As the capital of the southern state of Georgia and the ninth largest metropolitan area in the United States, Atlanta is a vibrant and diverse city, booming with commerce, a strong economy, arts and cultural activities and world class dining and shopping destinations. Most Atlanta residents know that it’s really a city comprised of many different neighborhoods, each with its own distinct flavor and personality.
With nearly 250 neighborhoods officially defined by the city, it would be impossible to describe each and every one in detail, but needless to say there are several in the city worth noting. Here is our list of the most interesting neighborhoods in Atlanta that every visitor or resident should check out at some point.
The second largest business district in Atlanta, Midtown is the cultural center of the city. Notable stops include the High Museum of Art, Woodruff Arts Center, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Center for Puppetry Arts and the Fox Theatre. Midtown is also home to some of the city’s most iconic buildings, like the Bank of America Plaza, AT&T Midtown Center, Atlantic Center and 1180 Peachtree. Those who have had enough of the museum circuit head to the focal point of this neighborhood, the sprawling urban greenspace of Piedmont Park, to stroll along the park’s paved paths or cool off by Lake Clara Meer.
East Atlanta is where the city’s punks, musicians and hipsters go out to play. The East Atlanta Village is the neighborhood’s business district, featuring a number of art galleries, tattoo parlors, music venues, bars and restaurants. East Atlanta hosts a number of popular annual events, including the Corndogorama music festival in June, the East Atlanta Strut, a free neighborhood festival featuring a parade, 5k run, food and live music, and the East Atlanta Beer Festival.
The beautiful and historic neighborhood of Grant Park holds the fourth-largest and oldest city park in Atlanta, and the entire neighborhood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Along with the neighboring suburb of Inman Park, Grant Park contains the highest concentration of Victorian architecture in the city. Dakota Blue is a favorite eatery amongst residents, and Young Augustine’s has a great selection of beer and a bocce ball court where people unwind after a long day. Zoo Atlanta can also be found in this charming intown neighborhood, as well as Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves baseball team.
Cabbagetown takes the prize for having the most unique name out of all Atlanta neighborhoods. Located on the east side of Atlanta, the neighborhood was built around the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill, an old mill that has been turned into apartments and condominiums. The mill workers who lived in that neighborhood, primarily of Scottish and Irish descent, supposedly subsisted on a diet of stewed cabbage, which you could smell cooking throughout the neighborhood. Take the Krog Street Tunnel into Cabbagetown and you’ll see some of the city’s best street art. Every November, the neighborhood plays host to the Chomp and Stomp, a fun bluegrass and chili festival that includes a 5k road race.
Known by residents as “the small town in the big city,” Kirkwood is a historic streetcar neighborhood located east of downtown. Historic Kirkwood is notable for its large variety of Victorian and Craftsman Bungalow style homes that mingle with new homes in traditional styles. Each year, Kirkwood hosts a number of neighborhood festivals, like the KirkwoodSpringFling, featuring music, food, beer, an artist market and a tour of homes, the Kirkwood Wine Stroll, where attendees can sample wines from around the world at local businesses, and the B*ATL Event, held each July to commemorate the Battle of Atlanta during the Civil War.
Technically a suburb of Atlanta, Decatur has more of an urban feel than most other metro Atlanta suburbs, in part due to its proximity to downtown and other intown neighborhoods. Although it's not inside the Atlanta city limits, it's located just east of the city, and Decatur is a top choice for young professionals or families because of its quaint, neighborhood vibe and relatively low cost of living. Downtown Decatur features a lovely square featuring a number of shops, restaurants and historical structures, like the Old Dekalb County Courthouse. You’re never too far from a great bar either, as Decatur is also home to Agnes Scott College and Emory University.