For all those contemplating a move to the Peach State capital, here’s a list of Atlanta neighborhoods perfect for setting up a new home. From hip to historic ones, we covered all the bases of the so-called City in the Forest for you.
Atlanta, in many ways, holds a special place in US history. It is the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and acclaimed novelist Margaret Mitchell. It has a vibrant movie industry that gave us portions of The Walking Dead or Hunger Games, to name a few.
Atlanta’s the only North American city to be completely destroyed in war (courtesy of General Sherman in 1864). Yet, out of the fires and ashes of the Civil War, A-Town rose again, making it a phoenix that spreads its wings on the city’s seal.
Therefore, moving to Atlanta promises all kinds of exciting experiences. Today’s core of the capital of Georgia lies within what locals refer to as the Perimeter, officially called Interstate 285. So let’s start our tour with the city’s urban heart.
The core of Atlanta’s downtown is mostly a business district with newly built residential buildings and condos. It is where the facilities of all levels of government are, where the headquarters of corporations are located, home to the Georgia State University sits, as well as numerous attractions and sports venues. It is where the Centennial Olympic Park, site of 1996 Olympic Games, stands.
The Civil Rights Movement Has Roots in Sweet Auburn and Castleberry Hill
A bit to the east from the city’s center lies the Sweet Auburn district. It is a place fundamental to the civil rights movement and African Americans in general. Martin Luther King was born in Sweet Auburn, and his legacy can be observed in Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. There is the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King and his wife were buried. And there is Atlanta’s Walk of Fame, shoe prints of activists who influenced the civil rights movement. Sweet Auburn is also the site of the annual Heritage Festival, which celebrates the history of the neighborhood. It was made a National Historic Landmark, but also symbolizes it’s future. It provides a treat for gourmets, too, with rich culinary offerings on Curb Market.
Nearby lies Castleberry Hill, a surviving warehouse district that earned its rightful place in the National Register of Historic Places. Today it is seeing more and more residential buildings, but what makes it so unique is the creative way former storage spaces were turned into dwellings. Dining is not forgotten. Top picks would be two unique restaurants – No Mas! Hacienda & Cantina and Paschal’s. The former is a combination of the a for Mexican and Latin American dishes and artisan emporium. Paschal’s is much more than the most excellent fried chicken in town. It was the place where leaders and activists of the civil rights movement gathered during the 1960s and even made it some sort of unofficial headquarters.
East Side Atlanta Neighborhoods – Decatur, Old Fourth Ward, and Inman Park
If you were wondering “Where do hipsters live in Atlanta?”, you’re in the right place. Atlanta’s East Side is where some of the hippest neighborhoods are located. Young professionals flock there, but also families with kids. It is an ideal place for walking around to explore the area.
Let’s start with Decatur. It combines all the benefits of being in the city’s core with a suburban feel. There are some of the best private schools in Atlanta, Emory University, and Agnes Scott College. It is a neighborhood of families and students, with plenty of things to do and opportunities for dining in a variety of eateries, from cheap bars to high-end lounges.
Among the local favorites are Italian joint No. 246, tapas bar Iberian Pig, and all-round restaurant Leon’s Full Service. For more casual eating out, locals always pick Victory Sandwich Bar. On the other hand, if you wish to hone your own culinary skills, there’s no better place to start than Dekalb Farmers Market. In the warehouse that houses it, you can find food and spices from all over the world. If a country’s flag is hanging from the ceiling, you’ll find its delicacies in those aisles.
Decatur’s home to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Among other things, it provides outdoor and indoor exhibits and video presentations on all things dinosaurs. If there ever was a perfect place for moving with kids, this is it. If you’re looking for music shows, then Eddy’s Attic may be a place for you. You never know if the next demo band will hit the big stage.
Next comes Inman Park, mostly recognized as the most hip neighborhood in the A-Town. Many houses there are renovated in such fashion that most actors and actresses coming to shoot scenes in Georgia choose to stay in Inman Park. The place is well connected, and all the best spots are within walking distance. It is, without a doubt, one of the best places to live in Atlanta.
This neighborhood is a sort of gourmet paradise, with some of the best restaurants in Atlanta. Most of the action takes place at a Krog Street Market, where you can explore flavors and tastes from many cuisines and buy quirky stuff from The Merchant. If we have to choose between joints in Krog, our pick would be Superica. With perfect Tex-Mex on the menu and hotcakes, you can’t leave hungry. Live music on Thursdays just adds to the experience. Away from Krog, you can try out excellent seafood at Beetlecat and authentic French brunch at Bread and Butterfly.
Best Places to Live in Atlanta if You Wish to Shop – Old Fourth Ward
Another historic part of town, Old Fourth Ward is the place you’d want to explore on foot or bike. For those not too keen on such activity, OFW is covered with a network of electric scooters. Even though some locals invest in the renovation of older homes, most people here reside in newly built apartments or condominiums.
The main attraction in the Old Fourth Ward is Ponce City Market. This mecca for foodies and shopaholics was once a Sears building and covers the entire block. On its rooftop, you can enjoy a beer in 9 Mile Station, or play putt-putt and other carnival games with a panoramic view at Skyline Park. Shoppers in Ponce Market should visit Citizen Supply, a large store that sells works of local artists and, at the same time, serves as their workshop. Some of those works should definitely be on your new apartment shopping list.
Right across the street from Ponce Market is Paris on Ponce, a mix of an antique shop and Moulin Rouge. There is even a mini-Eiffel Tower. Gourmets should take a walk to 8ARM for a short but delicious menu, Mary Mac’s Tea Room for well-known southern dishes, and Tiny Lou’s for French brunch and wine.
Home Prices and Rents in Hip Atlanta Neighborhoods
To bring closer the costs of real estate in A-Town, here’s a table with some prices and rents, according to the latest data from websites Redfin and RENTCafe:
|Neighborhood||Average Real Estate Price||Average Rent|
|Old Fourth Ward||$338,000||$1,753|
For Cultural Experiences, Move to Midtown
Midtown is maybe the most vibrant neighborhood in A-Town. It is well connected with other areas, has numerous museums, the largest park in the city, and it is where Gone With the Wind was written. It’s the perfect blend for everyone who contemplates hiring moving services for relocation to Georgia.
It is a great place to live in because everything important is just around the corner. When it comes to housing, there’s plenty to choose from, from modern to classic. But what makes Midtown unique is its museums. As any local would tell you, it is only natural to begin in Margaret Mitchell House, where the famous novelist wrote Gone With the Wind while recovering from a leg injury. From there, head to the High Museum of Art with its vast collection of diverse works and facade that appeared in “Black Panther” and “Hunger Games,” or to the nearby Museum of Design and its interactive exhibitions. Those interested in a bit of history can learn about the history of Atlanta’s Jews, but also of the Holocaust in the Jewish Heritage Museum.
Theater lovers are in for a treat as well, with the famous Fox Theatre. Designed to be a part of a Masonic temple, it was built in Islamic tradition on the outside, while the interior is created in the style of ancient Egypt. Above the auditorium is the artificial night sky with flickering crystal stars. It is a favorite place for both plays and music shows. Another venue worthy of visiting is the Center for Puppetry Arts and associated Museum of Puppetry History.
When it comes to dining out, options are many and diverse. Still, when in the South – eat like a Southerner, to paraphrase the famous adage. For the most exceptional Southern culinary experience in Midtown, go to the Empire State South or South City Kitchen. Bar Margot is a perfect destination for trendy desserts, while Cafe Intermezzo provides a European touch of teas, coffees, and hot chocolates. With a lovely piece of cake, of course. That being said, the tour wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the largest slice of greenery in A-Town.
Don’t Miss Piedmont Park
Piedmont Park is the largest green area in Atlanta, and it is ideal for all kinds of outdoor activities. There are hiking and biking trails, sure, but also two soccer fields (2018 MLS champions are Atlantans, thank you very much), two softball fields, courts for beach volleyball, swimming pools, and skate parks. The Park’s lawns are perfect for organizing a picnic or a group exercise. Those who enjoy more serene activities can fish in the lake.
There is also the Botanical Garden at Piedmont, with a greenhouse, museum, and vast gardens with countless plant species. We can’t think of a better way to overcome the anxiety about moving to another state than by being surrounded by trees and nature.
The Buckhead Area
The Buckhead district combines the best of the business and shopping worlds, thus becoming a go-to place for young professionals. And yet, further from the shining lights, there are lovely houses and lawns, and also some of the best public schools in A-Town. The only real downside is that it’s not among the cheaper parts of town. Buckhead is the place of Atlanta History Center, a museum of the city’s history and cultural impact that also sports beautiful gardens and farmhouses.
Where the Locals Prefer to Eat and Drink
As ever, we’ll dedicate some space to the foodies. From many joints, we would single out Mediterranean cuisine at St Cecilia, Italian delicacies at Storico Fresco Alimentari, and vegan dishes at Flower Child.
Where Buckheaders Shop
If you wish to hit the shops in Buckhead, go to the area conveniently named The Shops at Buckhead. It’s six blocks of high-end fashion stores mixed with trendy restaurants. Another gem for lovers of fine clothing is Draper James. There you can supply yourself with traditional Southern tees, shirts, and dresses.
Best Atlanta Suburbs
Now that we wrapped up our tour of the downtown, let’s give some due attention to the suburbs. Many of them are great places to live in and are worthy of a closer look.
Let’s start with north-eastern suburb Johns Creek. With affordable home values, Johns Creek is highly ranked on the list of the best cities in America to raise a family. Since it is situated on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, paddling is the recreation of choice for the locals. At the same time, fishing is a beloved pastime there.
We quickly move on to Peachtree City, in Atlanta’s southwest. It ranks among the safest suburbs in the state with excellent schools. What truly sets it apart from the rest of the pack is that almost all traffic consists of golf carts. Children at the age of 15 can start driving carts there, and senior citizens also prefer them to cars. Outdoor activities such as golf, cycling, and fishing are held in high esteem.
Next comes Milton, a recently built town with one of the highest home prices around A-Town. Ranked as very safe, Milton is an affluent place with a thing for equestrian sports.
The list of suburbs couldn’t be completed without Roswell, a town that was built in the 19th century. Stretching along the Chattahoochee River, it has 13 parks and miles of trails for biking and hiking. It has its own hotspot – Canton Street – a place of breweries, eateries, and shops.
Find the Place You Like and Come to A-Town
So there are our picks. We hope that it was useful for you, even though it covers but a portion of all places to see and things to do in Atlanta. If you found a place to your liking, don’t hesitate to start packing and hire auto transport services from professional Atlanta movers.