Nestled up against Intown Atlanta, the incorporated City of Decatur sits as a small town in the midst of the big city, its inhabitants enjoying historic architecture and tree-lined streets, as well as the community’s own distinct personality. Druid Hills, its neighbor to the west, is likewise as charming while maintaining a stronger connection to Atlanta. If you’re looking for the best combination of Intown convenience and suburban lifestyle, you can’t fare much better than the neighborhoods of Decatur or Druid Hills!
Decatur’s existence as a separate city from Atlanta isn’t so much due to resistance to annexation as to the fact that Decatur actually pre-dates Atlanta as a city. First settled at the crossroad of two Native American trails, Decatur became incorporated in 1823. About 10 years later, when residents rejected a proposal by the Western Atlantic Railroad to make Decatur its southernmost terminal point, the railroad built a new community to the west for its terminal—the community which would eventually become Atlanta. Decatur would eventually become a significant historical marker in the Civil War as the point at which General Sherman cut off supplies to Atlanta. During the 20th Century, Atlanta expanded rapidly into the unincorporated areas of DeKalb County, practically enveloping Decatur. Today, thanks to its unique history and relationship with neighboring Atlanta, Decatur retains a tight sense of community; as residents of the city often like to say, “It’s greater in Decatur!”
Alongside Decatur, Druid Hills originated as Atlanta’s “second suburb,” initially planned by Joel Hurt as a haven for some of Atlanta’s leading families. Today, a section of Druid Hills remains within Atlanta city limits, and many of the original stately mansions remain part of the neighborhood, now centered around the renowned Emory University which moved here in 1914.
Decatur has its own public school district, the City Schools of Decatur, serving grades Pre-K through 12 within city limits. For outlying areas in unincorporated DeKalb County (some of which identify as Decatur for mailing address purposes), students attend DeKalb County Schools. Both school districts are highly rated, testing above the state average. Students in unincorporated sections of Druid Hills also attend DeKalb County Schools, while those within Atlanta city limits attend Atlanta Public Schools.
In the heart of Decatur lies its historic downtown square, a walkable area which offers plenty of delightful shops and restaurants, as well as a calendar of concerts, festivals and family events throughout the year. There is also the well known Dekalb Farmers Market where you can find produce, meats and fish from around the globe. In Druid Hills, aside from the beauty of Emory University itself, residents enjoy numerous neighborhood parks and green spaces, as well as shopping and dining at the newly revitalized Emory Village. About 20 minutes to the east, Stone Mountain Theme Park provides plenty of outdoor family fun, while a drive about the same distance to the west brings you to all the great attractions of downtown Atlanta.
HOMES IN DECATUR AND DRUID HILLS
One of the more attractive advantages of Decatur is that there are price points here for just about every budget. Median home values in Decatur are currently around $430,000, but actual home prices range from the mid-$100s for a nice condo all the way up to nearly $1 million for a sprawling estate. Druid Hills is one of Atlanta’s more affluent neighborhoods, with median home values at about $550,000, and numerous properties selling in excess of $1 million. To find out more about property availability in Decatur and Druid Hills, contact us today.
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