At first glance, ATLANTA is a typical large American city and one that suffers particularly badly from urban sprawl: the population of the entire metropolitan area exceeds 5.5 million. It is also undeniably upbeat and progressive, with little interest in lamenting a lost Southern past, and since electing the nation’s first black mayor, the late Maynard Jackson, in 1974, it has remained the most conspicuously black-run city in the USA. As if to counterbalance the alienating sprawl, the city maintains plenty of active, prettily landscaped green spaces (most notably, the 22-mile BeltLine), and its neighbourhoods have distinct, recognizable identities; quaint Virginia Highlands is just a short drive away from trendy Inman Park and grungier, punky Little Five Points, for example, but the three have little in common. Once you accept the driving distances and the roaring freeways, dynamic Atlanta has plenty to offer, with must-see attractions from sites associated with Dr King to cultural institutions including the High Museum of Art and Atlanta History Center. At time of writing, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights ( was gearing up to open in Centennial Park, between the aquarium and World of Coca-Cola.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

King of the road: on the Civil Rights Trail through America’s south

King of the road: on the Civil Rights Trail through America’s south

Next year marks 50 years since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr and also the launch of a new Civil Rights Trail through the USA's south. On a road …

16 Nov 2017 • Ella Buchan local_activity Special feature
Video: a brief history of the American road trip

Video: a brief history of the American road trip

We dug into the visual archives of yore to bring you a brief history of the American road trip. From the first coast-to-coast car voyage in the USA to today…

10 Nov 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
7 seriously spooky places in America

7 seriously spooky places in America

From urban legends passed down for centuries to real-life harrowing tales, America’s closet is filled with skeletons. These cities will put a chill down your …

24 Oct 2017 • Jess Chun insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook