View of The Atlanta Skyline through Trees

Why are people moving to Atlanta?

These are seven possible reasons, according to surveys and studies.

The metro Atlanta area continues to grow. Between 2022 and 2023, the city of Atlanta increased by 14,300 residents, raising the total population estimate of the Atlanta region to more than five million.

What makes this area so popular with newcomers? Recent studies, surveys, and reports show Greater Atlanta has demonstrable appeal, from dating to job prospects. See some of the factors that may explain why Atlanta keeps drawing newcomers.

Jobs are plentiful — especially for Gen Z

For young professionals, Atlanta is the perfect city to start a career. An analysis by personal finance organization WalletHub cited ATL as the top city in the U.S. for professionals who are just starting out. The report weighed factors like professional opportunity, including the availability of entry-level jobs and starting salary, in addition to quality-of-life factors, like median salary and average work-week length. Out of 182 U.S. metros, Greater Atlanta topped the list. 

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Creatives can thrive

Of the available jobs in ATL, many are creative careers that were once relegated to the coasts. According to the Georgia Council for the Arts, the creative industries in Georgia represent 5% of all employment and 4% of the state’s business revenue. More than 200,000 people in Georgia are employed in creative professions. 

Beyond employment options, Atlanta has grown its reputation as a cultural hub of the South, drawing TV and film productions, nurturing artists, and cultivating standout skill sets. (Complex even named Atlanta the best U.S. city for rap in 2023.) Whether working as a creative or enjoying the benefits, Atlanta is an attractive choice for those who value arts, culture, and entertainment.

Singles, ready to mingle?

Multiple studies have ranked Atlanta as one of the top U.S. cities for singles hoping to find love. WalletHub ranked Atlanta fourth on a list of best cities for singles in an analysis comparing “key indicators of dating friendliness.” Another report found that more than half of the population is single, creating a larger dating pool for those hoping to find the one. 

There are excellent school districts 

For folks in a different stage of life, the metro area offers solid choices for young families, particularly those seeking quality educational choices. Niche, a platform that features reviews and rankings of local communities, shows the Atlanta area is home to top-rated school districts, all within easy driving distance (minus the traffic) of downtown. The metro Atlanta area offers something for students and parents from Decatur to Johns Creek to Alpharetta and beyond.

Woman on a Hike with Her Dog

It’s a great home for people who love pets

According to research and analytics from the Atlanta Regional Commission, approximately 43% of Atlanta households have at least one pet (mostly dogs). Perhaps due to demand, Atlantans can access veterinary care, pet-friendly restaurants and businesses, and plenty of spacious parks and outdoor areas where they can take their dogs to play.

The weather can’t be beat

Summers can get hot and humid, but the rest of the year tends to be pleasant. According to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the average temperature in Atlanta is about 65 degrees. This temperate climate offers the perfect environment for people who want to enjoy the outdoors year-round, not just during peak seasons, making the city an excellent fit for outdoor enthusiasts, gardeners, runners, walkers, cyclists, and more. 

Small Cabin with Many Large Windows in the Woods

It’s easy to experience nature (or the world)

Tired of the city? Atlanta is a convenient central location to help you get wherever else you want to go. Head north for a weekend in the mountains — wineries, hiking, and cabins with a view — or catch a flight at Hartsfield-Jackson, where you can travel to just about anywhere in the world. 

Want to learn about the best parts of living in Atlanta? Subscribe to Localite to find great entertainment, dining, and insider info about where to go and what to do.

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Don’t miss the top 12 activities, events, and festivals of early 2024

The Valley has plenty to keep you occupied during the next few months.

Events are as plentiful as out-of-state license plates in Phoenix during the first few months of the year. Arts and culture festivals abound, food and drink events fill our plates, spring training is in full swing starting in March, and we pay tribute to Arizona’s roots with horse shows, rodeos, and more.

These are some of the top time-tested, best-attended, best-organized, and most fun things to do covering a broad range of interests. Put on your comfy shoes, and get out there!

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Arizona Renaissance Festival

Weekends Feb. 3-March 31; also Feb. 19

Gold Canyon

$34 adults; $22 ages 5-12

Roughly a couple of hundred Renaissance festivals or “faires” exist in nearly every state, but we were told by a veteran of them that ours is among the best. Why? The stunning mountain views, expansive and easy-to-traverse fairgrounds, and variety of attractions and shows lift ours to a new level. This year, the event is adding another music stage, a pub crawl, new food items, new vendors, and new acts (we’re especially intrigued by Supernova the Strongwoman). Pro tip: Food and beverage booths and rides accept cash only, and the ATM lines can be lengthy, so hit the bank before you go.

Scottsdale Parada Del Sol

Feb. 3

Old Town Scottsdale

Free

Plan to make a day of this starting at 10 a.m. with a massive parade featuring floats, riders on horseback, marching bands, stagecoaches, and more. This year’s theme is “70 Years and Still Groovin’, the Western Cool Vibe.” Afterward, they’ll be dancing in the streets as the Trail’s End Festival takes over with live entertainment on multiple stages, a kids’ zone, food trucks, beverage stands, and arts and crafts booths. 

Phoenix Chinese Culture & Cuisine Festival

Feb. 3-4

Steele Indian School Park, Phoenix

Free

This 34th annual event will celebrate the Year of the Dragon with lion and dragon dances, which are a sight to behold. There will also be traditional Chinese dances, martial arts demonstrations, food booths, vendors, art, hands-on activities, a beer garden, a koi exhibit, and more.  

Waste Management Phoenix Open

Feb. 3- Feb. 11

The Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale 

Free and up

The “Greatest Show on Grass,” also known as “The People’s Open,” is more than a golf game: It’s one of the biggest parties of the year in the area and the most-attended golf tournament in the world, with roughly 90,000 spectators per day and 700,000 over the entire event. This event is infamous for rowdy, booze-fueled crowds packing the stands. Still, it’s been named Tournament of the Year five times by the PGA. A Post Malone concert tees up the event on Feb. 3, with golf commencing on Feb. 5.

Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show

Feb. 15-25

WestWorld of Scottsdale

$15 for adults; seat costs vary

If you want to see some of the most spectacular stallions in the world, they’ll be here at the largest Arabian horse show, competing for more than $3 million in prize money based on versatility, beauty, grace, and more. In addition to admiring the animals, you can shop for fine art, crafts, clothing, and jewelry at the Shopping Expo. 

Arizona Gay Rodeo

Feb. 16-18

Corona Ranch and Rodeo Grounds, Phoenix

$20

Imagine one of the most jovial Pride festivals you’ve ever been to, with live music, drag queens, drinking, and dancing. Now add a real rodeo with competitions including bull riding, steer riding, calf roping, pole bending, and more, along with three “camp” events: goat dressing (a challenge to put underwear on feisty goats), steer decorating, and a wild drag race. This 38th-annual festival also features food trucks, lawn games, mechanical bull rides, and dozens of vendors.

Arizona Cocktail Weekend

Feb. 16-20

Various locations

Free and up

Now in its twelfth year, this spiritous series pays homage to the people and products that have led us into the creative universe of craft cocktails. It includes dozens of events, including tastings, expert-led educational seminars, and three signature events. The Cocktail Carnival features drinks paired with circus performances along with a DJ, food trucks, and more. Top Bars highlights talented mixologists from the world’s best bars under one roof. And Last Slinger Standing is a mixology competition judged by a panel of global cocktail experts.

Cactus League Spring Training

Feb. 22-March 26

10 stadiums Valleywide

Cost varies

East side, west side, and all around the town, you can attend MLB spring training, thanks to 15 teams playing in 10 ballparks for about five weeks. Salt River Fields on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is the spring training home of the D-Backs and Colorado Rockies and is perfect for visitors thanks to its architecture, size, amenities, and views.

Innings Festival 

Feb. 23-24 and March 1-2

Tempe Beach Park 

$160 and up

Blend your love of MLB and live music at this massive Spring Training kickoff party. More than 18 acts this year include the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chris Stapleton, Dave Matthews Band, Sheryl Crow, Macklemore, and hometown favorites the Gin Blossoms. Baseball legends will appear over both weekends to sign autographs and pose for photos, and you can practice your skills at the batting and pitching cages. Tip: Tickets sell out fast!

Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market

March 2-3

Heard Museum, Phoenix

$25; discounts available

More than 600 of the nation’s top American Indian artists convene here each year to show and sell their magnificent works. From paintings and sculptures to pottery, textiles, jewelry, and more, the best of the best from multiple generations of working artists can be found. The Guild bestows prize money based on a juried competition as well, so look for the ribbons and congratulate the talent. 

Chandler Ostrich Festival 

Tumbleweed Park, Chandler

March 8- March 10 and 15-17

$30 adults; $20 ages 5-12

Ostrich ranches were plentiful in the early twentieth century when feathers were de rigueur for women’s hats. In 1988, Chandler revived the birds’ popularity with this quirky festival, which has grown to one of the largest in the state. It now features the namesake flightless feathered friends, major musical acts, a carnival midway, and vendors, including food booths galore. This year, look for Wynonna Judd, Shaggy, Big Kenny and John Rich, Gretchen Wilson, and Cowboy Troy to take the stage.

Art Detour

March 1-31

Valleywide

Free and up
Phoenix’s beloved and long-running First Fridays arts event each month has ballooned over the years — enough to fill an entire month. That’s why Artlink, the nonprofit behind that successful series, also organizes Art Detour, a 30-day extravaganza showcasing activities, artists, arts groups, and venues all over town. You can consult the calendar and devise your own “artinerary” that might include visual, performing, and culinary arts; fashion design; public art; and more.

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People enjoying immersive art at Meow Wolf

9 spots for indoor fun in Dallas-Fort Worth

Too cold to go out? No problem!

North Texas sees its fair share of beautiful weather, perfect for getting outside in the sunshine. But when the colder-than-cold temps hit, we have to find our entertainment indoors. Turns out, there are plenty of fun hotspots in Dallas-Fort Worth where you can have a ball inside. Let’s check out a few of our favorites.

Let’s Get Active

Fowling Warehouse DFW

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to bowl by throwing footballs, wonder no more. Fowling Warehouse DFW is a unique concept where players throw footballs at pins — and it’s tougher than it looks! This huge facility in Plano offers a full bar and kitchen, private VIP options, and more to create a unique way to play two classic sports. Open play starts at $15, with reserved lanes available. Located at 1714 14th St, in Plano.

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Another Round

Another Round mini golf in Plano features unique and challenging holes with imaginative designs you won’t find at other mini golf experiences. The venue is family-friendly and suitable for all ages, including groups or date nights. Non-serious golfers only! And be sure to sample the spot’s full bar and menu when you need a break from the putts. Pricing starts at $14 per person. Located at 660 Fort Worth Avenue in Dallas.

SIXES Cricket

New to the U.S., SIXES might make you a cricket fan, but even if it doesn’t, you can still enjoy cocktails, tasty food, and plenty of entertainment. SIXES also offers karaoke rooms and batting cages in a colorful and playful location. Whether you’re a sports fan or not, SIXES is fun for everyone. Adult tickets start at $10/each. Located at 5740 Grandscape Blvd. in The Colony.

Let’s Go High Tech

Immersive Gamebox

Step into a totally different digital world at Immersive Gamebox, where players of all ages can compete in high-tech games like Tetris, Squid Game, and more. This multidimensional full-body experience uses sensors, cameras, and more to get your blood flowing and your heart pumping! Games start at $34.99. Located at 2525 Elm Street in Deep Ellum and 5752 Grandscape Blvd. in The Colony.

Puttshack

Another high-tech option, Puttshack, is a mini-golf and social entertainment venue with a new location in Addison, TX. Puttshack offers a modern mini-golf experience with interactive games and digital scoring in a vibrant atmosphere, with a full-service bar and a full menu of food and beverages. Starting at $14 per person. Located at 5100 Belt Line Rd #600 in Addison.

Electric Shuffle

Head back to Deep Ellum to play, drink, and dine at Electric Shuffle. Named for its signature high-tech shuffleboard, this super-fun, high-energy spot has everything for your next date night, girls’ night out, or group outing. Try the flatbreads to start, alongside a range of cocktails and mocktails, and end with a round of cake pops. $15 per person for 90 minutes of play. Located at Deep Ellum, 2615 Elm Street in Dallas.

Let’s Get Some Culture

Meow Wolf

The world-renowned immersive art experience Meow Wolf has come to DFW. See the Real Unreal exhibit, a huge, psychedelic display of art, color, sound, and texture featuring local artists who have helped create its surreal and fantastical environments that encourage exploration and discovery. Tickets start at $40. Located at Grapevine Mills Mall, 3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway in Grapevine.

Sweet Tooth Hotel

Picture yourself in a hotel dedicated to sweet treats. That’s the idea behind Sweet Tooth Hotel, an interactive art museum in Downtown Dallas. Complete with a very real bar serving very real drinks, and this sugary spot boasts plenty to explore, photograph, and discover. Check the schedule online because there are often themed events and parties going on. Tickets start at $20. Located at 1500 Elm Street in Dallas.

Kimbell Art Museum

Fort Worth’s Kimbell Art Museum is known for its impressive art collection from antiquity to the 20th century. The museum, designed by architect Louis Kahn, is celebrated for its architectural significance and houses works by artists such as Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and Monet. We recommend you stop by The Kimbell Cafe for a meal to top off your visit. Adults’ tickets are $18. Located at 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd. in Fort Worth.

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