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Laura Testino


What you need to know about Hurricane Harbor, the new Six Flags water park

Six Flags Over Georgia, where throwing your hands in the air, relishing in the thrilling moments of plunging downhill and looping upside-down in reckless (and seat-belted) abandon is totally and completely worth the wait in line … with the sweltering heat, dizziness, and nausea that accompany it. Right?

Face it. Denying the existence of your mid-afternoon sweaty discomfort is about as easy as denying that funnel cake. Nearly impossible.

But this summer offers a cool and refreshing beacon of hope for all you park adventurers—there is now an oasis in the concrete desert, and it’s not the misting fans near the arcade.

Hurricane Harbor, the new Six Flags water feature and the park’s biggest expansion in decades, makes its debut today. It will be “the perfect complement to the 11 world-class coasters,” according to park president Dale Kaetzel, who presided over yesterday’s grand opening.

We previewed the park and can provide you with this quick guide to navigating the new water-topia.

Paradise Island
Previously Skull Island, the tamer entanglement of water slides is one of the most kid-friendly elements. Plus the impending doom (and excitement) of getting doused by the giant water bucket atop the water jungle gym is too great to ignore.

Bonzai Pipelines
These three slides, dark and full of twists and turns, are sure to satisfy young and old thrill-seekers alike. Totally tubular, dude. Literally.

Tsunami Surge
Tucked away in the back section of the park, the gnarliest of the water rides (a first-of-its-kind hybrid zero-gravity slide) plunges downward five stories, sending riders skating through a giant bowl before dropping them—the zero-gravity part—at the finish. Getting the yellow four-seat rafts up five flights of steps to the ride’s start requires a certain finesse and considerable strength, but amongst the grunts and inquiries for a “whatchamacallit—a conveyor belt,” there were plenty of delighted screams and calls of “Let’s do it again!”

Calypso Bay Wave Pool
Whether you’re floating atop the giant waves or in a beach chair listening to them bubble at the shore, it’s sure to be the most relaxing experience at the harbor. Or the perfect quick and refreshing escape from the heat before rushing back out to the coasters.

Hurricane Harbor might not be the full-day of cooling off found 25 minutes north at White Water, a Six Flags sister company, but it’s a workable way to dodge the heat. Admission to Hurricane Harbor is free with general Six Flags admission.

To paraphrase the park’s famous ad slogan: Six Flags. More flags, more fun. And now, less heat ex-haus-tion.

Report: Atlanta No. 1 for recent college grads

Commencement season is almost wrapped up, Memorial Day has come and gone, and across the country, 1.6 million recent grads are beginning the summer ritual of starting new jobs or, more likely, moving back home. Perhaps more of them should just move to Atlanta: A study by Homes.com puts the ATL on top of a “Top 10 Cities for New Grads” list.

The Homes.com rubric scrutinizes mean entry-level income, median price for a one-bedroom apartment, unemployment rate, and the number of nearby colleges and universities. Although statistics aren’t provided, social opportunities and the percentage of millennials (ages 25–34) in the population were also factored into the final rankings.

Top U.S. Cities for Grads

  1. Atlanta
  2. Dallas
  3. Houston
  4. St. Louis
  5. Minneapolis/St. Paul
  6. Raleigh, N.C.
  7. Denver
  8. Seattle
  9. Boston
  10. Washington, D.C.

The recent boom in the apartment market (as studied by Axiometrics) and rents going up in popular areas like near the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside Trail could potentially have some interesting effects on the median rent. But now, according to Homes.com, Atlanta’s current monthly median rental rate of $800 is tied with Raleigh and Houston as the lowest in the top ten.

But maybe the real catch is earning a mean entry salary of $43,000–21 percent higher than the national average. Also, there’s the intangible coolness factor that comes with getting to post iconic skyline Instagrams on the way to the office: So. Many. Likes.

The best place to live in Georgia is . . . Canton?

While the folks at the real estate blog Movoto.com think Atlanta excels in nerdiness and redneckery, they’ve concocted a new list where, oddly enough, the city doesn’t place at all. Movoto’s “10 Best Places in Georgia” roster doesn’t include the state’s capital.  That’s right; Atlanta evidently doesn’t rate. The most peachy keen of Georgia’s places to live is none other than (drum roll, please) Canton.

Movoto’s explanation: a data-and-statistics-based formula used to identify real estate Utopias by ranking total amenities, crime, tax rates, employment, commute time, and weather (uh, humid). The rankings don’t include access to mass transit, but do include a multifaceted “quality of life” tabulation that assesses the cost of living, median home price, median rent, median household income, and student-to-teacher ratio in public schools.

Movoto’s List of the Best Places in Georgia

 1. Canton  
 2. Peachtree City  
 3. Athens
 4. Alpharetta
 5. Perry
 6. Fayetteville
 7. Duluth
 8. Woodstock
 9. Norcross
 10.Kennesaw (tie)  
 10. Gainesville (tie)   

The ratings certainly skew toward suburbia and smaller cities and we suppose that for those seeking residency in the Peach State, the list may be a nice reference. But those of us inside the city itself are still trying to make sense of its exclusion.  

In the meantime, Canton, go ahead and brag.

The 10 Best Places In Georgia By Movoto Real Estate

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