Atlanta Newcomer’s Guide

Situated in the Northwest corner of Georgia, Atlanta is the state’s capital and largest city. Although Atlanta’s actual population is just shy of 550,000 residents, the Atlanta Metro boasts almost 6 million residents. When people visit Atlanta, they fall in love with the people and everything the city has to offer. Visitors often return as permanent residents. Because of this, Atlanta’s metro area population increases annually by an estimated 100,000 residents.

Atlanta is home to many companies including The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Airlines, Home Depot, UPS, Mercedes Benz, IHG – InterContinental Hotels GroupCNN, Chick-fil-A, Cox Enterprises and Equifax

Counties in Metro Atlanta

  • buckhead skylineCherokeeIncludes Woodstock, Canton, and parts of Marietta. It is adjacent to Cobb, Fulton, Forsyth, and Bartow Counties
  • Cobb – includes Smyrna and Marietta along with portions of  Vinings and Roswell. It is adjacent to Cherokee, Fulton Douglas, Paulding and Bartow Counties.
  • DeKalb – Includes sections of Atlanta including Brookhaven, Druid Hills and Decatur. It is adjacent to Gwinnett, Rockdale, Hentry, Clayton and Fulton Counties.
  • DouglasIncludes cities such as Douglasville, Villa Rica, Lithia Springs, Chapel Hill, McWhorter. It is adjacent to Cobb, Fulton, Carroll and Paulding Counties.
  • ForsythIncludes Cumming and parts of Alpharetta. It is adjacent to Dawson, Hall, Gwinnett, Fulton, and Cherokee Counties.
  • Fulton – The most populous county in Georgia. It is home to Atlanta, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, East Point, Fairburn, Johns Creek, Milton, Union City and College Park. Fulton County is adjacent to Cherokee, Forsyth, Gwinnett, Dekalb, Clyaton, Fayette, Coweta, Carroll, Douglas and Cobb Counties.
  • Gwinnett – Includes cities such as Buford, Dacula, Duluth, Lawrenceville, Lilburn, Norcross, Snellville and Suwanee. The county is adjacent to Forsyth, Hall, Jackson, Barrow, Walton, DeKalb, Rockdale and Fulton Counties.
  • Hall – Includes Braselton, Buford, Flowery Branch, and Gainesville.  It is adjacent to White, Barrow, Gwinnett, Forsyth and Dawson Counties.
  • PauldingHome to Braswell, Dallas, Hiram and New Hope. Paulding County is adjacent to Bartow, Cobb, Douglas, Carroll, and Polk Counties.

News Media in Metro Atlanta

  • Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionThe Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionAlso known as the AJC, it is the daily newspaper in Atlanta.
  • Atlanta MagazineA monthly general interest magazine all about Atlanta.
  • CNNStarted in Atlanta by Atlantan, Ted Turner.
  • Neighbor Newspapers – Serving all counties in the Atlanta Metro Area, Neighbor Newspapers covers only news about the Atlanta Metro. They have a print and online version for the different counties and areas.
  • Reporter Newspapers – Locally owned newspaper that service Sandy Springs, Buckhead, and Brookhaven residents.  The free Buckhead Reporter, Sandy Springs Reporter and Brookhaven Reporter are printed every other Friday.
  • WAGA TV 5 (Fox) – Owned and operated by News Corporation. The studios are located on Briarcliff Road in DeKalb County.
  • WGCL TV 46 (CBS) – Owned by Meredith Corporation, it is the largest CBS affiliate not owned and operated by the TV network. The station is transmitted near North Druid Hills.
  • WSB TV 30 (ABC)Owned by Cox Enterprises and Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The studios are located in Midtown Atlanta and transmitted from a location off of Freedom Parkway.
  • WXIA TV 11 (NBC) – Known often as 11Alive, it is owned by the Gannett Company. The studios are located at One Monroe Place on the north end of Midtown Atlanta. It is transmitted from Kirkwood, an area on the east side of Atlanta.

Hospitals in Metro Atlanta

  • Atlanta Veterans Administration Medical CenterLocated in Decatur, it is a teaching hospital providing full range of patient care services to our veterans complete with state-of-the-art technology, education, and research.
  • Children’s Healthcare of AtlantaA not-for-profit pediatric-accredited hospital, offering family-centered care while providing specialized medical procedures and supplies, age-appropriate play therapy, psychosocial support and a hospital-based school program.
  • DeKalb Medical CenterDeKalb Medical Center is a not-for-profit health system, comprised of three hospital campuses, known for premier clinical services, the latest technological advances and a caring and highly trained staff.
  • Emory-Adventist HospitalEmory-Adventist Hospital in Smyrna is a 88-bed, not-for-profit facility operated by Adventist Health System (AHS) as a joint venture with Emory Healthcare.
  • Grady Memorial HospitalEmory University HospitalStaffed exclusively by School of Medicine faculty who also are members of The Emory Clinic, the hospital is renowned as one of the nation’s leaders in cardiology and cardiac surgery, oncology, transplantation and the neurosciences.
  • Emory Johns Creek HospitalEmory Johns Creek Hospital is a 110-bed, all private room hospital featuring some of the most advanced medical technologies available operated by HCA Healthcare as a joint venture with Emory Healthcare.
  • Grady Memorial HospitalGrady is the only level I trauma center within 100 miles of metro Atlanta. Emergency services also include asthma, burn, sickle cell, diabetes and stroke care. Grady houses Georgia’s Poison Center and 24-hour Rape Crisis and Advice Nurse lines.
  • Gwinnett Medical CenterGwinnett Medical Center is a not-for-profit healthcare network providing a wide array of high-quality services and facilities to Gwinnett and the surrounding area.
  • North Fulton Regional HospitalA 202-bed, acute-care hospital located on Highway 9, Alpharetta Highway, in Roswell. NFH serves North Fulton and surrounding counties. NFH is a state-designated Level II trauma center.
  • Piedmont HospitalPiedmont Hospital is a private, not-for-profit acute-care tertiary facility offering most major medical, surgical and diagnostic services. The facility has 481 beds, all private rooms, 3,000 employees and a medical staff of more than 800 board-certified, experienced physicians.
  • Saint Joseph’s Hospital – Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1880, Saint Joseph’s facility is Atlanta’s oldest hospital. Today, the 410-bed, acute-care facility is recognized as one of the top specialty-referral hospitals in the Southeast.
  • Shepherd CenterShepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury and brain injury.
  • WellStar Kennestone HospitalWellStar Kennestone Hospital serves residents of Cobb County, Georgia with more than 630 beds and full range of specialty services. The hospital’s physicians provide cardiac care, inpatient and outpatient surgery and rehabilitation, diabetes care, oncology, dialysis, and home health care.

Colleges and Universities in Metro Atlanta

  • Georgia TechAgnes Scott CollegePrivate undergraduate college located in downtown Decatur.
  • Atlanta Metropolitan CollegePublic community college located in southwest Atlanta.
  • Brenau UniversitySmall private university in Gainesville, GA. 
  • Clark Atlanta UniversityClark Atlanta University is a comprehensive, private, urban, coeducational institution of higher education with a predominantly African-American heritage.
  • Emory UniversityA private research university located in the Druid Hills area of Atlanta.
  • Georgia Gwinnett CollegeA fully accredited four-year public college located in Lawrenceville, with an enrollment of approximately 3000 undergraduate students. It is also known as GGC.
  • Georgia Institute of TechnologyOften referred to as Georgia Tech, it is a public, coeducational research university in Midtown Atlanta. Georgia Tech is consistently ranked well; it has remained in the top ten public universities in the United States for the last ten years. Georgia Tech is known for their excellent engineering programs.
  • Georgia Perimeter CollegeA two-year associate degree-granting unit of the University System of Georgia. GPC has multiple campus locations on the north and east side of metro Atlanta.
  • Georgia State UniversityAn urban research university in downtown Atlanta. Founded in 1913, it serves over 30,000 students.
  • Interdenominational Theological CenterA consortium of denominational seminaries located in Atlanta.
  • Kennesaw State UniversityA public, coeducational, comprehensive university. The university’s main campus is located in Kennesaw. Campus enrollment tops 20,000 students.
  • Mercer UniversityAn independent, private, coeducational university with a Baptist heritage located in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah.
  • Morehouse CollegeA private, all-male, historically black college located in Atlanta, Georgia. It is one of three remaining traditional men’s colleges in the United States.
  • Oglethorpe UniversityA private liberal arts college in Atlanta.It was chartered in 1835 and named after James Edward Oglethorpe, the state’s founder.
  • Savannah College of Art and DesignA private university with campuses located in Savannah, Atlanta, Hong Kong, and Lacoste, France. SCAD offers fine art degrees. SCAD enrolls more than 9,000 students from all 50 states, and 100 countries. International student enrollment is 10-12 percent.
  • Southern Polytechnic State UniversityA public, co-educational state university located in Marietta. Southern Polytechnic State University is well known for its academic programs in engineering, technology, and computer science.
  • Spelman CollegeA four-year liberal arts women’s college located in Atlanta.Spelman was the first historically black female institution of higher education to receive its collegiate charter in 1924. It thus holds the distinction of being America’s oldest historically black college for women

Transportation in Metro Atlanta

Utility Companies in Metro Atlanta

Electric Companies in Metro Atlanta

  • Atlanta skylineCobb EMC – A not-for-profit electric membership cooperative serving reliable electric energy. Serves approximately 195,000 residential and commercial customers.
  • Georgia Power – Electric utility company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. It is the largest of the four electric utilities that are owned and operated by Southern Company. It is the main electric power company across the state and metro Atlanta.
  • Marietta Power – Marietta Power is a community-owned utility serving over 45,000 electric customers.
  • Water Companies in Metro Atlanta

  • Atlanta Water – Department of Watershed Management is dedicated to providing the highest quality drinking water and wastewater services to City of Atlanta businesses and residents and to its wholesale customers at the lowest possible cost.
  • Austell Water – Austell Public Works Department is responsible for maintaining streets and providing water for the city of Austell.
  • Cobb County Water – Cobb County Water System provides water, sewer and stormwater management services to more than 680,000 people in households and businesses.
  • Cherokee County Water – Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority provides high quality water and sewer service to more than 62,000 residents in Cherokee County, Georgia.
  • DeKalb County Water – The DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management protects the public health, safety and welfare through the provision of safe drinking water and quality wastewater treatment.
  • Fulton County Water Fulton County Water & Sewer Division services the City of Alpharetta and the unincorporated sections of Alpharetta, Duluth, Roswell, Suwannee, and Woodstock.
  • Gwinnett County Water – Gwinnett Department of Water Resources is to enhance quality of life by providing excellent water, wastewater, and stormwater services at the best possible value to their customers while preserving natural water resources.
  • Marietta Water – Provides water and sewer services to over 17,000 customers.
  • Paulding County Water -Provides water and sewer to residents of Paulding County.
  • Powder Springs Water – Poweder Springs water department distributes treated water and collect wastewater in a manner safe to families and the environment.
  • Roswell Water – Provides water and sanitation services to Roswell residents.
  • Sandy Springs Water – Serviced by Atlanta Water.
  • WSA Douglasville Water – The Douglasville-Douglas County Water and Sewer Authority has been delivering quality water and wastewater service to Douglas County residents since 1986.

Natural Gas Providers in Metro Atlanta

  • Georgia has a deregulated natural gas markets, which means you get to choose your natural gas provider.
  • Atlanta Gas Light – The largest natural gas wholesaler in the Southeast U.S.
  • Austell Gas – A natural gas distribution utility, established in 1954, and serves more than 53,000 customers in Austell, Douglasville and Powder Springs.
  • Georgia Natural Gas – Largest natural gas company in Georgia serving an estimate 500,00 customers across the state.
  • Infinite Energy – Natural gas company serving Georgia, Florida, New Jersey and New York.
  • Scana Energy – One of the largest certified natural gas marketers in Georgia. Scana serves approximately 460,000 households and businesses across Georgia.

Communications Providers in Metro Atlanta

  • AT&TAT&T – Largest provider of local and long distance telephone services in the United States, and also sells digital subscriber line Internet access and digital television service. AT&T is the second largest provider of wireless service in the United States. Check coverage area and services.
  • Charter Cable – Fourth-largest cable operator in the United States. Charter provides advanced video, high-speed Internet, and telephone services to approximately 5.5 million residential and business customers in 27 states.
  • Comcast Cable – The largest cable operator and the largest home internet service provider in the United States, providing cable television, broadband Internet, and telephone service to both residential and commercial customers.
  • Direct TV – A direct broadcast satellite service based in El Segundo, California, which transmits digital satellite television and audio to households in the United States.
  • Dish Network – A direct broadcast satellite service provider that offers satellite television, audio programming, and interactive television services to households and businesses in the United States and Mexico.
  • MetroPCS – Offers nationwide wireless bundled services for unlimited talk, text and web, with all-in pricing, additional taxes and regulatory fees included.
  • T-Mobile – T-Mobile USA is a national provider of wireless voice, messaging, and data services capable of reaching over 293 million Americans where they live, work, and play.
  • Verizon – An American broadband and telecommunications company specializing in local and long distance telephone services along with wireless phone services and high speed internet.

Banks in Metro Atlanta

  • Bank of AmericaBank of America Tower – The largest bank holding company in the United States, by assets, and the second largest bank by market capitalization. Bank of America has over 800 locations in Georgia.
  • Chase Bank – A consumer and commercial bank by JPMorgan Chase & Co. holding company that is headquartered in Chicago. Not only are there 5000 branches nationwide but Chase also offers online and mobile banking.
  • Fidelity Bank – One of the largest community banks in Metro Atlanta. Fidelity Bank provides a wide range of personal and corporate financial services, including consumer, commercial, construction, and mortgage lending, traditional deposit and other credit services, investment services, and a credit related insurance product.
  • Georgia’s Own Credit Union – Georgia’s Own has a Member Services Department available by phone as well as a number of Branch Offices in the metro Atlanta area, Augusta, and Savannah.
  • Regions Bank – One of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, trust, securities brokerage, mortgage and insurance products and services. Regions serves customers in 16 states across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates approximately 1,900 banking offices and 2,300 ATMs.
  • Suntrust Based in Atlanta, Suntrust provides deposit, credit, trust, and investment services to a broad range of retail, business, and institutional clients. Other subsidiaries provide mortgage banking, brokerage, investment management, equipment leasing, and investment banking services. SunTrust’s 1,683 retail branches and 2,822 ATMs are located primarily in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
  • Wells Fargo – Wells Fargo is one of North America’s largest and most diverse financial services companies. Wells Fargo has more than 11,000 stores, over 12,000 ATMs, the Internet and other distribution channels across North America and internationally.