Virginia Highlands Atlanta Reviews
Virginia Highlands - Atlanta's Trend Setting Neighborhood Mar 27, 2010
Historic Virginia Highland is Atlanta's most popular neighborhood for shopping, dining and nightlife.
It ranges for miles along Highland Avenue, east of downtown Atlanta, and is comprised of seven distinct neighborhoods. Most of my activities are in the two neighborhoods directly North of Ponce - and it's easy enough to spend several hours in just one of these.
This area is chock full of delightful craftsman style bungalows, shaded, tree-lined streets, numerous neighborhood parks, and the commercial district - which at its most famous intersects at Highlands and Virginia - hence the name.
The most upscale of the neighborhoods I hang out in, there are some shops where I'm afraid to touch the merchandise - like a $219 scarf I recently saw in Mooncake on Virginia. There's a kid's store (The Owl and the Pussycat) with knitted outfits that look like someone's grandmother made, but they cost more than grandmother ever made in her lifetime.
While there are those that are way beyond most mere mortals' budgets, there are other shops that are high priced, but so unique they're worth it for a special occasion or that special person. Bella Cucina Artful Food (www.BellaCucina.com) has unique artisan foods I've seen nowhere else but in Italy.
The Belly General Store (www.BellyStore.com) is just like a rural Georgian General Store, but everything is fresh, well packaged and with a unique flair. The Paper Source (www.Paper-Source.com) has premium paper & handicraft supplies, as well as unique gifts & cards.
Enough of shopping. The best of Virginia Highlands are the many affordable & eclectic eateries. I've reviewed my favorite in TB already, Noche - an awesome Tapas Bar. (http://www.travbuddy.com/Noche-v397874)
There is also an Oyster House and the centrally located Highland Tap for steaks & martinis (both owned and operated by the same company at www.NNNWCorp.com). There is the popular Murphy's - which isn't Irish at all, despite the name, but an American bistro & wine bar (www.Murphysvh.com) and Surin (www.SurinofThailand.com) with some of the best Thai food east of Bangkok.
I can't forget to mention Paolo's, the best gelato in town (www.PaolosGelato.com). Try their mini-gelato, a teeny $1.50 cone that I'm quite sure has zero calories.
The nightlife is also great with live blues and dancing at Blind Willie's (www.BlindWilliesBlues.com), and numerous pubs & cocktail bars like Hand in Hand (http://www.handinhandatlanta.com/) and The Cavern (http://www.thecavernbar.com/)
If you've had too much fun to make your way home, there are also many Beds & Breakfasts to lay your head or enjoy a romantic weekend and then cap it off with a visit to a local Spa for some royal spoiling.
Virginia Highlands is about a 5 minute drive from Atlanta's downtown area, 5 minutes from Little Five Points, The Fernbank, and The Carter Center, and maybe 10 minutes from Decatur. I always make it one of the stops of the day for my guests - and their only complaint is that we usually don't allocate enough time there.
Parking is free but difficult - I always park in the neighborhoods and then enjoy the walk to the commercial district. Dogs are welcome and plentiful at the many sidewalk cafes.
Check it out sometime and look for me there! http://www.virginiahighland.com/index.html
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