Guide to Atlanta Neighborhoods – What Are the Best Places to Live in Atlanta Georgia?

Georgia’s capital is a tech and film hub with a diverse population, fantastic food, and more green spaces than most major cities in the US. If you’re planning a long-distance relocation to the so-called Big Peach, you might find Atlanta neighborhoods oddly familiar because many have been featured in movies or TV shows. From The Walking Dead to Ant-Man and Captain America: Civil War, your future community might be immortalized in one of the fan-favorite cinema creations.

When moving to Atlanta, you’ll be staying in a metro area that is the fourth fastest-growing one in the US, and the booming economy and local revitalization initiatives might have something to do with this population surge. As a newcomer, you might wonder, What is the best neighborhood to live in Atlanta? or Where do hipsters and young adults live? To help you out a bit, we made an extensive list of the greatest spots all over the metropolis that can fulfill your specific needs.

What You Need to Know About Atlanta Neighborhoods Before Moving

Are you looking forward to settling down in the metropolis whose economy is the 10th largest in the US? This “alpha world city” ranks fourth in the number of Fortune 500 enterprises headquartered within its limits, right behind New York, Houston, and Dallas. If you decide to relocate in pursuit of a successful career, the question of how to get a job before you move should be the top of your priorities. Luckily, the region hosts over 1,250 international enterprises. Additionally, over 75% of the Fortune 1000 enterprises have a presence in the metropolis, so finding work shouldn’t be a challenge.

No matter what your reason for moving is, you should know that the capital and the most populous city of Georgia is divided into 242 distinct neighborhoods, and one of them can be your next home. Long before having 242 different locations, ATL was divided according to political units known as wards. That ward classification lasted until 1954.

Nowadays, Atlanta’s local government is actively involved in improving the city’s overall livability, and that’s why 25 planning units take care of zoning and planning issues.

Based on the geographical location, the metropolis is divided into five zones:

  • Intown
  • Southeast
  • Southwest
  • Northwest
  • Buckhead

In 2010, ATL had the 4th largest African American population among the major US cities, currently around 250,000. Because of political and social power, culture, and education of the Black minority, the city’s also known as “black Mecca.” Additionally, there is a significant number of non-Hispanic white residents, as well as Asian Americans, making this one of the most diverse spots in the nation. No matter who you are, and where you’re coming from, you’ll never feel alone or out of place while living in Atlanta.

Race, ethnicity, or
foreign-born status
Population 2010% of total 2010
Black286,12654.0%
White211,36538.4%
White non-Hispanic183,29433.3%
Asian and Pacific Islander28,0715.1%
Hispanic or Latino of any race56,14210.2%
Foreign-born33,6218.0%

Source: Wikipedia

Garden Hills Is One of the Best Neighborhoods in Atlanta for Families

Positioned in the heart of Buckhead, Garden Hills is a forest community that captures the essence of urban living. Garden Hills is known for its festive holiday parties and active local associations. Besides the location and many social activities, newcomers flock to the area for its easy access to parks and other recreational venues.

Since Frankie Allen, Alexander, and Sunnybrook Parks are all in this area, you can enjoy extensive outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, running, and strolling. If you relocated with a special someone this is where you will find plenty of outdoor romantic things to do in Atlanta. There are baseball fields, pools, picnic areas, and tennis courts where you can spend time with your partner.

Its tree-lined streets and eclectic mix of homes developed between 1920 and 1940, give it a family vibe. When looking for a place to settle down, you will stumble upon homes from Georgian and Spanish Revival eras as well as newer constructions.

Garden Hills is connected to Downtown via Peachtree road, and if you don’t feel like driving, there is more than one station where you can catch a bus and go anywhere around the metropolis.

There Are More Than a Few Schools Your Kids Can Attend

Relocating with children to one of the most family-friendly locations means you will be in the vicinity of some high-quality educational institutions. Your kids can attend King Catholic, Garden Hills Elementary, or International School. Additionally, residents can send children to Sutton Middle School as well.

Your kids will thrive in some of the finest schools.

Kirkwood Is One of the Best Atlanta Neighborhoods With a Suburban Vibe

If you are moving from a small town to a big city like ATL, you might want to stay in a more suburban district – Kirkwood can be that. This is one of the Atlanta suburbs that has a family-friendly community, which offers quality housing and a small-town vibe.

Don’t worry, it is not a sleepy location. Kirkwood has a thriving art scene that includes pb&j Gallery and Urban Forest Community Garden. Also, there is the Spring Festival with music and food market, and Wine Stroll that samples wines from all across the world. Also, it is a short ride from Downtown, so if you don’t own a car, just use East Lake Transit Station.

What Makes Kirkwood One of the Best Places to Live in Atlanta for Families

The statistics show that 27% of households have children, but what really makes Kirkwood a tempting and desirable neighborhood for families? There are five public parks throughout the location. If you are looking for things for kids to do in Atlanta this is where they can run around while you are enjoying the fresh air or shooting some hoops with other parents. Additionally, there are five schools your children can attend, as well as eateries such as Urban Pie, Elmyriachi, and Dulce Vegan Bakery & Café, where you can relax after a long day of work and parenting.

Even with its suburban vibes, Kirkwood has plenty of eateries to offer.

Candler Park and Ben Hill Are Some of the Safest Neighborhoods in Atlanta

You can never be too careful when changing your place of residence and going to a different part of the country. So before relocating to ATL, it would be wise to look into each location’s safety situation. Even though the data from AreaVibes website shows that crime is down 14% year-over-year in the metropolis, there are still some locations that are safer than others. On the top of the list of peaceful and felony-free spots are Candler Park and Ben Hill.

Candler Park is located in Intown, and it is known for: low crime rates, historic homes, and family-friendly activities. The rate of violent crimes is 72% lower than the national average, making the district safer than 99% of the places in Georgia. When the name has Park in it, you can expect vast open spaces in the vicinity. Those moving with pets shouldn’t worry; their pets can enjoy a fun day out in parks such as Freedom, Goldsboro, and Candler.

Ben Hill is in the Southwest part of ATL, and it is mainly a Black community with more than a few Black-owned businesses. Data shows that the location is safer than 90% of the places in Georgia and has a lower number of property crimes than the rest of the state. Besides low crime rates, what’s unique about Ben Hill is that almost 16% of residents take the bus to work. However, if you are not a fan of public transportation, know that Ben Hill is connected with the rest of the metropolis via Camp Creek Parkway, Fairburn, and Welcome All roads. So if you ship your car, it will be easy to drive around.

Low crime rates attract newcomers to these ATL locations.

Midtown and Buckhead Village Have a Reputation of Being the Cool Neighborhoods in Atlanta

Are you looking for a neighborhood that has it all – bars, restaurants, green spaces, and different accommodation options? Midtown and Buckhead Village have all of these and more.

Midtown, also known as “Heart of the Arts,” is an ideal spot if you want to spend days strolling around Piedmont park, or visiting museums.  Down the Peachtree street, you can find the High Museum of Art and a historic Fox Theater that hosts over 250 performances every year. What makes the location cool is a palette of different cultural festivals that happen throughout the year, as well as a line of some of the best restaurants in Atlanta. From The Varsity drive-in to upscale southern food at Empire State South, there is something for everyone here; all you have to do is take a walk along the vibrant Peachtree street, and you will find what you need.

Buckhead Village might not be so close to Downtown as Midtown, but it has been experiencing exponential growth lately – new restaurants, shopping malls, and bars are popping all around the area. It is an ideal spot for people that are looking for high-rise condo options or multi-family buildings. What makes it cool and attractive to newcomers are amenities like 2,500 seat Theater and The Shops, an unparalleled shopping as well as dining spots.

In Case You Were Wondering Where Do Hipsters Live in Atlanta…

Because of dedication to arts and a variety of small, local shops, diners, and pubs, these two areas attract youthful crowds looking for a neighborhood where they can enjoy the best of what life has to give. If you appreciate subcultures and praise authentication and unique ways of living, Buckhead Village and Midtown will be great spots for exploring different lifestyles, without being judged.

Best Neighborhoods to Live in Atlanta If You Are on a Budget

Let’s face it – stress free moving is not possible if you don’t plan everything and calculate your overall costs. If you are on a tight budget while relocating, finding affordable housing should be at the top of your priority list. Housing plays a major role in the overall cost of living in Atlanta, that’s why the main question is – are you planning on buying or renting an apartment? ALT has areas that can cater to the needs of potential homeowners as well as renters. See for yourself if almost 65% of current residents that say there is a healthy variety of homes are right.

Harland Terrace and Campbellton Road Are Atlanta Neighborhoods With Some of the Lowest Rents

Approximately 57% of all Atlanta’s residents rent their houses. If you want to be one of them, there is a way to find a home without spending all of your savings. According to the website ApartmentGuide, two locations with some of the lowest rent prices in ATL are Harland Terrace and Campbellton Road. Both of these are located in the Southwestern part of the metropolis, and if you want to become a resident, you should know the average rent price:

  • Harland Terrace – 90% of residents rent their homes, and the price of a one-bedroom apartment is around $575.
  • Campbellton Road – 90% of residents rent, and the price for a one-bedroom apartment is $705.

Lake Claire and Cabbagetown Are Great Spots for Homeowners

Nothing says “I am here to stay” quite like buying a house. If you want to put down roots and become a true resident of ATL, there are some great locations you should check out while house hunting.

Lake Claire is located Intown, and it is known for a unique mix of home styles, green spaces, and community-oriented residents. Artists, young families, and professionals are all welcomed in this, one of the smaller ATL locations. There are around 1,200 residences that vary from Victorian, Modern, and Revival periods, and to own one, you will need approximately $545,000.

Cabbagetown is one of the favorite hangout spots for movie industry workers and artists. Since 40% of residents are between the ages of 25 and 34, there are many restaurants, bars, and shopping options that can accommodate an active lifestyle. If you are looking to buy a brightly colored house, painted in almost neon hues, Cabbagetown is for you. With nearly 70% of all residents owning their homes, you will be in the perfect company. All you need around $267,000.

Affordable locations will make sure you don't dip into your savings.

VaHi Is One of the Best Places to Live in Atlanta for Young Professionals

VaHi or Virginia Highland is a wealthy location with youthful residents. Its bungalow homes are surrounded by four major commercial areas, making it ideal for all young professionals working in the Midtown area.

According to data from the website Niche, more people own than rent, and the median home value is $584,400. However, if you want to lease a place of your own, you will need around $1,360 a month.

VaHi serves as a model for other parts of the metropolis when it comes to implementing a wide-ranging list of protocols to keep the residents safe. Current crime prevention measures in VaHi entail:

  • Being a part of APD patrol zone 6
  • Having FBAC security patrol
  • Having a watch program
  • Notifying residents via text message or Twitter about dangerous situations

Additionally, if you ever needed medical assistance, there are more than a few Piedmont healthcare facilities in the vicinity of VaHi.

Know the Spots Where Locals Kick Back and Relax

You might want to relax after a long day of hard work while living in VaHi. Luckily, you will encounter two types of commercial space where you can shop, eat, and grab a drink:

  • The small business district around Highland Avenue and St. Charles and Virginia streets
  • Former warehouses and industrial buildings turned into a commercial zone along Amsterdam Walk and Ponce de Leon Place.

There are a few chic, local vibe bars that you can visit. From Moe’s & Joe’s and George’s to Highland Tap and Fontaine’s Oyster House. There is also an abundant dining out offer, from Taco Mac to La Tavola, meaning that even the picky eaters will find a place to their liking.

There are commercial areas where you can spend some money buying goodies.

Kingswood Is a Luxurious Spot for Those With Deep Pockets

Those who love finer things in life should check out Kingswood when looking for a neighborhood to settle down in ATL. It offers newcomers a mix of estate houses and more modern constructions. Whether contemporary or old fashioned, most residences are spacious with large backyards, tree-lines, and landscaping. Approximately 95% of the population owns their homes, and the median value is $1,471,000.

This large location north of West Pace Ferry is also one of the most popular destinations in the metropolis because of its proximity to several private schools. If you have kids, they can attend Pace Academy, Holy Spirit Preparatory, or The Lovett Schools.

Besides stellar educational opportunities, this community has a Homeowners Association that takes care of landscaping maintenance, social events, holiday parties, and security patrols. If you choose Kingswood as your next address, you won’t be on your own; a tight-knit community will make sure you are included and accepted.

Historic or modern residences, it is up to you, because Kingswood has it all.

Check Out Some Great LGBT Friendly Spots

Did you know that ATL has one of the highest LGBT populations per capita in the US? Approximately 13% of the population identifies themselves as bisexual, transsexual, gay, or lesbian. Add Pride Festival, a manifestation that is among the oldest and largest ones of its kind in the country, and you get one pretty accepting, friendly, and diverse metropolis. Even though the whole city is accepting, some locations are just a touch friendlier than the others.

Eat and Drink All Across Avondale Estates

Avondale Estates is home to the largest number of LGBT couples per household of any place in Georgia state, according to the data from Williams Institute. This fact is only one of many reasons why Avondale Estates is an excellent spot for LGBT couples. Located on the East side of the metropolis, you will find Tudor-styled buildings, parks, lakes, pools, and even tennis courts. Additionally, you get to enjoy the vibrant community and some of the most unique things to do in Atlanta such as visiting the Autumnfest Art and Music Festival or going on a brewery tour at Wild Heaven Craft Beers. When you are hungry, just take a walk along Avondale road, and you will find a restaurant you like.

Stay in Nondiscriminatory Neighborhood of Brookhaven

Brookhaven is a historic location known as a spot you go to pamper yourself and indulge in some wellness activities. It can offer you a variety of spa resorts such as Natural Body Spa and Vida-Flo, where you can get rid of all the stress you are feeling.

There are more than a few restaurants, bars, and clubs, making Brookhaven a popular Atlanta nightlife destination for all people looking for entertainment. What makes it perfect for LGBT residents is the fact that Atlanta’s local government adopted an LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance. The directive prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and identity in housing, employment, and public accommodation.

Feeling of pride is not new but local initiatives keep the community modern.

What Are the Bad Neighborhoods in Atlanta You Could Avoid

When relocating to ATL, you are bound to stumble upon some not so great areas. Even though the local government is conducting beautification that includes graffiti removals, recycling, education, and community improvements, there are still some locations that are rough around the edges.

One of them is Fort Valley in the Southwestern part of the metropolis, whose main problem, according to data from the website Niche, is the lack of entertainment and housing options. If you are looking for a vibrant place with many bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, Fort Valley is not for you.

The next one is Grove Park, a working-class community on the Northwestern side of the metropolis. The main problems of this location are high crime rates and low household incomes. However, revitalization plans set in motion are focused around education and building an academy and a charter school. Also, there is a plan to form a main street business district. Remember, Grove Park might not be great for now, but the upcoming changes might just put it among the great ATL communities.

All ambitious, career chasers should also stay away from Lakewood Heights because it has a high unemployment rate of 10.5%, and low media incomes. Furthermore, if you have kids, Lakewood Heights might not meet your desired school criteria.

There is more than one district that needs revitalization.

Moving to the Capital of Georgia Is a Smart Decision

Are you still on the fence about relocating to ATL? Hopefully, this guide sheds some light on your doubts and helped you find the location you need. Remember, a vast number of entertainment options, local initiatives, open spaces, and tight-knit communities are all the factors that will make your move worth the trouble. Add a booming economy and highly rated educational institutions, and you will see why newcomers can’t wait to call themselves ATL locals.

When you are relocating across the country, the moving process can be a bit overwhelming. To avoid stressful situations, hire a professional long-distance moving company to handle all of your belongings. While movers are packing and moving your stuff, you can spend some time getting to know the city that will be your new home.

Written By: Blake Shaw