I recently took a trip to Atlanta as an early birthday celebration. I traveled to Atlanta for a family reunion a few years ago, but this trip was completely different. I was able to make my own itinerary. Atlanta is a city full of rich history and entertainment. With that said, there were quite a few things I wanted to do while visiting. Below you will find the attractions I visited while in Atlanta.
Updated to add Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
Underground Atlanta: Well, this has been around for an extremely long time. I’d have to say this was the least favorite attraction I went to. All of the clothing stores seemed to have the exact same products. The prices didn’t really vary between the stores either Not to mention, there was an unexplained stench. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this place for a must-do attraction, but if you’re looking to purchase trendy clothing, this may be a place you want to go to.
Centennial Olympic Park: This park is amazing. It’s crazy to think of all the exciting things that happened there in 1996. Before the park was built, it was considered to be the rundown part of downtown. There are no remnants of that now whatsoever. It’s well-kept and a great place for families. I’d recommend visiting this park!
Atlanta History Center: This Center was pretty interesting. There were several rooms dedicated to different eras. Each room has a ton of information that I had no idea about. I learned a lot about Atlanta from this center. The only thing I didn’t like about the center was that some of the displays were recreations. Although I know it may be difficult to obtain real artifacts, I think using recreations take away from the purity of the display. The biggest and most elaborate exhibition is the Turning Point: The American Civil War. For obvious reasons, it was a lot to take in. However, I gained a lot of insight on how this war was fought. The center also had to a nature trail that led to a playhouse, gardens and old houses. The Swan House, an old mansion, was simply beautiful. The yard leading up to the home was well-kept. I would recommend visiting the Atlanta History Center mainly because it’s nice to be educated on the places you visit.
Six Flags: Well, let’s just say that it wasn’t what I expected. It was packed, and the lines were significantly long. We got on all the major coasters except the Goliath. I would have to say that the Superman coaster was one of the best rides I’ve been on. It was awesome! The food offered at the park was absolutely ridiculous. Every restaurant offered the same things. There was no variety whatsoever. The park I think was a bit dated, but overall I had a good time because I am a roller coaster junkie. However, I must say some of the rides need better restraints. My head was shaking pretty bad on a few of them. If you like theme parks, do check it out. However, make sure you eat before.
Margaret Mitchell House: This a pretty neat museum. I learned a lot about Margaret Mitchell, and what she stood for. I thought it was really commendable on how well her apartment was kept. The museum did a really good job preserving it, and allowing visitors to get a glimpse at how she lived, and where she wrote Gone with the Wind. If you’ve read Gone With the Wind or watched the movie, I would recommend visiting this attraction. You’ll definitely take a lot from it.
Georgia Aquarium: This aquarium was amazing! I absolutely loved it! All the tanks were clean and full of beautiful fish. I’ve never seen Beluga Whales or Whale Sharks, and low and behold, they had them on display. I saw a lot of species of fish I’ve never seen or heard of. There were several opportunities to get close to some of the animals, which included stations that allowed visitors to touch some of the species of fish. A dolphin show was included in our admission. Let’s just say that I was completely amazed at the things the dolphins did. The dolphins were trained to do some amazing tricks! It was wonderful show. This aquarium definitely lives up to its reputation. It’s the best one I’ve ever been to. The Georgia Aquarium was my most favorite attraction I visited while in Atlanta. I would highly recommend visiting!
Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site : Although I did not visit the site on my last visit to Atlanta, this is a must-do while in Atlanta. I learned so much about him while visiting here. It was a very amazing and humbling experience. He fought so hard for equality, and endured so much throughout his life. The MLK Jr. National Historic Site gives visitors a very vivid look at his life, and all that he’s done. It also reminds us of the injustices people faced, and had to overcome so that people of all backgrounds could live (more) freely today. This site will leave you informed and enlightened. It’s very tantalizing; it will heighten a lot of emotions.
I was born and raised in Florida, so I think I am well-versed in my Southern cuisine. Some may argue that Florida shouldn’t really be considered Southern in nature, but I begs to differ.
Although, I was born in the South, I must say that I am a bit picky when it comes to certain foods that are of Southern decent, e.g. grits. I haven’t always liked grits, and that’s mainly because I am weird when it comes to different food textures. However, over time, I’ve become very fond of grits. And I absolutely love fish & grits and shrimp & grits. Whenever the opportunity presents itself for me to order this meal, I will rise to the occasion.
Needless to say, I just had to order the shrimp & grits at Jonah’s Fish & Grits. Although I haven’t eaten grits for an extremely long time, I am quite aware of when I get bad batch. That seems to happen a lot when dining out. Grits, like rice, is easy to prepare, but for many, it’s hard to master. I was skeptical, but after reading the description, I knew that is what I wanted.
This dish did not fail; it was so good! My Mom is an amazing cook, but I have to say that Jonah’s shrimp and grits was just about as good as hers. It pains me to say, but it’s the truth. The entrée was a mixture of sautéed shrimp, cheese grits, and vegetables, and it was served with a homemade hushpuppy, which was also really good. The serving size was perfect, and very filling.
Our server was nice, and helpful. I wasn’t asked if I wanted another coffee. That kind of erked me, but other than that the service was decent.
The restaurant is small, and set up like a cafe. It doesn’t really have a personal atmosphere. It’s perfect for lunch with the coworkers, or a quick meetup with a friend. I definitely recommend this restaurant, and the shrimp & grits!
I like cafes and diners more than other types of restaurants. So, with that said, Ruben’s Cubans Cafe’s atmosphere was something I really appreciated and enjoyed.
Now, I’ve mentioned before that I don’t eat pork or beef. As usual, I was worried about finding something on the menu that I could eat. Fortunately, I found something and I found it quickly. I ordered the breaded grouper with yellow rice, plantanos and a side salad. The meals were also served with Cuban bread.
This was my first time trying grouper, and I was so pleased with the taste. It was well seasoned, breaded and fried. The yellow rice was fluffy and well-prepared. The plantanos were fresh and fried just right, which allowed it to be full of flavor. They were quite tasty! I am a huge bread eater. Needless to say, I indulged in the Cuban bread that was toasted and buttered perfectly. My side salad was pretty mediocre; there was nothing special about it at all. As my beverage, I ordered a cafe con leche. That was the best one I’ve ever had. When my parents lived in Tampa years ago, my Mom would always go to Ruben’s Cubans for a cafe con leche, and now, I see why. I will go on to admit that since I was not paying, I took full advantage of the situation. I ordered an explosion milkshake with Oreos and Nutter Butters for dessert. It was so good!!! It tasted nothing like the milkshakes you get at fast food restaurants; it was ten times better!
Our server’s name was Natalie. She was very helpful and attentive to us. She smiled and cleaned away our dishes in a timely manner. She checked on us often, but wasn’t overbearing. Her service was awesome! All of the employees seemed to be very keen and focused on servicing the customers.
Overall, Ruben’s Cubans Cafe is a pretty decent restaurant. The service was great. The food was good. I would recommend this restaurant and plan on going again.