Atlanta's Best Places to Live
New residents Atlanta GA Moving to Atlanta GA Relocating to Atlanta GA New Resident Guide Georgia Atlanta Magazine Living in Atlanta



Articles
| Spring 2018

Atlanta's Best Places to Live

Our Look at Some of Atlanta's Best Communities


By Anna Bentley

When you’re relocating to a new city, the first choice you have to

make can seem like the hardest: Which neighborhood should you call home? The good news is that Atlanta’s diverse neighborhoods and cities offer something for everyone, including quality education, affordable housing, family-friendly events and tight-knit communities. Whatever you’re looking for, Atlanta has many perfect spots to choose from. Here we present seventeen of Atlanta’s most popular communities, located all around the metro area, to serve as a starting point for your explorations.

Inside the Perimeter

Central

Midtown
Families, Empty Nesters, Young Professionals

The heart of Atlanta is Midtown, the city’s second largest business district and a booming live-work-play community. Its network of walkable tree-lined streets put the area’s shopping, dining and employment just steps away, and access to the MARTA rail line, interstates 75 and 85, and AMTRAK put the rest of the city—and the world—within easy reach. It’s also home to the city's art district, including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art, the Alliance Theatre, the Fox Theatre and more. And at its center are the Atlanta Botanical Garden and Piedmont Park, “Atlanta’s back yard” and the scene of numerous events and festivals throughout the year. midtownatl.com

Old Fourth Ward
Families, Young Professionals

Spurred by the development of the Atlanta Beltline, the “O4W” has rapidly become one of the city’s most vibrant districts and a beacon for progressive but thoughtful revitalization. Attractions in this area just northeast of downtown include Ponce City Market, a mixed-use development with premier dining and shopping; the bustling Freedom Market and Sweet Auburn Curb Market; numerous restaurants and bars and several parks. And of course there's the Beltline itself, which connects the neighborhood to the rest of the city with a walkable scenic path that features dining, art and community life along the way. Housing options range from historic charming bungalows to modern new townhomes, with plenty of starter options.

Virginia-Highland
Families, Young Professionals

Just east of Midtown is the vibrant neighborhood of Virginia-Highland (or “The Highlands”), named for the intersection of Virginia and Highland avenues at its heart. This fun, funky neighborhood is filled with eclectic shopping and diverse dining and nightlife options, including some of Atlanta’s oldest bars and pubs. Its network of short blocks and residential streets lined with historic bungalows makes it one of Atlanta’s most walkable communities. It’s also right off the Atlanta Beltline, a 22-mile biking and walking trail, and a short walk from Piedmont Park, making it ideal for active young professionals. Its Summerfest arts and music festival is one of the largest in the Southeast. vahi.org

North

Buckhead
Families, Young Professionals

The public face of this wealthy historic district is its Peachtree Street corridor, lined with high-rise offices and glitzy hotels, dining and shopping. Its private side stretches away from Peachtree across 43 distinct neighborhoods, stretching from I-285 to I-85 and making up a fifth of the city. Notable neighborhoods include Tuxedo Park, with palatial mansions on rolling manicured lawns; Chastain Park, home to one of the city’s largest parks, with a golf course, equestrian center, tennis courts and a pool, and Garden Hills, with its winding, tree-lined streets.

Northwest

Vinings
Families, Empty Nesters

This unincorporated village is unique in being part of the city of Atlanta, but located in Cobb County, situated on the northwest side of Buckhead. Vinings offers walkable charm, quality schools, great shopping and dining and recreation on the Chattahoochee River, all with easy access to the entire metro area. Generous property tax exemptions make it attractive to empty nesters and retirees.

East

Decatur
Families, Empty Nesters, Young Professionals

A vibrant city with a tight-knit community, Decatur is located just 15 minutes from Atlanta and minutes from Emory University and the CDC. The city puts a premium on walkability with its historic downtown, full of charming restaurants, pubs, boutique shops and specialty stores and surrounded by charming, cozy neighborhoods. Events are held downtown throughout the year, including the popular Decatur Craft Beer Festival and the Decatur Book Festival. Decatur is also on the MARTA rail line, allowing for easy access to Atlanta’s top destinations and events. decaturga.com

South

College Park
Families, Young Professionals

College Park presents the best of both worlds for rising professionals who enjoy some quiet time. Its easy proximity to downtown Atlanta and Hartsfield- Jackson Atlanta International Airport offer big-city convenience, balanced with a relaxing, small-town feel. The airport and the Georgia International Convention Center also make this a desirable destination for business travelers. There’s affordable housing in the historic College Park neighborhood, and there are numerous attractive dining options. The main campus of Woodward Academy, the largest independent day school in the continental United States, is located here as well. collegeparkga.com.

Hapeville
Families, Empty Nesters

This charming city with a small-town feel is the home of the Dwarf House, the first Chick-fil-A restaurant. Hapeville takes pride in its downtown that features the historic Christ Church and Carriage House, the Depot Museum, a conference center and numerous businesses. There’s also a picturesque downtown park and a public art program that has created a number of murals to beautify the city. Hapeville has experienced significant revitalization recently: Porsche Cars North America recently built its world headquarters and the Porsche Experience Center here. hapeville.org

West

Adair Park
Families, Young Professionals

“Go west!” is the new watchword in Atlanta for young professionals seeking an affordable community with access to the city. Longtime residents of this community on the National Register of Historic Places are welcoming newcomers who are finding good values on existing homes with vintage charm, while trendy lofts and townhomes are springing up rapidly. An artists’ mecca, Adair Park’s location on the Beltline has spurred the growth of small businesses and the creation of parks with playgrounds and sports facilities. The neighborhood comes together to host the annual Porches and Pies Festival and the Tour de SWAT cycling event for a unique sense of local pride. adairpark.com

Outside the Perimeter

North

Sandy Springs
Families, Empty Nesters, Young Professionals

Directly north of Atlanta, Sandy Springs is one of Atlanta’s biggest employment and high-end shopping destinations. The city is in the process of developing a new city center, called City Springs, to serve as the heart of the community. Set for completion in summer 2018, it will include office space, green space, residential and retail space and a performing arts center. The city hosts the Sandy Springs Artsapalooza fine arts festival each spring, and the popular Sandy Springs Festival, with its beloved pet parade, in the fall. sandysprings.ga.gov

Northeast

Duluth
Families, Empty Nesters

Voted one of Georgia’s best affordable suburbs by Businessweek magazine, this Gwinnett County town has some of the metro area's most exclusive neighborhoods and is home to some of its best golf courses and private tennis clubs. Duluth sports a small-town feel thanks to its family-friendly town green and historic downtown district, filled with charming specialty shops and accessible by a network of sidewalks and bikeways. The Town Green, with its amphitheater and fountain, hosts community events throughout the year, such as the annual Duluth Fall Festival each September. Duluth is also the home of the Atlanta Gladiators (a minor league ice hockey team) and the Infinite Energy Center, which hosts major festivals, concerts and events. The Hudgens Center for the Arts presents exhibits by well-known masters and local artists, and classes in pottery, drawing, painting and more for both adults and children. duluthga.net.

Gainesville
Families, Empty Nesters

Gainesville is a top pick for active families and nature lovers alike. Lake Lanier, on the western and northern edges of town, offers swimming, fishing and camping options, and the Blue Ridge Mountains just north of town are another perfect option for hiking or camping. Back in the city, the Interactive Neighborhood for Kids and Quinlan Visual Arts Center are just two of its attractions the family will enjoy. Gainesville has also been recognized by the AARP as one of its top 10 affordable places to retire. Retirees can tee up at the Chattahoochee Golf Club, take a swim at the Frances Meadows Aquatic Center, and enjoy an abundance of other recreational opportunities. gainesville.org

Johns Creek
Families, Young Professionals

Just a neighborhood a decade ago, Johns Creek officially became its own municipality in 2006—and it hasn’t stopped growing since. The young, affluent city boasts some of metro Atlanta’s top schools and the award winning Technology Park mixed-use development, which hosts several Fortune 500 companies. And with the Chattahoochee River forming a large part of the city’s southern and eastern boundaries, Johns Creek offers plenty of options for outdoor recreation—including miles of recreational trails; the Johns Creek Greenway, a four-mile (and growing!) trail system; and the Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center, which sits on 46 acres of woodlands. johnscreekga.gov

Lilburn
Families, Empty Nesters

With an estimated population of around 13,000, this Gwinnett County city is one of the smaller ones on this list, but that makes a big difference when it comes to its sense of small-town community. Top attractions include the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, the largest traditional Hindu temple of its kind in the world outside India; Lilburn City Park, home of the annual Lilburn Daze festival; and the Camp Creek Greenway, a 4.2-mile paved and gravel trail. Lilburn has experienced substantial growth in recent years, and has recently completed a new city hall and library complex and revitalized its downtown corridors. cityoflilburn.com

Northwest

Woodstock
Families, Empty Nesters, Young Profesionals

Woodstock calls itself “a city unexpected,” and this community of almost 32,000 offers amenities you might not expect in a city of its size. More than 2500 businesses are located here, and there's a wide choice of housing options, including condos, townhomes and single-family homes in urban and suburban settings. The city also boasts a free downtown trolley service, bike share program, hiking and biking trails, concerts, festivals and other special events. It's easy to see why Woodstock has been steadily racking up accolades from national media outlets and was the only Georgia city to make Money Magazine’s 2015 list of “Top 50 Best Places to Live in the U.S.” visitwoodstockga.com

Smyrna
Families, Empty Nesters

Attractive neighborhoods, a thriving downtown and plentiful green space are highlights of this Cobb County city, which was one of the area’s first to complete a master plan for revitalization. Its Village Green is a vibrant town center containing the city hall, library and community center, along with shopping, office space and residential options. It also hosts concerts and festivals throughout the year. Residents also have access to more than 33 additional acres of parks and green space, all located within one mile of downtown. With immediate access to I-75 and I-285, Smyrna is minutes away from virtually everywhere in Atlanta. smyrnacity.com

South

Peachtree City
Families, Empty Nesters

This master-planned community has the feel of a vacation resort. Golf carts are a primary means of transportation here, with residents zipping along miles of paths that are also great for strolling and bicycling. The area’s lake, golf courses, playgrounds, nature areas and sports fields offer numerous recreational opportunities, and the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater hosts outdoor concerts. The city is also a magnet for film and television productions and boasts a Southern Hollywood film tour that visits popular filming locations. peachtree-city.org.

Return to top



The Bedford School Duluth, Georgia Atlanta School Guide