Coolest Neighborhoods in Atlanta
A lot of the coolest neighborhoods in Atlanta are located just east of Downtown. Expect thought-provoking street art, trendy eateries and food markets, and plenty of green spaces to watch the world go by. To get a real feel for the community and culture, all these neighborhoods are best explored on foot. Be sure to bring some comfy shoes and a bottle of water.
Little Five Points
When you research which neighborhoods to visit in Atlanta, Little Five Points is a name that will come up a lot. The name refers to the once five-point intersection at the heart of the neighborhood (the fifth street was converted into a plaza so now it is just 4 points). In the late 1970s, after almost two decades of disrepair, people began to move back into this area which was now providing affordable accommodation. Projects to restore the Victorian buildings were put into place and the neighborhood sprang back into life. The charm of this melting pot of cultures and center for bohemian chic draws in locals and tourists alike.
Iconic city landmarks in the area include the offices and studios of the popular, non-commercial Radio Free Georgia or WRFG. The station’s mission is to provide a voice for those who don’t have access to mainstream media. This value fits in well with the strong community culture in the neighborhood.
If rifling through the clothes rails for a vintage bargain is your idea of heaven then head to Junkman’s Daughter, a treasure trove for vintage clothes, posters, books, and more.
If you’re constantly looking for sources of weird and wonderful records, Criminal Records specializes in rare LPs and lesser-known bands.
Walking along the streets you’ll see works of graffiti from world-renowned artists such as Jerkface. And when it’s time to give your feet a rest, head to one of the numerous breweries or coffee shops. If you’re in the area at lunch or dinner time, the vegan burrito and cauliflower wings at Govinda’s Vegan Cafe are a must!
Two miles east of Downtown Atlanta, you’ll find the eclectic neighborhood of Inman Park. This area has a profound history. It was built upon the battlegrounds of the Civil War, and it was the city’s first planned suburb, intended as a rural oasis connected to the city by streetcar lines. The lavish Victorian houses commissioned by the upper class at the time of the neighborhood’s construction continue to draw in visitors today. Expect to see grand architecture on a new scale with stained glass windows and castle turrets. Coca-Cola’s Ernest Woodruff’s home is one of the most iconic with its wide sweeping porch and turret.
Inman Park is also a great place to rent a bike for the afternoon and pedal down the tree-lined streets and bike paths. If you get there in the morning, grab a croissant from Proof Bakeshop and explore the buzzing shops. Krog Street Market is another great option for top-quality grub! The refurbished warehouse has been named one of the world’s best food halls. You’ll be spoilt for choice with options such as Vietnamese pho, dumplings, bao, and soul food.
Krog Street Tunnel, an iconic landmark for Atlanta street art, connects Inman Park to its neighbor, Cabbagetown. Cabbagetown is a neighborhood that was constructed to house the workers of the cotton mills in the late 1800s. One and two-story shotgun and cottage-style houses began to spring up to accommodate the factory workers that arrived in droves. The residents who lived and worked together created the sense of community that defines the area still today, features such as the community garden are a product of this tight-knit community.
These days, it’s seen as an emerging arts district and visitors can also enjoy the delight of performing arts at Dad’s Garage Theater Comedy Club. Our final must-visit destination recommendation in Cabbagetown is Carrol Street Cafe. The bohemian bistro serves brunch, lunch, and dinner so pull up any time of day to taste their delicious dishes.
Old Fourth Ward
As one of the oldest sections of the city, the Old Fourth Ward is home to some of Atlanta’s must-visit landmarks. If you want to learn more about one of Atlanta’s most iconic residents, head over to the visitor center in the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park. There you can learn not only about the life of Dr. King but also the other characters and trajectory of the civil rights movement. If you need a dose of retail therapy, Ponce City Market is home to a variety of brands in a truly alternative setting. The renovated Sears, Roebuck & Company building is the definition of urban chic which also boasts an exciting array of restaurants serving every cuisine from authentic Mexican dishes to Moroccan small plates. Continue your culinary adventure and sample some of the alcoholic delights at the Old Fourth Distillery. Opening in 1906, this venue has long been dedicated to a sustainable, community approach. These days, the team produces whiskey, vodka, gin, and lawn dart.
So, what are you waiting for? There’s so much more to Atlanta than the main landmarks. This diverse city is a hub for alternative culture and if you want to explore it, these neighborhoods are a great place to start.