European Sophistication in Downtown Atlanta
Meliá Atlanta makes its home near downtown Atlanta's legendary Peachtree Street, a stretch of the city's midtown lined with historic architecture and prominent landmarks. Frommer's praises the hotel’s convenient location—it’s near Georgia Tech, Georgia Aquarium, and the Georgia Dome, home of the Atlanta Falcons. Inside, the lavish hotel feels like it belongs on the Spanish Riviera. In the lobby, large oriental rugs cover glossy marble floors surrounded by candles.
Many of the posh guest rooms offer panoramic views of Atlanta's glittering skyscrapers via windows stretching the length of walls. The decor is refreshingly understated, with rich red and black accents. Downstairs in candlelit The Grille @ 590, diners partake in the Spanish- and Italian-influenced international cuisine. The lobby lounge has a more laid-back vibe—here you can sip a handcrafted cocktail while listening to live music.
Atlanta: Urban Parks and Renowned Aquarium in Capital of the South
Named 1 of 50 Places of a Lifetime by National Geographic, Atlanta lies near the Chattahoochee River in Georgia's northwest region known for its famed trees: magnolias, pines, and dogwoods. Despite a metropolitan population of more than five million and what is considered the world's busiest airport by passenger count, Atlanta seems to always offer a relaxing escape. Stroll through the 185 acres of botanical gardens, hiking trails, and oaks at Piedmont Park, or study one of the country's largest Civil War exhibitions at the Atlanta History Center.
Anchored by historical Peachtree Street, the city's midtown area boasts a thriving arts-and-culture scene. Opened in 1929, the Fox Theatre features imposing Egyptian architecture and a custom-made organ with a network of 3,622 pipes. Tours take place on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The High Museum of Art spotlights more than 12,000 pieces of contemporary and folk art, ranging from Renaissance paintings to photographs from the civil-rights era. Kids might better enjoy Georgia Aquarium, located downtown at Centennial Olympic Park. Considered the world's largest aquarium with more than 8 million gallons of fresh and marine water and more than 100,000 animals, the aquarium is home to beluga whales, lionfish, whale sharks, bottlenose dolphins, and more.