Atlanta - Basic Info

Atlanta Travel Blog

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If you're going to visit Atlanta, there are a few things you need to know before coming here.  I'll constantly add to this particular journal entry as things come to mind so be sure to check back often.

Geography:  The area of Georgia commonly referred to as "Atlanta" is made up of many, many different towns and cities all thrown in together.  While each of those municipalities have their own forms of local government (Mayor, City Council, Law Enforcement, etc), they're often thrown in together under the umbrella term "Atlanta" by visitors and locals alike.  So even though I may live in Dunwoody, Smyrna or Decatur - my mail would still be delivered if it said 'Atlanta' on it instead.  See the map of Atlanta that has been included with this entry.

Weather:  If you come here during the summer months (May-August), expect a very close rendition of what it would be like in HELL.  It's hot.  And to top it off, there will be humidity like you have never experienced before in your entire life, so be prepared to sweat your arse off.  Winter months of January and February can be cold at night (20 degrees F) and pleasant during the day if there's no wind.  Late February to early May along with September through November months are usually fantastic.

Peachtree:  If there's ever been a word more overused in the naming of streets and cities, it would be the word "peachtree" for Georgia.  Let's see, there's the infamous Peachtree Street (Downtown and Midtown) that turns into Peachtree Road (through Buckhead and Brookhaven) and then changes to Peachtree Industrial Boulevard (through Chamblee and Doraville all the way north to Buford, GA some 20 miles away) - and that's ONE SINGLE HIGHWAY.  There's Peachtree Place, Peachtree Battle Avenue, Peachtree Court, Peachtree Corners Circle and Peachtree Walk.  And that's just the beginning.  Are you confused yet?  Not to worry, all Atlantans are just as confused when it comes to giving or receiving directions to "Peachtree"!  Just be sure to clarify.

MARTA Mass Transit:  Should you need to go North, South, East or West while visiting Atlanta, you're in luck!  You can use Atlanta's Rapid Rail System known as MARTA that's quick and convenient (a.k.a. Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority - yes I know the other renditions of this acronym but I'm leaving those out for obvious reasons).  Should you need to go just about anywhere else, and you will, you will either need to connect to a MARTA bus, take a cab or walk.  MARTA has done a relatively decent job updating the rail cars and the rail system in recent years but it still has a LONG way to go.  To my point - the rail system doesn't really go anywhere visitors want to go - and who wants to take the bus?  If you can, stay in the downtown/midtown areas so you'll be within walking distance to major attractions in the city.  Otherwise, see my blog about renting a car in Atlanta below.

Traffic:  Just like our summer months are the equivalent of the heat found in HELL, our traffic is probably real close to what one would expect to find in HELL, too.  Expect that on any given day at any particular hour there will be an accident that closes all lanes of the interstate you're traveling on - usually when you're on your way to some engagement like a movie or dinner with friends.  Atlanta is really good at scheduling multiple large events of 60,000+ people on the same weekend day at downtown venues and they're sure to all let out at the same time.  Not to fear, Georgia Navigator Traffic is here (UPDATED:  not sure why this link isn't working)!  The web address is  Georgia's Intelligent Traffic Management System that measures traffic volumes and speeds through a real time metro-wide Video Detection System that regulates traffic lights and entry ramps to the interstate system.  There is also an overhead message sign system where information can be relayed to motorists to avoid certain areas.  The GA Navigator system also employs over 20 H.E.R.O. units (Highway Emergency Response Operators) that work 24 hours per day to quickly clear accidents and help stranded motorists.  MY ADVICE:  ignore the speed limit signs and go with the flow of traffic!  Slower drivers stay to the right!  Pay attention to overhead signs for your exit.  They begin on the left and move to the right as your exit gets closer.




TravellingAuntie says:
Posted on: Mar 30, 2010
TravellingAuntie says:
Hey, we need to get you on the HOTLANTA meet up committee. You obviously know more than I (I've only been here for 5 years AND I live in Covington, so I'm not even a true Atlantan) Will you help us out?
Posted on: Mar 30, 2010
seventy6daytripper says:
perfect description of the weather, haha
Posted on: Apr 05, 2007
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