The 5 best neighborhoods in Atlanta for a peachy getaway
Heading down south? Wondering where to stay? You’re in luck! Stay Alfred has put together a list of our five favorite Atlanta neighborhoods to help you decide where to hang your hat when you visit.
In this post, we’ll give you insider’s tips on each of these Atlanta neighborhoods, that are perfect whether you’re traveling with friends, with family, as a couple – or even for business.
Ready to find your perfect Atlanta locale? Read on to learn about everything from Midtown’s child-pleasing Center For Puppetry Arts to the Sweet Auburn district’s Joystick Gamebar, which aims to bring out the inner child in libation loving grownups.
Let’s explore Atlanta!
This city may as well be called the birthplace of cool, because it brought cultural icons like Chik-Fil-A, Ludacris, Coca-Cola and Super Soakers to the world. It’s also an extraordinary place to visit at any time of year and for any reason. Bachelorette party? Kids’ spring break? Romantic escape? Team-building workshop? All totally valid reasons to visit Atlanta.
Whether you’re flying solo or your travel companions include family members, co-workers, or friends, there’s a Stay Alfred travel apartment that’s perfect for your needs and your budget. Although we’re super passionate about providing fabulous accommodations that’s fashionable and functional, we also recognize that you’re not going to spend your whole trip plopped down on your travel apartment’s living room sofa. So we’ve compiled this guide of the best neighborhoods in the ATL and suggested some highlights for all types of Atlanta trips. Need to impress a picky client or entertain the kids? We’ve got your back.
Where to stay on a budget
Why splurge on a five-star hotel or skimp on the amenities at a bare-bones rental? Get the best of both – a luxurious array of extras and the privacy of your own place at a Stay Alfred travel apartment in Atlanta. Book a stay at a building like Stay Alfred on Ponce De Leon, and you’ll have unlimited access to the resort-style saltwater pool, the gym, the rec room and more without paying an extra cent.
Staying in your own apartment also means you can whip up home-cooked meals, keep leftovers in the fridge, do your own laundry and have movie nights on the couch. So save the money you would have spent on pricey restaurant breakfasts or at coin-op laundromats and spend it on fun stuff instead.
Where to stay with family
Planning a family vacation always comes with two dilemmas: who has to sit next to the stranger on the plane, and whether or not to cram everybody into one hotel room. Well, let us cross one thing off the list; there’s no need to fight over sharing beds at an Atlanta Stay Alfred travel apartment.
Families love our spacious units not only for the roominess (think units with up two bedrooms and two bathrooms), but also for the amenities that make family travel a little easier. Did junior spill tomato sauce again? Just throw dirty clothes in your in-unit washer. Are the kids constantly hungry? Keep plenty of snacks on hand in the kitchen. Do the little ones (or the parents) need a nap? Close the bedroom door for total privacy and quiet.
What family doesn’t enjoy a good slew of building amenities? Book a travel apartment at Stay Alfred at Century Skyline and sit with the fam around community fireplaces, splash in a rooftop pool, enjoy skyline views from a rooftop deck, or grill up an alfresco feast in the BBQ area.
Deciding where to stay with family? Our Stay Alfred travel apartments are located throughout the Atlanta metro area. Keep reading to get to know each neighborhood so you can choose the home base that is right for you.
Are you the type that likes to be in the middle of it all? Downtown Atlanta is the epicenter of the action, with glittering high-rises and many of Atlanta’s most famous attractions. Here you’ll find A-Town’s premier business district, but there’s plenty of space for fun and games too.
The centerpiece of Downtown’s urban landscape is Centennial Olympic Park, a grassy oasis which hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics. Today, it’s completely open to the public and hosts frequent community events that range from concerts to workout classes.
Downtown Atlanta Neighborhood Highlights
Yes, it’s home to some of the ATL’s most popular tourist sites, but Downtown Atlanta also has plenty of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re in town for a business meeting or a meet-up with friends, you’ll find a world of cool restaurants, vibrant bars and beautiful parks.
Downtown Atlanta for Friends
Looking for a fun activity to do with friends in Atlanta? Head to a sports game for a chance to experience Atlanta culture and scream at the top of your lungs. At the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, you can catch the Atlanta Falcons football team and Atlanta United soccer squad in action. And at the State Farm Arena down the street, the Atlanta Hawks basketball team shoots hoops.
More interested in college football than the NFL? Don’t miss the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame, where you can check out photos and memorabilia from decades of college athletics.
Downtown Atlanta for Couples
Looking for a way to really wow a special someone? Take date night to lofty new heights at the SkyView Atlanta ferris wheel. This attraction isn’t just for kids: its 42 enclosed gondolas offer panoramic views of the city which are especially beautiful at night. Celebrating a landmark anniversary? Pull out the stops and splurge on the glass-floored VIP gondola, which has swanky red-leather seats.
Every romance needs a little dash of intrigue, so bring your favorite evening companion to Agatha's A Taste of Mystery. Diners can indulge in a 5-course gourmet meal while taking part in a real-life game of Clue. Expect lots of laughs and some surprising plot twists. Plus, it’s just an 8-minute walk from Stay Alfred at Altitude, so no Uber is needed!
Downtown Atlanta for Business Travelers
After a productive day of meetings, there’s nothing business travelers appreciate more than a good happy hour. Thankfully, Downtown Atlanta is full of awesome happy hour spots! We love the Mexican-inspired drinks and bites at Alma Cocina, like freshly made guac and chile agave-glazed figs. More great happy hour specials are found at Ray's In the City (hello, $1.50 oysters!) and Thrive (discounted wine, beer, cocktails, and sushi). Why wait until the weekend to celebrate all of your hard work?!
Downtown Atlanta for Families
If you’re visiting Atlanta with kids, you’re bound to spend time at Pemberton Place, the plaza housing four of the Big Peach’s must-visit attractions for families. Likely the most famous place in the whole state, the World of Coca-Cola is on the bucket list of many a soda fan. It’s also one of the top things to do in Atlanta with kids. Also worthy of a few hours’ time is the Georgia Aquarium, where budding marine biologists can get up close and personal with thousands of aquatic specifics.
Traveling with kids in the single-digit age group? The Children's Museum of Atlanta is perfect for toddlers to pre-teens and features a super cool indoor playground. Traveling with slightly older kids (who maybe don’t want to be called “kids” anymore)? The exhibits at the Center for Civil and Human Rights will spark family discussions and critical thinking about the world around us.
Just north of downtown, Midtown’s vibrant attractions and restaurants certainly hold their own. Some would even argue that Midtown is the hipper cousin of Downtown – but we’ll let the locals bicker about that. We love Midtown’s art establishments like The Fox Theatre and the High Museum of Art, and it’s always nice to get a breath of fresh air in the enormous Piedmont Park. And not too far away is the Ponce City Market, a perfect choice for when your dining companions can’t decide on a particular cuisine – why not have it all?!
Midtown Neighborhood Highlights
Set on staying in in this part of town? Now you’ll have to choose where to stay in Midtown… Luckily, you’ve got three excellent options - all of which feature more space than an Atlanta hotel room and plenty of privacy. Whether you’re visiting Atlanta for business or pleasure, you’ll love Stay Alfred Midtown for its thoroughly modern interiors and its unbeatable location. Two other great options are nearby: Stay Alfred on Ponce De Leon, also with a sunny outdoor pool, and Stay Alfred on Peachtree Street, with a scenic rooftop terrace.
Midtown for Business Travelers
Visiting Atlanta on business with coworkers who appreciate a sweet treat? You’ll find some great options for grab-and-go goodies right here in Midtown. What’s always a good call for baked goods to bring to the office? Doughnuts, of course. And Sublime Doughnuts has some of the best in town. Think mouthwatering flavor combos like strawberries and cream, mocha, and red velvet. So much yes. Or, take your colleagues on a dessert tour of the globe with some pastries from Sweet Hut Bakery & Cafe. This international bakery features sweets like Portuguese egg tarts, Japanese red bean puffs, and limoncello-filled donuts.
Midtown for Couples
When in Atlanta, you’ve got to try some Southern food, and there’s no better option for a romantic date than upscale local cuisine. Don’t miss South City Kitchen, which offers Georgia classics like gulf shrimp, fried green tomatoes and braised boar. And, serving some of the best Southern food in town is the legendary Mary Mac's Tea Room, where the recipes and the living room-style ambiance remain pretty much unchanged since the 1940s.
Midtown for Friends
If you want to really do Atlanta like a local, you’ve got to gather your friends and head to brunch on the weekend. There’s just something about hearty Southern cuisine that remedies whatever happened the night before. It’s like magic! When the weather’s nice, grab a table on the patio at Einstein's and eat your fill of bourbon banana french toast or a fried green tomato benedict. Did you wake up with a grumbling tummy? Joy Cafe serves hearty brunch dishes like steak and egg tacos, fluffy buttermilk pancakes and classic shrimp and grits.
If you’d like a side of history with your brunch, head to the breakfast landmark Silver Skillet. Menu highlights like the “Southern Breakfast” with grits and chops keep locals coming back for decades. And for some more modern morning eats, The Lawrence features global brunch picks like shakshuka and smoked brisket hash. We’ve never been so excited to wake up on a weekend!
Midtown for Families
What do you mean, the kids aren’t thrilled to be spending the day at the Margaret Mitchell House, where Gone With The Wind was written? Okay, maybe that’s not so surprising. But what is surprising is that kids can be entertained by puppet shows at Atlanta’s own Center For Puppetry Arts. This niche show venue even has a create-your-own-puppet workshop, so the little ones can bring home a unique souvenir.
Sweet Auburn District
Slightly east of Downtown Atlanta, the Sweet Auburn District is most famous for being the birthplace of one of Atlanta’s most famous residents: Martin Luther King, Jr. Here, among the hipster-approved bars and rave-worthy restaurants, you’ll find Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park (12-minute walk from Stay Alfred at Dwell ATL), where you can learn all about this important historical figure. Educate yourself about Dr. King’s life and legacy at The King Center or visit the home he grew up in. Also popular among visitors is Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. King and his father both preached.
Sweet Auburn Neighborhood Highlights
Among the historical landmarks and scrumptious eateries is Stay Alfred at Dwell ATL, offering luxurious accommodations within walking distance of all the highlights of Sweet Auburn and neighboring Little Five Points. Every well-appointed unit includes a full kitchen, 10-foot ceilings, and access to the building’s stellar amenities. Yes, you deserve to have a zen lounge, a rooftop tennis court, and an outdoor pool within steps of your travel apartment.
Sweet Auburn for Families
Though the Sweet Auburn District is often talked about for its bar scene and haute cuisine, there are plenty of kid-friendly eats in this neighborhood too. Most notable is Krog Street Market, where even the pickiest young eater will find something delicious. Don’t miss the stalls selling fried chicken and ice cream. Also suitable for hangry kiddos are the camping-themed Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall and the casual Thumbs Up Diner, which is fantastic for breakfast.
Sweet Auburn for Business Travelers
In town to woo a potential client or to celebrate a productive partnership? Show your business partners that you’re as much a foodie as your are a professional by treating them to a meal at one of Atlanta’s most elegant restaurants. In the heart of Sweet Auburn, you’ll find Staplehouse, which not only serves fabulous cuisine, but also gives back to the community, and the historic Ticonderoga Club. Also worth a mention is the Cajun-inspired Serpas, which offers a fresh take on classics like Berkshire pork, local fish, and pigs in a blanket.
Sweet Auburn for Friends
Wondering where to stay in for nightlife? Stay Alfred at Dwell ATL is a solid bet if you want to have a good time since it’s near the best evening recreation in town. Who says you have to act like a grown-up while enjoying an adult beverage? Well, at Joystick Gamebar and Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium, you don’t. Both of these Sweet Auburn watering holes feature games like ping pong, pinball, foosball and Space Invaders. Bring your inner kid out to play! Into something more interactive? Check out Room Escape Atlanta (5-minute walk from Stay Alfred at Dwell ATL) and bring your friendship to the next level.
Sweet Auburn for Couples
While any of the Sweet Auburn District’s bars and restaurants would make a fabulous date night pick, why not switch things up and enjoy a night of artsy entertainment? Just a block south of Sweet Auburn’s main drag (Edgewood Avenue), Dad's Garage Theatre features stand-up comedy shows and original plays every weekend. Or, catch some improv at the Village Theatre, just a 15-minute walk from Stay Alfred at Dwell ATL. The couple that laughs together, stays together, right?
Known as one of Atlanta’s most upscale suburbs, Buckhead is famous for glitzy malls and fancy restaurants, earning it the nickname “The Beverly Hills of the East.” But it’s also full of history, art, and culture – so no need to avoid Buckhead if your budget doesn’t allow for souvenirs from Gucci or Christian Louboutin.
Buckhead Neighborhood Highlights
Sitting about 7 miles north of Downtown Atlanta, Buckhead is a quick 15-minute drive from the middle of the city. If renting a car isn’t in your A-Town plan, not to worry! Rideshares are readily available, or you can utilize Atlanta’s MARTA public transit system. From the Peachtree Center Transit Station in Downtown, you can take the Gold Line and get to Buckhead’s Lenox Transit Station in just 15 minutes. During the day, this train runs every 10 minutes. Best part about taking public transit? You don’t have to worry about finding parking!
If calling this neighborhood home sounds like your cup of sweet tea, put it just outside your front door by choosing Stay Alfred at Cortland Phipps Plaza. These upscale, professionally managed travel apartments are an easy walk to Buckhead’s business district and to shopping at Phipps Plaza, Lenox Mall and The Shops at Buckhead – as well as two MARTA stops, for car-free fun.
Buckhead for Business Travelers
During the week, busy professionals throughout the ATL flock to Buckhead for a nice meal at some of the best power lunch spots in Atlanta. Buckhead’s upscale vibe and stellar food scene make it a solid pick when you want to impress clients or treat your employees. If a flight to Italy isn’t feasible over your lunch break, head to St. Cecilia instead. Their lunch menu is packed with tasty pastas, fresh salads and shareable charcuterie and small plates.
If you only luncheon at places on Forbes’ list of 100 Best Steakhouses, Little Alley Steak will satisfy any hungry belly with their top-notch steaks, burgers and seafood. Or kick it old-school at Bones Restaurant, an Atlanta culinary landmark known for their exceptional service as much as their food.
Buckhead for Couples
Craving a taste of the far East? Buckhead is a delicious destination for various Asian cuisines that range from hole-in-the-wall eateries to elegant lounges. For tasty Thai food, we love the spicy curries, spring rolls, and tropical cocktails at Bangkok Station. Speaking of spicy dishes, you can find authentic ramen (no, not the kind from a cup you ate in college) at JINYA Ramen Bar. Order your broth regular or with a fiery kick.
Or if sushi is what you’re craving, don’t miss one of the best sushi restaurants in Atlanta, Umi. Choose your favorite rolls or, if you’re feeling adventurous, opt for the omakase and let the sushi chefs serve whatever is freshest that day.
Buckhead for Families
Okay, so maybe the kids won’t enjoy a business lunch or a sushi dinner. That’s okay! Buckhead has some fantastic activities that kids are sure to love. To prove that learning about history can be fun, the Atlanta History Center features ever-changing exhibits on A-Town culture, like barbecue cuisine, railroads and the Civil War. There’s even a farmhouse from the 1840s! And if history doesn’t get the kids excited, take ‘em to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta. What’s not to love about LEGO-inspired rides, LEGO-inspired food and classes on how to improve your LEGO-building techniques? Don’t worry, you won’t step on any bricks here.
Buckhead for Friends
Buckhead is said to have some of the best shopping in Atlanta, with several massive malls and all the brand name stores. The crown jewel of Atlanta retail therapy is the giant Lenox Square, anchored by department stores like Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s. Just one street over is the high-end Phipps Plaza, featuring stores including Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Gucci, and Tiffany & Co. And even more luxury boutiques are found across the six blocks encompassing The Shops at Buckhead, including Jimmy Choo, L’Occitane, and Warby Parker. If you can’t find it around here, it probably doesn’t exist.
Not so into shopping? Enjoy the fabulous dining options at each of these malls while your pals splurge on souvenirs.
Little Five Points
When you want to stay in a neighborhood that’s positively presidential, there’s only one option in the ATL: Little Five Points. This eclectic ‘hood is home to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, set in sprawling Freedom Park. And while this landmark is definitely worth a visit, it’s not the only reason to spend time in Little Five Points. Often called the Bohemian center of the Southern United States, Little Five Points is a mish-mash of cultures and styles that just seems to work. And that’s why we love it – you might expect this type of vibe in New York City or San Francisco, so it’s a welcome surprise in the A.
Little Five Points Neighborhood Highlights
One of Atlanta’s best examples of neighborhood revitalization, Little Five Points has undergone a transformation from a derelict industrial district to a vibrant area in the last 30 years. Now, instead of forgotten warehouses, tourists and locals love visiting the restaurants, shops, bars, and arts venues of this exciting part of town.
Little Five Points for Couples
In the hip Little Five Points ‘hood, you’ll find several great options for live music - all of which make fantastic date night options. Once a movie theatre, the Variety Playhouse now hosts live music in its intimate concert hall, and Aisle 5 brings touring artists from genres ranging from reggae to rap to rockabilly. Or, at The Star Community Bar, you don’t even have to leave the bar to watch a show, just let the music come to you at this eclectic drinkery.
Little Five Points for Business Travelers
Whether you’re bringing coffee to the office for the whole team or catching up on emails solo, Little Five Points is one of Atlanta’s best neighborhoods for coffee. And we’re not talking about coffee shops with iconic green logos – we mean the independently owned local roasters who are nuts about high-quality beans. In no particular order, we recommend Java Lords, The Poncey Highland, JavaVino (which serves wine in the evenings), Village Coffee House and Aurora Coffee.
Little Five Points for Families
We’re all about trying local fare, but you just can’t beat a steaming slice of pizza – wherever you are. And when the kids are hungry, sometimes you just gotta stick to the classics. Little Five Points is home to some of the best pizza in Atlanta, and when you stay at an Atlanta Stay Alfred, you can store leftovers in the fridge in your full kitchen!
Pizza-loving families are sure to enjoy the pies at Savage Pizza, Fellini's Pizza, Little Five Points Pizza, and Cameli's Pizza – all conveniently located within a few block radius. The young’uns will love the superhero-themed decor at Savage and adults will enjoy the beer on tap at Little Five Points Pizza.
Little Five Points for Friends
While our pizza recommendations can also be solid recs for dinners with friends, Five Points also has some killer places to grab a beer. Whether you’re pre-gaming a Falcons game or a high school reunion, these watering holes are sure to provide a good time for all. With a massive selection of suds, The Porter Beer Bar is a beer nerd’s dream. They have a huge variety available on tap and even more available by the bottle. You just might discover a new favorite.
Old Fourth Ward Neighborhood
A hipster neighborhood with a flair for the past, Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward has a little something for everyone. A heavy-hitter in Atlanta’s emerging food scene, couples have plenty of dining options backed up with great live music fun in the O4W. Here on business? You’ll wake to a slew of cafes great for working in and choose from the neighborhood’s numerous world-class eateries for great company dinners and upscale parties. Families can walk the kids to the skate park, then hit the nearby Ponce City Market, a local landmark retail center with yummy bites, fashion shopping in hip boutiques, and a taste of Atlanta history in this humongous Old Fourth Ward vintage building.
Old Fourth Ward Neighborhood Highlights
Old Fourth Ward highlights include Irwin Street Market, Martin Luther King Jr’s Birth Home, Historic Fourth Ward Park, and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, to name a few. The Ward’s bustling nightlife district, at the intersection of Boulevard and Edgewood Avenue, boasts heaps of bars serving up creative craft cocktails, plus award-winning restaurants, and fun dance clubs.
Food aficionados should go straight to Old Fourth Ward’s Irwin Street Market to enjoy great dining and globally inspired artisan foods for that Stay Alfred kitchen. Fashion fiends should pounce on a visit to Ponce City Market, and art lovers will love perusing Old Fourth Ward street art, which is some of the best in Atlanta! More fun can be found at the Georgia Aquarium, one of the only aquariums on Earth that houses a whale shark, and you’ll surely want to indulge your inner critic with a trip to the Atlanta International Museum of Art and Design. And, no trip to Atlanta is complete without cheering on your favorite band or sports team at nearby State Farm Arena (Go Hawks!).
Old Fourth Ward for Couples
Both a great place to start a day of romance or to extend it through the night, Condesa Coffee offers more than just great coffee and espresso, its full bar opens in the evening to serve classic and creative cocktails, and they’ve got the best patio in the O4W, complete with a great view of the Atlanta skyline (that might inspire some smoochin’). Great for one-stop date nights, City Winery is a music venue, restaurant, wine bar, and winery all in one, and it’s located next to the historic Ponce City Market, which is great for a romantic stroll and people watching.
For more Old Fourth Ward romance, take your squeeze out for a bite, creative craft cocktails and some club dancing at The Sound Table. Old Fourth Ward’s romantic Fox Theatre hosts ballet performances, movies and more, all in a breathtakingly opulent venue built in the 1920s, and complete with a 3,600-pipe organ, with the walk there from your cozy Stay Alfred travel apartment just as romantic as the experience!
Old Fourth Ward for Business Travelers
First, coffee… Whether they’re where you start your day or spend the whole thing, Old Fourth Ward boasts plenty of friendly cafes from classy to hip. We’ve already mentioned Condesa Coffee for couples, but it’s also a bright and friendly place that’ll help you wake up and get right to work. Another great spot for pre-meeting caffeine or busting out the laptop is Academy Coffee, with some locals claiming it serves up the best coffee in Atlanta. Great for lunch meetings or just for working while you eat delicious food, Old Fourth Ward’s Highland Bakery boasts Southern-style eats and baked foods, an all-day breakfast, great salads and sandwiches, as well as fresh pastries, and its comfy ambiance helps you power through the day. For that business party or dinner, try TWO urban licks, a popular Atlanta restaurant known for “Fiery American Cooking” roasted before your eyes in a nine-foot, woodfired rotisserie, and live Blues playing nightly.
Old Fourth Ward for Families
If you’ve just got off the plane and have some little legs that need stretching, Atlanta’s popular new Eastside Trail, a section of the city’s 22-mile Beltline loop of trails, pathways, and streetcar routes, leads to some of Old Fourth Ward’s best green spaces where kids can run, and the outdoor art installations you’ll see along the way are a great welcome to the neighborhood. Fun pit stop options along the trail include Old Fourth Ward Skatepark where kids can skate like mad and then cool off in a splash fountain, and the massive Ponce City Market, housed inside a gorgeous historic building and featuring great retail, restaurants, a food hall, and boutiques. Got some hungry tummies to feed? Grab a tasty pie at Amalfi Pizza, featuring Neapolitan-style pies, pasta, salads, and Italian sweets, served up in this rustic-chic setting, or try one of Old Fourth Ward’s numerous nearby family-friendly eateries.
Old Fourth Ward for Friends
Old Fourth Ward offers plenty of fun options for you and your squad to party down Atlanta-style. Belly up to the bar with your crew at Old Fourth Ward’s Bantam Pub, a small but hip spot for dining, drinks including craft beers, and outdoor seating for al fresco fun under Atlanta skies. Or, for dinner and live music hit up Venkman’s, a local fave that serves up modern comfort food and craft cocktails in a warehouse space with a nice stage for great live music. Up for a spectacular dining experience? Call (way) ahead and reserve a table at Staplehouse or saddle up to the eight walk-in seats at the full-service bar. Pssst, there’s a full cocktail bar upstairs for drinks and snacks while you wait for your table. Up for a big live performance with your buds? How about some funk, jazz, comedy, or theatre at The Tabernacle, a 1911 church converted into a great music-worshipping venue seating up to 2,600 people!
Consider yourself a pro at navigating the best neighborhoods in Atlanta now. We hope you’re craving some hearty BBQ and an ice-cold glass of Coke, because now you know where to stay in Atlanta to enjoy the highlights of this exciting city in the South.
We’ll leave the outfit planning and packing up to you (you can consult our convenient packing list for pointers too). But if you need any assistance booking your Atlanta vacation rental, give us a ring at 1.866.232.3864 - we’re always happy to help. Here’s to your adventure in the Big Peach!