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Californian finds much to love in Atlanta, vows to return soon

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Rather than traffic and tourist traps, one Coastal visitor experienced the joy of intown neighborhoods that make Atlanta special. Aww

Skyline of Midtown from the south.
Can visitors learn to love ATL? Apparently so.
Michael Kahn, Curbed Atlanta

Many Americans’ perceptions of Atlanta are based on our robust, and often traffic-y, transportation systems—even more so since the Interstate 85 bridge calamity has thrust us into the international spotlight.

For plane travelers, the sprawling terminals of Hartsfield-Jackson can (unfortunately) be their only tangible experience of the city. After all, as the saying goes: Whether you're going to heaven or hell, you have to pass through Atlanta.

But a recent visitor from California—reporter Heather Skyler—who expected very little of the city, found a lot of love and shared her eye-opening experience with Orange County readers in their newspaper. It’s a bit of good news and possibly a source of pride, Atlanta, to get your springtime weekend started right.

Highlights of Skyler’s trip included exploring intown neighborhoods like Inman Park and Cabbagetown (and the Beltline) by bike on a tour called “Fall In Love With Atlanta,” discovering quaint residential areas and good eats along the way. She writes of the experience:

“I can’t say enough good things about this tour. February was a great time to take it because it was in the high 60s and sunny. Our guides ... kept us safe, told great stories and had electric bike options for cyclists not quite ready for some of the city’s hills. It was a really fun way to see neighborhoods and homes I would’ve missed by car, and it actually did make me fall in love with Atlanta.”

The itinerary was light on the predictable tourist haunts like the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic site, but the taste of the city left Skyler craving more. Along with family, she caught a show at the Fabulous Fox, which she opines is “worth a trip just to see the theater itself.”

The Fox.
Curbed Atlanta

While Atlanta wasn’t a place this scribe had considered visiting before, now that she’s experienced it, she says “from now on, Atlanta is definitely on my radar.”

Her hypothetical second itinerary includes the fish tank, the “Coca-Cola factory,” and Atlanta Botanical Garden. Not too shabby.