Moving houses? Looking for an open-minded city steeped in history, with a rich music and film culture, and comforting, friendly Southern hospitality?
Atlanta, Georgia, could be the ideal place to start looking for your new home.
If you’re in need of some more convincing, then look no further. Our complete guide gives you an overview of the city, covering the top 10 reasons to move to Atlanta, its best neighborhoods and attractions, and more. This guide covers the following topics:
- About Atlanta
- The Climate
- The Best Atlanta Neighborhoods and Suburbs
- Employment in Atlanta
- Cost of Living in Atlanta
- Attractions In and Around Atlanta
- Food and Restaurants in Atlanta
- How to Get There - Moving to Atlanta
- Should I Move to Atlanta, Georgia? Final Thoughts
Atlanta is the most heavily-populated city in the southern U.S. state of Georgia, with a population of just over 500,000 people.
Founded in 1847 as the end-point to the Western and Atlantic Railroad and built to connect the port of Savannah with the Midwest, the city originally had a reputation as a transport hub.
But after Atlanta was all but burnt to the ground during the American Civil War in 1864, the city was rebuilt and continued to grow throughout the 20th century, becoming a center for the civil rights movement as the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr.
But the 1996 Olympic Games were the real turning point for the city’s growth and revitalization, and these days it’s a popular choice for house movers, with a vibrant music scene and a booming tech industry.
At 1,050 feet above sea level, Atlanta has one of the highest elevations of all cities above the Mississippi River, sitting in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
Although the city is fairly high up, Atlanta’s climate is classed as subtropical and summers are humid, with average temperatures for July around 80.2 °F (26.8 °C). One tip for moving to Atlanta would be to invest in a fan if you arrive in the summer!
Winters, on the other hand, tend to be cool, but temperatures rarely drop below freezing, averaging 43.5 °F (6.4 °C), with occasional snowstorms.
Rainfall is distributed pretty evenly throughout the year, averaging 49.7 inches or 1,260 mm.
The Best Atlanta Neighborhoods and Suburbs
For many people, one of the main reasons to move to Atlanta, GA, is the extensive variety of diverse neighborhoods to choose from.
Regardless of whether your top priority is proximity to coffee shops and restaurants, being surrounded by local history, or picturesque family homes and trendy urban townhouses, this city has it all.
Luckily, public transport in Atlanta means it’s fairly easy to get around the city itself. Thanks to its rapid transit rail system (MARTA), moving from east to west doesn’t take long, and the Atlanta Streetcar takes you on a 2.7 mile loop around downtown. If you don’t have a car, remember there’s always the option to walk or bike!
We’ve put together a list of Atlanta’s best inner city neighborhoods to choose from:
- East Atlanta Village - Here you’ll find mostly young crowds hanging around the many bars, restaurants, and music venues the area has to offer. For those in the market for a townhouse or a chique studio apartment, walkable East Atlanta could be the perfect sector. Every Thursday, April through December, locals get their shopping from the Farmers Market.
- Summerhill - As it has become more gentrified, this neighborhood has changed a lot over recent years and now a string of vibrant, must-visit restaurants taking the place of old grocers and butcher shops. With this house prices have risen, and renovated detached homes will set you back around $500,000. The best thing about Summerhill, however, is that it’s within a stone’s throw of just about everything Atlanta has to offer.
- Midtown - For young professionals and students, living in Midtown is perfect for access to public transport, green space, venues, and restaurants. It’s also close to areas such as Knight Park, where standalone cottages or bungalows sell from around $200,000.
- Cabbagetown - Cabbagetown is where you’ll find Atlanta’s artsy creatives mulling around the neighborhood’s cozy cafes and restaurants. Cottages with small porches line Cabbagetown’s narrow streets, which have earned themselves a place on the National Register of Historic Places.
If city living isn’t for you, try exploring these Atlanta suburbs and venturing out of, but not too far away from the city center.
- Sandy Springs - At about 14 miles away from Atlanta Midtown, Sandy Springs is a great choice for those looking to be slightly closer to nature, but still a short drive away from the city. The Sandy Springs Festival and the Sandy Springs Lantern Parade give the neighborhood a lively community feel.
- Roswell - This twice-voted best place to live in the metropolitan area is perfect for those who love outdoor pursuits, such as mountain biking and hiking, thanks to its location along the Chattahoochee River.
- Marietta - This suburb, approximately 18 miles from Atlanta city center, boasts a rich cultural scene and is home to the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art, Root House Museum, Marietta Museum of History, and Earl and Rachel Smith Strand Theatre.
- Alpharetta - This historic suburb has two city centers: downtown -- home to restaurants, shops, and galleries -- and Avalon, a walkable complex built in 2017, with family homes and apartments to rent.
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Employment in Atlanta
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that most non-farming jobs in Atlanta can be found in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector, closely followed by professional and business services, and then by education and health services.
As of July this year, Atlanta’s unemployment rate is 8.5%, below the national average of 10.5%.
According to a 2019 study, Atlanta ranks third on the list of best places in the U.S. to jump start your career, in comparison to 182 other cities. For anyone asking, “why move to Atlanta, Georgia?” the answer is that the job market is incredibly strong.
Cost of Living in Atlanta, Georgia
In Atlanta, the cost of living is approximately 8% higher than the national average, based on the price of goods and services, groceries, health care, housing, transportation, and utilities.
Although less expensive than other major American cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Boston, Atlanta still ranks as one of the more pricey Southern cities to live in, with the average cost of housing 16% higher than the national average.
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Attractions In and Around Atlanta
When thinking about why to move to Atlanta, it’s impossible to ignore the rich history of the city. For those wanting to learn more about it, the exhibitions at the Atlanta History Center are unmissable. The complex comprises the Atlanta History Museum, Centennial Olympic Games Museum, Swan House, Smith Family Farm, and the Kenan Research Center, along with historic gardens.
In a similar vein, Atlanta’s National Center for Civil and Human Rights is a museum dedicated to the achievements of the U.S. civil rights movement, led in the 1950s and 60s by the activist Martin Luther King Jr., who was born in the city.
If you prefer the outdoors, however, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is a great way to spend an afternoon, or why not take a stroll in the city’s urban Piedmont Park and admire the cityscape at sunset?
Atlanta is also home to the multinational corporation of Coca Cola, whose museum -- The World of Coca Cola -- you can visit to find out more about the company’s history.
Thanks to the geography of the state of Georgia, there are also many day trips you can take from Atlanta by car to quench your thirst to explore. Some of the best destinations include:
- Lake Lanier
- Providence Canyon State Park
- Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest
- Callaway Gardens
Food and Restaurants in Atlanta
It’s no secret that the U.S. Southern states are famed for their fried, meaty culinary classics, and Atlanta is no exception.
Try the Southern marinated fried chicken at Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours, The Colonnade Restaurant, or The General Muir. Alternatively, the decadent steak at Marcel steakhouse or barbecue meat at B’s Cracclin’ BBQ are enough to satisfy any tingling, carnivorous taste buds.
If your palette is more Mediterranean, find great Italian comfort food at Grana or pizza at Varuni-Napoli. And for spicy Mexican cuisine, look no further than Supremo Taco for $4 tortillas filled with zingy goodness.
How to Get There - Moving to Atlanta
When planning how to move to Atlanta, you can expect a stress-free experience, as the city is very accessible.
- By air - Atlanta is home to the world’s busiest airport, with daily, non-stop flights running to and from over 150 different cities in the U.S.
- By road - Atlanta sits on the intersection of three major freeways: the I-20, I-75, and I-85, which all meet in downtown.
- By bus - Atlanta is accessible by bus from 310 different U.S. cities. Bus companies that travel to the city include Greyhound, PandaNYBus, and Southeastern Stages.
Should I Move to Atlanta, Georgia? Final Thoughts
Although Atlanta comes with a slightly hefty price tag, if you’re looking for a diverse city with a historic legacy to be proud of, a vibrant music culture, and a buzzing food scene, Atlanta could be for you.
Among the top 10 reasons to move to Atlanta, however, have to be the city’s stunning outdoor spaces, and most importantly an authentic, friendly hospitality that you won’t find anywhere else.
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