25 Interesting And Fun Facts About Atlanta, GA [Explained]

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Atlanta is the dynamic capital city of Georgia in the southeastern United States. With a rich history steeped in the Civil Rights Movement, Atlanta has transformed into a bustling metropolis with a vibrant cultural scene. From its iconic attractions like the Georgia Aquarium to its Southern hospitality, there are plenty of interesting facts about Atlanta that promise an unforgettable journey.

Quick Facts About Atlanta

  • State: Georgia
  • Population: 490,270 (39th Most Populous US City)
  • Land Area: 372.4 mi² / 353 km² (60th Biggest US City)

Where Is Atlanta?

Atlanta is a city located in the southeastern part of the United States. It is the capital and largest city that Georgia State is famous for. Atlanta is situated in the northern half of Georgia and serves as an important cultural, economic, and transportation hub in the region. 

Historical Facts About Atlanta

The Land Now Known As Atlanta Was Occupied By The Creek And Cherokee Native American Peoples Before 1836

Although the Creek and Cherokee Native American people inhabited the Atlanta Area, they were forcibly removed due to the Indian Removal Act of 1836. In 1837, Atlanta was founded as the terminus of the Western and Atlantic Railroad. Subsequently, this expansion sparked a wave of economic prosperity for the city’s growth, ultimately making it a major regional hub. Today, Atlanta is well known for its diverse economy and cultural significance. 

In 1868, Atlanta Became The 5th State Capital, Replacing Milledgeville

One of the interesting Atlanta facts is that it was the fifth state capital. The decision to change the state capital resulted from the Civil War and Reconstruction. Atlanta’s strategic location and potential for economic growth made it an appealing choice for the new state capital. The move symbolized Georgia’s efforts to rebuild and embrace change after the war. 

Since then, it has experienced great growth and diversity while gaining a reputation as a premier hub in the southeast region. To this day, it proudly serves as a reminder of Georgia’s capacity for endurance and development, symbolizing its history with dignity and honor.

A great way to get an introduction to the city and its iconic highlights is through a relaxing and narrated sightseeing trolley tour. It will give you an idea of the main attractions, perfect for first-time visitors. 

In 1886, The City Prohibited The Production, Sale, And Consumption Of Alcohol Within The City

This move was part of the temperance movement, which aimed to reduce alcohol-related issues. Similar to the national Prohibition in 1920, Atlanta’s alcohol ban faced challenges and led to the rise of illegal activities. In 1933, Prohibition was repealed, allowing states to regulate alcohol independently. 

Atlanta’s experiment in prohibition reflects the broader historical context of efforts to curb alcohol consumption and the eventual acknowledgment of the need for more balanced and effective approaches to alcohol regulation.

In 1889, The Creation Of Electric Streetcars Marked A Turning Point 

This cutting-edge improvement replaced horse-drawn carriages and revolutionized public transit with faster and more reliable service. Areas that were formerly cut off were now connected due to this newfound method of transportation, consequently stimulating neighborhoods and businesses along the streetcar lines. 

These advances played an important role in transforming Atlanta from a localized center to an energetic metropolis. Despite their eventual fall in the 20th century, it is unmistakable that these streetcars had a major influence on building infrastructure and promoting economic prosperity, which adds to the allure of interesting facts about Atlanta. 

In 1926, The Side Of An Abandoned Auto Racetrack Was Transformed Into The Busiest Airport In The World

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was established on September 15, 1926, on the site of an abandoned auto racetrack known as the “Atlanta Speedway.” Originally named “Candler Field” after the Atlanta mayor who donated the land, it began as a mail and freight stop. 

During World War II, the airport was leased to the military and known as “Atlanta Army Airfield.” After the war, it resumed commercial operations and was renamed several times, finally becoming “Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport” in 2003. 

On September 15th, 1926, The First Plane Arrived At Chandler Field

The first official flight into Candler Field, which later became Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, occurred on September 15, 1926.

Originating from Jacksonville, Florida, the flight carried mail, marking the airport’s entry into commercial aviation operations. Previously serving as a mail and freight stop, this event signified the airport’s readiness for scheduled air travel. It’s one of the iconic turning points and facts about Atlanta.

Over time, Candler Field developed into a vital transportation hub in the southeastern United States and eventually grew into one of the world’s busiest airports, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. 

In 1946, The CDC Was Established In Atlanta

As an agent of the Department of Health and Human Services, it focuses on protecting American and international citizens from illnesses by regulating and avoiding them. 

The site chosen for the agency in Atlanta had a significant impact; as a result, the CDC has continuously been an innovative leader in treating contagious illnesses, long-term health difficulties, and public health crises over its history. It is a crucial contributor to safeguarding citizens’ welfare domestically and globally while confronting pressing global medical troubles.

Cultural Facts About Atlanta

Atlanta’s Food Culture Is Rooted In Southern Cuisine But Also With Other Influences

The Atlanta food scene features iconic dishes like fried chicken, collard greens, cornbread, and peach cobbler. This traditional fare reflects the city’s historical ties to the South and its rich culinary heritage. However, Atlanta’s diverse population has also transformed its culinary scene, incorporating many international cuisines. 

The city’s restaurants now offer flavors from around the world, celebrating its multiculturalism and fostering cross-cultural understanding. This blending of traditional Southern cooking with global influences has shaped Atlanta’s vibrant and dynamic cultural landscape, making it a melting pot of flavors and culinary experiences.

Atlanta Boasts A Thriving Music Scene

One of the interesting facts about Atlanta is how huge music is within the city. Often hailed as the “Hip-Hop Capital of the South,” Atlanta has produced renowned hip-hop and R&B artists like Outkast, Ludacris, Usher, and TLC. The diverse music landscape goes beyond hip-hop, encompassing various genres such as R&B, gospel, country, and rock. 

Atlanta’s influential music producers, coupled with a rich infrastructure, support local talent and attract music enthusiasts from far and wide to its music festivals and events like the Atlanta Jazz Festival and Music Midtown. 

Atlanta’s Cultural Diversity Is Celebrated Via Various Festivals And Events Showing Its Rich Heritage

The Atlanta Jazz Festival honors the city’s jazz legacy, while the Atlanta Film Festival brings filmmakers and audiences together for a cinematic experience. Dragon Con attracts enthusiasts of sci-fi and pop culture, fostering creative expression. The Atlanta Dogwood Festival marks spring’s arrival and offers art exhibits and family-friendly activities. 

These events exemplify Atlanta’s commitment to inclusivity and the arts, creating a sense of community pride. Beyond cultural celebration, the festivals contribute to the city’s economy, draw tourists, and elevate Atlanta’s vibrant cultural scene.

Atlanta’s Cultural Scene Is Enriched By Its Art And Museums

Another of the exciting Atlanta facts involves its abundance of art and museums that contributes to both local education and tourism.

The High Museum of Art leads the way as one of the Southeast’s premier art museums. Its diverse collection spans different cultures and periods, offering visitors a rich artistic experience. Additionally, the Atlanta History Center preserves the city’s heritage, while the Center for Civil and Human Rights educates on civil rights struggles. 

These institutions enrich cultural understanding and serve as educational hubs, fostering community engagement and pride among residents and thus contributing to Atlanta’s dynamic and diverse cultural identity.

If you plan on visiting a bunch of the museums and attractions, some are covered under the Atlanta CityPASS which can be a good budget and time saver.

Atlanta’s Cultural Identity Is Intertwined With Its Passion For Sports 

The city boasts professional teams like the Atlanta Falcons (NFL), Atlanta Hawks (NBA), Atlanta Braves (MLB), and Atlanta United FC (MLS). These teams have a devoted following, fostering a sense of community and pride among residents. Sports events contribute to the city’s economy and offer a platform to showcase Atlanta’s culture and hospitality to the world. 

Beyond entertainment, sports serve as unifying forces, transcending cultural barriers and creating a vibrant sports-loving city with a strong cultural identity.

Atlanta Has A Film And TV Culture

Atlanta’s film and television industry has earned it the title “Hollywood of the South” due to its attractive tax incentives and diverse shooting locations. This is one of the facts about Atlanta that not many know but is getting increasingly obvious.

This cultural powerhouse has become a major hub for popular movies and TV shows, attracting numerous productions to its versatile landscapes, urban settings, and scenic spots. The industry’s growth has boosted the local economy, fostered a thriving arts community, and brought exposure to Atlanta’s unique identity.

Fans visiting filming locations have contributed to the city’s cultural vibrancy and increased its popularity as a tourist destination. Some of the most popular ones are:

  • The Netflix hit, Stranger Things Film Locations Tour
  • Marvel (MCU) Comics Film Locations Tour
  • The Walking Dead Film Locations Around Senoia

They are a convenient way to explore the different sites without having to hunt down and drive to them individually.

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Simple Facts About Atlanta For Kids

The Varsity Is The World’s Largest And Busiest Drive-In Restaurant

Perhaps one of the coolest facts about Atlanta is that it is home to the world’s largest and busiest drive-in restaurant. This iconic restaurant in Atlanta is renowned for serving the most Coca-Cola globally and dishing out 300 gallons of chili, 2500 pounds of potatoes, and over 2 miles of hot dogs daily. 

As one of the famous Atlanta landmarks, The Varsity’s popularity reflects the love for its classic American fare, attracting many customers who enjoy its unique, drive-in dining experience and delicious offerings.

MLK Was From Atlanta

Martin Luther King Jr., the influential civil rights leader and activist, was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. He played a crucial role in the American civil rights movement, advocating for racial equality and justice through nonviolent resistance. Dr. King’s legacy and contributions to the advancement of civil rights have made him an iconic figure in the United States and worldwide. 

Atlanta takes great pride in being the birthplace of this remarkable leader and honors his memory through various landmarks in Georgia State and institutions dedicated to his legacy.

You can explore this important part of the city’s history on a Black History and Civil Rights Tour. It’s one of the most meaningful things to do in Atlanta that will certainly leave you with some impactful reflections and thoughts.

Atlanta Has More Than 55 Streets Named Peachtree

One of the funny facts about Atlanta is that they have more than 55 streets with “Peachtree” in their names, stemming from the region’s historical abundance of peach trees. The city’s growth and development led to this distinctive naming convention, paying homage to its Native American settlement roots. Notably, streets like Peachtree Street, Peachtree Road, and others can be confusing for newcomers, but locals have grown accustomed to them. 

Although Atlanta isn’t primarily known for peach orchards, it has evolved into a dynamic urban center with a diverse culture and rich history, attracting visitors and residents from around the globe.

Atlanta Was The Third American City To Hold The Olympics In 1996

The Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics, also known as the Games of the XXVI Olympiad, celebrated the centennial of the modern Olympic Games. The event took place from July 19 to August 4, featuring various sporting events and introducing new sports to the Olympic program. 

Hosting the Games brought an influx of athletes, visitors, and media personnel to Atlanta, leaving a lasting impact on the city’s international reputation and significant infrastructural legacies. It showcased Atlanta’s hospitality, cultural diversity, and ability to host a global event successfully.

Shirley Franklin’s Election As Atlanta Mayor In 2002 Was Significant

Shirley Franklin’s momentous election as mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, in 2002 shattered the glass ceiling for women, especially black women, in Southern U.S. politics. During her two terms from 2002 to 2010, Mayor Franklin focused on public safety, transportation, and fiscal accountability while boosting economic growth and embracing diversity throughout the city. 

Her legacy continues to be a beacon of hope for greater inclusion and representation in positions of political authority for both women and people of color alike. This is one of the inspiring facts about Atlanta for kids to know.

In 2011, Atlanta Was The First City To Demolish All Public Housing Projects

This plan, known as the “Atlanta Housing Authority Transformation Plan,” addressed poverty and crime associated with traditional public housing. Although controversial due to displacing low-income residents, the plan focused on revitalizing impoverished neighborhoods by creating mixed-income developments. These new communities combined affordable and market-rate housing, fostering greater economic and social integration. 

Atlanta’s pioneering approach to urban redevelopment and mixed-income housing has become a model for other cities seeking to improve living conditions and promote inclusive communities.

Useful Facts About Atlanta For Travelers

Atlanta Has One Of The World’s Busiest Airports

With an extensive 4,700 acres of land, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport stands as the world’s busiest airport. It serves millions of travelers each year and provides them with plenty of domestic and international flights. A Plane Train links all its concourses efficiently, while Delta Air Lines enables global connections from the hub terminal. 

The airport is renowned for top-notch customer service and ongoing upgrades that guarantee a seamless tour experience in the southeastern United States. 

MARTA Has Buses And Trains Connecting The Atlanta Area

MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) services the community of Atlanta, providing easy access to both the city center and its surrounding suburbs. It’s one of the convenient and welcomed facts about Atlanta for visitors looking to get around.

The network of buses and rail lines—including Red, Gold, Blue, and Green—allows for fast movement throughout the area. The Breeze Card simplifies fare payments by offering a smart card that is reloadable as needed. 

Furthermore, MARTA’s cost-effectiveness and operating hours make it an ideal means of transportation for citizens and tourists alike, thus helping to reduce traffic congestion while increasing sustainability in the ATL metropolitan area.

Atlanta Is Very Humid, With Hot, Wet Summers And Mild Winters

Temperatures can get up to the 90s during the summer months, making it important to wear light and airy clothing. Springtime and autumn are delightful intervals of the year, with temperatures hovering around 60–70°F—perfect for outdoor recreation! The winter season mainly brings low 40–60°F temperatures but can sometimes experience colder conditions in the evening. 

Those heading to Atlanta should bring appropriate clothing when planning their trip, considering the glorious blooms of spring and the beautiful colors of fall foliage.

Atlanta Has A Wide Range Of Tourist Attractions For Diverse Interests

Must-visit sites include the Georgia Aquarium with its marine wonders, the World of Coca-Cola, showcasing the iconic beverage’s history, the CNN Center, offering behind-the-scenes news tours, and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, honoring the Civil Rights leader’s legacy. 

Art enthusiasts can explore the High Museum of Art’s diverse collection, while nature lovers will enjoy Piedmont Park’s green spaces. Centennial Olympic Park offers a vibrant gathering place, and the historic Fox Theatre hosts various performances. 

Atlanta Hosts Diverse Festivals And Events That Celebrate Music, Arts, Culture, And More

This is one of the biggest Atlanta facts that residents are no doubt proud of. You might even want to plan your visit based on certain festivals or events.

The Atlanta Film Festival presents independent films, while the Atlanta Jazz Festival mesmerizes jazz enthusiasts with captivating performances. The Georgia Renaissance Festival transports visitors back in time to experience the Renaissance era. Music festivals cater to various genres, and arts festivals showcase local and international talent. 

Cultural festivals highlight the city’s diverse heritage, while food and drink festivals indulge foodies with culinary delights and allow them to try all the food in Georgia State. From holiday celebrations to immersive cultural experiences, Atlanta’s festivals create a vibrant and engaging atmosphere year-round, attracting both locals and tourists.

Atlanta Is Known For Its Southern Hospitality

Established in Southern culture, Atlantans show civility, politeness, and appreciation when speaking with each other using terms such as “sir” or “ma’am.” Both locals and visitors enjoy the welcoming atmosphere that the city’s diverse population has created. Considerate actions, charity, and an impressive sense of unity are highly present in Atlanta’s way of life. 

Eating together and enjoying comfort cuisine reinforces its hospitable culture even more. In sum, the Southern hospitality found in Atlanta leaves an enduring positive impression on those who visit it.

Discovering More Fun Facts About Atlanta

Atlanta stands as a captivating blend of history, progress, and Southern charm. From exploring the vibrant neighborhoods like Midtown and Virginia-Highland to savoring the delectable Southern cuisine, Atlanta offers a delightful experience for every visitor. 

With the warm hospitality, iconic landmarks, and rich cultural tapestry, you will no doubt learn more interesting facts about Georgia State and the surrounding region when exploring the city.


PIN THESE FACTS ABOUT ATLANTA FOR LATER

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.

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