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The city of Atlanta is a vibrant metropolis full of activities. Whatever the reason for visiting, it's easy to live it up in the A-T-L. From sporting events to high art to fabulous shopping, Atlanta, Georgia, has it all. Sports fans will be ecstatic to watch one (or all) of the five professional teams—Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Dream, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Hawks, and Atlanta Thrashers—that call this city home. Theme park enthusiasts can play at Six Flags Over Georgia, Six Flags White Water, or Stone Mountain Park, home to the largest bas-relief sculpture in the world. Families can explore the nearly 40 acres of Zoo Atlanta and more than eight million gallons of water at the Georgia Aquarium. For more adult fare, take a tour of CNN; discover one of the oldest museums in Georgia, the Michael C. Carlos Museum; and end the day by sampling the beer at SweetWater Brewery. Be prepared to spend some cash because Atlanta shopping is top-notch, whether you prefer the antiques in Miami Circle or Bennett Street District, the designer labels in Phipps Plaza, or the unique items at Underground Atlanta. If free fun is more your style, then the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site or concerts at Centennial Olympic Park are attractive alternatives. As the busiest passenger airport in the world, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport serves more than 80 million domestic passengers each year. With so many people passing through, flights to Atlanta are easy to find from most cities.

When To Go

With a nickname like "Hotlanta," many assume that Atlanta is boiling hot year-round. However, summer is the only time when temperatures really escalate, and is also the most popular time, as visitors come to enjoy the area's many water parks. Spring and fall see pleasant temperatures and plenty of outdoor activities, including picnics under the blooming dogwoods or afternoon drives through the changing autumn leaves. Winters bring cooler weather and fewer visitors, but many people come in December for holiday shopping. high season: May to September low season: January to April shoulder season: October to December

Weather Information

Atlanta experiences four mild seasons. Spring sees warm weather and cool breezes, with temperatures in the high 60s to the upper 70s. Summers can get hot, reaching nearly 90 degrees, with a rise in humidity. Fall brings cool mornings, colorful foliage, and warm afternoons in the 60s and 70s. Winters can be short, with temperatures dropping into the 50s in December and rising again in March.

Crowd Information

The city is a convention destination, with crowds coming and going at any time of the year. This rarely affects tourist areas, but the MARTA, the rapid rail and bus transit, may get a little crowded. Holidays can also be a busy time for the city, especially at one of the many shopping centers such as Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza, and also during New Year's Eve with its Peach Drop event at the downtown Underground Atlanta complex. Many other festivals attract large crowds, including the Dogwood Festival in April, the Atlanta Jazz Festival in May, Fourth of July celebrations and the National Black Arts Festival in July, Pride in October and November, and the Festival of Trees in December. Neighborhood festivals are also crowd pleasers, such as the Inman Park Festival and the Virginia-Highland Summerfest.

Closure Information

Most hotels, shops, and attractions remain open throughout the year, but Six Flags Over Georgia closes in November and reopens again in March.

When to Save

Because Atlanta has one of the busiest airports in the country, visitors can find competitive airfares almost any time of the year. And since Atlanta offers a wide range of lodging options for an affordable price, finding a hotel to fit any budget isn't too difficult. Just keep a close eye on major events and conventions to ensure availability and avoid crowds. Many free events are available in the summer, including concerts by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and free admission to art galleries on Turner First Thursdays. Several other attractions also have free hours of admission or offer special discounts. Information provided by the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau