Located at the foothills of the southern Appalachians, the landscape of Atlanta is predominantly characterized by rolling hills and broad, smooth uplands. The Chattahoochee River is one of the most prominent natural features of Atlanta. It forms the northwestern boundary of the city, flowing through a valley, which ranges from 150 to 400 feet in depth and from two to five miles in width from rim to rim. On the eastern side of the metro area, Stone Mountain rises high above the tallest pines. At 825 feet tall, it is the world's largest free-standing piece of exposed granite.
The Atlanta metropolitan area has no natural boundaries, so the metropolitan area is large, encompassing 8,376 square miles. Across the region, 28 counties and 140 municipalities govern. The City of Atlanta, in the center of the metropolitan area, encompasses 131 square miles.
Ask any Atlantan to name a word to describe the changing Atlanta population, the word dynamic often comes to mind. It describes the rapid changes the city has seen and will see in Atlanta demographics over the next 10 years. In the past six years, the metro area has added more than 142,000 people annually, more than any other in the United States. At this growth rate, the Atlanta, Georgia population of the metropolitan area is predicted to be more than 5.5 million people in 2009.
Atlanta attractions offer something diverse for everyone; the world's largest aquarium Georgia Aquarium, Six Flags over Georgia, Inside CNN Tour, The Children's Museum of Atlanta, and all circling Centennial Olympic Park. Don’t forget about the Eastern Continental Divide, a continental divide in the U.S. that separates the Gulf of Mexico drainage from the watersheds that flow directly into the Atlantic Ocean, which runs right through downtown Atlanta and then east and through Decatur. Rainwater that falls on the south and east side of the divide runs eventually into the Atlantic Ocean while rainwater on the north and west side of the divide runs into the Gulf of Mexico. Also, You can ride your bike from Atlanta to Alabama on the Silver Comet Trail, a recreational path that begins in Smyrna and runs all the way across the Alabama border.