Are you planning a trip to Atlanta soon and wondering about a good time to travel through downtown Atlanta? This lovely town is one of the busiest U.S. cities, so just be prepared for the traffic! Keep reading for the most common questions about traveling through Atlanta, Georgia and find some great tips on what to expect. Also, be sure to sign up for my free family packing list to help you prepare for all of your traveling plans this year! Happy road tripping!
What is the best time to drive through Atlanta to avoid traffic?
If you are looking to avoid the worst traffic in Atlanta, consider planning your travel between 10 AM to 3 PM. These tend to be the least peak hours for Atlanta traffic, avoiding both the morning rush hour and the evening rush hour. This is the best time of day for Atlanta travel.
In addition, the weekends tend to be fairly quiet traveling through Atlanta. Saturday and Sunday morning are the best time of day for easy travel through the city. The only thing that might cause delays are any car accidents or weather issues.
Atlanta is one of the busiest cities in the United States with many daily commuters. Keep this is mind when planning travel through the city. As you are booking appointments, going within the city, or even traveling to some fantastic places like the Atlanta Botanical Garden or the Georgia Aquarium, avoid the heart of the city when others are heading to and from work and school.
What are the worst hours to drive through Atlanta?
The worst hours to travel through Atlanta is between the morning rush hour between 5 AM and 10 AM and in the evening between 3:30 PM to 7:30 PM. During these times, you will encounter the worst traffic on the Atlanta freeways with people going to and from work and school.
If you have to travel during the morning rush hour or evening rush hour, plan to encounter a traffic jam or two. If rain showers occur, it is the worst time to be on the main interstates. Consider planning alternate routes during rain storms, as it definitely slows down Atlanta traffic.
It is always a good idea to check the local traffic report before you travel through Atlanta. My favorite current apps for traffic updates are Waze Navigation and Google Maps.
The best thing to do before you start your travels is make sure your apps are up to date and your phone is fully charged. I also like to travel with a backup portable charger. When you are stuck in traffic, it is not the ideal time to have a dead phone.
Is Atlanta hard to drive through?
The Atlanta, Georgia area can be a tricky area to drive through, if you are not used to driving through major cities in the United States. Atlanta is home to over 6 million people, with the majority of people driving to work. There is also heavy congestion where various roads meet, causing some traffic jams in those areas. Particular tricky areas include where I-20, I-75 and I-85 meet together.
Atlanta is also home to the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport. If you head through Atlanta to catch a flight, be sure to check for your best route through the city and leave yourself plenty of time to arrive and get checked in.
Another tip for driving through Atlanta is avoid the far right lane. This is often the lane which will exit the interstate, and it’s good not to get stuck there. It can be very challenging to cut back into the traffic on the left. You can also avoid any breakdowns or traffic stops on the right shoulder by avoiding the far right lane.
How long does it take to drive through Atlanta during rush hour?
On average, it can take up to 2.5 minutes to drive one mile in Atlanta during heavy traffic times in full swing. So, if you are trying to drive just ten miles during a rush hour situation, that could take almost 30 minutes. That morning commute traffic is legit!
The best way to get through this is just avoid it, if possible. If not, a good option is turn on a good radio station, download your favorite audio book or podcast and pack your patience! Again, check your traffic app or check the G Dot (GA Department of Transportation app) for the latest traffic info and good alternative routes.
The Atlanta region includes Cherokee County, Clayton County, Cobb County, DeKalb County, Douglas County, Fayette County, Forsyth County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Henry County, and Rockdale County, along with city of Atlanta. On average, most Atlantans spend about 35 minutes on their commute, but this can vary greatly depending on the time of day, weather conditions, and traffic delays.
What apps are best to help me drive through Atlanta?
There are a few traffic apps I like to depend on when traveling through Atlanta to avoid bad traffic delays. My current favorite is the Waze app. Other users can use the app and keep it updated on current road conditions and traffic alerts. The app will stay updated in real time and can direct you on the best way to get to your destination. I like that Waze gives you options for good routes and the best road choice for the time of your travel.
Another great app is of course Google Maps. It is a very good app for giving you alternative routes when encountering traffic. Be sure to check your route before the last minute and avoid any last minute road closures or traffic delays, due to construction or accidents. The worst thing is to set out on your original route and find out quickly that the road has an accident or construction work.
What is the weather like in Atlanta?
Weather is typically hot, humid and muggy in the summers and generally winters are cold and wet. Winter weather of significant snow and ice is rare, but when it happens, it will definitely slow down the interstate travel. Typically, road crews are slower to prep and clear snowy and icy conditions in Atlanta, so be prepared if winter weather hits when you travel through Atlanta.
Average temperatures from November to March are the coolest times of year, with the winter months having average temperatures below 60 degrees F. The spring months and fall months, the best time of year with the most pleasant weather, generally ranges between 60-75 degrees F.
There is a slightly higher chance of rain during the cooler months, but the comfortable temperatures make the spring and fall quite pleasant and the perfect time for outdoor events.
If you plan to visit Atlanta during the summer months, be sure to be prepared for higher temperatures. The summer heat can bring temperatures up to an average of around 88 degrees F in mid July with a low average temperature around 70 degrees.
If you are visiting Atlanta for outdoor events or even just traveling through during the summer heat, be sure to pack water bottles and sunscreen to stay hydrated and keep your skin protected. Atlanta summers are hot! Rain showers can be common in the afternoons during the summer, so keep that in mind as you travel and plan outdoor activities in Atlanta.
Summer crowds heading to the beach through Atlanta are quite common. The best way to make sure you make your way through Atlanta during those summer months is to check your traffic and weather app before your trip.
Who can use the HOV lane in Atlanta?
Those traveling with 2 or more can make their way through Atlanta through the HOV lane. This is typically the far left lane and is well marked on the major interstates. If you cut through with only one person in the car, good luck! Police and cameras monitor the interstate for those trying to use the HOV lane with only one person, so be sure to avoid a ticket by following the rules.
Are there public transportation options in Atlanta?
Atlanta does have a public transportation system called MARTA. If you are traveling throughout the city center or to the Atlanta airport, it may be a good option for you. However, it is still fairly limited in terms of stops and scope, so be sure to check your route beforehand to make sure you can get from Point A to Point B.
Is there a bypass around Atlanta?
Interstate 285 is the loop that goes around Atlanta, also known as a ring road. It forms a beltway around Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties on the north side of Atlanta. The bypass is about 64 miles around the heart of the city. It can be a good option to get around Atlanta, however, always double check your travel times comparing 285 to other interstates. If there is an accident or road construction, it may not be your best option. Locals call this road the “perimeter” and refer to locations as “ITP” or “OTP” (inside the perimeter and outside the perimeter.)
Are there special events in Atlanta that I should be aware of when traveling through the city?
Atlanta is home to plenty of fun events, sports teams, and special occasions, making it a fantastic place to visit for a great time out. Here are a few important special annual events to be aware of when you are planning travel times to go through the city.
Atlanta Wine Festivals – Atlanta loves a good wine festival! There are multiple events throughout the year from New Years to the late fall. Check the website for the latest info on current events and locations.
Music Midtown – This is a massive music festival taking place in mid September. The concerts take place in Piedmont Park and feature a huge variety of artists.
Taste of Atlanta – This event occurs throughout the city in various cities across several months. They offer a taste of each town, featuring certain restaurants and their chefs. This is the perfect time to try some new places and great Atlanta food!
Atlanta Jazz Festival – The Jazz festival celebrates all things jazz in late May. This weekend features a huge variety of jazz musicians, all meeting in Piedmont Park.
Shaky Knees Festival – The Shaky Knees Festival is another May music festival, going into its tenth year. There are loads of musicians, young and old, along with loads of food trucks and fun activities for all.
Atlanta Dogwood Festival – The Atlanta Dogwood Festival has been going strong for almost 90 years! That is a long time! Celebrated in late April, it is the perfect time to visit Atlanta when all is in full bloom. The festival features artists, musicians, and special events. The Dogwood festival is held in Piedmont Park.
Atlanta Film Festival – Atlanta Film Festival takes place in late April and early May, featuring experienced and new filmmakers. Feature films and short films run throughout. This festival has been running for almost 50 years!
Chomp and Stomp – If you are a bluegrass fan, Chomp and Stomp is a fantastic bluegrass festival taking place in Cabbagetown. Typically this festival occurs in the fall during October or November.
I hope this post helps you as you plan your next travel through Atlanta. It is a fantastic city and worth a visit, whether you stay a while or just pass through. Happy travels!
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