Figures of Confederate Leaders Carved into Stone Mountain
[PHOTO/CAPTION: The figures of Confederate leaders carved into Stone Mountain]

Photo of the Plantation House

at Stone Mountain)
[PHOTO/CAPTION: The Plantation House at Stone Mountain]

A night view of the Coca-Cola Museum
[PHOTO/CAPTION: A night view of the Coca-Cola Museum]

Great Things to See and Do in Atlanta:
1999 Convention Tours

by Al Falligan

From the Editor: The clock is running on preparations for the 1999 Convention of the National Federation of the Blind Wednesday, June 30, through Tuesday, July 6. If you have not yet made your hotel reservation, you had better get to it immediately. We will meet at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in downtown Atlanta, a truly beautiful and spacious world-class hotel. Rooms have been reserved for us at both the Marquis and the Atlanta Hilton and Towers, a short walk away. Our hotel rates at the Marquis are excellent. For the 1999 convention they are singles, $57; doubles and twins, $59; triples, $61; and quads, $63. A tax of 14 percent will be charged, but there will be no charge for children rooming with parents as long as no extra bed is requested.

For room reservations write directly to Atlanta Marriott Marquis, 265 Peachtree Center Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30303, or call (404) 521-0000. Marriott has a national toll-free number, but do not (we emphasize not) use it. Reservations made through this national number will not be valid. They must be made directly with the hotel. The hotel will want a deposit of $60 or a credit card number. If a credit card is used, the deposit will be charged against your card immediately, just as would be the case with a $60 check. If a reservation is canceled prior to June 4, 1999, $30 of the $60 deposit will be returned. Otherwise refunds will not be made.

But before you pick up the phone to make your travel and hotel reservations, read the following article and make sure that your arrival and departure times will allow you to take advantage of the wonderful tours the Georgia affiliate has arranged for our enjoyment. Here is what Al Falligan has to say:

On behalf of the National Federation of the Blind of Georgia, thank you for coming to explore Atlanta, host city of the National Convention in 1999 and 2000. With its southern charm and warm weather, Atlanta has always been a great place to visit.

Visitors to Atlanta can enjoy world-class museums; great restaurants; memorable shopping; the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Center; Zoo Atlanta; the World of Coca-Cola; and Stone Mountain.

We are offering nine tour packages and one Atlanta Braves baseball game for your enjoyment. Sign up early. Please note that the deadline for reservations and cancellations is June 18, 1999. Also keep in mind that the prices quoted are dependent on guaranteed minimum sign-ups, so decide now to take a tour or two and invite your friends to join you. See y'all!

The prices for tours listed below include buses, experienced guides, and sales tax and admissions where applicable. Tours leave from the Courtland Street entrance of the Marriott Marquis, which is just across the street from the Hilton.

Tour 1: Wednesday, June 30, 1999, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

City Tour: a tour of Atlanta landmarks, with a visit to the Martin Luther King Center, driving past Turner Field, the state capitol, underground Atlanta, to CNN Center, and a walk through the brand new Olympic Centennial Park. You will find plenty of places for a snack and souvenir shopping. Price: $18, adult; $14, children (3 to 12).

Tour 2: Wednesday, June 30, 1999, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Atlanta, Yesterday and Today: Also a drive through downtown Atlanta with a stop at the Martin Luther King Center (visiting Ebenezer Church, the Visitors' Center, Dr. King's grave, and the gift shop). This tour includes time for lunch on your own at Atlanta's beautiful shopping complex, Underground Atlanta; a drive through Buckhead, a northside residential neighborhood of beautiful homes; and a visit to the Atlanta History Center Museum. Price: $30, adult; $26, children.

Tour 3: Wednesday, June 30, 1999, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Stone Mountain Park: Georgia's number one attraction, 3,200 acres of greenery surrounding the gigantic granite mountain is the setting for our third tour. Time to visit Memorial Hall with its many exhibits and tapes of the history of the mountain and a choice of one of the following attractions: tour of the famous nineteen-building plantation, ride on the skylift to the top of the mountain, or a riverboat cruise.

Enjoy lunch on your own and browsing in the many shops

located throughout the park. Price: $28, adult; $23,


Tour 4: Sunday, July 4, 1999, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Black Heritage: Spend two hours browsing in the Martin

Luther King Center, Ebenezer Church, Visitors Center, and

the Crypt. Reboard the bus for a drive through downtown

Atlanta with your knowledgeable guide pointing out historic

landmarks. Tour the Atlanta University Centers (six

campuses), disembarking at one of the schools before driving

past the Shrine of the Black Madonna on the trip back to

your hotel. Price: $20, adult; $15, children.

Tour 5: Sunday, July 4, 1999, 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Coca-Cola Museum, Underground Atlanta: The Coca-Cola Museum

has many exhibits, entertaining as well as informative. This

self-guided tour, with time to browse in the gift shop, is

followed by a stroll through Underground Atlanta, adjacent

to the Coke Museum. There will be lots of entertainment on

the 4th and many choices for food and shopping. Price: $25,

adult; $23, children.

Tour 6: Sunday July 4, 1999, 6:45 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.

Ray's on the River Dinner: A beautiful contemporary restaurant, popular with Atlantans, nestled on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, provides the perfect setting for a Fourth of July celebration. After a stroll along the garden paths beside the river, enjoy a delicious dinner (choice of chicken, prime rib, or fish entrees; salad; rice; green vegetable; Ray's trademark key lime pie; and coffee or tea.) Entertainment will be provided during dinner. The restaurant is usually closed Sunday evenings, but is being opened especially for our enjoyment. Price: $56, per person (no children's rates).

Tour 7: Wednesday, July 7, 1999, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

City Tour and Atlanta History Center: Drive through downtown Atlanta, stopping at Olympic Centennial Park and CNN Center with lunch on your own before driving north on Peachtree Street for a tour of the Atlanta History Center Complex. First tour the many exhibits in the museum dating from pre-Civil War times to the present, followed by a walk through the gardens to the Tulle Smith Farm, a small, charming farm dating from the 1840's. The final stop is the famous Swan House Mansion, built in 1929 by the Inman Family, a prominent Atlanta family who made their money in the cotton industry. Price: $35, adult; $30, children.

Tour 8: Wednesday, July 7, 1999, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Underground Atlanta, and Coca-Cola Museum: The Botanical Gardens, located in Piedmont Park, a short drive from our hotel, has a wonderful collection of plants (roses, herbs, summer bulbs, and a delightful fragrance garden). Tour the Dorothy Chapman Fuqua Conservatory with its collections of exotic tropical plants such as palms, cycads, ferns, orchids, and epiphyses. Reboard the bus and drive to Underground Atlanta for lunch on your own and shopping, topping off the day with a self-guided tour of the fabulous Coca-Cola Museum. Price: $33, adult; $29, children.

Tour 9: Wednesday, July 7, 1999, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Martin Luther King Center and Stone Mountain Park: First enjoy a leisurely visit to the Martin Luther King Center, visiting Ebenezer Baptist Church, the Crypt, the Visitors' Center, and gift shop. Next drive to Stone Mountain Park for lunch on your own and your choice of a tour of the nineteen-building Plantation, Riverboat Ride, or skylift to the top of the mountain. And finish with more browsing in the gift shops. Price: $25, adult; $21, children.

Consult later issues of the Braille Monitor for details of the July 6 Atlanta Braves—Florida Marlins baseball game. The Georgia affiliate has arranged for tickets and will work out details for reserving them. Transportation to the game will be by MARTA train and Braves shuttle bus.

To place your tour reservations, designate the tour number and title (listed above), indicate the number of adult and children's tickets you are requesting, give your name, address, phone, and send with a check for the total amount made payable to Fran O'Reilly & Associates. Mail your order to Post Office Box 720336, Atlanta, Georgia 30358-2336. For more information call (404) 255-3682.