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Although we all long to cheer along at some certain summer games as a USA athlete claims the gold, the sky-high costs of getting to Rio will keep most of us away. Fortunately for all of us bound to the states, we can visit the beautiful relics of of the 1996 games in Atlanta. And what better time to revisit the ghost of greatness at Olympic Park than when the real games are in full swing, a continent away? Here’s what to do in Atlanta in August.

Plane, train or automobile — The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is so big it has its own zip code, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a flight in from wherever you’re roaming. With seven concourses, you’ll appreciate the decision you made to stay in Atlanta instead of trying to catch a connecting flight. Plus, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (or MARTA) frequently runs trains between the airport’s domestic terminal and the city for $2.50 a ride.


A stop on the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. Photo: Veggiefrog – Flickr.

Cheap, local transit — Relay, Atlanta’s bike-share program, just launched in June. It’s still getting off the ground — there are 100 bikes downtown, and they plan to have 500 across the city by the end of the year. But it’s a great option for your touring needs, especially since traffic is notoriously congested in the city and those Uber rides can really rack up. It’s $8 for an hour-long spin on the bikes. Turn to the MARTA for your other transportation needs.


Centennial Olympic Park

The fountains at Centennial Olympic Park. Photo: sporadic – Flickr.

Oggleat the Olympic Park — Atlanta turned a 21-acre chunk of the Olympic Park into the Centennial Olympic Park after the 1996 games. Twenty years later, an estimated 3 million people visit the park annually to see the fountain of Olympic rings and former stadiums. There are free events and festivals held throughout the year, like the Wednesday WindDown concert series and the Park Market. The 20th Anniversary Celebration was held in July, but there are still plenty of sights to be seen here nevertheless.

 World of Coca-Cola Museum.

A statue at the World of Coca-Cola Museum. Photo: Jenn Durfey – Flickr.

Check out the Coke — For the low, low price of $16, you can fully immerse yourself in the World of Coca-Cola. At the museum, you’ll find the vault holding the secret formula for Coke, and learn about the 125-year history of the beverage. You’ll even learn more about the Coca-Cola Polar Bear, and sample more than 100 Coca Cola beverages from around the globe.


Perch at the pub — While there are probably many bars and restaurants that will be streaming the Olympics for the full two weeks, there are also a plethora of organized viewing parties that would be worth your time to check out. Join Atlanta United FC to watch the U.S. Women’s Soccer team compete in the quarterfinals of the Olympics on Friday, Aug. 12 at Rí Ra Irish Pub.


Chill off with some coffee — We admit it, Atlanta is a little too close to the equator to be comfortable outside all day in August. But it’s cheaper this time of year, and you have things like the single-origin iced coffee at Dancing Goats Coffee Bar to cool you off. Dancing Goats has a couple locations, but try branching out to the one in Decatur. You’ll be happy you stopped in this sleepy commuter town, which boasts indie boutiques, live music and a much more relaxed vibe.

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