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Deciding what to visit is sometimes a chore when planning a trip. Before we head out, I like to compile a list of the places we’d like to see. Sometimes I go as far as penciling in attractions for each day, but most of the time I don’t. I’ll generally add all the info to a notebook, including hours of operation, cost, how to get there, and other essential info for each place. This lets me organize our days fairly well once we get there and see what the schedule will be like. It’s also critical when traveling overseas and I don’t have a reliable cell signal.

While we saw some of the primary highlights of Atlanta, we did have to pass up others since we were only in town for three days. I know each family is unique, and others will obviously have different interests than we do, but here is why we decided to pass up these 3 major Atlanta attractions:

College Football Hall of Fame

If you’re a college football fan, then this is the place for you. I’ve met a few die-hard college football fans during my business trips to Virginia; I didn’t realize how ridiculously big of a deal it is to some people.

a large building with a curved roof

My son has *zero* interest in American Football, and my interest isn’t all that much greater. Sure, I’ll watch an NFL game now and then, but football has never been my thing. I have a coworker who goes to every home game of his beloved Hokies, and he just shakes his head when I can’t even name more than about 3 college teams. Visiting the College Football Hall of Fame simply doesn’t interest me. I didn’t even know it was here until we were walking to Chick-fil-A and I saw it across the street from Centennial Olympic Park.

Stone Mountain Park

On the other hand, Stone Mountain Park was near the top of the list for us, right after the Georgia Aquarium. It came highly recommended by more than one person, and I really wanted to make it happen. The primary feature of the park is a large carving of General Lee into the side of the mountain. A number of other attractions, including a tram to the top of the mountain and a train around its base, have been added. It is a great place for some family fun.

However, I realized once we were here that visiting Stone Mountain Park would be expensive. Too expensive. We would have to rent a car for one day, and the cheapest I could find was $45. Add in gas, plus the $15 parking fee, plus $15 each for tickets, plus lunch at the park, and we’re talking over $100. I waffled on whether it was still worth all this to visit, as this was one of the places I was most interested in seeing in the Atlanta area.

Then I discovered that not all attractions are open on most weekdays. This sealed the deal as a solid ‘no’. While we could take the tram up to the top of the mountain, we wouldn’t get to ride either the train or the boats. Stone Mountain Park will have to wait for next time, if another visit to the Georgia capital ever happens.

CNN Studio Tours

Another top rated attraction in Atlanta is a tour of the CNN Studios. Like the other major Atlanta attractions, you can get a decent discount by purchasing a CityPASS. The tour is about an hour long and takes you right through the studio, including a look at the live newsroom and the control room for the whole operation. At least…that’s what I read. It didn’t interest me enough, and my son probably would have been bored. So we passed it up.

a large globe in a building

We did visit the CNN building a couple times for lunch, as it is located just off of Centennial Olympic Park and has a food court with a good number of options. But that is as close as we got. The highlight of the studio building is the array of flags displayed.


Planning a short trip always means you have to pick and choose what to do and what to see. In our case, staying in the city center and seeing a few attractions is what we did. I think our choice to visit the Children’s Museum of Atlanta, the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola was just fine. If we head back to Atlanta, Stone Mountain Park will definitely be on the list. The others, though…I think we’d still pass them up.

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