Atlanta, Georgia has a striking downtown skyline with large skyscrapers and bright lights that illuminate the evening skies. By day, drive below them and they really do seem to stretch above sight and scrape the Southern heavens. But just beyond these architectural feats lie the true heart of Atlanta and the heartbeat of its community. The neighborhoods of Atlanta are diverse yet connected to the city as a whole. These neighborhoods are where both locals and visitors alike shop, eat, play and sleep at night. There are ten distinct neighborhoods in the city of Atlanta.
The Ansley Park Neighborhood of Atlanta
Located about three miles from downtown, you will find the area of Ansley Park. It is located just off Peachtree Street and was home to Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind for most of her life. It began in 1904 and has been historically one of Atlanta’s premier residential areas. There are large homes which have been painstakingly renovated to reflect their early American heritage. The area is surrounded by large majestic trees and parks. This is a National Historic District.
The Virginia Highlands Area of Atlanta
East of Ansley Park, the Virginia Highlands neighborhood is known as such due to the intersection of Virginia Avenue and Highland Avenue. This area was developed in the early 1900s. Most homes are sixty to eighty years old and are intertwined with local boutique style shopping and uniquely one of a kind restaurants. The Virginia Highlands is a beautiful area and one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Atlanta.
Little Five Points is the Bohemia of Atlanta
This neighborhood is home to independently owned small shops and boutiques, all with an edgy flair. Here you can find the best in vintage clothes or vinyl records. Stop in and get a new tattoo. There are quite a few pubs. The small neighborhood is also home to the 7 Stages Theatre, Horizon Theatre and Variety Playhouse. Everything in Little Five Points is casual. To blend in, wear a lot of black and dress down. Some of the best bands are featured here and also some of the best small Shakespearean plays.
Inman Park was the First Planned Suburb of Atlanta
This neighborhood was built in 1889 and is a renowned example of historic preservation. Inman Park was once the home of Asa Candler and Ernest Woodruff, both early blazers in the Coca Cola Company. During the mid 1900s, the area was abandoned but restoration aggressively began in the early 1970s. Inman Park is now one of the more prestigious areas of Atlanta addresses, complete with authentic Victorian architecture including gazebos and scalloped awnings.
The West End Neighborhood of Atlanta
In southwest Atlanta, the notable neighborhood is known as West End. This area is actually older than the city itself. In 1835, West End was settled and established before the city of Terminus became Atlanta. One of the most renowned Victorian style houses built here in the 1860s and 1870s is the Wren’s Nest, which once was home to author Joel Chandler Harris who became famous for his Uncle Remus Tales. Today, the Wren’s Nest is open to the public.
Grant Park was a Gift to Atlanta
Located east of Atlanta, this neighborhood was built from 1895 to 1915. The actual 100-acre park was a gift to the city from Colonel L.P. Grant. The neighborhood avoided destruction during the Burning of Atlanta in the Civil war. Here, you can still see Confederate fortifications in the park. Similar to Inman Park, Grant Park became a center for restoration in the 1970s. In this neighborhood you will find Zoo Atlanta and the Atlanta Cyclorama.
Buckhead is Known as the Beverly Hills of Atlanta and the East
This is Atlanta’s most prominent address. It is located north of downtown. The area is comprised of many high rises and glamorous mansions from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. West Paces Ferry is one of the wealthiest streets in America, and both the Governor’s Mansion and the Atlanta History Center are located on this street. The historical home owned by the History Center is named The Swan House. Almost every historical mansion has its own name. This is also an upscale dining and shopping area.
The Historical Sweet Auburn Neighborhood of Atlanta
This area was the center of African American commerce at the turn of the century. Auburn Avenue was once hailed as the richest black street in America. Today, Auburn Avenue features the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, King’s birth home, Ebenezer Baptist Church where both King and his father preached, and the tombs of King and his wife Coretta Scott King. Anyone can attend church services today at Ebenezer Baptist Church and is something I highly recommend to Atlanta visitors who want to soak in the culture and ways of Atlanta.
Downtown Atlanta is the Newest Neighborhood
Several prestigious office buildings, including the William Oliver Building have been converted into loft apartments with incredible views. There are also now a number of art galleries and shops in the lofts of downtown. The area also has some of the most luxurious hotels in the country, as well as upscale dining. Downtown has ambassadors that patrol the streets offering security and assistance for both visitors and residents.
Midtown Atlanta Offers Art and Culture
Midtown is located between Downtown and Buckhead. The neighborhood offers a blend of dining and cultural activities, as well as nightlife. It is an urban setting with an ever increasing residential area. Here you will find the heartbeat of the arts in Atlanta. Midtown houses the Atlanta Botanical Garden as well as the historic Fox Theatre. Here you will also find the High Museum of Art and the Woodruff Arts Center as well as bungalows, skyscrapers, trendy restaurants and churches.
Whenever you visit Atlanta, always check out a few of these neighborhoods. They are all distinctly different and will help you understand the connection between Atlanta’s past, present and future.
Source: Atlanta Convention and Visitor’s Bureau