A Breakdown Of Atlanta's Neighborhoods
Atlanta is somewhat of a hub of suburbs, but once you're inside the perimeter, there are a myriad of neighborhoods worth investigating. If you don't know Virginia Highlands from Little Five Points, check out our quick guide below. Whatever your area of interest, there is the perfect little spot in Atlanta just waiting to be discovered. Once you find your favorite, you should still investigate new areas of town, too.
Little Five Points
To put it in terms a New Yorker would understand, Little Five Points is Atlanta's version of the East Village. It's gritty, funky and teenagers have always loved hanging out there. Anchored by the popular store Junkman's Daughter, where you can buy everything from a bobblehead to a Halloween costume, the area also includes the always busy Vortex for burgers and Aurora Coffee for one of the city's best cups of joe. There are endless fun shops where you can get a silly t-shirt or all of the paraphernalia you'd require to attend a Phish show.
If Little Five Points is Atlanta's answer to the East Village, then Virginia Highlands is the Southern spin on SoHo. Lots of chic boutiques and shops like Cacao selling indulgent, expensive chocolate lend this area an air of upscale sophistication. It still retains a sense of fun, though, as evidenced by Paolo's gelateria, selling the authentic Italian dessert in exotic flavors derived from flowers. Goin' Coastal is a great choice for dinner if you like seafood.
Decatur has the benefit of being located at the city's cleanest and least objectionable MARTA stop. The charming central square is rimmed with shops and restaurants, like local favorite The Iberian Pig, which provides some of the best tapas in town. The neighborhood has a welcoming, all-inclusive spirit, and there are several popular bars. Java Monkey is a great coffee joint just off the square that has regular open-mic nights. There are also several local galleries, and once a year the square hosts a hugely popular book fair.
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If you're looking for Atlanta's version of Chelsea, get yourself to Ansley Park. Ansley Mall is a strip mall that is the place to see and be seen, and you're guaranteed to see several blind internet dates at once taking place at the mall's Starbucks. Smith's Olde Bar, one of Atlanta's oldest venues, is located nearby, and Hobnob is a great, relaxed spot for happy hour and boozy milkshakes. The country club and golf course are also extremely popular.
For those who work in town, Midtown is generally the hotspot for business meetings and lunches. It's also Atlanta's cultural center, with the Woodruff Arts Center containing the High Museum and the Alliance Theater productions. Across the street from the Woodruff is the Museum of Design Atlanta, another great find. Hit up Crescent Avenue for a string of affordable, tasty restaurants.
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Keely Herrick is a freelance writer. Her work can be found on Examiner.com. "
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