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Weather in Atlanta

Wondering what the weather is like in Atlanta and how to pack for a trip? I can help!

The only word that can describe Atlanta weather is interesting. Yes, we have all four seasons – sometimes all in the same day. Summer has two settings – hot or rainy – or sometimes hot AND rainy. Winter can be mild, or we can be hit with an epic snowstorm of two inches that shuts down the city. Indisputably, fall and spring are the two more glorious seasons – bursting with color and clear air. This schizophrenic weather can make packing for a trip here a bit difficult.

Packing for Atlanta Summers

I tell people coming to Atlanta that no matter the season, pack and dress in layers. Yes, this means even on the most sweltering summer day. It may be 100 degrees outside but indoors the air conditioning at most places will be bordering on Arctic blast temperatures, so you should ALWAYS have some sort of jacket or wrap. 

There are numerous ways to beat the heat in Atlanta. First, plan on very lightweight clothes – ideally in light colors. I know black is a favorite color for travel, but you will not be comfortable running around Atlanta in dark colors when it’s 100 degrees.

Women should try to pack sundresses – they are stylish and will definitely keep you cool. And you’ll look like a local. Atlanta women LOVE their sundresses. For pants – for men and women – linen is best. Yes, it wrinkles. But that’s part of its charm. Shorts are fine for daytime but PLEASE do not go out to nice restaurants in them. This is more of a personal appeal – you will see people out in shorts but truly, they look like tourists. Just don’t.

Hats and sunglasses are a must. As is sunscreen if you’re going to be outside. No, Atlanta is not the beach. But it is sunny. 

Packing for Atlanta Winters

On the flip side, even in the winter, layers are a must. Frequently, you can leave in the morning an it’s 20 degrees, and you’re bundled up from head to toe, and by 2 pm, it may be 60 and sunny – and that parka, scarf, sweater, gloves and hat, are just too much. And again, inside, the heat may be cranked up and you will overheat very quickly.

As for clothing, jeans are fine – even in most restaurants. In fact, jeans are the easiest to pack and plan layers around – a long-sleeved shirt, jacket, scarf, and for women, accessories – really will take you almost anywhere in the city.

Packing for the Best Seasons – Spring and Fall  

Spring and fall have similar climate patterns – cool (ish) in the morning, warming up throughout the day, and again, cooling off at night. So again, layers are a must. 

As I said, spring and fall are the most GLORIOUS seasons in Atlanta. In spring, azaleas, daffodils and tulips burst out of EVERYWHERE. Dogwood, cherry and pear trees bloom all over the city. It is just incredible. In fall, the famous tree canopy in the city turns every shade of orange and yellow and even fall flowers bloom.

Of course, the drawback to this incredible flora is debilitating pollen. Atlanta is famous – or infamous – for its record-setting pollen counts, and the records seem to break every day. It’s a price we pay but it is important to keep in mind. If you suffer from any sort of allergies, please pack all your medications. Don’t expect to buy it here – I’ve seen store shelves cleared like a hurricane is coming. 

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