More than 10 million gallons of water fill the gigantic exhibits inside Georgia Aquarium, making it the largest in the world when it opened in 2005. Most visitors, of course, will be far more interested in what's gliding and diving inside all those exhibits. Their journey through the world's diverse oceans begins just inside the entrance at The SunTrust Georgia Explorer, where visitors touch rays and marvel at the sea turtle's ability to keep from sliding out of its shell. To the right lies the Southwest Tropical Diver exhibit, a mesmerizing display of coral reefs and the creatures that wind among them.
Other areas of the aquarium blend education with entertainment. Dolphins leap, swim, and dance in time to music at the AT&T Dolphin Tales show, while Journey with Gentle Giants Immersion Programs let visitors dive with massive whale sharks. There's even a movie theater, although it blows most multiplexes out of the water by adding 3-D imagery and 4-D effects. Special effects built into the seats and the theater's surroundings mean that audiences don't just see ultra-real animals and rippling waters pass before them—they feel them, too.
That's just a sampling of the more than 60 exhibits and activities that fill Georgia Aquarium. But its staff do manage to make it outside of the massive facility. In addition to their exhibits and education initiatives, the aquarium houses the Correll Center for Aquatic Animal Health: a 10,000 square-foot facility dedicated to aquatic animal conservation. Its research stretches from the whale sharks of Mexico to the penguins of South Africa to the belugas of Alaska.
The opening scene of Forrest Gump follows a feather as it floats above Savannah's rooftops, a view seen from the Sorrel-Weed House, where the scene was filmed. Completed between 1839 and 1840, the now-iconic building was distinguished as a state landmark in 1954—only the second house in Georgia to receive that honor. Today, during historic tours, guests patter down the same corridors where onetime houseguest General Robert E. Lee once practiced hacky sack, or track spirits during ghostly explorations of the home's creepy quarters. Southern history pervades each visit as guests catch glimpses of the house’s antique decor and Greek revival architecture.
The third annual Antebellum Trail Pilgrimage offers patrons the chance to unearth the past with myriad events and activities scattered throughout seven historic communities: Athens, Watkinsville, Madison, Eatonton, Milledgeville, Old Clinton, and Macon. The 100-mile trail zigzags pilgrims from city to city, offering self-guided excursions ideal for self-directed murmurs of informational tidbits. The events, museum visits, private tours of historic homes, and other activities featured in the five-day pilgrimage itinerary give visitors a glimpse of historic Georgia. Pass-holders also have access to authentic battle sites, where they can trace the steps of soldiers and reenact bayonet-limbo contests. Most locations are open, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Southern Trilogy of historic homes in Roswell includes Barrington Hall, Bulloch Hall, and Smith Plantation. Together they tell the authentic story of the American South. Each of the locations interprets the unique experiences of the families who cherised them.
Spread across 80 acres of saunter-friendly sod, the Atlanta Bike Festival draws motorcycle maniacs, blues and rock buffs, and adventurous aficionados alike. The festival hosts an array of domestic, foreign, and custom choppers all agleam in the Marietta sun, along with gear and accessories, shopping opportunities, riding lessons, test drives, and additional hog-related action. Sights and sounds occur on two main stages, one devoted each day to bellyaching blues and rock music and the other to enticing events like stunt rider shows and seeing how many gullible clowns can fit on a motorcycle. Cast a vocal vote in one of the many contests, such as the Miss Atlanta Bike Festival Beauty Pageant, the Motorcycle Burnout Contest, and the Arm Wrestling Contest, where strongmen compete to see who performs the best forearm suplex. Enjoy the many thrills of the Atlanta Bike Festival while knowing that your vehicle has been safely parked in a secured area.
Maria and Stephen started Wine Hikers to help them get outside and forget their desk jobs. On weekends, they and their fellow hikers journey out to explore the pristine wilderness around Helen, Georgia. Their one-hour hikes start at a predetermined location, then they head out to hike through the North Georgia Mountains' trails. At the post-hike wine tasting, hikers sip on some of a wineries' best offerings and can, if they so choose, say a few words for all the grapes that lost their lives to give them that wine.