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17 Things to Know About Living in Atlanta

Are you thinking about moving to Georgia? Consider Atlanta! Not only is the largest city in Georgia the birthplace of Coca-Cola, but it also has endless job opportunities, top-ranked schools, a diverse food scene, and much more. So if you’re ready to start a new adventure in Atlanta, here are 17 things you should know before taking the leap!

A Hub for Employment Opportunities

Atlanta skyline view at Piedmont Park. Photo by Instagram user @photosbyilene

Photo via @photosbyilene

One of the things people love about living in Atlanta, Georgia is that it’s the land of job opportunity. Over the years, the unemployment rate has decreased significantly and currently sits at 3.6%, which is lower than the national average. Not to mention 15 Fortune 500 companies, such as Delta Air LinesThe Home DepotUnited Parcel Service, and The Coca-Cola Company, are all headquartered here, making ATL one of the best cities to live in Georgia.

Affordable Homes for Everyone

Whether you’ve decided to set out on a new life adventure by yourself or you’re uprooting your family for a new job, there are tons of places in Atlanta to call your own! The median home price is $222,300, and the median rent is $998, meaning affordable housing options are available no matter the stage in your life. Singles and young professionals love Inman Park for its beautiful condos and proximity to the downtown area. Buckhead is one of the best neighborhoods in Atlanta for couples who have kids or who are planning to start a family. And retirees are drawn to Sandtown for its relaxing atmosphere and variety of lakes.

Top-Ranked Schools to Choose From

College building at Georgia Tech University. Photo by Instagram user @donaldcope

Photo via @donaldcope

There are a combined total of 135 public and private schools in Atlanta with several ranking in the top for best schools in Georgia. If you’re searching for the best private school Georgia has to offer, then look no further than Westminster! This school is the number one private school in both Georgia and the Atlanta area for all ages! Pace Academy is another a fantastic private school with an average ACT score of 31. There’s also Grady High School, a great public school option that excels in both the arts and athletics. Want to attend one of the top public universities in America? Georgia Institute of Technology (also known as Georgia Tech) is ranked third out of 666 schools and is one of the leading research colleges in the U.S. Other colleges like Georgia State UniversityEmory University, and Spelman College also reside in the area.

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Convenient Access to Anywhere

Empty train at Marta Atlanta Transit System. Photo by Instagram user @holy_pervert

Photo via @holy_pervert

You don’t need a car while living in Atlanta! The Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (or MARTA) is Atlanta’s bus and train station that will take you anywhere you want to go for an affordable price. Over 35 stops line the 48-mile rail system, allowing commuters from all over the city to easily get to work and fun Atlanta attractions without being stuck in rush hour.

Stay Active Outdoors

Skyline Garden at Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Photo by Instagram user @atlbotanical

Photo via @atlbotanical

Known as the City in a Forest, Atlanta is chock-full of lush parks and trails for the whole family to enjoy! Put your swimsuit on and pack an extra set of dry clothes for the Fountain of Rings at Centennial Olympic Park. Enjoy a relaxing day at Piedmont Park with a delicious picnic or bird walk tour. The Silver Comet Trail is a 61-mile, non-motorized trail that’s perfect for any family seeking an outdoor adventure. Looking for things to do in Atlanta where you can take in the flora and fauna in a unique way? The Atlanta Botanical Garden is full of breathtaking flower displays and plant-based sculptures like the Earth Goddess.

A Vibrant LGBTQ Community

People walking in Atlanta Pride Parade. Photo by Instagram user @jilly769bean

Photo via @jilly769bean

Celebrate diversity at Pride Festival Weekend! Every year, the Atlanta area honors its rich LGBTQ culture and community throughout the entire city by hosting the largest pride festival in the Southeast. People near and far travel to this three-day extravaganza in Piedmont Park for live music, cultural exhibits, the famous pride parade, and to celebrate unity! Start the weekend off with the Atlanta Pride Kick Off Party and end it with exquisite costumes at the parade. There are also other activities for attendees to participate in like the Trans March and Rally, Queer Your Gender Dance Party, and Atlanta Pride Cultural Exhibit.

The Birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK Historical Site Ebenezer Baptist Church. Photo by Instagram user @brownbeary_09

Photo via @brownbeary_09

Before Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his history-changing “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C., he was living in Atlanta. Today, you can visit several monuments around his birth city that are dedicated to the impact he had. Take a tour of the home that MLK Jr. was born and raised in for the first 12 years of his life. Make your way to the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where the Civil Rights leader would perform sermons alongside his father. See where Dr. King and Coretta Scott King are laid to rest at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. The Martin Luther King, Jr. World Peace Rose Garden is one of the most eye-opening things to do with kids in Atlanta, as the garden represents the worldwide need for peace.

Explore the World of Coca-Cola

Living in Atlanta means living in the city that founded the world’s best selling fizzy drink—Coca-Cola. What started out as a simple syrup created by a local pharmacist turned into an iconic drink known around the world for over 100 years. Learn everything there is about this ATL enterprise at World of Coca-Cola. One of the top things to do in Atlanta, this attraction offers a one-of-a-kind experience for all guests. Sample Coca-Cola flavors from all over country, peek inside the vault where the secret formula is kept, take pictures with the legendary Coca-Cola Polar Bear, and more!

Dive into Earth’s Aquatic Life

With ten million gallons of fresh and marine water tanks and more than 200 aquatic species, it’s no wonder that the Georgia Aquarium is considered one of best things to do in Atlanta! Explore nature’s aquatic creatures as you walk through 13 acres of exhibits, galleries, and animal habitats. Get a close look at piranhas in the Southern Company River Scout, or go behind the scenes of Cold Water Quest to prepare a meal and shake paws with a cute sea otter. Did you know you can also schedule a sleepover in the aquarium? That’s something the kids will never forget!

Be a Part of the Biggest 10K

Known as the world’s largest 10K, Peachtree Road Race is a Fourth of July tradition for locals and visitors everywhere! Each year, more than 70,000 amateur and professional runners of all ages enter their names to win a spot on the list. And only 60,000 people are chosen at random to compete. However, you don’t have to be in the race to join in on the fun! More than 200,000 spectators come to cheer on all the the runners, listen to live bands along the course, and enjoy a post-race blowout in Piedmont Park.

Festivals for Every Season

ATL is all about music, food, and merriment for the whole family, so of course festivals are one of the top fun things to do in Atlanta no matter the time of year! Be part of the area’s staple celebration and take in all of the unique art, live music, and delicious smell of funnel cakes at Dogwood Festival. Try over 150 different beers from local breweries and breweries all over the country at Atlanta Winter Beer Fest. There’s also Imagine Music Festival, a three-day event where EDM fans join together to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience of music, fun, and camping in luxurious tents. Or you can scream for ice cream, gelato, and dancing at the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival.

Discover the World of Cosplay

Man dressed as Chewbacca walks through parade as kids watch. Photo by Instagram user @dragoncon

Photo via @dragoncon

What do a Disney princess, Sith Lord, and Avenger all have in common? Dragon Con! Every year, cosplayers of all genres and fandoms come dressed to the nines to show off their favorite character costume designs. Over the course of five days, participants will have the chance to compete in costume contests, robot battles, comic book sketching, and meet writers and actors from all of their favorite shows. Famous game designers, artists, and writers also have the chance to compete for the heart of their fans in The Dragon Awards. Not only is Dragon Con a must-do in Atlanta, but it also gives people the chance to be whoever they want to be!

Home to the Largest Drive-In Restaurant

The largest drive in restaurant The Varsity. Photo by Instagram user @thevarsity1928 and @daviddelrio

Photo via @thevarsity1928

When you eat at The Varsity, you’re not just eating at The World’s Largest Drive-In Restaurant. You’re experiencing true Atlanta living and culture! This ATL staple has been uttering their famous “What’ll you have?” line for almost 90 years, serving famous guests like former presidents Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush. Walk up to the retro-style counter and order the best-selling Heavy Weight (hot dog with extra chili) and Frosted Orange. Try it for yourself and see why this iconic institution is the most talked about place out of all the restaurants in Atlanta!

Food for the Soul & Stomach

Giant breakfast sandwich topped with our pork sausage gravy. Photo by Instagram user @thevortexatl

Photo via @thevortexatl

You’ll never have to worry about running out of dinner ideas with all of the cool places to eat in Atlanta! Step inside The Vortex and indulge in some of the best burgers in Atlanta, which were featured on Man vs. Food. Experience a different Brazilian-styled menu every night when you dine at the popular Gunshow. If you’re in the mood for Mediterranean cuisine, try the lamb shawarma or falafel sandwich at Aviva by KameelMary Mac’s Tea Room is one of the best places to eat in Atlanta for fried okra, fried chicken, and sweet tea. Or have breakfast for dessert at Sublime Doughnuts and devour their famous A-Town Cream.

Sporting Events Year-Round

Julio Jones jumps for touch down. Photo by NFL photographer Logan Bowles and posted by Instagram user @atlantafalcons

Photo via @atlantafalcons

No matter what time of year it is, there’s always an Atlanta sports team to cheer for! The Atlanta Hawks (NBA), Atlanta Dream (WNBA), Atlanta Falcons (NFL), Atlanta Braves (MLB), and Atlanta United FC (MLS) all call this city home. You can catch the Atlanta Dream sinking shots at McCamish Pavilion, the Hawks hitting three-pointers at Philips Arena, or the Braves batting at SunTrust Park. Located in the heart of Atlanta, the Falcons and Atlanta United play at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. If NASCAR and racing are more your speed, head over to Atlanta Motor Speedway.

A Colorful Art Scene

While this city might be big for sports fanatics, art enthusiasts of all ages will find tons of things to see in Atlanta! Catch the world premiere of Bring It On: The Musical at Alliance Theater, or see a riveting contemporary-styled performance put together by the Atlanta Ballet. Learn about Kermit the Frog and the Muppets at Center for Puppetry Arts. The artist in your family will love the African art sculptures and European paintings at High Museum of Art. The most unique aspect about Atlanta’s art scene is that it’s not restricted to music halls and museums. As you roam throughout the different parts of A-Town, keep an eye out for a local artist’s miniature-sized installation of tiny doors.

You’ll Never Stop Dancing

Not sure what to do in Atlanta at night? Gather all of your friends and have a night on the town at some of the most poppin’ bars and clubs in the area! Looking for the perfect Atlanta club hot spot for a girls night out? Dance your way over to Buckhead and have a fun-filled evening with Latin music and bottle service at Tongue & Groove. Or head to Halo Lounge in Midtown. It’s one of the best clubs in Atlanta for letting loose on a Friday night! There’s also SkyLounge, which is local favorite in Downtown Atlanta. This rooftop bar is known for their luxurious atmosphere, breathtaking views of the Atlanta skyline, and signature Glenntini.


Are you moving to Atlanta soon? Extra Space Storage has several storage facilities in Atlanta that can help with your transition. Find a storage unit near you today!

Things to Know About Living in Atlanta, GA

aerial shot of downtown Atlanta Ga at nighttime with a ferris wheel and tall buildings
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