Aquatic Action!

Despite being more than ready for some cool fall fun, with temperatures still in the high 80s, it seems we’re not out of the woods yet. But there are ways to beat the heat other than staying inside with the air conditioning full blast or taking a trip to the swimming pool to splash around with your grandkids. Just a 30-40 minute drive in your car (with the AC at full blast!) and you’ll dock at the Georgia Aquarium, where the mere sight of all those millions of gallons of blue H2O (8.5 million gallons, to be exact!) will have you have you feeling cooling relief.

Built in 2003 as the world’s largest aquarium, it’s is currently deep in the midst of an estimated $110 expansion for a new dolphin exhibit. But don’t fear, there’s plenty in the 505,000-square-foot place to leave you and the whole family awestruck before that wing opens later this year. A pair of beluga whales, some whale sharks and a couple manta rays are standouts among the aquarium’s 500 different species and more than 100,000 animals.

Pick up your favorite little swimmers and explore the Tropical Diver or Georgia Explorer exhibits, or take a shark-themed family tour during the day. A fantastic way to get away with your better half, or a group of friends, is to go for the aquarium’s Friday night Jazz Journeys concert. This Friday, August 27, features Orquestra MaCuba, a local Atlanta-based big band orchestra including brass, percussion and rhythm sections and backup vocals, which performs lively Cuban salsa music with Afro-Cuban rhythms. Along with an open bar for special cocktails, there’s plenty of food available, from tapas to Wolfgang Puck picnic baskets and “Jazz Bites.”

Before we swim into fall, remember to take a refreshing dip into the sea at the aquarium!

Georgia Aquarium, 225 Baker Street NE, Atlanta. 404.581.4000. georgiaaquarium.org.

-Kathryn Romeyn

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