Making the Most of a Staycation for Our Two-Year Anniversary

We had plans this year to go to New Orleans for our anniversary this year, and I was so excited - I've never been. Unfortuna...

We had plans this year to go to New Orleans for our anniversary this year, and I was so excited - I've never been. Unfortunately, with the amount and severity of the hurricanes and tropical storms happening in the surrounding areas, we found it best to not take the trip and instead opted for a staycation. 

We chose to snatch up a couple of CityPasses for Atlanta and check out some of the attractions in the area. While I've already been to most of the attractions, it has been years since going to them (I was in eighth grade when I last went to CNN and World of Coke, and it's been a few years since last visiting the zoo and aquarium). 

Unfortunately, for most of the tour pictures aren't allowed and I didn't feel the need to pay $30+ for the professional photo taken on the tour - so there are no photos for me to share here, but the tour is really interesting. We went on a weekend, so the tours weren't large groups and weren't overly crowded, but that also means not a lot was going on for our viewing. Obviously, there are things happening all day and every day at CNN - but no scheduled shows were taking place. Apparently, going during the week there's more of a chance to see those exciting things - but it's also more crowded. 

Fun note: The escalator to start the tour is extremely long - it's actually in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest free-standing escalator. I'm terrified of heights, so riding it was the very worst time for me.

The World of Coke's pretty fun. You get a free soda when you arrive, so that's pretty neat. They also encourage tons of photography, and there's always someone around to snap your photo. There are a lot of smaller rooms and exhibits and it's really neat to stop and check out each one. You can spend a ton of time checking out each thing, but you can cover everything fully in about two hours.

Fun note: They'll tell you to try to Beverly, but it's so terrible. It honestly tastes like alcohol. But try it and see what you think.

I always feel so bad, but I honestly love the Georgia Aquarium - it's so peaceful. Not to mention a ton of their animals are rescues that cannot safely function in the wild. Atlanta's aquarium is one of the largest in the world, so it's so cool getting to see all the animals inside. I always love viewing the whale sharks in the large gallery, and the beluga whales always take my breath away. My absolute favorite show is the sea lions, but no photography's allowed because it can distract them. They get close enough for you to touch and they're so sweet. I also never pass up the opportunity to crawl through to see the penguins. And if you're ready to get wet, sit within the front 10 rows during the dolphin show - we were in row 8 and left soaking wet.

Fun note: The sea lions only perform if they want to. They are treated with positive reinforcement, but never negativity or punishment. The sea lions housed at the aquarium are all rescues with unique stories and cannot survive in the wild.

Honestly, the zoo is another place that makes me sad for the animals in captivity, but I'm also torn because I want to see the animals - it's a terrible dilemma. It's definitely an interesting place to be. We went on a Monday, which was so lovely - because almost no one else was there. The animals were so beautiful to watch. There's also a newer exhibit for the snakes, turtles, and creepy-crawlies. It's like another aquarium in itself. We definitely enjoyed walking through seeing all the creatures (the turtles are my favorite!), and the AC didn't hurt either, since it was in the 80s that day. My favorite animals to watch were the primates - I could seriously stare all day.

Fun note: There's currently a one year-old gorilla baby that is so cute!

The Fernbank was my least favorite of them all. A lot of the exhibits focused on Georgia history and the animals shown in the exhibits (stuffed) I've been able to see alive and well - so that was kind of a downer. Honestly, it seemed a bit outdated and I feel like some renovations could do the place some good. I enjoyed what we viewed of the outside forest feature and walks, but we didn't do the entire thing because we weren't necessarily prepared with the right shoes and whatnot. More than anything I was really hoping for more dinosaur stuff. I guess I had expectations that it would be more like some of the bigger natural history museums in the country, and I was let down a little bit. It seems super cool for an elementary school field trip, but not as exciting as an adult.

Fun note: The top floor has a ton of fun science-y things (see the giant bubble I'm creating below), so you definitely don't want to miss that section, if you go.

The Vortex L5P

While not part of the CityPass, we definitely grabbed some yummy grub at The Vortex in Little Five Points. While there's also another location in Midtown, I really like the L5P location - but honestly, either is great. We opted for their fried pickle spears (seriously one of my favorite things in the world), and I got the Pickle Rick (which is only for a limited time and not on the menu). It's a burger topped with pimento cheese, bacon, fried pickle spears, and Szechuan sauce. Ugh - so good. We also got a couple two dollar surprise shots, which actually weren't so bad. But maybe we just got lucky?

While it was definitely a bummer we didn't get to take our trip to NOLA, we definitely had a blast staying home and enjoying time together for our two-year anniversary. I definitely recommend checking out CityPass whether you're staying home or travelling. It's available in several cities.

*This is no way, shape, or form a sponsored post - just sharing our staycation experience.

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  1. we always do an experience for our anniversary too (norm a trip) but stay or go, time together is always the best. I do love that aquarium, I think I'd probably be one of those people with a year round pass if I lived there

    1. I think experiences instead of gifts are the best. I was definitely disappointed we couldn't make our trip to NOLA, but we still had a blast.
      And I agree. We're about 30 minutes out from the aquarium, but if we were closer - I would probably spend most days there.

  2. First of all, A+ on these photos. I love the aquarium pics! I also just really love the idea of staycations, though I've never taken a true one myself, this way, where you actually get out & explore your city. It seems like so much fun. When we live in a place, we become so accustomed to knowing what's around that we don't always explore what's around!

    1. Oh my goodness. You are so sweet! Usually, a staycation for me includes staying on the couch, but this worked great, because we're about 30 minutes out from Atlanta, plus there's so much to do/explore there. But I definitely enjoyed doing it because it was so much fun, but way less expensive than taking a full-fledged trip!