Oh Georgia: Market Team 3 heads to Atlanta

We are now halfway through the Verizon Street Team Tour 2011 and embarking on our third market--Atlanta, Georgia. We received a week off in between Oklahoma City and Atlanta to fly home to see our families (more to come) but spent our first few days back in "Hotlanta" to explore the normal tourist attractions...

We ventured through downtown from Buckhead via the city's public transportation system, MARTA. I must say it feels really good to be back in a largely populated city and one with public transit. We started our trip by taking a peep at the overrated Underground attraction of outdated shops and boutiques downtown.
As you can tell by my negative adjectives the "Underground" is not a must-see when visiting Atlanta. In fact, if you miss it...you're probably better off. It has a great deal of history being that in the 1800s they actually had an "underground," however all the shops/buildings have all been bulldozed, renovated and run down by 2011.
(Casey loves penguins. Penguins love Casey. This picture could not be any cuter). 

Our next stop was the Georgia Aquarium also known as the "World's Largest Aquarium." Although we knew it was a record-breaking aquarium we didn't even think to purchase tickets in advance as we approached the large venue only to be greeted by lines-on-lines. Granted we made our way to the Georgia Aquarium on a Saturday, big mistake, but you literally had to buy tickets for a certain time to enter and then people were waiting for hours in the heat and humidity for "their time" to get into the aquarium. Luckily, we took in the view and decided to save our visit for Monday...hoping that one of Georgia's biggest tourists attractions would be less crowded on weekday afternoon.

It was well worth the wait as we walked right in on Monday with our prepaid tickets to the Georgia Aquarium. About 25 bucks a pop, we opted for general admission and did not proceed to pay an extra $12.50 for the AT&T Dolphin Tales show in addition to extra sponsorships to 3D movies and more. Seriously, this joint must be raking in the dough as the exterior looks extremely large, but once you enter it's not as big as it's made out to be and every exhibit or "section" is sponsored by one of the local Fortune 500 companies. The venue is a gentle giant filled with amazing features from the infamous beluga whales, charasmatic sea otters, whale sharks (largest shipment made by UPS) and of course Casey's favorite...penguins.
(We fell victim to the souvenir photo)
Overall, it was worth the money to see creatures you may fear to encounter or may never get the chance to encounter in the wild. Although pricey and a "touristy" attraction it was well worth the wait and worth the visit.

RECOMMENDATION: Our only advice that we would echo once again is that you should definitely go on a WEEKDAY. If you attend on the weekend without purchasing your tickets in advance then be prepared to wait for a couple of hours. In addition, if you have the extra money splurge on the "Journey with Gentle Giants Program" where you get to dive with the whale sharks, receive training, equipment, souvenir photo and it includes admission to the aquarium! This is definitely on my "to-do list" before I leave Atlanta.

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