Connecting with Nature in Atlanta

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Connecting with Nature in Atlanta
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If you’re a nature lover or want to cultivate the love of nature in your children, Atlanta offers some of the nation’s best world-class destinations to do just that. 

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If you’re a nature lover or want to cultivate the love of nature in your children, Atlanta offers some of the nation’s best world-class destinations to do just that. 

The Georgia Aquarium contains more than 10 million gallons of water. In fact, it is the largest Aquarium in the world and houses thousands of animal species including African Penguins, California Sea Lions, Whale Sharks, and more.

Georgia Aquarium is a scientific institution that entertains and educates, offering engaging and educational guest experiences that promote the conservation of aquatic biodiversity throughout the world. As a leader in aquatic research and animal care, the Aquarium is dedicated to fostering a deeper appreciation for our ocean and the animals that call it home. 

The range of programs offered to guests include instructor led tours, self-guided general admission, animal encounters, swim and dive opportunities, behind the seas tours, shows and presentations.

  • Animal Encounters: Shark & Ray Interaction, Dolphin Encounter, Penguin Encounter, Sea Otter Encounter, Sea Lion Encounter, Seal Encounter, Beluga Interaction, and Sea Lions Up Close Program.
  • Swim & Dive: Shark Cage Dive, Swim with Gentle Giants, Dive with Gentle Giants, and Rebreather Dive Program.
  • Behind the Seas Tour: Get a backstage look at the most popular exhibits. You’ll come closer than ever before to the animal inhabitants with visits to the topside of the galleries.
  • Shows & Presentations: Dolphin Presentation, 4D Theater, Waddle Walk, Under the Boardwalk, and Virtual Reality Simulator.

Can’t make it to Atlanta in person or just prefer to stay home? The Georgia Aquarium offers a host of virtual options. Watch Southern Sea Otters, Piranhas, Jellyfish, or other exhibits on their website through a live webcam. Or, sit back and enjoy guided virtual tours through the Aquarium’s galleries and behind the scenes areas. They currently offer three virtual tours: Ocean Voyager, Southern Company River Scout, and Behind the Seas.

Visit for more information on these tours, tickets, online activities, and more.

Enjoy more animal encounters at Zoo Atlanta, home to more than 1,000 animals representing more than 200 species including some of the world’s rarest species. Only four zoos in the U.S. house the rare giant panda and at Zoo Atlanta, you can see the only twin giant panda’s in the U.S.  Zoo Atlanta is also home to a renowned population of reptiles and amphibians including the Guatemalan bearded lizard – one of the world’s rarest lizard species.  The African Savanna is home to American elephants, giraffes, zebras and more and the Zoo Atlanta is home to the largest population of great apes in the U.S. including gorillas and orangutans. 

Visitor tip: The best time to visit is in the morning or during scheduled feedings when the Zoos animals are more active and visible.

Check out the Panda cam online at

Conservation and research is an integral part of Zoo Atlanta’s mission. Scientists at Zoo Atlanta lead research efforts involving animals housed at the Zoo as well as animals in the wild. Their scientists collaborate with scientists around the world and their research contributes to our knowledge of life on Earth as well as protecting the zoo population’s counterparts in the wild. 

Experiences available at Zoo Atlanta include Giraffe Feedings and behind-the-scenes experiences with some of the zoo’s wildest residents including elephants, lions and the Aldabra Tortoise.

Visit for more information.

A trip to Atlanta to enjoy nature wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Atlanta Botanical Garden, located in the heart of Midtown.  The Garden includes 30 acres of outdoor gardens, an award-winning Children’s Garden, the serene Storza Woods highlighted by a unique Canopy Walk, and the picturesque Skyline Garden.  From November 14 through January 16, enjoy Garden Lights, Holiday Nights – an electrical spectacle including Nature’s Wonders, the world’s largest choreographed curtain of light and sound.   Visit for more information.

Richard Carlson