10 things you need to know about Atlanta
1. Atlanta is full of opportunities
Employees moving to Atlanta can rest assured there will be job opportunities for their significant others or family members who move with them. A diverse and skilled workforce, booming tech scene and the most traveled airport in the world have helped Atlanta experience massive growth in recent years. Major companies like Honeywell, Adidas, GE Digital, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz have all recently relocated to Atlanta. Twenty-five Fortune 1000 companies call Atlanta home!
Whether your significant other is a butcher, a baker or a candle stick maker there will be something for them to do in Atlanta!
Corporate facility investors and site consultants awarded Georgia as the #1 state for business climate four years in a row and the #1 state for business three years in a row. This business-friendly environment helps companies grow and highlights the vitality of the state’s economy.
If you’re interested in the entertainment industry, you may be surprised to learn that Hollywood now films more movies in Georgia than it does California, thanks to the generous tax breaks the state gives to the productions –and Atlanta is ground zero.
2. Atlanta loves families
Atlanta is very family friendly. Whether you love parks and barbeques or museums and history, there is something for everyone in Atlanta. Here are a few of the highlights:
Located about a mile northeast of downtown Atlanta, Piedmont Park is 185 acres of family fun. The park is home to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and summer festivals like the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, and more.
Centennial Park is an urban oasis offering an abundance of activities for the entire family. Not only is there concerts, delicious food and the world’s largest interactive fountain, but the park is nestled between the College Football Hall of Fame, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, the World of Coca-Cola, Georgia Aquarium, CNN Center and Imagine It! The Children’s Museum.
Experience 30 acres of botanical bliss at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, where education and discovery are the focal points of the non-profit organization.
Meet a friendly giant, a curious critter and everything in between at Zoo Atlanta, which houses more than 1,000 animals including panda twins Xi Lun and Ya Lun – the only twin pandas in the U.S.
The Georgia Aquarium
Go under the sea on land at the Georgia Aquarium, which houses more than 100,000 animals and represents several thousand species, all of which reside in 10 million gallons of water.
World of Coke
Pepsi lovers, beware – this branded museum showcases the history of the Coca-Cola Company. With a behind-the-scenes look at the bottling process, 1,200 never-before displayed artifacts, and a 4-D movie, “In Search of the Secret Formula,” you will undoubtedly be craving the carbonated beverage after a visit.
Center for Civil and Human Rights
Learn about Atlanta’s legacy of civil rights at the Center for Civil and Human Rights. This museum is an engaging cultural attraction meant to provide a deeper understanding of the role human rights play in our nation and world.
Founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in 1982, the Carter Center’s mission is to prevent and solve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health. The museum and library comprise almost 70,000 square feet of space of interactive displays and fascinating exhibits that the entire family will enjoy.
Shoot the Hooch
Named after locals’ favorite thing to do on the Chattahoochee River, Shoot the Hooch is a kayak, canoe, tube and paddle board rental service that launches patrons down the river by the hour.
Stone Mountain Park
Attracting nearly 4 million visitors each year, Stone Mountain is Georgia’s most visited attraction. Spanning 3,200 acres, the park features a mountain cable-car, water park, ropes course, dinosaur exhibit, history museum, hiking trails, campgrounds, hotels, two golf courses, and an impressive laser and fireworks show. Come for a day or for a week—this is a park that has something for everyone.
Bike, walk, run or dine on the Atlanta Beltline, the outdoor space comprised of 22 miles of unused railroad tracks circling the core of the city’s neighborhoods.
3. Atlanta likes to play
With five professional sports teams and two brand new state-of-the-art stadiums, Atlanta is one of the best sports towns in our country. Here are some teams you may want to check out:
Atlanta is the home of the Major League Baseball team, the Atlanta Braves, and has been since 1966. Founded in Boston in 1871, the Braves are the oldest continuously operating professional sports franchise in America, and with the devoted fans to prove it. They currently play their home games in SunTrust Park, a brand-new stadium complex surrounded by a lively entertainment district, The Battery. Opened in 2017, The Battery is full of shopping, dining, bars, and concert venues, with a multi-use movie theater planned for 2019. Lucky for us, all this is just a hop, skip and a jump from our new headquarters.
Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Dream
In the middle of downtown is the Philips Arena, hosting home games for the city’s NBA team, the Atlanta Hawks, and the city’s WNBA team, Atlanta Dream. In addition to basketball games, the venue also hosts headline artists when they stop in Atlanta, such as Justin Timberlake and Elton John.
With a division championship win in 2016, a star-studded roster and a brand-new stadium that opened in 2017, the Atlanta Falcons are on the rise. The newly constructed Mercedes-Benz Stadium sports a retractable roof and seating for 83,000—ensuring there’s a seat for every football fan, even at the biggest games.
United Atlanta FC
In 2017, Atlanta welcomed United Atlanta FC as their new professional soccer team and as a new member of the Eastern Conference of Major League Soccer. The team plays their home games at the Mercedes-Benz stadium.
One of the most talked about golf tournaments of the year, The Masters is held every April just two hours northeast of Atlanta at the Augusta National Golf Club. Attracting visitors from all over the world, if you’re lucky enough score a ticket, this is an event of a lifetime for any golf lover.
4. Atlanta has eats and treats for everyone
The city offers a broad range of shopping and dining areas for all kinds of tastes.
Located on the northwestern edge of Midtown Atlanta, Atlantic station is an open air, walkable area with food, shopping and the Premier Exhibition Center – Atlantic Station. The area features popular annual events throughout the year, including their Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival in May, featuring over 60 beers, 40 bourbons and live music; BB&T Atlanta Open in August, where you can watch the best tennis players in the world go head-to-head; and Lighting of Atlantic Station in November, full of holiday performances, tree lighting and a fireworks show.
Right around the corner from our current offices, this walkable area offers amazing shopping, food and entertainment options. Located in an upscale area of Atlanta, Avalon is a mixed-use development where you’ll find over 15 restaurants with some of the top chefs in Atlanta, a movie theater, and shopping options such as Anthropologie, Kendra Scott, lululemon, Crate & Barrel and J. Crew.
If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for all the best international cuisine, look no further. With restaurant and gourmet food providers from all over the world (think Chinese, Mexican, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian and more!), this is the place to be if you have a taste for some international flare.
Krog Street Market
An Atlanta favorite with a creative vibe and unique offerings, Krog Street Market has something for everyone. Previously a warehouse, it now functions as a 9-acre mixed-use development area featuring local florists, butchers, cheesemakers, restaurants, retailers and farmers. Whether you are looking for fresh produce, a gift, or an instagram-worthy meal, this market is for you.
Another shopping mall located right around the corner from Phipps Plaza is Lenox Square. Featuring Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus for shopping, and Cheesecake Factory, California Pizza Kitchen and Sprinkles Cupcakes for eats, Lenox is a popular spot for foodies and shoppers alike.
Known for its marble floors and chandeliers, this upscale shopping mall features some of the top brands around. Located in the affluent Buckhead district of Atlanta, Phipps features Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom as its two department stores. Other stores include Gucci, Tiffany and Co., Giorgio Armani, Tory Burch, Versace and Valentino.
Ponce City Market
With offices, apartments, retail, restaurants and a rooftop amusement park, it’s hard to put Ponce City Market into any one category. Sprawled out in a 2,100,000-square-foot building built in 1926, the spot previously operated as a warehouse for Sears, Roebuck and Co. A building full of history and constantly changing, Ponce City Market is a must see.
Westside Provisions District
A combination of fine dining and top shopping options, the Westside was formed in 2008 after a bridge was built to connect two existing districts: Westside Urban Market and White Provision. Ever since their connection, the Westside has offered all the benefits of both unique markets including Atlanta’s two top Zagat-rated restaurants, Bacchanalia and the Quinones Room, in addition to high-end home furnishings and apparel shops, and a gourmet market for any foodie.
Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood and Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park
Whether you like country, rap, pop or classical, Atlanta’s music scene is supported by multiple outdoor and indoor music venues. Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood, located 4 miles south of downtown is the premier spot for popular artists of all genres, while Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park is known for comedians and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, as well as pop artists.
5. Atlanta is inclusive
In the 1960s, Atlanta became the cultural catalyst for the civil rights movement. Today, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, one of the most popular attractions in Atlanta, tells the story of Martin Luther King Jr. and other activists who launched campaigns for inclusivity in Atlanta.
Atlanta is becoming increasingly diverse. From 2000 to 2010 the Hispanic population in Atlanta grew by 72 percent and the Asian American population increased by 65.5 percent. Multicultural communities have altered the economic, cultural and religious landscape making Atlanta even more vibrant, open and inclusive.
6. Atlanta is on the move
The city of Atlanta began as a railroad town. Originally named Terminus, Atlanta was both the end of the line and connector for many national railroads. Many decades later, you’ll still see the name Terminus, affectionately used by locals and public transit, is a key feature of life in Atlanta.
Atlanta is home to 47.6 miles of heavy rail, 91 bus transit routes, 1,600 licensed taxis, a network of freeways and over 45 miles of bike paths – not to mention the thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers who are available at a moment’s notice. Atlanta’s subway system, MARTA, is the eighth busiest in the United States with convenient stops at the airport, downtown cultural centers and sports arenas.
While Atlanta may get a bad rap for traffic, its plentiful highways make getting to your favorite destinations easy. Here’s a quick primer:
- The Connector: where I-85 and I-75 converge through downtown.
- The Perimeter: the I-285 bypass circling the city.
- The Top End: northern arc of I-285.
- Spaghetti Junction: intersection of I-285 and I-85.
In advance of rush hour, be sure to check out https://www.511ga.org to make sure you avoid the most congested areas. Note: A new law in Georgia goes into effect July 1, 2018 that prohibits holding phones while driving.
7. Atlantans love the great outdoors
Known as “The City in the Forest,” Atlanta has some of the largest green space of any urbanized city in the country. With hundreds of city parks, more than 40 state parks and five national parks located in north Georgia alone, Atlanta boasts plenty of outdoor activities.
Whether it’s hiking Stone Mountain, floating down the Chattahoochee, catching a pickup game in Piedmont Park or taking a run on the BeltLine, Atlanta has just what you need to be one with the great outdoors.
Within an hour drive of the Atlanta metro area you can find serene lakes, beautiful mountain vistas and wide-open fields for plenty of recreation. The South Carolina, Florida and southern Georgia beaches are also just a quick car ride away, making planning family vacations a breeze.
8. Atlanta is welcoming
Southern hospitality is alive and well in Atlanta. Here, that extends well beyond a tall glass of sweet tea and tangy barbecue– it’s a way of life for many Atlantans. Walking down the streets or standing in line at the grocery store, you’ll be sure to meet – or make – a friend.
9. Atlanta is creative
With festivals, outdoor music and lots of art, Atlanta is a southeastern hub for arts and culture. Check out some of the top spots to get your creative fix.
Shaky Knees Music Festival
This annual three-day event is one of the premier indie music festivals in the country. Taking place in Central Park in Downtown Atlanta, the event draws about 9,000 people each day. In 2015, USA Today named Shaky Knees as #4 on a list of Best Music Festivals in the nation. With past performances including The Lumineers, Band of Horses and The Strokes, it’s easy to see why.
The Dogwood Festival has been an April event in Atlanta for over 80 years. Coinciding with the pink and white blooms of the Dogwood trees in Piedmont Park, this festival features nationally renowned art in the forms of pottery, paintings, jewelry, sculpture, photography and more.
State Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park
On a breezy summer night, there are few things better than an outdoor concert. Whether you prefer a blanket and a spot on the lawn, or a front row seat, State Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park features local and regional artists of a variety of genres.
High Museum of Art
Featuring a permanent collection of more than 15,000 works of art, the High Museum of Art (locally known as the High) has been one of the crown jewels of Atlanta since its founding in 1905. With a rich history and a collection including African Art, American Art, European Art and one of the most robust photography collections in the nation, this is a can’t miss museum for any art fan.
The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA)
A modest museum with an overabundance of charm and soul, this museum features art exclusively from Georgia artists. Constantly updating their collection, and hosting fun events, this spot is worth visiting again and again.
Center for Puppetry Arts
The Center for Puppetry Arts is the largest organization dedicated to the art form of puppetry in the United States. Located in Midtown, Atlanta’s arts district, the center is a true gem for children of all ages and features puppet performances, education opportunities and one of the few puppet museums in the world.
10. You’ll love Atlanta
Atlanta is a vibrant patchwork of big-city and small-town people, outdoor lovers, teachers, scientists, innovators, writers, thinkers and artists. It’s on the forefront of great ideas and is the home front for tightknit families and communities. It’s truly a city on the rise, and is waiting for you to take the next step. Here are just some of its latest accolades:
- Atlanta is the number two next big tech hub that is still affordable to live in
- Atlanta is one of 10 of the best cities for open jobs
- Atlanta is the number one city for fitness centers per capita
- Atlanta is the number five city for recreation
- Atlanta has the number one most efficient airport (for the 14th consecutive year)