Lunchers on Broad Street in Downtown.

Where is it? Where all the lights are bright. The core of the city is roughly bounded by the Downtown Connector on the east, I-20 to the south, Northside Drive on the west, and North Avenue to the north. 

What’s the history? Like just about every other town in Georgia, Atlanta was born from the expanding railroad industry. The city, originally known as Terminus, was founded in 1837 at the end of the Western & Atlantic rail line with a milepost driven into the ground not far from today’s Five Points. It would be known as Thrasherville and Marthasville for a few years before being incorporated as Atlanta in 1847. It was famously burned during the Civil War but would become the state capital in 1868. 

A rendering of Centennial Yards.

What’s going on there these days? Plenty! Not only is Underground Atlanta working on its third act as an arts, shopping, and nightlife destination, the transformative, $5 billion Centennial Yards project across from Mercedes-Benz Stadium is set to inject new housing, offices, and retail, while South Dwntn is rehabilitating the historic “hotel row” buildings along Mitchell Street to do the same.

What about amenities there now? Restaurants of every taste abound (we recommend dining al fresco along tree-lined Broad Street from a plethora of eateries), while State Farm Arena, Theatrical Outfit, The Tabernacle, Masquerade, and Rialto Center for the Arts offer top-flight music, theatre, and entertainment. You’re also in tourist central Downtown with the Georgia Aquarium, Center for Civil and Human Rights, Coca-Cola Museum, College Football Hall of Fame, and Skyview Ferris Wheel. We’d also recommend checking out the activities and events in Woodruff Park and Centennial Olympic Park. A lingering complaint is that grocery shopping is inconvenient, but one of the new projects is likely to remedy that soon.

A condo for sale at The Metropolitan.

What about homes? Like everywhere else, housing stock is low, but at press time there were quite a few condos on the market ranging from the low $100,000s to more than $2 million. The median price for a condo Downtown was hovering in the mid-$250,000 range. 

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.