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ATLANTA TRAVEL GUIDE

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WHAT TO SEE AND WHAT TO DO IN ATLANTA

Discover World of Coca Cola, Georgia Aquarium, Martin Luther King National Historic Park, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Fox Theatre, Atlanta BeltLine and much more in Atlanta. Our Atlanta Travel Guide offers insider travel tips and easy booking for flight, hotel, car rental, attractions, tours, sports tickets, concerts, etc. Secure the best deals with our trusted partners, and explore with confidence.

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Location and population

Atlanta is located in the southeastern part of the United States, in the state of Georgia. It is situated in the northern half of the state and is approximately 250 miles (400 km) east of the Mississippi River. The city is located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and is at an elevation of around 1,050 feet (320 meters) above sea level. The city is also located near several major highways, including Interstates 20, 75, and 85, which make it a major transportation hub in the region. Atlanta is the largest city of the state of Georgia.
 
It has a population of over 498,715 people as of 2020, making it the 37th most populous city in the United States. The Atlanta metropolitan area has a population of over 6 million people, making it the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the country.
 

Major airports near Atlanta

Atlanta has one major airport and several regional airports in the surrounding area. Here are the major airports near Atlanta:
 
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL): This is the main airport serving Atlanta and is one of the busiest airports in the world. It is located about 10 miles/16 km south of downtown Atlanta and is a hub for Delta Air Lines.
 
Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (CHA): This is a regional airport located about 120 miles (193 km) north of Atlanta in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It offers commercial service to several destinations.
 
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM): This is a regional airport located about 150 miles (241 km) west of Atlanta in Birmingham, Alabama. It offers commercial service to several destinations.
 

Introduction to Atlanta

Atlanta has a rich history, having played a significant role in the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. It is home to many landmarks related to these events, including the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park and the Atlanta History Center.
 
In addition, Atlanta is a major economic hub, with a diverse economy that includes industries such as finance, information technology, logistics, and healthcare. It is home to the headquarters of many major corporations, including Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, and Home Depot.
 
Atlanta is also known for its sports teams, including the Atlanta Braves baseball team, the Atlanta Falcons football team, and the Atlanta Hawks basketball team. It has hosted numerous major sporting events, including the 1996 Summer Olympics.
 
Atlanta is a vibrant and dynamic city with a rich history, a thriving arts and culture scene, and a diverse economy that makes it a popular destination for both tourists and businesses alike.
 
Atlanta is known as the “City in a Forest” because of its abundant tree cover.
 
The city was named after the Western and Atlantic Railroad, which was completed in 1837 and ended in Atlanta.
 
Atlanta played a key role in the Civil Rights Movement, with leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis being from the city.
 
The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic and has held this title since 1998.
 
Atlanta hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics, which spurred significant development and infrastructure improvements in the city.
 
Coca-Cola, one of the world’s largest beverage companies, was founded in Atlanta in 1886.
 

Weather in Atlanta

The weather in Atlanta is generally mild, with hot and humid summers and cool winters. The city is located in a humid subtropical climate zone, which means it has four distinct seasons with varying temperatures and precipitation.
 
In the summer months from June to August, temperatures can be hot and humid with highs averaging in the mid to upper 80s Fahrenheit (about 29-32 degrees Celsius), with occasional heat waves reaching the mid to upper 90s Fahrenheit (about 35-37 degrees Celsius). Thunderstorms are common during this time of year and can bring heavy rainfall.
 
In the winter months from December to February, temperatures are generally mild with highs averaging in the 50s to low 60s Fahrenheit (about 10-15 degrees Celsius). However, temperatures can occasionally drop below freezing, and snow and ice are possible but not common.
 
Spring and fall are transitional seasons with mild temperatures, averaging in the 60s and 70s Fahrenheit (about 16-25 degrees Celsius), and can bring occasional thunderstorms or cold fronts.
 

Atlanta top attractions:

  1. Georgia Aquarium: The Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere and is home to over 120,000 animals from 500 different species.
  2. World of Coca-Cola: The World of Coca-Cola is a museum that tells the history of the Coca-Cola Company and allows visitors to sample over 100 different Coca-Cola products from around the world.
  3. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park: This park includes several sites related to the life and work of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., including his childhood home, the church where he preached, and his tomb.
  4. Atlanta Botanical Garden: The Atlanta Botanical Garden is a 30-acre garden that includes a variety of plants, flowers, and sculptures.
  5. High Museum of Art: The High Museum of Art is a museum that features a collection of over 17,000 works of art, including contemporary and folk art.
  6. Piedmont Park: Piedmont Park is a large urban park in the heart of Atlanta that offers walking and biking trails, playgrounds, and sports facilities.
  7. Centennial Olympic Park: Centennial Olympic Park was built for the 1996 Summer Olympics and now serves as a public park with fountains, sculptures, and events throughout the year.
  8. Atlanta History Center: The Atlanta History Center is a museum that tells the story of Atlanta and the surrounding region through exhibits, artifacts, and historic buildings.
  9. Fox Theatre: The Fox Theatre is a historic theatre that hosts concerts, Broadway shows, and other performances.
  10. Atlanta BeltLine: The Atlanta BeltLine is a multi-use trail that circles the city and connects neighborhoods, parks, and businesses, offering great views of the city and a unique way to explore Atlanta.

Getting around

By Car:
  • Renting a Car: Renting a car is a convenient way to get around Atlanta as it provides flexibility and independence. Many car rental companies operate in the city, and major highways and roads make it easy to navigate around the city.
  • Ride-Sharing Services: Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are widely available in Atlanta and provide a convenient way to get around the city without having to worry about driving and parking.
 
By Public Transportation:
  • MARTA: The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) operates a rail and bus system throughout the city. The MARTA rail system has four lines that serve many of the city’s top attractions, and the buses provide service to areas that are not covered by the rail system.
  • Streetcar: The Atlanta Streetcar is a convenient way to travel around the downtown area, connecting many of the city’s top attractions.
  • Atlanta BeltLine: The Atlanta BeltLine is a multi-use trail that circles the city and offers a unique way to explore Atlanta’s neighborhoods, parks, and businesses on foot or by bike.
  • Bike Share: Atlanta has several bike-share programs that provide short-term rentals for bicycles, making it easy to explore the city’s bike-friendly trails and neighborhoods.

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Sport venues and local teams

Atlanta has several sport venues and professional sports teams across multiple sports. Here are some of the major sport venues and local teams in Atlanta:
 
  • Mercedes-Benz Stadium: This is a multi-purpose stadium that serves as the home venue for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL) and Atlanta United FC of Major League Soccer (MLS). The stadium has a retractable roof and can seat over 70,000 people.
  • State Farm Arena: This is a multi-purpose indoor arena that serves as the home venue for the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Atlanta Dream of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The arena can seat over 18,000 people.
  • Truist Park: This is a baseball park that serves as the home venue for the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball (MLB). The park can seat over 41,000 people and features a variety of fan amenities and attractions.
  • Bobby Dodd Stadium: This is a football stadium that serves as the home venue for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team. The stadium can seat over 55,000 people and has a rich history dating back to 1913.
  • Infinite Energy Center: This is a multi-purpose arena and entertainment complex located in the nearby city of Duluth, Georgia. It serves as the home venue for the Atlanta Gladiators of the ECHL and hosts a variety of concerts and events throughout the year.
In addition to these major sport venues, Atlanta is also home to several other professional sports teams, including the Atlanta Braves (MLB), Atlanta Falcons (NFL), Atlanta Hawks (NBA), Atlanta United FC (MLS), and Atlanta Dream (WNBA). Atlanta also has a rich college sports tradition, with several top-level college teams located in the city and surrounding areas.
 

Outdoor recreation in Atlanta

Atlanta has plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, including parks, trails, and outdoor activities. Here are some of the top outdoor recreation options in Atlanta:
 
Piedmont Park: This is a large urban park located in the heart of Atlanta that offers a variety of outdoor recreational activities. The park features walking and running trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, sports fields, and a lake for fishing.
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area: This is a national park located just outside of Atlanta that offers miles of hiking trails, biking paths, and water activities like kayaking and tubing. The park also features several picnic areas and scenic overlooks.
Atlanta BeltLine: This is a multi-use trail and greenspace that circles the city and offers a unique way to explore Atlanta’s neighborhoods, parks, and businesses on foot or by bike. The BeltLine features art installations, public events, and outdoor fitness classes.
Stone Mountain Park: This is a large park located about 16 miles (26 km) east of Atlanta that features a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, camping, and fishing. The park also features a scenic cable car ride to the top of Stone Mountain, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park: This is a national park located about 20 miles (32 km) north of Atlanta that offers hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and historic sites related to the Civil War.

Local cuisine in Atlanta

Atlanta’s cuisine is a mix of traditional Southern dishes and modern cuisine with international influences. Some of the must-try local dishes include:
 
  • Fried Chicken: Atlanta is famous for its delicious fried chicken, with several restaurants serving up crispy, juicy fried chicken as a specialty.
  • BBQ: Atlanta has several BBQ joints that serve up a variety of smoked meats and traditional sides like collard greens and mac and cheese.
  • Peach Cobbler: Georgia is known as the Peach State, and Atlanta is no exception. Peach cobbler is a popular dessert made with fresh Georgia peaches and a buttery, crumbly crust.
  • Hot Chicken: A variation of fried chicken with a spicy kick, hot chicken is becoming increasingly popular in Atlanta and can be found at several restaurants.
  • Pimento Cheese: A popular Southern spread made with shredded cheddar cheese, mayo, and pimento peppers, pimento cheese is often served as an appetizer or on sandwiches in Atlanta.
  • Boiled Peanuts: A Southern snack that is boiled with spices until soft, boiled peanuts are often sold at roadside stands and at sports games in Atlanta.
  • Seafood: Atlanta’s location near the coast means there are plenty of seafood options available, including fresh oysters, shrimp and grits, and seafood boils.
In addition to these traditional Southern dishes, Atlanta also has a diverse culinary scene with many international restaurants offering cuisines from all over the world, such as Mexican, Korean, Vietnamese, and more.

Recommended restaurants in Atlanta

Atlanta has a diverse culinary scene with many excellent restaurants to choose from. Here are some of the most popular and recommended restaurants in Atlanta:
 
  • Bacchanalia: This fine-dining restaurant serves contemporary American cuisine with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Bacchanalia has won numerous awards and accolades, including a James Beard Award for Best Restaurant in America.
  • The Optimist: This seafood restaurant features a menu of fresh, sustainable seafood dishes and has been named one of the best seafood restaurants in the country by Travel + Leisure and Food & Wine.
  • Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q: This barbecue joint in the Candler Park neighborhood serves up delicious smoked meats and Southern sides. Fox Bros. has won several awards for its barbecue, including a James Beard Foundation Award.
  • Aria: This upscale restaurant in Buckhead serves contemporary American cuisine with a global influence. Aria has earned numerous accolades, including a Forbes Four-Star rating and a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.
  • Mary Mac’s Tea Room: This historic restaurant in Midtown has been serving Southern comfort food since 1945. Mary Mac’s is known for its famous fried chicken, cornbread, and sweet tea.
  • Taqueria del Sol: This casual Mexican restaurant serves up delicious tacos, enchiladas, and other traditional Mexican dishes. Taqueria del Sol has been named one of the best cheap eats in America by Travel + Leisure.
  • Antico Pizza: This authentic Neapolitan pizzeria in Midtown serves up delicious wood-fired pizzas with fresh, high-quality ingredients. Antico has been named one of the best pizzerias in the country by publications like Bon Appetit and USA Today.

Nightlife in Atlanta

Atlanta has a vibrant and diverse nightlife scene, with something for everyone. Here are some of the most popular and recommended places to experience nightlife in Atlanta:
 
Edgewood Avenue: This street in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood is lined with bars and clubs, making it a popular destination for nightlife. Some of the popular spots on Edgewood Avenue include Mother Bar + Kitchen, Noni’s Bar & Deli, and Joystick Gamebar.
The Battery Atlanta: This mixed-use development near SunTrust Park, home of the Atlanta Braves, has several bars and restaurants, as well as a live music venue. Some of the popular spots at The Battery Atlanta include the sports bar Sports & Social, the rooftop bar and lounge PBR Atlanta, and the music venue Coca-Cola Roxy.
The Clermont Lounge: This dive bar in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood is a legendary spot for nightlife in Atlanta. The Clermont Lounge is known for its quirky decor and for being the “home of the naked lady,” a reference to the bar’s burlesque shows.
MJQ Concourse: This underground dance club in the Midtown neighborhood is known for its eclectic music and laid-back vibe. MJQ Concourse has been a popular spot for nightlife in Atlanta since the 1990s.
The Sound Table: This bar and music venue in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood has a focus on cocktails and live music. The Sound Table is known for its creative cocktails and for hosting some of the best DJs in the city.
Holeman and Finch: This gastropub in Buckhead is known for its craft cocktails, extensive beer selection, and delicious food. Holeman and Finch has a lively bar scene and is a popular spot for after-work drinks and weekend nights out.

Places to stay in Atlanta

Atlanta has several neighborhoods that are popular and recommended for tourists to stay in. Here are some of the best neighborhoods to stay in as a tourist in Atlanta:
 
  • Midtown: This neighborhood is located in the heart of Atlanta and is known for its vibrant cultural scene, great restaurants and bars, and easy access to some of the city’s top attractions, including the High Museum of Art and Piedmont Park.
  • Buckhead: This upscale neighborhood is known for its luxury shopping, fine dining, and high-end hotels. Buckhead is also home to several cultural attractions, including the Atlanta History Center and the Atlanta History Museum.
  • Downtown: This neighborhood is located in the heart of Atlanta and is home to many of the city’s top attractions, including the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, and the Centennial Olympic Park. Downtown is also home to several hotels, making it a convenient location for tourists.
  • Virginia-Highland: This trendy neighborhood is known for its charming bungalow homes, tree-lined streets, and eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and bars. Virginia-Highland is a great neighborhood to stay in if you’re looking for a more laid-back, residential feel.
  • West Midtown: This up-and-coming neighborhood is known for its trendy restaurants and bars, boutique shops, and art galleries. West Midtown is a great neighborhood to stay in if you’re looking for a more hip, urban vibe.
  • Decatur: This historic neighborhood, located just east of Atlanta, is known for its charming downtown area, tree-lined streets, and vibrant food and music scene. Decatur is a great neighborhood to stay in if you’re looking for a quieter, more residential feel.

Major events and festivals in Atlanta

Atlanta hosts a wide variety of major events and festivals throughout the year, celebrating everything from food and music to sports and culture. Here are some of the most popular and well-known events and festivals in Atlanta:
 
  1. Atlanta Dogwood Festival: This festival takes place every spring in Piedmont Park and celebrates the blooming of the dogwood trees. The festival features live music, food vendors, arts and crafts, and a 5K race.
  2. Atlanta Jazz Festival: This free outdoor music festival takes place over Memorial Day weekend and features some of the best jazz musicians from around the world. The festival takes place in Piedmont Park and attracts thousands of visitors each year.
  3. Atlanta Food and Wine Festival: This three-day festival takes place every spring and celebrates the best food and wine from the southern United States. The festival features cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and food from some of the top chefs in the region.
  4. Dragon Con: This annual convention is one of the largest science fiction and fantasy events in the world, attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year. The convention features celebrity guests, cosplay contests, and panels on a wide variety of topics.
  5. Peachtree Road Race: This 10K race takes place every Fourth of July and is one of the largest road races in the world. The race attracts runners from around the world and is followed by a massive post-race party in Piedmont Park.
  6. Atlanta Pride Festival: This annual festival takes place every October and celebrates the LGBTQ+ community in Atlanta. The festival features a parade, live music, food vendors, and a wide variety of other events and activities.

Nearby experiences

Stone Mountain Park: Located just 16 miles east of Atlanta, Stone Mountain Park is a popular destination for outdoor recreation. The park features hiking trails, a scenic railroad, a historic plantation, and the world’s largest piece of exposed granite.
 
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area: Just 20 miles north of Atlanta, this national recreation area offers over 48 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, as well as opportunities for fishing and kayaking on the Chattahoochee River.
 
Six Flags Over Georgia: This amusement park is located just 10 miles west of Atlanta and features over 40 rides and attractions, including roller coasters, water rides, and live shows.
Callaway Gardens: Located about 90 miles south of Atlanta, Callaway Gardens is a 2,500-acre resort and nature preserve that features gardens, hiking trails, a lake for swimming and boating, and a wide variety of outdoor activities.
 
Helen, Georgia: This charming Bavarian-style town is located about 90 miles northeast of Atlanta and is a popular destination for its quaint shops, restaurants, and festivals throughout the year.
Tallulah Gorge State Park: This state park is located about 100 miles northeast of Atlanta and features a spectacular 1000-foot deep gorge with waterfalls, hiking trails, and opportunities for rock climbing and rappelling.

 

Enjoy Atlanta!

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