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Old 11-29-2014, 09:32 PM
Location: Valdosta (Atlanta Native)
3,453 posts, read 2,864,512 times
Reputation: 2180


Sorry, Atlanta, but you’re no destination | Clayton News Daily
I’ve written more than once about how Atlanta is not really seen as a travel destination in various traveler surveys.
This week, I came across an article outlining six reasons why people should visit Atlanta. It fell woefully short of selling the city as a destination.
Some of the reasons basically rattled off like this: “It has good food,” “It has good music,” “It has small artsy places” and “It has walking trails.”
So does Boston. What’s your point?
There is a reason why Atlanta is little more than a pass-thru to somewhere else. It’s not because Atlanta doesn’t have this attraction or that place to visit. It’s not something that a catchy slogan or convention and visitors bureau campaign can fix.
It’s because Atlanta has no character.
Consider the truly great major cities in America. There really aren’t that many of them. In short, they are New York, Boston, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Memphis.
You might add St. Louis and Louisville to that list, but I wouldn’t put them near the top. Chicago? Eh, I’m not so sure.
You might be scratching your head at this point and asking yourself what I am talking about.
There are certain things that make a city a truly great city to visit.
One is a unique charm that comes from the people.
The second is a truly unique cuisine that just can’t be done right anywhere else.
Third is a unique sound that is done nowhere else quite as well as it is done in that one location.
Fourth is a unique place in history.
Fifth is a wealth of cool museums.
Sixth is a special energy that can’t be matched anywhere else.
Seventh is breathtaking in-town scenery.
Not every city meets all of those criteria. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find any city — beyond New York and New Orleans — that meets all of those requirements.
Atlanta only meets two of the criteria: the history and the museums.
It falls woefully short in everything else.
Charm that comes from the people? Sorry, but Atlanta fails miserably when its compared to New Orleans, or even its smaller neighbors such as Savannah and Charleston. Its people also lack the unique charm someone from Boston or New York has (yes, they are different).
Unique cuisine? You could try to make an argument for barbecue, but Memphis residents would just point and laugh at you.
Unique music? Nashville is the epicenter of country music and the groundbreaking rap came from Los Angeles and New York. And the small venues where you hear indie artists? Yeah, every other city has those as well.
And the museums? This is going to require a long answer. Atlanta has traditionally had a couple of cool unique ones such as the Atlanta History Center, Fernbank and the World of Coke. The Georgia Aquarium and the High Museum of Art are also top-notch. On top of that, the recent additions of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Civil Rights museum show promise.
However, there are a number of areas of concern. The Georgia Music Hall of Fame is in Macon instead of Atlanta. SciTrek closed years ago, and the only other big science museum (Tellus) in the area is far north of the city. The city also lacks a larger number of “homes renovated into museums” like the Margaret Mitchell House and the Martin Luther King Jr. Birthplace.
The city is getting there, but it just needs more museums.
Special energy? Ummm, what energy? Atlanta doesn’t have any energy. Everyone is just stuck in traffic.
And the breathtaking scenery? It has a big beautiful park, nice walking trails and some beautiful old homes, but so does every other city. It problems stem from the fact that it lacks a waterfront, Stone Mountain doesn’t qualify as being in the city and many of the more interesting buildings have been replaced with glass and steel condo towers.
It’s just hard to make a case for Atlanta as a destination.
Sorry, Atlanta, but you just come up short.
Curt Yeomans is the digital journalist for the Clayton News Daily and Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached via email at cyeomans@news-daily.com or on Twitter at @CYeomansCND.

Old 11-29-2014, 09:50 PM
Location: Decatur, GA
4,940 posts, read 3,756,149 times
Reputation: 2492
Hit the nail on the head. Atlanta isn't special, get over it.
Old 11-29-2014, 09:53 PM
Location: Atlanta (Finally on 4-1-17)
1,850 posts, read 2,368,480 times
Reputation: 2572
Yawn........go to any city and you'll always read something like this. That includes all of those "great cities" like DC, NYC, etc...

It makes no difference what good happens in Atlanta, some of you will never be happy. Let the hate party get started.

Next.....nothing new here.
Old 11-29-2014, 09:54 PM
Location: Columbus,Georgia
2,663 posts, read 3,840,733 times
Reputation: 597
Atlanta is a destination if you're in the gay community.
Old 11-29-2014, 10:07 PM
134 posts, read 132,423 times
Reputation: 179
Yawn. I'm bored.
Old 11-29-2014, 10:08 PM
Location: N.C. for now... Atlanta future
1,243 posts, read 994,570 times
Reputation: 1285
Well, let me remind everyone again that people always said this same thing about Los Angeles. Hollywood put it on the map but for a long time it was still more famous for smog, traffic, and endless suburbia. TV and movies essentially remade LA into a "destination" by manufacturing it's "hipness" value.

Atlanta struggles as a "destination point" for several reasons. People go to cities in large numbers because there is an "aura" about it that doesn't exist anywhere else. This comes from unique features and cultural experiences. Take New Orleans for example. Ask people about New Orleans and they will talk about Mardi Gras (not unique but more famous than Mobile's), Voodoo (it's the only city where a large number of people practice it), the cuisine, the endless mausoleums, the river, Jazz, Bourbon Street, French Quarter, Garden District, the "oldness" of it, etc. etc. It's famous for things and by and large those things are still there.

Atlanta by contrast, while it has extensive history, doesn't enjoy the same for several reasons. Take it's history for example. It is the scene of a major civil war battle, it was the arsenal of the confederacy, it was burned by Sherman, it invented Coca Cola, it played a major role in the civil rights movement, and it was the home of MLK Jr. But the biggest thing that immortalized Atlanta was Margaret Mitchell. Her book Gone With the Wind and the subsequent film made Atlanta famous. But the things that made Atlanta famous aren't real. Save for MLK Jr's homeplace, the rest is made up. There was no Scarlett O'Hara. There was no Tara. There is no trace of the battles that raged during the civil war. The buildings Sherman burned are gone. The things it is most famous for either couldn't be preserved or weren't real. And I would argue the civil war was a TRAUMATIC experience for the country and that it's a bad thing to be famous about because people don't really like remembering it. Where you can go to Boston and see the Old North Church where the lanterns were hung and where Revere rode through the streets and take pride in our Revolution, the same feelings are not evoked for the Battle of Atlanta and it's burning.

Atlanta's problems are also it's newness. It's not as old as Charleston and New Orleans and it's overlooked similar to Norfolk/Hampton Roads, Va. The Chesapeake Bay was the scene of major Revolutionary War activity and the British surrendered at Yorktown, but I'm not sure foreign people are as interested in our revolution as we are. They are even less interested in our civil war.

It's a conundrum, there is no doubt.

Last edited by AtlantaIsHot; 11-29-2014 at 10:20 PM..
Old 11-29-2014, 11:10 PM
Location: Woodstock, GA
1,997 posts, read 3,378,408 times
Reputation: 2387
Atlanta not a destination? Good. That means fewer tourists clogging up the roads and everything else.
Old 11-29-2014, 11:23 PM
5,239 posts, read 6,558,932 times
Reputation: 11308
What a boring and poorly written opinion article. Curt needs to think of some synonyms for "unique".
Old 11-29-2014, 11:27 PM
Status: "Ready for Fall" (set 23 days ago)
Location: Atlanta
4,705 posts, read 3,087,287 times
Reputation: 3939
How interesting that only Las Vegas and Orlando have more hotel rooms in the U.S....

We had 42 million visitors last year. Case closed.
Old 11-30-2014, 12:21 AM
7,113 posts, read 8,163,486 times
Reputation: 1777
Originally Posted by JMatl View Post
How interesting that only Las Vegas and Orlando have more hotel rooms in the U.S....

We had 42 million visitors last year. Case closed.
Is it by choice? I have places to go next year, but it's for business. I wouldn't vacation in Atlanta.
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