The greater Atlanta area embraces several different counties. The city of Atlanta is primarily in Fulton and DeKalb Counties, although its southern end and the airport are in Clayton County. Outside Interstate 285, which encircles the city, DeKalb, Gwinnett, and northern Fulton Counties are experiencing much of Atlanta's population increase.

Atlanta's lack of a grid system confuses many drivers, even locals. Some streets change names along the same stretch of road, including the city's most famous thoroughfare, Peachtree Street, which follows a mountain ridge from Downtown to suburban Norcross, outside Interstate 285: it becomes Peachtree Road after crossing Interstate 85 and then splits into Peachtree Industrial Boulevard beyond the Buckhead neighborhood and the original Peachtree Road, which heads into Chamblee. Adding to the confusion, dozens of other streets in the metropolitan area use "Peachtree" in their names. Before setting out anywhere, get the complete street address of your destination, including landmarks, cross streets, or other guideposts. Street numbers and even street signs are often difficult to find.

Atlanta proper has three major areas—Downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead—as well as many smaller commercial districts and in-town neighborhoods. Atlanta's Downtown is filled with government staffers and office workers by day, but at night the visiting conventioneers—and, as city improvements take hold, residents—come out to play. Midtown, Virginia-Highland, Buckhead, Old Fourth Ward, the Westside, and Decatur are the best places to go for dinner, nightclubs, and shows. Other neighborhoods like East Atlanta, Grant Park, Little Five Points, and Kirkwood have unique characteristics that merit exploration.

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  • 1. Atlanta Botanical Garden

    Midtown | Garden

    Occupying 30 acres inside Piedmont Park, the grounds contain acres of display gardens, including a 2-acre interactive children's garden; the...Read More

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  • 2. Center for Puppetry Arts

    Midtown | Arts/Performance Venue

    The largest puppetry organization in the country houses a museum where you can see more than 350 puppets from around the world. The elaborate...Read More

  • 3. Fox Theatre

    Midtown | Arts/Performance Venue

    One of a dwindling number of vintage movie palaces in the nation, the Fox was built in 1929 in a fabulous Moorish-Egyptian style. The interior...Read More

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  • 4. Piedmont Park

    Midtown | City Park

    A popular destination since the late 19th century, Piedmont Park is the perfect place to escape the chaos of the city. Tennis courts, a swimming...Read More

  • 5. Atlanta Contemporary

    Downtown | Museum/Gallery

    Established by a group of photographers in the '70s as the arts co-op Nexus, Atlanta Contemporary is an arts center that exhibits edgy contemporary...Read More

  • 6. High Museum of Art

    Midtown | Museum/Gallery

    This museum's permanent collection includes 19th- and 20th-century American works, including many by African American artists. It also has some...Read More

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  • 7. Margaret Mitchell House and Museum

    Midtown | Tour–Sight

    While she wrote her masterpiece, the author of Gone With the Wind lived in an apartment house built in 1899 that she called "the Dump." Volunteers...Read More

  • 8. Museum of Design Atlanta

    Midtown | Museum/Gallery

    The only museum in the Southeast devoted exclusively to design mounts exhibits on fashion, graphics, architecture, furniture, and product design...Read More

  • 9. The William Breman Jewish Heritage and Holocaust Museum

    Midtown | Museum/Gallery

    The history of the Jewish community in Atlanta—particularly those who found their way to the burgeoning city after the Holocaust—is told through...Read More

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