Metro Atlanta is Georgia's principal urban area, and the eighth largest metro area in the United States, with a population of over 5.5 million. It encompasses Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dekalb, Douglas, Gwinnet, Henry, Fayette, & Fulton Counties.
Great places to go in Metro Atlanta, that are safer than Downtown are Buckhead, Gwinnett County, and Cobb County. Gwinnett and Cobb Counties boast a great enviroment for people who want to leave the city and explore nature. For example, a really good place to go is Stone Mountain Park, which is in Northern Dekalb County. It is a great tourist attraction for families and people who love the enviroment. It has a beautiful lake and a plantation on it, which is open for tours for a history buff.
Also in Cobb County, is the Cobb Galleria. This holds amazing Broadway plays and shows, shopping, and much more. Also, for the family Six Flags is a great place to go (but not at night) to have family fun.
In Hall County, which is a short ride up Interstate 75, is Lake Lanier. It is a huge lake with boating and many other tourist attractions. Lake Lanier Islands is a water park and resort for a family.
In Gwinnett, you might also want to visit Historic Lawrenceville, Historic Lilburn, or Historic Duluth. These places have fountains and old buildings that are immaculantly preserved. Make sure to visit these places in Gwinnett County.
Located in Northern Georgia, Meropolitan Atlanta is a diverse set of people who are different from county to county. Centered by Atlanta (Fulton County), and outskirted by Gwinnett, Cobb, Hall, Forsyth, Walton, Dekalb, Clayton, and Gilmer just to name a few. The Metro Atlanta area has 28 large Counties spreading from the Georgia-Alabama Border, east to Athens, south to about Macon, and north to Jasper. It is over about 8,376 square miles and holds over 5,475,213 people, making it the ninth largest metropolitan area in the United States.
With many false asumptions that Georgia is a "backwoods" state, the Metropolitan Atlanta area is a mixture of people. And yes, you will find the occasionall southerner with a charming southern accent, who will greet you with southern charm and hospitality.
Also in the metro area, people take offense to you calling Atlanta "The ATL", "Hotlanta", and "The Big Peach". If you say these to locals they will know you are a visitor, and assume you know nothing about Atlanta. Many locals call Atlanta simply "Atlanta" or "The Metro".