Atlanta City Guide
Being the capital of the U.S. state of Georgia, Atlanta is an important center for business as well as transportation for the Southeastern United States.
Atlanta hosts the world headquarters of globally renowned corporations like the Coca-Cola Company, the Home Depot, AT&T, UPS, Delta Airlines and Turner Broadcasting. Additionally, Atlanta is also home to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport, which is one of the world’s busiest airports.
Atlanta attracts both business and leisure visitors as it offers a plethora of shopping, entertainment and cultural attractions along with top-notch facilities for meetings, conferences and conventions.
Where to stay in Atlanta
Atlanta is made up of several distinct neighborhoods but the hub of all the action so as to speak is Atlanta’s Downtown neighborhood located at the intersection of the I-75 and I-20 expressways . It hosts most of the city’s important businesses, civic buildings and some of its biggest tourist attractions like the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola and Centennial Olympic Park. Downtown Atlanta also hosts several high-rise hotels and condominiums.
To the north of this epicenter of Atlanta is the city’s Midtown district which is home to many of Atlanta’s most important cultural institutions like the High Museum of Art, the Margaret Mitchell House and Piedmont Park. Also located within the Midtown district of Atlanta are numerous hotels and nightlife establishments of the city especially along Crescent Avenue and Peachtree Street.
Just north of Midtown Atlanta is the city’s Buckhead neighborhood, home to fashionable shopping, trendy restaurants, stylish department stores and hip boutiques. Buckhead is, yet another, popular accommodation choice for visitors to Atlanta and is equipped with various big name luxury Atlanta hotels besides other accommodation options like discount hotels and extended stay hotel properties.
A similar variety of hotels and accommodation choices can also be found within the city’s Perimeter Center neighborhood, which is home to the popular Perimeter Mall and the Marietta district located on the northern front of the city.
Places to see in Atlanta
The World of Coca Cola
The World of Coca Cola is one of Atlanta’s most famous attractions and is located in its downtown area. This homage to the world’s most famous soft drink features numerous coke themed exhibits including samples of the popular drink from around the world, a pop art gallery, a 4 D theater various other kinds of Coca Cola memorabilia.
Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site
The Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site is located along a stretch of Atlanta’s Auburn Avenue. The site includes the Victorian home where the great Civil Rights leader was born, the Ebenezer Baptist Church where he preached, and the memorial tomb at the King Center where he is buried.
Thousands of visitors to Atlantic City flock to pay their respects to America’s most famous Civil Rights leader and Nobel Prize winner at the site daily.
Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield
The Kennesaw Mountain was the site of an important battle during the American Civil War. This battle that took place in 1864 saw a bloody combat between General Sherman’s Union forces and the Confederate forces who were entrenched at the site.
The battle resulted in 67000 causalities and today this battle site has been converted into a park that extends over thousands of areas of protected land and is equipped with 17 miles of walking trails littered with place marks and memorials. The park also hosts a small museum, which displays artifacts from the Civil War.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
The Fernbank Museum of Natural History is one of the most famous museums in the USA that explores the evolution of the earth’s history, the physical universe, the environment and human culture. The museum also hosts an IMAX theater and is renowned for its permanent collection, which features the world’s largest dinosaurs. Be here if you want to browse through some natural artifacts during vacations to Atlanta.
High Museum of Art
Atlanta’s High Museum of Art offers a permanent collection that features 11000 works of American artists belonging to the 19th and 20th Century as well as photography and African folk art. The museum periodically hosts temporary exhibits that feature European collections and other contemporary art.
The Atlanta Zoo was established in 1889 and is one of the nation’s oldest continuously operating zoos. The Atlanta zoo now features more than 300 animals and reptiles that from 220 species, including the country’s largest collections of gorillas, orangutans and the most diverse collection of reptiles. The zoo also offers various interactive exhibits and should be counted as a must-visit attraction if you are planning to visit Atlanta with kids.
The Georgia Aquarium is also located in Atlanta’s downtown area and was founded with a donation of $250 million from home products chain; Home Depot’s co-founder Bernie Marcus. The Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the world that houses 100,000 marine creatures that belong to more than 500 species. The various exhibits feature tropical, cold water, ocean and river creatures, and the aquarium also houses a separate shark tank.
The CNN Center
The global news channel CNN has its head quarters in Atlanta and offers tours of its various facilities; including a replica of the CNN control room, the real newsroom and the world’s longest free standing escalator along with specialty tours, which offer a behind the scenes look at the filming of various programs.
Best time to visit Atlanta
Atlanta has a humid, subtropical climate that is characterized by four distinct seasons. Winters in Atlanta tend to be very cold with temperatures below freezing for much of the time. Average temperatures for the month of January are approximately 42.7 °F (5.9 °C), and the city occasionally receives snow.
Summers in Atlanta are usually hot and humid with average temperatures in July touching 89 °F (31.7 °C) and heat wave spells lasting days at a time. Atlanta like the rest of the US southeast receives abundant rainfall, which is evenly distributed throughout the year.
Getting around in Atlanta
Atlanta is a frequented destination for the world as well as local businessmen and therefore boasts of a highly developed aviation scene. If you are flying in, you should check out the various flight deals and last minute flights available on Fare Buzz and save a lot on flight fares.
Atlanta is well served by an extensive public transport system that is made up of the subways and buses, which are operated by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transport Authority. However, these transport links do not cover the entire city and Atlanta remains a largely car dependent city.
If you choose to hire a car for your Atlanta stay, you should be aware that though parking is quite easily available within the city limits, traffic can often get quite gridlocked on the freeways and within the city center.
Atlanta is also served by a fleet of taxis but these need to be ordered on the phone rather than hailed in the street. If you want to stay away from the hassles of calling and booking on the same day, you can try our car rental section as well and plan your vacations well ahead of time.
Where to shop in Atlanta
Atlanta offers a full range of shopping options. If upscale shopping and big name brands are your cup of tea, then you need to include the city’s luxe shopping locales Phipps Plaza and the Lenox Square Mall in your shopping in Atlanta shopping itinerary. Both these malls are located in the Buckhead, six miles north of downtown Atlanta and they high-end labels like Tiffany and co, Gucci, L. K. Bennett, and Jimmy Choo along with outlets of retail giants like Bloomingdales, Saks and Nordstrom.
Another much loved shopping locale in Atlanta is the city’s historic Virginia Highlands. This charming enclave features quaint brick buildings and streets that offer an old-world ambience though they host some of the city’s trendiest eateries and boutiques that offer fashion-forwards apparel, high-end furniture, antiques and other handcrafted wares.
Underground Atlanta located in the heart of the city offers a unique shopping experience for it hosts six blocks of shopping all located under street level on the original streets of Atlanta. The area is much favored by tourists as it has a perennial carnival atmosphere with street performers and the like.
Fans of outlet shopping will be pleased to know that Atlanta is equipped with an abundance of outlet malls that offer many bargains often as much as 70% off regular retail prices. Popular outlet malls in the Atlanta area include the North Georgia Premium Outlets, the Discover Mills Mall, the Prime Outlets at Calhoun and Commerce Outlets.
Where to eat in Atlanta
Steaks, sushi, seafood, southern comfort eats; Atlanta’s vibrant dining scene caters to varied tastes and budgets. Trending restaurants in Atlanta currently include hot spots like New York Prime in Monarch Tower (steakhouse), Old Village Inn (Seafood), Quinones (Southern eats), Canoe (New American), Café Agora (Turkish), Co’m Vietnamese Grill (Asian Fusion) and Desta Ethiopian Kitchen (Ethiopian).
Nightlife in Atlanta
Atlanta is known for its thriving music scene and the city is often referred to as ‘the Hip Hop capital of America’. Bars, dance clubs, lounges and live-music venues abound in Atlanta. En vogue night-spots currently include bars like Clermont Lounge, Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong emporium, Two Urban Licks, Beluga’s Martini Bar, Johnny’s Hideaway and Whiskey Blue and dance clubs like Halo, Tongue and Groove, Mary’s and Amsterdam Atlanta. The city also hosts a plethora of much-loved live music venues like the Goats Farm a unique arts venue that hosts live concerts, theatrical performances, art exhibitions, film screenings on the site of a former farm and cotton gin.