Flights to Atlanta
Most people know Atlanta for its airport — the busiest airport in the world for a few decades. While hundreds of planes take off from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport daily, it’s easy to forget that the city of Atlanta’s more than just a stop-over, but a vibrant destination worth its own visit. This sprawling Southern capital serves as the biggest city in the modern South, an urban capital framed by smaller suburban cities. And while it does retail the Southern sensibilities of hospitality and the occasional “y’all”, it’s a vibrant urban center with art, culture, hip-hop, a booming food scene and a rapidly growing film industry.
Like the city itself, visits to Atlanta can feel unexpected. Explore the city’s BeltLine park, an expanding circle of pedestrian and bike paths that will eventually encircle the city. Fly in to ATL just to delight in the city’s fine-dining, which offers cutting-edge new Southern cuisine, plus thriving restaurants serving up street food from around the globe. From the city’s large eating halls to the quirky streets of its sprawling multicultural neighborhoods, you’ll find more than what meets the eye in Atlanta. With culture hidden around every turn, visit to discover a bustling place, interesting sights and people that really are, “too busy to hate”.
As the busiest airport in the world, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport serves as a major hub for many airlines - including Delta Air Lines, Atlanta’s Hometown Airline. Founded in Atlanta, Delta serves many concourses in the airport locals just call “Hartsfield”. The airport houses two separate-but-massive terminals including a domestic terminal with concourses A to E, and the Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal in concourse F.
Beloved by locals, “the plane train” runs through all concourses and so do moving walkways. Thanks to recent renovations, many of these moving walkway and pedestrian areas are becoming massive interactive art exhibits. No matter if you walk or train to your gate, the airport itself recommends arriving two hours before your flight. Be sure to check on wait times for your flight and day of travel.
- To get around the airport itself, take the official ATL Plane Train or moving walkways
- For city access via rail, take the city’s light rail system MARTA through its airport station
- Share-A-Ride, parking and hotel shuttles are located just outside the baggage claim area
- For Rental Cars, go to Ground Transportation and exit the West doors. Take the ATL Sky Train to the Rental Car Center to find all car vendors
- Taxis are easy to find at the Atlanta airport, located on the Ground Transportation floor
- As of 2016, Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing apps are allowed at the airport in Ground Transportation. These are popular options in Atlanta, a large city where many residents rely on cars
Unexpected, artsy, urban, Southern, a little quirky, real, still finding its identity. There’s many ways to describe Atlanta, and much more to see. Always changing, the city’s experiencing a vital stage of growth - with jobs and people rushing into the city’s neighborhoods, each one with its own unique feel.
When you fly to Atlanta, you will find a patchwork of neighborhoods, many dotted with Atlanta’s signature early to mid-century homes. Start your stay in Midtown, home to many of the city’s hotels, Georgia Tech University and the city’s tree-filled Piedmont Park. For great eats, try Old Fourth Ward, Kirkwood, Decatur or Atlanta’s Westside. For nightlife, explore the Highlands, Edgewood or Atlanta’s quirky “EAV” or East Atlanta Village. Wherever you wander, you’ll find something to enjoy.
Southern culture has always had food at its heart, and regional cuisine has been rethought and refreshed through Atlanta’s dining scene. Start casual, and wander the halls of the big eating houses in Ponce City Market or Krog Street Market. Take a trip to Buford Highway to find authentic Korean, Vietnamese, Cantonese and Sichuan. In the morning, sample any of Atlanta’s biscuit-laden brunch hotspots. For fine-but-casual dining, try any restaurants from renowned regional chefs Anne Quatrano, Hugh Acheson or Ford Fry. And of course, don’t skip the city’s beloved Staplehouse - a for-profit subsidiary of The Giving Kitchen, a non-profit that assists Atlanta restaurant workers in times of need.
ART & CULTURE
Creatively, Atlanta doesn’t just leave a mark on you, but lets you leave a mark on it. You can enjoy Midtown favorites like the High Museum, Atlanta Symphony or the Museum of Design Atlanta. Listen in at ATL music venues, like the Tabernacle, The Drunken Unicorn or Eddie’s Attic. Even swing by for a music festival like JazzFest, the city’s large and free summer jazz festival. Enjoy the city’s stunning beauty through it’s growing collection of street art, supported by the annual Living Walls event and organization. Discover craftsmanship in the city’s shops or stop in for something more eclectic, the massive DragonCon multigenre convention that takes over downtown Atlanta on Labor Day weekend.
SPORTS & ATTRACTIONS
Home to five professional sports teams and many college teams in the area, Atlanta offers a growing audience of sports fans and hosts many college and professional sporting events throughout the year. Big names include The Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Falcons, but the region recently added the city’s first MLS team Atlanta United F.C. Near to the downtown home of the Atlanta Falcons, you can also find big-name attractions like the The Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola and the Center for Civil & Human Rights.
ATTIRE (WHAT TO PACK)
With sweltering summers and mild winters, it’s safe to say you can leave your ski gear at home in Atlanta. Check the forecast before your visit though, because temperatures can rise and fall quickly in this landlocked region. Whenever you visit, pack appropriate layers so you’ll stay comfortable throughout the day. In the spring and summer, don’t forget your raincoat.
In such a large city, definitely select a hotel close to the activities you’re in town for. You’ll find an abundant number of hotels in Buckhead, Midtown and Downtown - Atlanta’s central business districts, close to many sports venues, colleges and parks.
If you’re looking for a high-end stay, try the St. Regis, 4 Seasons, Ritz-Carlton or Loews. You can also find several popular W Hotels and Marriott locations to choose from.
For a more boutique stay, try the Ellis Hotel or Glenn Hotel. Even if you don’t stay, the SkyLounge at the Glenn Hotel offers beautiful views of the complete Atlanta skyline. For a more local stay, find available rooms or rental properties through Delta partner Airbnb.
Though no one from the city actually calls it “Hotlanta”, there’s some accuracy to the name. Residents enjoy warm falls, mild winters, sunny springs and incredibly hot summers. With high-humidity, it often makes temperatures feel cooler or hotter depending on the season. If you visit in the winter, pack a light or mid-weight jacket. In the summer, bring shorts, sunscreen and raincoat for short afternoon thunderstorms.