In the heart of the South, Atlanta has a decidedly cosmopolitan and fast-paced ambience, attracting visitors with its thriving restaurant scene and abundant cultural attractions. People from all over the country have relocated to this commercial hub, contributing to the city's unique feel. The new Atlanta is progressive and eclectic: Museums and performance venues bring in the culture hounds, just as verdant parks attract outdoorsy types. Meanwhile, families flock to the city's larger-than-life ... continue»
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The best time to visit Atlanta is from late May to August, when you can enjoy the numerous concerts and outdoor activities. On the other hand, the mild weather of the spring and fall might be a better if you want to beat the heat. To save a few bucks, try planning a winter trip, when hotel prices dive and cooler temperatures drive visitors away. However, you should have no problem finding a good deal in Atlanta.Best Times to Visit Atlanta»
When maneuvering the different neighborhoods, note that the maze of roads in Atlanta can be very confusing. In fact, they're so confusing that cab drivers sometimes even get lost.
Accessible via the Peachtree Center, Civic Center, Dome-GWCC Philips Arena-CNN and Five Points MARTA rail stations.
Most of Atlanta's commercial activity happens downtown. Many of the city's popular attractions are located relatively close to one another and are also conveniently close to MARTA's train stops (Atlanta's public transportation). We suggest going on a walking tour of the city and hitting the Centennial Olympic Park, location of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. The park sits near the Georgia Aquarium, the CNN Center, and the very popular World of Coca-Cola.
Sports fanatics might enjoy downtown Atlanta for its compilation of professional sports teams and stadiums. Philips Arena is home to the WNBA's Atlanta Dream, the NBA's Atlanta Hawks, and the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers. Just south of downtown, the MLB's Atlanta Braves play at Turner Field.
Accessible via the Midtown, North Avenue and Arts Center MARTA rail stations.
Just north of downtown, Midtown is dominated by tall skyscrapers and the regional headquarters of mega-corporations. In contrast is the lush Piedmont Park. The park's 180 acres of green gathers joggers, dog-walkers, picnickers, and other city folks looking for a natural retreat. Head inside Piedmont to see the Atlanta Botanical Garden, which features a children's garden, numerous walking trails, and the Fuqua Orchid Center. Midtown also houses a number of performance venues, including the famous Fox Theatre and the Woodruff Arts Center.
Accessible via the Buckhead and Lenox MARTA rail stations.
The city's nightlife is centered in Buckhead, located north of downtown. Filled with luxury apartments and condominiums, Buckhead is also one of Atlanta's most affluent communities. Restaurants, bars, and upscale shopping malls are scattered throughout. The best places to spend some cash are at Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza, two malls that sit near and compete with each other for patrons.
Accessible via bus routes #16, #2 and #45.
Virginia Highland, known simply as "the Highlands," is mainly residential and sits northeast of downtown Atlanta. Many art galleries and boutiques are centered here, and a large student population from nearby Emory University provides the neighborhood with a lively nightlife.
Little Five Points
Accessible via the Inman Park/Reynoldstown and Edgewood/Candler Park MARTA rail stations.
Little Five Points is the most eccentric area of Atlanta. This neighborhood just northeast of downtown is filled with quirky shops, bars, and bungalows. We recommend you start here if you're looking to stay in a quaint bed and breakfast during your trip.
Although the main touristy areas are generally safe, you should still use common sense when maneuvering a big city like Atlanta. Do not flash valuables and use caution when walking around, especially at night.
The best way to get around Atlanta is the MARTA, the city's public transportation system. MARTA operates both bus and rail lines throughout the city and into nearby suburbs. For $2.50 per person, you can take the red or gold rail lines from Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL), which sits 20 minutes south of downtown. Driving—though notoriously hectic in this city—is another option, and you'll find rental car kiosks in the airport. Taxis are also available, but expect high rates due to time spent sitting in traffic.Getting Around Atlanta»