Peach State Paradise: 7 of the Best Neighborhoods to Live in Georgia
Atlanta may be the first place that comes to mind when you think of Georgia, but this vibrant state has several smaller neighborhoods in the surrounding area that deserve a closer look. From historic homes to fresh new shopping centers, you can find nearly any type of neighborhood waiting for you in the Peach state. Check out these top picks.
Old Fourth Ward – For Rapid Renovations
Old Fourth Ward is a diverse neighborhood located just east of downtown Atlanta. Originally settled in the 1800s, this area boasts a rich history. Old Fourth Ward was the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the site of the original Morris Brown College, Georgia’s first educational institution for African-Americans. Though the neighborhood still boasts many historic highlights, like the Ebenezer Baptist Church and Sweet Auburn Historic District, it’s also brimming with new energy.
Historic Fourth Ward Park, dedicated in June 2011, is one of the neighborhood’s most alluring retreats. It boasts a skate park, playground, splash pad, outdoor amphitheater, open lawns, and a 2-acre lake. The Old Fourth Ward community is primarily African-American with a high percentage of small families containing only two or three members. The neighborhood’s demographics lean heavily toward young professionals, with residents between 25 and 34 accounting for 29 percent of the population.
Virginia Highlands – For Shopping and Arts
The Virginia Highlands neighborhood, located northeast of downtown Atlanta, is a favorite destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment. This quaint area features seven commercial villages with blocks of picturesque bungalow homes interspersed among them. The neighborhood earned the title of “Favorite Neighborhood Overall” from Atlanta Magazine in 2011, and “Best Walkable Neighborhood” in 2012 from Creative Living. The annual Virginia Highlands Summerfest takes place here each June, highlighting the best food, art, and entertainment in the area.
The neighborhood earned the title of “Favorite Neighborhood Overall” from Atlanta Magazine in 2011, and “Best Walkable Neighborhood” in 2012 from Creative Living.
This neighborhood has a higher population density than Atlanta, with 13,028 residents in 2.13 square miles. The small affluent area has a median household income of $98,285 compared to Atlanta’s average of $43,903.
Roswell – For Historic Ambiance
Roswell is a historic Georgia city, founded in 1836. Located in northern Fulton County, it’s considered a northern suburb of Atlanta. This affluent city has a population of 91,213 people. The largest age demographic here is residents between 45 and 64 years old, who make up 29.7 percent of the population. Children and teenagers are the next largest demographic, making up 25.3 percent of the population.
Atlanta Magazine has chosen Roswell twice as the “Best Place to Live in Metro-Atlanta.”
Roswell has more restaurants, gyms, yoga studios, and alternative medicine businesses than the average for Georgia, making it an excellent destination for residents interested in natural, healthful lifestyles. Roswell also has 13 parks with more than 900 acres of parkland and facilities. Atlanta Magazine has chosen Roswell twice as the “Best Place to Live in Metro-Atlanta.”
Woodstock – For Southern Hospitality
Woodstock is the fastest growing city in Cherokee County, with a growth rate of 70 percent over the last decade. Downtown Woodstock is brimming with locally owned shops, giving the city an original flavor. Residents enjoy more than 25 local shops and more than 15 locally owned restaurants in the downtown area alone. This charming Southern destination also has a thriving arts scene on Elm Street and an annual summer concert series that features great outdoor performances free of charge.
Woodstock is the fastest growing city in Cherokee County, with a growth rate of 70 percent over the last decade.
Located north of Atlanta, Woodstock has a population of 25,135. The median household income is slightly higher than the average for Georgia, at $67,097. The mean house or condo value in Woodstock was $187,813 as of 2012.
Vinings – For City Convenience in the Suburbs
Vinings is an unincorporated area just northwest of downtown Atlanta. A census-designated place separated from the city by the Chattahoochee River, this neighborhood offers residents the distinct sense of being separate from the bustle of Atlanta, while staying within easy access of city conveniences.
Vinings is an affluent community with a population of about 9,724. The median house or condo value in this neighborhood is $344,597, and the median household income is about $56,129. Along the Chattahoochee River, residents enjoy access to fishing, hiking, and biking. The area is also known for the stellar shopping available at the Cumberland Mall and Vinings Jubilee.
Kennesaw – For Ample Job Opportunities
Located northwest of Atlanta, Kennesaw is a rapidly growing city with a population of nearly 30,000. Kennesaw is now the ninth largest city in the metro area. With easy access to I-75 and US Highway 41, Kennesaw is a convenient choice for commuters. It offers a broad range of housing options to suit varying budgets, with a median house or condo value of $154,514.
Kennesaw is now the ninth largest city in the metro area.
Kennesaw also offers excellent employment opportunities thanks to the Town Center Mall. Jobs are expected to increase from 7,383 in 1990 to 44,000 by 2020. Retail is the primary employment sector in this area, though job diversification is expected to increase as well.
East Atlanta – For Coming Changes
East Atlanta, like its neighbors, is gradually undergoing renovations around the neighborhood that are increasing the area’s overall desirability. Housing prices are lower here, making it a great option for residents who want to get an affordable home in an area where values are likely to increase. Though the neighborhood is quiet in the early evening hours, it’s known for its nightlife, which heats up around 10 p.m. Restaurants and bars are plentiful, and residents enjoy an eclectic selection of shops, ranging from Verdio House and Village Wear to vintage stores.
Housing prices are lower here, making it a great option for residents who want to get an affordable home in an area where values are likely to increase.
East Atlanta has 5,375 residents and a median household income of $41,887. The average household size of 2.5 is slightly larger than the average of 2.3 for Atlanta as a whole. The percentage of married-couple families is higher as well, at 36.8 percent as opposed to 23.2 percent for all of Atlanta. Residents moving to the area have a great opportunity to become part of growing changes coming to this neighborhood.
Get to know the real heart of Georgia a little better with a stop in one of these neighborhoods. Whether you’re interested in strolling through antique shops, visiting historic homes, or checking out high-end retail stores, you can find what you’re after in these hot spots.