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Profile

Atlanta started as a railroad junction in the 1830s and quickly became the transport hub of the South. Its strategic importance was a major reason the Union Army targeted it for attack during the outbreak of the Civil War. Today, Atlanta remains a vital transportation hub, not only to the U.S. but the entire world.

The capital city of Georgia was first known as the "Capital of the New South" during the post-Reconstruction era and was at the forefront of an economic renaissance. The birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr. and the center of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s, Atlanta is known today as a city with strong ties to its heritage. It's also well known for hosting the 1996 Olympic Games, the Atlanta Braves baseball dynasty and as home to the global broadcasting network CNN.

Located in the southeastern region of the country, Atlanta's modern metropolitan area maintains a population upwards of 4.1 million and is marked by a number of distinct districts that comprise its 130 square miles, including the Perimeter, Five Points, Downtown, Midtown, Buckhead, and the West End, Atlanta's oldest neighborhood.

Atlanta has four seasons with extreme weather during the winter and summer months, usually short in duration, which gives way to longer stretches of comfortable spring and fall temperatures. Annual rainfall is about 48 inches with the maximum average precipitation occurring in March.

Current Weather

The Atlanta Botanical Garden (1345 Piedmont Ave., N.E.; 404-876-5859; www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org) is a tranquil oasis only five minutes from downtown Atlanta. Bordering Piedmont Park, the garden stretches across 30 acres where visitors can relax and stroll through Rose, Japanese and perennials displays and enjoy more than 2,500 species of plants including tropical, desert and endangered plants from around the world.


The Braves Museum & Hall of Fame/Turner Field Tours (755 Hank Aaron Dr.; 404-614-2310; www.atlantabraves.com) operates year-round and the museum, which features more than 500 artifacts that trace the Braves history from their beginnings in Boston to the present, is the starting point of the one-hour guided tour around the ballpark.

 

Located in historic Grant Park and minutes from downtown, Zoo Atlanta (800 Cherokee Ave., S.E.; 404-624-5600; www.zooatlanta.org) is the South's oldest zoo. Zoo Atlanta provides a family-friendly environment and learning experience for visitors. Take in a live animal show or choose from among a number of exhibits featuring animals in their natural habitat including the rare Giant Pandas of Chengdu.

Six Flags Over Georgia (275 Riverside Pkwy, S.E., Austell; 770-948-9290; www.sixflags.com) is a family theme park featuring thrill rides like "Superman Ultimate Flight," the south's only flying roller coaster, the "Dahlonega Mine Train," a slower speed original steel coaster, along with a number of Broadway-style shows and attractions. Park-goers can also take advantage of the Fastlane service to reserve a space in line without the wait.

 

AtlanTIX serves the Greater Atlanta area with same day half-price tickets for theater, dance, music, and cultural attractions. The AtlantTIX booth is located in the Visitors Center at Underground Atlanta, at the corner of Upper Alabama and Pryor streets, downtown Atlanta (404-588-9890; www.atlantaperforms.com).

The High Museum of Art (1280 Peachtree St., N.E.; 404-733-4400; www.high.org) houses over 11,000 works of art including European, African and American painting, decorative and folk art, modern and contemporary, and photography. Visitors walk up the circular ramps of a visually stunning building alongside a sky-lit atrium.

One of ten Presidential Libraries administrated by the National Archives and Records Administration, the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library (441 Freedom Pkwy.; 404-865-7100; www.jimmycarterlibrary.gov) is the only Presidential Library in the southeast United States. The museum includes photographs and historical memorabilia from the Carter presidency (1976-1981) and features an exact replica of the Oval Office and gifts received by the Carters from dignitaries throughout the world.

Having survived the depression, foreclosure, bankruptcy, competition, television, real estate development, and old age, the legendary Fox Theatre (660 Peachtree St., N.E.; 404-881-2100; www.foxtheatre.org) still generates millions of dollars for the Atlanta economy from hosting various events some 325 nights a year, attracting nearly a million visitors overall. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 1929 mosque-like structure features grand ballrooms, a 4,000-seat theater and vaulted ceiling and is a must-see landmark for tourists and theater fans alike. Theater tours are also offered on select dates (404-688-3353).

 

Southeastern Expeditions (800-868-7238; www.southeasternexpeditions.com) provides professionally guided whitewater rafting trips on the Ocoee and the Chattooga Rivers. They offer canoe and kayak instruction for all experience levels and group team building courses on select weekends during the months of March through November. Individual instruction for kayaking is available for those 12 and older.

Get a glimpse behind the scenes at one of the country's premier motor sports facilities, Atlanta Motor Speedway (1500 Tara Pl., Hwy. 19/41, Hampton; 770-946-4211; www.atlantamotorspeedway.com). Host to NASCAR races, it serves as an entertainment complex offering tours of the grounds, garages, gardens, and the speedway itself. Visitors can also experience "Victory Lane" laps around the same track the pros use.

Chateau Elan (6060 Golf Club Dr., Braselton; 678-425-0900; www.chateauelan.com) is a winery and resort featuring three 18-hole championship golf courses, plus a 9-hole, par 3 executive walking course for guests to accommodate breaks in their busy schedules. Golf amenities include two clubhouses, two professional golf shops, two restaurants, and meeting pavilions. For overnight accommodations, a number of two and three bedroom golf villas are available on the 15th fairway of The Chateau Course. Golf packages are also available and include overnight accommodations, breakfast and one round of golf.

 

Professional Sports Links:

 Football - Atlanta Falconshttp://www.atlantafalcons.com/



From charming boutique hotels tucked away on tree-lined streets to world-class amenities in the heart of the downtown, Atlanta provides a wealth of accommodations.

Originally built in 1929 as an apartment house for elderly single women, the Beverly Hills Inn (65 Sheridan Dr., N.E.; 404-233-8520; www.beverlyhillsinn.com) became Atlanta's first Bed and Breakfast Inn in 1982. Located in the heart of the Buckhead in the prestigious Garden Hills District, the inn is centrally located within walking distance of area shopping and dining and in close proximity to many of the city's historical sites. The Southern-style hotel offers 18 rooms and suites and provides spacious living areas, private baths, balconies, and floral decor.

Located in the Perimeter Center in an upscale northern suburb of Atlanta within an hour from both the popular Buckhead District and Hartsfield International Airport, and minutes from area shops and attractions, stands The W Atlanta (111 Perimeter Center W.; 877-946-8357; www.starwoodhotels.com/whotels). Comfort and style comprise the philosophy of the "W", which features 122 deluxe rooms, 152 suites and plenty of meeting space for business travelers.

Embassy Suites Hotel Atlanta - at Centennial Olympic Park (267 Marietta St., Atlanta; 800-362-2779; www.atlantacentennialpark.embsuites.com) is marked by convenience of location and dramatic architectural design. Overlooking Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta and nearby the city's major sports venues, the Embassy's long rectangular rose brick built profile and curved exterior houses an impressive interior that features a soaring atrium, grand staircase, fountain, skylight, and indoor gardens.

 

The famous Buckhead section of Atlanta is a crown jewel of the city, boasting charming homes, elegant hotels and outstanding shopping centers. Two of the shopping highlights lie at the intersection of Peachtree and Lenox roads - Lenox Square (3393 Peachtree Rd, N.E.; 404-233-6767; www.simon.com), an Atlanta landmark for more than 45 years, and the upscale Phipps Plaza (3500 Peachtree Rd, N.E.; 404-262-0992; www.simon.com). Each features hundreds of upscale shops, including Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's, Macy's, and Saks, plus a wide variety of restaurants, two diverse food courts and AMC theaters.

Underground Atlanta (404-523-2311; www.underground-atlanta.com) is a historical section comprised of six city blocks in the heart of Atlanta that have been transformed into an urban market with more than 100 vendors lining cobblestone streets where visitors can witness face painting, magic tricks, fortune telling, and games. Guided history tours are offered making stops at the Railroad Depot, the oldest building in the area, the historic Connally Building dating back to 1915, the Peachtree Fountains across the street, plus many more.

Atlanta's night life has everything from lounges, night clubs, and theaters.  The options are sure to make an evening heat up.  

The Gold Room (2416 Piedmont Road, NE,Gold Room Atlanta), located in Buckhead, is an upscale, multi-level nightlife destination featuring two distinct environments: high-energy club, and an intimate upstairs lounge. Sleek, modern design is complimented by a stylish ambiance, impressive DJ lineup, spacious dance floor, glass VIP room, a dedicated champagne bar and an expansive signature cocktail menu.


Andrews Entertainment Complex (
56 East Andrews Drive Suite 10, East Andrews Cafe and Bar)
is comprised of six distinct venues, making it the perfect spot for an exciting night on the town. Sal's and Stout are the perfect solution for a casual meal. For a sophisticated evening, enjoy small plates, wine and drinks at Cellar 56, Prohibition and East Andrews. Keep the night upbeat with tunes from the '70s and '80s at 8 Traxx Disco.

MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) is Atlanta's state-of-the-art public transportation system and provides one of the easiest ways to avoid traffic and get around the city. MARTA offers a Visitor's Pass, which allows for unlimited system-wide travel to and from its many railway locations within the city, from Atlanta airport to area hotels to select restaurants. MARTA also offers free parking spaces at stations where parking is permitted. For more information visit www.itsmarta.com or call (404) 848-5000.

The Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau (233 Peachtree St., N.E., Suite 100; 404-521-6600) offers a convenient way for travelers to plan their schedule. At www.atlanta.net registered users receive special offers and a monthly e-newsletter providing updates about future events and discounts.

 Georgia World Congress Center

Atlanta Fish Market

For terrific seafood at reasonable prices visit the Atlanta Fish Market, famous for the giant 65-foot-high copper fish that adorns the outside. The Savannah-style fish house is part of a 13,000-square-foot complex that includes a lounge, private dining room and boutique-style food shop. The menu changes daily based upon availability of seafood. Located in a cavernous room, this is not an intimate experience, but groups and those looking for good food at affordable prices will feel right at home.

Atlanta Fish Market
265 Pharr Rd., N.E.
(404) 262-3165
www.buckheadrestaurants.com/atlanta-fish-market


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BluePointe

A not-so-casual affair, BluePointe is the restaurant everyone seems to be talking about. This is modern American/Asian fusion cuisine taken to a new level - sushi-rice cakes with passion fruit, duck breast cooked Asian style and steaks cooked any way you like. A contemporary colorful decor is sexy and modern with plenty of curves, and an open kitchen and lots of glass. One of the hottest (and hardest to get) reservations in town, book far in advance. Dress up for this night on the town.

BluePointe
3455 Peachtree Rd., N.E.
(404) 237-9070
www.buckheadrestaurants.com/bluepointe


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Buckhead Diner

Check out the Buckhead Diner, a longtime haunt of locals, tourists and whatever celebrities happen to be in town (Elton John is a regular). They all come for the decadent Maytag Blue cheese-topped potato chips, veal meatloaf and a long list of comfort food menu items. Sometimes the wait time gets out of control. In that case, take a seat at the old-fashioned counter and order a hot dog or grilled cheese sandwich. It's an Atlanta tradition trimmed with stainless steel and neon.

Buckhead Diner
3073 Piedmont Rd.
(404) 262-3336
www.buckheadrestaurants.com/buckhead-diner


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Canoe

For lunch or dinner you won't go wrong by choosing the gorgeous Canoe, right on the banks of the Chattahoochee River. The setting is out of a dream with gardens that bloom all year and an open air patio where flower scents mingle with the savory cuisine. Canoe's new American menu changes seasonally. If you have a private party there's no better room in town than the private wine room here.

Canoe
4199 Paces Ferry Rd., N.W.
(770) 432-2663
www.canoeatl.com


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Floataway Café

One of the hottest and hardest to get reservations in town is dinner at Floataway Café, created by the acclaimed team of chef Anne Quatrano and her partner Clifford Harrison, formerly known for opening the dazzling Bacchanalia. Floataway, in the remote Warehouse District, combines sophisticated country French and Italian fare into a creative bistro-oriented menu: organic arugula salads, buffalo ricotta gnocchi, and on the French side: roasted beets and hanger steak and pommes frites. The restaurant itself is sleek but warm with polished cement floors and gauzy wall prints. Be sure to reserve well in advance.

Floataway Café
1123 Zonolite Rd., N.E.
(404) 892-1414
www.starprovisions.com


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Flying Biscuit Café

What could be more Southern than homemade buttermilk biscuits? The best in town are found at the Flying Biscuit Café, one of the city's favorite breakfast spots. A neighborhood hangout in the heart of historic Candler Park with mismatched plates and individually-themed dining rooms, the crowd is young and the food is very original. For just a few of the menu favorites, try the free range chicken homemade and sage sausage or french toast with raspberry sauce from their non-stop breakfast menu, or for lunch, the signature turkey meat loaf and pudge. For dinner try the Atlantic salmon with tofu stir-fry or roasted corn souffle. Later, stop by the bakery to buy a few biscuits for the road!

Flying Biscuit Café
1655 McLendon Ave.
(404) 687-8888
www.flyingbiscuit.com


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Gladys Knight and Ron Winans’ Chicken and Waffles

It started in the 1930s in New York City’s Harlem when late-night entertainers were looking for a dinner or maybe breakfast, and the concept was born. Gladys Knight’s son, Shanga Hankerson, took the idea of combining dinner and breakfast and launched one of Atlanta’s favorite Southern-style restaurants, Gladys Knight and Ron Winans' Chicken and Waffles, now in three locations including Washington, DC. Sit in comfortable booths and dig into the down home cooking. The signature dish—Midnight Train—offers four Southern fried jumbo chicken wings and one great waffle. You can try a host of warm sandwiches, BBQ turkey wings, brown sugar salmon, catfish, chicken, of course, and a great selection of sides including collard greens, fried corn, squash casserole, house potatoes, fried green tomatoes, and more. Top it off with peach cobbler and you’ve enjoyed a true Southern treat

Gladys Knight and Ron Winans’ Chicken and Waffles
529 Peachtree St., NE
(404) 874-9393
www.gladysandron.net


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Imperial Fez

When only something ethnic will do, one answer is the Imperial Fez and its Eastern-styled sultan's palace decor. It's an exotic evening complete with veiled dancers (who may compel you to dance with them) and authentic but healthy Moroccan cuisine. A moderately-priced prix fixe menu includes five courses including soup, salads, appetizers, choice of entree ranging from lamb to vegetarian-oriented dishes, and fresh fruit desserts. Special menu for kids 12 and younger.

Imperial Fez
2285 Peachtree Rd., N.E.
(404) 351-0870
www.imperialfez.com


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Nava

Nava is the choice in Atlanta for Southwest cuisine. A Latin and Native American influenced menu includes chile-rubbed steak, tortilla-crusted crab rellenos and suncorn crusted snapper. An adobe decor includes an authentic beam and stick ceiling complete with katchina dolls and other Navajo designs. For lighter fare head to the bar where rabbit tostadas and chipotle mussels go perfectly with the prickly pear margaritas. Even the desserts are Southwest oriented: killer banana tortillas topped with caramel sauce.

Nava
3060 Peachtree Rd.
(404) 240-1984
www.buckheadrestaurants.com/nava


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Pittypat's Porch

A longtime tourist haunt, Pittypat's Porch takes its diners on a sensual journey back to the old South with an atmosphere reminiscent of scenes from the movie Gone With the Wind. Named for Scarlett O'Hara's aunt Pittypat Hamilton, the restaurant is known for a completely Southern menu including crab cakes, baby-back ribs, venison and, of course, fried chicken. Sit in rocking chairs and use hand fans to stay cool. Then, keep an eye out for Rhett Butler who undoubtedly would have loved this place.

Pittypat's Porch
25 International Blvd., N.W.
(404) 525-8228
www.pittypatsrestaurant.com


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Prime

One of the most unusual restaurant formulas in Atlanta is found at Prime, an eatery that combines Asian with all-American cuisine. Order sushi or steak, lamb and veal chops or lobster tails over sesame rich cakes and shrimp dumplings--or a little of both. For dessert try the very French vanilla creme brulee or New York style cheesecake for a perfect ending. There's also a beautiful sushi bar highlighting the modern room decorated with Asian-style furniture. The live jazz and lively bar crowd each evening helps you forget you are in the middle of the Lenox Mall.

Prime
3393 Peachtree Rd., N.E.
(404) 812-0555
www.h2sr.com

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