We are hoping that you will visit the General Assembly one or more days while they are in session. If you have never visited the Capitol, here are a few tips that may be helpful.
206 Washington Street
PLAN EXTRA TIME – If you want to be inside for a Committee Hearing or something it would be best if you plan to arrive an hour before the meeting is supposed to start. Even if you are an experienced visitor, from the time you see the gold dome to the time you are at the right room will take at least 30 minutes.
If you plan to drive – Parking downtown is always a problem, but there are a few lots right next to the capitol. These are lots where you make a note of your space number and then go to one of the kiosks and pay in advance for your time. Buy more time than you think you will need to keep from having to run back to your car and add more money. I would strongly advise researching parking before you go. The Steve Polk Plaza is an outdoor area located next to Underground Atlanta at 65 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Atlanta, and there is also an Underground Atlanta parking lot on MLK drive. Parking is not cheap.
If you take MARTA – There is a MARTA station right across the street from the capitol, and I guarantee that parking at a MARTA lot will be easier than parking downtown. If you are comfortable with MARTA, take the blue/green line to the Georgia State MARTA station.
You will go through security – There are several entrances to the capitol, but each one will have police and metal detectors. DO NOT TAKE ANY WEAPONS, not even a pocket knife. The best suggestion is to take the least amount of metal that you can. And BRING YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE – you will need it to get inside the building.
What to wear – Everyone working down there (especially the Representatives) will be “dressed up.” Wearing a suit is expected if you are an elected official, but if you are just visiting you can wear anything you want, although you will probably feel out of place in shorts and flip-flops. I would suggest the minimum is what is knows as business casual.
- It can be hard to find meeting rooms and offices, especially when they are in the basement or in the building across the street. If you don’t know exactly where you are going stop at desk at the main entrance and ask. They are very helpful and it could easily save you 30 minutes.
- When the House or Senate is in session you can go upstairs and sit in the balcony and watch the action. Air horns are generally frowned upon.
- You can also go to the ‘rope line’ and send a note to your Senator or Representative and, if there is a lull, they may even come out to say ‘hi’
- There are several places to eat, but the most selection is available at the Twin Towers Cafeteria right across the street (at 1 M.L.K. Jr Dr)
- Committee Hearings can more or be rescheduled at the last minute, so be flexible and don’t let that upset you. If you have taken time off work, gotten all dressed up, found a parking place, made it through security, you can always find another committee or visit with your Representative.