European Sophistication in Downtown Atlanta
Melia Atlanta makes its home near downtown Atlanta's legendary Peachtree Street, a main stretch of the capital city's midtown lined with historic architecture and prominent landmarks. Frommer's praised this convenient location—near Georgia Tech, the Georgia Aquarium, and the Georgia Dome, home of the Atlanta Falcons—noting its “good position for exploring the city.” But inside, the lavish hotel feels like it belongs on the Spanish Riviera. In the lobby, large oriental rugs cover glossy marble floors and candles softly flicker.
Many of the posh level and deluxe rooms offer panoramic views of Atlanta's glittering skyscrapers via windows that stretch the length of a wall. The decor is refreshingly understated, with rich red and black accents. Downstairs in the candlelit Grille at 590, partake in the optional three-course dinner for two, which features international and eclectic southern cuisine such as roasted-pepper tapas, pearl-couscous ratatouille, and new york cheesecake. The Lobby Lounge has a more laid-back vibe—here you can sip a handcrafted cocktail to the sounds of live jazz.
Atlanta: Urban Parks and Renowned Aquarium in Capital of the South
Named one 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 Museum.
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 the 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.
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