Moving to Atlanta: The Expert’s Guide

From live music and sports to delicious restaurants and beautiful parks, Atlanta has something for the whole family. Learn why it’s the best time to move in 2024.

Moving to Atlanta

Thinking about making the move to Atlanta? You're not alone, Atlanta is sizzling hot right now. It's a city that seems to have it all: a killer music vibe, rich history, pro sports, delicious eats, and craft beer to spare.

But, of course, you've got questions. Where's the best spot to set up camp in Atlanta? What's the cost of living? What are the big pros and cons of moving here? It's no small feat to relocate, especially to a bustling city like Atlanta, with nearly half a million city dwellers and over 4 million in the metro area. Decisions, decisions…

This expert guide will help you answer all of those questions above and more. Time to dive in!

1. Scenery

The BeltLine is Atlanta's latest claim to fame—a whopping 22-mile loop of trails that's set to link 45 central neighborhoods. It's perfect for bikers and walkers alike.

And if you're craving more green, head over to Centennial Olympic Park. Built to celebrate the 1996 Olympics, this 21-acre park is prime for picnics or a game of Frisbee.

Plus, kids (and let's be honest, adults too) can cool off in the iconic Olympic-ring fountains. Perfect for beating that Georgia heat!

2. Job Market

Atlanta isn't just a city; it's a corporate powerhouse, hosting numerous Fortune 500 companies. The big players here include Delta Air Lines, Emory University and Emory Healthcare, The Home Depot, Northside Hospital, and Piedmont Healthcare. And let’s not forget about Coca-Cola, which popped its first cap here in 1885 and still keeps over 9,000 Georgians busy.

Over at CNN’s headquarters, just a short walk from downtown, the news never sleeps. Atlanta's job scene is buzzing too, ranked #3 nationwide by WalletHub for 2023’s best cities for jobs

Key industries in Atlanta are supply chain, advanced manufacturing, cleantech, life sciences, healthcare, and all things creative. With Georgia's unemployment at a tight 3.1%, finding work in the ATL might just be easier than scoring Falcons tickets.

3. Education

Best Elementary Schools in Atlanta:

  • Morris Brandon Elementary School 
  • Woodland Elementary School
  • Heards Ferry Elementary School
  • Drew Charter School

Best Middle Schools in Atlanta:

  • KIPP South Fulton Academy School
  • KIPP Vision Academy
  • The GLOBE Academy
  • Dekalb Path Academy Charter School

Best High Schools in Atlanta: 

  • Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology 
  • Walton High School 
  • Westlake High School
  • North Atlanta High School

4. Diversity

Living in Atlanta comes with the vibrant perk of diversity. With about 51% of the population identifying as Black, it’s the second largest majority-Black metro area in the U.S.

And there’s more, Atlanta also boasts one of the largest LGBTQ+ populations per capita in the nation, with roughly 4.2% identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. This city truly celebrates its rich tapestry of cultures and communities.

5. Live Music

Atlanta really hits a high note when it comes to live music. Want the scoop on the best spots? 

First up, The Tabernacle, where you can catch everything from rap to rock to R&B. Then there's the iconic Fox Theatre, a true jack-of-all-trades, hosting an eclectic mix of music and comedy acts.

And for a truly unique experience, swing by The Masquerade in Kenny's Alley of Underground Atlanta. This place is split into three vibes: Heaven for live concerts, Purgatory for gaming, and Hell for those who want to dance the night away to a DJ's beats.

6. Sports

Atlanta is a sports lover's paradise, packed with professional teams to cheer for in almost every game, from the Braves in baseball and the Falcons in football, to the Hawks in basketball and Atlanta United in soccer. Not to mention the annual BB&T Atlanta Open for tennis enthusiasts.

7. Traffic

When we chatted with Atlanta locals about their city loves and gripes, the consensus on the biggest downside was loud and clear: traffic. They characterized traffic as a big nightmare.

Public transit isn’t much help either, and everything’s scattered far and wide, unlike more compact cities. Yep, Atlanta’s sprawl and maze of interstates can really test your patience behind the wheel.

8. Weather

Atlanta didn't earn the nickname "Hotlanta" by keeping things cool. True to its humid subtropical climate, summer temperatures often soar into the mid-nineties, bringing humidity and a parade of itchy bug bites to keep your allergies company. 

But winters here are mild. Snowstorms are a rarity, but when they do show up, the city practically hibernates.

9. Neighborhoods

1. Castleberry Hill

The last of the warehouse districts, Castleberry Hill is known for its growing arts and culture scene. Those old warehouses? They’ve gotten redone as cool, quirky lofts. Bordered by I-20, MLK Jr. Parkway, and Northside Drive, Castleberry Hill is for those who dig a more unconventional pad. If the idea of historical loft living piques your interest, then this is your spot.

2. Midtown & Buckhead

If you've skimmed any guide on Atlanta neighborhoods, you've probably run into Midtown and Buckhead. They're like the Batman and Superman of the city's districts. And if you haven't heard of them yet, now you have.

Midtown is where the action's at. Its central spot, the Midtown Mile on Peachtree Street, is a shopper's paradise, packed with everything from chic boutiques to big brands, not to mention a plethora of eateries serving up unique local flavors.

Popular with the young and trendy since the '80s, Midtown's bustling with luxury high-rises and is extremely walkable. Here, you can strut your stuff from errand to errand, with no car needed.

On to Buckhead, the older sibling. It's the go-to for Atlanta's young professionals looking for a mix of lively nightlife and upscale living. It's very walkable as well and right in the heart of things.

But living the high life in Buckhead doesn't come cheap. Homes start at around $500K, and even rentals lean towards the pricier side. The public schools are top-notch, though many local kids find their way into private institutions. 

3. Grove Park

Once known as Fortified Hills, Grove Park was brought to life in the 1920s and '30s by Dr. Edwin Wiley Grove and his development crew. This quaint neighborhood, with streets named after Grove's own family, is lined with tree-shaded avenues and houses ranging from 1930s frame cottages to 1950s brick Tudors and ranches

It's a mix of old charm and new polish, where the median home price recently jumped to $335K.

While Grove Park is definitely on the rise, some say it's already made it. Keep in mind, though, it's still got its rough edges. The crime rate here is 21% higher than the national average, so it pays to stay alert and maybe do a little digging with local crime maps before settling down, especially if you're looking for safer spots.

Despite the concerns, there's a lot to love here, including lush green spaces like Westside Reservoir Park. Plus, community groups such as the Grove Park Foundation are on a mission to boost the area's charm and liveability. And with easy access to downtown Atlanta and public transit, Grove Park offers both a serene escape and a city beat.

10, Food

Not many people realize that Atlanta has quietly staked its claim as one of the top food cities in the U.S. It's not just about the mouth-watering southern comfort food, though that's definitely a highlight. Atlanta’s culinary scene has exploded into a melting pot of global flavors that would impress even the most seasoned foodies.

Think you’ll be stuck with just grits and biscuits? Think again! 

Atlanta offers an exciting mix of cuisines from around the world, and with an abundance of farmers' markets, restaurants, and bars, your taste buds are in for a treat. And let’s just say, there’s zero chance of going hungry here.

If you're looking for a spot to start, Cafe Intermezzo is a personal favorite of ours. It’s like a little slice of European café culture right in the heart of the city, perfect for when you need a break from all that delicious Southern barbecue.

Your Next Chapter

Thinking of turning the page to a new chapter with your family? Atlanta might just be the storybook setting you’re looking for. 

Here, the warmth goes beyond the weather, with a community that's as vibrant as a Fourth of July parade. Whether you’re picnicking in the expansive Centennial Olympic Park, exploring the beautiful trails of the BeltLine, or cheering at a Braves game, family memories are waiting to be made. Atlanta is not just a city; it's a playground for all ages, packed with cultural treasures and Southern charm. Pack your bags, and let Atlanta be the setting for your family's exciting new journey.

Nik Watson

Meet Nik, a writer specializing in real estate and moving. Over the past two years, he's written for various real estate firms and e-commerce companies, gaining expertise and a solid reputation. Nik has moved several times recently, experiencing both DIY and professional moves. He recommends using professional movers to reduce stress significantly. When not writing, Nik explores other business opportunities in real estate and moving

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