Decatur—Everything is greater in Decatur.
The city of Decatur was founded in 1822 and named for a local naval hero Stephen Decatur. In the 1830s the Western and Atlantic Railroad wanted to make Decatur its southernmost stop, but the citizens rejected the proposal and the terminal was located west-southwest and become known as Atlanta.
During the last half of the 20th century metropolitan Atlanta expanded and eventually surrounded two sides of Decatur. Many of the upper and middle class families moved out of the area at that time, but due to successful long-term downtown development plans by the city a resurgence of the area has occurred. Decatur is now a trendy group of 21 mixed use neighborhoods and historic districts with easy access to downtown Atlanta.
In the last twenty years Decatur has gained national recognition as a progressive location with a high level of population involvement. Despite the close proximity to the city of Atlanta Decatur retains its small town ambiance.
The Decatur / Dekalb County area offers a plethora of things to do and see from historic sites, science museums, gardens, and a list of special events. The Agnes Scott College Historic District, the Winnoma Park Historic District, Ponce de Leon Court Historic District, and the MAK Historic District are just a few of the local points of interest. Fernbank Museum of Natural History features dinosaurs, special exhibits, a planetarium, a space telescope, the largest movie screen in Atlanta, and hands-on adventures for people of all ages. Woodland Garden located on Scott Boulevard is 7 wooded acres with a focus on the natural wonders of the area.
If special events are what you are interested in then be sure and not miss the Decatur Craft Beer Festival, the Decatur Arts Festival, the Decatur Book Festival, the Decatur Beach Party, the Decatur Wine Festival, and the Decatur Ghost Tour.
Restaurants and Shopping
Excellent restaurants can be found throughout the Decatur area. You can enjoy traditional American cuisine at Leon’s Full Service on Ponce de Leon Avenue; Calle Latina on Church Street for Peruvian or Latin American dishes; Cakes & Ale on Sycamore Street for breakfast or brunch; The Pinewood on Ponce de Leon Avenue for good down home southern food; or Parker’s on Ponce for great steak or seafood.
After your meal at one of the area’s fine restaurants you will want to enjoy the wide selection of shopping malls, boutiques, and galleries. Everything you need or want is just minutes away.
Elementary aged children attend Glenwood, Clairemont, Oakhurst, Westchester or Winnona Park elementary schools. A fourth and fifth grade academy at Fifth Avenue and Decatur High School support the older children in the city school district. The DeKalb County school district serves the unincorporated area of the county.
Local colleges and universities in the area are Agnes Scott College, Columbia theological Seminary, Emory University, and Georgia Perimeter College. Also located nearby is the Georgia Institute of Technology, John Marshall Law School, Georgia State University, and the Savannah College of Art and Design Atlanta campus.
The underground MARTA Decatur Train Station serves the Decatur area along with five MARTA bus routes that reach out to the Moreland Avenue, South Dekalb, Clairmont Road, North Dekalb Mall, and Emory areas.