If you like being close, but not too close to all the bustle and shining lights of the big city, there might have been a point in your life when you considered moving to some of the Atlanta suburbs. If you’re closer than ever to making that decision right now, take a look at our guide to the best suburbs in Atlanta and get to know them a bit better. We tried to cover the areas on the edge of the Georgia capital that might interest different groups of people with specific needs, as well as point out some of the pros and cons of the reviewed districts.
If you’re wondering what is the best area to live in Atlanta, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Many think that finding the right place to relocate to is easy, but when you have so many options and great neighborhoods, it becomes a bit of a challenge. Even more so when you’re relocating across the country. Trying to find a compromise between your wishes and possibilities is the toughest part, but try not to stress too much about it. There are some specifics about suburban living, which we will try to shed some light on. So if you’ve never lived in the outskirts, pay close attention, and prepare for a lifestyle change.
What You Should Know About Atlanta, Georgia: How Many Peachtree Streets Are There in the City?
In case you’re relocating long-distance, and not just moving to the suburbs from Downtown ATL, you should start from the beginning and get to know a few things about the metropolis beforehand. As the capital and most populous city in the southeastern state of Georgia, ATL is home to almost half a million residents, but the population of its metro area is around 6 million. This immediately tells you there’s a lot of those who prefer staying in the suburbs of Atlanta, since the population of the city’s core is not so large, especially for a capital.
Known as the capital of the so-called New South, ATL rose like the phoenix after being burned almost to the ground during the American Civil War. Today, this is one of the major air transportation hubs thanks to the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world when it comes to passenger traffic. Some of the leading industries are aerospace, logistics, transportation, information technology, and medical services. So those of you who are looking at how to get a job before they move should consider these industries first.
Living in Atlanta comes with a lot of perks. But before we jump to the main part, let’s take a look at some curiosities and interesting things you should know about your future place of residence:
- ATL earned the nickname City in a Forest because 48% of its land surface is covered in trees, which is more than in any other urban area in Georgia.
- Approximately 70 streets in ATL have some variation of Peachtree in their name, even though there is not a single peach tree in this region. So don’t be surprised if your GPS takes you in the wrong direction.
- If you’re a fan of drive-ins to satisfy your late-night cravings, Varsity will be your favorite spot. It is the world’s largest drive-in, located on the corner of Spring. St. and North Ave.
- The largest Mandir Hindu temple outside of India is located right here in the metropolitan area of ATL. To be more specific, in the Lilburn suburb.
- The tallest building in the US outside of New York and Chicago is located right here, and it is the Bank of America Plaza. The building is 1,023 feet tall, and it dominates the city’s skyline, so it is hard to miss it.
- ATL hosted the Summer Olympics in 1996 after beating out Athens, Manchester, Melbourne, Toronto, and Belgrade in the battle for the host city.
And Some Stats:
If you want to know a little bit more, here are some stats about ATL you should keep in mind when relocating.
- The median age in ATL is 33.2
- The median household income is around $65,345, and it keeps growing
- The median property value is $302,000
- The homeownership rate is 45,4%
- The average commute time is around 25 minutes
What Cities Are on the Outskirts of Atlanta, GA?
Fast-paced lifestyle, traffic jams, crowds, noise, and stress are only some of the main reasons why so many decide to move further from the center of major urban hubs. And we are not just speaking about ATL. Many assume that suburban life is preferred mainly by those who have families with children, which is not so far from the truth. But recently, many millennials and young professionals who experienced the so-called burn out syndrome have decided to step away from the frantic center and search for a calmer atmosphere and a slower pace of life.
Juggling between work, socializing, and enjoying the vibrant Atlanta nightlife from time to time can be draining, and not everyone can manage to maintain a healthy balance for too long. That’s why many decide to move from ITP (inside the perimeter) to OTP (outside of the perimeter). In case you’re one of them, ATL is a good choice because there are plenty of smaller cities on its outskirts that can offer just what you’re looking for. Whether you’re looking for a place to raise a family, retire, or just slow down and change your habits, you should consider some of the following places:
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Pros and Cons of Relocating to the Suburbs of Atlanta
The place where you live can determine your lifestyle significantly, but suburban living is not for everyone. Some prefer being in the center of everything and enjoying the perks of having everything they need within walking distance. Others seek the conformity of a smaller community even when moving from a small town to a big city. Whatever the reason might be, if you’re relocating to the outskirts, you should carefully consider all the pros and cons, so let’s take a look at some of them:
Pros of Living on Outskirts of Atlanta
- Bigger homes for less money
- The larger backyard and outdoor space
- The rental market is not so competitive
- A more peaceful and cleaner environment
- The cost of living in Atlanta is much cheaper in suburban areas
Cons of Relocating to the Outskirts
- You’ll need a car, so think about auto transport services
- The job market is more competitive
- It can be too calm, or a bit boring sometimes
- There can be a lack of basic amenities
- Public transportation is not so frequent and commutes can be a problem for some people
What Are the Best Suburbs of Atlanta?
When scouting for the best Atlanta suburbs, you have to keep in mind your priorities and needs. More than 50 cities are a part of the ATL metro area, so it is clear that there has to be something for everyone. Most of these cities function as more or less independent communities and have their own vibe. Many of them are home to museums, libraries, schools, playgrounds, and so on. We decided to group them according to a few categories to help you narrow down your search. We followed some general criteria and focused on major target groups, such as families, singles, or those who are on a budget.
You should try to find a suburb that fits your needs perfectly. If you’re moving to a city alone, you won’t have the same criteria as those moving with pets and children. Also, there are some things to consider when relocating for a job, and that can impact your choice of the ideal suburb significantly. But one thing is sure; you’ll definitely need a car. In case you’re having a dilemma whether to drive or ship, make sure to check out what’s the cheapest way to ship a car, it will surely pay off.
What Are the Best Atlanta Suburbs for Families? We Say – Milton and Johns Creek
When raising a family, many rely on these primary criteria: safety and proximity to a good school. But besides that, it is obvious that a family has different needs compared to a single person, which is why suburban lifestyle is so preferred among families. More space, bigger homes with backyards, green areas, and that sense of community that is typical for every small town are some of the main reasons why families flock to suburban areas in high numbers.
Many couples start searching for the ideal suburb as soon as they find out that they are expecting a new member of the family. If you’re wondering how to move while pregnant, this is actually the perfect time to do it. You’ll have enough time to dedicate to house-hunting and figure out all the benefits of moving from an apartment to a house. And if you’re afraid of getting too stressed about it, hiring long-distance movers near you to provide you with packing and other moving services will help you find out that moving is not so difficult after all.
Johns Creek, A Suburb With Superb Schools
Located in Fulton County, Johns Creek is one of the best Atlanta suburbs for families and those who are looking for a safe and close-knit community. It has almost 85,000 residents, but it still has that sparse suburban vibe. The strongest selling points of this area are its exceptional public schools since they’re all highly ranked, meaning that the kids here are very ambitious and competitive.
When it comes to other things for kids to do in Atlanta, your youngest ones can participate in the annual Johns Creek Arts Festival, go to movie theaters, parks, or join various local sports clubs.
Two-thirds of residents are homeowners, which is why here you can get that feeling that everybody knows everyone. The median rent is around $1,500, and if you’re planning to buy a property, keep in mind that the median home value is $382,000.
Milton, Established in 2006 and Already Everyone’s Favorite
Another great community in Fulton County is Milton, with around 38,000 residents. Located north of central ATL, this charming community is known for its country flare and many horse farms. Two-thirds of residents are homeowners, and the median property value goes above $500,000, while the median household income is $125,000. In case you bump into a sale or a special offer, don’t hesitate and grab it immediately because good properties sell quickly.
Since the population of this community keeps rising, and so do the prices, now is the right time to invest here. Families love Milton because it has that small-town charm, and it is very safe, clean, has lots of excellent public schools, as well as abundant job opportunities. It offers suburban living at its finest, which is why it comes at a certain cost. In case you feel like you’re missing the hustle and bustle of ATL every now and then, know that Downtown is just 30 minutes away.
Alpharetta, a Growing Community
With more than 64,000 residents, Alpharetta is probably one of the fastest-growing towns on the outskirts of ATL. So why are so many relocating here, and why should you be one of them? For starters, four of the top ten high schools in the state of Georgia are in Alpharetta. Small local businesses are blooming, and there’s also a decent amount of companies looking to hire young professionals and recent grads.
Numerous events in the downtown area throughout the year, live music venues, sports, biking trails, outdoor activities, and the famous Avalon shopping district are only some of the reasons why this lively community is trending. No wonder that homeowners make the majority, because who would want to leave this suburban gem? In case you want to give it a shot, the median rent goes around $1,370.
Best Suburbs in Atlanta for Singles and Young Professionals – the Famous Decatur and More
It became some sort of an urban myth that young and singles don’t move to the outskirts, but that is not entirely true. Families might be the majority, but there are still youngsters who are willing to live their lives OTP. Those who can work remotely or don’t mind driving to work manage to save a lot of money by settling down further from the center since the costs are significantly lower and the lifestyle is more relaxed.
Budgeting is a frequent reason, but not the only one. Cities we picked are not dull or too peaceful. They have plenty of places to go out, restaurants, bars, parks and cafes, and a growing population of people in their twenties and thirties. So if you’re willing to experience a mix of urban and suburban, make sure to check out these towns.
North Druid Hills, a Millennials’ Favorite
Located in DeKalb County, North Druid Hills is a relatively small community with around 17,000 residents. More than 60% of them are renting, and the median rent goes around $1,370. Almost two-thirds of the population are people aged between 25 and 35, and there are not so many young children like in other suburban areas.
This lively community has everything you might need. From stores to bars – pretty much everything you need is within walking distance and pet-friendly. It is well connected to other satellite towns such as Decatur, but also to ATL since it belongs to ITP, which is a big plus.
Decatur – Not Too Close, Not Too Far
This is another highly praised suburb, located northeast of Downtown and conveniently within the perimeter, providing the mix of an urban and suburban lifestyle. It is probably the suburb with the shortest commute time to Downtown ATL, so if that is something that matters to you, you should seriously consider relocating to Decatur. There are also three rail connections that can get you anywhere, so perhaps you can manage to drive less and save some money on gas.
Trendy restaurants and bars, small quirky galleries, artsy shops, and numerous street festivals are only some of the reasons why many love this community. The majority of 23,000 residents are homeowners, but those who are looking to rent will be happy to hear that the median rent is $930. Excellent public schools and parks also attract many families with children.
Smyrna, a City With Abundant Job Opportunities
Located in the northwest, Smyrna with its 56,000 residents is another dense suburban area, popular among young professionals, regardless if they are single or raising a family. Although the median home value is around $271,000, which is significantly more affordable than in some other peripheral areas, almost half of the population is renting. However, that doesn’t mean that this is not a good place to make an investment and purchase your first property.
In case you’re moving out for the first time, you’ll find everything you need here. The median rent of $1,150 is slightly above the national average, but since many companies have a presence in Smyrna, finding a steady job is not going to be so hard.
What’s not so typical is the current number of nightclubs in Smyrna, making it one of the rare suburban areas where you can actually experience a proper nightlife. Besides that, there are numerous cafes, restaurants, shops, parks, and even a public library. Education opportunities are also vast, which is why many decide to raise their family in Smyrna.
What Best Atlanta Suburbs Are Also the Most Affordable?
Having a budget certainly limits your options and puts an additional pressure, but there’s always a way to cut costs when moving. The cheapest way to move out of state would be to find a job and affordable housing before you move, which can be challenging when house hunting around the best suburbs of Atlanta, but not impossible.
You can always downsize, estimate the value of your household goods, and sell things you’re not using to boost your budget. Finding a flatmate is not so easy when you’re relocating to the outskirts, but if this is something you would consider, go through ads and see what’s on the table. Many towns on the outskirts of ATL are really budget-friendly, and if you’re good at managing your finances, we are sure you’ll stand on your feet in no time.
Kennesaw – Suburban Lifestyle on a Budget
If you’re moving out of state on a budget, know that this is one of the best suburbs of Atlanta you could choose. Kennesaw is located in Cobb County and has around 33,000 residents. Its population is a mix of people of all ages. Here you can find families with children, students, young professionals, and retired people because there’s something for everyone.
There is a University within Kennesaw, which attracts the younger population. The addition of biking and hiking trails made residents more active and aware of their health, so locals tend to spend a lot of time outside. The proximity to Kennesaw mountain is another perk for those who are outdoorsy. The median property value is around $182,000, which is slightly below the national average, while the median household income is about $70,000
East Griffin – the Most Affordable One
Located in Spalding County, this is one of the smallest suburban areas on our list, and also the most affordable one. With just a bit under 1,500 residents, East Griffin is a great place for anyone looking for a quiet and calm community with friendly locals. Slightly more than half of the residents are renting at the median price of $810. Median real estate value is also low, around $65,600, which is an excellent price if you want to have a property on the outskirts.
Nightlife is pretty much non-existing, but public schools are pretty good, which in combination with low costs, attracts many young families. In this town, you can experience that real suburban lifestyle, a bit rural, but still worth giving a shot if you can imagine yourself living at such a slow pace.
What Is the Richest Neighborhood in Atlanta?
Many believe that Atlanta neighborhoods located on the outskirts are too expensive, exclusive, or elite. The truth is, you can find some of those as well, but they are in the minority. The wealthiest neighborhood in the city itself is Bucktown, located at the heart of ATL, and costs in suburban districts are relatively reasonable when compared to it. However, if you want to know which places are more on the high end, we decided to present some of them as well.
Sandy Springs – Beautiful Homes at a High Price
Sandy Springs is the place to look into if you want to find luxurious homes, from elegant modern houses to more traditional-style mansions.
Sandy Springs has a population of $105,000 residents, and it is home to some very safe neighborhoods. The median value of homes in Sandy Springs is around $447,000, but if you’re willing to pay more, you’ll certainly encounter some sky-high prices.
Sandy Springs is very accessible and attracts all types of newcomers that can afford it, from young professionals to families. If you’re looking for a prestigious private school, you’ll find many here, but public ones are not lacking behind in terms of education quality. If you’re an outdoorsy type, you can enjoy cycling events, horseback riding, kayaking, and many other activities.
Avondale Estates – a Community of Homeowners
Located east of Decatur and ITP, this small community of just a bit more than 3,000 residents is known for its residents’ facilities. There is a tennis court, pool, community lake, parks, playgrounds, and numerous events. Almost 90% of residents are homeowners, so it is safe to say that every resident knows everyone around here.
The median value of homes is around $350,000, while the median income is $108,000. The access to Downtown and all the important spots in ATL is easy from here. You’ll be close to the crowds, just without the noise and all other downsides. This is a quiet community with plenty of seniors and families and not a lot of singles.
How to Move to Some of the Best Suburbs in Atlanta?
Don’t even start house-hunting until you find reputable Atlanta movers that will handle every segment of your relocation professionally. Whether you’re moving interstate, locally, or long distance, you need reliable movers that provide all services you’ll need. Make sure to ask movers all questions related to your move, especially if this is your first time changing homes.
Besides movers, you should not exclude your friends and family from the process. We know that saying bye to friends is not easy, so call them to give you a hand and throw a packing party. In case you’re not relocating too far from your old home, you can also throw a housewarming party to celebrate the beginning of your new suburban life. Now you probably have enough space for that outdoor BBQ you’ve always wanted. Don’t forget to invite your new neighbors and meet them.
Is It Worth Moving to Atlanta Suburbs?
As we have seen, ATL has plenty of great communities on its outskirts, and life there certainly comes with a lot of pros. However, you don’t move to the outskirts if you can’t imagine a day without visiting one of the best restaurants in Atlanta or being in the center of the action. You move there because you’re looking for a sense of tight community, small-town charm, friendly neighbors, and a slow-paced lifestyle. You want to get more for your money while staying in a safe and quiet neighborhood. If that is something that you’re expecting, you won’t be disappointed, and making this step will certainly be worth it.