Atlanta

Atlanta has a reputation as one of the most exciting cities in the country, and with good reason. When you're not working, there is an endless number of events, attractions, sports and eating establishments to keep you indulged.

Atlanta started as a railroad junction in the 1830s and quickly became the transport hub of the South. Its strategic importance was a large part of the reason it made such an inviting target for General Sherman's Union Army, which razed it during the Civil War. Ever ready to convert fact into myth, Hollwood made the burning of Atlanta the set piece of Gone with the Wind.

Atlanta eventually became known as 'Capital of the New South.' Anchoring its economic renaissance has been the king of fizz, Coca Cola.

Birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr, Atlanta was the nerve center of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Since then, Atlanta has elected the first black representative to Congress since Reconstruction, Andrew Young (later ambassador to the UN under Jimmy Carter); and the country's first black mayor, Maynard Jackson.

The city has become internationally known as the host of the 1996 Olympics and as the home of global broadcasting giant CNN.

From Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and Lonely Planet.com