Tips for Visiting Atlanta & Northlake, for Big-City Girl?


we’ll have to visit Atlanta in the next 4 weeks. My daughter is used to and thoroughly enjoying big city life, although she grew up in the 'burbs.

She enjoys the bustle of the neighborhoods, cultural options, browsing neighborhood stores. With that in mind, what would make a good day and evening visit of Atlanta to give her a sense how it compares?

Also, any suggestions about the Northlake area? Where do people go for a quick evening outing, restaurants, stores?


You want nothing to do with Northlake! Maybe check out Little 5 Points, Virginia Highlands, Decatur, and Ponce City Market. Get some donuts from Revolution Donuts!


Thank you - yes, that looks very much “up her alley”.

Is that because of safety concerns, or because that northeast corner is “sleepy”?

Definitely safety concerns! Northlake was okay, maybe 40 years ago

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Thanks, looks like all those neighborhoods/areas are about 20 minutes drive to the Mercer campus - so very doable. She’ll have to get used to no longer just walk everywhere, or hopping on a subway that’s never more than two or three blocks away.

Does one just stick to the Interstates “ring” and “spokes”, or is it feasible to take local roads?

My daughter and her friend are flying to Atlanta and will have a couple of hours to kill before their sisters pick them up on their drive from Florida to Clemson (spring break). I was wondering of places to eat/drink/shop that would be an easy Uber from the airport. I checked online and it looks like it is a fun area (unlike our home airport, Newark).

Airport area is all bad too. Not sure they would have time to get to civilization and back in a couple hours.


Depends where you are going but that area can be done on back roads. Our rush hour traffic is horrendous on any road or highway so be aware of when you are traveling.


They don’t need to get back to the airport, they can get picked up anywhere. They’re both 21 so even a pub would work. I guess an area easily accessible from 85 but not too far from the airport so not a big Uber bill.

Buckhead ?

FWIW Northlake area was fine less than 20 years ago, but not really interesting for an out-of-state college student. Had a relative who reluctantly sold his home in the Northlake area a bit over a year ago. Had buyers lined up even before his home went on the market (I believe it was about $800,000 and he got $50,000 above that asking price–so not a bad area as most neighbors were doctors or medical researchers at Emory University).


The Vortex!

Thank you for everyone’s insights!

Where would Emory off-campus college students, or grad students, typically rent? It might just be close enough to make the daily commute to/from Mercer Atlanta bearable?

Lots of houses and apartments right around campus. There are cool areas around Chamblee and Doraville across the interstate too that are near Marta. I fly my plane out of PDK which is nearby.

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Until a year or two ago, Emory was located in Decatur but Emory got the university area annexed by Atlanta. Everything near Emory University was fine, but I know it as Decatur, not Atlanta.

Unfortunately, I do not live in the Atlanta area although I have well over a dozen relatives in the Atlanta area. Wish that I could be of more help.

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Uh good, I had been wondering about Chamblee/Doraville already. Looks like a 10 minute drive and just backroads. And from what I gather, aiming towards the Northside is preferred.

(Yes, had noticed PDK early-on).

Lots of the cities like them, Norcross, Lilburn, Suwanee, etc have been doing these big renovations downtown adding apartments, shopping, restaurants, entertainment venues, etc. Really nice little areas. Brookhaven is a hot area too.

Since when did Chamblee & Doraville become “cool areas” for students ? (Sincere question as I know that Atlanta area has undergone a lot of change.) How long have I been asleep ? I would go to Chamblee or Doraville to get my tires rotated, but not for a night out on the town.

Buckhead, Little Five Points, Decatur, Norcross has an interesting section. Lots of wealth in Buckhead & in Alpharetta. (Alpharetta is north of Atlanta,take highway 400).

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Buckhead is a crime scene now. Lots of people started moving to Cumming and now Milton. We have the Avalon which is really nice and fairly new where i live at CCS. There are definitely lots of places to get new tires where you mentioned but like I said previously lots of these small cities have been renovating and developing their city centers. SO a cool place to live but probably not a cool place for students to go out at night but Mercer is near Tucker so it’s a track to get to those places. I guess you can choose to drive a lot to get to class every day or to go out on the weekend.

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My wife mentioned the Avalon as she spends a lot of time in Alpharetta & Suwanee & Buckhead.

Marietta Square is another interesting area, but nowhere near Mercer.

Tucker was a quaint community.

I am far from an Atlanta expert, but my D22 and I went down for a college visit at Agnes Scott and stayed in Decatur and drove over to Little Five Points. We really enjoyed both areas. Very walkable and lots to see and do, good restaurants. L5P has a particularly high concentration of vintage clothing stores which is one of my D22’s things.

Don’t forget MARTA in Atlanta for getting around. We didn’t use it because we drove down and had the car, but it is available.