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Brookhaven: The Historic Atlanta Neighborhood that Became its Own City

Head east of Atlanta to the historic enclave of Brookhaven, where charming cottages, mid-century homes and modern apartment complexes welcome locals. Despite being settled in the 1800s, Brookhaven didn’t become a city until 2012 and was formerly part of Atlanta’s Buckhead area. Today, Brookhaven residents enjoy all the benefits of living minutes from Atlanta while enjoying their own nightlife, dining and shopping. Parks are plentiful, and the family-friendly vibe entices newcomers looking for a place to settle in and call home.

Where is Brookhaven?

Brookhaven brushes up against Fulton county and North Buckhead to the west and the city of Chamblee to the east. You can also hop onto I-85 from Brookhaven or zip down I-285 to reach Atlanta and nearby areas.

You’ll quickly learn Atlanta area locals are obsessed with whether or not you’re ITP or OTP. Get ready to defend where you stand on the issue of “Inside the perimeter” “Outside the perimeter” of I-285. Depending on who you ask and whether they embrace city living, locals will approve of Brookhaven’s firm position ITP.


During the 1900s, Brookhaven attracted Atlantans looking for summer cottages outside the city. The premier Capital City Club was built to serve its affluent residents and vacationers, which is now on the National Register of Historic Places. If you golf or dine at City Club, you’re mingling among one of the most prestigious private clubs in the Atlanta metro area.

Brookhaven’s population is rapidly growing and is now one of the largest cities in Dekalb county. Sought-after neighborhoods include Brookhaven Village and apartment complexes along Buford Highway. Commercial and mixed-use developments are also rapidly growing in Brookhaven.


Brookhaven is known for its community vibe and historic homes. The area isn’t lively like Buckhead and Midtown Atlanta, but it still keeps locals busy with shopping, restaurants and a handful of nightlife options.

What to Do

Brookhaven is home to the pedestrian-friendly Town Brookhaven and Brookhaven Shopping Center. You’re also just a few miles from premier shopping areas of Lenox Mall, Phipps Plaza, Buckhead Village District and Oglethorpe Crossing.


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Beyond shopping, locals hang at Funtime Bowl or Cinebistro. Culture and art lovers take in the latest exhibits at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art. Or make the short drive into Atlanta to see the High Museum of Art, Atlanta History Center or Children’s Museum of Atlanta.

October marks the annual Brookhaven Arts Festival, complete with a car show, kids’ zone and live music to keep you entertained while browsing the art displays and vendors. Over at the Brookhaven Beer & Wine Festival, residents sample more than 150 beers and wines. If guests arrive in Brookhaven for the annual festivities, put them up at an aera chain like Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Red Roof Plus+ in nearby Druid Hills, Buckhead or Chamblee.

Brookhaven is home to Brookhaven Park, Blackburn and Ashford Park. Or stroll through the largest park in Brookhaven at Murphey Candler Park for a reprieve from city living. The park spans 135-acres and includes wetlands for wildlife viewing and hiking trails. During the summer months, cool off in the public pool after a game of tennis at the courts. Grab some fresh produce and snacks for a picnic from Brookhaven’s Farmer’s Market or City Farmers Market for a picnic in your favorite park.

Where to Eat and Drink

You’re just a few miles from some of the best dining in Buckhead, or you can eat and drink your way through Brookhaven. The Nest Café is ideal for drip espresso or Guatemala beans, smoothies, snacks and breakfast treats. Brookhaven boasts a foodie-worthy buzz featuring everything from southern fusion to fine dining.


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Try Southbound for fried chicken and reimagined cornbread, smoke burrito or fried cauliflower. Roc South Cuisine serves up a soul-inspired brunch of apple cobbler French toast or catfish and smoked gouda grits.


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Bars and restaurants tend to go hand-in-hand around Brookhaven. Grab a cocktail or dinner at the Righteous Room, where a tree grows right in the middle of the bar. Or head to Secreto Southern Kitchen and Bar for a round of cocktails, swordfish and fried green tomatoes stuffed with pimento cheese.

Moving to Brookhaven

Real Estate Snapshot

Rents for Brookhaven apartments run around $1,500, which is slightly more than the average rent of $1,467 in Atlanta. Rents and real estate prices in Atlanta are rising, and locals look to Brookhaven to find more space and a laid-back lifestyle without compromising on amenities or urban convenience.


Brookhaven is a convenient place to live, work and play at just 20-minutes from Midtown Atlanta and less than 2-miles to Buckhead amenities. Rideshares and hourly zip cars are standard; however, you can also take MARTA from Brookhaven Station. Take a MARTA bus to your destination or change at the Arts Center MARTA station in Atlanta to transfer to access the rest of Midtown, Atlanta.

Schools & Employment

Brookhaven attracts families for its reputation for well-regarded private and public schools. The city spans two different school districts, including DeKalb County Schools and the City of Atlanta Public School System.

Depending on where you live within Brookhaven, residents send their kids to Woodward Elementary School and Montclair Elementary School. Higher education opportunities are available at Oglethorpe University, although you’re not far from Georgia State University, Emory University, Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University.

Locals are likely to make the quick commute into Atlanta to 150,000 businesses and its Fortune 500 headquarters. However, Brookhaven is also home to major corporate employers, including Emory Orthopedics, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the Atlanta Hawks, among others.

Ready to pack up and head to the Atlanta metro area? Brookhaven’s idyllic backdrop, community-vibe and proximity to the rest of Atlanta make it an ideal place to call home.

Florentina Sarac
Florentina Sarac is a creative writer, editor, and researcher for RENTCafé. She covers a variety of topics, from real estate trends, demographic shifts, housing industry news and multifamily construction to homeownership, smart-home technology, personal finance and business. With a 9-year background in the real estate industry, Florentina has also penned articles for publications such as Multi-Housing News, Commercial Property Executive and the National Apartment Association Magazine. You can connect with Florentina via email. Florentina’s work and expertise have been featured in several major U.S. and international publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bisnow, The Mercury News, Curbed, The NY Post, CBS News, Business Insider and She holds a B.A. in English and Spanish, as well as an M.A. in Multilingual and Multicultural Communication, which serve as a testament to her love of literature and language.

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