If you’re from Atlanta, then you know just how spectacular the Virginia Highlands area is. Filled with edgy restaurants, eclectic art galleries, and quaint shops, you can find just about anything you need down here. Even just driving through this subdivision is nothing short of magical. Keep reading if you want to learn more about Atlanta’s coolest historic neighborhood!
History of the Neighborhood
Virginia Highlands is well known for its rich history. First settlements of the area date back to 1812 when a man named William Zachary bought his own plot of land and built a farm. Decades down the road in 1880, the Atlanta Street Railway Company decided to create a streetcar line system that allowed local residents to travel to the countryside. This project was called “the Nine Mile Trolley.” After the come up of the streetcar system, the first homes of the neighborhood began to emerge between 1909 and 1926, as well as restaurants. Eventually, the streetcar services ended in 1947 in Virginia Highlands and in other Atlanta subdivisions. The neighborhood suffered a major decline in the 1960’s when families decided they wanted to move out to the suburbs. As these affluent families moved away, lower-income families moved in and crime rates began to increase. With 20 years of degeneration, things turned around in the 80’s when the Virginia Highlands Civic Association (VHCA) aided residents in home inspections in order to increase resources for them to renovate. Property values of the area began to increase in the year 2000 and have remained steady since. Ever since the revamping of Virginia Highlands, it has since been recognized as one of metro Atlanta’s best neighborhoods.
Common Architectural Styles
Architectural styles in Virginia Highlands feature a plethora of different styles. Most common are the 1930’s Tudor style homes, foursquare homes or 1920’s Craftsman-style bungalows. In most cases, the exterior of these homes resemble an older fashion, but the interior of these homes are modernly renovated. In older areas, homes are located decently close to one another because of the streetcar system that previously existed. You will truly find no other homes like these in the state of Georgia. If you’re looking for an urban, retro neighborhood that still gives off that sweet southern charm, Virginia Highlands is your place!
Things to Do
You can probably imagine that this neighborhood has plenty of events, and you’re exactly right! In this neighborhood, there’s a little something for everyone. In March, the neighborhood hosted its very first Atlanta United Block Party, where Atlanta United fans drank and celebrated together before walking to the Mercedes-Benz stadium for the first game of the season. Another awesome event is the annual Virginia Highland Tour of Homes. Each year, visitors come out to tour the neighborhoods finest homes. Food tastings are part of the fun as well. Lastly, the ultimate favorite annual Summerfest Festival hosted every summer. This festival features art, music, food, and fun over a hot summer weekend for guests to enjoy.
Restaurants to Visit
Here’s a list of some of the best restaurants in town:
- Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar
Your typical American restaurant and late night tavern, but its yummy and it’s Atlanta’s oldest restaurant!
- The Original El Taco
Tex-Mex Food with superb margaritas
- Goin’ Coastal
- Two Urban Licks
Modern American cuisine with an atmosphere you’ve never before seen!
- Mali Restaurant
Thai & sushi, amazingly decorated plates with some great Asian fusion!