Thanksgiving breaks are here for many and Google Maps has put together some traffic and travel trends to help make celebrating even easier. Using data from 2018’s holiday season, they can give Atlantans a closer look at the places people visit during the holidays, when to visit them, and the best times to get on (or stay off) the road. We’re hopeful this information will be interesting and helpful for your readers. See below for some national and Atlanta specific tips.
Ditch the Traffic
To make sure you don’t get caught in the gridlock, we analyzed 2018 traffic data to pinpoint the best and worst times to leave for your Thanksgiving road trip. Nationally, we see that the day before Thanksgiving between 3-4 p.m. is the worst time to hit the road, but traffic clears up significantly by 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning.
The best time to leave before Thanksgiving is Thursday at 6 a.m.
The best time to leave after Thanksgiving is Sunday at 6 a.m.
The worst time to leave before Thanksgiving is Wednesday at 3 p.m.
The worst time to leave after Thanksgiving is Sunday at 3 p.m.
Avoid the Crowds
Holiday crowds can easily transform a quick stop into an hours-long adventure. To save Atlantans time, we analyzed Popular Times data at key holiday destinations during Thanksgiving week to find when the crowds tend to peak and when to avoid them.
We identified when crowds tend to be the largest at 5 holiday favorites in Atlanta: bakeries, grocery stores, liquor stores, movie theaters, and shopping centers.
Bakery: The best time to visit a bakery is on Thursday at 9 a.m. (least crowded). The worst time is on Wednesday at noon (most crowded).
Grocery store: The best time to visit a grocery store is on Thursday at 7 a.m. The worst time is on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Liquor store: The best time to visit a liquor store is on Tuesday at 10 p.m. The worst time is on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Movie theater: The best time to visit a movie theater is on Tuesday at 11 a.m. The worst time is on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Shopping center: The best time to visit a shopping center is on Thursday at 7 a.m. The worst time is on Wednesday at noon.
Black Friday: On Black Friday, the best time to visit a shopping center is at 8 a.m. The worst time to visit a shopping center is at 3 p.m.
Atlanta’s Popular Places
Based on Google Maps and Popular Times data, we were also able to pinpoint some of the most uniquely popular places in Atlanta during the Thanksgiving travel season.
Most uniquely popular restaurants: It’s all about the pizza, cocktails, and beer.
Max’s Coal Oven Pizzeria
Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours
Holeman and Finch Public House
Most uniquely popular attractions: Zoos and museums make for great family fun.
World of Coca-Cola
Most uniquely popular shopping: Cozy fall activities are favorites in Atlanta.
Barnes & Noble
Sam Ash Music Stores
For more information and to see specific data for other U.S. cities, visit www.mappingthanksgiving.com. And using a taxi cab service with local knowledge in Atlanta like Atlanta Checker Cab can be a good idea.