For many, Atlanta is just the bonfire background to one of cinema's most famous clinches, but the city's profile is rising. Long known as the 'Capital of the New South', Atlanta has benefited in recent years from a booming economy, the 1996 Olympics and a baseball dynasty.
The city has suffered from overzealous college get-downs and from the relentless development that has razed much of what it hasn't converted to shopping malls. But there are offbeat neighborhoods to explore and old-fashioned towns nearby where you can still savour something of bygone days.
Since being rebuilt after the Civil War, downtown Atlanta has been transformed by waves of development and is now a thoroughly modern metropolis. For a glimpse of the past head to Fairlie-Poplar, which was the city's commercial centre 100 years ago. Its 20-odd blocks are lined with buildings constructed between the 1880s and WWI.
Facts for the traveller
Off the beaten track