For good times that might come at a slight premium but are well worth the splurge, head northeast up Peachtree Road between the 1800 and 4000 blocks to find Buckhead. Long identified as Atlanta’s upscale in-town playground, the district has transformed from a rural 19th-century vacation getaway to a ritzy destination with high-end retail shops, fine dining, exclusive nightclubs and high-rise condos and offices, including the Atlanta Financial Center and Atlanta Tech Village. Most visitors don’t venture too far from the center of activity around Piedmont Road and Peachtree, where clothing and furniture boutiques are just a stroll away from swanky hotels. But slow down a few steps and you’ll find a neighborhood whose reputed taste for luxury is just one of its many charms.
One sure way to insult a Decatur resident is to call the city a neighborhood in Atlanta (no disrespect, Decatur, but it kind of feels that way). But Decatur is in fact a separate town in DeKalb County, incorporated and individualistic in its approach to lifestyle and culture. Some call it “The Dec,” and some say it’s “where it’s greater”—it’s a pedestrian-friendly place where you’ll find some of metro Atlanta’s most creative folks. The always-welcoming Decatur Square hosts events ranging from concerts to art strollers to the Decatur Book Festival, America’s largest independent book festival. Whether you’re driving into Decatur from Dekalb Avenue or Ponce de Leon Avenue, or you’re walking right out into the square from the Decatur MARTA transit station, you’ll never regret spend a day in The Dec.
Address: Decatur, GA 30030, USA
Old Fourth Ward
Just a mile northeast of downtown Atlanta is the historic Old Fourth Ward, one of Atlanta’s most dense and energetic areas. Affectionately known as “O4W,” it’s home to multiple venues on the National Register of Historic Places, from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s home in the Sweet Auburn District to the mixed-use Ponce City Market development, renovated from a brick Sears & Roebuck warehouse and retail store. O4W is bordered by several other popular neighborhoods including Midtown, Inman Park, Poncey-Highland, Virginia-Highland, Reynoldstown and Cabbagetown. Along with a superb selection of restaurants and bars, this section of town also boasts considerable greenspace and walkability, as well as captivating murals.
Address: Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta, GA, USA
Atlanta’s Westside includes the West Midtown, Berkeley Park, Blandtown and Home Park neighborhoods. Train tracks weave through and around pockets of craftsman-style homes and brick warehouses, which are tucked between main thoroughfares like Northside Drive, Howell Mill Road and Marietta Street; each of which intersects with streets that connect back to the heart of Atlanta. Many of those warehouses have been repurposed as popular craft breweries, while others were converted in the past decade into award-winning restaurants. Also home to Georgia Tech and the Atlantic Station district of shops, stores and condominiums, Westside is only growing in population and resident (and visitor) perks.
Address: 1198 Howell Mill Rd, Atlanta, GA 30318, USA