Things to Do & See in Georgia Pt. 4

Over the past few weeks I have been sharing my top A-Z 26 favorite tourist attractions for the state of Georgia. I've tried to stick with places in Atlanta, but as you can see from today's list, that doesn't always happen. I'm also trying to make sure I include attractions that would interest different people from all walks of life including history museums, wildlife locations, children's exhibits, and more! Unfortunately I won't be able to cover every location in Georgia, but I hope you will share some of your favorites with me in the comments below.

Today I am covering L-O. I hope you enjoy my picks. :)

L. Legoland Discovery Centre

A children's museum, play center of sorts and Lego store, the discovery center opened in April 2012 at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead just north of Atlanta inside the perimeter. It's accessible via Marta, offers free parking (for drivers), and a fantastic shopping experience (assuming you can get someone else to watch the kids). The 32,000 square ft. space covers the majority of the third floor of the mall providing room to play, eat, and experience all that lego has to offer. As an adult, the top attraction is mini-Atlanta that has been built entirely out of legos and features some of Georgia's top attractions. (I wonder if they used an A-Z list?!) Children, who are the target audience for the discovery center prefer to watch the 4D movie, play in the ball (or in this case, soft lego) pit, ride rides, build and race lego cars, and chomp down on a hot dog while their parents sit around idly playing on smartphones praying that someone will move from one of the two seats available for sitting.

If you have young children (2-12 range) and a free afternoon, this is a fantastic market-driven location to visit. Be sure you've eaten before arrival (there are restaurants within the mall area for cheaper, better food options) and make sure your child has a pair of socks with him/her. (There is a Belk across from the Lego Center if you do forget socks, but the socks available there can get expensive.) Plan to stay for the entire day if you can, because at $15+ a person, it can get expensive. I also recommend looking for coupons before you go. For example, Goldstar is offering $9 off the price of admissions right now bringing the total price down from $21 to $12. That's a big difference and worth taking advantage of! One more note – Legoland Discovery Centre is for children only. They do offer adult-only nights, but if you try to go (as an adult) without a child, you will not be let in. Please keep this in mind before buying tickets you are ineligible to use. :)

image by Kelly A. Tyler

M. Atlanta Motor Speedway

A 1.5 mile quad track with over 111000 seats located in Hampton, Georgia, the Atlanta Motor Speedway is one of the fastest on the Nascar circuit. Originally built in 1960, the track has undergone renovations as recently as 1997 standardizing the track, swapping the front and back stretch, and allowing drivers to reach speeds over 190mph.

While I have no experience attending an event at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, you can expect to experience all things "cars" there. I currently see the advertising for a car show/car parts sale on their website. Come Labor Day, I'm certain tickets will be available for races. Finally, in their FAQ they mention being able to take a test drive and have a "speedway experience" in a race car. If you are a fan of cars (and especially fast cars) be sure to check out the AMS and find out if they are offering anything of interest for you to do during your visit to Georgia.

N. (Native American) Etowah Indian Mounds

Located near the north shore of the Etowah River, the Etowah Indian Mounds can be found south of Cartersville, Georgia. The mounds were built from 1000-1500 AD and discovered in the 19th century by European settlers to the area. While it was originally believed that the Cherokee had built these mounds, it is now believed that the mounds were built much earlier before the Cherokee would have migrated to this area of Georgia. The location provides a museum where you can view artifacts excavated from approximately 9% of the area that show the lifestyle of those who lived in the area.

Having never been to this historic landmark, I cannot speak on the worthiness of visiting or paying the low entrance fee of $6. However, this could be a fantastic place to take children who are learning about ancient civilizations. The site offers plenty of demonstrations to keep visitors entertained and well-informed.

O. Okefenokee Swamp

One of the seven natural wonders of Georgia, this wetland straddles the Florida-Georgia border and is the largest blackwater swamp in North America covering more than 700 square miles. While the swamp has endured much human impact over time, in 1937 president Franklin D. Roosevelt provided official protection for the area from logging and development by instituting the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge which accounts for over 80% of the swamp. The swamp is typically only 10 feet deep in water and the average expected rainfall for the region is about 50 inches a year. Due to the wide range of environmental conditions, a large variety of plants and animals live in the area.

With my only experience of the Okefenokee Swamp being at Six Flags (which was technically Monster Plantation when I rode it), this park sounds both terrifying and amazing to me. I picture bugs, alligators, and disgusting water among beautiful cypress trees, and all of the sounds of the south. Perhaps one day I will pay the $25 to venture out into the unknown on a boat ride, but until then I think you (my readers) will have to tell me how enjoyable this excursion is as I watch and listen from afar. ;)

Have you visited any of these places in Georgia? Are you currently planning a trip in which you will visit one? Share! I'd love to hear!

Be sure to check out my other Georgia A-Z recommendations for more ideas to make your trip to the Atlanta/Georgia area a pleasant one!


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