Complete Guide for Moving to Atlanta in 2020

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Atlanta is one of the largest cities in the United States and has a lot to offer. If you’ve decided on moving to Atlanta, we’ve prepared some facts for you. 

Cost of Living in Atlanta, GA

Atlanta is an attractive place to live and there are many reasons why. Compared to other major cities in the US, the cost of living in Atlanta is relatively affordable. The suburbs offer diverse opportunities for comfortable housing. Also, utilities and transportation costs are lower than comparable big cities in the US. 

For a family consisting of two adults and two children, the annual cost of living is $78,717 which breaks down to $6,560 per month. 

  • Housing – $1,031
  • Food – $772
  • Child Care – $968
  • Transportation – $1,159
  • Health Care – $1,010
  • Other Necessities – $727
  • Taxes – $893

Attractions in Atlanta

Atlanta and the neighboring suburbs offer a myriad of fun activities for the whole family. Some popular excursions include picnicking in Piedmont Park, visiting the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, and hiking through the Arabia Mountains.

Here are some of the places that are must-see locations if you are moving to Atlanta:

  • Atlanta Botanical Garden – This 30-acre botanical garden is located next to Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta. The garden offers plant collections, beautiful displays and changing exhibitions all year round.
  • Atlanta History Center – This history museum and research center is located in the Buckhead district of Atlanta. Founded in 1926, the Atlanta History Center now has six permanent along with several temporary exhibitions. 
  • Centennial Olympic Park – This 22-acre park is located in downtown Atlanta. The Centennial Olympic Park hosts public festivals, private fundraisers and an annual Fourth of July celebration. The park was established for the 1996 World Olympics and continues to be a hot spot for tourists and residents alike. 
  • College Football Hall of Fame – This hall of fame and attraction is dedicated to college football. The College Football Hall of Fame was founded by the NFL in 1951 to honor and commemorate the players and coaches of college football. 
  • Georgia Aquarium – The Georgia Aquarium is home to hundreds of species and thousands of animals across seven major galleries and boasts 10 million gallons of fresh and saltwater tanks. 
  • High Museum of Art – This leading art museum in the Southeastern United States is located on Peachtree Street in Midtown (which is the art district of Atlanta). 
  • MLK Jr. National Historic Site – The MLK Historic site consists of several buildings including Martin Luther King Jr.’s childhood home and the original Ebenezer Baptist Church.
  • Stone Mountain Park – Stone Mountain is a vast park offering several amenities such as golfing, lodging and a cable car ride to the historic carved peak. 
  • World of Coca-Cola – The Coca-Cola museum showcases the history and gives visitors a taste of the iconic beverage. The museum sits on 20 acres of grounds and offers a behind the scenes look at how many products are created. 
  • Zoo Atlanta – The Atlanta Zoo is proud to house pandas! The Zoo consists of 40 acres of activities, events, and all kinds of wildlife! 
World of Coca-Cola in atlanta
World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta (www.visitsandysprings.org)

Social Life

As one of the United States’ largest cities, Atlanta is bustling with activities and social events. The numerous nightclubs are diverse and eclectic. Hundreds of restaurants are highly regarded and sought out. The city area also offers great parks and popular outdoor attractions.

  • Booming business scene – There are 15 Fortune 500 companies that are based in Atlanta. Big business hubs include Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola and UPS, just to name a few. The unemployment rate in Atlanta is very low which promises opportunities for everyone. 
  • Nightlife – Atlanta is home to some of the top live music venues, nightclubs, brewpubs, and small neighborhood bars. Some of the most famous clubs include Havana Club, El Bar and Hotel Clermont. Atlanta is known for some of the best places to find live music. If you are looking for a unique musical venue check out The Earl, Northside Tavern and Eddie’s Attic. Comedy lovers rave about the Laughing Skull Lounge and Uptown Comedy Corner.
  • Diverse Food Scene – Atlanta is an international city and the food scene certainly reflects the variety of its residents. Residents and tourists experience everything from spicy Ethiopian food to the fine dining of the French and German restaurants. The menu prices are as variable as the cuisine. Enjoy high dollar restaurants or, if you prefer, buy a hotdog at the famous Varsity Drive-in. One must also try out a unique Atlanta specialty – soul food: fried chicken and barbecue.
  • Outdoors – Atlanta is a city offering many different feels. About 20 minutes from downtown lies the Dawson State Forest. Campers enjoy the wildlife hiking and beautiful views of the state park. Closer to the city, Centennial Olympic Park provides vast green space and public land to enjoy.
  • Sports – Atlanta has professional teams in the NFL, NBA, NHL, WNBA, MLB and MLS. The sporting scene is never dull and the teams play in world-class venues such as SunTrust Park.
Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta
Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta

Average Weather in Atlanta

The temperature in Atlanta varies from 35°F to 89°F and is rarely below 22°F or above 95°F. Atlanta is known for some hot summer days and is playfully nicknamed Hotlanta. Although Atlanta experiences some scorchers the climate is typically more moderate and residents can enjoy all four seasons.

Average High/ Low Temperature in Atlanta:

 

Spring

Summer

Fall 

Winter

March: 65 F / 44 F

June: 87 F / 67 F

September 82 F / 64 F

December: 52 F / 37 F

April: 73 F / 50 F

July: 89 F / 71 F

October: 73 F / 53 F

January: 51 F / 37 F

May 80 F / 59 F

August: 88 F / 70 F

November: 63 F / 44 F

February: 54 F / 37 F

 

Spring

Summer

Fall 

Winter

March: 65 F / 44 F

June: 87 F / 67 F

September 82 F / 64 F

December: 52 F / 37 F

April: 73 F / 50 F

July: 89 F / 71 F

October: 73 F / 53 F

January: 51 F / 37 F

May 80 F / 59 F

August: 88 F / 70 F

November: 63 F / 44 F

February: 54 F / 37 F

Top 5 Neighborhoods in Atlanta

Atlanta can be described as a conglomerate of suburbs, each one different from the other. Here are some of the best-known neighborhoods in Atlanta:

  1. Virginia Highland – A perfect combination of vibrant city living and small-town community charm; Virginia Highland is located east of Ansley Park and close to Downtown. This area consists of four villages connected by walkable blocks. It is one of Atlanta’s most desirable places to live and it is filled with 100-year-old homes. The average home price in the Virginia Highlands is $750,000 and the average rent is $1,700 per month. 
  2. Buckhead – Located north of Midtown and south of Brookhaven this upscale neighborhood is a prestigious area dubbed the Beverly Hills of the South. The Chastain Park Amphitheatre, the largest park in Atlanta is located in Buckhead, as well as the Atlanta History Center. The average home price in Buckhead is $1,000,000 and the average rent is $2,000 per month.
  3. Old Fourth Ward – This neighborhood is located east of Downtown and south of Midtown and is perfect for students, young people and first-time homebuyers. Martin Luther King, Jr. grew up in this neighborhood. The average home price in Old Fourth Ward is $350,000 and the average rent is $1,500 per month. 
  4. Midtown – Midtown is the city’s cultural epicenter. This centrally located neighborhood offers easy access to transportation, parks, and the arts district. The Midtown area is home to the Woodroof Arts Center, Fox Theatre and the High Museum of Arts. The average home price in Midtown is $700,000 and the average rent is $2,000 per month.
  5. Druid Hills – This neighborhood is one of Atlanta’s most prestigious neighborhoods which, ironically, was originally meant to be a streetcar suburb. The area is filled with classic Georgian homes, elegant estates, and stunning landscapes. Druid Hills is located roughly five miles east of downtown and the average home price is $600,000 while the average rent is $1,500 per month. 
Buckhead, the Beverly Hills of the South (James Duckworth, AtlantaPhotos.com)

Traffic

A study has found that Atlanta commuters spent an average of 70 hours in traffic congestion in 2018. This number is high enough for Atlanta to earn 8th place on INRIX’s international list of cities with the worst traffic congestion.

According to INRIX, drivers in Atlanta spend 10% of their driving time stuck in traffic. The traffic is not as bad as Los Angeles, but it is still pretty difficult to get around the city during rush-hour. Once in Atlanta, try to keep away from Forest Parkway/Flat Shoals Road, Powers Ferry/Mt. Vernon Highway and The Downtown Connector. 

Georgia 400 is one of the busiest roads in Georgia. The Georgia 400 begins north of downtown and the tolls were removed in 2013.

Crime Rate in Atlanta

Wesley Heights

Crime is a problem in Atlanta, the crime rate has been above the national median since the middle of the 20th century. Atlanta made the top five highest violent crime cities list for most of the previous three decades. Recently, there has been some improvement for the crime rate of the city. From 2009 to 2016, the overall crime in Atlanta declined 27 percent. The drop in burglaries, robberies and aggravated assaults bodes well for the future. 

The murder rate for Atlanta peaked in 1990 and has declined since. During the period from 2000 to 2010, the murder rate declined by almost 50 percent. Various levels of street gang organizations have had a presence in Atlanta since the late 1970s. A report from 2015 stated that the police were tracking around 192 street gangs which doubled the number of gangs reported in 2009. 

Atlanta is served by the Atlanta Police Department, employing approximately 2,000 officers.

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