The Best Time to Visit Atlanta 2023: The Ultimate Guide
Found at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the state of Georgia is a city called Atlanta. It is Georgia's biggest city and was developed greatly thanks to the railroads and its location by the Appalachian Mountains which made it a popular spot for traffic to pass through.
It was the final stop on the Western and Atlantic railroad and this is actually where the city got its current name since at first it was called "Terminus" and later on "Marthasville". Today tourists come traveling from around the world to appreciate Atlanta's extensive history, admire some beautiful street art, watch sports games, and visit museums. Did you know that this city was the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr. and his house is still standing today? As well, Coca-Cola was founded and created here!
Are you planning a trip to Atlanta yourself? You might want to do some research before you take off for your trip since the time of year that you choose to visit Atlanta can have an impact on what you do and how you will need to prepare for your vacation. And if you end up bringing too much luggage you can always store it at a suitcase locker in Atlanta. It's not always easy to pack light!
Summer in Atlanta - June to August
You better be prepared for some heat if you visit during Atlanta summers since temperatures usually remain between 81 degrees to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (about 27 to 32 degrees Celsius). Aside from the heat, you can expect high humidity since there is usually a high amount of rainfall, especially in July which is the city's wettest month. Another thing to keep in mind is that summertime is also hurricane season in Atlanta so be careful if you notice stormy weather approaching or lots of wind.
Despite being hot, humid, and stormy you can plan to see big summer crowds coming to the city during these months which also means that hotel prices and availabilities will be affected. If possible, try booking your room in advance and just be mindful that the city might be busier than during other times of the year. When you are starting to pack for your trip you should bring lots of light clothing with breathable fabric like shorts and tank tops, plus sunscreen and a reusable water bottle to keep yourself hydrated! A light rain jacket is also a good idea for those wet days with rain showers.
As long as the weather is cooperating you can spend your days outside taking advantage of the sunshine and experiencing all of the city's parks and gardens (the Atlanta Botanical Garden is a must!) and it is the best time for golfing if you are into that, too. You might want to plan for some indoor activities as well in case the heat and sunshine get to be too much for you. If your hotel has a pool this is a bonus, since you will probably be wanting to spend some time in the water to cool off! This season also brings lots of fun events and festivals so look out for anything going on while you are in town.
Some of the celebrations happening during these months include the Tunes from the Tombs event in June which is held at the Historic Oakland Cemetery and includes live music, food trucks, and activities for children. June is also when the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival and the Uncorked Atlanta Wine Festival are happening. On the 4th of July every year, the city hosts the AJC Peachtree Road Race which has been the biggest 10K race in the world for the past 40 years! If you are around in August you can join in on the Decatur BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival held in Harmony Park which includes 7 hours straight of live music, delicious BBQ meals and awesome beers from local breweries.
Fall in Atlanta - September to November
Atlanta fall experiences quite a bit of rain showers and it is the most active time for tropical storm weather effects. However, the climate remains pleasant with high temperatures of 60 degrees to about 80 degrees Fahrenheit (average temperatures of 15 to 26 degrees Celsius). When it isn't raining this is a great time to visit Atlanta and spend time outside admiring the fall foliage, and you won't overheat like during the summer!
Fall also brings windy, stormy weather at times, so you will need to take that into consideration when planning your trip. This means that you will need to plan your vacation around the weather, and a raincoat or anything else that will keep you dry will come in handy. Otherwise, some pants and t-shirts plus some long-sleeves and a sweater would be a good idea for when the temperatures cool, especially in late fall. You should see fewer crowds than in the summer but there are festivals that still bring in quite a few tourists. Rates for hotel rooms and flights should be average in price.
Since the daily temps aren't as high as the summer, this is a great time to go biking, camping, or hiking around the natural landscape of the city. Atlanta really comes to life with the beautiful colors of the trees as the leaves change which can be stunning. Try going for a stroll in one of the local greenspaces or take a picnic in the park! There are also several music festivals that attract people from near and far.
Look out for the Music Midtown event in mid-September that goes on for two days. They set up four stages so you can enjoy performances from lots of talented artists! Also in September is the Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade which is when you can explore the biggest art installation in the South lit by lantern light. The Atlanta Pride Festival is held in mid-October and is one of the biggest and oldest events of its kind in the country, and there are usually about 300,000 people who attend.
If you are visiting in November you can go to the Cabbagetown Chomp & Stomp Chili Cook-off and Bluegrass Festival where the local millhouses from around the city participate in a friendly cook-off. You can enjoy live music, fantastic meals made by professional chefs, and tasty snacks from food trucks.
Winter in Atlanta - December to February
The Atlanta winter months bring cooler temperatures ranging from somewhere around 30 degrees at night to about 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the day (a range from about -1 degrees to 10 degrees Celsius). Although it is not guaranteed, you can see some light snow and flurries when the weather gets cold enough and since the city is not really accustomed to the ice it can sometimes cause it to shut down. This is when you will need to bundle up more, but if you are used to cold weather then it will never get too cold for you.
If you are traveling on a budget, this is a great time to visit Atlanta. You will see a decrease in airfare as well as hotel prices so it is a nice opportunity to see the city without spending as much money. The holiday season brings in more tourists and you will notice prices rise again slightly until after the New Year. Pack a couple of pairs of pants and long-sleeved shirts or sweaters as well as a warm jacket for when you are going to be spending time at outdoor events. Some people claim that the weather can change drastically fairly quickly so a couple of t-shirts can be a good idea as well.
Even with the snow and chilly weather, there is much to do in Atlanta during the wintertime. Take a day to explore the local Christmas markets or sightsee around the city and grab a coffee or hot chocolate to warm up. If you don't like the cold then there will be more than enough indoor attractions to keep you occupied! If you are hoping to attend some festivals, there are still quite a few going on, mostly related to food and drinks which makes it the perfect time for foodies to visit.
Looking for an event to attend? Try the Garden Lights, Holiday Nights festival which is a sort of holiday tradition. Come see the beautiful holiday lights, eat s'mores, have warm drinks, and participate in all of the best holiday activities. In December there is also the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl which is the biggest annual sporting event of its kind in the country! There is also a pre-game pep rally, tailgates with live music, and even a parade beforehand. One of the best annual events in February includes the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival which takes place in different theatres around the city.
Spring in Atlanta - March to May
Spring in Atlanta is beautiful, with blooming flowers and gradually warming temperatures that make it the best time to visit Atlanta for those who want to spend their days doing outdoor activities. The spring months bring comfortable temperatures of between 50 degrees in early spring up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit later on in the season (low temperatures of 10 degrees and high temperatures of 26 degrees Celsius). You will get storms occasionally but in general, this season brings pleasant weather. Take some time to walk or bike around the city and its greenspaces to see all of the flora in full bloom!
This is the beginning of the peak season so you can expect prices for traveling to rise as time goes on. Take advantage of fewer crowds during early spring and affordable travel prices as well, but be aware that flight and hotel rates as well as the number of tourists will increase when key events are going on. A pair of pants will come in handy for the cooler days but you should also pack shorts for when it warms up. In general, there should be fewer storms during these months but packing an umbrella or rain jacket can be a good idea.
This is when you will want to be spending time outdoors to enjoy the good weather and there are many fun things to do. Try going on a tubing adventure down the Chattahoochee River or maybe see a sports game held at Truist Park! Springtime is when celebrations and events are in full swing so if you can we recommend getting tickets to a music festival or an Atlanta food event.
One of the events that you just can't miss is the Atlanta Dogwood Festival which goes on every year at Piedmont Park and is completely free to attend! It is a great event for the whole family with activities for kids, good food, music, and a friendly art competition. The Inman Park Festival is also a popular event and you can have a wonderful time exploring the street market, eating food, watching performances, and listening to music with dancing.
You can also get tours of some of the city's old Victorian homes. The month of May is when you can attend the Atlanta Jazz Festival which is going on all month. The biggest celebration of the Jazz Festival is held on Memorial Day Weekend when Piedmont Park is decorated with an artist market plus vendors selling refreshments. The Atlanta Film Festival is also happening between April and May as well as the Shaky Knees Music Festival at the end of the season!
Visiting Atlanta in Every Season
A trip to Atlanta will require a bit of research and preparation and you will need to keep certain things in mind, like the tropical storm season and peak time for tourism. In general, the city does get rain and strong winds year-round meaning that a bad stroke of luck can bring unfortunate weather your way.
Despite the fact that the summer months can be very hot, it is still the high season for traveling so the city will be busier compared to the other seasons. You will want to avoid these busy times if you are hoping to find hotel deals and the cheapest time to travel is probably in the winter.
However, if you don't mind the extra cost, a trip to Atlanta during the summer or spring can be great since there are so many incredible festivals going on. Overall the best time for you to travel will depend on you and your expectations for the vacation, and there is no bad time to visit an incredible city like this one!
Know what you want to do during your trip to Atlanta? Check out these guides for inspiration!
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