Atlanta, Georgia
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Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta is a leading tourist destination in the USA. Find out facts about Atlanta, its climate, accommodation, dining and things to see and do.

Atlanta is a leading United States tourist destination with over 35 million visitors each year. In 2010 it was the 7th most visited city in the USA. The city is the state capital of Georgia, which was the fourth state in the USA. Georgia became a state on 2 January 1788 and Atlanta became the state capital in 1868 after Savannah, Augusta, Louisville and Milledgeville had all previously held that role. The city played a major role in the Civil War and much of Atlanta was destroyed by fire in 1917. It is featured heavily in “Gone With The Wind” – one of the best-selling books of all time - as author Margaret Mitchell lived there.

Facts About Atlanta, Georgia 

Atlanta is the largest city in Georgia and had a population of over 420,000 at the 2010 census. The metropolitan area has over 5, 250,000 residents making it the ninth largest in the USA. It began as a settlement at the junction of two railroad lines and was incorporated in 1845. It is home to many Fortune 500 companies including the world headquarters of the Coca-Cola Company. The 1996 Summer Olympics were held there and so was the Super Bowl XXVII in 1994 and Super Bowl XXXIV on 30 January 2000. The city was a cradle of the Civil Rights Movement and home to Martin Luther King, Jr. and is the nation’s fourth largest black majority city with 54% of the population recorded as black at the 2010 census. It is a capital of hip hop music, R& B, neo soul and gospel music. The Hatsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been measured as the world’s busiest airport for passenger traffic.



Photo credit: Atlanta skyline from Buckhead by Chuck Koehler on flickr


Atlanta has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and cool winters. Rainfall is common throughout the year and averages 50.2 inches (1,280mm) a year. Overnight frosts occur around 45 days a year and there is 2.5 inches  (6.4cm) of snow annually. Atlanta had a white Christmas in 2010 which was the first since 1882. Blizzards and ice storms are rare but severe storms in recent times were 7 January 1973 and 9 January 2011. The American Lung Association ranked Atlanta as having high levels of particle pollution in 2007 and ranked it 13th highest in the US. The combination of pollution and pollen levels make it a bad city for asthma sufferers.

Accommodation and Dining

Visitors to Atlanta can find many different types of accommodation including hotels, motels, apartments, bed and breakfast and backpacker hostels. There are many top quality hotels but there is also a range of budget accommodation too. You can make bookings through sites like Expedia, or find out more through Lonely Planet.

Atlanta has a plethora of restaurants offering traditional southern dining and ethnic cuisine from every part of the world including Mexican, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian, Cuban and Ethiopian. Several restaurants have received international recognition and you can be confident in finding food that matches both your taste and your budget.

Things To See and Do in Atlanta

As much as the city was burnt to the ground during the Civil War there are not as many historical buildings as other cities that are a similar age. The Georgia State Capitol is the main office building of Georgia’s government and is an historically and architecturally significant building with visitor’s galleries and a museum on the fourth floor. There are plenty of museums including the popular High Museum of Art and several that are geared towards children including the Fernbank Science Center. There is a botanic gardens and a zoo as well as the world’s largest indoor aquarium. Popular attractions include the Martin Luther King Historic Site, Civil War Museum and the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum.  There are parks and gardens, plenty of sporting venues and several festivals held throughout the year. With so much on offer it is not surprising it is a leading US tourist destination.

Photo credit: Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, Georgia in Wikipedia Commons

© Jo Jackson  January 2012

Thumbnail credit: Wikipedia Commons

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