How to Become a Local in Atlanta
by Kara Masteller, intern writer for Executive Auto Shippers
If moving to Atlanta is in your future then here’s some info you’ll need to know. A dynamic metropolis filled to the brim with history and bustling with activity, Atlanta is a city you’d be proud to call home. Located in the northern half of Georgia, it serves as the capital and largest city in the state. With one of the most educated workforces in the nation, it’s home to 26 Fortune 500 companies, including The Coca-Cola Company and UPS, so you’ll find plenty of opportunities for a career change here. But the city isn’t all corporate, it’s culture stems from the city’s deep history in the Civil Rights Movement and it’s established art and music scene. No matter what your reasons for making the switch to Atlanta, you’ll be greeted with a glass of sweet tea and a rush of southern pride.
Moving to Atlanta
Housing is always a huge stress point when moving to new cities, and you’ll want all the resources you can get. But it’s reassuring that Atlanta can say it offers a better value for the cost of living than metros of similar size. But don’t forget, it’s still a very large city that comes with large city prices. So it’s always a good idea to evaluate what features you just can’t live without and what you’re willing to give up. Median prices vary depending on the neighborhoods as well, so before you dive into the apartment hunt or the real estate market, research the neighborhoods to help narrow down your search (and better understand the costs). Then, the decision of whether to rent or buy creeps in. Of course, your personal situation will be the primary contributor to this decision but check online for helpful guides that will outline what either decision would mean specific to the Atlanta area and its pricing. Typically, if you plan to stay in Atlanta for over 1 year, buying will be more cost-effective in the long-run. But make sure you research the area you’re most interested in. In Downtown, for example, it’s only more cost-effective to buy if you live there for 9 years, a much different scenario.
Also, bear in mind that Atlanta is a car-centric city. There is a public transit system, but it’s rated lower than average so most people there drive. So while you might be able to ditch that car when moving to some major cities, if moving to Atlanta you’ll want to include auto shipping in your moving budget.
Moving the Family
If you’re moving to Atlanta with a family, you’re likely curious about the schooling options for your children. You’ll find plenty of public schooling options through Atlanta Public Schools. They house 21 high schools, 15 middle schools, and 50 elementary schools, along with charter and specialized schools. The school that your child will attend is typically based on your location, so if you haven’t already decided upon a living space, this may be something you’d like to consider. There is plenty of public opinion regarding which schools are great without being in a neighborhood that will break the bank. But no worries if you’re looking for a private school. Atlanta has dozens of private schooling options scattered throughout the city as well. Just be sure you’re taking location and potential transportation costs into account if you’re interested in a school outside your districting zone.
Need Some Comfort? Then It’s Time for Food
Foodies will find their happy place in The ATL. Delicious and artful creations are placed all around the city and the surrounding area. Because if there is one thing that most southerners are serious about, it’s food. Atlanta lies in the heart of the region that has become synonymous with “Comfort Food”. So once the final moving day is done, make sure to treat yourself to one of Atlanta’s delicious food options.
For a traditional American taste to start your Atlanta journey, try King + Duke, where everything is cooked over a wood-fueled flame. Equally delicious (but with an Italian flare) is No. 246. But no worries if you’ve already made dinner plans, No. 246 is known for its mouthwatering breakfast pizza, so you can enjoy their food at any time of the day. Looking to really unwind after a long day of moving? Check out Der Biergarten, a downtown establishment with a patio option that serves savory German delights…and of course, beers.
And if you need any more excuse to travel around the city and eat delicious food, check out this bucket list for a very rewarding adventure.
Exploring the city of Atlanta will never grow old. You can start with the staples, like visiting the Georgia Aquarium (the largest in the nation), checking out the World of Coca-Cola museum, or paying a visit to the CNN Center. But after moving to Atlanta, you’ll quickly find there’s much more to the city than the tourist stops.
Once you’re settled in, make sure to head over to Atlanta’s Center for Civil and Human Rights. Atlanta is a city with a deep civil rights history, and you’ll learn so much about its past by visiting. Remember that each place you sit was once segregated, and people in Atlanta fought a long, hard fight to right the many wrongs. Understanding the history of the city will be sure to make you feel connected with all the people with whom you share your home.
While there are many entertaining and inspiring museums to visit, there are plenty of other options to explore. For the shoppers, Westside is filled with charming local boutiques to scour. For the sports-inclined, Atlanta is home to quite a few professional teams. Atlanta athletics don’t appear to have an off-season!
The Great Outdoors in the Heart of the City
If you’ve ever worried that moving to a big city means losing touch with the outdoors, Atlanta will prove you wrong. The sprawling metropolis has earned its reputation as the “City in a Forest” and has preserved an impressive amount of the native forest land on which it was built. If you were concerned about moving a pet out to The ATL, never fear. You can take advantage of the plethora of outdoor activities and parks it has to offer. You can always get the pets outdoors for a hike on Kennesaw Mountain, or through Fernbank Forest, or through the gorgeous Cascade Springs Nature Preserve. And if you’re too tired for hiking, but in need of some R&R, take a float down the Chattahoochee River.
Atlanta, Georgia is a city dense with history, comfort, and trees. Whatever reason you have for moving to Atlanta, this historic city in the heart of the South will not disappoint.