Founded as a rail terminus, ante-bellum Atlanta was a small, rough-and-ready railroad town. Its manners and mores were more like the frontier towns west of the Mississippi than the civilized cities of the Old South. Transportation was, and still is the keystone of its economic development. In 1836, the Georgia General Assembly voted to build a state railroad to provide transportation from the Georgia coast to the Midwest. They chose the sparsely settled area of Fort Peachtree as its terminal. Hence the new Western and Atlantic Railroad terminal town became known as Atlanta. From 1845 to the start of the Civil War, Atlanta grew like the boom towns of the Old West. Today, with close to a half million, the city is an interstate highway hub for the Southeast U. S. and home to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, one of the world's busiest airports.
Population: Atlanta: 519,145. Total metropolitan area: 5,626,400.
Land Area: 131.8 square miles.
Atlanta is situated on the Piedmont Plateau at an elevation of 1,050 feet. Because of this elevation the city tends to be less hot and humid than most southern cities. Average annual rainfall is about 54 inches (137cm), typically with late winter and early spring (as well as July) being the wettest and fall being the driest. Average annual snowfall is about 1.5 inches or 3.8cm, falling mostly in January and early February. Winters are mild, with January daily lows near freezing and highs near 50°F or 10°C. Summers are moderately hot and humid, with July mornings near 70°F (11°C) and afternoons near 89°F (32°C).
Average Daily High/Low Temperature:
March - May: 86°f / 56°f, 30°c / 13°c
June - Aug.: 89°f / 71°f, 32°c / 22°c
Sept. - Nov.: 77°f / 56°f, 25°c / 13°c
Dec. - Feb.: 53°f / 34°f, 12°c / 2°c
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (www.atlanta-airport.com): is the busiest passenger airport in the United States with over 77,939,536 arrivals, departures, and transfers. It is located approximately 10 miles from downtown Atlanta.
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (www.itsmarta.com): Only 20 minutes from the airport to Downtown, 25 minutes to Midtown, and 30 minutes to Buckhead. Fares: Single Fare (age 6 years and older), $1.75 Weekly TransCard,$13.00 Monthly TransCard, $52.50 Weekend Passes, $9.
MARTA Bus : provides bus service to over 125 routes and shuttle service to several attractions.
MARTA Train: provides rail services on two lines. The South-North line runs from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to Atlanta's downtown, Midtown, Buckhead, Doraville and Dunwoody. The East-West line runs from Indian Creek to Hamilton Holmes.
AMTRAK (www.amtrak.com): 1688 Peachtree Street, NW.
Taxis: $ 2.50 for the first 1/8 mile $ 0.25 for each additional 1/8 mile.
Rapid Taxi (404) 222-9888
Atlanta Taxi (404) 351-1111
Takeout Taxi (404) 475-5900
Crown Cab (404) 898-0554
World of Coca-Cola (www.woccatlanta.com): 55 Martin Luther King Drive, (404) 676-5151. A popular Atlanta attraction that is a tribute to the world-famous soft drink company which was born a century ago in a local Atlanta pharmac. It fills three stories with everything you ever wanted to know about Coca-Cola. Admission: Adults-$15, Seniors-$13, Youth-$9.
Atlanta Zoo (www.zooatlanta.org): 800 Cherokee Ave., SE, (404) 624-5600. Open daily 9:30 am-5:30 pm. Admission: Adults-$17.99, Seniors, Active Military and College Students-$13.99, Children-$12.99.
Atlanta Botanical Garden (www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org): 345 Piedmont Ave NE, (404) 876-5859. Open Tueday-Sunday. April-October 9 am-7 pm, November-March 9 am-5 pm. Admission: Adults-$12, Seniors and Children-$9.
Museum of Design (www.museumofdesign.org): 285 Peachtree Center Ave NE, (404) 979-6455. Open Tuesday-Saturday 11 am-5 pm. Free admission.
High Museum of Art (www.high.org): 1280 Peachtree St, (404) 733-4400. Open Tuesday-Wedneday 10 am-5 pm, Thursday 10 am-8 pm, Friday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm, Sunday 12 pm-5 pm. Admisson: Adults-$18, Seniors and Students-$15, Children-$11.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History (www.fernbankmuseum.org): 767 Clifton Road, NE, (404) 929-6300. Open Monday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm, Sunday 12 pm-5 pm. Admission: Adults-$15, Students and Seniors-$14, Children-$13.
Atlanta History Center (www.atlantahistorycenter.com): 130 West Paces Ferry Road NW, (404) 814-4000. Open Monday-Saturday 10 am-5:30 pm, Sunday 12 pm-5:30 pm. Admission: Adults-$15, Seniors and Students-$12, Children-$10.
Dogwood Festival (www.dogwood.org): The Atlanta Dogwood Festival is from April 2-4 in Piedmont Park, which is the perfect place to appreciate springtime in Atlanta. Atlanta's oldest and most popular outdoor event, the Dogwood Festival offers an extensive artists' market, numerous stages with diverse live music acts, and a real crowd favorite, the Disc-Dog.
Peachtree Road Race: The Peachtree Road Race is the world's largest 10k race with 55,000 participants annually. It takes place on July 4.