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5 Best Things To Do In Atlanta For Families

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With the coronavirus keeping us home for most of this year, I’ve been reminiscing on previous trips I’ve taken with my kids. Back in 2018, I took my older son to Atlanta for a long weekend. There are lots of things to do in Atlanta for families, more than you might expect. Downtown has a handful of great attractions.

As is typical, the trip was made possible by miles and points. We jumped on a fantastic fare deal that perfectly used a $300 United voucher I’d been holding. We paid only ~$7 out of pocket for our flights, and our hotel was primarily paid for using points as well. This left us only footing the bill for our activities and sightseeing. Here are five of the best things to do in Atlanta for families:

Centennial Olympic Park

This tops my list of best things to do in Atlanta for families. Why? It’s free! And it gives you a good feel for the city and attractions around you. I suggest you start here.

We walked through Centennial Olympic Park every day. You can basically stand in the middle and point at 4 or 5 other popular downtown attractions, so you really can’t avoid visiting Centennial Olympic Park.

Whether it was the ring fountains or the playground, I found myself there with my 7-year-old for at least a part of each day.

We enjoyed the musical Olympic Rings fountain multiple times. The fountains are programmed in sync with an variety of different songs, and shows are regular. We enjoyed a couple songs on multiple occasions when just passing through the park between the downtown attractions and the American Hotel Atlanta Downtown where we were staying.

Georgia Aquarium

My son and I visited with the “Mommy and Me” pass, which is an incredible deal if you’re a parent flying solo with your kids. The ticket was $44.95 plus tax, and it covers one adult and up to 4 kids. This is an incredible deal for larger families. It was available for several weeks at the tail end of the summer and into the fall, and I hope it comes back again.

The Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the United States by volume of water contained. It has a massive main tank in the Ocean Voyager section, where the aquarium has its whale sharks. The Georgia Aquarium acquired these before a capture of the species was banned. Whale sharks are found in multiple tropical areas, and those at the Georgia Aquarium were obtained from Taiwan.

There is a ton to see here. We visited the aquarium for several hours and didn’t see everything. If your kids really like aquariums, this is an all day excursion.

Center for Civil and Human Rights

While not geared toward younger kids, the Center for Civil and Human Rights is a place that you should consider for tweens and teens. They are old enough to understand the background and ramifications of the civil rights movement and history since that time. My son enjoyed a couple sections, but given the style of the exhibits (and not much of a grasp of U.S. history at that point as an international adoptee), he wasn’t keen on it overall.

Still, kids from 10-17 should be able to get a lot out of the museum. One of my favorite (I guess?) parts was the lunch counter experience. You have to sit at the counter with your palms down, listening to people verbally assault you through the provided headphones. The purpose of this is to directly experience what the protesters did at the lunch counter sit-ins at Woolworth’s and other stores.

The World of Coca Cola

I have to admit…I approached this attraction with my cynical side on high alert. It was going to be one giant marketing scam, I just knew it. And it sorta was. But it was also my son’s favorite attraction after the Delta Flight Museum, go figure.

I suggest you walk into the World of Coca Cola with eyes wide open as to what it really is (i.e. an add for Coke that you willingly pay for). The kids will enjoy many parts, including the 3D film and maybe even the “secret recipe vault”. Just endure.

The best part comes at the end. You’ll get to try a ridiculous number of Coca Cola product flavors from around the world. I hardly ever drink soda, but this was rather fun. The Chilean Manzana Lift is the solid winner. Apple flavor and not too sweet. It’s about as good as it gets until you wander outside of the Coke and Pepsi world into craft soda.

Did you just pay $17 per person to try some soda. Yes, yes you did. But the kids had fun, and that’s what counts. At least that is what you’re going to need to tell yourself, as they will probably love this attraction 100x more than you.

Stone Mountain Park

This was one Atlanta attraction I was bummed to miss, but it simply didn’t fit well into our plans. Note that this recommendation doesn’t come from personal experience, but it has been highly recommended to me. It looks like a great choice based on the research I’ve done. The park is centered around a large stone monolith with a Confederate memorial engraved into the side. There are other attractions on the grounds, including a gondola ride to the summit and a railroad.

Unlike the other top Atlanta attractions for families, Stone Mountain Park is located a good distance from downtown Atlanta.  This was the main problem for us, as I’d need to rent a car to get there for the day.

I was still ready to do for our final day, but the cost and time factors sealed the deal. The whole park isn’t open on many weekdays. It would have cost us a $45 rental car, $15 parking, and $30 for tickets, and we wouldn’t have gotten to see or do most of what the park offers. It’ll have to be next time.

Honorable Mentions

I personally enjoyed the Center for Civil and Human Rights. My son wasn’t quite as thrilled. His English reading skills are still very poor, and anything that wasn’t interactive or a movie failed to capture his attention. I did my best to engage him and explain as much as I could through the museum. It was a unique experience trying to explain both the history and. If you do visit, make sure you and your older, mature kids experience the lunch counter.

We skipped the CNN Studio Tours, Atlanta SkyView and the College Football Hall of Fame. None of these really appealed to me. The Children’s Museum of Atlanta gets a mention as well, but the cost would be brutal for a family. It would be nice if they added visitor rates, as the current entry fees really push you toward a membership. Pretty useless for someone out of state, but not a bad deal if you live in Atlanta.

Conclusion

The best part about Altanta is that aside from Stone Mountain Park, all of these attractions are withing walking distance of plenty of hotels. You can easily get to any of them, or a couple of the others that didn’t make the top 5 things to do in Atlanta list, on foot. I highly recommend heading out to the airport as well to the Delta Flight Museum, which is another excellent area attraction. On the whole, we really liked Atlanta and would consider it again for a vacation.

The post 5 Best Things To Do In Atlanta For Families appeared first on TravelUpdate.

By: Family Flys Free
Title: 5 Best Things To Do In Atlanta For Families
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/5-best-things-to-do-in-atlanta-for-families/
Published Date: Wed, 09 Sep 2020 14:08:29 +0000

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Vacation

What is the longest layover you’ve had between flights?

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Flight connections are a fact of life and airline business models are built on the hub and spoke concept. When searching for flights online, usually the one with the longest layover is the cheapest.

Since people like to get where they are going as quickly as possible, the flights with short connections are more popular and therefore more expensive. After all, who likes sitting around in an airport terminal for fun?

Is This The Longest Layover?

In today’s topsy-turvy world, nothing is the same when comes to booking airline tickets. The new regime involves being patient as your flight bookings are cancelled and retimed, seemingly ad nauseum.

Qatar Airways switched some of my flights around for a forthcoming trip. This is no problem at all, however the fun thing is that this becomes my longest layover ever. Clocking in at 20 hours and 15 minutes, it will be quite a while in Doha Hamad International Airport.

Overnight Layovers In Airports

Twice in my life I have spent the night overnight in an airport. The first was in Los Angeles during a little mileage run, where I landed at LAX in the late evening and had a morning flight out. Not a lot of fun, as it was cold and dimly lit.



A better experience was in Stockholm Arlanda Airport last year. They have a 24 hour 7-11 open all night, plus there the lighting and heating is on, so I happily wiled away the hours listening to music between flights.

Overall Thoughts

With a new longest layover coming up, it will be something of an experience. I would usually consider four hours plus quite long, with 2 to 3 hours being the norm. It’s rare that I select an extremely short connection, such as the 45 minute ones offered in Amsterdam by KLM. I find that’s just asking for something to go wrong.

So, what is the longest layover you’ve experienced? Did you hit up an airport transit hotel or spend it in the terminal? Maybe that became a very long lounge visit? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Mr. Autthaporn Pradidpong via Unsplash.

By: The Flight Detective
Title: What is the longest layover you’ve had between flights?
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/longest-layover-between-flights/
Published Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2020 12:03:36 +0000

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Benefits of a Vacation Rental vs Hotel

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When planning a vacation, there are a few things to consider, such as airfare, food, travel items, and, most importantly, stay accommodations. When thinking of places to stay, your mind might automatically jump to a 5 star hotel once you reach your destination. However, vacation rentals are redefining and growing in popularity in the hospitality industry. When facing the problem of vacation rentals versus hotels, the decision may be easier than you initially imagined. There are many advantages to opting for a vacation rental that a traveler will not get when staying in a hotel. For your next vacation, rather than choosing a hotel with limited space and confined amenities, indulge yourself in a personalized vacation rental stay.

Vacation Rental vs Hotel

Ditch The Busy Hotel Crowds

If the goal for your next vacation stay is to relax, it might be a good idea to choose a vacation rental over a hotel. Larger hotels are notorious for their busy crowds. These historically congested properties may lead to a pool filled with a hundred people, other vacation goers’ unsupervised children running down the halls, or the room next door creating a noisy disturbance in the middle of the night. Moreover, these irritants generally do not apply to vacation rentals. Opt for a vacation rental that can provide you with the privacy and peaceful vacation that you deserve. Long gone are the days of crowded elevators and overwhelming lobbies.

Customize Your Personalized Experience With A Vacation Rental

Many hotels typically have an activities director who is responsible for coordinating and scheduling meal times and/or events of the day. While this may be attractive for travelers who have a more laissez-faire planning approach, vacation rentals provide guests with the opportunity to personalize their experience completely. When residing at a hotel, a guest does not have a say in when meals are served, operation hours for fitness facilities, or even when the pool closes. Conversely, when staying in a vacation rental, YOU are the boss. Want to go for a midnight swim? Go for it. Want to have breakfast for dinner? Sounds perfect! Staying in a vacation rental allows you to customize the vacation that best suits you.

Your Vacation Rental Is Your “Home Away From Home”

There is no denying it; hotels offer an up-scale luxurious experience. However, they lack the space necessary for vacation goers to spread out and relax. Vacation rentals combine the best of both worlds, sporting a combination of luxurious elegance and a homey ambiance. Furthermore, vacation homes provide guests with all of the amenities of home, such as full-sized appliances, a state of the art kitchen, a spacious living room, and more, while also offering breathtaking waterfront views of Miami and gorgeous outdoor living spaces.

Vacation Rentals Are More Ideal For Small Groups

Although hotels have the capacity to accommodate those traveling in groups, the experience can, at times, be far from seamless. During your hotel stay, you risk the chance that members of your party are placed on different floors at opposite ends of the building, limiting your group’s quality bonding time. Meanwhile, vacation rentals provide parties with their individual rooms and easily accessible common areas, perfect for socializing.

Have More Space At Your Miami Vacation Rental

A cramped is less than ideal for many travelers. In the United States, the average hotel room is only 330 square feet. Although this may not seem too bad for a brief stay, four or more people sleeping in the room and luggage can quickly make the room feel tight. Instead, opt for Luxury Rentals Miami and give yourself the space to spread out and relax on your next vacation getaway.

The post Benefits of a Vacation Rental vs Hotel appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.

By: Marina Villatoro
Title: Benefits of a Vacation Rental vs Hotel
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/L_0UjijarpI/benefits-of-a-vacation-rental-vs-hotel.html
Published Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2020 16:29:28 +0000

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6 Amazing Places to Visit in Montana and How to Do It

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Montana is one of those destinations that would be great for anyone who enjoys spending most of their time outdoors. If you are an adventurous soul who wants to explore the natural beauty of the outdoors, Montana has a lot in store for you. 

6 Amazing Places to Visit in Montana and How to Do It

Housing multiple national parks and extensive rural land, Montana will provide you with the best scenery and an abundance of wildlife. So, if you are looking for an unforgettable trip to the Big Sky Country, keep on reading to find out about 6 of the best locations you can go to in Montana.

6 Amazing Places to Visit in Montana 

1.  Great Falls

Due to it being in the very center of Montana, the Great Falls is one of the most popular destinations for tourists. The Great Falls, which is also known as the Electric City, can be a stopping point for you if you’re visiting nearby national parks or if you were simply near the middle of Montana. They’re a magnificent sight to behold and are certainly one that you won’t get bored of anytime soon. There are multiple routes that you can take when visiting the Great Falls. For example, you can walk along the Missouri River banks, or you can visit the Ryan Dam. Either way, you’ll have extensive knowledge about American history at the end of the day.

2.  Glacier National Park

if you want to start your trip visiting one of the most magical destinations of Montana, you’d better go to the wonderland that is the Glacier National Park. Nestled between British Columbia and Alberta, Glacier National park is one of the best destinations that you can start your trip with. It covers around 16,000 square miles and is the homeland for the Grizzly bear, the Canadian lynx, mountain bighorn sheep, and mountain goats. It is also known as the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem. If you’re more into hiking, you’ll be interested to know that there are various hiking trails, like Huckleberry Mountain Trail.

3.  Virginia City

If you want a throwback to a bygone era, Virginia City is the right destination for you. The historic town proudly displays its vintage houses, historic monuments, narrow railways, and cobblestone roads everywhere you look. It was also a commercial hub and the biggest town of the state, that is until the year 1875. Moreover, Virginia city is historically known for gold mining and it does attract travelers from every which way, especially those who like to relish in the medieval times. So, if you want to go back in history, and visit the Thompson Hickman Museum, Virginia city is your destination.

4.  Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park

Montana is filled with natural parks all around, but there aren’t that many cave parks around that feature one of the best sceneries and interesting topography. Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park is a hotspot for tourists, as it features a number of caves, astounding formations of stalactite and stalagmite as well as pillars. There you can enjoy taking a guided walk and take as many photos as you want. You can also enjoy a picnic or go canoeing to see the wildlife there. You can also visit the Heritage Museum or pay a visit to the nearby Headwater State Park.

5.  Helena

Of course, you can’t go to Montana without visiting its capital city. Helena is also another location which also attracts a large number of tourists. Though it is more modern than Virginia city, Helena still has a historic aura to it, which you’ll find evident in historic-modern monuments and buildings. You can take tours through the city or trek your way to the Mountain Gates of Mississippi River. 

6 Amazing Places to Visit in Montana and How to Do It

There are also a number of interesting destinations, such as the Cathedral of Saint Helena, Mount Helena Park, and Montana State Capitol. The Montana Historical Society museum is another interesting location for history geeks, as it exhibits artifacts both modern and historic.

6.  Whitefish

If you ever find yourself in Kalispell or the Glacier National Park, then you must definitely go to the beautiful Whitefish resort in the north. Due to a glacier activity, Whitefish was created in the Flathead Valley. It is also surrounded by freshwater, which means you’ll get to see a breath-taking landscape of lakes and streams. Whitefish is one of the best destinations for anyone who likes to be about and about, as you’ll find a wealth of outdoor activities that you can enjoy.

Finding the best destinations in Montana isn’t that hard of a task, especially that you’ll have a large variety of options to choose from. Whether you want to enjoy the feel of the vibrant city, immerse yourself in old history, or enjoy some of that cowboy culture, Montana will be a perfect destination for your next trip. 

The post 6 Amazing Places to Visit in Montana and How to Do It appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.

By: Marina Villatoro
Title: 6 Amazing Places to Visit in Montana and How to Do It
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/XlZ1DdBKdrI/6-amazing-places-to-visit-in-montana-and-how-to-do-it.html
Published Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2020 14:49:24 +0000

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