Welcome to the land of peaches and sweet southern charm, where the city skyline kisses the heavens and the streets buzz with vibrant energy – yes, we’re talking about Atlanta, Georgia!
Often lovingly dubbed as “ATL” or “The Big Peach,” this city is a bustling hive of over 5.6 million folks, making it the seventh-largest metropolitan hotspot in the good ol’ USA.
Atlanta, a city that’s growing faster than a peach tree in the spring, is a smorgasbord of opportunities. It’s a job hunter’s paradise, a melting pot of cultures, and a real estate haven for everyone, from penny pinchers to big spenders. This urban utopia is a city slicker’s dream, boasting a smorgasbord of gourmet eateries, cultural treasures, and towering apartments that touch the sky.
So, buckle up, y’all! We’re about to embark on a whirlwind tour of fifteen must-know nuggets of knowledge before you pack your bags and head for the hills… or rather, the skyscrapers of Atlanta, GA!
Things YOU MUST Know
1. The World’s Air Traffic Leader is Right Here
Welcome to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the globe’s air traffic kingpin, nestled right in the heart of Atlanta. This aviation powerhouse handles a whopping 2,500 flights daily, connecting Atlanta to a diverse array of over 50 countries. As the first port of call for many international visitors to Georgia, Atlanta is a global magnet of attention.
2. A City of Easygoing Charm and Warm Welcomes
Atlanta is where the southern hospitality comes alive. Even though many of the locals might hail from different corners of the world, the city’s reputation for friendliness is legendary.
A casual stroll down the street might earn you waves from complete strangers, so don’t be taken aback if someone strikes up a conversation. The city’s residents are known for their open-mindedness, adding to the allure of living in Atlanta.
If you’re a newcomer, you’ll find the locals going out of their way to make you feel at home. This might be a pleasant surprise if you’re used to less friendly locales, but rest assured, the folks you meet here are just looking to lend a helping hand. The city’s laid-back, friendly vibe is part of its irresistible charm.
3. Atlanta: The Phoenix City
Atlanta is a city with a unique claim to fame. It’s the only city in North America to have been razed by war, earning it the moniker “the city that rose from the ashes” (hence the city’s symbol, the phoenix). In 1864, General Sherman ordered the city to be burned to the ground, sparing only about 400 structures.
But Atlanta is not a city to admit defeat. It quickly dusted itself off and rebuilt, a spirit it continues to embody to this day.
4. A City of Epic Scale
Atlanta is a city of staggering proportions. It spans a massive area, stretching over 50 miles in all directions and covering more than 14 counties. With a mix of urban and suburban neighborhoods, the city offers a wide array of housing options to its residents.
Despite being the third-largest metropolis in the southeast, it’s only a third the size of New York City. Moving to Atlanta will give you a sense of the city’s awe-inspiring scale.
5. Coca-Cola: Atlanta’s Beloved Beverage
In Atlanta, Coca-Cola reigns supreme. This world-renowned soft drink was born right here in Atlanta. Concocted as a health remedy by Dr. John Stith Pemberton in 1866, it has since evolved into a globally loved beverage.
Coca-Cola, first sold in Atlanta in 1886 for a nickel a glass, has since spread its fizzy delight to over 200 countries and spawned more than 400 products.
In Atlanta, no other beverage even comes close. The locals prefer Coke over any other soft drink, and it’s become a cultural icon. Be sure to visit the World of Coca-Cola for a fizzy, fun, and educational journey that includes product tastings and a deep dive into the history of this iconic American brand.
6. Big City Living Without the Big City Price Tag
While Atlanta’s cost of living is a smidge above the national average, it’s still a steal compared to other cities of its stature. With an average monthly living cost of $2,035 and a cost of living index of 109, Atlanta offers a lot of bang for your buck.
Sure, living in the city’s heart might require an annual income between $80,000 and $100,000, but with average wages in this metro area outpacing many others, it’s a pretty sweet deal.
7. A City of Festivals: From Dragon Con to Music Midtown
Atlanta knows how to throw a party! The city’s vibrant culture is a heady mix of live music, mouth-watering food, craft beers, and art appreciation. Downtown Atlanta is the proud host of Dragon Con, the world’s largest sci-fi and gaming convention. Jazz lovers, rejoice! The Atlanta Jazz Festival is a free haven for jazz enthusiasts. And let’s not forget Music Midtown Atlanta, a music festival that draws over 300,000 attendees to Piedmont Park each year.
8. Welcome to the ‘Hollywood of the South’
Atlanta has earned its stripes as the “Hollywood of the South,” thanks to the numerous movies and TV shows filmed here. Tax incentives have made the city a magnet for film productions, with hits like The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, Ozark, and The Avengers all filmed here.
Plus, it’s home to CNN headquarters and a thriving hip-hop and R&B scene, with stars like Ludacris, Cardi B, Gucci Mane, and Cee Lo Green calling Atlanta home.
9. A Melting Pot of Cultures
Atlanta is a cultural mosaic, with about 51% of its population identifying as black, making it the second-largest predominantly black metro region in the U.S. Additionally, 4.2% of Atlanta’s population identifies as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, making it one of the largest LGBTQ+ communities per capita in the U.S. In fact, it’s the second most gay-friendly city in America, right after San Francisco.
10. Public Transportation: Not Atlanta’s Strong Suit
If you’re considering a move to Atlanta, be prepared to invest in a set of wheels. Despite its size, the city’s public transportation, MARTA, leaves much to be desired in terms of efficiency and safety. Owning a car is pretty much a necessity in Atlanta, so factor in costs like gas, insurance, and maintenance when planning your move.
11. Atlanta’s got a buzz – and not the kind you’d expect!
Hold onto your bug spray! Atlanta swoops in at number four on the list of America’s most buggy cities. Whether it’s ticks putting a damper on your picnic, mosquitoes gate-crashing your BBQ, or roaches wanting in on the fun – life in Atlanta means sharing your summer nights with these little invaders. Prepare for the buggy onslaught!
12. It’s not just peaches and sweet tea – it’s big business too!
In the corporate world, Atlanta’s where it’s at! From Fortune 500 to 1000 companies, this city’s streets are paved with corporate gold. Think Delta Airlines soaring the skies, UPS delivering dreams, and Home Depot building futures. And yep, Coca-Cola might be global, but it’s got its roots deep in Georgia soil, providing jobs for thousands. Oh, and next time you tune into CNN, remember: Atlanta’s sending that news your way!
13. Olympic memories? Atlanta’s got a park for that!
Rewind to 1996, and all eyes were on Atlanta – the host of that year’s summer Olympics. Today, Centennial Olympic Park stands as a lush, green reminder of that iconic event. Spread out on its 21 acres, play a game of catch, or take a splash in the fountains shaped like those famous Olympic rings. It’s a gold medal spot for some outdoor fun!
14. Sports fan? You’ve scored big with Atlanta!
Okay, so Atlanta might not have EVERY sport, but it sure has the ones that’ll get your heart racing! From baseball swings with the Braves to touchdown dances with the Falcons, basketball dunks with the Hawks, and soccer goals with Atlanta United. And for those tennis enthusiasts? The BB&T Atlanta Open serves up some ace action every summer. If cheering from the sidelines is your jam, Atlanta’s your sporty dream city.
15. They don’t call it “Hotlanta” for nothing!
Sun hats on, folks! Atlanta sizzles and pops in the summer. With temperatures often dancing around the 90-degree mark, and humidity playing its sultry tune, the city truly lives up to its “Hotlanta” nickname. But fear not, while summers are steamy, winters are like a gentle Southern hug: mild and cozy.
Know the Neighborhoods Before you Move to Atlanta:
It would take a pretty hefty guide to offer a description of Atlanta’s neighborhoods. The city is comprised of a whopping 242 neighborhoods, so there is a perfect area for you to live. You just have to find it. The neighborhoods form part of 25 citizen advisory councils.
There are also three main districts:
- Downtown: Comprised of neighborhoods such as Five Points, Castleberry Hill, Peachtree Center & more.
- Midtown: Neighborhoods such as Peachtree Street, Atlantic Station, Historic Midtown, Georgia Tech & more.
- Buckhead: Defines the northern fifth of the city. Neighborhoods such as Chastain Park, Lindbergh, Peachtree Battle, Tuxedo Park and more.
There are also other districts, such as:
- Northwest Atlanta
- East Side
- West Midtown
The Canvas of Culture: Atlanta’s Artistic Ambiance
Atlanta doesn’t merely wear its heart on its sleeve; it paints it on its walls. The city is an epicenter of vibrant art forms, from the classical exhibits at the High Museum of Art to the dynamic street murals in neighborhoods like Little Five Points.
Venture into Cabbagetown, and you’re transported into a canvas of vivid tales and stories, painted onto its very infrastructure. Whether it’s the fine arts or graffiti, in Atlanta, every brushstroke tells a story.
Civil Rights Legacy
The streets of Atlanta have witnessed profound moments of courage, resistance, and transformation. This city was at the forefront of the civil rights movement, with the echoes of Martin Luther King Jr.’s powerful orations still resonating in its air.
The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park isn’t just a site; it’s a testament to human resilience. As you walk through these hallowed grounds, you can almost hear the chants for equality and feel the weight of history.
Where Concrete Meets Canopy
Skyscrapers might kiss the heavens, but Atlanta’s heart lies in its green cradle. The city is a verdant dream, with places like the Atlanta Botanical Garden offering a fragrant bouquet of flora and fauna. And then there’s Piedmont Park – a sprawling haven where the city’s soul comes out to play.
Here, joggers set the morning pace, families bond over picnics, and nature enthusiasts soak in the serene ambiance. In Atlanta, nature isn’t just a backdrop; it’s an active participant in the urban tale.
Is Atlanta worth moving to?
Absolutely! Atlanta is a vibrant mix of southern charm, bustling corporate scenes, a rich cultural landscape, and mouth-watering cuisine. With its unique blend of history and modernity, it’s an urbanite’s dream sprinkled with green spaces.
How much money do you need to live comfortably?
Atlanta, while cheaper than cities like New York or San Francisco, has its upscale pockets. On average, a comfortable lifestyle might set you back anywhere from $50,000 to $75,000 annually for a single person, but this varies based on personal preferences and chosen neighborhood.
Is Atlanta a friendly city?
Oh, honey, it’s the South! Atlanta lives up to the reputation of southern hospitality. While it’s a large city, many attest to the warmth and friendliness of its residents. Just expect lots of “y’alls” and potentially a pie from your neighbor.
What is the best month to move?
While Atlanta boasts lovely weather most of the year, consider spring or fall for your move. April and October are particularly pleasant, avoiding the summer heat and humidity or the winter chill.
Why is rent so high?
The soaring rent is due to a combination of factors – Atlanta’s growing reputation as a corporate hub, its cultural and entertainment scenes, and the general migration trend towards the Sunbelt states. However, compared to other major cities, you might still find some steals!
What to consider when moving to Atlanta?
When prepping for your Atlanta adventure, consider factors like traffic (hello, I-285!), the diverse array of neighborhoods, proximity to public transportation, and if you’re averse to critters – maybe some extra bug spray!
Is it a walkable city?
Parts of Atlanta, like Midtown or the BeltLine area, are highly walkable with parks, cafes, and shops. However, like many American cities, having a car or access to public transportation can be handy for longer commutes or exploring outside the city center.
What part of Atlanta is good to live?
It’s all about personal preference! For families, Brookhaven or Decatur offer suburbia charm. If you’re into the urban scene, Midtown or Buckhead might be your jam. For a bohemian vibe, check out Little Five Points or Cabbagetown.
Does it snow in Atlanta, Georgia?
Occasionally, Mother Nature throws a snowy curveball Atlanta’s way! While it’s not frequent, the city does see snowflakes now and then. But beware, even a little snow can create a big buzz – and traffic!
In the tapestry of American cities, Atlanta stands out with its rich threads of history, culture, and vibrant life. It’s a city where the past, present, and future harmoniously blend, offering residents and visitors an experience unlike any other.
Whether you’re drawn by its business opportunities, its cultural allure, or the promise of southern charm, Atlanta beckons with open arms. As you contemplate making “The Big Peach” your new home, remember: it’s not just about the place; it’s about the feeling.
And in Atlanta, that feeling is always warm, welcoming, and full of promise. So, pack your bags, bring your dreams, and join the chorus of those who call Atlanta home. See y’all soon!