Wondering if moving to Atlanta is right for you? Look no further! We’ve got everything you need to know about Atlanta right here. From activities to living costs and work opportunities, this guide will help you decide if Atlanta is your new home.
1) Interesting Facts About Atlanta
Atlanta is a lot of history, so there is no end to the factoids, myths and stories behind this great city. Atlanta was the home of Martin Luther King, Jr. They hosted the 1996 Olympics. It’s the first major city featured in The Walking Dead— in which it is sadly overrun by zombies. Want some more fun facts about Atlanta? Here you go:
Atlanta Burned in 1864
At the height of the Civil War, a battle broke out in Atlanta between Union and Confederate Soldiers. Civilians were evacuated from the city, but the fight resulted in the city burning on November 17th, 1864. That date marked the beginning of General P Sherman’s “March to the Sea,” a sweeping takeover of confederate holdings that ended five weeks later in Savannah, GA. This means that Atlanta is the only city in America (post-1776) to be burned down as an act of war.
2) Atlanta has Several Nicknames
People call Atlanta all sorts of names, and it can be hard to keep track of where they all came from and why they’re still in use. To help you get up-to-speed on Atlanta lingo, here are a few of our favorite Atlanta nicknames.
- The ATL: This one comes from the city’s airport code, ATL, and is one of the most popular nicknames for Atlanta.
- The A: Used in local media, such as “Only in the A,” a channel featured by the MARTA.
- A-town: A popular nickname used by locals in reference to their hometown.
- The Big Peach: You know how New York has the Big Apple? Well, Georgia is the Peach state, so… you get the idea.
- Hot ’Lanta (or Hotlanta): This one was the title of a song released in 1971 by by the Allman Brothers Band. It may also be the most true-to-itself nickname of them all, because Atlanta really does get HOT.
Atlanta has the World’s Busiest Airport
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world’s most busy airport. Connecting passengers with over 150 areas in the U.S., plus 60 more locations in 50 different countries, it’s no wonder that the ATL airport a well known spot for layovers and long lines. In 2017, Atlanta’s airport hosted almost 104 million travelers in total, beating out airports in Bejing, Tokoyo and Dubai. As if that isn’t impressive enough, Atlanta has held that title of busiest airport for 20 consecutive years.
3) The Pros and Cons of Living in Atlanta
Atlanta is an amazing place to live, and beloved by its citizens. But there are always pros and cons to weigh when you’re looking at moving to a new city. If you’re thinking about moving to Atlanta, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Pro: Atlanta is #Diverse.
Atlanta is a minority-majority city. There’s a proud Black community in Atlanta that continues to grow with the city, and it’s one of the few southern cities with a black mayor as well. But diversity here goes beyond race; Atlanta is also considered a southern haven for gay, lesbian and transgender people, with one of the highest concentrations of LGBTQ+ citizens per capita in the U.S. It’s not quite up to par with LA and NYC, but Atlanta’s certainly made a name for itself as a welcoming, open community for all.
Con: You really have to own a car.
Traffic in Atlanta is famously rough, but there’s not really a good alternative. Unlike NYC and Boston, Atlanta doesn’t have the best public transport. What they have is the MARTA, and residents say it leaves a lot to be desired. And even though many Atlanta neighborhoods are walkable, the city as a whole is not. So having a car is the best way to get around, according to residents.
Pro: So. Much. Food.
Atlanta is foodie heaven. What are you craving? Doesn’t matter, Atlanta has it. And not just one– Atlanta has restaurants of every kind, with loads of local hot spots spanning every kind of cuisine. Looking for a luxurious meal? Head over to Staplehouse in the Old 4th Ward for a tasting menu experience. Need a quick, cheap bite? Track down one of the cities dozens of food trucks, like The Blaxican, The Atlanta Burger Truck, or Bollywood Zing!
Con: Heat + Humidity = Mosquito Paradise.
For real, Georgia’s state bird should be the mosquito. Georgia mosquitoes thrive in the humid climate, and since cities are even hotter then their suburban counterparts, you should travel with bug spray handy. Not only are mosquitoes pesky, and their bites itchy as all get-out; mosquitoes are also notorious carriers of disease.
4) Atlanta Demographics
As mentioned before, the capital of the Peach State is also one of the most diverse cities in the country. Folks living in Atlanta are also well-educated, with 48% of the Atlanta population having attained a Bachelor’s Degree or higher. A majority of Atlanta residents also identify as religious, with Protestant Christianity as the leading spiritual practice in the area.
If you’re wondering how many people live in Atlanta, there are approximately 473,000 people in the city proper, and 5.6 million in the metro area altogether. That number is only growing; from 2010 to 2017, there was a 15.7% increase in the Atlanta proper population. This is mirrored by continued growth in Atlanta’s employment market, which is great news for existing and new residents.
One interesting thing about Atlanta is that is almost evenly divided between singles and married couples. The dichotomy makes the city an equally great place for young professionals, and couples looking to put down roots and start a family.
5) Cost of Living in Atlanta
Living in Atlanta is affordable when compared with metro areas of similar size, such as Boston and Philadelphia. However, when compared to the national average, it is 20% more expensive to live in Atlanta.The average home in Atlanta sells for about $223,000. Renters can find accommodations for under $1,000 per month.
The 11.7% property tax in Fulton County is the highest in Georgia. Additionally, groceries, transportation and health care are higher than both the state and national average. In all, Atlantans spend 12% more than other Georgians, and 5% more than other Americans on living costs.
6) Atlanta Neighborhoods
As the 9th largest metro area in the U.S., Atlanta has a variety of neighborhoods to choose from. Each comes with it’s own style, ranging from hip downtown scenes to upscale homes for well-to-do families. Here are three of the best neighborhoods in Atlanta.
Little 5 Points
Named after the spot where the five main Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) lines meet, Little 5 Points, of L5P for short, is a unique area of Atlanta, stationed right in the heart of the city. Its calling card? It’s weird, eclectic, funky– you get the idea. And the locals of L5P love every part of its one-of-a-kind culture.
L5P is home to a plethora of Indie businesses, eclectic restaurants, and a thriving nightlife. Its alternative community feel even got the neighborhood ranked as #16 in Forbe’s list of America’s Best Hipster Neighborhoods. L5P is also a center for diversity in Atlanta, making it especially attractive to millennial singles.
Like L5P, the Virginia Highlands neighborhood is best known by its local nickname “VaHi.” VaHi is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Atlanta, and also one of the most expensive, with homes that cost about $600,000 on average. Higher income families will love VaHi, with its cozy bungalow-style houses and great public school offerings.
Known as the luxury Atlanta neighborhood, Buckhead residents enjoy easy access to the city, outfitted with some of the best high-end restaurants and shops in the city. The downtown-most area of Buckhead is Buckhead Village, an affluent neighborhood that caters to well-off young professionals. Kids in Buckhead have great public and private school options, making the area a fantastic spot for families as well.
Old Fourth Ward
Best known as the birthplace and hometown of Dr. Martin Luther KIng, Jr., the Old Fourth Ward is a historic neighborhood on the southeast side of Atlanta. Efforts to build up this neighborhood in the last few decades have created a unique district where old meets new. In Old Fourth Ward, you can find some of the cities best restaurants, bars and clubs. New lofts and condominiums have brought fresh life into the area, and its proximity to all things nightlife makes it a great place for millennial urbanites. The Old Fourth Ward also connects with Freedom Parkway and the Atlanta Beltline, so there’s plenty of outdoor activities for day visitors and exercise buffs.
Want all the details on the best neighborhoods in Atlanta? Our handy Atlanta neighborhood guide will help you choose the perfect place in the city for your family.
7) The Weather in Atlanta
You can’t avoid the heat in Atlanta. The average temperature in Atlanta hovers at 61 degrees, with summers hitting the mid-80’s on almost a daily basis. If you hate the cold, you’re in luck, because even during the winter, the average temperature rarely goes below freezing.
Rainfall in Atlanta doesn’t usually go above 4-5 inches per month, making Atlanta a great place for folks who hate rainy days. However, that doesn’t mean that there’s no water in the air. Atlanta is known for its muggy, humid summers, so be prepared for the opposite of a “dry heat.”
8) Things to do in Atlanta
You’ll never run out of fun things to do in Atlanta. The city is bustling with activity daily, and featured some amazing attractions for visitors and locals alike. Looking for a new experience in Atlanta? Here are a few spots to check out:
Drink Up at the World of Coca-Cola
Fun Fact: Atlanta is the hometown of America’s (arguably) favorite drink. Coca-Cola was founded in Atlanta in 1886 by Dr. John S. Pemberton, and at the world of Coca-Cola, you can learn all about the fizzy beverage and the company behind it.
Enter into the vault where they “keep” the secret formula for Coke. Taste hundreds of unique sodas from around the world. Meet the official Coca-Cola Polar Bear and get your picture taken! At the World of Coca-Cola, you can even get a peek into the bottling process, and learn all about how Coke went from it’s classic glass bottle, to what we know today.
Get Outdoors In Centennial Olympic Park
Atlanta hosted the Summer Olympics in 1996, and Centennial Olympic Park stands as a monument to the occasion. Spanning 21 acres in Atlanta, the park provides everything you could want for a fun day in the city.
For folks who just want to get outside, there are plenty of walking paths, and a garden to explore. Kids will love the Fountain of Rings, which is the largest interactive fountain that incorporates the Olympic rings symbol. Plus, the park hosts plenty of musical events, including free lunchtime concerts and tons of touring artists that play in the park’s amphitheater.
Learn About Civil Rights at MLK’s Home and Historic Park
Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta on (BIRTHDAY). He’s heralded as a hero of the Civil Rights Movement, and lead the charge for peaceful protest until his assassination in 1964. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Historical Park is an ode to MLK’s achievements in bringing our country closer to equality.
The Park itself is really a series of buildings and monuments related to MLK’s life and work. Similar to the Freedom Trail in Boston, you can start at the visitor’s center and get an overview of the landmarks included. You can view the home where Dr. King grew up, the church he ministered to, and even his final resting place, where he lays beside his wife. You can also spend time in the “I Have a Dream” World Peace Rose Garden, which was installed in 1992, and was inspired by Dr. King’s staunch belief in nonviolence.
9) Jobs in Atlanta
Atlanta is a hot spot for professionals, no matter what stage of your career you’re in. Plenty of Fortune 500 companies, including Delta Airlines and Home Depot, call Atlanta home. But you don’t have to be at a large corporation to find great work in Atlanta. Small businesses are thriving in Atlanta, from bars and restaurants to boutique shops and service businesses.
Although the unemployment rate in Atlanta is slightly higher than the national average at 4.8%, many industry sectors here are experiencing massive growth. The fastest growing areas of business in Atlanta are the trades, transportations and utilities industries.
10) Atlanta Schools
There are a total of 619 schools in Atlanta, including 120 public school districts, 29 charter schools and 470 private institutions. Schools in Atlanta consistently perform well. In fact, the Gwinnett School of Mathematics was recently ranked by the U.S. News & World Report as the top high school in Georgia, and one of the top high schools in the U.S.
Atlanta also has plenty of opportunities for higher education. Colleges and universities in Atlanta include the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University (GSU) and Emory University, among others. Students can explore a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, making Atlanta an excellent destination for both the students that grew up here, and those around the country.
11) Is Atlanta the Right Place for You?
After reading this guide, we hope the answer is yes! You’re on your way to becoming part of a vibrant city. Living in Atlanta is a unique experience. The people in Atlanta are warm, and welcoming, there are new jobs every day, and in Atlanta, you’ll never run out of fun things to do.
At Wirks Moving & Storage, we know that moving to Atlanta can be a stressful process, and choosing an Atlanta mover can be one of the most difficult steps in a move. So if you need help with your transition, give us a call at (404) 635-6683. Our Atlanta local movers will be there every step of the way to make your move as easy as possible.