Centennial Olympic Park Olympic Rings sculpture, Atlanta Georgia

Name: Centennial Olympic Park
Location: 33.76083854611059, -84.39220882223054
Date visited: March 2020
Nearest city: Atlanta, GA, USA
Distance to nearest city: None! It’s in the heart of downtown.
Accessible: Yes

In March 2020 – a week before the pandemic really hit a fever pitch, when everyone still thought it was no big deal – I (L) flew to Atlanta for a work trip. I hadn’t been to Atlanta since I was a kid, and had never more than passed through with a stop for lunch. I decided to fly in a few days early and check out what the city had to offer.

I had big plans for this trip as the start of a year of exciting travel. I was going to hit up Centennial Olympic Park, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, and the Atlanta Botanical Garden, for starters. Unfortunately, I wound up short on time and exhausted from work, and only made it to the first two. But at least I made it to those two, as the world shut down immediately after I returned home and my plans for further travel were dashed.

My first stop in Atlanta was Centennial Olympic Park. For those who don’t know, Atlanta hosted the Olympics in 1996. The park was built as part of the city’s prep for hosting the event, and remains as a public park. It’s a big and relatively empty oasis in the midst of the city, and it does a good job of breaking up the very crowded-downtown feel of its surroundings.

It was still a bit chilly out the first day I visited, and through either that or the looming pandemic the park was relatively empty. This left me easily able to get photos of some of the sights without too much bystander interference. I imagine on a normal day, during a normal time, this place would be bustling with activity. I can’t imagine anyone nearby with a half hour to spare ignoring it!

centennial olympic park atlanta georgia statue columns

centennial olympic park atlanta georgia statue close up

I have no idea what this statue thing is, I just thought it looked cool. You’ll find that’s how I wind up taking most of my pictures: “What is this? Eh whatever it looks cool.”

centennial olympic park atlanta georgia olympic rings shadow

centennial olympic park atlanta georgia olympic rings

The Olympic Rings are a repeating motif in the park. For obvious reasons.

centennial olympic park atlanta georgia olympic rings and ferris wheel skyview atlanta

Right next to the park is a HUGE and quite fancy Ferris wheel called SkyView Atlanta. The views from it are spectacular, and you’ll see some in a later post [link coming soon!]. It makes an awesome backdrop for the Olympic Rings as well as the fountain – which is in a ring shape you can’t see from the ground.

centennial olympic park atlanta georgia ferris wheel skyview atlantacentennial olympic park atlanta georgia fountain and ferris wheel skyview atlanta

The area around the park has a lot of neat sights as well, which we’ll save for a later post. Overall, it’s a great spot to stroll through on a sunny afternoon, or to bring the family and have a picnic lunch!

So, what did you think of Centennial Olympic Park? Planning to go if you’re nearby? Leave us a comment below!