Adventure Activities in Atlanta - Try if You Dare
1. Polish off a killer burger
Feel like testing your food-eating skills? Then head straight for a Super-Stack Heart Attack Burger. This massive, calorie-ridden pile of deliciousness is not for the faint of heart. Created at The Vortex Bar & Grill, this burger consists of two half-pound burger patties in between three grilled cheese sandwiches, layered with ten slices of bacon and piled high with eight slices of American cheese. This monstrosity is then topped with two fried eggs and slathered with a large helping of mayo. If that does not sound devilish enough for you -- make sure you save room for the extra large bowl of fries and tots caked in cheese that are served with the burger. At $25.95, we dare you to eat it all, and live to tell about it!
Make sure you bring your ID and a good sense of humor. The Vortex, established in 1992 in the Little 5 district, doesn't allow anyone under 18 through the doors. Smoking is allowed in certain areas of the restaurant, and the bar menu offers a wide variety of beer, wine and liquor. The Laughing Skull comedy club is attached and offers explanation to the restaurant's overall crude sense of humor and eclectic decor. If you're not quite up for the Super-Stack Heart Attack, try one of their salads, homemade soups or one of their more than 20 burger choices. Sirloin substitutions such as chicken, veggie and bison are also available. The Vortex opens at 11AM and stays open until midnight Sunday-Thursday, and until 3AM Friday & Saturday. Get there early: The Vortex doesn't take reservations.
Location: 438 Moreland Ave.
2. Compete on the concrete
Looking for a good way to burn off those burger calories? Try running in the world's largest 10K race. Held every Independence Day, the Peachtree Road Race is an Atlanta tradition. This 6.2 mile race is run by over 50,000 people every year. The first race was held in 1970 by the Atlanta Track Club and has grown every year since. Make sure you get there early -- the foot race begins promptly at 7:30AM by Lenox mall, and ends at Piedmont Park in Midtown where over 65,000 bottles of water are typically consumed.
Whether you're a well-trained running expert or an adventure-seeking college student with a hangover from the night before, as long as you're at least 10 years old and have $33, you too can run the race. Runners have been known to dress in everything from Nike and Under Armor to bikinis, Statue of Liberty costumes and American flags. The race is truly a celebration of America's independence with over 3,000 volunteers, thousands of supporters lining the streets to cheer and a grand prize of $15,000 for the winner. So, we dare you to run the Peachtree and beat the 2010 winning time of 27:56!
3. Climb a big mountain
If you still have energy after the race, try climbing Stone Mountain. The mountain is approximately 825 feet tall and covers 583 acres. The summit is 1,683 feet above sea level -- and when all is said and done, the journey is 1.3 miles to the top. On your way up, be sure to pay tribute to the mountain carvings of the three Confederate heroes of the Civil War: Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. There are plenty of rest stations, bathrooms and water fountains along the way to help see you through this task.
Admission into the general park area is free with a $10 parking voucher. This won't get you into all of the other attractions Stone Mountain has to offer, but it will get you on your way to the top of this beautiful Georgia mountain. For $27, you will gain access to other park attractions like the laser light show, museum, 4-D movie and more. Make sure to load up on souvenirs and dine at one of the many cafes or restaurants around the park. The gates open at 6AM every day and don't close until midnight.
Location: 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain
4. Swim with whale sharks
Add to your adventure activities in Atlanta by taking a swim or dive with the massive whale sharks at the Georgia Aquarium. The world's largest aquarium recently launched a new program called "Journey with Gentle Giants." Whale sharks are actually the world's largest fish -- not a shark at all. They can be as big as a whale, weighing an average of 20 tons, but their mouths are too small to eat anything besides plankton and small aquatic organisms. Stretching up to 32 feet long, these animals truly are gentle and maintain a docile temperament.
The adventure costs $225 for the swim, $325 for the scuba dive. A dive master will accompany you at all times on both the swim and dive in the Ocean Voyager tank. The tank itself contains thousands of species of fish and over 6 million gallons of water. The journey lasts around 2.5 hours, with around 30 minutes spent in the tank. Although you cannot feed or touch the animals in the tank, you will get very close to rare animals like the whale shark, zebra shark, sawfish, cownose rays and more.
You can also take a traditional visit to the aquarium any day of the year. The Georgia Aquarium features five huge galleries filled with aquatic life from all over the world, a 4-D movie theater and Planet Shark -- the world's largest out-of-water shark exhibition. Make sure to allot some time for nearby downtown attractions such as Centennial Olympic Park, The World of Coca-Cola Museum, the CNN Center and Phillips Arena.
Location: 225 Baker Street
5. Test your "Acrophobia"If it is a titillating experience you seek, we dare you to ride Acrophobia at Six Flags over Georgia. Imagine slowly climbing 20 stories high, being tilted 15 degrees forward and then staring straight down at the ground below. Suddenly, something snaps and you begin plummeting at speeds up to 65mph. There is nothing to grab, you are completely strapped in with only your feet flowing freely. Suddenly, you open your eyes and realize that your stomach has dislodged from your throat and you are only a couple feet away from the ground, safe and sound.
This 16-story free-falling drop is the only stand-up gyro tower in the United States. Daredevils rate this attraction at the top of the extreme thrill rides at the park. But, if free-fall isn't your thing, there are plenty of other heart-pounding, brain-shaking rides to choose from. Try the Superman -- three intense minutes of face-first speed flying just like Clark Kent himself.
Tickets range from $29.99 online to $44.99 at the gate. There are plenty of shops, restaurants and shows to see while you are in this part of Atlanta, Georgia. So, come prepared for a full day of fun, laughter and adventure.
Location: 275 Riverside Parkway, Austell, GA 30168
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