Atlanta is a bustling Southern city with ample charm and hospitality that is oftentimes referred to as the "New York of the South." It boasts rich cultural activities, beautiful parks, hundreds of festivals, top rated restaurants, high end shopping and much more. It is a city that offers entertainment and activities for all ages and interests.
Must see in Atlanta
Hike to the top of nearby Stone Mountain Park to see spectacular city views and enjoy the light show. Visit the Georgia Aquarium to see 100,000+ aquatic animals and shows. Escape to Piedmont Park for festivals, walking trails and dog parks.
Where to stay in Atlanta
Midtown Atlanta has ample shopping and restaurants along with nearby Piedmont Park, the Fox Theater and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. It is also a short drive to Downtown Atlanta, which features sporting events and concerts at Philips Arena, the Georgia Dome and Turner Field and many kid-friendly museums and activities. Buckhead is perfect for those who enjoy high end restaurants and shopping at Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza and those looking for nightlife. Hotel prices vary considerably based on events taking place in the area, but downtown hotels and those outside of the Perimeter (outside of I-285) are generally more reasonable.
Best and worst time to go to Atlanta
Atlanta has four distinct seasons, so travel can often be based on when events of interest are taking place. June to September it gets very hot in the city and is a busy time of year due to tourists and children being out of school, but there are ample indoor activities to take a break from the heat. Atlanta is beautiful to visit late September thru November as the weather cools and the leaves change color. The holidays turn Atlanta into a winter wonderland full of cheer, but while winter is typically mild, the occasional snow or ice storm will shut the city down. Rush hour in Atlanta covers an extreme range, so allow for lengthy commutes.
Where to get lost in Atlanta
Piedmont Park offers a respite from the hustle and bustle with miles of green space and walking trails. Spend hours walking around Virginia Highlands and nearby Little Five Points to see the eclectic mix of shops and sights.
The best deal in Atlanta
The Atlanta CityPass allows visitors to enjoy many of the downtown area attractions such as Zoo Atlanta, the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, CNN Center and more at a discounted rate.
Transportation in Atlanta
Public transportation within the city and to the airport is available on the MARTA trains and buses. Is you are looking to visit areas outside of Atlanta proper a rental car is recommended.
Getting in from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
The MARTA station is accessible right inside the airport and can be taken to Downtown, Midtown, Buckhead and other surrounding areas within the city. The rental car facility is an easy tram ride away.
Local tip for visitors to Atlanta
Y'all, don't miss out on local Southern cuisine, such as Shrimp and Grits, Chicken and Waffles and Biscuits and Gravy.
Author's bio: Hastings Malone is an Atlanta, GA local who manages the Marketing, Events and Writing consulting business Southern Charm Communications. She is a freelance contributor to a variety of publications.