By Stephanie Hyland, Storage.com
Storage.com takes pride in helping people move into their new homes, whether that involves providing a storage unit in between or by helping people discover more about their new city.
Between the strong economy, historical significance, and southern charm, this capital city has a lot to offer residents and visitors. Atlanta is the ninth largest metropolitan in the United States, and those who call it home will tell you that there is always a fun event scheduled, something to learn, and a great meal to enjoy!
Whether you’re a long-time resident or you are just visiting, here are 18 things that everyone who comes to the “city in a forest” should know.
1. LEARN THE LINGO.
When it comes to traffic, Atlanta has a lot of it. To make navigating the city easier, it’s important to learn the street lingo in order to avoid congested areas during heavy traffic hours. Like many residents will tell you, these are all places you’ll want to avoid during rush hour if at all possible:
- The Top End: northern arc of I-285.
- The Perimeter: the I-285 bypass circling the city.
- Spaghetti Junction: intersection of I-285 and I-85.
- The Connector: where I-85 and I-75 converge through downtown Atlanta.
2. HUB OF HEADQUARTERS.
If you are coming to Atlanta in search of a job, you have come to the right place! Atlanta is home to a number of Fortune 500 and 1000 company headquarters such as the Coca-Cola Company, The Home Depot, Newell-Rubbermaid, UPS, Delta Air Lines Inc., and Turner Broadcasting, just to name a few. Atlanta is also listed as #14 for Best Places for Business and Careers by Forbes.
3. ATLANTA IS DIVERSE.
With people from all over the world calling Atlanta home, this city has become one of the biggest melting pots in the United States. Within the last 20 years, there has been an increase in Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Hispanic, East Asian, and Eastern European families coming to the city. Atlanta also embraces the gay community by hosting the second largest gay pride parade in the United States. Atlanta has one of the highest LGBT populations per capita, ranking third behind San Francisco and Seattle, with 13% of the city’s total population recognizing themselves as part of the LGBT community.
4. HIT THE BOOKS.
Higher education is a priority in Atlanta. This capital city is also home to a number of renowned educational institutions including Clark Atlanta University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, and Emory University.
Studying in Atlanta and need summer storage near your school? Find storage units near Georgia Tech.
5. CATCHING A FLIGHT IS EASY.
Since 2000, the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport has earned the title of the “World’s Busiest Airports by Passenger Traffic” from the Airports Council International. It is a focus for Southwest Airlines and Frontier Airlines and is the center of Delta Air Lines and Delta Connection partner, ExpressJet, who host nearly 1,000 flights a day.
6. SPORTS FANS WELCOME.
The Braves, Hawks, and the Falcons all call Atlanta home. The Braves run the bases at Turner Field and the Falcons huddle up at the Georgia Dome. Both teams will be in two new stadiums by 2017. Catch an Atlanta Hawks home game at the Philips Arena, an indoor, dual-sport complex that is located downtown. Sports fans will love that the College Football Hall of Fame is also located in Atlanta. This attraction is full of sports memorabilia and interactive entertainment.
7. GET YOUR GEEK ON.
Spiderman, Star Trek, and Storm Troopers, oh my! Since 1987, Dragon Con has given sci-fi lovers from around the world a platform where they can pay homage to their favorite characters and personalities. This event has a number of fun activities for participants and observers to enjoy such as the iconic Dragon Con parade, workshops, gaming and photo opportunities, and the comic and artist alley, just to name a few.
8. FOODIES WILL LOVE ATLANTA.
If you think seeing a few food trucks parked along the street is cool, Atlanta has a park that is dedicated to the idea. The Atlanta Food Truck Park & Event Center is a great place to grab a great meal, dance to live music, pick up fresh produce on the weekends, and play a game of bocce ball with the family. During the week you will typically have a selection of six to eight trucks and ten to fourteen on the weekend. You can also catch food trucks in Atlanta at the Friday Urban Picnic near the The Curb Market in downtown Atlanta.
9. WHAT’LL YA HAVE?
Everyone in Atlanta will be able to tell you about The Varsity, a fast food chain that has become iconic in Atlanta for being the largest drive-thru restaurant in the world. Besides having size on on their side, they are also known for their chili recipe and making so many of their menu items from scratch every morning with the freshest ingredients possible! If you are in search for a true Southern meal in Atlanta, make sure you check out Colonnade, Mary Mac’s Tea Room, Busy Bee Café, and Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint.
10. THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE.
Atlanta has a festival for every season! In the spring, Atlanta residents can enjoy the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, the Atlanta Film Festival, and the Sweet Auburn Springfest. In the summer, some of the most popular stops are the Summer Beer Fest, Atlanta Ice Cream Festival, and the Street Food Festival. In the fall, residents dance the day away at Midtown Music and One Musicfest. People of all ages also enjoy showing off their Halloween costumes at the Pumpkin Festival at Stone Mountain Park in October. In December, residents enjoy the Peach Drop at the Underground Atlanta, and the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival in February.
11. GET SOME AIR.
Atlanta has a number of parks that give residents and visitors plenty of space to stretch their legs, enjoy outdoor activities and be a part of community events. Some of the most popular parks in the Atlanta area are Piedmont Park, Centennial Olympic Park, and Perkerson Park. To get a great skyline view of Atlanta, be sure to check out Freedom Park, as it is the largest city park in Atlanta!
12. CALLING ALL GARDEN LOVERS.
Have you ever seen a Climbing Noisette Rose? You can at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, along with a number of other beautiful flowers and plants. This botanical garden is home to a number of displays that will leave you in awe! The mission of the Atlanta Botanical Garden is to develop and maintain plant collections for display, education, research, conservation, and enjoyment for all visitors. The Atlanta location offers kids programs and adult classes. They even offer a hotline if you ever have any questions about your own plants at home.
13. CATCH A SHOW.
If you are looking to catch a show while you are in Atlanta, you’ll have plenty of options. Atlanta is home to a number of venues that are a perfect place to catch a concert or live performance. Atlanta has something for everyone! Some of the most popular stops are the Fox Theatre, The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse, Chastain Park Amphitheater, Alliance Theatre, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Woodruff Arts Center, and Variety Playhouse.
14. ATLANTA CARES ABOUT CONSERVATION.
The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is a must see for all residents and visitors. All ages will enjoy seeing this aquatic world up close! “The World’s Most Magical Aquarium” prides itself on providing conservation information to visitors and conducting environmental research that helps address conservation issues. Besides housing some of the most interesting sea creatures, the aquarium also has an event space that is perfect for meetings, weddings, and birthday parties.
15. EXPERIENCE THE HISTORY.
Whether you are a history buff or an art lover, Atlanta has you covered. History buffs will love visiting the Center for Civil and Human Rights, Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta History Center, and the Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum. Art lovers will enjoy spending an afternoon at the High Museum of Art. This museum is known for its collection of 19th and 20th century American art, European art, decorative arts, African American art, modern and contemporary art, photography, and African art. This museum also has a number of traveling exhibits that come to the area.
16. TAKE A TOUR.
Besides having a number of art museums and performance venues, Atlanta also has a variety of historical landmarks that can be toured by the public. One of the most iconic locations in Atlanta is the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Site, where visitors can visit the home where Dr. King was born and raised. You can hear his voice in the Ebenezer Baptist Church where he delivered sermons and see where he was baptized as a child. Visitors can also view Dr. King’s tomb at the The King Center and see the Behold Monument.
Gone With the Wind fans will love seeing the Margaret Mitchell House where she lived and wrote her Pulitzer-Prize winning novel. A few other historic homes that are open to the public are Rhodes Hall, Tullie Smith House, and The Wren’s Nest.
17. COKE IS THE DRINK OF CHOICE.
One of the most unique attractions you can find in Atlanta is the World of Coca-Cola. Visitors can learn not only how Coca-Cola became the popular beverage it is today, but they can also see brand related artifacts, visit the vault where the secret recipe for Coca-Cola is kept, and see how the bottling process works firsthand. Before you leave, make sure you take a photo with the Coca-Cola polar bear!
18. GRAB A CRAFT BEER.
If one of your favorite past times on the weekend is searching for the perfect craft beer, Atlanta is a great place to start! Atlanta is where the Orpheus Brewing, Second Self Beer Company, SweetWater Brewing Company, Red Brick Brewing Company, and Monday Night Brewing call home. After you have ordered a cold one, take one of the many tours that are offered at these locations. Cheers!
Do you have a favorite spot in Atlanta? Tell us in the comment section below!
If you’re moving to Atlanta and need storage space to help with the transition, view Storage.com’s directory for self storage in Atlanta.
All images have either been provided by a listed organization or are licensed under the Creative Commons.