Atlanta, Georgia audio tour: Atlanta Walking Tour: A Guide to Centennial Olympic Park and Pemberton Place

Atlanta Walking Tour: A Guide to Centennial Olympic Park and Pemberton Place

Walking Tour

|
75 mins
|
1.5mi

About the Tour

Relive the glory days of Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park on a walking tour covering the history of the world-famous sporting event.

Starting in front of the park’s Olympic Rings sculpture, you’ll hear about the significance behind these iconic colorful rings. You’ll then waltz through the park, passing five small plazas known as quilts, and find out how the city came to host the 1996 Summer games. At the Quilt of Origins, I’ll show you the artwork that protected park-goers from a bomb.

From the quilts, you’ll stroll to Pemberton Place, tourist ground zero. There, you'll get insight into how Atlanta became the genesis of the Civil Rights Movement and learn about the bizarre beginnings of the most famous soft drink in the world. Within a 3-minute walk, I’ll show you the World of Coca-Cola, the Georgia Aquarium, and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, which is the top-ranked Atlanta attraction on Tripadvisor.

Next, you'll take in some of downtown Atlanta’s iconic sites, from Skyview Atlanta (our signature Ferris Wheel) and the marquee of The Tabernacle, a popular concert hall, to the impressive Westin Peachtree Plaza which is just a stone’s throw from where the tour wraps up. There, you’ll hear about Ted Turner, the founder of Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, and CNN, and his lasting impact on the city.

By the end of this tour, you'll be able to answer such burning questions as:

• Why were the Atlanta Olympics such a success?
• Who was Richard Jewell and what role did he play in the Centennial Park bombing?
• What makes the Georgia Aquarium the top rated aquarium in the country?
• Did Coca-Cola really contain traces of...ehem...illegal drugs?
• How did Atlanta native Martin Luther King Jr., spur an entire movement that changed the world?

Come and experience the park and its surrounds for yourself, and discover why it’s the top of every traveler’s Atlanta bucket list!

Please note: Centennial Park closes at 7pm nightly, so it's preferable to start the tour no later than 5pm to prevent being locked in!

Tour Producer

avatar

Phil Biedron

Hello I'm Phil. A Chicagoan by way of Los Angeles and now in Atlanta. In addition to hosting tours, I am also a working actor; probably on some shows you have seen!
Contact me at [email protected]

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Major Landmarks

  • Centennial Olympic Park

  • Olympic rings

  • Olympic Rings

  • Quilt of Origins

  • Quilt of Nations

  • Pemberton Place

  • World of Coca-Cola

  • National Center for Civil and Human Rights

  • Georgia Aquarium

  • Fountain of Rings

  • SkyView Atlanta

  • Tabernacle

  • Ted Turner Statue

  • The Westin Peachtree Plaza

  • Atlanta

Directions to Starting Point

The tour begins right in front of the Olympic Rings, at the intersection of Andrew Young and Centennial Olympic Park.

The Atlanta streetcar will drop you off right at the entrance. It's only $1 to ride and you won't have to deal with parking. Otherwise, its a ten minute walk from the MARTA Peachtree Center Station.

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Tips

Places to stop along the way

You should take the Atlanta streetcar just for the fun of it. It forms a 2.5 mile loop and it brings you to the King District, where you can visit the MLK birth home and Ebenezer Baptist Church.
If you have never tried bison meat, what better place to go than Ted's Montana Grill?
Switchyards is a members only workspace, but if you have an in, please check it out. Yes, it's Atlanta's only subterranean ping pong stadium. Do with that information what you will.
The Coca-Cola secret vault can only be accessed with price of admission to the World of Coca-Cola, but it's certainly a highlight.
Lastly, try to score yourself some ice cream. The ATL-based King of Pops roams around and their treats are worth every penny.

Best time of day

It's easier to view the monuments and hard to read etches in the daytime hours. Plus, this is when all the museums will be open. If you chose to do the tour at night, you will be treated to a brilliant skyline.

Note: Centennial Park closes at 7pm nightly, so it's preferable to start the tour no later than 5pm to prevent being locked in!

Precautions

Just like any tourist attraction in a major city, people will try to sell you things or ask for money. I suggest you politely decline while taking the tour.
Atlanta gets notoriously hot and humid in the summertime. Bring sunscreen and a water of bottle. If you don't mind getting your clothes wet, you can splash around in the Fountain of Rings!

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Atlanta Walking Tour: A Guide to Centennial Olympic Park and Pemberton Place