Where is it? A 30-minute drive east of Downtown in DeKalb County. Just look for the big rock (it’s a 350-million-year-old quartz monzonite dome monadnock, if you want to get technical about it).
What’s the history? The granite outcropping was already a tourist destination for early settlers in the 1830s, with the Macon Telegraph describing it as a “stupendous pyramid.” Many visitors were so drawn to the mountain, they set up a village near the base. The railroad would then bring even more tourists and created the need for hotels, restaurants, and shops. The bas-relief carving of Confederate generals on the side of the mountain, sculpted from 1915 to 1972, has faced renewed calls for removal as symbols of the Confederacy and white supremacy are dismantled nationwide.
What’s happening over there? Stone Mountain Village is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has a quaint main street full of shops and restaurants (steaks and pasta at Stone Mountain Public House; German fare at The Village Corner; Stoned Pizza Kitchen; Cherokee Rose BBQ; Outrun Brewing Company, Gilly Brew Bar) worth exploring. Despite the controversy over the carving, the park remains a favorite destination for hikers, golfers, and campers.
What about homes? “Everyone is moving to Stone Mountain” is something we keep hearing, and it’s easy to see why: homes are plentiful and relatively inexpensive for its proximity to the red-hot Atlanta real estate market. You can get a condo or townhouse around $100,000, while ranch-style homes are in the mid-to-upper $200,000s. If you’re not afraid of a fixer-upper, Stone Mountain might be your next home.