Atlanta is often called the ATL, the city’s airport code highlighting its role as the Southeast’s primary transportation hub. Forbes counts it on its Best Cities for Millennials and Best Cities for Jobs lists, it ranks third for 10 Best Cities for Young Entrepreneurs and is repeatedly cited as one of the best cities for African-Americans to succeed economically. While city population figures approach 450,000, the Atlanta metropolitan area accounts for more than 5.5 million people and is the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the country.

The City in a Forest takes pride in its prevalence of trees and gardens, holding its Dogwood Festival and 5K Run annually. Built for the 1996 Olympics, Centennial Olympic Park offers tree-lined walkways and the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, SkyView Atlanta and CNN Center. Additional attractions include the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site and Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Fox Theatre, art and children’s museums, botanical gardens and even a zoo complete with giant pandas. Piedmont Park Aquatic Center is also popular and offers the Magnolia Greenway for biking, a dog park, walkways and fishing piers. Stone Mountain Park lies to the east of the city, and Six Flags Over Georgia lies to the west. The city is also working on a bike share program and making the city more bicycle-friendly.

Atlanta benefits from Georgia’s advantageous business atmosphere. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is a major passenger and cargo transportation hub and Foreign Trade Zone; its Department of Agriculture-approved Perishables Complex is the only one in the Southeast. Delta Air Lines is the city’s top employer, with Emory University and its healthcare system a close second. Other high-tech major employers include AT&T, Cox Enterprises, IBM Corporation and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. Nearly 20 Fortune 500 and nearly 30 Fortune 1000 companies have headquarters in Atlanta, including Mercedes-Benz USA, The Home Depot, United Parcel Service, Delta Air Lines, First Data Corporation, SunTrust Bank, Mohawk Industries, Newell Rubbermaid and NCR Corporation. Georgia Tech – Georgia Institute of Technology – is downtown and is consistently rated one of the country’s top 10 public universities. With a focus on engineering and other technical, cutting-edge fields, it is renowned for its “internship and cooperative education initiatives.” Emory University is also a prestigious research-focused school noted for its study programs and global partnerships.

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