By: Alexandra Warren*
So you chose to attend Emory, congrats! Now it’s parents weekend. Your parents are in town and you want to share with them all of the exciting things Atlanta has to offer. (Maybe you even want to impress them by showing them how cultural you have become during your first few months at school.) Rest assured--Atlanta is a city that will not only impress your folks, but is offers a combination of fun activities mixed in with some southern culture.
Get Moving: Wake up early one morning, put on your cutest workout leggings and hiking sneakers and head on over to Stone Mountain for unbelievable views and a workout that will have you sore for days. Stone Mountain is a bit far from campus, but it’s an experience that is truly worth experiencing! I recommended, if your family is game, to hike the mountain early in the morning and watch the sunrise.
Tour: Feeling cultural? Check out two highly acclaimed tours: The Coca-Cola Factory and the CNN Tour. The World of Coca-Cola is a museum showcasing the history of the brand in unique and novel ways, including films, exhibits, and of course free samples of different beverages. The CNN Tour is an hour walking tour that is extremely popular, so make sure to purchase your tickets in advance. On the tour you will explore the headquarters of CNN and visit their newsrooms and studios. You can even create your own broadcast and ride up the world’s largest freestanding escalator. How cool! Some other cultural attractions include The Museum of Natural History, College Football Hall of Fame and the Center for Human Rights.
Flower Power: Are you a total nature freak? Atlanta is yet again the perfect city as the botanical gardens are gorgeous and showcase the true beauty of plant life. It is strongly encouraged to purchase tickets in advance.
Finding Nemo: If plants are not your thing, but you are an animal lover, Atlanta also has one of the best aquariums in the world. Your family will love the interactive exhibits, thousands of animals, live shows and more at the Georgia Aquarium. Again, be sure to purchase tickets in advance to avoid long lines.
Shop: Time to shop! The Lenox Square Mall is a high-end mall that certainly will not disappoint. Here you will find stores such as Apple, Bloomingdales, Zara and Saks and high-end designer stores such as Cartier, Fendi, Prada and so much more. The shopping here is a real treat. Another great shopping opportunity is the recently designed Atlanta Beltline. With awesome views, great restaurants and great boutiques, the Beltline is a scenic and is truly “where Atlanta comes together”.
On Campus: Last but certainly not least, show your parents where you have been residing the past few months. Take them on a tour of campus, show them the bookstore so they can stock up on Emory apparel and of course purchase the mandatory car decal. Introduce them to your friends, your RA, SA and all the other people you’ve met thus far. Show them the gym, the library, COX, and the DUC. Show them the beauty of Emory and even take them to some of your lectures, discussions and classrooms. If your daring enough, maybe introduce your parents to some of your professors, a perk that Emory has to offer since class sizes are generally pretty small and professors know their students by name.
*Alexandra Warren and her partner Sydney Hertz cofounded All Things Abroad their sophomore year at Emory during an aha moment planning for their own abroad trips. Their site is a go-to resource with a wealth of the latest information for students traveling, living and studying abroad.