Braille Monitor                                                                                                        April 2004

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Structured Discovery of Atlanta

by Anil Lewis

World of Coca-Cola
World of Coca-Cola.

From the Editor: This issue has lots of information about the upcoming convention. If you have any time left over while you are in Atlanta, you will want to keep the information in the following article in mind:

In last month's Braille Monitor we listed the tours that will be coordinated by the Georgia affiliate to allow conventioneers to take proper advantage of their limited free time while here in Atlanta. We will provide point-to-point assistance and make every effort to ensure that you enjoy yourself. The tours have been designed to allow for the comfort of those wishing to be exposed to key sites of the city. However, I realize some people will want to capitalize on their travel skills and self-confidence to explore our city on their own terms. The rest of this article gives some suggestions to conventioneers who wish to explore our wonderful city using the structured-discovery method. I will provide the name, a brief description, and a contact number for you to get information to plan your trip. Here are a few of the must-see places:

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chastain Park Amphitheatre

The Classic Chastain series features musicians and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performing at Chastain Park Amphitheatre while guests dine by moonlight. The Symphony, led by music director Robert Spano and principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles, also presents a series of concerts at parks and churches, in addition to the regular season at Symphony Hall in the Woodruff Arts Center (404) 733-5000.

Atlanta University Center and the Herndon Home

The Vine City area of Atlanta holds the country's largest concentration of African-American colleges, dating back to the post-Civil War era: Clark Atlanta University, Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Morris Brown and Spelman Colleges. The 1910 Herndon Home, built by Atlanta Life Insurance founder Alonzo Herndon, is nearby and is a National Historic Landmark (404) 581-9813.

Atlanta Walking Tours

A multitude of tours is available for visitors, from historic neighborhoods to prominent buildings. The Atlanta Preservation Center offers guided walking tours of neighborhoods such as Ansley Park, a 230-acre residential district developed in 1904; Druid Hills, where you will find the home used in Driving Miss Daisy; Grant Park, with the antebellum Grant Mansion and beautiful park; Inman Park, one of Atlanta's first garden suburbs; and historic downtown (404) 688-3350.

Centennial Olympic Park

This twenty-one-acre site was one of the most popular spots in the city during the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. Today year-round programming featuring concerts, family activities, and artists' markets make the park a gathering place for Atlantans and visitors alike. The park features the world's largest Olympic Ring fountain (404) 222-PARK.

Center for Puppetry Arts

This is the largest organization in North America dedicated to the art of puppetry. The center offers performances from the Family Series for everyone and New Directions for adults. An interactive museum, Puppets: The Power of Wonder, is the largest puppetry museum in the United States (404) 873-3391.

Chateau Elan Winery and Resort

This sixteenth-century-styled French retreat about thirty minutes north of Atlanta has a festive atmosphere that encourages guests to tour the vineyards, visit the winery, lunch at a sidewalk café, and play a round of golf. Visitors to this 3,100-acre facility can also enjoy treatments at the spa. Resort (770) 932-0900, spa (770) 271-6064.

CNN Studio Tours

Even if you're not a top news anchor, you can still get in on all of the action of TV newsmaking at the headquarters of CNN and Headline News. The tour includes the Control Room Theater, a look at CNN Español, the workings of the special effects studio, and the main newsroom (404) 827-2300, (877) CNN-TOUR.

Find Theater at Its Best

Atlanta has one of the most active theater communities in the United States, with more than sixty-five active performing groups. The Alliance Theatre Company, (404) 733-5000, and the Horizon Theatre Company, (404) 523-1477, are known for presenting contemporary plays. Other local theaters present a variety of new and old works, musicals, and other favorites like Theater Emory, (404) 727-0524; Theatrical Outfit at the Rialto Center for the Performing Arts, (404) 651-4727; 7 Stages, (404) 523-7647; Neighborhood Playhouse, (404) 523-3141; and Theater Gael, dedicated to the Celtic cultural traditions of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, (404) 876-1138.

Jimmy Carter Library and Museum

Visitors to the facility dedicated to the work of former U.S. President and Georgia native Jimmy Carter can enjoy a walk through the natural surroundings in the Japanese garden or learn from the memorabilia in the library and a variety of traveling exhibitions (404) 331-3942.

SciTrek: Georgia's Technology Adventure

Since 1988 this museum has helped people of all ages explore, understand, and appreciate the wonders of science, mathematics, and technology. SciTrek allows visitors to explore the principles of science and math through traveling exhibits like "BRAIN, The World Inside Your Head," and interactive displays that allow guests to lift a car engine with one hand or hear someone whisper from eighty feet away (404) 522-5500.

Shop till You Drop

A visit to Atlanta is not complete without at least one day of shopping. Products from around the world can be found at Atlanta's many shopping venues, including the elegant Phipps Plaza or lavish Lenox Square. Travel a short distance out of the city to find gigantic malls such as the Mall of Georgia and Discover Mills (404) 222-6688.

Underground Atlanta

Six city blocks in the heart of downtown Atlanta have been transformed into a spirited urban marketplace featuring twelve spectacular restaurants, over a hundred specialty stores, and entertainment emporiums, as well as street-cart merchants (404) 523-2311.

The Varsity

As the world's largest drive-in, this fast-food eatery near Georgia Tech has been a longtime hangout for college students and Atlantans from all sectors of society. Founded in 1928, it has become famous over the years for its red-shirted servers who use their own special language to belt out orders (404) 881-1706.

William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum

Through its exhibitions, publications, and resources, this museum of the Atlanta Jewish Federation explores Jewish heritage in general and relates to other cultures and religions. It contains two permanent galleries and hosts special rotating exhibits year-round (404) 873-1661.

The Woodruff Arts Center

This midtown showpiece is the heartbeat of Atlanta's thriving arts community, housing the Alliance Theater Company, Atlanta College of Art, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the High Museum of Art (404) 221-1270.

World of Coca-Cola

More than one million people visit this attraction annually to learn about the world's most popular soft drink through memorabilia, video presentations, and displays. Included is a recreation of a 1930's soda fountain and the "Everything Coca-Cola" retail store (404) 676-5151.

Zoo Atlanta

Located just minutes from downtown Atlanta in historic Grant Park, the zoo features 250 species of animals from all over the world living in naturalistic habitats. Some unusual creatures to seek include a pair of giant pandas from China, the Sumatran orangutans, western lowland gorillas, and black rhinos (404) 624-5600.

The information provided here was taken from the Web site of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, listing fifty fun things to do in Atlanta. For the complete list and descriptions visit <http://www.atlanta.net/50funthings/>. We will have copies of the entire brochure at the Georgia information table during convention. I must admit, in putting this article together, I found some sites I have yet to visit. I can hardly wait until you all arrive. Maybe we can enjoy a few of them together.

Remember, you can still take advantage of one of our planned tours. The tours are $25 for adults and $15 for children under thirteen (except for Agatha's Dinner Theater, which is $45 for adults only). Remember checks or money orders for the tours should be made payable to the NFB of Georgia and mailed to the Georgia Affiliate at NFB of Georgia, P.O. Box 56859, Atlanta, Georgia 30343. Payment should include a note explaining which tours are being ordered and the number of adult and children's tickets requested.

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