In today’s article, I am going to try and help you decide where to stay in Atlanta. I’ll tell you the best areas to stay in Atlanta, what each offers and who it is best suited for. So, if you want to ensure your stay in Atlanta is a memorable one, I highly recommend reading on.
Atlanta, Georgia is affectionately known as the capital of the south and is one of the largest cities in the southern United States. With a rich history in civil and human rights, a vibrant culture, and attractions suitable for all manner of visitors, it is understandably an incredibly popular destination.
However, with so much on offer, deciding where to stay in Atlanta can be quite a headache. While many will be happy to stay where they find the best deals and then travel around on the Atlanta Streetcar, others prefer to have everything close by.
Best Areas To Stay In Atlanta, Georgia: Tips & Info
Before we begin, I want to give you some tips and info. These will be things that, if you keep them in mind while reading, should make deciding where to stay in Atlanta as simple as possible.
For example, those hoping to visit a national historic site will have plenty of options in Downtown Atlanta or Midtown. Meanwhile, if you specifically want to learn more about Atlanta’s history with the civil rights movement, the Old Fourth Ward or Sweet Auburn are the places for you.
If you want to relax at a bar brewpub with a distinctly alternative feel, then try Little Five Points. On the other hand, if you want to grab a drink where you may bump into a famous rapper, perhaps try Buckhead instead.
Grant Park is the best place for wide open green spaces inside the city limits. However, those who are happy being a little further out, but still inside the metropolitan area, have options like Decatur, Cobb County and Dunwoody as well.
Whatever you are looking for, if you ensure you consider important points like these as you go, it should make narrowing your options as quick and easy as possible.FIND BEST HOTELS IN ATLANTA
Where to Stay in Atlanta, Georgia: Best Areas to Stay in Atlanta
So, now you know exactly what you’re looking for while reading, I am going to show you what I believe are the 10 best areas to stay in Atlanta. This should hopefully give you all the information you need to choose your ideal location.
- Downtown Atlanta, where to stay in Atlanta for first time visitors
- Midtown, stay close to Atlanta Botanical Garden
- Old Fourth Ward, location of the Martin Luther King Jr Historic Site
- Sweet Auburn, the best area for a street art fan
- Inman Park/Candler Park/Little Five Points
- Grant Park, largest green spaces in Atlanta
- Buckhead Atlanta, stay close to Atlanta History Center
- Cobb County, a small town in Atlanta
- Decatur, a vibrant city in the northeast of Atlanta
- Dunwoody, small town in the north of the Atlanta
Best Areas to Stay in Atlanta Map
1. Downtown Atlanta, where to stay in Atlanta for first time visitors
Downtown Atlanta is the central business district of the city. It is filled with tourist attractions, amenities and many of the best hotels in Atlanta, all of which offer top notch service. This makes it equally suitable for business travellers and leisure travellers alike.
A part of the area known as the hotel district includes some of the best accommodation in the city. Options like The Glenn Hotel and The Ellis Hotel are within walking distance from tourist attractions like the Georgia Aquarium and Georgia World Congress Center, which was the home of the legendary Georgia Dome, until it was demolished in 2017.
You even have World Of Coca Cola a little further away. This is a museum dedicated to the history of the Coca Cola Company, the largest drinks company in the world, which was founded here in 1892.
Then there is Underground Atlanta. A shopping and entertainment district, it features malls, stores, bars, restaurants and nightclubs. This makes a perfect stop for leisure travellers of all interests.
You even have Oakland Cemetery, for those who want to venture into wide open green spaces or pay their respects during their stay in Atlanta.
When choosing where to stay in Atlanta, you are going to want a destination that offers as much value as possible. With that in mind, Downtown Atlanta will be the prime choice for most visitors to the city, as it is the most diverse option available.
Stay in Downtown if:
- You want to visit the Georgia Aquarium or Georgia World Congress Centre
- You are interested in the history of Coca Cola
- You want to spend a day in Underground Atlanta
- You want a great range of hotels, bars, restaurants and attractions
2. Midtown, stay close to Atlanta Botanical Garden
Midtown is the perfect choice for culture vultures struggling to choose where to stay in Atlanta. With a higher density of art and cultural institutions than anywhere else in the southeast United States, you will never be short of things to do during your stay.
The Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Alliance Theater, and High Museum Of Art. All three are non-profit institutions, with the first two offering shows and performances, while the High Museum displays stunning works and exhibits.
The Center For Puppetry Arts is one of the only puppet museums in the world. While puppetry arts won’t be for everyone, it is certainly an interesting place to visit for anyone wanting to learn more about the history of puppets or take in a performance.
It isn’t all culture and history in Midtown though. The Lenox Mall boasts almost 200 high-end stores and a food court, ideal for anyone who wants a day out shopping.
Piedmont Park features wide open spaces for those who want to kick back and relax for a while. It is even connected to the Atlanta Botanical Garden, so gives you the opportunity to learn about nature as you enjoy it.
All in all, Midtown is a great place to stay in Atlanta if you want to combine leisure, culture and education. It offers attractions in all of these areas just walking distance apart.
Stay in Midtown if:
- You want to visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden or Piedmont Park
- You want to go shopping in the Lenox Mall
- You want to be wowed at the Center For Puppetry Arts or the Woodruff Arts Center
3. Old Fourth Ward, location of the Martin Luther King Jr Historic Site
The Old Fourth Ward lies just to the east of Downtown Atlanta. It is best known as the location of the Martin Luther King Jr Historic Site, one of the most iconic areas in the country relating to the civil rights movement.
Covering 35 acres, the site features the childhood home of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, as well as several other buildings related to his life. This makes it an ideal place to stay in Atlanta for anyone interested in learning more about the legendary man himself.
That isn’t the only point of interest to be found in the Old Fourth Ward though. For starters, you have the Historic Fourth Ward Park and Freedom Park. The latter is named due to Atlanta’s history with civil and human rights and is the largest park in the city.
These two, along with a number of smaller parks in the area, make the Old Fourth Ward a great place for those looking to enjoy some green spaces during their stay in Atlanta.
Another popular attraction in the Old Fourth Ward is the Ponce City Market. Covering 2.1 million square feet, it is one of the largest buildings in the southeast United States.
It features restaurants, stores, boutiques, offices and a food hall, all just a short walk apart. This makes it a great option for those who want a diverse range of things to do.
If that isn’t enough, you even have the Irwin Street Market just a little further away too, to enhance your options even more.
Stay in Old Fourth Ward if:
- You are interested in the history of Martin Luther King Jr
- You want to enjoy some wide green spaces
- You want a diverse range of stores and eateries
4. Sweet Auburn, best area for street art fan
Immediately south of the Old Fourth Ward is the area of Sweet Auburn. It is famous for having one of the largest concentrations of African American businesses anywhere in the United States.
At the heart of the district is Auburn Avenue, lined with historic churches, bars, and even the founding location of Atlanta Daily World, the first black owned daily newspaper in the country.
Elsewhere you will find attractions such as Centennial Olympic Park. Built for the Olympic games in 1996, it is a beautiful green space where leisure travellers can enjoy some relaxing time outdoors.
Centennial Park hosts concerts and fireworks displays throughout the year and is surrounded by attractions such as the CNN Center and the college football hall of fame.
Then you have the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, a place where local, individual businesses sell their services and wares. With options including meat, fish, baked goods, vegetables and even a number of eateries, it makes it a great place to experience the true flavour of the city.
You even have the vibrant area of Edgewood Avenue. Filled with a range of street art, it is a great place for art lovers and culture vultures alike to get a better understanding of Atlanta.
All of this makes Sweet Auburn a great place to stay in Atlanta, for anyone wanting to get a real sense of what the city is all about.
Stay in Sweet Auburn if:
- You are a fan of street art
- You want to visit the CNN Center or the college football hall of fame
- You want to try some local foods
- You fancy taking a stroll in Centennial Park
5. Inman Park/Candler Park/Little Five Points
Little Five Points is a commercial district that comprises parts of both the Inman Park and Candler Park Neighbourhoods.
Inman Park was the first planned suburb of the larger Intown neighbourhood and, as such, features the Inman Park Historic District. Among its claims to fame, Inman Park was the first suburb to be connected to the Atlanta Streetcar.
On the other side of the district to Inman Park, Candler Park is an area best known for recreation, with features such as a basketball court, golf course, soccer field, swimming pool, tennis courts and a playground. It also features its own historic district, which has been listed on the National Register Of Historic Places since 1983.
The Little Five Points area that connects them is known to be incredibly popular with alternative culture and its various subcultures. It features various bars, such as the Wrecking Bar Brewpub, The Porter Beer Bar, and The Star Community Bar, as well as various stores and restaurants that all offer an experience a little different to what you will find in the rest of the city.
Perhaps the most popular tourist attraction in the area is The Carter Centre. Opened in 1982 by Jimmy Carter, it is a non-profit organisation that houses the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, where you can find out more about the 39th President of the United States.
Stay In Inman Park/Little Five Points If:
- You want to visit The Carter Centre
- You want to experience an alternative culture during your stay in Atlanta
6. Grant Park, largest green spaces in Atlanta
Grant Park is an area just to the south of Downtown Atlanta. As one of the largest green spaces in the city, Grant Park itself is a fabulous place to stay in Atlanta for those seeking outdoor recreation.
Included in the attractions spread out across the 131 acres covered by Grant Park are the popular Erskine Memorial Fountain to the south and Milledge Fountain to the north. The latter of these is even surrounded by sporting facilities, such as a swimming pool and tennis courts.
However, the most popular attraction is located at the heart of Grant Park, Zoo Atlanta. Home to more than 1500 animals, housed in faithful recreations of their natural habitats, it makes a fabulous destination for anyone who enjoys learning about or looking at animals.
If deciding where to stay in Atlanta will be determined by what natural, outdoor features are on offer, you will struggle to find a better option than Grant Park.
Stay In Grant Park If:
- You are a fan of fountains and wide-open green spaces
- You want to visit Zoo Atlanta
7. Buckhead Atlanta, stay close to Atlanta History Center
Buckhead Atlanta is an upmarket, largely residential part of Atlanta, in the north of the city. Known as a party spot for famous rappers, it is a great place to stay in Atlanta for those looking for something stylish, away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
Hotel’s such as The St. Regis Atlanta give you all the luxury you could want, in a more refined environment. It isn’t all about the accommodation in Buckhead Atlanta though, as there are plenty of entertainment options on offer as well.
Perhaps the most popular attraction in Buckhead is the Atlanta History Center. Opened in 1926, it houses one of the largest collections of civil war artifacts in the country.
On the other hand, for the shoppers among you, Phipps Plaza is a stunning mall, containing more than 100 high end stores, surrounded by elaborate décor that includes mahogany walls, marbled floors, glass elevators and a massive, carpeted staircase.
If you want to combine a little culture with a stylish getaway, Buckhead Atlanta is a great place for you to stay.
Stay In Buckhead If:
- You are interested in history
- You want to do some shopping
- You want luxury accommodation in a more residential area.
8. Cobb County, a small town in Atlanta
Cobb County is located just to the northwest of Atlanta, within its metropolitan area. This is a region that is much better suited to those who want access to the city but prefer a more natural, small town, and in some cases rugged experience.
I say that last part as it is an area known for the number of peaks surrounding it. Blackjack Mountain, Brushy Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, Little Kennesaw Mountain, Lost Mountain, Pine Mountain, Sweat Mountain and Vinings Mountain are all great places for hikers to get out, explore the wilds of the area and take in some stunning views.
As for amenities, those who are happy to take a short drive even have great access to Cumberland Mall, one of the most popular in Atlanta. This combination gives you all the convenience of a city, with the laid-back feel of a small town.
Stay In Cobb County If:
- You prefer a small-town feel
- You want to go hiking up mountains
- You want easy access to the city
- You want to be near a large shopping mall
9. Decatur, a vibrant city in the northeast of Atlanta
Decatur is actually a separate city, located just to the northeast of Atlanta. It is perhaps best known for its vibrant art scene and the numerous festivals it holds throughout the year.
The Decatur Arts Festival, Decatur Book Festival, Decatur BBQ, Summer In The City, Blues & Bluegrass Festival, Decatur Craft Beer Festival and Decatur Wine Festival are held at various points throughout the year.
Combined with attractions and locations like numerous breweries, distilleries, cemeteries, gardens and historic districts, Decatur is a great place to stay for those who want plenty to do, in a location with a more small-town feel.
Stay in Decatur if:
- You are visiting to attend one of Decatur’s many festivals
- You prefer a location with a more small-town feel
10. Dunwoody, small town in the north of the Atlanta
Dunwoody is located at the very north of the Atlanta metropolitan area and was only included as recently as 2008.
Originally settled in the early 1800’s, it features countless buildings dating back to that time. Being largely separated from the rest of the city, very little has been done to alter them over the years, giving you the chance to take in the true picture of the area as it would once have looked.
Other than that, there are also a number of educational institutions in the area, including a popular campus of Georgia State University. This means it is a fabulous option for anyone visiting one of these locations, as well as those travelling on a budget.
Stay In Dunwoody If:
- You prefer an area with a small-town feel
- You are visiting one of the educational institutions located here
- You want to see some historic buildings
- You are traveling on a budget
What is the best area of Atlanta to stay in?
Is it better to stay in Midtown or Downtown Atlanta?
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So, there you have it, the 10 best places to stay in and around Atlanta. Hopefully, you should all now have a much better idea of where you want to stay when you make your own trip. All that’s left is to go and get things booked, so you can experience it all for yourself.