Atlanta named most affordable destination for summer travel 2024

Can’t afford to travel to Paris this summer for the Olympics? Why not go to a place where the Olympics were held nearly 30 years ago?

A new ranking of the most affordable summer travel destinations has awarded the top spot to Atlanta — home to the 1996 Summer Games and a place most vacationers know as a layover spot on their way somewhere else.

Analysts from WalletHub awarded Coca-Cola’s hometown as the most accessible for those lacking money to burn during the hottest months, beating out sweltering Washington D.C. and theme park-filled Orlando.

Atlanta was named the top summer travel destination in the U.S. FIFA via Getty Images

“The Atlanta metro area is the best summer travel destination, in part because the cheapest flights from major cities don’t require any connections and can cost as little as $278,” the report reads.

Researchers referred to a supposed abundance of activities, attractions and good weather to explain their decision.

So — what exactly does one do, in and out of the Perimeter, on a summer vacation?

Atlanta hosted the 1996 Olympic Games. Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Had your heart set on the Acropolis or Rome’s Colosseum? What about the World of Coca-Cola, where visitors can get a hands-on experience at the world-renowned soda’s headquarters? Bring money — admission costs $21 and up.

Afterward, visit Centennial Olympic Park, commemorating the Summer Games regularly placed on lists of the worst-ever Olympics; ride the ferris wheel, commanding views of Atlanta’s utterly un0iconic skyline.

And while nobody will be playing football in town this summer, you could always drop by the College Football Hall of Fame — a museum still a few exhibits short of striking out Cooperstown.

Still, it’s in that comparatively new attraction where you can kick a field goal yourself while reading up on a game the South pretends they invented.

The College Football Hall of Fame is a major attraction in Atlanta. Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

And what about an Atlanta Braves game? The team loves the city so much, they built their stadium a county away with no connecting train lines.

At least you can eat well —  head to the nearest strip club and order the lemon pepper wings, the pinnacle of local haute cuisine.

All kidding aside — Atlanta managed to snag Michelin stars for five of its eateries recently. And, as noted in the WalletHub survey, it’s a nightlife lover’s dream, with one of the nation’s latest last-call times — bars don’t close until at 4 a.m.

And of course, after that, everyone knows it’s on to Waffle House, which hardly ever closes — come hell or high water.

Atlanta is rooted in a sports culture — even though the Braves now play outside city limits. Getty Images

Pop culture junkies are also well catered for here — private tours of filming sets and locations for “Stranger Things” are a hit with visitors, wine lovers can day trip up north for a vineyard crawl and thrill seekers can hit nearby Six Flags over Georgia.

Too hot outside? Get your steps in at one of the region’s many shopping malls — like the nearly 2 million square foot Mall of Georgia in neighboring Gwinnett County.

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