5 Best Photo Opportunities in Atlanta

Photo Opportunities Atlanta

Lee Van Grack

Atlanta, Ga. has lots of things to see and do and photograph. Here is a list of my top five picks.

1. The Romantic Photo: Stone Mountain

If you are looking for the most romantic place in or around the city of Atlanta, it is going to be hard to beat the Gondola Ride at Stone Mountain Park. The solitude of this ride is utterly stunning and the breathtaking view is quite a contrast to the cold steel of the city. Most people in Atlanta overlook this fantastic little getaway that is so close to home. There is a theme park of sorts here and you can do lots of things in the old-time village that dates back to another place in time. The opportunity for great photography here in the park is endless. From the granite carvings on the mountain to the majestic views looking west towards the city skyline, you will be hard pressed to take a bad photo. There is no better place to steal a loving kiss or to get down on one knee and ask for her hand in marriage.

You can get to Stone Mountain Park by driving East from the heart of the city on U.S. Highway 78 and getting off at Exit 8. You will be glad that you did.

2. The Quirky Photo: The Big Chicken

If you are in or around the area of Atlanta, Georgia and you are looking for a one-of-a-kind photo opportunity, then you must go into the suburb of Marietta and seek out the "Big Chicken." This is a rather large and metallic landmark that has become almost as famous as the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben or the Empire State building! Make sure to watch the chicken's mouth for just a moment or two, for it does actually open and close. Tourists are often seen stopping and taking photos next to the building, which began as an advertising campaign for its original owner, Johnny Reb's Chick, Chuck and Steak. It's really hard to miss this chicken; after all it measures some 56 feet in height. People use it to give directions and even pilots use it as a frame of reference around here.

You reach this Atlanta steel staple by going north on Highway 41 (which is also called Cobb Parkway as you get into Marietta).

3. The Family Fun Photo: Six Flags Amusement Park

If you are looking for a family get together unlike anything else you are likely to find close to the city of Atlanta, you simply have to visit Six Flags Over Georgia. Here you can experience the heart-pounding rush of a roller-coaster ride or simply relax with the youngsters on a nice slow-moving merry-go-round. There is music and food galore and everything that your palate or heart might desire can be found inside the 100-acre confines of the park. There are water rides, too, and concerts featuring the top names in music, plus all sorts of special events geared toward a family-friendly fun time out in the sun. Photo opportunities in this amusement park in Atlanta come around every turn. There are even theme-park characters walking around the park just begging to be in your family photos.

Six Flags is actually located in the suburb of Austell and is easy to get to by simply heading west on Interstate 20 toward Alabama. You can also take the local public transportation known as Marta to the park, but you would be best advised to avoid being on the trains in the city of Atlanta from 6AM to 10AM and from 4PM until 7PM, because rush hour here is not nearly as fun as the park.

Tip: For the best values, buy your tickets online whether they are day passes, season passes or combo deals.

4. The Scenic Photo: Lake Sidney Lanier

If you are looking to get away to a lovely panoramic place to enjoy a sunset and some quiet time with yourself or a loved one, you can find that spot at Lake Sidney Lanier. Known as Lake Lanier to the locals, it is only about 20 minutes up Interstate 85. This large man-made lake extends from the area around the city of Buford and the Buford Dam up beyond the city of Gainesville. It offers lots of water sports and fishing and plenty of quiet and stunning natural aquatic beauty. Some of your best photographs on the lake will be taken from the Gainesville area around sunset, so make sure to plan to be there then.

5. The Classic Photo: Underground Atlanta

One of the most classic spots in the city of Atlanta is known as "Underground Atlanta," located on Upper Alabama Street. This area held historic significance in the Civil War as the central railroad supply area for the Confederacy and has continued to play a pivotal role in the city of Atlanta to this very day. You can enjoy family dining and entertainment and even go on a guided tour to learn more about the history of the place. If you are there in the heat of summer, stop by Rita's and get yourself an ice custard. Your taste buds will thank you. If you are looking to get your absolute best photo opportunities in this part of Atlanta, you should come here on New Year's Eve for the Peach Drop. At midnight each year the city drops a peach, the symbol of Atlanta. There are national music acts on hand, local food and tons of fireworks.
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