For Prospective Off-Campus Dwellers: A Guide to Nearby Neighborhoods
Posted March 23, 2012 | Atlanta, GA
If Georgia Tech provides housing for more than 8,000 students on campus, one might wonder where the other 12,000 reside. After living on campus for some time, many students choose to gain a greater sense of independence and responsibility by moving off campus.
Not all college students have the luxury of choosing from several great neighborhoods, but, being in Atlanta, Tech students do. When seeking off-campus living options, regardless of which corner of Atlanta you choose, be sure to weigh all your options. There are a number of factors to consider, including roommates, utilities, monthly expenses, commuting and parking fees.
Different areas will offer different benefits, but here are a few places worth investigating if you’re apartment hunting, along with some factors to consider during your search. With any potential living arrangement, be sure to tour the entire property and drive around the area at different times of day to see what it’s like early in the morning and late at night. Don’t settle for a place solely for its price, and make safety and wellbeing top priorities.
Home Park: The closest neighborhood north of campus, Home Park is notoriously overrun with students and offers affordable living. It doesn’t offer as much in the way of restaurants or shops, but is close enough to Atlantic Station and Howell Mill for those to be viable options for frequent patronage — however, one can’t overlook the fact that it is home to Antico and Sublime Doughnuts, both favorites among students.
Highlights: Antico (1093 Hemphill Ave. NW), Sublime Donuts (535 10th Street NW), Firehouse Subs (537 10th Street NW)
Downtown and Centennial Apartments: Downtown Atlanta offers a wide range of apartments with respect to price, style and location, but also a louder section of the city in which to reside. Many students choose to live in Centennial because of its proximity to campus. Residents can easily walk to campus, or to the bus stop at North Avenue Apartments. Walking and biking are strong benefits to living in this area, and a MARTA stop is always around the corner. Tech students will be in good company with Georgia State students, whose campus is scattered throughout the downtown area. For those who love to run in Centennial Park or take advantage of Atlanta attractions, such as the Georgia Aquarium, High Museum and sporting events, downtown is an ideal place to live.
Highlights: Georgia Aquarium (225 Baker St NW), World of Coca-Cola (121 Baker Street NW), Gladys and Ron’s Chicken and Waffles (529 Peachtree Street NE)
Midtown: Still close by and relatively walkable to campus, Midtown is home to families, singles, young couples and students alike. If you’re a runner, you’ll benefit from the proximity of Piedmont Park and its numerous trails. Midtown is also a good option for those who don’t own a car, as it offers close proximity to MARTA and campus, as well as options for groceries and other services. Midtown has both apartment complexes (such as 116 Ponce, Biltmore Midtown and Post Parkside) as well as many apartments rented by smaller landlords (which are generally less expensive) for those not as particular about amenities.
Highlights: Willy’s (1071 Piedmont Ave. NE), Publix (950 W. Peachtree Street), The Vortex (878 Peachtree Street NE)
Westside: Atlanta’s Westside offers a handful of apartment complexes and small homes, ideal for students. The area is rapidly developing, with new restaurants and niche shops blossoming on every corner. Though this means excellent additions to residents’ social lives, it also means increasing prices. The commute from Howell Mill or Marietta Street may not be feasible on foot, but the distance is still manageable with a car or provided shuttles by certain apartment complexes. Westmar, Alexan Metro West and Post Collier can all be found on the Westside.
Highlights: Ormsby’s (1170 Howell Mill Road), Figo Pasta (1210 Howell Mill Road NW) Yoforia (1100 Howell Mill Road), Yeah! Burger (1168 Howell Mill Road), West Egg (1100 Howell Mill Road), Octane (1009 Marietta St NW)
Atlantic Station: Though Atlantic Station can be pricier than other off-campus options, it is very close to campus and offers other benefits. Residents are within walking distance of the outdoor shopping mall, IKEA, movie festivals, theater, weekend sidewalk markets and diverse meal selections. Conveniently, Stinger routes travel to Atlantic Station, though not as frequently as on campus, but the transportation alternative is available if needed.
Highlights: Regal Cinemas 16 (261 19th Street NW), Strip – Steaks and Sushi (245 18th St NW), Target (375 18th Street), California Pizza Kitchen (265 18th St NW), Which Wich (265 18th Street NW), IKEA (441 16th St NW)
Buckhead: Buckhead, similar to Vinings, can give off a suburban feel within the bubble of its residences and higher prices. However, there are a variety bars and restaurants, as well as two major shopping malls in the area, giving students plenty to see and do. Walking may not be as convenient, but everything to do in the area, as well as the commute to campus, is a quick drive or MARTA ride.
Highlights: Lenox Square Mall (3393 Peachtree Road NE), Phipps Plaza (3500 Peachtree Road NE), Buckhead Diner (3073 Piedmont Road NE), Eclipse di Luna (764 Miami Circle)
Virginia Highland: Just to the east past Midtown, many students already frequent the Highlands for its restaurants, bars and shops. The Highland is known for attracting twenty-somethings and offering lower rents, while still having a mix of residents and being relatively safe. Though it will take a car, bike or long walk to MARTA to get to campus, it offers plenty of entertainment options within walking distance. It’s also home to multiple coffee shops for those who prefer such venues for studying.
Highlights: Aurora Coffee (992 N. Highland Ave. NE), Yeah! Burger (1017 N. Highland Ave. NE), Belly General Store (722 N. Highland Ave. NE)
Vinings: Vinings is more common to families and younger working couples, making it quieter and more expensive. The nightlife may not be as exhilarating, but the area offers its own social scene with plenty of restaurants, shops and parks to explore. It’s not uncommon to find excellent festivals and fairs on weekends, in case you are looking for something new and different to do around Atlanta.
Highlights: South City Kitchen (1675 Cumberland Parkway), Mellow Mushroom (2950 New Paces Ferry Road), Yoforia (4338 Paces Ferry Road Southeast), Figo Pasta (2941 Paces Ferry Rd), Cumberland Mall (1000 Cumberland Mall)