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Downtown Atlanta: A Walkable Haven for Urban Lovers

Head to the heart of Downtown Atlanta where a renaissance of city living booms. Locals come for the city views, unique urban flavor, attractions and public transportation and stay for the convenience and charm.

Downtown Atlanta is rapidly evolving and offers something for everyone. Tourists, locals and business professionals alike are transforming the area into a diverse melting pot. You can enjoy a monthly art walk and grab drinks once a month or head out for cocktails with roommates. There are also plenty of businesses relying on the neighborhood’s supply of trophy Atlanta office space for rent, meaning you could walk out of your apartment door and head straight to work in the city’s downtown.

Where is Downtown Atlanta?

North Avenue borders Downtown Atlanta to the north, I-20 to the south, Northside Drive to the west and Boulevard to the east. Locals typically consider Five Points and areas like Castleberry Hill as part of Downtown Atlanta. Despite its urban density, Downtown Atlanta has spawned new neighborhood pockets like Castleberry Hill. To situate yourself in its core, look for areas around Centennial Olympic Park for central urban living.

History

Atlanta was initially founded as Terminus in 1837 when the governor requested a charter of three railroad lines. It briefly became “Marthasville” in honor of Governor Lumpkin’s daughter before railroad engineer J. Edgar Thompson floated the name “Atlantica-Pacifica.” The name was shortened to Atlanta and became incorporated in 1847.

Downtown Atlanta was once a hodgepodge of factories until the Reconstruction era when the capital moved to Atlanta. The area began to thrive as business sectors developed. Over the century, corporations, sports and public transportation also grew in Atlanta. By the time the 1996 Olympic Games came into town, Atlanta was already a world-class city.

Lifestyle

Downtown Atlanta is a business epicenter where attractions and sporting events are plentiful. Rooftop bars and skyrise views are the norm, as well as weekend festivals and 5k marathons. Although there are nightclub options around Downtown Atlanta, it’s not typically known for bustling all-night activity. There’s also more to experience beyond attractions and imbibing. Make your way over to the pocket of Castleberry Hill known for its artist lofts and galleries.

What to Do

Downtown Atlanta is the core of the city’s attractions, with the Georgia Aquarium, Center for Civil and Human Rights and Children’s Museum calling the neighborhood home. Centennial Olympic Park features a Fountain of Rings centerpiece with regular lunchtime concerts where business people and families alike wander over.

Take it all in with a towering view 20-stories above Centennial Park at the SkyView Ferris wheel in private, climate-controlled gondolas. When visitors come to crash with you, you’ll likely head to the World of Coca-Cola for an interactive museum experience complete with soda tastings from around the world.

Over in Castleberry Hill, locals join the free 2nd Friday Art Stroll through Atlanta’s historic and arts district. It was named one of the top 10 Arts Districts in the country and features galleries, live music and places to stop for brews and bites.

Southerners all know college football is a really big deal. Even if you think you know how big of a deal football could possibly be around Atlanta, you’re still probably off with your estimate. The city is no exception to the football frenzy, and Downtown is home to the College Football Hall of Fame. Georgia State University is also growing its reputation as a competitive football team and plays at Downtown’s Center Parc Credit Union Stadium.

Where to Eat and Drink

Sure, you can get fast food and Shake Shack, but there’s also brats, pretzels and strudels at the popular Der Biergarten in Downtown Atlanta. And by now, you should know that you can’t live in Atlanta without a stop at the iconic Sun Dial restaurant. Eat dinner while rotating above the street atop the Westin Peachtree Plaza.

 

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For Mexican cuisine with a twist, try Alma Cocina or Meehan’s Public House Downtown to catch a football game on TV while indulging Irish pints and fish and chips. You’ll see options for Pimento cheese everywhere in Atlanta, and it’s typically worth the calories. The dip is an iconic staple or thrown in as an ingredient into your favorite dish.

 

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Drinking culture is alive and well in Downtown Atlanta. Stop for cocktails at Red Phone Booth or SkyLounge for city views atop of the Glen Hotel. Or make a night of imbibing and snacking at White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails and the revolving Polaris restaurant at the top of the Hyatt Regency.

Moving to Downtown Atlanta

Real Estate Snapshot

Downtown Atlanta apartments run approximately $1,747 a month, which is more expensive than the average $1,504 rent throughout Atlanta. Locals have their choice of smaller apartment complexes with few amenities at reasonable price points. Or look for a skyrise apartment living with rooftop pools, on-site fitness centers, decked out lounges, covered parking and more.

Transportation

Atlanta traffic isn’t for the faint of heart, but living in Downtown Atlanta means you can skip most of the stress. You can walk around Downtown Atlanta, hop on the relatively new Atlanta Streetcar or take MARTA from Peachtree Street. However, just because you can walk around Downtown doesn’t mean you’ll never need a set of wheels. Atlanta is a fiercely devoted driving town. You’ll need a rideshare or your own car to make the most of city living.

Schools & Employment

Downtown Atlanta wasn’t always considered family-friendly, but more kids are growing up in its urban center. Parents send their kids to Centennial Academy or Wesley International Academy. Higher learning opportunities are also abundant around Downtown. Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) include Morehouse College, Spelman College and Atlanta University Center. You’ll also find Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology and satellite campuses to pursue your educational aspirations.

If you work in Downtown Atlanta, you have a quick commute to advertising and marketing agencies, government offices and corporate headquarters. Some of the businesses around Downtown include Coca-Cola, the Georgia World Congress Center and AmericasMart wholesale trade center. Overall, the city of Atlanta to 150,000 businesses and its Fortune 500 headquarters. Government offices are also plentiful around Downtown.

Ready to live in the middle of it all in Downtown Atlanta? Enjoy urban amenities, dining, nightlife and attractions minutes from some of the city’s Fortune 500 headquarters in your new neighborhood designed with urban lovers in mind.

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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 Realtor.com. 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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