The city, a central hub in the southern United States, was founded in 1837 as a railroad town at the intersection of two major railroad lines, the Western and Atlantic, that would link the Port of Savannah with the Midwest. After the Civil War, the city became a national center of commerce and remains a thriving world city, with an economy that ranks fifteenth among world cities and sixth in America. It played a vital role in the Civil Rights movement and was dubbed a city "too busy to hate." Revitalization of the city began when it hosted the 1996 Olympics and has intensified in the years since. More than five million people live in the metropolitan area, making it the ninth largest in the country.
Location: Highest City East of the Mississippi
Atlanta is in the state of George in the southeastern United States and lies at 1,050 feet above sea level among the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The city has the highest elevation of the major cities east of the Mississippi River. It is home to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which has the busiest passenger traffic and aircraft traffic in the world. The city also offers a major public transportation system with heavy rail and buses.
Business: One of the Largest Economies in the Country
Atlanta's diverse economy brings in a gross domestic product of 270 billion dollars, and the metropolitan area brings that amount to 304 billion dollars. The most dominant sectors are logistics, media operations, information technology, and professional and business services. It has the third largest concentration of Fortune 500 countries in the country, and 75 percent of Fortune 1000 businesses conduct business in the area. Local businesses include the global headquarters of the Coca Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, UPS, and AT&T Mobility. Atlanta remains an important rail junction and is also a hub for diplomatic work.
Culture: National Center for Arts
Atlanta has a thriving cultural center with many international influences on top of a strong foundation of Southern culture. The city offers permanent professional companies for the entire major performing art areas, including ballet, music, theater, and opera. Many touring shows and museum exhibits also make a stop in this metropolitan area at one of the many important museums in the area, including the High Museum of Art and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.
Activities: Fun From Morning to Night
Atlanta features 343 parks, gardens, and natural preserves that include 3,622 acres of the city, so about 64 percent of residents live can enjoy outdoor activities within a 10-minute walk of their home. Three professional sports team call the city home, providing entertainment for baseball, football, and basketball fans. The city also offers a thriving nightlife. Must see attractions include the World of Coca-Cola, Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Site, and the George Aquarium.