIL though before moving on and he's introduced us to tasty Greek, Italian-style pizza, Korean, and tomorrow will be Jamaican restaurants - none in Atlanta, but all relatively close.  We introduced them to the movie, Hidden Figures.  Otherwise we've been playing games together - he taught us Castles.  

 

In general, when visiting relatives, we mostly enjoy the time with them, catching up, playing games, when not in cities doing things like hiking, etc... but for this visit we tacked on the additional day hitting the Aquarium while they worked. I'm super glad we did as it was a last minute totally spontaneous decision to do so.  And now we're plotting a potential second visit to it in May - IF my mom feels up to traveling.  She'd love it and I've been looking for Bucket List opportunities for her (with my guys).   ;)

 

Have you hiked Stone Mountain? That's an interesting park to explore. 

 

Did they take you to Antico for pizza? I hope you got gelato and espresso after! :) I hope your mom is well enough to travel with you in May. 

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Have you hiked Stone Mountain? That's an interesting park to explore. 

 

Did they take you to Antico for pizza? I hope you got gelato and espresso after! :) I hope your mom is well enough to travel with you in May. 

 

A long time ago.  We might have to contemplate going there again sometime - Stone Mountain that is.

 

For food places, we've mostly stayed relatively close to oldest son's place.  I can give kudos to where he took us.  They were:

 

Pizza:  O4W Pizza

 

https://www.yelp.com/biz/o4w-pizza-duluth

 

Greek:  Opa!

 

https://www.yelp.com/biz/opa-gyros-and-kabob-duluth

 

Korean Fusion:  MJ Korean Tacos and Wings

 

https://www.yelp.com/biz/mj-korean-tacos-and-wings-duluth

 

Jamaican:  Cool Runnings

 

https://www.yelp.com/biz/kool-runnings-jamaican-restaurant-nocross

 

It's been a very tasty visit!

 

I am hoping mom feels up to visiting in May - as does she and my boys.  Time will tell.

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:thumbup1: I could sit in front of the glass wall watching the whale sharks all day. Wait, I have done that.

 

Lucky!  I could easily do that too...

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:thumbup1: I could sit in front of the glass wall watching the whale sharks all day. Wait, I have done that.

I got to sleep there one night. Amazing.

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Glad you enjoyed it. We didn't. It felt like being in an arcade and the viewing areas seemed so small. I guess we've been spoiled by the Tennessee Aquarium's calm interior and larger viewing areas. For me GA aquarium was sensory overload. Dh and dd enjoyed the viewing tunnel but I couldn't go through because it aggravated my vertigo and made me feel like throwing up. We're closer to the GA aquarium but drive to TN because we prefer it, though it was neat to see some different animals than the usual ones in TN.

I love that the Tennessee aquarium has one way traffic. In the Georgia aquarium I felt like I was going to lose my kids in the bustle of people moving in every direction. Agreeing with the original poster that the big animals are amazing in Atlanta, but having lived in Chattanooga for awhile and getting to enjoy the aquarium there at off peak times... It's fantastic.
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I love that the Tennessee aquarium has one way traffic. In the Georgia aquarium I felt like I was going to lose my kids in the bustle of people moving in every direction. Agreeing with the original poster that the big animals are amazing in Atlanta, but having lived in Chattanooga for awhile and getting to enjoy the aquarium there at off peak times... It's fantastic.

 

Interesting how our perspectives are different here too.  We enjoy the TN Aquarium, but consider the way it's set up as "one way" to be one of the negatives about it.  It's sort of great for a first time - making sure one sees everything - but if you want to stop and get a meal or simply go back and see something more than once (quite common for us) it's far more inconvenient to do so - esp if what you want to go back and see is in the other building.

 

We loved the design of GA's being all built around a central "common place."  That way we could stop to eat or go back multiple times to see things easily - a HUGE plus for us since we do it often.  It was easy to look at the categories and see what we hadn't yet seen too and we could pick the order to view them in.

 

All different perspectives.  

Edited by creekland

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Quick question on this topic:

 

How much time approximately to see GA aquarium? Don't need time to sit but meander through. We have 5-9pm and opening-5:00pm next day to visit. But I would like to get in Coke museum or something else in that time also.

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Quick question on this topic:

 

How much time approximately to see GA aquarium? Don't need time to sit but meander through. We have 5-9pm and opening-5:00pm next day to visit. But I would like to get in Coke museum or something else in that time also.

This depends on how into viewing you are.

 

Before I went someone on this board said you only need two hours to see the aquarium. I knew that would be off for me. We spent a full day. In addition to meandering and stopping to observe longer, we did also see the show and we did the shortest (45 minute) behind the scenes tour. I might have splurged for a longer one but I never know with my ds (he has disabilities).

 

We did World of Coke the evening before. And then got up in the morning and spent the day at the Aquarium.

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To meander through and not watch any of the feedings or shows, 4 hours would be sufficient.  If you want to see any feedings and/or the dolphin/sea lion shows, I'd use opening to 5pm.

 

The Coke Museum didn't interest us, so I can't compare the two.

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You can do The World of Coke in about 2 hours.  Easily.  

 

We've only been to the aquarium once, and I think we spent about 2 hours there.  I had a 2 year old, though, and my kids are not known for their long attention spans.  And I don't like animals (I know!  Terrible homeschooler!), so I struggle with getting them to spend longer than they want to at stuff like this.

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I just found a live stream from the GA aquarium on my Roku tv's ABC app. I'm sure there are other ways to access it.

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