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Atlanta is a remarkable metropolis. Home to iconic musicians (think, OutKast), the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and often rivaling Hollywood and New York in art, cuisine, and by being a top film and television location, Atlanta also provides the southern hospitality the south is famous for. Explore the coolest neighborhoods Atlanta has to offer.
East Atlanta Village is a trendy area just east of Atlanta where you can find live alternative music and Irish nachos at The Earl, a cute coffee shop named Joe’s East Atlanta Coffee, and Mary’s, a queer bar voted “Best Gay Bar in Atlanta” so many times we can’t count. Equipped with tattoo shops, cool graffiti on the walls, and bars with inexpensive microbrews, East Atlanta Village defines cool.
Home to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and having Civil War roots, Old Fourth Ward will always be historic. Now home to Ponce City Market and access to the Atlanta BeltLine, Old Fourth Ward is probably the coolest neighborhood in Atlanta (for now). Locals do yoga at the newly renovated historic Old Fourth Ward Park. At the BeltLine access sits a skateboard pike, where young skateboarders spend their weekends. Catch the locals having brunch at one of the many restaurants on the BeltLine or walking their dogs while checking out the sprawling edgy graffiti on the overpasses. On Edgewood Street, you’ll find popular restaurants like Harold’s, Noni’s, and Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium, aka “Church” (it’s a Bar).
Less than five miles from downtown Atlanta, Castleberry Hill is one of the chicest areas to live. Formerly a train and industrial hub, the historic district is now filled with art galleries, large industrial living lofts, bars, and restaurants. The residents are diverse and spend their evenings participating in many of the famous Castleberry Hill Art Strolls, sipping margaritas on the patio of No Mas! Cantina, or hanging out in its famous dive bar, Elliott Street Pub.
Definitely one of the most expensive neighborhoods to live in, Virginia Highlands is named after the intersection of Virginia Avenue and North Highland Avenue, the heart of Atlanta’s bustling commercial district, at the center of the neighborhood. The homes are a mix of large, historic early-1900 bungalows, Colonial Revival, and English Cottage-style designs. Definitely walkable, Virginia Highlands is filled with bars, boutiques, restaurants with diverse cuisine, and coffee shops. Oyster-lovers head to Fontaine’s Oyster House and locals love La Tavola for authentic Italian cuisine.
Home to Piedmont Park, Atlanta premier greenspace, new high rise condominiums, bars, restaurants with amazing patios, and some of the best gay bars in Atlanta, Midtown is where the cool crowd hangs out. The Midtown district features Atlantic Station, a sprawling outdoor shopping space, the High Museum, and the Fox Theater. Showcasing its support for the LGBT community, the intersection of 10th & Piedmont, a hub famous for its gay establishments, now includes a permanent rainbow intersection.
It may not be the largest, but the Grant Park neighborhood houses the oldest park in Atlanta. Boasting Victorian-architectural homes and mansions, the neighborhood is not only historic, but has become quite expensive. Originally known as the Grant Park Zoo, Grant Park is home to Zoo Atlanta, which attracts more than 1 million visitors annually. The historic neighborhood is also home to Oakland Cemetery, one of the largest and well-known cemeteries in Atlanta. The famous burial grounds is the final resting place of numerous former mayors of Atlanta, Civil War vets and Gone With the Wind author, Margaret Mitchell. Grant Park is home to some phenomenal restaurants and bars. Situated across from Oakland Cemetery sits Six Feet Under, a seafood dive with an amazing patio overlooking the cemetery. If you’d rather have brunch, just a few doors down is Ria’s Bluebird, whose pancakes were voted “Best Pancakes in the World” by The New York Times.
Northeast of Atlanta and encompassing a pretty large area, Decatur has a southern charm like no other. Alongside other impressive educational institutions, Decatur is home to Agnes Scott College and Emory University. Downtown Decatur is known for its eclectic restaurants and bars with great patios. Due to its great schools, low crime rating, nightlife, and diversity, Niche recently ranked Decatur one of the “Best Places to Live in Georgia.” In the mood for Caribbean music and tropical cocktails? Head to S.O.S Tiki Bar, and for the best tacos and enchiladas, locals love the relaxed atmosphere at Taqueria del Sol.
Situated around the Eastside BeltLine Trail, a converted railway line, sits a hip neighborhood named Inman Park. Because of its Civil War legacy, Inman Park is a historic area in Atlanta. Due to its proximity to the BeltLine, it’s now known for its diverse food scene, patio brunch spots, cafes, and wine bars. For a delicious, wide array of tacos, check out BarTaco. Barcelona Wine Bar Inman Park offers hundreds of wine varieties that pair well with their tapas. Inman Park isn’t just cool because of its booming commercial success, the neighborhood features beautiful Victorian-style homes with lush plants, flowers, and an immaculate landscape.