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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a manta ray? A Day at the World’s Largest Aquarium

- Cristina

I can easily count the perks of being an Amtrak employee’s daughter on one hand, but the best of the few is undoubtedly the free cross-country train trip that my family gets every five years. (The other perk, in case you were wondering, is a free lifetime train pass. Not terribly impressive, I know.) Although I have been on only three of these trips, I have seen most of the fifty States and have been to some of the most incredible cities in the country, with one of my absolute favorites among them being Atlanta.

Atlanta, Georgia is a beautiful, sprawling city that combines the warmth (and humidity) and charm of the South with all the bustling excitement of a large urban city. Although my family only spent two nights there, I was fortunate enough to pay the Georgia Aquarium a visit. ‘What’s so special about an aquarium?’ you might ask. Well, the Georgia Aquarium is big. Really big. In fact, it’s the largest aquarium—not only in the United States, but in the entire world!

Conveniently located in downtown Atlanta, the 10 million gallon wonder is just a quick cab ride or walk from some of Atlanta’s more popular hotels. The aquarium has several exhibits and galleries, such as the Ocean Voyager, a 6.3 million gallon exhibit with an amazing variety of sea life, a 100-foot-long underwater tunnel and other impressive features. During my visit, I got the chance to experience Titanic: Aquatic, a limited exhibition that offered a rare peek into life on the Titanic via a display of authentic artifacts salvaged from the remnants of the ship itself. While that particular exhibit is no longer open, there is absolutely no shortage of sights to see and activities to do at the Georgia Aquarium!

Nothing makes you feel quite as small as an underwater tunnel. Georgia Aquarium's huge underwater tunnel exhibits hold millions of gallons of water and thousands of species of sea life, including--you guessed it--manta rays!

Just like its aquarium, the city of Atlanta is huge and has something for everyone. I can only hope that I’ll have the chance to return and experience everything else that it has to offer.

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