Atlanta in 500 Words

Downtown

While Atlanta is sprawling with towering buildings made of glass and steel, it is truly a city in the forest, dotted with expansive green spaces. Named to Lonely Planet's 2017 "Best in the U.S." list, this urban oasis is a multi-cultural haven for residents and visitors alike, yet exudes Southern hospitality. Individuals from all walks of life add to the city’s charm and personality.

Atlanta began as a railroad terminus and remains a transportation hub, but with a 21st-century, global approach. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest airport in the world, and 80 percent of the U.S. population lives within a two-hour flight. Visitors can roll into Downtown directly from the airport by riding Atlanta’s public rail system, MARTA.

Centennial Olympic Park is Downtown’s centerpiece and is anchored by the Fountain of Rings, an everlasting reminder of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Next door, attractions surround Pemberton Place such as Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola and Center for Civil and Human Rights. Atlanta Streetcar is the city’s modern-day trolley, carrying passengers from the convention and entertainment district to the eastside of the city.

Sports fans have much to celebrate in 2017 with the opening of SunTrust Park as the new home of the Atlanta Braves and the state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Stadium where the Atlanta Falcons “Rise Up.” Major League Soccer has ushered in a new era of sports in the city with the introduction of Atlanta United FC. At Philips Arena, professional men’s and women’s basketball teams, the Hawks and the Dream, take the court while collegiate football fans congregate at the College Football Hall of Fame.

Atlanta’s rich history comes to life in Sweet Auburn Historic District, once the wealthiest black community in America. The area is a focal point for the American civil rights movement, as the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and Ebenezer Baptist Church are located within the district.

Beyond the city’s core, Atlanta’s intown neighborhoods are packed with personality. Midtown mixes elegance with culture. The Westside has become a magnet for foodies, design enthusiasts and shoppers. Buckhead blends boutiques and galleries with fabulous dining, while Little Five Points keeps it funky through bohemian grunge paired with eclectic shops and music spots.

In Atlanta, chef-run restaurants dish up modern American cuisine in strikingly beautiful spaces. Among the cutting-edge eateries are cozy diners, cafés and bistros. The ethnic mom-and-pop restaurants along Buford Highway offer menus with little English and lots of flavor. Locally-owned craft breweries sprinkle the city, creating an unofficial ale trail for visitors to enjoy.

Atlanta welcomes more than 1 million international visitors each year. Seventy-five countries have representation in Atlanta through a consulate or trade office, giving it a diverse economy. From arts and culture to music and cuisine, the city is full of multi-cultural opportunities for everyone.

Atlanta sits at the intersection of Southern charm, creativity and sophistication. It is easy to fall in love with this beautiful city – its world-class attractions, award-winning dining and hidden wonders – and be inspired by the city’s endless possibilities.