Think you know everything about the City in a Forest?
1. Atlanta was originally named Terminus and Marthasville (the latter for Governor Wilson Lumpkin’s daughter.)
2. The city got its current name from railroad engineer J. Edgar Thompson. It’s thought to be a shortened version of “Atlantica-Pacifica.”
3. Your GPS might be confused if you punch in “Peachtree” as your destination. There are over 55 streets with the name.
4. And it's possible none of them are named for an actual peach tree. Historians suggest they're named after the Native American village of “Standing Pitch Tree.” The pronunciation corrupted over the years.
5. Atlanta was the only city in North American destroyed as an act of war. (General Sherman burnt it to the ground.)
6. Only 400 buildings survived.
7. That’s why the city’s symbol is a phoenix.
8. Lots of airports claim to be the world’s busiest. But Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport truly is the world’s busiest airport.
9. Why? Because Atlanta is a perfect location. It’s just a three hour flight from many major American cities.
10. The terminal is as big as 45 football fields!
11. Atlanta is Georgia’s fifth capital. Savannah, Augusta, Louisville, and Milledgeville boasted the title earlier.
12. The Georgia State Capitol building is gilded with 43 ounces of locally-mined gold.
13. The Continental Divide out west gets all the love, but Atlanta is home to the Eastern Continental Divide, which separates water draining into the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic.
14. One of the largest Hindu temples outside of India is located in the Atlanta metro area.
15. It was once illegal to put an ice cream cone in your back pocket in Atlanta.
16. Atlanta also outlawed tying a giraffe to a telephone pole.
17. Want to ride your bike to Alabama? The Silver Comet Trail starting in Smyrna will get you there.
18. In 1996, Terry Hitchcock ran from Minneapolis to Atlanta in just 75 days. He covered over 2100 miles!
19. Stone Mountain outside Atlanta is one of the largest blocks of exposed granite in the world.
20. Stone Mountain’s etching of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis is the largest bas relief in the world, too!
21. Atlanta had some tough competition when it nabbed the 1996 Olympics hosting duty. The city beat out Athens, Toronto, Melbourne, Manchester, and Belgrade for the spot.
22. The fastest baseball game in history happened in Atlanta, when the Mobile Sea Gulls beat the Atlanta Crackers 2-1 in just 32 minutes.
23. Atlanta also played host to the greatest rout in football history—a 1916 contest in which Georgia Tech blew out tiny Cumberland College 222-0.
24. When pro football moved to Atlanta, the owners considered over 500 names. A schoolteacher came up with the Falcons nickname, a bird she endorsed because it was “proud and dignified, with great courage and fight.”
25. Why did Atlanta resident Margaret Mitchell write Gone with the Wind? Because an ankle injury kept her from walking and she was really, really bored.
All images courtesy of Getty Images
Here are our favorite things we learned about the Big Guava.
1. The name Tampa is believed to come from the Calusa phrase “Sticks of Fire.”
2. That’s probably because Tampa sees some nasty lightning each summer, which is how the local hockey team got its name.
3. When it comes to sports, the city is no stranger to futility. It took the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 25 years to return a kickoff for a touchdown.
4. Babe Ruth hit his longest home run during an exhibition game in Tampa—it sailed 587 feet.
5. The Salvador Dali Museum in nearby St. Petersburg is an incredible place. To test the strength of its freestanding staircase, two rugby teams danced on it—to disco. Dali would have been proud.
6. During Prohibition, Tampa was one of the top sellers of illegal liquor in the country.
7. In the 1980s, the city moved on to other hobbies. It was widely considered the death metal capital of the music world.
8. Tampa’s number one export? Phosphate.
9. Farmers love Tampa because all that phosphate is invaluable for fertilizer production.
10. Although back in the day, it was probably cigars—it’s still known as the “Cigar City.”
11. In 1929, the factory at Ybor City rolled approximately 500 million stogies!
12. It can get hot in Florida, but the temperature in Tampa has never hit 100 degrees.
13. Still, it’s nice to stay cool. In 1851, Tampa native John Gorrie invented the first mechanical refrigeration system—paving the way for air conditioning.
14. The delicious Cuban sandwich? Not Cuban. It was likely invented in Tampa.
15. Want to visit Cuba without leaving Florida? Visit Jose Marti Park. It’s technically Cuban soil.
16. Each year, “pirates” attack Tampa during the Gasparilla Pirate Festival.
17. The world’s first scheduled passenger flight flew from St. Pete to Tampa in 1914.
18. Tickets cost $5!
19. Tampa Bay may be Florida’s biggest port, but the waterway is surprisingly shallow—only 12 feet deep.
20. Manmade channels had to be dredged to allow ships in.
21. When Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders were waiting to ship out for the Spanish-American War in 1898, they were stationed in Tampa.
22. Roosevelt wasn’t the only big name who came to Tampa during the conflict. Clara Barton arrived in town to help organize medical relief efforts.
23. Tampa is home to the world’s longest continuous sidewalk, Bayshore Boulevard. It’s 4.5 miles long!
24. Tampa is also home to Big Cat Rescue, an accredited sanctuary for big cats.
25. Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base may be the second most important government building outside of the Pentagon. It’s home to U.S. Central Command, which oversees U.S. action in the Middle East.
Correction: In an earlier version of this post, we incorrectly said visitors could play with the animals at the big cat sanctuary. People are not allowed to cuddle with the big cats. We regret the error. All images courtesy of iStock.