After living in Georgia for over 20 years, I have taken part in pretty much everything that the state offers. There are a plethora of activities available throughout Georgia that are wheelchair accessible. Here are my top ten things to do in the Peach State in a wheelchair.
10) Mall of Georgia – This mall is located only about thirty minutes from downtown Atlanta and has over 225 stores inside. All of the most popular stores are here and after a long day of shopping, you can eat at one of the many restaurants at the mall, including my personal favorite The Cheesecake Factory.
9) The Varsity – “What’ll ya have, what’ll ya have?!” As soon as you enter The Varsity, this is what you’ll be hearing. It is an Atlanta staple and also happens to be the world’s largest drive-in. They are famous for their chili dogs and burgers, and they are delicious! So delicious in fact that you’ll probably be ordering seconds.
8) Tybee Island – There aren’t very many beaches in Georgia, but Tybee is a great spot for a weekend getaway. The seafood is AMAZING, especially at The Crab Shack. You really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. There are also free beach wheelchairs available to rent at the Ocean Rescue HQ at the south beach.
7) Centennial Olympic Park – It seems as though there is always an event going on at this park. One of the biggest events every year is the 4th of July celebration. However, whether there is an event going on or not, the Centennial Olympic Park is a beautifully picturesque location that is completely accessible.
6) Georgia Aquarium – With more than 100,000 animals inside, the Georgia Aquarium is one of the most popular attractions in the Southeast. The staff of the aquarium are very accommodating to guests in wheelchairs, even giving wheelchair users private one-on-one time in the “touch” areas. You can roll up and touch the animals at a more accessible level than other guests.
5) Callaway Gardens – Callaway Gardens is a great spot to visit year-round. In the Summer, you can see the natural beauty of nature among paved paths, watch a birds show, or view hundreds of butterflies in the indoor conservatory. In the Winter, Callaway Gardens is even more spectacular and offers an incredible Christmas lights display, with over eight million lights. They also serve delicious hot chocolate because it can get pretty cold outside while viewing the lights.
4) Fox Theatre – Fox Theatre is one of the most beautiful theaters in the country. I have gone to see a show before and found myself staring at the stunning architecture instead of concentrating on the performance. The lower level offers many seating options for wheelchair users, and there is even a raised platform in the center area so that wheelchair users can have a good view of the stage without having to stare at the back of people’s heads.
3) Stone Mountain – One of my favorite places to visit in the Summer is Stone Mountain. It’s easy to spend an entire day here because there is so much to do and nearly everything is wheelchair accessible, including the train, the boat ride, and my personal favorite, the Summit Skyride. The Skyride is a cable car that carries you over 800 feet to the top of the mountain for spectacular views of the Atlanta skyline and even the Appalachian Mountains in the distance. On most nights, there is a laser and fireworks show that plays on the mountain as well. The show lasts about 45 minutes and is a great ending to a fun day at Stone Mountain.
2) Coca-Cola Museum – This is my favorite attraction in Atlanta, and I’m not even a big Coke drinker. The museum is completely wheelchair accessible and it’s pretty inspiring to see how far Coca-Cola has come, now being the leading soft drink in the world. Toward the end of the visit, you can sample over 80 different kinds of Coca-Cola from around the world. Some of them are really good and some of them are… very interesting to say the least. Make sure to try the Beverly while you’re there.
1) Savannah – When I think of Savannah, I think of delicious southern fried food and trees draped with Spanish moss. Savannah is a beautiful waterfront town that is full of southern charm. While some of the buildings are old and inaccessible, the majority of the main attractions are wheelchair friendly. If you plan on going to Savannah, make reservations for The Lady & Sons Restaurant well in advance. This is Paula Deen’s restaurant and has some of the best food in the world. The fried green tomatoes will give you life!