Atlanta, Georgia, the state's capital and largest city, and the seat of Fulton County. It lies along the Chattahoochee River in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Because of its many dogwood trees, Atlanta is sometimes called "the Dogwood City."

Peachtree Street, the main thoroughfare, comes together with four other busy streets at Five Points, the heart of the city and the hub of commercial activity. Clustered here are office skyscrapers, hotels, banks, and department stores built largely since 1960. The gold-domed capitol and other state and county government buildings are nearby. Residential Atlanta spreads over the wooded, gently rolling foothills.

Largest communities in the Atlanta area
NamePopulation
Atlanta 416,474
Sandy Springs 85,781
Roswell 79,334
Marietta 58,748
Smyrna 40,999
East Point 39,595
North Atlanta 38,579
Alpharetta 34,854
Redan 33,841
Dunwoody 32,808
Economy

Atlanta is the unrivaled leader of commerce and industry in the southeastern United States. The city's industries include the making or preparation of textiles, clothing, soft drinks, transportation equipment, machinery, fabricated metal goods, lumber, furniture, paper, chemicals, processed foods, tobacco products, and stone, clay, and glass products.

Atlanta is the southeast's hub of finance. The city has many large banks and insurance companies and is headquarters for the Sixth District Federal Reserve Bank. Each year Atlanta is host to numerous conventions and trade shows; the Georgia World Congress Center and the Georgia International Convention and Trade Center are the city's chief sites for conventions and expositions.

The city, known as the "Gateway City of the South," is a crossroads of transportation. It is served by three Interstate highways and numerous railways and trucking firms. Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport, south of the city, is one of the largest and busiest air terminals in the United States.

Interesting Places

Atlanta is an educational and cultural center with more than two dozen institutions of higher learning in or near the city. Among them are Georgia Institute of Technology; Emory and Georgia State universities; and Atlanta University Center, consisting of Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse, Morris Brown, and Spelman colleges, and the Interdenominational Theological Center.

The state capitol contains the Georgia State Museum of Science and Industry. Other notable museums include the Fernbank Science Center; Sci-Trek, a museum of science and technology; and the High Museum of Art, which is at the Robert W. Woodruff Arts Center. The Arts Center is also home to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Alliance Theater, and the Atlanta College of Art. The Fox Theatre is home to the Atlanta Opera.

Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site includes King's birthplace and gravesite and Ebenezer Baptist Church, of which King was co-pastor with his father. The Carter Presidential Center houses the Museum of the Jimmy Carter Library. The Georgia Governor's Mansion contains one of the country's finest collections of Federal-period furnishings. Many new structures were built for the 1996 Olympic Games, including an Olympic stadium and an aquatic center. Atlanta is the home of the Braves (professional baseball), the Falcons (football), the Hawks (basketball), and the Thrashers (hockey).

Atlanta has many beautifully landscaped parks and gardens, including a zoological park. The Cyclorama building in Grant Park contains one of the world's largest paintings, The Battle of Atlanta. East of the city is Stone Mountain Park, laid out around a Confederate memorial carved in the mountainside.