When we think of traveling, we tend to think of far-off destinations and experiencing different cultures. The idea of something out of the ordinary is an attraction for many and there is definitely a belief that that can only be found by enduring a long haul flight to the other side of the world.
All of that is highly recommended, by the way. You will only discover more about the world and its peoples by actually going and visiting other countries. But there is much to be said about exploring the towns and cities that are a little closer. Immerse yourself in a city and you will discover elements that you never knew existed.
It doesn’t matter where you are in the US, discovering the Deep South should be on your to-do list. But if you are worried that you will miss the comforts of home, then combining a southern hospitality trip with the delights of the metropolis that is Atlanta is a great idea. Home to great food, interesting culture, and the prospect of the best Georgia betting sites covering the local sports teams, Atlanta ticks just about every box.
A Sense of History
As the birthplace and final resting place of Dr. Martin Luther King, Atlanta celebrates the life of the civil rights activist like nowhere else. This cosmopolitan capital of the South may not even be as it is today if it wasn’t for the words and deeds of the great man – and visitors can find out more all across the city.
The best place to start is with the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Site Visitor Center, spread over a 35-acre area in Auburn. Nicknamed “Sweet Auburn”, the area was a prosperous area of black-owned businesses in the 1920s but went into decline during the Depression and never really recovered.
Visitors can see the house that Martin Luther King was born in, the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he first learned his craft, as well as various other centers and exhibitions about the civil rights campaign – and Atlanta’s central role within it
Learning about the history of the city is a must for anyone coming to Atlanta. But this is a modern city as well – and it leads the way when it comes to cultural hotspots in this part of the country. Taking a trip to some of the cooler neighborhoods will show you how southern hospitality is done these days.
Little Five Points is the hub for anything alternative and offbeat, where you are likely to catch the new sound of the city while sampling the craft breweries that have put Atlanta on the beer world map. If city art is more your style, then Cabbagetown should be your destination on the east side of town. But to be perfectly honest, the whole of Atlanta is pretty cool – so just pick a neighborhood and explore.
If you know anything about college football, you will be very aware that the University of Georgia Bulldogs is the dominant force in the country right now. They play their games at the Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia, just about an hour west of Atlanta. But there are plenty more sports options right in the city itself.
The very impressive Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown ATL is home to both the Falcons of the NFL and Atlanta United of Major League Soccer. You could practically walk to Stare Farm Arena to catch the Hawks playing basketball from there, and then just ten miles north of the city is Truist Park, where the Braves play baseball.
Eating in Atlanta
If Georgia is on your mind (sorry, we couldn’t resist!) then part of the attraction will surely be the chance to sample some of the local culinary delights. When a place is called The Big Peach, you know that there will be some good food on offer – and Atlanta has it from hip new restaurants to traditional hearty comfort food.
You can find southern dishes like fried green tomatoes, Brunswick stew and fried chicken just about everywhere in Atlanta, as well as BBQ joints serving up the best briskets and ribs. There are some very good food markets, such as Staplehouse and The Municipal. But for your food with a slice of history, a visit to Pascal’s in Castleberry Hill will give you the chance to eat where civil rights leaders, actors and musicians have been before.
Getting Around the City
As we like to completely immerse ourselves in a city and explore what makes it tick, we would always recommend just walking. That is the case here as well but Atlanta is forever growing, so you need to have some kind of idea about saving your shoe leather as well.
Atlanta’s public transportation system is called the MARTA, which runs the bus and rail lines in the city and out to the suburbs and the airport too. If you are downtown or on the east side of the city you can also take a ride on the Atlanta streetcar. But whenever you get to an area you like, do step out and take in the place – it’s the best way to see a city.
When to Visit
There are a number of things you need to consider when you are planning a trip to Atlanta. If you want to save a little money, visiting in the winter is good as the crowds will not be quite as hectic and the prices for hotels will be lower. The climate can be surprisingly cool then though.
Atlanta summers are hot and humid, so you may want to avoid the peak months in the middle of the year. Autumn is also hurricane season, so that is something else that you should be aware of. Any time from March to May is probably best to get the best of the weather, while still being able to enjoy all the outdoor activities Atlanta has to offer.
Come Back Soon Y’all
If you do make the trip out to the ATL, the first thing you will realize is that you just cannot fit everything in. A return visit will be high on your travel priority list. But with a city like Atlanta, coming back time and time again is hardly a chore.