WHEN TO GO
If you dislike hazy, hot, and humid weather, skip Atlanta (or "Hotlanta") during the summer months. Spring and fall, when temperatures are usually in the mid-70s, are the best times to visit. It rarely snows in the winter, but ice storms are more likely, with high temperatures usually hovering in the 50s.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (800-897-1910; www.atlanta-airport.com) is the world's busiest, dominated by Atlanta-based Delta (800-221-1212; www.delta.com). By car, downtown Atlanta is 15-30 minutes away, depending on traffic (which is notoriously gridlocked). Taxis from the airport to downtown charge a flat rate of $32 for one passenger; to Buckhead, the flat rate is $38.
There's also an airport shuttle, Atlanta Superior Shuttle, that operates vans every half hour from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Stops include Emory University and the Lenox area; fares range from $22 to $39 (404-766-5312; www.atlsuperiorshuttle.com). The Atlanta Link, another shuttle service, also provides transportation from the airport; stops include downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead (866-545-9633; www.theatlantalink.com).
Amtrak's Crescent travels between New York and Atlanta daily, making stops along the Northeast Corridor, including Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. Travel time between New York and Atlanta is approximately 18 hours (800-872-7245; www.amtrak.com).
Driving is an essential part of the Atlanta experience. If you're staying in Midtown, downtown, or Buckhead, cabs are readily available, but if you're traveling farther, a rental car is necessary. The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) bus and rail lines are not the most efficient ways to move around this city, though the Peach bus line runs between Lenox Square mall and the state capitol; the Tourist Loop Midtown connects the High Museum of Art, Piedmont Park, and the Georgia Aquarium; and the Tourist Loop Downtown links the Jimmy Carter Museum and Library, the World of Coca-Cola, the Fox Theatre, and the CNN center, among other points of interest (404-848-5000; www.itsmarta.com).
Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau
233 Peachtree Street N.E., Suite 100
Tel: 404 521 6600
Tel: 800 285 2682
Fax: 404 577 3293
Closed Saturdays and Sundays.