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Atlanta is the capital of and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Georgia, with an estimated 2015 population of 463,878. Atlanta is the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, home to 5,522,942 people and the ninth largest metropolitan area in the United States. Atlanta is the county seat of Fulton County, and a small portion of the city extends eastward into DeKalb County.
Atlanta was established in 1837 at the intersection of two railroad lines, and the city rose from the ashes of the American Civil War to become a national center of commerce. In the decades following the Civil Rights Movement, during which the city earned a reputation as "too busy to hate" for the progressive views of its citizens and leaders,Atlanta attained international prominence. Atlanta is the primary transportation hub of the Southeastern United States, via highway, railroad, and air, with Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport being the world's busiest airport since 1998.
Atlanta is an "alpha-" or "world city", exerting a significant impact upon commerce, finance, research, technology, education, media, art, and entertainment. It ranks 36th among world cities and 8th in the nation with a gross domestic product of $270 billion. Atlanta's economy is considered diverse, with dominant sectors including logistics, professional and business services, media operations, and information technology. Topographically, Atlanta is marked by rolling hills anddense tree coverage. Revitalization of Atlanta's neighborhoods, initially spurred by the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, has intensified in the 21st century, altering the city's demographics, politics, and culture.
|POPULATION :||• City 463,878|
• Urban 4,975,300
• Metro 5,522,942
• CSA 6,162,195
|FOUNDED :||Terminus 1837|
City of Atlanta December 29, 1847
|TIME ZONE :||Time zone EST (UTC-5)|
Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
|AREA :||• City 134.0 sq mi (347.1 km2)|
• Land 133.2 sq mi (344.9 km2)
• Water 0.8 sq mi (2.2 km2)
• Urban 1,963 sq mi (5,080 km2)
• Metro 8,376 sq mi (21,690 km2)
|ELEVATION :||738 to 1,050 ft (225 to 320 m)|
|COORDINATES :||33°45′18″N 84°23′24″W|
|SEX RATIO :|
|ETHNIC :||Black or African American 51.4%|
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 4.7%
|AREA CODE :||404/678/470|
|POSTAL CODE :||30060, 30301-30322, 30324-30334, 30336-30350, 30353|
|DIALING CODE :||+1 404|
Atlanta is the vanguard of the New South, with the charm and elegance of the Old. It is a city that balances southern traditions with sleek modernism. According to the 2010 Census, Atlanta had 420,000 residents within the city limits and 5.3 million in the metro area. In Atlanta, the peach trees are plentiful and the tea is sweet, yet this city boasts three skylines and the world’s busiest airport. Atlanta has been burnt to the ground and built back up; it has seen the horrors of war and felt the pain of droughts and floods. Atlanta knows rebirth and endurance though, perhaps better than any other city. Atlanta was host to the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, gave birth to the greatest figure of the civil rights movement (Martin Luther King Jr.), is the beloved capital of the state of Georgia, and has become the enduring leader of the American South.
Atlanta's top attractions form an eclectic mix that is sure to have something that appeals to everyone, and enough variety to keep the adventurous traveler busy. The highest concentration of exhibits can be found in the Centennial Park Area, where Atlanta's three biggest attractions are located within two blocks of one another: World of Coca-Cola tells the history of the world’s most iconic brand, with plenty of samples to ensure understanding; across the street is the Georgia Aquarium, the world’s largest by volume of water, where you can swim with the biggest fish of them all, the whale shark; and the CNN Center and Studio Tour, which offers a behind the scenes look at what it takes to run one of the nation’s leading news sources.
Those more inclined to history can visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in Sweet Auburn, which includes this inspiring leader’s birthplace home, his final resting place, the church where he once gave sermons, as well as a museum and memorial dedicated to his colossal achievements. Civil War buffs will enjoy the 100-year old Atlanta Cyclorama in nearby Grant Park, which tells the story of the Battle of Atlanta through a massive, continuous, circular painting. The largest collection of Civil War memorabilia in the nation can be found at the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead, alongside a large exhibit memorializing the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games.
- Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (Atlanta Visitor Information), 233 Peachtree Street, NE (Underground Atlanta), , toll-free: . M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su noon-6PM.
Prior to the arrival of European settlers in north Georgia, Creek and Cherokee Indians inhabited the area. Standing Peachtree, a Creek village located where Peachtree Creek flows into the Chattahoochee River, was the closest Indian settlement to what is now Atlanta. As part of the systematic removal of Native Americans from northern Georgia from 1802 to 1825, the Creek ceded the area in 1821, and white settlers arrived the following year.
In 1836, the Georgia General Assembly voted to build the Western and Atlantic Railroad in order to provide a link between the port of Savannah and the Midwest. The initial route was to run southward from Chattanooga to a terminus east of the Chattahoochee River, which would then be linked to Savannah. After engineers surveyed various possible locations for the terminus, the "zero milepost" was driven into the ground in what is now Five Points. A year later, the area around the milepost had developed into a settlement, first known as "Terminus", and later as "Thrasherville" after a local merchant who built homes and a general store in the area. By 1842, the town had six buildings and 30 residents, and was renamed "Marthasville" to honor the Governor's daughter. J. Edgar Thomson, Chief Engineer of the Georgia Railroad, suggested the town be renamed "Atlantica-Pacifica," which was shortened to "Atlanta". The residents approved, and the town was incorporated as Atlanta on December 29, 1847.
By 1860, Atlanta's population had grown to 9,554. During the Civil War, the nexus of multiple railroads in Atlanta made the city a hub for the distribution of military supplies. In 1864, following the capture of Chattanooga, the Union Armymoved southward and began its invasion of north Georgia. The region surrounding Atlanta was the location of several major army battles, culminating with the Battle of Atlanta and a four-month-long siege of the city by the Union Army under the command of General William Tecumseh Sherman. On September 1, 1864,Confederate General John Bell Hood made the decision to retreat from Atlanta, ordering all public buildings and possible assets to the Union Army destroyed. On the next day, Mayor James Calhoun surrendered Atlanta to the Union Army, and on September 7, General Sherman ordered the city's civilian population to evacuate. On November 11, 1864, in preparation of the Union Army's march to Savannah, Sherman ordered Atlanta to be burned to the ground, sparing only the city's churches and hospitals.
After the Civil War ended in 1865, Atlanta was gradually rebuilt. Due to the city's superior rail transportation network, the state capital was moved to Atlanta from Milledgeville in 1868. In the 1880 Census, Atlanta surpassed Savannah as Georgia's largest city. Beginning in the 1880s, Henry W. Grady, the editor of the Atlanta Constitution newspaper, promoted Atlanta to potential investors as a city of the "New South" that would be based upon a modern economy and less reliant on agriculture. By 1885, the founding of the Georgia School of Technology (now Georgia Tech) and the city's black colleges had established the city as a center for higher education. In 1895, Atlanta hosted the Cotton States and International Exposition, which attracted nearly 800,000 attendees and successfully promoted the New South's development to the world.
During the first decades of the 20th century, Atlanta experienced a period of unprecedented growth. In three decades' time, Atlanta's population tripled as the city limits expanded to include nearby streetcar suburbs; the city's skyline emerged with the construction of the Equitable, Flatiron, Empire, and Candler buildings; and Sweet Auburn emerged as a center of black commerce. However, the period was also marked by strife and tragedy. Increased racial tensions led to the Atlanta Race Riot of 1906, which left at least 27 people dead and over 70 injured. In 1915,Leo Frank, a Jewish-American factory superintendent, convicted of murder, was hanged by a lynch mob, drawing attention to antisemitism in the United States. On May 21, 1917, the Great Atlanta Fire destroyed 1,938 buildings in what is now the Old Fourth Ward, resulting in one fatality and the displacement of 10,000 people.
On December 15, 1939, Atlanta hosted the film premiere of Gone with the Wind, the epic film based on the best-selling novel by Atlanta's Margaret Mitchell. The film's legendary producer, David O. Selznick, as well as the film's stars Clark Gable,Vivien Leigh, and Olivia de Havilland attended the gala event at Loew's Grand Theatre, but Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel, an African American, was barred from the event due to racial segregation laws and policies.
Atlanta played a vital role in the Allied effort during World War II due the city's war-related manufacturing companies, railroad network, and military bases, leading to rapid growth in the city's population and economy. In the 1950s, the city's newly constructed freeway system allowed middle class Atlantans the ability to relocate to the suburbs. As a result, the city began to make up an ever smaller proportion of the metropolitan area's population.
During the 1960s, Atlanta was a major organizing center of the Civil Rights Movement, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph David Abernathy, and students from Atlanta's historically black colleges and universities playing major roles in the movement's leadership. While minimal compared to other cities, Atlanta was not completely free of racial strife. In 1961, the city attempted to thwart blockbusting by erecting road barriers in Cascade Heights, countering the efforts of civic and business leaders to foster Atlanta as the "city too busy to hate". Desegregation of the public sphere came in stages, with public transportation desegregated by 1959, the restaurant at Rich's department store by 1961, movie theaters by 1963, and public schools by 1973.
In 1960, whites comprised 61.7% of the city's population. By 1970, African Americans were a majority of the city's population and exercised new-found political influence by electing Atlanta's first black mayor, Maynard Jackson, in 1973. Under Mayor Jackson's tenure, Atlanta's airport was modernized, solidifying the city's role as a transportation center. The opening of the Georgia World Congress Center in 1976 heralded Atlanta's rise as a convention city. Construction of the city'ssubway system began in 1975, with rail service commencing in 1979. However, despite these improvements, Atlanta lost over 100,000 residents between 1970 and 1990, over 20% of its population.
In 1990, Atlanta was selected as the site for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Following the announcement, the city government undertook several major construction projects to improve Atlanta's parks, sporting venues, and transportation infrastructure. While the games themselves were marred by numerous organizational inefficiencies, as well as the Centennial Olympic Park bombing, they were a watershed event in Atlanta's history, initiating a fundamental transformation of the city in the decade that followed.
During the 2000s, Atlanta underwent a profound transformation demographically, physically, and culturally. Suburbanization, a booming economy, and new migrants decreased the city's black percentage from a high of 67% in 1990 to 54% in 2010. From 2000 to 2010, Atlanta gained 22,763 white residents, 5,142 Asian residents, and 3,095 Hispanic residents, while the city's black population decreased by 31,678. Much of the city's demographic change during the decade was driven by young, college-educated professionals: from 2000 to 2009, the three-mile radius surrounding Downtown Atlanta gained 9,722 residents aged 25 to 34 holding at least a four-year degree, an increase of 61%. Between the mid-1990s and 2010, stimulated by funding from the HOPE VI program, Atlanta demolished nearly all of its public housing, a total of 17,000 units and about 10% of all housing units in the city. In 2005, the $2.8 billion BeltLine project was adopted, with the stated goals of converting a disused 22-mile freight railroad loop that surrounds the central city into an art-filled multi-use trail and increasing the city's park space by 40%. Lastly, Atlanta's cultural offerings expanded during the 2000s: the High Museum of Art doubled in size; the Alliance Theatre won a Tony Award; and numerous art galleries were established on the once-industrial Westside.
Atlanta is on the Piedmont Plateau, at an approximate elevation of 700–1100 ft (220–330 m) above sea level. The city is thus somewhat cooler than other places in the U.S. South, a fact that certainly helped the growth of the city before the introduction of air conditioning.
Atlanta experiences a very wide range of temperatures. Temperatures in winter are overall mild to warm, but cold-fronts can bring light accumulations of snow and lows occasionally plummet into the teens. However, days are usually in the 50's (10°C) and nights in the low to mid 30's (0°C). Ice-storms are very rare, but not unheard of. Summers are hot and humid, with temperatures frequently reaching above 90°F (32°C), thus the city earning the nickname "Hotlanta". Rainfall is high in late winter and early spring, and afternoon thunderstorms are common in summer. Spring and autumn are the best times to visit. The region is often affected during hurricane season (June through November) from remnants that spill out from the Gulf, bringing heavy rains and sometimes high winds.
Climate data for Atlanta
|Record high °F (°C)||79|
|Mean maximum °F (°C)||69.6|
|Average high °F (°C)||52.3|
|Average low °F (°C)||34.3|
|Mean minimum °F (°C)||15.7|
|Record low °F (°C)||−8|
Atlanta encompasses 134.0 square miles (347.1 km2), of which 133.2 square miles (344.9 km2) is land and 0.85 square miles (2.2 km2) is water. The city is situated among the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, and at 1,050 feet (320 m) above mean sea level, Atlanta has the highest elevation of major cities east of the Mississippi River. Atlanta straddles the Eastern Continental Divide, such that rainwater that falls on the south and east side of the divide flows into the Atlantic Ocean, while rainwater on the north and west side of the divide flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Atlanta sits atop a ridge south of the Chattahoochee River, which is part of the ACF River Basin. Located at the far northwestern edge of the city, much of the river's natural habitat is preserved, in part by the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.
Encompassing $304 billion, the Atlanta metropolitan area is the eighth-largest economy in the country and 17th-largest in the world. Corporate operations comprise a large portion of the Atlanta's economy, with the city serving as the regional, national, or global headquarters for many corporations. Atlanta contains the country's third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies, and the city is the global headquarters of corporations such as The Coca-Cola Company, The Home Depot, Delta Air Lines, AT&T Mobility, Chick-fil-A, UPS, and Newell-Rubbermaid. Over 75 percent of Fortune 1000 companies conduct business operations in the Atlanta metropolitan area, and the region hosts offices of about 1,250 multinational corporations. Many corporations are drawn to Atlanta on account of the city's educated workforce; as of 2010, nearly 43% of adults in the city of Atlanta have college degrees, compared to 27% in the nation as a whole.
Atlanta began as a railroad town and logistics has remained a major component of the city's economy to this day. Atlanta is an important rail junction and contains major classification yards for Norfolk Southern and CSX. Since its construction in the 1950s, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has served as a key engine of Atlanta's economic growth. Delta Air Lines, the city's largest employer and the metro area's third largest, operates the world's largest airline hub at Hartsfield-Jackson and has helped make it the world's busiest airport, both in terms of passenger traffic and aircraft operations. Partly due to the airport, Atlanta has become a hub for diplomatic missions; as of 2012, the city contains 25 general consulates, the seventh-highest concentration of diplomatic missions in the United States.
Media is also an important aspect of Atlanta's economy. The city is a major cable television programming center. Ted Turner established the headquarters of both the Cable News Network (CNN) and the Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) in Atlanta. Cox Enterprises, the country's third-largest cable television service and the publisher of over a dozen major American newspapers, is headquartered in the city. The Weather Channel, owned by NBCUniversal, Bain Capital, andThe Blackstone Group, is headquartered just outside Atlanta in Cobb County.
Information technology, an economic sector that includes publishing, software development, entertainment and data processing has garnered a larger percentage of Atlanta's economic output. Indeed, Atlanta has been nicknamed the Silicon peach due to its burgeoning technology sector. As of 2013, Atlanta contains the fourth-largest concentration of information technology jobs in the United States, numbering 85,000. Atlanta also ranks as the sixth fastest-growing city for information technology jobs, with an employment growth of 4.8% in 2012 and a three-year growth near 9%, or 16,000 jobs. Information technology companies are drawn to Atlanta's lower costs and educated workforce.
Largely due to a statewide tax incentive enacted in 2005, the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act, which awards qualified productions a transferable income tax credit of 20% of all in-state costs for film and television investments of $500,000 or more, Atlanta has become a center for film and television production. Film and television production facilities in Atlanta includeTurner Studios, Pinewood Studios (Pinewood Atlanta), Tyler Perry Studios, Williams Street Productions, and the EUE/Screen Gems soundstages. Film and television production injected $6 billion into Georgia's economy in 2015, with Atlanta garnering most of the projects. Atlanta has gained recognition as a center of production of horror and zombie-related productions, with Atlanta magazine dubbing the city the "Zombie Capital of the World".
Compared to other American cities, Atlanta's economy has been disproportionately affected by the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent recession, with the city's economy earning a ranking of 68 among 100 American cities in a September 2014 report due to an elevated unemployment rate, declining real income levels, and a depressed housing market. From 2010–2011, Atlanta saw a 0.9% contraction in employment and only a 0.4% rise in income. Though unemployment had dropped to 7% by late 2014, this was still higher than the national unemployment rate of 5.8% Atlanta's housing market has also struggled, with home prices falling by 2.1% in January 2012, reaching levels not seen since 1996. Compared with a year earlier, the average home price in Atlanta fell 17.3% in February 2012, the largest annual drop in the history of the index for any city. The collapse in home prices has led some economists to deem Atlanta the worst housing market in the country. Nevertheless, in August 2013, Atlanta appeared on Forbes magazine's list of the Best Places for Business and Careers.
The separated skyscrapers of Downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead make Atlanta’s three skylines, and the size of any one of these districts could rival the center of any other city in the South. Atlanta is not all high rises though; each of the city’s urban neighborhoods offer unique atmospheres that are well adapted to living in the shadow of the city.
(Five Points,Centennial Park, Sweet Auburn, Hotel District,Castleberry Hill)
The most central and commercial area in Georgia (economically and politically), downtown Atlanta includes the state capitol, city hall, the CNN Center, Georgia Aquarium and the New World of Coca-Cola
(Midtown, Atlantic Station)
Just North of Downtown, this is a major business and residential district with tall skyscrapers and a popular nightlife area. This district also includes Piedmont Park, the Woodruff Arts Center, and the Georgia Tech campus.
Located several miles North of Midtown, Buckhead is a popular business and nightlife district. Buckhead is surrounded by neighboring Brookwood Hills, as well as Peachtree Battle, Lindbergh Center, and the Governor's Mansion.
(Virginia-Highland, Inman Park, Little Five Points, Candler Park, Poncey-Highland, East Atlanta Village)
East Atlanta includes many popular neighborhoods with beautiful homes, highly-rated restaurants and thriving shopping districts. Neighborhoods include alternative-style Little Five Points, trendy Virginia-Highland (along with adjoining Poncey-Highland), and the growing community of East Atlanta Village.
(Grant Park, Hapeville, Southeast Atlanta)
Home of the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field and one of the busiest airports in the world, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. South Atlanta also contains the neighborhoods of Mechanicsville, Peoplestown, and Lakewood.
Includes Vine City, Bankhead, Historic West End, Collier Heights, and the Upper Westside
The city of Decatur is only a few miles from downtown Atlanta, but has held on to its residential small-town charm. One of the most pedestrian-friendly areas in Atlanta, Decatur is home to many excellent restaurants, bars, and boutique shops.
Atlanta area codes are 404, 770, 678, and 470. All 10 digits of the phone number are required when making local calls.
Prices in Atlanta
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$2.40|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||$12.00|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||$25.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||$50.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||$|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||$6.50|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||$5.00|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$4.00|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||$11.00|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||$20.00|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||$0.10|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||$6.00|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||$1.80|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||$43.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||$32.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||$74.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||$2.50|
66 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
223 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Atlanta's principal airport is Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (IATA: ATL) ("Hartsfield–Jackson," "ATL," or just "the airport" to locals), located about 8 miles south of downtown. Hartsfield-Jackson has been the world's busiest airport since 1999, and is a major hub for Delta Air Linesand a focus city for Southwest Airlines.
Atlanta is served by Amtrak, +1-800-872-7245. Amtrak's Crescent train runs daily and serves New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Charlotte, Gainesville,Birmingham and New Orleans. Southbound, the train leaves New York just before 3PM, calls at Atlanta at around 9AM the next day and reaches New Orleans by 8PM. Northbound, the train leaves New Orleans at around 7AM, calls at Atlanta at around 8PM and reaches New York by 2PM the next day.
The Atlanta Amtrak station is located at 1688 Peachtree St. N.W., which is several miles north of downtown and the airport. To connect from MARTA, take bus #23 or #110, which can be transferred to at Buckhead Station and Arts Center Station. There is no on-site parking at the Amtrak station, but Elite Parking has a surface lot nearby and offers longterm parking at reasonable rates.
Greyhound Bus Lines, 1-800-229-9424, provides bus service to Atlanta from many locations throughout the United States. Buses arrive at and depart from the Greyhound terminal at 232 Forsyth Street, located in a less affluent neighborhood on the southern edge of the downtown area and directly beneath MARTA's Garnett Station (see 'Get around' below).
Megabus, service to Atlanta from locations across the Southern United States. The bus stop is near the Civic Center MARTA station (435 West Peachtree Street); buses stop on the east side of the street at the north end of the station.
GoToBus, service from Atlanta to locations across the Northern United States. The bus stop is near a plaza off Interstate 75, Exit 244 (1192-A Pryor Street); buses stop in the parking lot in the plaza.
Atlanta is linked to the rest of the US by the Interstate Highway System. The principal interstates serving the city are I-75 (serving traffic from Detroit to Florida), I-85 (connecting the Mid-Atlantic to New Orleans) and I-20 (connecting Texas to South Carolina), all of which cross through Downtown.
I-285 (commonly called the Perimeter by Atlantans, and the Atlanta Bypass on overhead signs) circles the city at a distance of about 10 miles out, crossing and connecting with all the above freeways as well as the airport.
Free real-time traffic information is available by dialing 511 anywhere in the state of Georgia.
Transportation - Get Around
Although most locals rely on their cars for day-to-day transportation, walking and public transit are well suited for visitors. The major downtown neighborhoods are quite walkable, and many attractions are easily accessible from public transit.
If you'll have a car anyway, driving is often the fastest means of getting around. It also opens up destinations that are difficult or impossible to access by public transit. However, having a car in Downtown is often a hindrance where parking is scarce, and the lengthy rush hour is an exercise in frustration.
Visitors will find today's Atlanta very walkable, with many improvements made in the last decade. Most of the in-town neighborhoods are individually easy to walk around, with dense collections of bars, restaurants, and shops. In particular, getting around within Midtown, Downtown, Decatur, Buckhead, or the areas around the North Highland Avenue corridor in East Atlanta (including Virginia-Highland, Poncey Highland, and Little Five Points) is usually quite easy; walking times rarely exceed 10–20 minutes, and buses or trains provide some relief for longer trips. Gettingbetween those neighborhoods solely by foot is more difficult; for example, expect a 30–45 minute walk between Midtown and Virginia-Highland. Inter-neighborhood transportation is best done by car or public transit.
Atlanta is served by MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority), +1 404-848-4711, which operates both rapid rail and bus networks in the city of Atlanta and the counties of Fulton and Dekalb.
A single ride on MARTA costs $2.50; the fare includes transfers. MARTA uses wireless Breeze Cards to store your fare; a new card costs $2.00 but is reloadable and valid for 10 years. (Breeze Cards can't be shared; you need one per person.) Breeze Cards are sold in vending machines at all rail stations or at RideStores at Airport, Lindbergh Center, and Five Points Stations (vending machines accept credit cards, but cash may be faster as the machines are slow and prone to breaking). On the bus, tap the card at the fare post next to the driver. At the train station, tap on entry and exit at the fare gate. When transferring, simply tap your card again. (The card uses RFID technology, so you can leave it in your wallet and just tap your whole wallet on the sensor.)
Buses accept fares in cash, but cannot issue transfers on fares paid in cash — you must have a Breeze Card to obtain the transfer. If you plan to make a connection, make sure to get one before starting your trip.
Unlimited passes are available ($9 for 1 day, $19 for 4 days, $23.75 for 7 days). These will easily save you money if you plan on making more than one or two trips per day.
The system is quite safe regardless of the time of day, although there have been a handful of incidents of violent crime in the last decade. Like in any other city or transit system, use common sense, keep aware of your surroundings during low ridership periods, and avoid train cars with no other riders or with only a couple of other riders.
The rail network is comprised of four lines: Red, Gold, Blue, and Green. The Red and Gold lines run north-south, while the Blue and Green lines run east-west, forming a cross with Five Points Station in the center.
The Red and Gold lines run on the same rails from a southern terminus at Hartsfield-Jackson airport through Downtown and Midtown Atlanta, before splitting into two branches: the Red line runs to north metro Atlanta at North Springs Station, and the Gold line runs northeast and terminates at Doraville Station. The Blue line runs from a western terminal at Hamilton E. Holmes to an eastern terminal at Indian Creek. The Green line runs east-west along with the Blue line, but has a small spur to Bankhead station and only goes as far east as Edgewood/Candler Park station. The Five Points station in downtown Atlanta is the only station where passengers may change trains between the Red-Gold and Blue-Green lines. Trains run M-F 5AM-1AM, and on weekends and holidays 5AM-12:30AM. Trains run on all lines every 12 minutes during peak periods, and every 20 minutes at night and on weekends. Note that the wait is often shorter than this for trips in the center of the city, as you will not have to wait for any specific train; you could take either the Red line or the Gold line to get from Downtown to Midtown, for example.
The bus network comprises over one hundred different bus routes, with many routes operating approximately every 20 minutes. Bus service on some lines (generally including the most popular tourist areas) runs M-F 5AM-1:30AM, and on the weekends and holidays 5AM-1AM.
In addition to the train network, there are a few buses which are particularly useful for getting around some of the in-town neighborhoods:
- 110 "The Peach" – This bus traverses Peachtree Street/Road from Downtown to Buckhead. Although most trips along this corridor will be easier and faster using the train, this bus is still especially useful for getting to a destination between Arts Center Station and Buckhead, including the Buckhead Village, which is 20-minute walk from Buckhead Station.
- 36 – Useful connection to Virginia-Highland from Midtown Station. Beyond Virginia-Highland, this bus continues north and then east, stopping at Emory University, then traversing many residential neighborhoods before ending at Avondale Station east of Decatur.
- 16 – Leaves from Five Points Station in Downtown first eastward, passing the Carter Center, then turning onto North Highland Avenue and heading north to Virginia-Highland and beyond into the northeastern reaches of the city. Before turning onto North Highland Avenue, this bus runs roughly parallel to Highland Avenue in close proximity, and it follows North Highland Avenue through its most active areas, so this is a good route to get between destinations along that corridor.
- 2 – Leaves from North Avenue Station heading east and actually operates on two slightly different routes. Most of these follow Ponce de Leon Avenue and head briefly south and east along North Highland Avenue and Freedom Parkway before going along Moreland Avenue (through Little Five Points) and continuing to Edgewood/Candler Park Station. Once an hour, however, the bus will continue along Ponce (instead of turning down North Highland Avenue) and eventually reach Decatur Station. This route is useful for getting to parts of North Highland Avenue and to Little Five Points (both of which will be short walks regardless of which route the bus takes), and the hourly detour can be useful as well for reaching parts of Decatur which are further removed from the MARTA station.
- 12 – Leaves from Midtown Station and heads west along 10th Street past Georgia Tech. Turns north along Howell Mill Road and continues into far northwestern parts of the city. This can be useful for getting to the west end of Georgia Tech campus or for getting to the fairly recently developed West Midtown district (near Howell Mill and Marietta Street and continuing for some time along Howell Mill), where many restaurants, boutique shops, bars, coffee shops, and art galleries are located.
- 1 – Leaves from Five Points Station heading northwest, passes the Aquarium, CNN Center, and World of Coca-Cola (if you don't want to make the 10 minute walk), stops by Georgia Tech, and also passes through West Midtown before heading into far northwestern parts of the city.
- 6 – Runs from Inman Park Station in the East to Lindbergh Station in the North. It first travels along Moreland Avenue (which becomes Briarcliff Road, on which it continues) with stops in Little Five Points (providing a shortcut there if the 10–15 minute walk is too much) offering short walks to much of Poncey Highlands. It also has stops at Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control.
Note for weekend travel: MARTA runs slower on the weekends. Typical wait times are 20 minutes for trains and up to an hour for buses. Be sure to accommodate for this.
Downtown, the Atlanta Streetcar has brought streetcars back to Atlanta, 65 years after the previous service ended. The Downtown Loop runs east-west, connecting Centennial Olympic Park, Peachtree Center MARTA station, and going across the highway to the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site. It's cheaper than MARTA (adults $1, children free [46 inches and under, up to 2 per adult]; multiple trip passes available), but the limited destinations mean visitors may not get much use from it.
Cars are the most popular form of transport to get around the sprawling city, and usually the fastest during non-peak hours. Many destinations outside the urban centers are only accessible by car. Rush hour peaks around 7:30AM–9:30AM and 4PM-6:30PM on weekdays and often results in congestion when traveling inbound in the mornings and outbound in the afternoons. Downtown/Midtown and major shopping districts such as Buckhead can also get crowded on weekends. In the most urban areas, many restaurants and shops in the area offer complimentary or low-cost valet services ($1–3 tip expected) and on the rare occasion where parking is scarce, public lots are usually nearby for a fee. In most of the city, though, parking is free and plentiful. Real-time traffic information is available online or by dialing 511 from any phone.
Street names in Atlanta are very confusing. There are more than 70 streets that have "Peachtree" in their name, and they are often difficult to distinguish (Peachtree Street, Peachtree Lane, West Peachtree Street, etc.). When someone says "Peachtree" without clarifying, they mean Peachtree Street, a major north-south thoroughfare through Downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead. Do not confuse it with West Peachtree Street, which parallels Peachtree Street a block away and is a major road through Midtown. Additionally, many thoroughfares change street names frequently, generally at intersections and curves.
It is usually possible to flag taxicabs down near tourist attractions and bars in Midtown and Downtown. However, calling ahead is recommended.
24-Hour Taxicab Services:
Taxis between the airport and major areas of town are flat rate. Be sure to insist on the flat rate, even if the driver claims no knowledge of it.
You can also use rideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft. Be aware the pricing can be high during times of high demand.
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Atlanta has one of the top 10 retail markets in the US, and the city's neighborhoods are a great place to find antiques, art galleries, arts and crafts stores, thrift stores and boutiques. The city's eclectic shopping neighborhoods include downtown Atlanta, Little Five Points, Virginia-Highland, Buckhead and Midtown.
Buckhead is home to more than 1,400 retail stores. Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza offer the most concentrated collection of upscale stores available anywhere in the city including Barneys CO-OP, Neiman Marcus, Tiffany & Co., Jil Sander, Gucci, Cartier, Burberry, Jimmy Choo and Louis Vuitton. The Midtown Mile is a stretch of Peachtree Street in Midtown that offers street level retail shopping. It's on schedule to be complete in 2009, but many shops are currently open. Atlantic Station also offers plenty of retail options.
If your interest lies in smaller, specialty, boutique or vintage stores, try Little Five Points, Virginia-Highland, and East Atlanta Village. Wax 'N Facts is a popular store in Little Five Points that actually still sells vinyl records. Bill Hallman Boutiques are also a neighborhood staple, providing fashion forward clothing for Atlanta's social set.
Underground Atlanta is six city blocks in the heart of downtown Atlanta transformed into a spirited marketplace that offers historic guided tours and features restaurants, specialty stores, entertainment emporiums and street-cart merchants.
Street vendors are common in Downtown, especially in the Five Points neighborhood. You can also find large assortment of trade retailers at AmericasMart.
Affordability, variety of restaurants, culinary diversity and award-winning chefs are key ingredients that earn Atlanta a place at the table with other popular culinary cities. An assortment of neighborhoods offers an array of restaurants featuring cuisine that spans the globe, serving something for every taste.
If you want to plumb the depths of what Atlanta's restaurant scene offers, do what locals do and sift through local magazine Creative Loafing. They review restaurants all over the city, and have a list of "100 Dishes to Eat in Atlanta Before You Die", which is an update of their previous lists from 2013 and 2011.
During the past few years, several celebrity chefs have traveled south to call Atlanta home. Drawn to the quickly growing culinary scene, these chefs have been welcomed with open arms and some true southern hospitality. Jean-Georges Vongerichten (Spice Market), Anne Quatrano (Bacchanalia, Floataway Cafe, and Abbatoir), and Richard Blais (The Spence, FLIP Burger Boutique, and One Midtown Kitchen) are just a few.
What better place to travel than to the heart of Atlanta to experience classic and contemporary Southern cuisine at its finest? Mary Mac's Tea Room has been serving "meat and three" for close to 70 years, and has photos in every room to prove it, while innovators like Canoe, JCT, Restaurant Eugene, and South City Kitchen update Southern cuisine for the 21st century.
A Wall Street Journal article in 2007 named Atlanta the best city in the U.S. for burgers. Their top pick went to Ann's Snack Bar, an 8-seat dive run by one woman. The Vortex and The EARL were also listed, and are better choices if you don't have several hours to spend waiting in line.
Atlanta is also making a name for itself in pizza of almost every style. For gourmet pizza,Varasano's (which has a satellite location in the airport) and Antico Pizza Napoletana are invariably named as the two best, but opinions are divided about which is the top. Other gourmet pizzerias include Ammazza, Double Zero, and Fritti, just to name a few. If you're looking for less-pretentious 'za, check out Blue Moon Pizza, Cameli's, Fellini's, or Rocky Mountain Pizza.
Of course, you can stick with the landmarks, such as The Varsity (the world's largest drive-in), The Sun Dial (a restaurant on top of the Westin Hotel which revolves for a 360° view of the city), Pittypat's Porch (Southern charm inspired by Gone With the Wind), or R. Thomas(healthy meals including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free, just to name a few).
You might be surprised to learn that Atlanta is home to the headquarters of many restaurant chains. Some are small regional or Atlanta-only chains such as Flying Biscuit Café,Taqueria del Sol, Figo Pasta, and Tin Drum Asiacafé. The iconically Southern chains Waffle House and Chick-Fil-A got their start in Atlanta, as did Mellow Mushroom and Moe's Southwest Grill. Other chains just find Atlanta to be a great business home, including Arby's, Krystal, and Ted's Montana Grill... just to name a few.
Coffe & Drink
In much of the South, thanks to the influence of Coca-Cola being headquartered in downtown Atlanta, "coke" can colloquially refer to any soft drink in place of "soda" or "pop". Ordering "a Coke" at a restaurant usually, but not always, means you're asking for a Coca-Cola Classic (and they will ask "Is Pepsi okay?" if they don't serve Coca-Cola products), but if someone says they're going to the grocery store to buy "some cokes" for a party, they mean "a variety of soft drinks", not just Coca-Cola.
A true staple of southern culture, sweet tea can be found at almost any restaurant in Atlanta. In most places an order for "tea" will be assumed to mean "sweet tea"; hot or unsweetened tea need to be asked for specifically. A popular variant to a glass of sweet tea is an Arnold Palmer, a half and half mix of iced tea (either sweetened or unsweetened) and lemonade, named after the famous golfer who popularized it. "Arnold Palmer" is a bit of a tongue twister, so ordering a "half iced tea and lemonade" is common.
Beer and more beer
Atlanta is home to Sweetwater Brewing Company, one of the largest microbreweries in the South; their 420 Extra Pale Ale is a signature item. Red Brick is the second-largest, and Monday Night and Red Hare (in Marietta) are relative newcomers.
Beer bars are a big to-do in Atlanta. The most widely-known is local chain T.MAC(formerly Taco Mac), which boasts an ever-changing collection of as many as 140 beers on draught and hundreds more in bottles, with wings, burgers, and tacos to wash them down. Not to be outdone, The Porter serves up 430 brews along with excellent gastropub food.Brick Store Pub offers over 20 beers for connoisseurs, plus an additional bar of Belgian beers in an upstairs alcove. Serving up their own in-house brews, Wrecking Bar, 5 Seasons (Upper Westside and Sandy Springs), and Twain's top the list of brewpubs. Other local favorites for a good pint include Publik Draft House, Book House, Thinking Man Tavern, and Cypress Street Pint & Plate.
Sights & Landmarks
Founded in 1929, the Atlanta Ballet is the oldest professional dance company in America, the largest self-supported arts organization in Georgia and the official Ballet of Georgia. The company's performances combine contemporary and traditional styles with classic ballets and new choreography. Its annual season is presented at the historic Fox Theatre (Midtown), including the holiday season favorite "The Nutcracker." The "Fabulous Fox" is worth a visit just to see its grandiose interior, and hosts many plays and concerts throughout the year.
Opera fans can enjoy the Atlanta Opera (northwest Atlanta). Atlanta's love affair with opera has spanned over 125 years of the city's history. Founded in 1979, the Atlanta Opera has won numerous awards both nationally and locally.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is recognized for its creativity and innovation internationally. It is also known as a wonderful training ground for musicians who go on to stellar careers with other orchestras. Regular orchestral performances can also be caught at the new Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Alpharetta in metro Atlanta).
Atlanta has one of the most impressive theater communities in the United States with more than 65 active performance groups. Metro theaters present a variety of new and old works. The New American Shakespeare Tavern (Midtown) is one highlight; this leading playhouse is the first troupe in America to complete the production of all 38 of Shakespeare's plays. Other highlights include Broadway musicals through Broadway in Atlanta and Theater of the Stars, improvisation, southern themes, political and human issues, contemporary, classic and, of course, Shakespeare. Check out Alliance Theatre(Midtown), Center for the Puppetry Arts (Midtown), Dad's Garage improv (Little Five Points), Georgia Shakespeare Theatre (Brookhaven in north metro Atlanta), or Seven Stages more alternative line-up of shows and musicals (Little Five Points).
Explore the cityscape and enjoy the many pieces of architecture built all around Atlanta, from the skyscrapers of Midtown, to the Downtown skyline, to the houses on Highland Avenue, to the mansions of Buckhead. Inman Park, Atlanta's showcases the city's old Victorian architecture. Other notable architectural attractions include the High Museum of Art and The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library.
Atlanta has a rich assortment of skyscrapers, notable for their modern aesthetic and the abundance of spires. The Bank of America building in midtown rises to a height of 1023 feet making it the tallest office building in the country outside of New York or Chicago. A recent building boom has left Atlanta glittering with dazzling glass skyscrapers, many of which contain some of the most expensive condominiums in the country. That said, the city owes a sizeable portion of its modern cityscape to home-grown architect John Portman. The construction of the icon Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel helped steer Atlanta in a more urban direction. Portman, famous for the development of the hotel atrium also designed numerous other buildings in Atlanta, including the Hyatt Regency, the Marriott Marquis, and AmericasMart.
Atlanta also has a few view points where you can enjoy a 360 degree view of the city in Downtown. One of them is the Sundial atop the Westin Peachtree. Another is the Polaris atop the Hyatt Regency Atlanta (it's view is becoming obscured by the growing walls of glass around it), and there is also Nikolai's Roof on top of the Hilton.
- Atlanta Braves baseball (at Turner Field).The Atlanta Braves' regular season takes place April through September at Turner Field in South Atlanta. Check out the Ivan Allen Jr. Baseball Museum and Hall of Fame at Turner Field, both open year-round. The remains of the former Fulton County Stadium where Hank Aaron hit his historic 715th home run can also be seen in the north parking lot. The Braves are currently building the new SunTrust Park just across the Cobb County line and are expecting to open it in 2017; once the new park opens, Turner Field will be redeveloped.
- Atlanta Falcons football (at the Georgia Dome). The 1998 NFC Champions, the Atlanta Falcons, gear up each September to kick off the official season in Downtown. The Georgia Dome has hosted numerous events including parts of the 1996 Summer Olympics, Super Bowls XXVIII and XXXIV, the 2006 Sugar Bowl, the NCAA Final Four in 2002 and 2007, and the annual Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (one of the six bowls associated with the College Football Playoff). The Falcons are building the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium nearby which will open in 2017; once the new stadium opens, the Georgia Dome will be torn down.
- Atlanta Hawks men's basketball and Atlanta Dream women's basketball (at Philips Arena). Covering 4.4 acres, Philips Arena is Atlanta's state-of-the-art multi purpose sports and entertainment complex located in Downtown. The arena is home to the NBA's Hawks and the WNBA's Dream.
- Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The city's most famous university features a popular and highly competitive sports program that competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference. All of the major venues, the best-known of which are Bobby Dodd Stadium for football, McCamish Pavilion for basketball, and Russ Chandler Stadium for baseball, are on the Tech campus in Midtown.
In the fast-growing sport of soccer, the city has no professional soccer team in the 2016 season. The Atlanta Silverbacks played in several lower-level leagues, most recently the North American Soccer League, before folding after the 2015 season. Professional soccer will return in 2017 when Atlanta United FC begins play in Major League Soccer. Atlanta United will share Mercedes-Benz Stadium with the Falcons.
Befitting a city closely associated with one of golf's most legendary figures, Bobby Jones, Atlanta hosts one of the most important events on the PGA Tour. Although not a major championship, The Tour Championship, held in September at Jones' home course of East Lake Golf Club at the city's eastern edge, is the final event of the PGA Tour season. The Tour Championship field is limited to 30 players, the survivors of a season-long qualifying process that culminates in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. The winner of The Tour Championship earns nearly $1.5 million, one of the largest prizes in the sport, and often (but not always) wins the FedEx Cup points race that brings a $10 million bonus.
In addition to Georgia Tech, the city has a second NCAA Division I athletic program, and a third is in the metropolitan area. Both have considerably lower profiles than Georgia Tech. The Georgia State Panthers compete in the Sun Belt Conference. The basketball teams play at the school's downtown campus, and the football team plays in the Georgia Dome, but most other athletic facilities are in DeKalb County. The Kennesaw State Owls, members of the Atlantic Sun Conference, are located in the Cobb County city of Kennesaw. KSU football, newly launched in 2015, plays in the Big South Conference at Fifth Third Bank Stadium near its campus.
- Legoland Discovery Center Atlanta (located within Buckhead's Phipps Plaza on the 3rd Floor near Belk). The city's newest family friendly attraction is the Legoland discovery center.
- Old South and New South — This tour takes you through the old historical sides of Atlanta and the new rapidly growing areas with postmodern architecture and technology, as well as unique culture.
Museums & Galleries
Atlanta's top attractions form an eclectic mix that is sure to have something that appeals to everyone, and enough variety to keep the adventurous traveler busy. The highest concentration of exhibits can be found in the Centennial Park Area, where Atlanta's three biggest attractions are located within two blocks of one another: World of Coca-Cola tells the history of the world’s most iconic brand, with plenty of samples to ensure understanding; across the street is the Georgia Aquarium, the world’s largest by volume of water, where you can swim with the biggest fish of them all, the whale shark; and the CNN Center andStudio Tour, which offers a behind the scenes look at what it takes to run one of the nation’s leading news sources.
Those more inclined to history can visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Sitein Sweet Auburn, which includes this inspiring leader’s birthplace home, his final resting place, the church where he once gave sermons, as well as a museum and memorial dedicated to his colossal achievements. Civil War buffs will enjoy the 100-year old Atlanta Cyclorama in nearby Grant Park, which tells the story of the Battle of Atlanta through a massive, continuous, circular painting. The largest collection of Civil War memorabilia in the nation can be found at the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead, alongside a large exhibit memorializing the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games.
Exhibits of both ancient and modern history can be found near Little Five Points at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, featuring a humbling display of the largest dinosaur ever unearthed, and the Jimmy Carter Library & Museum, which is the permanent home of the former president’s Nobel Peace Prize. The Michael C. Carlos Museum, located on the campus of Emory University is an excellent attraction for those interested in the Greek and Egyptian cultures. The museum houses the largest collection of Greek, Egyptian and Near East artifacts in the southeast. Those with more refined tastes can enjoy the High Museum of Art in Midtown, which displays fine art from the last two centuries, as well as modern and contemporary pieces. In Midtown, the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) features rotating design exhibits and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center offers rotating contemporary art exhibitions. The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA) between Midtown and Buckhead features a permanent collection as well as temporary exhibitions of contemporary art, focusing on Georgia artists. Georgia State University's Rialto Center for the Arts in Downtown has a free exhibition of visual art as well. And finally, Gone with the Wind aficionados can’t miss the Margaret Mitchell House & Museum, which preserves the Tudor Revival mansion in Midtown where the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel was written.
Travelers planning to visit multiple attractions may benefit from Atlanta CityPASS, which grants admission to 5 Atlanta attractions within 9 days of first use for a much reduced rate and includes expedited entry in some cases. The included attractions are: Georgia Aquarium; World of Coca-Cola; Inside CNN Studio Tour; either High Museum of Art or Fernbank Museum of Natural History; and either Zoo Atlanta or Atlanta History Center.
Things to do
Parks and recreation
- Visit Centennial Olympic Park in Downtown and relax by the man-made river, splash in the Fountain of Rings on a hot summer day or go ice skating at the ice rink in the wintertime, attend a concert, and pay respects to the victims of the 1996 Olympics bombing.
- Walk through Piedmont Park in Midtown, the largest park in Atlanta. Attend the Dogwood Festival in the spring time or one of the many musical events.
- Grant Park is the oldest city park in Atlanta and is home to Zoo Atlanta. Historic Oakland Cemetery, also located here, serves as the final resting place for more than 3,900 Confederate soldiers, famous Atlanta author Margaret Mitchell, golfing legend Bobby Jones, six Georgia governors and 25 Atlanta mayors.
- The BeltLine is a new multi-use trail. Its plan calls for a 22-mile loop around Atlanta, of which only some portions are complete. Many sections of the former railway corridor have already been renovated with paved walking paths, while some others are still au naturel but hikeable. The BeltLine has been a big hit with locals; on weekends with good weather you will see dozens of people every minute crossing the street at popular intersections such as near Piedmont Park.
Festivals and events
- In January and February, look for the city-wide celebration of visual arts with ATLart and enjoy an early spring at the Southeastern Flower Show held at the Cobb Galleria Centre.
- In March, Atlanta celebrates Irish Heritage with Downtown Atlanta's St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival, followed, in April, by the Atlanta Dogwood Festival staged at Piedmont Park with children's activities, an artist market, and more.
- The Georgia Renaissance Festival allows people to experience merry olde England during the days of King Arthur.
- Each May celebrates jazz in Atlanta, the Atlanta Jazz Festival is presented at the Woodruff Arts Center and other venues.
- In June, visitors can experience the Atlanta Film Festival.
- The Georgia Shakespeare Festival presents plays from June through October at the Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University.
- The days around Independence Day (July 4) are filled with quite a few celebrations, but the most notable is the Peachtree Road Race, with 55,000 runners and many more spectators.
- The National Black Arts Festival is held during the third week in July and is the world's largest cultural celebration of African-American art.
- Dragon Con. F-M of Labor Day weekend (first Sa in Sept). A massive science-fiction and fantasy convention, although it's grown to be so multi-media and multi-genre that almost anyone can find a topic of interest here. Celebrity actors and writers come from across the world for Q&A panels. The convention is spread across 5 hotels and a trade center downtown. (Hotel rooms sell out almost a year in advance, as soon as they're made available, but you don't need to stay at a convention hotel to attend.) 1-day membership $35-50 (popular days are more expensive), 2-day Su-M $70, 3-day Sa-M $110, all-weekend $130 (advance purchase $120 through July 15).
- Even if you don't go to Dragon Con, you should watch the free Dragon Con Parade (Peachtree St; see website for exact route. Accessible from North Ave or Civic Center Stations, or the very crowded Peachtree Center Station). First Sa in Sept, 10am-noon. A sight to see for any geek, whether you're on the lookout for pirates, hobbits, or Storm Troopers. Over 3,000 fans parade in costumes, as well as show off elaborately recreated vehicles like the Ghostbusters' ECTO-1, the DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future, and the Batmobile, plus unique creations like huge animated dragons and starships. Great for children, although younglings might be scared by realistic-looking Klingons or zombies. Expect large crowds, which begin gathering before 8am. Free.
- The Atlanta Pride Festival is an October three-day celebration held in Piedmont Park.
- Atlanta Celebrates Photography. Promotes photography exhibitions and events citywide every October.
With fun and unique attractions, renowned restaurants and top-of-the-line hotel experiences, Atlanta keeps the party going from day to night. With chic style in Buckhead, alternative scene in Little Five Points, a casual atmosphere in Virginia-Highland and a trendy vibe in Midtown, Atlanta nightlife suits every style of letting loose. Since each district has so many options, you will want to visit each district article for a more detailed listing.
Buckhead is still the most popular nightlife district for locals and out-of-towners alike. Andrews cafe and Aiko Lounge are among the most popular dance clubs in Buckhead among 20's and 30's singles, while an older crowd can be seen at the Beluga Martini Bar. The Buckhead clientele is mostly of an upscale crowd, so be sure to dress to impress.
Midtown is the spot if you're looking for the urban vibe with diverse a crowd of 20's and 30's, many of them are college students, locals, transplants from out of state and foreign countries. This is also a gay and lesbian friendly area.
Downtown has a few options for nightlife as well. Many of the Downtown watering holes can be found in Kenny's Alley in Underground. The Fairlie-Poplar district has a few neighborhood bars as well. Stats is an ideal sports bar to watch a game located near Centennial Olympic Park.
Other popular clubs throughout the city include The Masquerade and MJQ Concourse. All areas of the city also have plenty of pubs and taverns, such as Fado Irish Pub in Buckhead, Shakespeare Tavern in Midtown, and Highland Tap in Virginia-Highland.
If you like country line-dancing, you can head out of the city and into the suburbs and check out Wild Bills in Duluth.
Safety in Atlanta
Despite Atlanta's reputation, the city is not as dangerous as many perceive it to be. The crime rate has dropped during the late 1990s and 2000s and reached a near forty-year low in 2005. While violent crime levels are still high compared to most American cities, most of the violence is related to the drug trade, and takes place in parts of the city visitors seldom see.
Usual precautions should be taken, as in any other major city, such as not traveling alone at night and being aware of which neighborhoods are more prone to crime. In Atlanta, the southwest and southeast areas have reported the most incidents of crime; the triangle created by I-285, I-75, and I-20 in particular is a dangerous neighborhood, as well as west of Northside Drive around Georgia World Congress Center and Georgia Dome. Car theft is exceptionally high by national standards. Also beware of frequent car break-ins in downtown. Do not leave anything valuable in plain sight in the car (even your old GPS that might be worth just $20). Outside of the perimeter, crime rates are significantly lower (except Dekalb County).