Follow these tips for having an indie travel experience in Atlanta.
  • Check out three separate skylines that Atlanta boasts - Downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead.
  • Atlanta has several different urban neighborhoods that all have their own unique feel - check them all out.
  • Visit one of downtown's best attractions, Centennial Olympic Park, a prize from the 1996 Olympics.
  • There are festivals year-round in Atlanta. If you find yourself here during one, make sure to go to see how the local people celebrate.
  • Atlanta is an underrated foodie destination, with some of the world's renowned chef's calling it home. There is a great mix of traditional southern restaurants, modern fusion, and everything in between.

Why you should add Atlanta to your RTW travel list

  • Take a tour of the CNN headquarters
  • Visit the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr
  • Catch one of the major US sports: baseball, football, or basketball
  • See the legends in the largest sports hall of fame in America
  • Lose your lunch at Six Flags Over Georgia, a massive amusement park
  • Great public transportation with MARTA.

Why you should not add Atlanta to your RTW travel list

  • The price of traveling here can put a dent in the RTW traveler's budget.
  • Atlanta is a big, spread-out city, so getting around to all the areas you want to see will be difficult without a car of your own.

Overview

Atlanta is one of the United States' fastest growing cities and it's becoming more popular as a destination for tourists in spite not having any major checklist attractions. The climate is usually fairly mild, although winters can be snowy and summers are often hot and humid. Its location on a plateau helps keep it from further extremes and has certainly been a big part of its explosive growth and popularity. Most people find it to be one of the friendliest big cities they've ever visited, and a large mid to upscale African-American community has helped make this anything but a typical "Southern city."

What to do

As mentioned, there are no major landmarks in Atlanta that most people can think of off the top of their heads, but the city is still filled with interesting sights. The Centennial Olympic Park was the place to be for the 1996 Summer Olympics, and now it's the center of tourism for the pleasant downtown Atlanta area. CNN Center next door is where the cable news behemoth is based, and it's also home to a huge shopping mall with some very worthwhile technology displays.

Martin Luther King Jr. was from Atlanta and now the center named after him is a National Historic Site. The downtown attraction contains a museum that highlights the civil rights leader's life and accomplishments. Stone Mountain is not far out of town and it's literally a stone mountain. Its base is 5 miles around, and the park that surrounds it is a huge tourist attraction with nature trails, a cable-car ride to the top, a locomotive display and much more.

Getting there

You'll want to book a flight to Atlanta, partly to have the privilege of landing in the busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic. The huge airport mostly serves as a transfer hub for Delta Airlines, but this also helps keep airfares reasonable. From the airport you can easily get into the city on the MARTA train that goes right into town.

If you need to get to the airport by car you can save both time and money by paying for the Atlanta airport parking ahead of time. Or you can pay for an Atlanta airport shuttle to get you to the airport and back.

Where to stay

There are loads of hotels in Atlanta from which to choose and they tend to be more reasonably priced than most other large US cities. You'll pay more for a convenient downtown location, but it might be worth it in Atlanta. Budget travelers will find many choices as well including a couple Atlanta hostels that are now operating.