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Metro Atlanta’s neighborhoods offer something for everyone

February 27,2017

Source: William Pate, Atlanta Business Chronicle

When visitors come to Atlanta, they are typically drawn to our tourism backbone: Downtown, Midtown and Buckhead. But residents and visitors alike are discovering the uniqueness of our city through its distinct and vibrant neighborhoods. Everywhere you turn, Atlanta’s neighborhoods reflect our diversity, creativity and obsession with having fun.

Atlantic Station is a lively, walkable area that combines shopping, dining and entertainment in a smart live and work design. From cutting-edge exhibitions like the Bodies Exhibit to the big tents of Cirque de Soleil … if it is a big attraction, it is likely found in Atlantic Station. In the summer, this area is home to the BB&T Atlanta Open, one of 10 ATP events in country featuring some of tennis’ top stars.

West Midtown is a trendy district that is home to four arts institutions: Goat Farm Arts Center, Westside Cultural Arts Center, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and King Plow Arts Center. Each represents a different niche in the art world, so be sure to explore them all — especially during the art walk that takes place every third Saturday of the month.

Atlanta’s Castleberry Hill, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a burgeoning arts district that is also a popular filming area for the movie industry. Take a step back in history at Paschal’s restaurant, an important gathering spot for civil rights activists in the 1960s. It’s still a Southern food favorite and the perfect complement to any Atlanta visit.

Located just east of Downtown, Sweet Auburn is steeped in Atlanta history. Famously the birthplace of civil rights pioneer Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Sweet Auburn is the best place to connect with his enduring legacy. Visitors can take Atlanta Streetcar from Centennial Olympic Park to the Martin Luther King Jr.National Historic Site to tour King’s birth home, Ebenezer Baptist Church and the burial site of King and his wife, Coretta Scott King.

Atlanta BeltLine has been a catalyst for explosive growth throughout the city, but especially in Old Fourth Ward. You will find incredible dining and nightlife as well as Historic Fourth Ward Park — 17 acres of greenspace with a lake, outdoor theater and world-class skate park. Along the Eastside Trail, Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market attract food lovers and shopping enthusiasts.

Local restaurants and boutique shops also line the streets of Virginia-Highland. On a typical day, you can find visitors and locals taking advantage of patios for brunch, cocktails and shopping. At night, Virginia-Highland is home to many of Atlanta’s oldest bars and nightspots.

Characterized by Victorian homes and tree-lined streets, Inman Park offers a thriving shopping and dining district, dotted with bakeries, yoga studios, restaurants, boutiques, business centers, lofts and more. From here, folks can grab a bite to eat or a quick brew, pop into some shops and hop on the Freedom Parkway PATH trail or the Eastside Trail of Atlanta BeltLine.

Grant Park, located east of Georgia State Stadium (formerly Turner Field), is characterized by little villages of local shops and restaurants and features the fourth-largest park in the city. The neighborhood is home to Historic Oakland Cemetery, the final resting place of Margaret Mitchell, Bobby Jones and many former Atlanta mayors. Most famously, it is the neighborhood that Zoo Atlanta calls home.

Little Five Points is one of the most satisfying places to people-watch in Atlanta. Everything about the area is Bohemian chic. It features vintage apparel shops, eateries, smoke shops, clothing bazaars, tattoo parlors, a natural food co-op, an indie radio station, independent bookstores and more than a few outstanding pubs.

If live music is your passion, you’ll feel right at home in East Atlanta Village. Featuring some of Atlanta’s most-talked-about music venues, you’ll find anything from a top regional act to a surprise show from a national headliner — tucked into a club that holds just a couple hundred people. Here you will also find a local blend of restaurants, pubs, bookshops, bakeries, bike shops, clothing stores and a farmer’s market.

Atlanta is experiencing a renaissance across its many neighborhoods, too many to highlight here. These locales bring a unique flavor to the residential streets, shops, landmarks and chef-owned eateries of their communities. So, as the weather gets warmer, take a break from your weekend routine and get out and explore these dynamic destinations within our great city.