5 destinations a short walk from your hotel

Welcome to downtown Atlanta, where the fun is just a short walk away.

A 15-minute walk from your convention hotel will take you to one of the best views of the city, a sea of underwater creatures and behind-the-scenes tours of two of America’s well-known brands. So put the cab fare back in your wallet, grab your comfortable shoes and start walking.

The SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel (168 Luckie St.) has a view of the Atlanta skyline from 200 feet up. SkyView opened in July and is Atlanta’s newest attraction.

A ride on the SkyView Farris Wheel at Centennial Park costs $13.50. Photo by Luke Rafferty

“The perspective on Centennial Olympic Park is one-of-a-kind,” SkyView Atlanta spokesman Jason Evans said. “The Centennial Olympic Park area has many cool attractions – the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, CNN Center, the [Olympic] park and the Olympic Rings fountain, and much more.”

Although typically a sight for carnivals, this Ferris wheel is settled at the southern end of Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta, only a half mile from the Marriott Marquis hotel.

The ride holds 42 climate-controlled gondolas with room for six passengers in each. Ticket prices are $13.50 for adults (Ages 13+), $12.15 for seniors (Ages 65+) and military, $8.50 for children (Ages 3-12) and free for children 2 and younger. One ride, which is four full rotations, is approximately 15 minutes.

VIP tickets, for $50 per person, allow you to skip the line, ride for twice as long and sit in a special VIP gondola that has a glass floor and leather seats. These VIP gondolas only hold 5

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Hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday noon to 10 p.m., Friday noon to 11 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

It’s an 11-min walk to the Georgia Aquarium (225 Baker St.), which houses more than 500 species, and tens of thousands more animals than any other aquarium, Georgia Aquarium’s Jenn Twitchell said.

“We are the only aquarium in the Western Hemisphere to have whale sharks, and we have four,” she said.

The aquarium, which has about 2 million visitors per year, is also about a half mile away from the Marriott Marquis. The basic admission ticket gives you access to all of the public exhibits, shows and galleries. The prices vary depending on the day but the adult ticket for the weekend of Oct. 16-20 ranges from $29.95 to $34.95, the senior ticket ranges from $25.95 to $28.95 and the child ticket ranges from $23.95 to $28.95, when purchasing online.

Hours of operation are Sunday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A tour of the World of Coca-Cola costs $16. Photo from

The World of Coca-Cola (121 Baker St.) is a museum of the beverage and brand’s history, just eight minutes walking distance from the Marriott Marquis.

Here you can taste more than 100 flavors of Coca-Cola from around the globe, see a fully-functioning bottling line, receive a free 8-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola, meet the Coca-Cola Polar Bear and see the vault that holds the secret formula.

Hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tickets stop being sold for entry at 5 p.m.

General admission tickets are $16 for adults (Ages 13+), $14 for seniors (Ages 65+), $12 for youth (Ages 3-12) and free for toddlers (Ages 0-2). Tickets can be purchased online or at a ticket window.

Centennial Olympic Park is an oasis of quite in downtown Atlanta. Photo by Luke Rafferty

Centennial Olympic Park, the largest downtown park in the country developed in the last 25 years, was built for the Centennial Olympic games in 1996 and now serves the local community with its Fountain of Rings, Googie Burger Diner, 575 trees, 30,000 shrubs and 330,000 square feet of grass.

The Fountain of Rings, which is the center of the Centennial Olympic Park, depicts the Olympic symbol of five interconnecting Rings and hosts a free show four times a day, 365 days a year. The times are at 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. The fountain is one of the most popular spots to take photos in Atlanta.

It’s a 10-min walk from the conference center to hit the edge of the park but a bus will take you to the heart of the park. Catch a 24-minute bus ride on the No. 1.

Tourists may see journalists in action at CNN from 9 to 5 daily. Photo by Luke Rafferty

The CNN Center is open to the public and entrance into the building is free. The 55-minute guided walking tours of CNN’s global headquarters depart approximately every 10 minutes. CNN is located at One CNN Center (use 190 Marietta St. for GPS directions).

For the Inside CNN Studio Tour, it is $15 for an adult ticket, $14 for seniors (Ages 65+), $14 for students, $12 for children (Ages 4-12). The tour hours are Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For the Inside CNN VIP Tour, get an exclusive behind-the-scenes experience with expanded access to the working studios of CNN Worldwide. This ticket costs $35 and the tour times are Monday through Saturday at 9:30 a.m., 11:10 a.m., 1:10 p.m. and 3:10 p.m.

While ONA 2013 takes over the Marriott Marquis, make sure to take some time to step outside and enjoy downtown Atlanta and all it has to offer. From Centennial Olympic Park to Coca-Cola World, there are while in Atlanta.

Long walks and destinations far flung. Fourth graders can meet the common core standards and demonstrate their mastery of this 21st century skill by using ipad screencasting apps to explain their silveressay.com thinking

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