National Geographic Traveler
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March 2006
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48 Hours: Atlanta
Reported by Deena Guzder, Husna Haq, and Jessie Johnston
Photo by Maura McEvoy
48 Hours Atlanta
A visitor gets an up-close view of the Georgia Aquarium's coral reef exhibit.

The world's largest aquarium, sophisticated restaurants, and an eclectic music scene are but a few of the surprises waiting in this peach of a city.

n the March issue of Traveler, John Rosenthal explores the modern southern city in "48 Hours: Atlanta High," where he meets Ralph and Norton, whale sharks that rule the Georgia Aquarium's main tank. He finds unique treasures, like a Fab Four lunchbox at Junkman's Daughter, and listens to live blues at Blind Willie's.

Following are up-to-the-minute resources to help plan your next trip to Atlanta, whether you want to find a great restaurant, see where a hot local band is playing, or catch up on local politics. We've also included books and movies set or filmed in Atlanta that capture the city's spirit.



Alternative Newspapers







Metroblogging Atlanta
Metroblogging Atlanta is a perfect "Orientation 101" guide to Atlanta's many faces and opinions. Get everything from advice on relationships to information on aquariums and restaurants from a dozen locals. 

Atlanta Eats

Atlanta Eats is an indispensable blog for anyone interested in exploring the city's multifarious restaurants. Written by a local food lover under the alias "Steakhead" ("I don't eat foie gras. Vegan is out—so there will be no write-up on Tofu Mock Chicken."), Atlanta's best—and least-known—restaurants are lauded and denounced with equal vigor.


Bloglanta covers everything happening within the city's perimeter. Rated the "best blog" by Atlanta Magazine in December 2005, Bloglanta muses over the
See major attractions in Atlanta at about half the price with our partner, CityPass, which includes Traveler's picks for bars, restaurants, shopping, and neighborhoods.
historical significance of the names of neighborhoods and streets; criticizes the alleged myopic focus of real estate developers; and covers social events in the city, such as gallery openings and concert performances.
Savvy Siren 

The Savvy Siren is a chic, witty commentary on Atlanta's social scene and "your resource for the hottest deals in town." Looking for a restaurant that offers $5 martinis or all-you-can-eat sushi? This ultimate nightlife guide has the answers.

Kiss Atlanta
A funky blog that was started to increase press coverage of Atlanta's more promising bands.  For music aficionados, Kiss Atlanta is a great way to better understand what "the driving force is behind the music and venues in Atlanta." It also offers limited commentary on films and fashion.


My 'Lanta: The Atlanta Podcast
My 'Lanta host Phil O'Steen offers fresh, funny takes on news, interviews with local personalities, and goofy spoofs on this Atlanta podcast. Listen for local news, trends, opinions, and humor.

Public Broadcasting Atlanta WABE-FM 90.1

Atlanta's NPR and PBS station podcasts local news and features daily, including weather, events, and interviews. Get a head start on Atlanta's literary scene through Between the Lines, a weekly author interview program featuring the city's writers and thinkers.


Audiofloss podcasts are a must for visitors interested in Atlanta's underground music scene. Hosts Carlton Hargro and Chante Lagon offer interviews with musicians, reviews, music clips, and event notices on music, including neo-soul, reggaeton, house, progressive hip-hop, electronic, and jungle. 


Get a brief update on local weather on PirateWeather's quick podcasts. They forecast several days' weather, and listeners can follow along or get more information from the companion website.

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Alternative Newspapers

Creative Loafing

One of Atlanta's most comprehensive and widely read city periodicals, Creative Loafing is "Atlanta's source for what to do & when to do it." Read locals' views on city news, gossip, movie and theater reviews, and find the perfect place to wine and dine.  The online edition has links to neighborhood eateries as well as a "city scout" engine that finds social events in venues near you.

Atlanta Daily World 

Published weekly, the Atlanta Daily World is "the city's oldest continuously publishing black newspaper, and one of the oldest black-owned businesses." As Atlanta's racial landscape has changed over the years, the World has remained a family-owned and operated independent newspaper devoted to covering news especially pertinent to the growing African-American population in the metropolitan region.

Atlanta Illustrated 

Touted as Atlanta's authoritative social guide, Atlanta Illustrated covers the world of parties, music, art and sports.  Find out when and where the next monster truck jam will be held or get information on an upcoming young professionals social.

Atlanta INtown Newspaper 

This free, monthly community-oriented newspaper is full of family fun. Atlanta INtown celebrates the achievements of local people and businesses as it spreads information and sparks inspiration. It is particularly useful for visitors considering relocating to the area.


Atlanta Magazine

Become an Atlanta insider with this well-rounded magazine full of dining and shopping guides, news stories, essays, profiles, and event listings. Check out Late Night Hot Spots, 20 Coolest Places to Live, Best New Restaurants, even Best New Place to Dance.

Hudspeth Report

Ron Hudspeth of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution founded this monthly tabloid guide after 30-plus years exploring Atlanta. Look for guides on nightclubs, pubs, taverns, restaurants, theater, concerts, and film, as well as entertainment features and reviews.


Atlanta's premier society quarterly promises "colorful coverage of prominent people and places, cultural and social happenings, chic shops and hot spots." Read it for the scoop on Atlanta glitz, and flip through sections including fashion, health & beauty, home & design, dining, and art.

Points North 

This monthly lifestyle magazine targets North Atlanta with profiles, travel features, dining and shopping reviews, and a calendar of events. Check out "All Points Bulletin" for local news and events, and "Five Things I Should Do this Month," for Atlanta's best bets.


Pick up this free monthly entertainment paper for events and entertainment geared to a younger crowd. Around Town listings include museums, exhibits, theater, dance, and unique special events.

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89.3 FM WRFG Atlanta 
Atlanta's foremost station for progressive music, WRFG has won both genre and individual awards over the years. The broadcast format includes jazz, blues, Afro-pop, bluegrass, folk, Latin, Indian, and other ethnic sounds. In other words, there's a jive for everyone.

92.9 DAVE FM 
This lively station prides itself on providing "rock without rules" and dynamic radio personalities such as Barnes, who confesses to having "a mad crush on Reese Witherspoon." Visit their website to see when the show is on the road and entry rules for the latest on-air contests. 

A useful Atlanta station that announces weather forecasts, local news, and traffic alerts.  Tune in to WSB AM750 for the latest on entertainment and sports news.  To get a taste of the station, visit their website and peruse the audio archives.


A Collection of Atlanta Maps 
Provided by Google.

Downtown Atlanta Map 
This map of downtown Atlanta is one of the most useful visitors' maps online. It shows downtown Atlanta attractions in relation to the Georgia World Congress Center.

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Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Tara—Scarlett O'Hara's fictional childhood home—may be the place most strongly associated with Mitchell's Civil War epic, but the bulk of the action takes place in Atlanta, the author's birthplace. Scarlett moves to Atlanta's Peachtree Street as a war widow and lives through its siege, bombardment, burning, and reconstruction. Though today's multilane thoroughfare little resembles Scarlett's muddy, tree-lined road, her presence is still felt in the Margaret Mitchell House, where Gone With the Wind was written, and which is open to visitors.

A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe
A novel written by one of America's most renowned social satirists, A Man in Full delves into the heart of Atlanta's political and cultural scenes, from mayoral press conferences to Freaknik, a black college spring-break festival held annually in Atlanta.

A Turn in the South by V. S. Naipaul
Naipaul—born in multiracial Trinidad of Indian heritage—brings a fresh, outsider's perspective to the American South. Part travelogue and part oral history, Naipaul holds court with everyone from Bible-thumping politicians to underpaid busboys during his travels through tobacco farms, destitute plantations, and rising metropolises.

Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn: A Saga of Race and Family by Gary Pomerantz
In this acclaimed work of historical nonfiction, Pomerantz traces the multi-generational history of two eminent Atlanta families, the white Allens and the black Dobbses. Set against the milieu of politicians' ambitions, the intermeshed narratives of the two dynasties prove emblematic of the Peach City's own dazzling metamorphosis into one of the New South's most cosmopolitan urban centers.


Driving Miss Daisy
Discover the social nuances of the civil rights-era South in this film about the friendship between a wealthy white woman and her black chauffeur. Visitors can admire the Tudor mansions and dogwood, oak, and magnolia trees of the genteel neighborhood of Druid Hills near Emory University, where the movie was filmed.

Gone with the Wind
Visit Atlanta's past with this movie's lush scenery, folk melodies, and Confederate politics wrapped into an epic love story about Scarlett O'Hara's struggle to survive the Civil War and find love. Costuming, sets, and Stephen Foster songs lend authenticity to this Atlanta-set movie.

Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried Green Tomatoes tells the story of two women in 1930s Alabama who overcome abuse and racism to run their own diner, and rebuild their lives. The movie was filmed in the sleepy town of Juliette, Georgia (which fills in for the fictional setting of Whistle Stop, Alabama), about 60 miles (97 km) south of Atlanta. Movie buffs can visit Juliette, and munch on fried green tomatoes in Juliette's own Whistle Stop Café.

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