“Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection.”
You only really need three reasons to visit Grant Park: lions, gorillas, and (oh yes) giant pandas. After a circus went bankrupt in Atlanta in 1889, the exotic animals were donated to the city and moved to vast Grant Park for safekeeping. Crowds flocked there to see the lions and camels, and Zoo Atlanta was born. As if pandas and 1,300 other rare beasts aren't enough, there's human history to explore here too. Grant Park's vintage 1929 Cyclorama is a 358-foot painted diorama that gradually reveals the dramatic story of the 1864 Battle of Atlanta. Few buildings survived the burning of Atlanta ordered by General Sherman, but Atlanta rebuilt rapidly and in grand style around Grant Park. Grant Park Historic District has Atlanta's oldest surviving homes, including lacy Queen Annes and hand-carved Craftsman bungalows along Grant Street. The city's oldest burial ground is just north of Grant Park at gargoyle-bedecked Oakland Cemetery, with a fan shrine for golf legend Bobby Jones and special sections for Jewish Atlantans, Confederate soldiers, and slaves. Afterwards, contemplate the great beyond over catfish and beer at neighboring Six Feet Under bar and grill, and enjoy an Octane coffee pour-over strong enough to wake the dead.