Save 40% touring the major attractions in Atlanta, Georgia with CityPASS.
By Hope S. Philbrick
In the 20 years that I’ve lived in Atlanta, Georgia, I’ve never really played tourist. I’ve seen most of the major attractions over the years, usually when they served as a host venue for an event and/or in my official capacity as a travel writer (which is NOT the same as going as a tourist). When I’m here in my adopted hometown I’m far more likely to be working, running errands, and doing everyday things than touring attractions.
When my friend Hans recently visited from Sweden, it offered an opportunity to really play tourist. While going around Atlanta together I got to see it as a tourist might, riding MARTA and hoofing it from place to place while gawking and aiming a camera around, all on a limited time schedule. Plus, I got to hear Hans’ impressions. (Spoiler Alert: Atlanta impressed us both.)
CityPASS not only saves money (compared to the cost of buying tickets for all the attractions separately), it saves time since you hardly ever have to wait in line. Though the process varies slightly at each venue, you may be able to get into a special line to redeem your CityPASS ticket or skip the lines all together and waltz right up to security.
In Atlanta, you can use CityPASS to visit five of the top seven attractions in nine consecutive days (including the first day that you use the first ticket) plus you get to choose which venues to visit and in what order. Atlanta CityPASS destinations include:
Georgia Aquarium, which ranks as the city’s top attraction plus the most popular aquarium in the U.S. and second most popular in the world. It contains more than 10 million gallons of fresh and salt water and is home to more aquatic life than any other aquarium, including whale sharks, beluga whales, manta rays, penguins, sea lions, otters, and dolphins.
World of Coca-Cola celebrates the world’s best-known beverage brand, which was invented in Atlanta by pharmacist John S. Pemberton in 1886. Ten galleries share the brand history. See an 1880s soda fountain, 1939 delivery truck, the original bottle, artwork inspired by the brand, and much more. A highlight is the chance to taste Coca-Cola products from around the world.
Inside CNN Atlanta Studio Tour gets you into the world headquarters of the cable news network launched by Ted Turner in 1980. The behind-the-scenes tour is a 50-minute walking tour led by a guide (who may tell cheesy jokes at no extra charge) through the halls of CNN Center. You’ll get a peek at how a live broadcast is produced. For a more in-depth look at how the world’s largest news organization operates, upgrade to a VIP tour.
College Football Hall of Fame, which has 50 interactive exhibits – OR – Fernbank Museum of Natural History, which delves into Georgia history starting with dinosaurs. The museum also has cultural artifacts, hands-on science exhibits, an urban Piedmont forest, and an IMAX theatre that houses the biggest movie screen in Atlanta. Special exhibits rotate through, including a current feature on microbes. Outside the museum find 75 acres of new outdoor nature adventures.
Center for Civil and Human Rights where emotionally-moving and thought-provoking exhibits are sure to spark conversation – OR – Zoo Atlanta which houses more than 1,000 animals, including giant pandas, great apes, elephants, and more.
Five venues are located within a short walking distance of one another within Downtown Atlanta: Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, CNN, College Football Hall of Fame, and Center for Civil and Human Rights. This makes it easy to see these five venues if you’re visiting the city without a car and/or if you want to see five attractions within a limited timeframe. To reach Fernbank and the Zoo, you’d want to use MARTA or a car unless you really want to impress your Fitbit.
While downtown wandering between CNN and World of Coca-Cola, you’ll get to see the 21-acre Centennial Olympic Park, which was built as part of the infrastructure improvements for the 1996 Summer Olympics. It’s free to enjoy the park, which is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Hans and I returned home looking like the tourists we’d been all day, happy but exhausted and toting bags of souvenirs. CityPASS made putting together a “Welcome to Atlanta” package easy. I recommend CityPASS and will seek it out in my own travels to other participating cities.
CityPASS ticket booklets can be purchased on CityPASS.com or at any of the CityPASS attractions.
@21plusTravel Tip: Don’t remove the tickets from your CityPASS booklet, let the officials at the venue you’re visiting do it or you may inadvertently invalidate them. Review your ticket booklet to find coupons and other discounts.
CityPASS tickets have a 97% customer recommendation rating.
CityPASS ticket booklets and admission cards are available in 12 North American destinations, offering VIP access to the most popular attractions with savings up to 50%. CityPASS tickets are valid for nine consecutive days (14 days in Southern California), including the first day of use. Specifics vary, since CityPASS customizes its offerings in each city. Some examples:
- New York CityPASS includes prepaid admission to six top attractions at 43% savings.
- Southern California CityPASS saves $150 for three days of unlimited access to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park and one-day admission to Legoland and SeaWorld San Diego.
- San Francisco CityPASS saves 43% on four attractions plus unlimited cable car rides.
Current prices (valid through February 28, 2019):
- Atlanta – $76 +tax for adults; $61 +tax for children (3-12)
- Boston – $59 for adults; $47 for children (3-11)
- Chicago – $106 for adults; $89 for children (3-11)
- Dallas – $49 for adults; $33 for children (3-12)
- Houston – $59 for adults; $49 for children (3-11)
- New York City – $79-$126 for adults; $59-$104 for children (3-11) – NEW Mobile Pass Available
- Philadelphia – $49 for adults; $34 for children (3-12) – ALL NEW (MOBILE ONLY)
- San Francisco – $89 for adults; $69 for children (5-11)
- Seattle – $89 for adults; $69 for children (4-12)
- Southern California – $367 for adults; $337 for children (3-9)
- Tampa Bay – $107 for adults; $97 for children (3-9) – NEW Mobile Pass Available
- Toronto – $71.63 + tax for adults; $48.02 + tax for children (4-12) – NEW Mobile Pass Available
CityPASS Customer Service is available 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time at (888) 330-5008 and support.citypass.com.
CityPASS celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2017.
Odds of Encountering Children: Inevitable. But don’t let it stop you from having fun. For the most adult experience, visit during the week when school is in session.
@21plusTravel Tip: Read our two-week Georgia itinerary, which includes using Atlanta CityPASS.
– Photo Credits: Hope & Hans courtesy CNN Studio Tours; pandas courtesy Atlanta Zoo; remainder © HSP Media LLC
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion. Thanks to CityPASS for two Atlanta booklets.