Inspired Travel: 5 Places for Coca-Cola Fanatics

by  Christine Dayao | Dec 2, 2016
Rooftop at Coca-Cola Store Orlando
Rooftop at Coca-Cola Store Orlando / The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company has gained a loyal following in its 130-year history. With more than 500 brands sold in 200-plus countries, it has become one of the world's most recognizable corporations. For those who can't get enough of the world's most iconic soft-drink, here are five places to go to geek out on all-things Coke.

The World of Coca-Cola (Atlanta, GA)

A mecca for any Coca-Cola fanatic, this 92,000-square-foot facility takes guests behind the scenes of what goes into making the iconic soda. Located across from the Georgia Aquarium at Pemberton Place, the building houses a vault that contains the top-secret formula, a space to meet the famous Coke polar bear, and exhibits that explore the bottling process, milestones of the brand, and its place in pop culture. There are even some items dedicated to the New Coke fiasco of 1985. The crown jewel is the Taste It area that lets visitors sip more than 100 types of drinks sold at home and abroad, including Thailand's Fanta Melon Frosty, Peru's Inca Kola, and Italy's Beverly. Tickets are $16 and include two souvenir bottles of Coke.

The Coca-Cola Store Orlando and Club Cool at Walt Disney World (Orlando, FL)

Entryway at Coca-Cola Store Orlando / The Coca-Cola Company

Disney and Coca-Cola have been partners for decades, with the former selling the latter's products at its parks and resorts. It may not be a surprise, then, that Walt Disney World is home to a giant store dedicated to Coke merchandise. An attraction within itself, the three-story building opened earlier this year. On the ground floor, guests are greeted by a 30-foot-wide glass chandelier made from repurposed Coke bottles, and the first two floors are dedicated to branded merchandise, ranging from keychains to clothes to housewares. You can meet the company's polar bear here, too.

Our favorite space is the rooftop bar, which offers amazing views of Disney Springs (including the complex's Characters In Flight helium balloon) and a menu that lists some familiar and unfamiliar soda flavors. Can't decide what to get? Order the Tastes of the World tray ($8), featuring sixteen samples of pop from outside the U.S., or kick it up a notch and get the eight-cup float tray that includes a scoop of vanilla ice cream in each sample ($8.50).

Over at Epcot, Club Cool is one of our favorite places to beat the Florida heat. As sort of a precursor to the store at Disney Springs, the retail shop also has a selection of Coca-Cola merchandise, but what really draws crowds are the stations pouring out free and unlimited international soda flavors.

The Cedartown Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia (Cedartown, GA)

Cedartown Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia / The Coca-Cola Company

This months-old museum sits in the town's former bottling plant and is run by a family who shares a love for Coca-Cola. The outpost holds a host of different artifacts that were used to advertise the company's products, including a 1970s James Brown poster and a calendar from 1919. From time to time, there will be some rotation with items on loan from the Coca-Cola Company Archives. Admission is $5.

The Museum of Arts and Sciences (Daytona Beach, FL)

Coca-Cola Collection / Museum of Arts and Sciences

Have you ever wondered how the glass Coca-Cola bottle got its signature shape? It's all thanks to the Root Glass Company, which designed the bottle and had it patented in 1915. Years later, founder Chapman J. Root formed Associated Coca-Cola, an independent bottler organization. The business moved to Daytona Beach in 1949, and it's in this city where you'll find the Root family's Coca-Cola memorabilia collection at the Museum of Arts and Sciences. As one of the world's largest collections of Coca-Cola items, it stakes claim to a 1925 Ford Model T truck that delivered syrup to bottlers, old vending machines, iceboxes, metal signs, and an assortment of glass bottles that reflect how the design has been tweaked over the past century. Tickets are $12.95.

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