Decatur was incorporated in 1823 by European settlers. Prior to this the area was largely forested, and hosted two major native trade routes through the area; the Sandtown and Shallowford trails.
A quiet place to live throughout the 1800s, the exception being a small skirmish between Confederate and Union soldiers which occurred towards the end of the civil war. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Decatur began to develop into a connected suburb of Atlanta, with residents using trains, trolleys, streetcars and automobiles.
Decatur is bursting at the seams with dining, shopping and recreation options. If the endless number of food and shopping centers isn’t enough to guarantee a visit then Decatur’s rocking nightlife should be a hook, line and sinker. Situated in metro Atlanta, Decatur is in the thick of city life where single 20-year-olds or blended families can find their own niche.
The county seat for DeKalb County, Decatur is home to almost 26,000 residents, according to the U.S. Census. A diverse population with a wide range of age groups, racial backgrounds and economic levels, the city is great for growing families, professionals and retirees.
Decatur has one of the highest education levels in metro Atlanta with large populations working in the service, public administration and healthcare sectors. 49.2% of residents hold a college degree in comparison to Atlanta’s 34.9%.
Emory University, Agnes Scott College and Dekalb County are among the city’s largest employers, according to Decatur’s website.
The median household income is $73,679 and the median home value is priced at $339,100. While the home value seems steep, there are many residential options to choose from on Realtor, including single-family homes, condos, townhomes and farm lots.
There are plenty of top-tier schools for both children and college students to attend. Some highly ranked schools include Hess Academy, The Friends School of Atlanta, The Waldorf School of Atlanta, Decatur High School, Emory University and Agnes Scott College.
Shopping and Dining
Explore historic downtown by visiting The Square, located at the intersection of Clairemont Ave. and Ponce de Leon Ave. The Square includes critically acclaimed restaurants and storefront boutiques, such as Squash Blossom, Boutique Karma, Mac McGee, The Square Pub and Sweet Melissa’s.
Decatur is home to many shopping districts including the Old Depot District and West Ponce District. Full of small-town charm and historic locations, the city’s districts are stocked with trending boutiques and breweries.
A community consisting of artisans and craftspeople, Homegrown Decatur provides local artists, artisans and craftspeople a place to show and sell their work. Visit for accessories, jewelry, hair products, home decor and more.
Take a sip of Twain’s craft beer, Decatur’s first brewpub, while watching friends play billiards.
Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market began as a small produce stand in 1977. Now, the market is in a 140,000-square-foot warehouse and provides hungry customers with fresh fruit at the lowest cost. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., take a stroll throughout the market and see what they have to offer.
Founded by friends in 2009, Iberian Pig is a modern Spanish restaurant. The restaurant serves savory plates with delicious alcoholic beverages to match. Some menu items include pork cheek tacos, hanger steak and broccolini. On the vegetarian and gluten-free menu, items include kale salad, mushroom pasta and spicy potatoes.
Cafè Lily prepares gluten-free dishes and advises all customers to notify servers if a celiac dish is needed. This amazing restaurant is perfect for anyone with food intolerances that want to dive into delicious meals. From gigande bean salad to salmon steak, this quaint café has it all.
Dine outside at the Brick Store Pub’s comfortable outdoor tables. Kick back and watch the cars pass with a glass of red wine paired with the restaurant’s hearty Brunswick stew or burger.
Entertainment and Recreation
The Push, Push Theater is dedicated to the development of Atlanta’s performing artists in film, theater and music. Buy a ticket to see performances that push both the audience’s and performers’ boundaries.
Decatur offers 13 parks for families and children to pick from. Each park has its perk, depending on location. Oakhurst Park includes multipurpose fields, a picnic pavilion, a concession building, two lighted tennis courts, a basketball court and a playground area. Sycamore Park draws a quieter crowd who enjoys sitting on the park’s benches while observing nature. Also, the park is located along the path to Stone Mountain, so it is great for runners and cyclists.
The AJC Book Festival takes place once every year, and it is one of the largest independent book festivals in the country. Over the years, the festival has conducted book signings, author readings, poetry slams and writing workshops. Visit their website at www.decaturbookfestival.com to learn more about the organization and the virtual summer reading series.
Trek back to the age of the dinosaurs at the Fernbank Museum and the Fernbank Science Center. Discover the Fernbank Forest, rain garden and Georgia’s own history with a tour through this museum. Adults also receive a special tour once a month, every second Friday, where friends, family and adult beverages can mix and mingle.
Horse lovers will love Little Creek Farm Conservancy, where one can walk with ponies, picnic, bird watch and walk the trails all while enjoying the country views.
The Dekalb History Center serves as the city’s welcome center and provides walking tours throughout what historic rooms remain of the Old DeKalb County Courthouse.
Agnes Scott College was the first school in Georgia to become fully accredited in 1907. Covering eight blocks and including many residential properties and the Bradley Observatory, the beautiful campus is full of history.
Book a Decatur Ghost Tour and experience first-hand what it is like to discover something other-worldly. A professional psychic medium and paranormal investigator lead the tour through the city’s town square. Then, the tour stops at one of the oldest homes, the old train depot and the old Decatur cemetery.
Besides these great local attractions, Decatur is close to all the top destinations around Atlanta. Many spots are accessible by MARTA or the free Cliff shuttle between Decatur and Emory University.
Learn what else Decatur has to offer by visiting their website at www.decaturga.com.