With five million residents and counting, the so-called ‘capital of the South’ continues to experience explosive growth thanks to southbound Yankees and international immigrants alike. It’s also booming as a tourist destination thanks to two glitzy 21st-century attractions – the Georgia Aquarium and the new World of Coca-Cola – plus the arrival of Mei Lan, a giant panda cub at the Atlanta Zoo. Beyond the attractions you’ll find a constellation of superlative restaurants, two luxury megamalls, ample Civil War lore, miles of hiking trails and a plethora of African American history.
Without natural boundaries to control development, Atlanta keeps growing – sometimes up, but mostly out. Suburban sprawl has turned Atlanta into an almost endless city. Increased car dependence creates horrendous traffic, traffic creates smog, smog pollutes water and so on.
For all this suburbanization, Atlanta is a pretty city covered with trees and elegant homes. Distinct neighborhoods are like friendly small towns. Racial tensions are minimal in ‘The City Too Busy To Hate, ’ which prides itself as hometown to the civil rights titan Martin Luther King Jr.
Best places to stay in Atlanta
Atlanta to LA road trip: following the Due Date route
In the new film Due Date, Robert Downey Jr and Zach Galifianakis, as an expectant father and aspiring actor, race west from Atlanta across the south to LA. It’s a great route, and even better if you take it slow. Here are some of our favorite things to do at their main stops along the way...
Atlanta destination guides
48 hours in Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia: a cosmopolitan juggernaut full of delectable restaurants, bohemian neighborhoods, trendy bars and world-class cultural attractions. Here’s how to play, eat and drink like the locals (and sleep like a tourist) over a weekend in the sass of the South...
Atlanta Film Tour: Hollywood of the South
Experience Atlanta in a unique way on this film tour. Cruising through the city by comfortable coach, see filming sites from 'Driving Miss Daisy' and 'The Blind Side,' see where 'Gone with the Wind' premiered in 1939 and visit the shop that inspired one of Paul McCartney’s albums.
East Coast Loop
Relish the diverse colours and flavours of life in the USA and Canada on a vibrant, city-hopping tour. Start in the frenetic hub of New York City, then follow a loop all the way down the east coast of the USA. After a taste of the south, head up to Canada to explore two of the county’s most thriving cities.