Quality of Life
Metro Atlanta offers a high quality of life at a comparatively low cost. Lower prices for major expenses like housing, apparel, food and gasoline help keep the region's cost of living below the U.S. average and well below those of most major metropolitan areas. In 2011, the cost of living index averaged 97.3, below the national average of 100 (ACCRA Cost of Living Index, 2011); that's despite the fact that the region is now the 9th largest metro area in the nation. Its quality of life and lower costs have not gone unnoticed. Since 2000, Metro Atlanta has grown by more than 1.1 million people; a 26% increase in just 12 years.
Home to more than 5.4 million people and nearly 150,000 businesses, Metro Atlanta has the 10th largest GDP in the United States. From its diverse economy, global access, abundant talent, and low costs of business and lifestyle, Metro Atlanta is a great place to be. Residents here experience all four seasons, with mild winters that rarely require a snow shovel.
Metro Atlanta offers a world-class metropolitan setting that includes first-rate restaurants, accommodations, shopping, museums, entertainment and professional sports. Company executives have countless options at their disposal to entertain current and potential customers in a manner to which they are accustomed. The metro area offers a variety of lifestyle amenities, and having options, especially in the high-stakes environment of business is key; a memorable client experience can make all the difference in the world.
Hotels, inns and resorts are plentiful in Metro Atlanta, each offering varying levels of service and amenities. Several award-winning luxury hotels, with their own unique brand of impeccable service, first-class amenities and superb dining, are located in the popular neighborhoods of Downtown, Midtown and Buckhead.
Filled with creative concepts, the area offers some of the most diverse dining options for the most discerning palate, from contemporary to French, Latin, Japanese, Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, barbeque and many other international cuisines. The metro area also has its share of five-star, critically acclaimed restaurants with executive chefs who have studied under some of the world's best-known personalities.
Tomo is one example. Located in Buckhead in the same building as the Ritz Carlton Residences, Chef Tomohiro Naito Tomo, protégé of Nobu Matsuhisa, serves authentic Japanese cuisine and fusion dishes with hints of French and Italian influence. Tomo uses only the freshest ingredients, some that are flown in directly from Tokyo's Tsukiji market weekly.
The Spence is another example, offering contemporary American fare overseen by Executive Chef Richard Blaise, who studied under such celebrated chefs as Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud and Ferran Adrià in addition to apprenticing at Chez Panisse.
From boutiques to art galleries, antiques to outlet centers, shopping is abundant, catering to all budgets. From Target to Walmart and Bloomingdales to Neiman Marcus, finding something to buy in the metro area is easy. Metro Atlanta's reputation as an international city is indisputably demonstrated by the luxury stores that have chosen to locate in the area.
Arts & Entertainment
Metro Atlanta and the surrounding region offer a large variety of arts and entertainment. As the cultural center of the South and home to a large number of museums and historic sites, there is something to do for everyone. The High Museum of Art, home to a first-rate, well-versed collection of 11,000 works, includes pieces by such celebrated artists as Monet, Rodin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Alexander Calder and John Singer Sargent.
Located in Midtown is the historic Fox Theatre, one of Metro Atlanta's premiere venues for live entertainment. Ranked by Billboard Magazine as "the #1 non-residency venue worldwide for the decade," the Fox Theatre attracts some of the biggest names and productions in show business, including: Jerry Seinfeld and Broadway's "The Producers." Area residents also have access to more than 100 golf courses, 200 public tennis courts and hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails.
Philips Arena, host to two million fans and more than 200 events annually, consistently ranks among the world's top arenas. Recent performances by Billy Joel, Barbra Streisand, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Aerosmith, Kenny Chesney, Lady Gaga, Elton John and Bon Jovi are but a few of the top talents that regularly perform in and around Atlanta.
Atlanta has a rich sports history, including the oldest on-campus Division I football stadium, Bobby Dodd Stadium, built in 1913 by the students of Georgia Tech. More recently, the city served as host to the 1996 Centennial Summer Olympic games. Each July 4th it features the world's largest 10K race, the Peachtree Road Race, and the final PGA Tour event of the season featuring golf's elite players (The Tour Championship) is played annually at East Lake Golf Club, where Atlanta native Bobby Jones used to play.
Some of the nation's top college athletic events are also held in Atlanta, including the Southeast Conference Football Championship, kickoff football matchups pitting top teams from around the nation and the New Year's Eve Chick Fil'a Bowl.
Metro Atlanta is home to professional franchises for three major sports: the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball, the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association and the NFL's Atlanta Falcons. For the auto racing enthusiast, Atlanta Motor Speedway and Road Atlanta host NASCAR races as well as the Petit Le Mans. Professional soccer, rugby union clubs and even the uncommon roller derby can all be found in the area.