Atlanta - Geographic Regions and Local Terms

Atlanta Travel Blog

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This should help you out with some of the terminology that's used by locals when referring to certain areas of the city including streets.

DOWNTOWNThat area of Atlanta that contains the largest concentration of highrise hotels, office buildings and condos in the metropolitan Atlanta area and where Peachtree Street begins it's soujourn through metro Atlanta.  Here you'll find Georgia State University, Centennial Olympic Park, CNN World Headquarters, The Georgia Aquarium, Phillips Arena (concerts), the Georgia World Congress Center (conventions), The Georgia State Capital building and other state agency headquarters.  The World of Coca-Cola is currently relocating from Downtown at Underground Atlanta to Centennial Olympic Park further north near CNN and the GA Aquarium.

5 POINTSThe area of downtown Atlanta immediately southwest of the city center.  Also the name of the major transit hub for MARTA rapid rail and bus services.  Easy access to Underground Atlanta and all points in downtown.  Bring your pepper spray.

SO-NOLiterally translated "South of North" - or that area on Peachtree Street south of North Avenue and north of downtown beginning where Interstates 75 & 85 wind through the city at Ralph McGill Boulevard.  Not much in the way of tourist interest in this area with the exception of the Bank of America building - the 24th tallest building in the world and the tallest in the U.S. outside Chicago and New York standing at 1,023 feet (312m) tall.   SoNo also contains Crawford-Long Hospital - one of Atlanta's oldest hospitals providing service since 1908 - where the original building is still standing.

LITTLE 5 POINTS: aka "L5P".  The area due east of downtown Atlanta comprised mainly at the intersections of Moreland, Euclid and McClendon Avenues near Inman and Candler Park Neighborhoods.  Truly the most eclectic and bohemian of any other place in Atlanta, it's where the free go to be free.  Business names such a "Junk Man's Daughter", "Criminal Records", "Gypsy Market" and "Fifi Mahoney's" should tell you what a great time you'll have here.  In L5P you'll find lots of vegans, vegetarians, Democrats and Liberals, tree-huggers, and every other sort in between.  Don't get me wrong, they're nice and friendly folks.  Great selection of stores for your next nose or tongue ring...  Take Freedom Parkway east from downtown Atlanta to Moreland Avenue and turn right.  Just look out the window - you can't miss it.

MIDTOWNThat area on Peachtree Street bordered by North Avenue on the south, Interstates 75/85 on the west and north, and just beyond Monroe Drive (what I refer to as 'The Fag Drag') on the west.  I'll have to say it's my favorite part of town - for reasons that may or may not be obvious - but who cares.  Midtown is such a fantastic and energetic part of Atlanta.  Great, one-of-a-kind restaurants, Piedmont Park for walking running or roller blading on sunny days, great bars (mostly gay) and all filled with young, good-looking and vibrant hot-bodied men and women!  Part business and part residential, Midtown has it all.  With the construction of a large number of highrise condos in recent years, there seems to be a big influx of metrosexuals chasing the gay boys out to the suburbs - you know who you are!  Midtown is a great place for tourists:  Piedmont Park, The Atlanta Symphony, The High Museum of Art, Savannah College of Art and Design, The Fabulous Fox Theatre, Georgia Tech, the best bars (though BackStreet is no longer), The world-famous Varsity Restaurant right across from GA Tech is a must have.  If you can't find what you're looking for in Midtown, you aren't looking!  Oh, and be on the lookout for Midtown's famous Baton Bob!!!  Listen for that marching whistle and stay out of the way!

BUCKHEADThe area of Atlanta on Peachtree Road (notice the name change from Street) north of Interstate 85 after the Brookwood Split (where Interstates 75 and 85 separate after going through downtown), and bordered by Interstate 75 on the west, Interstate 285 (the Perimieter) on the north and Buford Highway and North Druid Hills Road on the east.  This is probably the largest of the neighoborhoods in the immediate Atlanta metro area.  Contains great shopping at locations like Lenox Square Mall and Phipps Plaza.  Also contains the Buckhead Business District, The Atlanta History Center, The Swan House, The Roxy Theatre and the Georgia Governor's Mansion on West Paces Ferry Rd.  Easy access to the two malls by taking MARTA north to Lenox Square station.  Exit and walk to Lenox or Phipps.  Great restaurants are close by in the area.

LENOXThe area on Peachtree Road immediately surrounding Lenox Square Mall and Phipps Plaza.  This is considered within the Buckhead District referenced above but the term 'Lenox' is more micro-geographic and commonly referred to.

CHAMBLEE/DORAVILLEThe area northeast of Atlanta where Peachtree Road changes names to Peachtree Industrial Boulevard (still the same road that started in downtown Atlanta).  It's bordered on the north and east by the Perimeter (I-285) though it goes outside this boundary a short distance, on the south by Lavista Road and on the west by North Druid Hills Road.  If Atlanta had a Chinatown like New York or San Francisco, then the small cities of Chamblee and Doraville would be Atlanta's one big Chinatown!  Hispanic and Asian cultures merge in this area to offer some of the best international shopping and cuisines in the southeastern United States.  Both Chamblee and Doraville offer such a change in scenery that even natives have a hard time finding their way around here without an escort that speaks the language.  Supermarket and business signs in Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese or Spanish make shopping and dining here both a unique and memorable experience.



AtlantaScottyV says:
Gettin' to it, man! Used to live in Dickhater (if you don't get the pun, I'll have to explain Decatur in more depth - it's changed over the years). They've done a lot to renovate the downtown area. And yes, Eddie's Attic is still there helping pass the night away. :-)
Posted on: Mar 31, 2007
vances says:
Dang, nuthin' on Decatur yet --- ever been to Eddie's Attic? Caught some great acts there many moons back. Does Kodac Harrison still play around?
Posted on: Mar 30, 2007
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