You’ve just graduated, and you’re ready to get out on your own. There are so many places that can help you spread your wings and live your dreams: New York, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles. But one city that may fly under the radar may be just what you are looking for—Atlanta.
Why Move to Atlanta?
The average millennials are looking for several things from their city of choice: nightlife, entertainment, outdoor activities, and a hot job market top the list. Atlanta has all this and more. Atlanta is becoming a mecca for the arts, populated by the young and hungry; hungry for success, that is. Let’s look at a few reasons Atlanta is the place to be for millennials.
Atlanta was named the #6 best city for people who are looking to launch their careers by NerdWallet in 2017. Not only is Atlanta full of 20-somethings (they make up more than 20% of the city’s population), it’s full of 20-somethings who are making more than the national average when it comes to starting salaries. Combine that with a low cost of living, as compared to other major cities in the country, and millennials are making bank in Atlanta.
There is no shortage of opportunities, either. There are Fortune 1000, 500, and 100 companies such as Home Depot, UPS, Delta, and CNN. There are art and music experiences in every direction, in a city that has produced some huge names in entertainment. There is a booming technology scene, perfect for those looking to break in to the app-creation world or information technology, and there are hundreds of high-end restaurants, pubs, and breweries.
As a bonus, there are tons of volunteer opportunities and nonprofits as well, which we all know look great on a resume and appeal to the collective conscious of this generation. And, Atlanta is home to a major airport, which means direct flights to just about anywhere in the world, right in your backyard.
What do millennials love more than trendy foods, craft beers, and music festivals? Atlanta is home to microbreweries, craft beer pubs, gastropubs, fine dining, casual dining, every cuisine you can think of, and, of course—food trucks! What is beer and yummy food without some live music to go with them? Atlanta is also home to a number of live music festivals—rap, hip-hop, indie rock, alternative rock, and more. Food festivals are a big draw, as well, for those who want to spend their day outdoors, sampling innovative recipes and sipping on a cold drink.
We can’t forget about the nightlife, either. Atlanta is home to some of the best bars, clubs, and events in the country. We all have our favorite bar scene and, in Atlanta, there is a bar for everyone: upscale bars, dive bars, sports bars—you name it. Atlanta is also home to Maggie’s, which was named the top college bar in the country by Playboy Magazine. And, of course, there is no shortage of places to get amazing brunch the morning after a fun night out.
Atlanta is known for its progressive, liberal pulse, which is in stark contrast to much of its surrounding areas, as the south tends to be more conservative. There are impressive and refreshing diversity and acceptance in Atlanta, which makes it an appealing choice for those in the LGBTQ+ community, in particular. Every year at Piedmont Park, there is the Atlanta Pride festival, which is a massive event that brings in crowds from all walks of life to come together and celebrate love, life, progress, and happiness.
Atlanta is the home to numerous professional and semi-pro sports teams. If you like baseball, check out a Braves game, if you like football, there’s the Falcons, for basketball there’s the Hawks. There is also arena football, rugby, indoor and outdoor lacrosse, the Atlanta United FC for soccer fans, and the Atlanta Motor Speedway for those who like motorsports.
Even if you aren’t into professional sports, there are plenty of ways to stay active. Many people would think that Atlanta, being a city, wouldn’t have much outdoor life, but that is not the case. There is plenty of hiking, tubing, and kayaking available, as well as the Chattahoochee Nature Preserve and many outdoor group fitness classes. Also, Atlanta is working on the BeltLine, a series of trails that encompass the city, which people can walk/jog/bike on and have easy access to parks and lush scenery in redeveloped areas.
Planning Your Move
There are some things to consider before moving to Atlanta. First of all, what neighborhood do you want to live in? Castleberry Hill is a hip neighborhood, heavy on the arts and music, with tons of old warehouses turned into lofts. Then there are areas such as Midtown and Buckhead, which are prime choices for young professionals. Both of these neighborhoods are walkable, but Midtown is a bit more laid back, while Buckhead is more affluent.
The fact that some neighborhoods are walkable is worth mentioning because, generally, Atlanta does require you to have a vehicle. This is a big city, and there is a lot of traffic. If you are considering the move to Atlanta, you have to consider whether you are committed to owning a vehicle, as well as being stuck in traffic during your commute.
When it comes time for your move, you have the task of actually getting there. There are some things to consider in terms of the physical move—how much stuff do you have? Are you packing on your own or hiring someone? Do you even know what you need for packing? What do you need to purchase before your move? Are you going to do it alone or with friends (the beer and pizza method), or are you going to hire a commercial moving company and give yourself a break?
Make a list, get your thoughts together, and start getting excited for the next chapter in your life. Millennials are in the prime of their lives, hungry for exploration and experiences, and Atlanta is the perfect place to start. What are you waiting for? They don’t call it Hotlanta for nothing!