Whether you are a seasoned visitor to Atlanta or a first time visitor, these 10 interesting facts are sure to impress you!
1. City in a forest:
Atlanta leads the nation with the title of "City in a Forest", with over 100,000 shade trees planted and distributed through the non-profit 'Trees Atlanta'. The National Forest Service has recognized Atlanta as "the most heavily forested urban area in the country," covering 47.9% of the city.
2. You can't miss the peachtrees
Atlanta is home to 71 streets with a variation of the word "Peachtree" in their names: Peachtree Avenue, Peachtree Plaza, etc... however, there are no peach trees in Atlanta, nor are peach trees native to the area! The name “peachtree” evolved from “pitch tree,” which is what the native pine trees were called because of their sticky sap. So take note for next time you listen to Sinatra’s “Peachtree Street” duet with Rosemary Clooney, or the album Peachtree Road by Sir Elton John.
3. You already know its music
What do Outkast, Ludacris, Gucci Mane, Childish Gambino, Waka Flocka, and Killer Mike all have in common? Atlanta. But not only do some of the most famous rappers and hip-hop artists call Atlanta home, other bands such as the Black Lips, Manchester Orchestra, and Deerhunter, have gotten their start here. Not to mention, there’s a huge explosion of new and local artists stepping on the scene in smaller venues like The Earl, The Drunken Unicorn, and WonderRoot.
4. The rising phoenix
Atlanta is the only city in North America to have been destroyed as an act of war when General Sherman burnt it to the ground in November of 1864. Only 400 buildings survived the razing, but the city rebuilt itself from the ashes — which is why the city symbol is the phoenix.
5. The world's largest drive-in restaurant
The Varsity is the world’s largest drive-in restaurant, serving more Coca-Cola (another Atlanta creation) by volume than anywhere else in the world. Find it downtown, alongside I-85 at the corner of North Ave and Spring St.
6. The busiest airport in the world
The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has held the title of “world’s busiest airport” for 18 years now. Lots of airports claim to be the world’s busiest, however, its 101 million passengers trumps any "passenger movements" in other airports around the world. It's just a three-hour flight from most major American cities and its terminal is as big as 45 football fields!
7. It's the next Hollywood
Georgia now ranks third in the nation in US film production, and first in growth. More television and movie producers are catching on that Atlanta, with its attractive tax policies, is the place to film. To name a few projects that have been shot in the city, there’s Anchorman 2, The Hunger Games, Zombieland, Driving Miss Daisy, The Walking Dead, Captain America: Civil War, Allegiant, The Vampire Diaries, Insurgent, Ant-Man, Furious 7, anything on Cartoon Network, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Selma, Taken 3, and an additional 140 films and TV shows since 2008. Take that, Los Angeles and NYC!
8. The Buckhead
Buckhead, one of Atlanta's most affluent neighborhoods and shopping mecca of the South, owes its unusual name to 19th Century local general store owner Henry Irby. Irby killed a large deer and prominently mounted the buck head on the wall of his establishment, a popular outpost for locals and travelers. The name stuck, despite efforts to change it in the late 1800s.
9. The Bank of America Plaza
The tallest building in the United States outside of New York City or Chicago is located in Atlanta, Georgia. The Bank of America Plaza stands at 1,023 feet tall and dominates the city's skyline. One of the interesting parts of the design of the building is that there are no street level pedestrian entrances, most people enter and exit the building from the parking areas located underground.
10. Fortune 500 Companies
In terms of the largest concentration of the Fortune 500 companies in the USA, the city of Atlanta ranks third.