As one of the world’s largest and busiest airports, the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) is a first-class facility with tons of amenities. You’ll have access to cash machines, currency exchange services, free WiFi, and the ability to pass the time in the many bars, restaurants, fast food outlets, duty-free stores, and gift shops.
Transport between the city and the airport is also decent; with buses, shuttles and taxis all available to passengers. Taking a taxi the 16km into the downtown area should take about 20 minutes and cost around 30USD ($40).
Australian travellers can fly to Atlanta with Delta, United, Qantas, American Airlines, Virgin Australia, Frontier Airlines, and Air New Zealand.
Why visit Atlanta?
Atlanta doesn’t crop up often on travelling bucket lists to the USA, but it should. This cosmopolitan city is considered the Capital of the South because of its important position in America’s southeast, and over the years this convenient transport hub has developed into a fast-paced centre for business, for entertainment, for cuisine, and for culture.
Things to do in Atlanta
Go to the Atlanta History Center, as that is a fantastic place to kick off a tour of this city. The centre comprises of several museums, heritage houses, and gardens that cover a range of exhibitions and topics, such as the history of the city, the American Civil War, the local indigenous culture, folk art from the South, and World War 1. You can also visit the Margaret Mitchell House, the author of the classic novel, Gone With The Wind.
Other cultural highlights include the Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site, which commemorates where the great civil rights leader was born, and the Historic Oakland Cemetery, where many fallen soldiers from the Civil War were buried.
Then enjoy the great outdoors in the big city; visit the Botanical Gardens, or Piedmont Park, both of which function as oases in the concrete jungle. Or if sports are the way you connect to the outside, then why not catch a baseball game at Turner Field? You can tour the Ivan Allen Jr Braves Museum as a bonus. Otherwise, catch a concert, a play or even a movie at the renowned Fox Theatre.
Best time to visit Atlanta
· Summer (June-August) is when Atlanta comes alive, with several popular festivals coming to the city, such as the Food and Wine Festival, and International Fashion Week. Typical temperatures are around 20-30°C, so pack some light clothing and a tube of sunscreen!
· If you want to visit during a shoulder season, aim for autumn. The temperatures are still warm and the prices take a decent dip. Spring is when Atlanta is hit by thunderstorms, but on the other hand this is the best season for music lovers, as the Jazz Festival comes to town.
· Winters are very cold, with the mercury sinking to freezing temperatures. Best avoided, unless you have a hankering to spend Christmas in this city.
Arriving in Atlanta
· If you fly to Atlanta from Australia, typically you’ll stop in Los Angeles, (LAX), Dallas (DFW), or San Francisco (SFO).
· United States Dollar (USD).
· Australian nationals are eligible for the online visa waiver, known as the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). Check the smart traveller website for details on how to apply, and what restrictions there are for travellers going to the USA.
Please note that information is correct as of November 2016
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