Atlanta isn't often heralded as a global tourist destination. While we have the world's busiest airport, hosted the Centennial Olympics and are home to 15 Fortune 500 companies — Georgia Pacific, Coke, Delta and UPS among them — the utterance of "world class" tends to elicit a condescending chuckle. Nonetheless, it's hard to argue that Atlanta is anything less than dynamic, a fusion of cosmopolitan and genteel, and certainly worth a visit. Ignoring a bit of hometown bias, CNN put together a list of 6 reasons to love Atlanta which highlights the diversity and depth of the city beyond the usual tourist spots. The conclusion? We're pretty kick-ass.
The list is broken up into general categories — food, music, neighborhood culture, history, small-scale attractions and exploring sans vehicle. Rather than single out any particular attraction or restaurant, the list distills the city down to broad generalities and offers a range of options for people seeking different experiences. The takeaway being Atlanta can provide any number of experiences to people, depending on what they seek.
There's no question, when it comes to food and music Atlanta has developed quite a scene. The CNN list typifies the myriad of options from upscale to grungy. In doing so, the list verbally traverses a lot of ground, along the way adhering to the typical stereotypes (East Atlanta is funky, Decatur is quaint, etc.), unfortunately compartmentalizing the city. Also, while the list takes the tourist off the beaten path, it trends toward more known attractions and restaurants that would be familiar to any local in the know. With fresh things opening all the time, it'd be nice to see a few newcomers bask in international spotlight.
But maybe that's just picking nits? The list offers a refreshing change from other recent reviews and hyperbolic nonsensical ramblings that have focused on ATL's big-ticket items. After all, there's a bit more to Atlanta than the Varsity, World of Coke and Jeff Foxworthy. If Lil' Scrappy couldn't sell you on his way of thinking, maybe this list will.
· 6 reasons to love Atlanta [CNN]