1. The Only Soft Drink In Atlanta Is Coke
Source: Flickr user betsyweber
Well, okay, you can still get a Sprite in Atlanta, but when you order it (or any other soda) you have to ask for a Coke, and then someone will ask you what kind.
What did you expect from the city that’s home to Coca-Cola’s headquarters, and a Coke museum?
2. No One Is Exaggerating When They Complain About The Traffic
Atlanta is a city of commuters. If you try to get in or out of the city within several hours of a normal rush hour, you’re going to run into trouble.
Maybe it’s more accurate to say you’re going to slowly crawl into trouble.
3. If You’re A Bit Of A Beer Snob, You’ll Fit Right In
Source: Red Brick Brewing Facebook
Atlanta has some awesome microbreweries. Between local favorites Red Brick, Orpheus, and SweetWater Brewing Company, you’re sure to find something that lives up to your high standards.
4. Bored In The Middle Of A Saturday Night? It’s Waffle House Time
Source: Flickr user vinzcha
Out-of-towners can never truly understand, but may eventually come to appreciate, the deep love local Atlantans have for Waffle House. They’re all experts at ordering too, so don’t be surprised when they start throwing around words like smothered, covered, scattered, chunked, or diced.
5. If You Think Chipotle Is Better Than Willy’s, Atlantans Will Fight You
Source: Willy’s Mexicana Grill Facebook
To an out-of-towner, Chipotle and Willy’s Mexicana Grill may seem like essentially the same thing—fast food burritos. But if you dare to say so, or even worse, say Chipotle is better, Atlantans will tell you a hundred reasons why you’re wrong.
6. A Chance Of Snow Is Treated Like The Apocalypse
Source: Flickr user limaoscarjuliet
Don’t wait until the first flakes start falling. By then the grocery stores will have boarded up their windows. One inch is enough to shut the city down.
7. The Times Square Ball Drop Has Nothing On The Peach Drop
Source: Underground Atlanta via Facebook
While everyone else in the country might be counting down until the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, Atlantans will have their eyes on the peach. With guests like Janelle Monáe ringing in 2014, it’s easy to see why they prefer their local tradition.
8. A Real Atlantan Will Tell You Their Hospital
Source: Tumblr user outofloserville
If someone was born and raised in Atlanta, odds are they’ll let you know by naming the hospital where they came into the world. Someone saying they’re a Grady or Northside baby is their way of letting you know they weren’t born OTP.
9. Going To Little Five Points Will Make You Feel Old And Uncool
Source: Flickr user hstoutzenberger
It doesn’t matter how young and hip you are. A trip to Atlanta’s Little Five Points neighborhood will make your mustache feel sad and tragically un-waxed.
10. Why Else Would Shooting The Hooch Be So Popular?
Source: Shoot The Hooch/Chattahoochee Outfitters Facebook
If you just can’t seem to cool down, the only option is to shoot the hooch AKA tube down the Chattahoochee River.
11. It Takes A Kind Of Bravery To Walk Into A Losing Battle
Source: Flickr user atkeison
Okay, so the Braves maybe aren’t technically
the best team in the world. But Atlantans have developed the best defense mechanism for this—they’re the first to admit it.
12. Everyone Hates MARTA
Source: Pinterest user Ronnie Mexico
Atlanta is definitely a driving city (hence the traffic). There’s a reason for that.
MARTA, their public transportation, is a little underdeveloped if you want to go… well… anywhere specific. On the bright side, trash talking MARTA is sure to give you an in with locals.
13. Most People “From Atlanta” Are Actually OTP
Source: Google Maps
No, not “one true pairing” or “on the prowl,” but “outside the perimeter.” A lot of folks who claim they’re from the city are actually from one of its many suburbs. But they’re still way more Atlantan than any out-of-towner.
14. If Someone Tells You To Take Peachtree, Always Ask Which One
Source: Flickr user macgodbrad
Sometimes it feels like half of all the streets in Atlanta are named Peachtree. Good luck finding your way around.
15. Only Out-Of-Towners Call It Hotlanta
Source: Flickr user tjc
No one from Atlanta calls it that. But if you want to fit in, pronounce it like the locals do: Atlanna.
16. But The City In A Forest Is A Totally Appropriate Nickname
Source: Flickr user sparr0
All of Atlanta’s tree hugging residents have totally earned this city nickname. Atlanta is known for its vast green spaces.
17. Spaghetti Junction Sounds Ridiculous But Will Come In Handy
Source: Wikipedia user Ray Spalding
At some point, someone will give you directions and say to get off at “Spaghetti Junction.” It sounds like the name of a song by The Wiggles, but it’s actually the intersection of I-85 and I-285.
18. Eating At The Varsity Will Clog Your Arteries And You Will Love It
Source: Flickr user emeryjl
Atlanta’s iconic fast food drive-in chain takes a certain tolerance for the super-fried and greasy, but anyone from Atlanta will challenge you to eat those onion rings and not enjoy every bite.
19. If You Order An Unsweetened Iced Tea You Will Be Shamed
Source: Flickr user craigallen
Just let the people of Atlanta do tea the way they do it best—delicious, cold, and sweet.
20. Dave’s Cosmic Subs Are Totally Out Of This World
Source: Dave’s Cosmic Subs Facebook
There’s a reason Dave’s is a local favorite—and that reason is that it’s amazing. The super radical hippie décor is only half the reason to show up.
21. You’re Welcome For All Your Favorite 90s Hip Hop
What would the world be without TLC, Ciara, and Ludacris? The same thing it’d be without Atlanta—a poorer place.
22. Atlanta’s Jazz Scene Isn’t Too Shabby Either
Source: Atlanta Jazz Festival Facebook
Atlanta’s awesome musical taste doesn’t stop with hip-hop. Locals also get to enjoy Atlanta Jazz Festival, one of the largest free jazz festivals in the country.
23. Everyone From Atlanta Knows All “The Walking Dead” Spots
Want to see where “The Walking Dead” was filmed? Ask any local and they’ll practically drive you there themselves.
24. The CNN Center Is Way More Fun Than Actually Watching CNN
Source: Flickr user 28096801@N05
A studio tour at the CNN Center helps you forget all the shoddy last minute reporting for a minute, and just get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the 24-hour news cycle. Even local Atlantans would recommend trying this one touristy thing.
25. Atlantans Can’t Even Insult You Without Blessing Your Heart
Source: Tumblr user modest-lilly-marie
Of course, it’s the most condescending thing you’ll ever hear. It’s hard to know how to respond when someone calls you totally clueless before saying, “Bless your heart.” The appropriate response is definitely not, “Thank you.”
26. No One Will Judge You If You Lick Your Plate At Fox Bros Bar-B-Q
Source: Fox Bros Bar-B-Q Facebook
It’s okay. They understand. Just mentioning the rack of ribs is enough to make you salivate.
27. There’s Always Something Happening At Piedmont Park
Source: Piedmont Park Conservancy Facebook
Bored? Want to go to an event? Piedmont Park is the place to go. Most people can’t remember the last time there wasn’t some kind of event going on there. Just try not to crash any weddings.
28. Don’t Worry—You Cannot Out-Geek Atlanta
Source: Dragon Con Facebook
This is home of Dragon Con, the biggest science fiction, fantasy, gaming, and comics convention in the country. It’s super fine to let your nerd flag fly, so stop worrying and enjoy yourself.
29. Number One Rule: Don’t Bring Up Michael Vick
Yeah, he started out with the Atlanta Falcons. But really? No one in Atlanta is responsible for how that turned out. So, don’t bring him up and you’ll have a great time in Atlanta!
30. It’s Best To Just Embrace The Heat
Source: Virginia-Highland Summerfest Facebook
How do people from Atlanta survive the ridiculously hot summers? By pretending the weather is awesome and they enjoy the heat. In fact, they celebrate it with an outdoor festival practically every day of the week.
What do you have to explain to out-of-towners about Atlanta? Tell us in the comments below!