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Atlanta City Trip

Centennial Olympic Park - Fountain

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Where to Stay Where to Eat What to See & Do

DAY 2: Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum, Carter Center and Little Five Points

Although it's reachable by bus (No. 97 from Five Points Marta Station), a car is more efficient if you want to visit the Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum, or Zoo Atlanta if the weather's nice. Adjoining facilities in this 19th-century park, they're located off I-20 east (Boulevard exit). The Cyclorama, a restored circular hanging painting executed by immigrant Polish and German artists in 1898, is said to be the world's largest such canvas. With a three-dimensional diorama in the foreground, it depicts the Battle of Atlanta on July 22, 1864. As visitors sit to view the painting, a docent tells the story of the battle, while music and special lighting enhance the experience. Exhibitions include the original "Texas" locomotive that participated in the Great Locomotive Chase from Kennesaw.

The Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum

History buffs may also want to visit the Carter Center. From Grant Park go back on I-20 to the Moreland Avenue exit north. As you follow this route, you'll be traversing ground that hosted the Battle of Atlanta. In this neighborhood, history shapes its past and present. You'll find the Carter Center near the spot where General William T. Sherman based the Federal forces during the Battle of Atlanta. The center, in addition to the Carter Presidential Library, houses exhibitions devoted to the American presidency and the administration of James Earl (Jimmy) Carter, Jr. There is a replica of the Oval Office, and special exhibitions are frequent.

Your dining choices in Little Five Points are many and varied, from a fine burger for lunch or dinner at another location of the Vortex to a gourmet pizza at Savage Pizza or substantial pub grub at the Brewhouse Café. Shopping in "Little Five" is a funky experience, as boutiques range from vintage clothing to contemporary fashion at Junkman's Daughter and the beehive in the upscale Edgewood shopping district. Wax 'n' Facts and Criminal Records deal in music, the former featuring new and vintage vinyl and CDs and the later both new and used CDs as well as new vinyl, comic books and toys. At Moreland Avenue and DeKalb Avenue--taking a right turn just before the overpass then bearing left onto DeKalb Avenue--you'll find some of the city's best barbecue at Fox Bros. just a few yards down on the left. Check out the book scene at A Capella, also near that intersection, for rare and out-of-print items.

Inside the beehive boutique in Atlanta, Georgia

Leaving the Carter Center, head into Virginia Highland by going up Moreland Avenue to Ponce de Leon Avenue, turn left, then right on N. Highland Avenue. There's some more splendid shopping here. When N. Highland Avenue reaches Virginia Avenue—the heart of this historic district—look for fun fashions and shoes at Bill Hallman, woodworking gear at Highland Woodworking, and affordable handmade jewelry at Judith Bright.

Throughout this revitalized walker-friendly neighborhood you'll find good restaurants, such as La Tavola Trattoria, specializing in Italian fare. With a serious wine emphasis, Murphy's does fabulous brunch as well as lunch and dinner.

To cap off the evening, head back down N. Highland Avenue to Blind Willie's, a music venue devoted to the blues. The club usually gets rolling about 10 p.m. But get there ahead of that hour to find a good seat. Parking in Virginia Highland is very difficult, so find a spot and walk after that or get a taxi. Next door to Blind Willie's is Limerick Junction, a classic Irish pub that often features singers from the auld sod. Both usually charge covers ranging from $12 to $14 depending on the acts.

Continue to Day 3

* Images courtesy of Atlanta Tourism, Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum, & the beehive

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