Touring Atlanta's Luckie Marietta District

Try this editor's itinerary of a district that features Philips Arena at its core and such nearby attractions as CNN, the World of Coca-Cola and Georgia Aquarium.

In town overnight to attend a Hawks game or some other event at Philips Arena, say Disney on Ice during its five-day run of "Frozen" in October? Strongly consider adding another day or two to your trip: Hotels within this Luckie Marietta District are in prime attractions territory. Some hotels, in fact, offer specially priced packages with a key player among those attractions, the Georgia Aquarium.

Following is a suggested itinerary for an overnight stay in Luckie Marietta, followed by a day of attractions before one rides back home into the sunset. (Our itinerary is based on a stay at the Omni Hotel, adjacent to Philips, but there are other lodging price options in the Luckie Marietta area: The Hilton Garden Inn, Embassy Suites and the Glenn Hotel among them.)

3 pm

Check in at the Omni Hotel, in anticipation of a Hawks game or concert. The Hawks play three preseason games in October at Philips, including an Oct. 22 date with the world-champion San Antonio Spurs, and play their second regular game of the season there against the Indiana Pacers Nov. 1.

5 pm

For some pre-game fun, hop over to Park Tavern, a neighborhood restaurant that sits on one of the best pieces of real estate in Atlanta overlooking Piedmont Park and the Midtown skyline. The menu features handcrafted beers brewed on-site, classic favorites such as burgers, salads and sandwiches, and a full sushi bar. It also offers large flat-screen TVs and a great outdoor patio. 500 10th St. NE, 404.249.0001 

A bit farther but a quick hotel shuttle or taxi away is Stats—the ultimate location to watch your favorite sporting event or enjoy a tasty meal with friends. The restaurant features tried-and-true American favorites and more than 70 hi-def TVs and was one of only bars in the U.S. to feature a beer tap system that allows guests to pour their own drinks. 300 Marietta St., Luckie-Marietta District, 404.885.1472

7, 8 pm

Game or concert

The Following Day

8 am, Breakfast, CNN/Centennial Park

After checking out at the hotel, head to the CNN Center for breakfast and a tour. Guests can see the fast-paced newsrooms of CNN’s global headquarters and have a chance to be a weatherman or news anchor. Who knows: Maybe while you're enjoying coffee and a doughnut at the center's food court, you'll get a chance to say "morning, Sunshine" to Robin Meade. 190 Marietta St., 404.827.2300

After the CNN visit, cross Marietta Street for a leisurely tour of Centennial Olympic Park. This 21-acre park is a permanent legacy to the Atlanta-hosted 1996 Olympic games. During summer months, find children splashing in the Fountain of Rings and families picnicking on the expansive lawns. Grab a bite at Googie Burger, a local favorite and the only restaurant on park grounds. 265 Luckie St., 404.222.PARK

10:30 am, World of Coke

Just north of Olympic Park lies the World of Coca-Cola, where visitors can explore the story of the world’s best-known brand. See a functioning bottling line, watch a 4-D movie and taste more than 60 different beverages from around the world.

International bottles of Coke
International bottles of Coke (Courtesy Coca-Cola Company)


Next door to the World of Coke is the Pemberton Cafe, an open-air cafe where visitors can grab traditional American bites such as burgers, pizza or hot dogs, salads and vegetarian offerings. 121 Baker St NW, 404.525.6253


Cap your Luckie-Marietta experience of 24 or fewer hours with a visit to the Georgia Aquarium, one of  the world’s largest such attractions. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it holds the title in terms of gallons of water (10 million), square footage (604,000) and number of aquatic animals (tens of thousands).

And in this case, bigger really does equal better. Six distinct galleries explore what really goes on beneath the surface of the world’s oceans and rivers. Highlights include giant whale sharks, elegant manta rays, serene Beluga whales, adorable sea otters, ghostly piranhas, live coral and playful Atlantic bottlenose dolphins—the last of which star in a spectacular, Sea World-meets-Broadway-style show complete with actors, state-of-the-art lighting and special effects.