Coca-Cola was invented in Atlanta in 1886, and it quickly became a favorite beverage across the world. The Coca-Cola Company's showcase museum, the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia, is a tribute to the brand. As one scholar wrote, "If Coca-Cola is a superstar, then the World of Coca-Cola is Coke's Graceland: the institutionalization of that superstardom.
Or, to use another metaphor, it is the Vatican of Coca-Cola." So if you've ever enjoyed a cold Coke on a hot day -- whether in Cleveland or Cairo, Atlanta or Athens, Virginia City or the Vatican -- the World of Coca-Cola might be just the tonic for you.
If you are one of countless hard-core Coke collectors, the place is a must-see. The three-story museum traces Coke from its early days, when it was rumored to be a mix of kola nuts and cocaine, to the drink's triumph as a beverage of global reach. The exhibition begins with "Creating a Classic," a collection of memorabilia from 1886 to 1926 with interactive video stations.
The second gallery, "The Pause That Refreshes," comprises a replica 1930s soda fountain with a real "soda jerk." The museum goes on from there until visitors reach the real objective for many of them: Club Coca-Cola, where they may sample all the soft drinks they wish.
World of Coca-Cola Information
Address: 121 Baker St., Atlanta, GA