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 (cchrpartnership.org) was gearing up to open in Centennial Park, between the aquarium and World of Coca-Cola.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Buffalo thrill: the ultimate way to see America's Great Plains

Buffalo thrill: the ultimate way to see America's Great Plains

South Dakota, one of the USA’s Great Plains states, holds an annual buffalo roundup in Custer State Park. Last week was the 51st event and we were lucky enoug…

21 Feb 2017 • Neil McQuillian insert_drive_file Article
Dive in: 7 unforgettable experiences in the Florida Keys

Dive in: 7 unforgettable experiences in the Florida Keys

Life in the Florida Keys is dominated by the ocean. The simplest trips become postcard-worthy adventures on the Overseas Highway, the link between its countless…

17 Feb 2017 • Georgia Stephens insert_drive_file Article
The best places to go in spring

The best places to go in spring

Springtime is beautiful, with its big blue skies and flowers in bloom, so there may be no better time to travel. If you're thinking about getting away, here are…

14 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month