Located just 5 miles from downtown Atlanta, the city of Decatur has a small town feel with big city amenities and is a must-visit area for residents and visitors alike. Anchored by the Old Courthouse and easily accessible via MARTA, walkable and family-friendly Decatur boasts restaurants, bars, parks, breweries and a year-round farmers' market.
Catch a Show at Eddie's Attic
What do John Mayer, Tyler Chiders, and Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles have in common? They got their start at the Open Mic Shootout at Eddie's Attic, one of the city's best live music venues. While namesake founder Eddie Owen has since moved on to other projects, this gem in downtown just off the square is still a good bet for catching local musicians and acclaimed acts alike for a fraction of the cost. The venue's no-talking during shows rule makes the space a special treat for audiences and artists alike.
Circle up for Storytime at the Little Shop of Stories
This independent bookstore, dedicated to "books for kids and the grownups they become," hosts four weekly storytimes for young readers. Lasting approximately 20-30 minutes, the circles gather at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and Sunday at 2 p.m. for tales from classic and contemporary literature, songs, and interactive play. Note that during the summer, the Thursday group meets in the gazebo on Decatur Square and the Friday group does not meet.
Shop at Your Dekalb Farmers Market
From seasonal and affordable produce to 50 types of freshly made pastas to hard-to-source international products, it's easy to see why this 7,500-square-foot, year-round market hosts over 100,000 shoppers each week. Don't miss the on-site restaurant, which offers hot dine-in and takeout options ranging from beef bulgogi to fresh pizzas and more. Note the market does not accept credit cards but only debit cards, cash, check, and EBT are welcome.
Eat at Revival
Get Sunday Supper five days a week at "Top Chef" alum Kevin Gillespie’s restaurant, Revival. Don't miss classics like cornmeal fried catfish with creamy horseradish sauce or fried chicken, both served with a choice of collard greens, cheese grits, and other Southern staples.
Slurp Oysters at Kimball House
Get $1 oysters from 5 to 7 p.m. on weeknights during the happiest of hours at this former train depot converted to award-winning contemporary cocktail bar in the heart of downtown Decatur. The restaurant offers over 20 varietals of sustainably farmed bivalves, all accompanied by clever and detailed descriptions like "green beans and cantaloupe—for real" and "driftwood and lobster bisque," plus some of the city's best drinks like the namesake Kimball House, a Negroni riff with gin, vermouth, aperitif wine, and orange bitters.
Attend a Seasonal Festival
Atlanta loves a good festival, and Decatur has one for every season. Can't miss events include the Decatur Arts Festival in May, the AJC Decatur Book Festival, on Labor Day weekend, the Decatur Craft Beer Festival in October and the Decatur Wine Festival in November.
Sip a Beer at the Brick Store Pub
This neighborhood watering hole is one of the many reasons Atlanta is a top destination for beer snobs. In addition to homegrown brews like Three Taverns' "A Night on Ponce" and Eventide's "The Local," the pub also has an extensive list of international beers, including a dedicated Belgian Beer bar upstairs featuring eight rotating draughts and more than 100 Belgian and Belgian-style bottled beers.
Tour the Wild Heaven Brewery
Founded by lifelong Georgians, this brewery specializes in European brews with an American flare. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the beers, including the ubiquitous yellow cans of "Emergency Drinking Beer" dotting bars across the city, with a tour of the brewery and tasting in the taproom, open five days a week. The “Drink Here” tour options include a flight and 12-ounce pour or three 12-ounce pours for $12 or four 9-ounce pours and a souvenir glass for $15.
Play at the Decatur Toy Park
One person's trash is another's treasure, and the same is true at the Decatur Toy Park. Located at the corner of East Ponce de Leon Avenue and Nelson Ferry Road, the park is filled with used toys like slides and tricycles as well as swings, monkey bars, and other structures to provide endless free entertainment for the little ones.
Visit the Waffle House Museum
Yes, there's a museum dedicated to the city's favorite breakfast chain, which now has over 1,700 locations in 25 states across the country. Step back in time as you visit the site of the first Waffle House, built in 1955, and see the original decor, plus memorabilia from the restaurant's 65-year history. Tours are available by appointment only on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., so call ahead to reserve your spot.
Shop at Kudzu Antiques + Modern
Shop for vintage and contemporary housewares, furniture, wall art, clothing, jewelry, and more at this 25,000-square-foot shop in downtown, consistently voted the city's best antique store. Specializing in midcentury and industrial wares, the shop also has thousands of collectable vinyl records and books. Check the website for special offerings, like spring and year end sales, that offer deep discounts (50 to 100 percent) on certain items.
Play at the Glenlake Park and Pool
Atlanta is known for its abundance of parks and green spaces, like the Glenlake Park & Pool. Located next to a history cemetery on Church Street, the park offers paved paths, a dog park, soccer field, six tennis courts, a soccer field, and a swimming pool open to the public during summer months.
Sample Indian Street Food at Chai Pani
You'll find some of the city's best Indian food at Chai Pani, a casual, family-friendly spot from Chef Meherwan Irani. The menu is heavy on thalis and chaat (bite-sized Indian snacks) with a Southern twist, like the can't miss kale pakora—battered and fried kale with Indian spices.