Virginia-Highland / Druid Hills / Inman Park
Virginia-Highland is a chic and popular close-in neighborhood known for its nightlife as much as for its updated and upscale homes. It has the same vibe as Buckhead, and a number of Atlanta's choice restaurants and bars are located along Highland Avenue. Druid Hills is full of exemplary homes, many of which can be viewed on a two-hour tour. Inman Park was Atlanta's first planned community and has beautiful early 20th Century homes and some really good local eateries and quaint shops.
Because these are close-in neighborhoods, you can park your car and easily hop a Marta train or bus to get around. You can also walk if you want to keep in shape, meet friends and act like a local. There are tall trees, safe streets and pretty vistas. You'll see joggers on the streets and bicycles as well. Piedmont Park is adjacent to the northwest corner of Virginia-Highland, and you can spend a whole day enjoying its natural beauty on foot.
These are neighborhoods that are immensely appealing and they absolutely ooze urban appeal, with a sometimes quirky vibe. You'll probably want to spend some time in each one, both during the day and at night, in order to get a feel for the personalities of each. Stately homes, simple bungalows, townhomes and apartments vary in price and style, so when you settle on the area, you'll have a whole new range of options set before you.
Virginia-Highland dates to the early 20th Century as one of Atlanta's streetcar suburbs. Located farther from the city's central core than the neighborhoods served by "horsecars," they became popular options to city life. Today, however, these are considered very urban and, as such, very much in demand.