Atlanta Georgia

By K.K. Snyder

As the gateway to the New South, Atlanta has certainly come a long way since it burned to the ground during General William Tecumseh Sherman's March to the Sea in 1864. And while remains of the Civil War are still a big draw for visitors -- the Kennesaw Mountain/National Battlefield Park and Cheatham Hill specifically, there is much more to this great city than 150-year-old confrontations. Atlanta boasts the world's largest aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola museum, a world-class zoo, an impressive botanical garden, and Federal parks highlighting the life and works of native son Martin Luther King, Jr.

Running with the big dogs now, Atlanta is home to dozens of fine dining establishments with nationally-recognized chefs offering everything from southern classics to the latest foodie fads. Atlantans also love their professional sports and are proud to host Braves baseball and Falcons football, among other athletics. The High Museum of Art and a dozen smaller museums offer cultural activities on a daily basis, as do the many performance venues here, such as the historical Fox Theater with its breathtaking Moorish-Egyptian architecture.

The city's temperate climate makes it a viable destination for touring year around and public transportation is a cinch. Home to the busiest airport in the world, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta is easily accessible and is frequently listed as the top convention city in the country. Reinvigorated neighborhoods scattered throughout the city, such as Virginia-Highlands, Midtown and Buckhead, are easy to navigate on foot and boast great shopping, dining and nightlife. Progressive yet rich in history, Atlanta truly has something for everyone.

K.K. Snyder admits that while she wasn't born in the South, she got there as quickly as she could and has loved it for 30 years since. She is the author of Frommer's Atlanta and contributes to a number of publications on the East Coast.