Atlanta is the capital of the southern American state of Georgia and one of the largest cities in the USA. This city is not so popular among tourists like Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. However, it has a couple of aces in its sleeve. That’s the city where Margaret Mitchell wrote “Gone with the Wind”, doctor Martin Luther King started his public activities, and John Stith Pemberton invented Coca-Cola. The city is located at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains that spread along the whole East Coast of the United States and a part of Canada.
Districts of Atlanta
The city consists of 242 neighborhoods that are united in 7 districts:
- Downtown. It is the economic and political center of Georgia. The State Capitol, City Hall, headquarters of CNN, Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola Museum are located here. The district is built up with skyscrapers in modern and postmodern architectural styles. That’s where you can find the highest building in the Southern United States, Bank of America Plaza.
- Midtown. It’s the business and residential district that is situated north of the center. This is a place with a humming nightlife. After a loud party, you can attend Piedmont Park, Contemporary Art Center, and the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology.
- Buckhead. This district is located north of Midtown. That’s where the Governor of Georgia lives in his mansion.
- East Atlanta. That’s one of the most fashionable spots in the city with gorgeous houses, top-rated restaurants, and shopping malls.
- South Atlanta. The most loaded airport in the world - Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport - is situated here.
- West Atlanta. It includes the Collier Heights district. It was one of the first districts that was built by Afro-Americans for Afro-Americans.
- Decatur. That’s the best place in Atlanta for walks, shopping, and relaxing in restaurants and bars.
Attractions of Atlanta
In Atlanta, everyone can find an attraction to their liking. Those people who are fond of the history of America will enjoy tours to the iconic places related to Martin Luther King and Margaret Mitchell. There are dozens of museums, parks, an aquapark and zoo in the city that are perfect for having great family time. At night, it’s time for theatrical performances, concerts, and loud bars.
For historical reasons, the majority of the population (52.29%) is Afro-Americans, 40.08% are white Americans, 4.03% are Latin Americans, 2.27% are the representatives of two and more nationalities. The other nations compile 1.05%, while the native Americans constitute only 0.26%. The 0.03% are native citizens of Hawaii and islanders. The sex ratio is approximately equal. The average age is 33.5 years. Half of the population has higher educational attainment.
Protestantism is the main religion in the city. Over 75% of Atlantans are protestants. Approximately 15% of people consider themselves to be Catholics. Nearly 5% of citizens are Jews.
The Battle of Atlanta became the most significant event in its history. In 1864, the Union army led by General Sherman entered the city. The commander burnt the town during the retrograde crossing and left only hospitals and churches untouched. This event triggered the next following re-election of Abraham Lincoln for the second presidential term. Margaret Mitchell described this period in detail in her novel “Gone with the Wind”. The main heroes had to evacuate from the city on the day of the siege.
In the 1920s, Atlanta became a place where country music had a new stage of development due to the appearance of record studios. They became widespread all over the country.
Atlanta faced racial riots and troubles at the beginning of the previous century. On the 22nd of September 1906, a group of Afro-Americans attacked four white women. This caused a sharp response of law enforcement and the white part of the population. As a result, several dozens of black-skinned people were killed. The districts they lived in were destroyed. This event was the precursor of the appearance of racial segregation. Later on, members of the Ku Klux Klan came to the city. They turned up the pressure even more.
In the 1960s, an active fight for the civil rights of the Afro-Americans burst in Atlanta. The Atlantan, Martin Luther King was one of the leaders. His activity absolutely upended the relations between different nationalities. Owing to this, the first Afro-American mayor was elected in the city in 1973.
The capital of Georgia hosted the XXVI Summer Olympic Games in 1996. During the competition, the explosion thundered in the Centennial Olympic Park. As a result, 2 people died and 11 were injured. This accident overshadowed the whole positive idea of the games.
Nowadays, Atlanta is a modern megalopolis with headquarters of such companies as CNN, The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines and many others.
Before the trip, you should calculate the approximate budget that you will require for the travel:
The best time to visit Atlanta
The Atlanta Film Festival takes place in the city every spring (April-May). During this event, you can get acquainted with new documentaries and live actions. It is one of the two dozen festivals accredited by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This allows participants to qualify for “The Oscars”.
At the same time, Piedmont Park hosts a free Atlanta Jazz Festival that attracts real fanciers of Jazz music.
At the beginning of September, Atlanta greets fans of comics, movies, and series at Dragon Con. Actors, directors, and authors of comics come here to present their new projects and arrange autograph signing sessions with their fans.
A festival called “Pow-wow” is held on the first weekend of November in Stone Mountain Park, located not far from Atlanta. It is devoted to the culture of the native Americans. Guests of this even can try one ancient Indian costumes, get acquainted with traditional crafts, and learn a couple of movements of the traditional dances.
Save up to 41% on tickets with CityPASS card that is valid at five attractions: Georgia Aquarium, The Coca-Cola World, CNN Center, Zoo, or the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Fernbank Museum of Natural History or the College Football Hall of Fame. The card is active for 9 days after the first usage. CityPASS gives you a right for a free entrance without standing in lines.
If you don’t want to stand in long lines to enter the Georgia Aquarium, it’s better to purchase tickets online on the official website. You can choose the time and date of your visit. There is an application available for Android and iOS. In it, you can check the schedule of events with maritime inhabitants.
Some districts are safe to visit only with a big company or on a tour. We highly recommend you not to wear jewelry and not to carry a lot of cash with you during such tours. If you are driving in a rental car, don’t give a ride to anyone and stop without a necessity.
You can pay with your bank card everywhere in Atlanta, even in small shops and diners. We don’t recommend you using high-value banknotes (50 and 100 dollars) if you want to pay in cash. Not every establishment has a device to check the validity of the banknote and may not accept the payment.
What should a tourist do in Atlanta?
- Attend iconic landmarks connected with the life and activities of legendary Martin Luther King. They are located in the National Historical Park named after him. You can start with the house where the doctor King was born. His grave is situated only 3 minutes away from his home in the middle of the large fountain. After that, visit the King Center that was opened by his wife. The multi-media display depicting his public activities is located in the building in front of the center. In the church nearby, Martin Luther King used to preach sermons with his father.
- Drop by one of the oldest establishments in the city called “The Majestic”. It has been working since 1929. Its facade and the neon sign survived since the day the cafe had opened its doors. Playboy magazine added it to the list of the top-10 best traditional diners in America. “The Majestic” works rounds-the-clock 7 days per week. It serves several kinds of dishes with eggs, burgers, sandwiches, and waffles. You should definitely try its signature dish “Rancheros” with chorizo sausages or cheddar and pepper jack.
- See how American television operates from the inside. Visit the CNN Center and try on the role of the news anchor reading the news ticker and take a picture with the branded microphone of the company. After the tour, you will get a souvenir press identification card with your photo.
- Go to the Jackson Street Bridge and look down at Freedom Parkway Avenue where Rick Grimes - the main hero of the “Walking Dead” series - drove in the pilot episode. The deserted road with abandoned cars was the first harbinger of the catastrophe.
- Visit the shooting locations of such movies as “Thor”, “Capitan America”, “Ant-Man”, and “Hunger Games”. First of all, that’s the building of the Georgia Archives that was featured as the headquarters of Pym Technologies, that Hank Pym shrank; the largest atrium in the world of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis where the main heroes of “Hunger Games” went down on ropes to save Peeta; the Swan House that was featured as the mansion of President Snow.
- Throw a picnic in Piedmont Park where everything is equipped for the relaxing pastime of both adults and children. Here you can find tables, BBQ zones, and kids’ playgrounds. On warm days, you can swim in the lake and try fishing.
- See the largest collection of orchids in the United States. It is located in the Atlanta Botanical Garden in the north of Piedmont Park.
- Create a unique puppet at the workshop in the Center for Puppetry Arts. It stores 350 famous puppets and dolls from all over the world, including the renowned muppets: Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Rowlf the Dog, and Swedish Chef.
- Enjoy the view on the central part of Atlanta from the Skyview Atlanta Ferris Wheel. We highly recommend you to do this at night when the city is illuminated with lights. The show of fountains in the Olympic Park begins at 9 PM and it looks marvelous from the height. If you are a fancier of everything exclusive, there is a VIP cabin with leather seats and a glass floor.