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THE WORLD OF COCA-COLA, Atlanta, Georgia

By Carolinearnoldtravel @CarolineSArnold

THE WORLD OF COCA-COLA, Atlanta, Georgia

John Pemberton statue, Centennial Park, Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia is the birthplace of Coca-Cola, the drink invented by druggist John Pemberton, whose statue can be seen outside the World of Coca-Cola museum in Centennial Park. Coca-Cola was first introduced to the public in 1886. Now it can be found in every corner of the globe.

THE WORLD OF COCA-COLA, Atlanta, Georgia

The World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta, Georgia

The World of Coca-Cola museum in Centennial Park at Pemberton Place is a tour through Coca-Cola's history and world impact. I visited several weeks ago when I was in Atlanta.

THE WORLD OF COCA-COLA, Atlanta, Georgia

Caroline and the Coca-Cola Polar Bear

After buying my ticket I went into the entry lobby and received my free bottle of Coca-Cola (actually a can shaped like a bottle) to drink while I waited with a group of other visitors to be ushered into a theater for the introductory video, a “celebration of life’s Moments of Happiness”, all of which, not surprisingly included Coca-Cola. While we waited we were welcomed and entertained by a very cheerful guide.

THE WORLD OF COCA-COLA, Atlanta, Georgia

My digital art creation in the Pop Culture Gallery

From there, we were free to explore the museum on our own. I toured the wall of historic photos, took a look at a demonstration of the bottling process in action, visited the vault of the secret formula, created my own piece of digital art in the Pop Culture Gallery, and had my photo taken with the Coca-Cola Polar Bear. In the tasting room I had the opportunity to try 100 flavors of Coca-Cola drinks from around the world, but declined. And from there I exited through the gift shop, where one could buy everything from Coca-Cola pajamas to reproductions of the original bottles.

THE WORLD OF COCA-COLA, Atlanta, Georgia

Eight choices of the 100 flavors available to try in the Taste It Room

One of the exhibits in the museum provided pencil and paper and invited visitors to write the story of an important moment in their lives in which Coca-Cola played a part. I didn’t do it at the time, but it started me thinking. When I was growing up in the 1950's, soft drinks, which we called pop, were only for special occasions. I have memories of going to the local drugstore and sitting on a stool at the counter and ordering a five cent coke. The “soda jerk” then squirted coke syrup into the bottom of glass and filled the rest of the glass with carbonated water. We could also get a cherry coke or lemon coke with the addition of some fruit syrup. We sipped our drinks through straws while twirling on our stools. I loved the sugary taste. Now, I rarely drink soft drinks of any kind. They are too sweet. But apparently, the rest of the world still loves Coca-Cola.

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