A Guide to Building Your Date (Day to Night) Itinerary

A carefully curated guide sure to make your next downtown Atlanta date unforgettable.

 

Begin with Brunch

What better way to kickstart your date than with everyone’s favorite meal: brunch! Whether you’re craving classic comfort food or something with a twist, downtown Atlanta has you covered. From the iconic Breakfast At Barney’s to the classic ABC Chicken and Waffles-Nitro Coffee Counter, there’s a brunch spot to satisfy every craving. Feeling adventurous? Don your chef’s hat and whip up some French toast together! Fuel up for a day packed with excitement and unforgettable moments.

Elevate Your Date with Art & Illusions

Did you know Atlanta is home to over 46 museums and exhibitions? Step into a world of wonder or learn the history behind this ever-growing city. Captivating rooms, mind-bending installations, and mesmerizing images await at the Museum of Illusions. Alternatively, embrace the intersection of culture and community at the renowned High Museum of Art. Whether you’re seeking enchantment or cultural enrichment, Atlanta’s museums offer the perfect backdrop for a memorable date filled with discovery and connection.

Get a Bird’s Eye View of the City Skyline

Looking for a date idea that will leave you on top of the world? Look no further than SkyView Atlanta, where romance meets breathtaking views. Perched nearly 20 stories above Centennial Park, the SkyView Ferris wheel offers an unforgettable experience. With its 42 climate-controlled gondolas, take in panoramic vistas of downtown Atlanta. For an extra touch of luxury, opt for the VIP gondola complete with Ferrari-style seats, a glass floor, and extended flight time. Conveniently located near many of Atlanta’s top attractions, SkyView Atlanta is the perfect addition to your downtown adventure. Soar to new heights and create memories that will last a lifetime with your special someone!

 

Sip, Sea, and Sway at Sound Waves

Start the night off right at Georgia Aquarium’s exhilarating Sound Waves Music Series! Every Friday evening, through May 31, join us for an unforgettable fusion of live music and aquatic atmosphere. Immerse yourself in the vibrant sounds of Atlanta’s local musicians, set against the backdrop of our stunning atrium enhanced with dynamic lighting and atmospheric elements. Plus, this series is included with general admission, so you’ll have access to explore the Aquarium’s captivating galleries, making it the ultimate date night destination. Don’t miss out on free parking and check out the full band line-up

Pro Tip:
Did you know you can purchase alcoholic beverages at the Aquarium? We offer a variety of beers, wine, and cocktails. Must be 21+ with valid ID to purchase.

Have a Romantic Dinner for Two

Keep the romantic vibes going! Look no further than the city’s iconic rooftop destinations, offering breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences. Start your evening at SkyLounge, with its contemporary city vibe and Southern charm, SkyLounge promises spectacular cityscape views in a chic bar and lounge setting. Recently featured in Forbes Travel Guide and ABC.com, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a romantic meal and soak in the skyline.

Alternatively, indulge in Atlanta’s culinary scene at The Sun Dial Restaurant, Bar & View, located atop the renowned Westin Peachtree Plaza. This tri-level complex boasts an upscale restaurant, cocktail lounge, and observatory level, all offering unparalleled views of the city from 723 feet above.

For a laid-back, tropical vibe, channel your inner Jimmy Buffett at Margaritaville Atlanta. Turn your date night into a staycation with island-inspired cuisine, refreshing cocktails, and live music. Whichever destination you choose, these Atlanta hotspots promise to make your date night truly unforgettable.

 

Catch a Concert at State Farm Arena

Looking to add some excitement to your night? State Farm Arena is the place to be, where the stage is set for unforgettable performances! From legendary artists like Anita Baker to chart-topping sensations like Bad Bunny and Megan Thee Stallion, there’s a lineup that caters to every taste. Whether you’re into soulful melodies, infectious beats, or side-splitting comedy, the arena has something special in store for you. So grab your tickets, grab your date, and get ready for a night of entertainment you won’t forget.

Score a Second Date at Mercedez Benz Stadium

Need a winning idea to score a second date? Look no further than the electrifying atmosphere of Atlanta United matches at Atlanta’s renowned stadium – Mercedez Benz. Kick off your evening with and experience the excitement in the air as you and your date immerse yourselves in the world of soccer excellence. With thrilling matches and passionate fans, this event promises to be an unforgettable date night. So, lace up your sneakers and get ready to cheer on your favorite team while creating memories that will last a lifetime!

SweetWater Brewing Launches Hammer Red Amber Ale to Support Georgia Aquarium

The Limited-Release Seasonal Is Part of SweetWater’s On-going Partnership with Georgia Aquarium

SweetWater Brewing Company (“SweetWater Brewing” or “SweetWater”), the largest craft brewer in the Southeast and a subsidiary of Tilray Brands, Inc. (“Tilray” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: TLRY and TSX: TLRY), announced today the release of its new Hammer Red Amber Ale, the latest collaboration beer as part of its partnership with Georgia Aquarium. A portion of sales of the limited-release beer will be donated to Georgia Aquarium to support its mission of inspiring awareness and preservation of oceans and aquatic animals worldwide. Hammer Red Amber Ale is available throughout Georgia now until October 2024.

 

Inspired by Georgia Aquarium’s research initiatives, education programs and conservation efforts that benefit sharks and rays, Hammer Red Amber Ale (5.6% ABV) is brewed with Magnum, Saaz, and Cascade hops and delivers light caramel flavors, with a touch of wheat for a refreshing finish with a little bite.

 

“As one of Atlanta’s crown jewels and an important force in protecting our oceans and marine life, our partnership with Georgia Aquarium is incredibly important to SweetWater and part of our continued support for clean and healthy waterways. We also know this cause is just as important to our fans, as we saw so much support for the special-edition cans of our flagship 420 Pale Ale that were available last November, when we started this new relationship,” said Terry Hopper, VP of Sales for Tilray Beers. “Amber ales are a cornerstone style of American craft beer, and with Hammer Red Amber Ale, our brewers have created a delicious, easy-drinking beer that pairs well with a variety of foods, whether you’re grabbing a quick bite between exhibitions at Georgia Aquarium or enjoying it while grilling in the backyard.”

 

“Our continued partnership with SweetWater is a natural fit as both brands aim to support clean water and give back to the community,” said Hiroshi Okuda, senior director of strategic marketing and corporate partnerships. “We’re excited to debut Hammer Red Ale with SweetWater to showcase another amazing animal that is in need of protection.”

 

Hammer Red Amber Ale is available in six-packs of twelve-ounce cans and on draft, including at SweetWater’s Taproom. To find the beer in a store or on-premise location near you, please visit SweetWater’s Beer Finder.

Spring Break in Atlanta: 5 Unmissable Experiences

The perfect guide to planning an unforgettable spring break.

Georgia Aquarium – Where the Ocean Meets the Skyline

Skip the sandy sandwiches, sunburn, and mid-day thunderstorms and embark on an unforgettable adventure. Rain or shine, our fully indoor experience ensures a perfect day of exploration and excitement. Experience eight captivating galleries showcasing thousands of fascinating marine animals, including remarkable sharks and playful otters – it’s like eight vacation destinations all in one place. Immerse yourself in the magic of our daily animal presentations or meet them up close in our animal encounters. Where else can you swim with whale sharks, play with dolphins, AND dance with sea lions? Georgia Aquarium promises a journey filled with discovery and awe-inspiring moments. 

For kids ages 5-10 years old, check out our new Spring Break Camp H2O! From April 1 through 5, campers will spend the week engaged in fun and exciting activities. They will discover interesting facts about our aquatic friends and explore the vast ocean ecosystem. All Aquarium galleries and presentations are included.​

Make this Spring Break one to remember – dive into the extraordinary at Georgia Aquarium!

Attend the Atlanta Science Festival 

It’s our favorite annual Atlanta spring tradition! The Atlanta Science Festival is an annual celebration of the world-class learning and STEM career opportunities in metro Atlanta. Engineered by Science Atlanta and 80+ community partners – including Georgia Aquarium. Featuring 100+ engaging events covering a range of science topics geared towards all ages. This festival is committed to expanding access to science learning in the Atlanta area. Take part in all the fun happening March 9-23, 2024. 

Don’t miss Georgia Aquarium’s event – Saving the Seas, on Saturday, March 16. Dive into the world of marine research and conservation to experience firsthand what it’s like to be a marine conservationist. As a leader in ocean conservation, Georgia Aquarium will be hosting a presentation focusing on different conservation projects, from protecting our coral reefs to the re-establishment of zebra sharks to protecting key species. Explore threats facing our environment through interactive demonstrations and hands-on activities based on Aquarium-wide initiatives. Tickets are required for this event for both Aquarium members and non-members. 

Check out the festival’s online schedule and register for these exciting events! Stay up to date on all things #ATLSciFest by following @ATLSciFest.

Head to the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Spring has sprung at the Atlanta Botanical Garden! With over 30 acres of outdoor gardens, it’s nestled in the heart of Midtown Atlanta. You don’t want to miss the annual spring Orchid Daze and Atlanta Blooms, celebrating thousands of beautiful, fragrant orchids and tulips in bloom. 

Are they looking for some outdoor, family-friendly activities for spring break? Check out Spring Break Science Camp, where kids can experiment with plant engineering, adaptations, and seasonal changes. The Garden also offers Spring Break Family Fun – the whole family can partake in seasonal activities like storybook time and gardening activities for free with garden admission.

Cheer on Your Favorite Atlanta Teams at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

With a capacity of 93,000 fans, feel Atlanta’s pride and support one of the city’s biggest sports teams. 

As Atlanta becomes the hub for US soccer, join the legendary Atlanta United FC fans for a match and experience The Golden Spike. The Home Depot Backyard is also a hub for home game tailgating! Check out their calendar to see all the upcoming events.

Experience the History of America’s Game at The College Football Hall of Fame

The College Football Hall of Fame aims to inspire and entertain by celebrating the passion and traditions of college football and its greatest players and coaches. Immerse yourself in college football history this spring break and experience the new Microsoft Gaming Lounge. Described as fun, interactive, educational, and entertaining – this new exhibit allows attendees to play video football games on Xbox systems. The Microsoft Gaming Lounge’s opening is timely as a new NCAA football video game will return in 2024 after nearly a decade offline. 

Save on your Atlanta Spring Break experiences with CityPASS. This one pass gives you discounted access to five of Atlanta’s family-friendly downtown attractions.

Saluting Service

Dive into the Heart of Our Military Salute Program Through the Eyes of Our Dedicated Staff

Saluting Service

By Jason Bush, Manager, Military Salute Program at Georgia Aquarium

How My Journey Began

I grew up in South Florida, doing anything and everything in and around the water that I possibly could – from fishing, skiing, and kayaking, to snorkeling, surfing, and saltwater aquarium keeping. I was quite fond of the ocean and marine life. So much so, that I played a valuable role in getting a grant from the school board to have saltwater aquariums in my high school oceanography and marine biology classrooms. I was even the sole caretaker of them. 

I joined the United States Marine Corps in August of 1998 and stayed on active duty until August 2003, with an additional two years as an inactive reserve. During that time, I participated in several deployments, including Operation Determined Response when the USS Cole was attacked in 2000, Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 during the invasion of Iraq, and the Battle of Nasiriyah.

My passion for the ocean started when I was young. I always wanted to dive as a kid but could never afford it. While on my first deployment in Thailand in 2000, I opted to obtain my open-water certification and my love for diving began. Later I obtained Dive Master, Public Safety Diver, Rescue Diver, Underwater Criminal Investigator, and several other certifications. I am currently working on my instructor certification. 

Service After Serving

Like many veterans returning from combat with invisible wounds, I too, returned a different person with wounds that cut deep, but without truly realizing it or plain refusing to. In 2009, I was referred to the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), where I attended an outdoor rehabilitative mental health retreat. After nearly six years of feeling lost, this is where I realized I was not alone and found the hope I was missing.

I continued attending events, connecting with fellow veterans and resources that would give me the ability to accept nothing but the best of myself again. I fought to find that new normal and get to a place where I could give back and help fellow veterans who were also struggling. In 2013, a position opened up at WWP, facilitating the very retreat that was the first turning point in my life post-war. I would remain with WWP for the next 10 years, hosting 10-14 retreats per year for both veterans and couples. My time with WWP would conclude on the outreach team, where I was fortunate enough to work with Georgia Aquarium’s Military Salute both in-house and in the field.

I wholeheartedly believe in the holistic healing nature can bring us if we allow it to, especially the water. The peace I feel underwater is almost indescribable. I want to share this experience with every veteran I can dealing with both the visible and invisible wounds of war. Diving is something that can be adaptable to any disability, making it a healthy coping mechanism for a wide range of injuries and ailments.

Saluting Military Service 

In early 2023, I was told that the Military Salute Manager position at Georgia Aquarium would soon become available. Having seen this incredible program in action first-hand through WWP, I deeply believed in its efficacy and the benefits that it gave to all participants and wanted to help this program reach new heights. It was a huge leap of faith when I was offered the position, but I believed in myself and this program. I accepted the challenge and started my adventure as Military Salute Manager in April 2023. It will be challenging to take the program to the next level. But the result will be worth the effort if it means that the program can stretch beyond the walls of the Aquarium – and hopefully the state of Georgia – reaching as many veterans as possible.

When did the Military Salute Program begin?

  • Georgia Aquarium’s Military Salute program first began as part of the Veterans Immersion Program back in 2005, when the first guests to participate in the Journey with Gentle Giants swim and dive program were a group of wounded veterans.

Who does it serve?

  • Military Salute currently serves wounded, ill, and/or injured veterans along with their families, Gold Star Families, and several non-veteran groups, such as Children Healthcare of Atlanta and Shepherd Center patients.

What is its purpose?

  • The purpose of Military Salute is to introduce and promote the healing nature of the underwater world to our nation’s wounded, ill, and injured heroes and their families by engaging in camaraderie, recreation, education, service, and conservation efforts through programs within the Aquarium and programs held outside our walls.

Unlocking the Healing Power of our Ocean in Key Largo 

For the first time in 2023, our veteran’s field program traveled to Key Largo, FL, to work with the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF). I, along with members from our dive immersion, dive safety, and dive operations teams were joined by a group of wounded, injured, and/or ill veterans. These participants joined us through organizations we currently partner with, such as the Wounded Warrior Project, Patriots for Disabled Divers, and H20 who help connect us with potential program candidates.

Weather is always an unpredictable factor when diving. Fortunately, CRF has plenty of projects to engage in both in and out of water. During our trip in August, we participated in inspecting and cleaning man-made coral trees within the in-water nursery. These platforms provide a space for the staghorn corals to grow until they reach a size suitable for transplantation to local reefs. During another trip down to Key Largo in December, we were unable to dive due to weather conditions. But we worked on land building a dozen coral trees used specifically for growing boulder corals. We then took that newfound knowledge and utilized it to help us identify the corals amongst the reefs that had been planted by CRF. Additionally, we were able to dive in a few reef areas and recovered fishing lines and various tackles found attached to reef structures.

Check out our veteran’s field program trip to Key Largo, FL.

The Future of Military Salute

Currently, our veteran’s field program has funds for an annual trip that focuses on education, conservation, and service. We hope to expand and include additional trips in the future, partnering with marine sanctuaries and other organizations whose mission aligns with that of Georgia Aquarium and Military Salute.

The outdoors, nature, and the underwater world are extremely healing for those who struggle with visible and invisible wounds. This program is especially meaningful because it provides, not only, a unique and healing environment for veterans within the Aquarium, but also offers opportunities outside the Aquarium to participate in missions of service through engaging underwater conservation projects. This gives veterans purpose on a larger scale that can be hard to find post-active duty. Engaging in service again is often the key ingredient in the healing process for our veterans. At the very core of this program, is the opportunity for veterans and their families to reconnect, re-engage, and heal alongside like-minded individuals. This is our mission and what we aim to provide for years to come.

Personal Passion

All unique programs under the Military Salute are important to me because my passion is rooted in actively serving my fellow wounded veterans and their families. There’s no greater honor for me than being a part of helping them to find their “new normal”. Helping their healing begin or continuing to utilize this unique and holistic approach. The reason I am here today is because of individuals and organizations over the past 20 years who have encouraged and pushed me to connect with my inner strength, not give up on myself, and strive to find that new normal so that I can live my life intentionally with purpose and fulfillment.

As an organization, we have the ability and means to change lives. Not by re-creating the wheel, but by being another spoke of support in the lives of the men, women, and families that have given so much so that we can enjoy the freedoms we do today.

Georgia Aquarium Unveils Several New Experiences Coming in 2024

Georgia Aquarium, renowned as the largest aquarium in the United States and a premier attraction in Atlanta, is set to captivate visitors with a new hands-on experience opening this summer. The new Explorers Cove promises an interactive experience that combines expansive touch pools and immersive technology that will give guests an opportunity to be up close with some animals like never before.

 

Opening this summer, the all-new experience will feature two interactive touch pools where guests can respectfully engage with sharks, rays, guitarfish, and sturgeon.  Then, young explorers can take a journey through a marsh environment and experience the wetland ecosystem up close.  In addition, guests can create their own species by drawing a digital animal and watch as it swims and interacts on a giant video wall with other newly created animals.

 

Also debuting this summer will be a new dolphin presentation promising a spectacular and awe-inspiring experience for audiences of all ages. Destination: Dolphin will explore the vast world of the bottlenose dolphin and the pivotal role it plays in understanding the health of our planet’s shared ecosystem.  The 1,800-person theater will come alive with upbeat music, lighting, and effects – and a very immersive experience for those who dare to sit in the soak zone.

 

“As we dive into the new year, we are thrilled to unveil several new experiences to elevate everyone’s visit,” said Georgia Aquarium’s chief marketing and experience officer, Dan Dipiazzo. “Georgia Aquarium is always changing, and if you haven’t been here in a while, this is definitely the year to visit.”

 

The Aquarium’s freshwater gallery, River Scout, is in the final stages of renovation and will debut African tigerfish. Guests can immerse themselves with other unique animals from various freshwater regions like Asian small-clawed otters, giant African puffer, piranhas, as well as a group of peculiar eel-like species called Ropefish. The rainforest meets river experience will complete its renovation in early spring.

 

Additionally, the Aquarium is elevating the visitor experience with the recent opening of a two-story café. The new Coastline Café includes spacious seating areas next to large windows overlooking downtown Atlanta. The café features a digital ordering system with an updated menu including grain bowls, sandwiches, pizza, desserts, and more. The Aquarium experience continues in the café with a cutting-edge projection mapping experience featuring sea creatures swimming besides guests as they dine.

 

Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of Georgia Aquarium’s best ticket deal of the year, the Resident Pass, on sale until January 31, 2024. A Resident Pass gives guests all-year access to every gallery and seasonal activities like the Sound Waves Music Series, Haunted Seas, and Holidays at Georgia Aquarium—all for the price of a single general admission ticket. The Resident Pass is now available to guests that reside outside of the state of Georgia and is perfect for residents of neighboring states like Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. This deal ends soon, but the benefits extend all year.

 

Stay tuned to Georgia Aquarium’s social media and website for updates on all these exciting new offerings coming this summer.

5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do at Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium isn’t just a place to see amazing and diverse aquatic life—it’s also hub of unforgettable experiences waiting to be explored. While you might know about its stunning exhibits and incredible animal presentations, here are five lesser-known activities that will take your Aquarium visit to the next level:5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do at Georgia Aquarium

1. Forget Sleeping Under the Stars, Sleep Under the Sea

Spend a night surrounded by the ocean in some of your favorite Aquarium exhibits! Who said sleepovers are just for kids? Georgia Aquarium offers family, small groups, and adults-only sleepover programs. All sleepovers include admission to the Aquarium at 6:45 pm the day of your sleepover, plus the entire next day. Guests also get access to all presentations, a bedtime snack, complimentary breakfast, guided tours, and activities. Dive into your sleeping bag for an unforgettable slumber party.

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2. Upgrade Your Wi-Fi & WFH Views

Embrace the flexibility of remote work in a setting unlike any other – where our tables, high-speed Wi-Fi, and unparalleled aquatic views meet to offer an inspiring workspace. While productivity might swim a little off course, the experience of being plugged in at the Aquarium promises a unique and refreshing environment to make even those mundane Monday tasks more enjoyable. Enjoy a tasty breakfast or lunch and endless snack options at our newly renovated Coastline Café. Take a break to see a Sea Lion Presentation or get those steps in during your next meeting and take a walk through the galleries. With a Resident Pass, you can make Georgia Aquarium your new WFH space as you enjoy free admission for the entire year for the price of a single day. Dive into Georgia Aquarium – where work meets wonder.

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3. Romance is in the Water 

No matter what occasion, Georgia Aquarium is the place to spark passion. Whether it’s your first date, 10th anniversary, or if you’re just looking for a unique experience together. Enjoy a romantic evening with some of the best views in Atlanta, surrounded by the beauty of the ocean. Experience our mesmerizing exhibits and learn about our hundreds of species that will keep the conversation flowing all night. Or Sip Under the Sea together at one of our exciting, themed, adult-only cocktail parties. The options are as vast as the ocean, so grab your lobster and Resident Pass, and make the Aquarium your next date night venue. 

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4. Get Up Close and Personal

Dive into an intimate experience with some of Georgia Aquarium’s most fascinating residents through our Animal Encounter programs. From penguins to sea otters, and so much more! These encounters offer a chance to interact with and learn about these incredible creatures from our expert animal care teams. Did you know Georgia Aquarium is the only place in the world where you are guaranteed to swim with whale sharks, manta rays, and thousands of other marine animals? In our Journey with Gentle Giants programs, guests will get in our Ocean Voyager exhibit, built by The Home Depot, with thousands of amazing animals for the experience of a lifetime. 

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5. Grab A Backstage Pass

Go beyond the gallery floor and embark on a fascinating Behind the Seas Tour! This backstage pass grants you exclusive access to the inner workings of Georgia Aquarium. Allowing you to see all that goes into caring for the animals, maintaining the exhibits, and managing the filtration systems every day. “I don’t know why, but being behind the scenes makes me feel like I know all of the secrets (even though, they aren’t hiding anything) and makes me appreciate everything going on even more.” – Krystyn @reallyareyouserious.com

 

From intimate encounters with sea creatures to immersive sleepovers and exclusive behind-the-scenes tours, Georgia Aquarium offers a plethora of unique experiences beyond the usual visit. Whether you’re seeking adventure, romance, or new remote working opportunities, there’s something extraordinary for everyone to enjoy. Save on entry to explore these and other hidden gems at Georgia Aquarium. With a Resident Pass, you can pay for a day and come back to visit any time throughout 2024. Where will your next visit take you?

 

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