Veteran VT member BruceDunning asks, "Where did you park the truck?" Actually, during the big downtown adventure, I had been team driving and had the opportunity to get dropped off at a MARTA station. Atlanta is a difficult place for truckers because truck stops are full and insecure, for the most part. I wouldn't recommend locking and leaving one's load just anywhere in Atlanta. However, the Petro at Exit 12 on I-285 (also the junction of US 78/278) provides gated security for truckers. It comes at a price of $12, but one can dine or shop at the Petro to qualify for free overnight parking. Now here's the tricky part: Across the street from the Petro entrance is a transit bus stop. Ask the bus driver for clarification because I don't know the number, but riders can either take a bus along US 78 straight in to the heart of downtown, or stop off along the way and catch MARTA, the metro system. There is a bus that goes direct to MARTA station, so I'm told.
The parking is not a pronounced problem downtown. There are surface lots, and underground parking around CNN for the center and Aquarium. At Atlantic Station, parking on the street is slim, so the best is to park in the garage for about $2 for 2 hours. Max is around $11 for a 7 hours.
The one problem with automated machines, is when they do not work. We were ready to pay, but the prior people got ripped off because the machine did not give change to them. Then you have to go find the headquarters office to ask for a refund. I am sure that is not fun and a waste of time. Have dollar change if you can.
If you are looking for parking in Atlanta look for Lanier Parking. I have parked with them several times and have NEVER had a bad experience what so ever; they are so friendly. They have several lots and garages which are safe, well lit and a fairly good price. These parking lots are clean and you will feel safe when in the lot. Most other parking people in the ATL do not have as safe and clean areas as does this company.
Parking is available all over town. Many places charge but you run a good chance of getting your parking stub validated at the place that you are visiting in the historic districts.
The streets are wide with parallel parking in most places. Parking meters are on the streets and lots are not usually free, unless you are visiting a restaurant.