Moving to Atlanta? If so, you’re in good company. The Atlanta metro area added 37,200 residents in a one-year period ending in April 2012, according to the Atlanta Regional Commission.
It’s easy to see why so many people are drawn to Atlanta. For one thing, the city is home to several Fortune 500 companies, such as Delta Air Lines, UPS, The Home Depot and Coca-Cola. In fact, it’s considered a “global city,” meaning it has a significant impact on the world economy. Ranking as one of the 10 largest U.S. cities, Atlanta offers eclectic neighborhoods, a rich history and a thriving arts scene.
If you’re relocating to Atlanta, here are some things you should know.
Where to Live in Atlanta
Trying to decide where to live? The Atlanta metro area offers an array of neighborhoods to suit every taste and lifestyle. The city can be broken down into several main areas:
Downtown Atlanta—The Atlanta skyline could belong to any big city in the United States, and the downtown area is home to the corporate headquarters of many of the city’s biggest companies. The area offers high-rise condos and easy access to the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), the city’s public transportation system.
Midtown—Midtown is a thriving business and residential area that includes the neighborhoods of Ansley Park, Sherwood Forest and Atlantic Station, according to the Midtown Alliance. The area offers shopping, restaurants and housing options that range from lofts to historic bungalows. It’s also home to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and Fox Theater.
Buckhead—Buckhead, which encompasses much of the northern part of Atlanta, boasts high-end shopping and hotels, according to Buckhead.net, a community website. Buckhead neighborhoods include Ardmore Park, Brookhaven and North Buckhead.
Other neighborhoods and suburbs—Atlanta suburbs include Alpharetta, Milton, Sandy Springs and Marietta, according to KnowAtlanta.com Another suburb, East Cobb, is popular with families thanks to the quality of its schools. And Decatur is known for its historic buildings and community feel.
What To Do in Atlanta
Once you’ve chosen a neighborhood and settled in, you’ll want to explore the city. There’s a lot to do in Atlanta, from shopping to sports and the arts to history. Here are some highlights:
Shopping—Atlanta is known for its stores, ranging from luxury boutiques to outlet malls. Buckhead offers ritzy shops, while Virginia Highland is known for antique stores and boutiques filled with pottery, folk art, clothing and jewelry. Little Five Points is an eclectic, Bohemian district with funky shops, restaurants, bars and tattoo parlors.
Sports and family fun – The Georgia Aquarium draws families from all over the region. You always can catch a game, too—teams include Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves and, in the fall, the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.
And that’s just the beginning. Consider checking out Atlanta Magazine’s yearly Best of Atlanta list to keep up with the city’s ever-changing scene.
John Egan is editor in chief at SpareFoot, the online marketplace where you can find and reserve a self-storage unit with comparison shopping tools that show real-time availability and exclusive deals.