Atlanta is a relatively young city that began in 1837 and grew when the railroad was built to run through, bringing industry to the city. Today, Atlanta has used its newness to maintain a progressive, modern feel. The city breeds a vibrant arts and nightlife scene, with fantastic culture, delicious dining, and an amazing academic world. There are over 30 colleges located in the city, including the prestigious Emory University and Georgia Tech. Atlanta is considered a thriving community for African-Americans as well, considering the country’s first black mayor was elected here and many of the nation’s best African American talents are still produced here.
There are several universities and colleges in the area, so it’s essential to start looking for an apartment as early as possible. The apartment scramble usually begins around January, peaking in May, and winding down around August.
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If you’re looking for warm weather, then you’re looking at the right place. Atlanta often hits 70 to 80 degrees, even in winter months. The humidity gets to some people, but as long as you have a working air conditioner, you can reap the benefits of the high temperatures. That includes a lot of outdoor activities and almost no potholes on the roads.
Atlanta is very large and widely spaced, meaning that having a car is pretty essential. This also means traffic can be a bit brutal compared to other cities. However, public transportation is certainly not a lost cause. Atlanta has MARTA, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, which offers various bus routes and rail stations throughout the city.
If you have a thing for sports-oriented entertainment, then you’ve found a home in Atlanta. Watch the Atlanta Braves hit a home run at Turner Field. See the Atlanta Falcons score a touchdown at Georgia Dome. You can even watch the Atlanta Hawks shoot at the Philips Arena. These are only three of the many teams in town.
One of the most culturally relevant attractions in the city is the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. The site includes not only his birthplace, but also the church where he worked. For more history, head to the Atlanta History Center, which includes several museums and exhibits as part of a larger complex. For something a little more frivolous, but a lot of fun, the World of Coca-Cola lets you learn all about the history of the most popular soft drink in the world. The Atlanta Botanical Garden has a year round display but also hosts traveling botanical exhibits that are among the best in the world.
Bacchanalia is consistently in the running every time a “Best Of” Atlanta list comes out. Fine dining at it's most immaculate, the restaurants is as well known for it's world-class service and staff as it is for it's food. If you're looking for an exquisite lunch then Canoe is a great bet. The views of the Chattahoochee and the great menu selections keep locals and tourists coming back. Rathbun's serves great American food in a modern warehouse conversion. Fox Brothers Bar-B-Q is one of the best-reviewed BBQ joints in the city. If you're going to only try one thing, don't miss out on the award winning brisket.
The Wrecking Bar Brewpub is found in a renovated mansion, and features some of the best beer in the city. Even if you're not a beer aficionado, you should find yourself pleased by the cocktail menu. Another place for the beer lovers to hang out is the Porter Beer Bar, which always has a great rotating menu of new and exciting beers. The Beluga Martini Bar is a fantastic choice if you like great drinks and jazz music. This place attracts some of the most stylish in Atlanta, and is not to be missed. If you're looking for an upscale nightclub rather than a plain old bar, the Havana Club on Piedmont is a good place to start.
The Alliance Theatre is recognized as one of the best in the country. Several shows that ultimately went on to make a splash on Broadway have in fact premiered at this Tony award-winning theatre. In addition, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is located on Peachtree Street, and is the premier musical organization in the city. With a 70 year history, they are always on the leading edge of culture in Atlanta.Atlanta is also a hotbed of museums, being host to some of the best in the country. The Atlanta History Center showcases local history, and also pays a great deal of attention to the Civil War. The Fernbank Museum of Natural History is a massive science museum, and has an affiliated Science Center. The Georgia Capitol Museum and historic Governor’s Mansion are also worth visiting for a taste of local history.
For the biggest festival in the spring, you need to visit the Dogwood Festival. This festival features the work of hundreds of local artists and artisans and allows shoppers the chance to just browse, or to acquire a truly one of a kind treasure. In January, there is a Martin Luther King March & Rally that celebrates the life and accomplishments of the great activist. The Atlanta Film Festival takes place in April. Many Oscar hopefuls submit to the festival, as it is an Academy Awards qualifier. Atlanta is also home to a massive music festival scene. One of the largest is known as Music Midtown, which takes place in Piedmont Park. Since it's revival in 2011, some of the biggest bands in the world have played it.
The Lenox Square Mall is clearly the largest in the city. It has a focus on high-end retail, and features quintessential high-end mall stores like an Apple Store, Ann Taylor, Prada, Louis Vuitton and many more. The anchor stores include a Macy’s, Bloomingdale's, and Neiman Marcus.If you prefer to walk the streets instead of shopping inside a large mall, there are a number of places worth visiting. Atlantic Station has brick paved streets and is extremely scenic. If you're looking for more eclectic than upscale, head to Little Five Points, which is a cultural hotbed as well as offering some great bohemian shopping.
Atlanta is a world-class sporting city. Baseball is definitely one of the most important local sports, with the Atlanta Braves regularly drawing huge crowds at Turner Field. NBA fans don't miss out either, and support the Atlanta Hawks. The Falcons also represent the NFL in the city. The three teams all receive strong support from the local residents. The city was formerly home to the Atlanta Thrashers of the NHL. However, support for an ice hockey team wasn't as strong as the ownership group had hoped. After just over ten years in the city the team was sold and became the second iteration of the Winnipeg Jets.
Although it is a major metropolitan area, there are still ways to enjoy the outdoors while in Atlanta. The city has converted unused railroad tracks to a public space in the Atlanta BeltLine. It’s a great place to walk or bike right within the city. You can even get to a state park after travelling only a few minutes from the core of this major city. Sweetwater Creek State Park sits alongside the George Sparks Reservoir. This provides the perfect opportunity to everyone who likes to get a line in the water, or who just enjoys water-based activities like kayaking and canoeing.