The Best Neighborhoods to Spend a Weekend in Atlanta

From Inman Park to Old Fourth Ward, these conveniently located neighborhoods are the best places to stay on your next trip to Atlanta.

After arriving at Atlanta’s massive Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, visitors may be overwhelmed by all this “city in a forest” has to offer. Each neighborhood is like a mini metropolis, offering history, eclectic restaurants, and lively nightlife destinations within mere feet of each other.

This city has over 200 official neighborhoods, each with its own unique flair and aesthetic, and it’s a tough task to comb through them all. So the next time you’re coming to town and need to pick a place to stay—we've simplified things for you. Whether you prefer to be bougie in Buckhead or channel your inner art critic in Midtown, these are the best neighborhoods in Atlanta to visit on your next trip.

Duluth Town Green
Duluth Town Green | Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

Downtown Duluth

Sometimes it feels good to get away without actually going far, and that’s exactly what Atlanta’s OTP suburbs—like Duluth, 25 to 35 minutes from the city—are for. Duluth boasts a tight-knit downtown area that’s too welcoming to resist, and thanks to Gas South Arena, some of Atlanta’s biggest touring events end up taking place there.

Where to stay: For the most fulfilling Duluth experience, you’re going to want to stay in the Downtown Duluth area. Overlook the fact that the Marriott Courtyard is part of a major hotel chain for a second because the quaint property’s damn-near immediate proximity to the best of Downtown Duluth—as well its complimentary parking and lowkey on-site bar—makes it the perfect hotel option. You can also book an entire Airbnb home for yourself in Downtown Duluth, and if you feel like exploring more of Duluth during your weekend stay, Airbnbs like this beautiful lake house and this bright, wood-paneled private home are worth checking out too.

Things to do: Beyond the calendar of local programming, Duluth regularly hosts some of Atlanta’s most highly anticipated events at Gas South Arena—from family-friendly attractions like Monster Jam and Repticon to major concerts from touring artists like Panic! At The Disco, Carin León, Tyler, The Creator, and more. If you’re someone who is always thrilled to embark on a self-guided history or arts and culture lesson, Duluth also boasts attractions like the Southeastern Railway Museum and the Hudgens Center for Art & Learning—which houses visual arts pieces, offers all-ages art classes, and boasts an impressive sculpture garden. And if all else fails, you can always unwind and enjoy some fresh air in the Duluth Town Green.

Best restaurants: Surprisingly, Duluth is an OTP getaway that actually has plenty of impressive food options. For starters, there is a wealth of elevated eateries, including the likes of The Cottage On Main, Noona Meat & Seafood, Local On North, and Falling Rabbit Restaurant. Visitors can also look forward to an array of diverse eats from spots like Flying Roll, PURE Taqueria,Dreamland BBQ, Sweet Octopus, and O4W Pizza. Lastly, when you’re getting ready to depart from Duluth, make sure you wake up early and treat yourself with a mouthwatering biscuit from Maple Street Biscuit Company or some coffee and breakfast empanadas from the Empanada House.

Best bars and nightlife: Whether you’re staying in Downtown Duluth to avoid post-concert traffic or because you want to bar hop, the neighborhood’s amazing nightlife scene is exactly why you should stay as close as possible when visiting. Although it’s an admittedly small area, Downtown Duluth is absolutely loaded with late-night bars and breweries, including the phenomenal Good Word Brewing & Public House, 6S Brewing Company, the fledgling Gwen Tajz Wine Bar, and more. Then, there’s Truck & Tap, a late-night move that offers a great rotating selection of food trucks and brews.

Ponce City Market
Ponce City Market | Adam Yesner/Shutterstock

Old Fourth Ward

Heavy on “a little bit of this and a little bit of that,” Old Fourth Ward is an Atlanta neighborhood with serious versatility. Not only is this historic neighborhood home to the childhood residence of Dr. King, but it’s also home to two of the city’s biggest attractions: Ponce City Market and the BeltLine.

Where to stay: Once home to infamous mob boss Al Capone, Hotel Clermont is a chic boutique hotel that’s heavy on the vintage aesthetics. Although you’ve got to get out and explore Old Fourth Ward, Hotel Clermont does feature three of the neighborhood's most popular eateries: Tiny Lou’s, The Rooftop, and Clermont Lounge. If a hotel room just isn’t cutting it for you and your crew, this spacious Airbnb has room for 12 people and it’s conveniently located on the Atlanta BeltLine.

Things to do: Regardless of where you stay while in Atlanta, a visit to the birth home of Martin Luther King, Jr. and The King Center is a must. You can take part in a ranger-led tour of Dr. King’s childhood home, but keep in mind that tours are on a first-come, first-served basis. And if you fancy a raucous round of Skee-Ball, you’ll find just that and plenty more carnival-inspired games at Skyline Park. Located on the roof of Ponce City Market, Skyline Park features games, rides, and some of the most stunning views of the city. Admission to this rooftop attraction is $10 per adult and $7 for kids.

Best restaurants: After exploring all that Old Fourth Ward has to offer, you’re sure to work up a healthy appetite. For a meal that’s sure to please, head to Noni’s for a hearty bowl of fettuccine alfredo or Slutty Vegan for a One Night Stand (the burger, folks!). And if brunch is more your speed, Two Urban Licks’ weekend brunch is sure to satisfy thanks to dishes that include Lemon Ricotta Pancakes and Nola Shrimp & Grits.

Best bars and nightlife: Ask any local about MJQ and you’re sure to be met with many colorful stories about this underground dance club that is hands-down an Atlanta staple. But if you’re more of a pinkies-up kinda gal or guy, there are plenty of elevated options for that nightcap. If you’re in the mood for a carefully curated sip, 12 Cocktail Bar mixes up stellar cocktails created by an award-winning lineup of mixologists.

SkyView Ferris wheel in Downtown Atlanta
SkyView Ferris wheel in Downtown Atlanta | Conchi Martinez/Shutterstock


Stay downtown to experience the heart of Atlanta and have the rest of the city at your fingertips. Not only is it home to Georgia’s state capitol, it’s also the ultimate destination for business and major events in the city.

Where to stay: High rises and hotels cover the downtown skyline, so expect a more urban vibe in its lodging options. The Candler Hotel first gained notoriety as the first skyscraper in Atlanta, built by Coca-Cola magnate Asa Griggs Candler. Today, that over-the-top energy remains in the hotel space with art deco touches and luxe interiors. The Glenn Hotel is another stylish option. Plus, conferences and events are always happening at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, but a step inside the 52-story hotel shows why it’s a perfect all-purpose destination.

Things to do: You probably know about the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, Centennial Park, CNN Center, and other insanely popular attractions located Downtown, but there’s more to it. Explore the history of Underground Atlanta, catch a concert at the Tabernacle or Masquerade, or see one of Atlanta’s sports teams in action at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium or State Farm Arena.

Best restaurants: Dos Bocas is one of the best restaurants in Atlanta right now, so stop by for their blend of Tex-Mex and Cajun dishes. If you’re on the hunt for lunch, try exploring the Sweet Auburn Curb Market. A few blocks east of Hurt Park, the market has a little bit of everything, from Vietnamese food to South African-style pies. There’s also the Peachtree Center, and although it houses chains that aren’t necessarily unique to Atlanta, eating underground is pretty damn cool.

Best bars and nightlife: For after-hours fun, you can go for a scenic ride on the SkyView Ferris wheel for a wondrous view of Atlanta at night. For more X-rated views, you can also stop by the legendary Magic City strip club, and you just might see your favorite rapper there. If nothing else, just take a night stroll down Peachtree Street—you won’t regret it.

Krog Street Market
Photo courtesy of Krog Street Market

Little Five Points - Candler Park - Inman Park

On the east side of the city, Candler Park and Inman Park are joined together by the groovy little district called Little Five Points, forming an eclectic and historic conglomerate. For artists and creatives who are looking to experience the Atlanta that isn’t shown on TV, these neighborhoods are for you.

Where to stay: Airbnbs reign supreme here and consist mostly of guest areas like this cozy Candler Park cottage or this Little Five lair. Inman Park has Sugar Magnolia Bed & Breakfast, a bonafide B&B operating out of a gorgeous 1892 Queen Anne Victorian. Urban Oasis is situated right on the Atlanta Beltline, and it’s perfect for experiencing the surrounding neighborhoods to the fullest.

Things to do: Together, Little Five Points, Candler Park, and Inman Park have the best IG content in the city. From the Krog Street Tunnels’ iconic street art to the bike-clad Beltline, there are plenty of picture-worthy places to explore. What’s more, Candler Park has its own 55-acre park, complete with a swimming pool, nine-hole golf course, soccer field, basketball court, tennis courts, and playground. For some atypical retail therapy, you can always peruse record stores and thrift shops in Little Five Points.

Best restaurants: The major tip for this group of neighborhoods is Inman Park’s Krog Street Market, your source for everything from Spanish tapas to Asian steamed baos. With 15 eateries and a handful of retail spaces, you could spend a few days there without eating the same style of food. On the other hand, Candler Park has the OG Flying Biscuit—it’s definitely worth visiting. Lastly, Little Five Points has both The Vortex, a burger bar & grill inside the mouth of a giant skull, and Thai 5, a hole-in-the-wall that doubles as a Thai restaurant and sushi bar and doesn’t disappoint.

Best bars and nightlife: Ticonderoga Club, which is one of the best bars in Atlanta right now, rests in Inman Park, but the real fun after dark is happening at Little Five Points. You can get some new ink from one of the many tattoo parlors, catch live entertainment at clubs like Aisle 5, the Star Community Bar, and Variety Playhouse, or bar hop from Wrecking Bar Brewpub to the Corner Tavern.

Lenox Square
Photo courtesy of Lenox Square


Some people need itineraries when traveling; others just need directions to the nearest shopping center. If you fall into the latter category, Buckhead is probably the destination for you as this uptown neighborhood is full of style and decadence.

Where to stay: Arguably the most lavish section of Atlanta, Buckhead has plenty of astounding places to stay. You’ve got plenty of chic hotel offerings, from the AC Hotel to The Whitley, but there’s also the famous Secluded Tree House Airbnb. It’s kind of ironic that this holistic retreat is located in such a commercial district, but if you want to go for something different, then book a night at one of the most popular and unique Airbnbs around.

Things to do: Plain and simple, the main attractions in Buckhead are the shops. Lenox Square is the quintessential mall stop for locals, tourists, and celebrities alike, with stores like Forever 21 and Cartier coexisting under one roof. However, you shouldn’t overlook Phipps Plaza, an even fancier operation that’s perfect for window shopping.

Best restaurants: For one of the best brunches in Atlanta right now, roll out of bed and stop by Local Three for an award-winning, all-you-can-eat brunch. Upscale spots like Le Colonial or The Garden Room are also found here, and you can look forward to vegan-friendly and plant-based dining options from Café Sunflower, True Food Kitchen, and R. Thomas’ Deluxe Grill.

Best bars and nightlife: They’re practically polar opposites, but Hole in the Wall and Himitsu are two spots crucial to Buckhead’s nightlife. Hole in the Wall is an extremely popular club for a younger crowd, and Himitsu, a reservation-only Japanese craft cocktail lounge, literally translates to “secret” from Japanese.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens
Atlanta Botanical Gardens | Irina Mos/Shutterstock


If Downtown is the heart of Atlanta, then Midtown is its soul. Culture and arts run rampant, and there’s a perfect balance of places to shop and things to do. The rainbow crosswalks are a trademark of the neighborhood and a representation of the inclusive spirit that runs from North Avenue to 17th Street.

Where to stay: Midtown is characterized by elegance, luxury, and beautiful designs. If you’re looking to spoil yourself, Four Seasons and the Loews Hotel are two great options. Food lovers should look no further than Epicurean Hotel, a truly unique and stylish spot that revolves around excellent restaurants on site.

Things to do: Midtown honestly has it all. The High Museum of Art and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra provide creative outlets for the artsiest of us all, and Piedmont Park and the Botanical Gardens bring you closer to nature, even within the confines of a city as busy as Atlanta. Atlantic Station rounds it all out with an appealing outdoor shopping strip.

Best restaurants: Near the AUC, you can grab hip-hop-themed pizza with big puns for names, and if you caught that one, Slim & Husky’s belongs on your radar. If you’re up for a more elevated (both literally and figuratively) dining experience, head over to the Interlock and enjoy a lavish meal at Restaurant L.O.A. or hop across the street and dine in at Cooks & Soldiers. Midtown also boasts Aziza, Politan Row, 5Church, Redbird, Sukoshi, and some of Atlanta’s best new restaurants.

Best bars and nightlife: The Vinyl/Loft/Center Stage trifecta should be your go-to for nighttime events in Midtown because the venue has hosted concerts of all genres, live podcasts, and even wrestling matches. The bars aren’t lacking, either—check out Blake’s On The Park, Little Trouble, or JoJo’s Beloved Cocktail Lounge and see for yourself.

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Joshua Robinson is an Atlanta-based contributor for Thrillist. 

Danielle Harling is a contributor for Thrillist.