Convention: Car-free Atlanta

From the July 2016 issue of The Rotarian

With a sprawling metro area, Atlanta gets a bad rap for its traffic. But the city’s downtown is home to a variety of pedestrian-friendly attractions, so when you’re in town from 10 to 14 June for the 2017 Rotary International Convention, a little curiosity is all the fuel you’ll need.

Walk out front of the Georgia World Congress Center, the convention’s home base, and you’ll practically stumble into CNN Center, the birthplace of 24-hour TV news. CNN studio tours last about 50 minutes and offer a behind-the-scenes look into broadcasting.

Across the street, soak up some sun at Centennial Olympic Park. Once the central gathering place for the 1996 Olympic Games, the park is now a great place to check out a free water show at the Fountain of Rings, one of the most photographed landmarks in Georgia. Nearby is the World of Coca-Cola, where you can sample more than 100 drinks from around the world, and the Center for Civil and Human Rights, where you can view the personal effects of American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

For sports fans, a short stroll down Marietta Street will take you to the College Football Hall of Fame, where you can view helmets and trophies of your favorite college teams and take in exhibits like the Game Day Theater, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at game day through the perspectives of former players and coaches.

Register for the 2017 Rotary Convention in Atlanta at

The Rotarian