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Salon 2011 Atlanta: A Southern destination by Kim Dokka, Salon Host 2011

When one asks himself, “Why would I want to come to Atlanta?” This is what I would say: The mystique of the South lies in a combination of tradition, architecture, charm, and gentle hospitality. We as Atlantans have a lot of good old Southern Hospitality to offer any visitor coming to our city. Atlanta is the capitol city of Georgia and in 1996 our city hosted the Summer Olympics. This would forever change the face of Atlanta making it an International destination. We are the financial capitol of the South and World Headquarters to some of the largest corporations in the world such as Coca-Cola. Atlanta offers many attractions with several of them within the vicinity of our Salon 2011 venue, Atlantic Station. There is so much to do in this culturally diverse city it will be hard to decide what to do first. To help you narrow it down, I’ve listed the top 20 things to do while visiting Atlanta. 
• Atlantic Station: The Venue for Salon 2011 is the national model for smart growth and sustainable development. Picture a community with unsurpassed architectural quality, a fusion of functionality and finesse that combines an attractive mix of affordable & up-scale housing with world-class restaurants, theaters, and retailers. Providing homes for 10,000 people, employment opportunities for 30,000, with shopping and entertainment for millions more, this 24-hour community will buzz with pedestrian traffic on its wide boulevards and the crowd of people in the sidewalk cafes and expansive parks. The result? A quality of life unmatched in the Southeast. 
• The Millennium Gate: A classically-styled monumental arch located inside Atlantic Station in Midtown Atlanta, historically called "The Gate City." The Gate is designed in the tradition of classical Roman triumphal arches that have been built around the world over the past 2,500 years. The Gate houses a 12,000 square foot museum that narrates Georgia's and Atlanta's history through interactive technology, film, period rooms, and exhibitions. 
• The Cyclorama: The Battle of Atlanta 1864, is said to be the largest panoramic mural known. In 1885-86 The Cyclorama of the Battle of Atlanta was painted in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the studios of the American Panorama Company. In 1886 the completed painting was 50 feet high, 400 feet long, and weighed more than 9,000 pounds. Today the painting now measures 42 feet x 358 feet – and is still the largest oil painting in the world. 
• High Museum of Art: Atlanta landmark housing a superb collection of European, American, African, contemporary and decorative art as well as special exhibitions. 
• Carlos Museum: Has grown to become one of the Southeast's premier art museums with major collections of art objects from ancient Egypt, Nubia, Near East, Greece, Rome, ancient Americas, Africa, and Asia, as well as a collection of works on paper from the Renaissance to the present. 
• The Georgia Aquarium: The largest in the World with over 8 million gallons of water. It is one of the top Atlanta attractions, right in the heart of downtown. 
• World of Coke: The World of Coca-Cola is the only place where you can explore the complete story of the world's best known brand! Taste over 60 different beverages from around the globe. See a fully-functioning bottling line and take home a FREE 8-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola®. See the world's largest collection of Coke memorabilia. View works by artists such as Steve Penley, Haddon Sundblom and Howard Finster in our Pop Culture Gallery. 
• Margaret Mitchell House: Where she wrote“Gone With the Wind” published in June 1936. Mitchell was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her sweeping novel the following May. It was made into an equally famous motion picture starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. The movie had its world premiere at the Loew’s Grand Theater in Atlanta December 15, 1939. 
• Woodruff Arts Center: Atlanta Symphony, Alliance Theater and Young Audiences all next to the High Museum. 
• Martin Luther King Center: Established in 1968 by Coretta Scott King, The King Center is the official living memorial dedicated to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 
• The Carter Center: Founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production. 
• CNN Studios: Journey into the heart of CNN Worldwide for an exciting glimpse of news and broadcasting in action! The Inside CNN Studio Tour takes you behind the scenes of the Global Headquarters. 
• The National Museum of Patriotism: The only museum of its kind in America and the leading authority on America's Patriotism. 
• Atlanta Botanical Garden: A 30 acre (12 hectare) botanical garden located adjacent to Piedmont Park in Midtown. 
• Piedmont Park: A 189 acre park located in Midtown. 
• Atlanta History Center: Award winning exhibitions, museums, historic houses and gardens on the unique campus at the Atlanta History Center. 
• Fernbank Museum of Natural History: Atlanta's home to dinosaurs! Come face to face with the world's largest dinosaurs; discover Georgia's natural history. 
• Stone Mountain State Park: Just 15 minutes from downtown Atlanta and home to the world's largest piece of exposed granite, this natural wonderland offers 3,200 acres of excitement for every member of the family.  
• Underground Atlanta: The Viaducts Create A "City Beneath The Streets." During the 1920's, construction of the concrete "viaducts" elevated the street system one level to permit a better flow of traffic. Merchants moved their operations to the second floor, leaving the old fronts for storage and service. Thus, giving birth to what is now Underground Atlanta. 
• Wren’s Nest: The Wren's Nest is the home of Joel Chandler Harris, Uncle Remus, and Brer Rabbit. Harris lived in this Queen Anne Victorian from 1881 to 1908 and penned many of the Brer Rabbit tales on the front porch. 
• Prince of Wales' Olympics Monument: A gift to the city located in Midtown.
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