Buckhead Atlanta is known outside the region for it’s stately southern mansions along West Paces Ferry Road, world class shopping at Phipps Plaza, Lenox Mall, and the high-end boutique shops in the Village. It isn’t hard to find, just hop on Peachtree (yes, that one!) and you will find yourself there! This isn’t a place you want to drive right past, it is worth a visit, whether it’s to play, shop, eat, or, if you are lucky, to live! Buckhead has always been a desirable area and with all it has to offer that won’t change anytime soon!
Buckhead has more than 40 neighborhoods which define the character of this ‘city’ within the city of Atlanta. While they all exude Southern charm they have characteristics that are unique to each of them, adding to the allure of this area.
North Buckhead, with GA 400 running right through it, is home to Phipps Plaza, Lenox Square Mall, and a walkable area that has seen revitalization that other neighborhoods haven’t. But don’t let the hectic nature fool you, these neighborhoods boast lush, green yards and a peaceful retreat from the city around them.
Peachtree Heights West, which is home to some of the oldest and nicest homes in the city, has been the first choice for distinguished old Atlanta families for decades. Homes sell quickly, and the area includes the hustle and bustle of part of Peachtree Rd.
Peachtree Park residents call their home ‘an island in the city’, and they aren’t far from wrong. This community is nestled amongst the shopping and vibrancy of Buckhead, and is an in-town escape with pocket parks and community gardens for everyone to enjoy.
Tuxedo Park has long been regarded as one of, if not the, most prestigious, and expensive, communities in Atlanta. This decades old neighborhood includes the Governor as a resident, and homes that are movie-worthy (and many have been used in movies!).
Mt. Paran-Northside is located East of I-75 and adjacent to Chastain Park, and allows for homes with extensive acreage and privacy, which most certainly appeals to many of Atlanta’s successful professionals and celebrities!
Other neighborhoods within Buckhead include Chastain Park, the Southern Buckhead neighborhood of Brookwood Hills, Garden Hills, Margaret Mitchell, West Paces Ferry Northside, Peachtree Hills, Historic Brookhaven, Peachtree Heights East, Buckhead Village, Brandon, Hanover West, Kingswood, Fernleaf, Wesley/Battle, Randall Mill, Wildwood, and Atlanta Memorial Park
Where there are nice homes there is nice shopping, and Buckhead does not disappoint. Two world class shopping malls are across the street from each other, giving you the chance to shop the more upscale stores such as Gucci, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Tiffany and Co at Phipps Plaza, or you can choose to spend your money at more modest shops, from Gap to Macy’s to Anthropologie, just a stones throw away at Lenox Square Mall. If you feel up for catching a flick then you can’t miss the AMC theatre at Phipps Plaza, with its reclining seats and it’s reserved seating it is the movie theatre of choice for families all around!
The Shops Around Lenox, Buckhead’s ‘Boutique Shopping District’ boast more boutique-y type chain stores, and they are an easy alternative to navigating a mall for both shopping and restaurant choices. Pick up some jewelry at Kendra Scott, or some workout gear at Lululemon, and grab a bite at Bhojanic, with Indian cuisine you will be dreaming about for days.
Making your way into more of the heart of Buckhead you will find the appropriately named The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, an upscale shopping and eating destination. You can browse the beautiful shoes at Jimmy Choo, smell the scents at diptyque, bring out your stylish inner hipster at Warby Parker, make yourself glamorous at Nars, amongst others. Restaurants include Spanish fare at Gypsy Kitchen, comfort food at Shake Shack, Irish Craic at Fados, or French delicacies at Le Bliboquet. With free 3 hour parking you can browse, dine and discover like a local!
Not everything is about high-priced, well known designers, and local businesses are worth a visit. Lucy’s Market, the go-to place for gift baskets, specialty items and wine, is a well known gem amongst those in the know. Baby Braithwaite is home to specialty baby items that you can bring to ensure your gift will stand out to every new mom. And Poppy’s of Atlanta has been dressing the best dressed of Buckhead since 1981. Looking for a housewarming gift? Swoozies has exactly what you need, along with things you don’t even realize you needed, including holiday decorations, birthday gifts, children’s gifts, paper invitations and more!
The Peachtree Battle Shopping Center at the end of Peachtree Battle Rd. is a treasure trove of Buckhead staples like Lilly Pullitzer, Festivity, and the Children’s shop. Tourists may flock to the more well-known Lenox Square or Phipps Plaza for shopping, but Buckhead insiders love to shop at Peachtree Battle. My favorite store is Richards, a local variety store that has everything from ice cube trays (yes they still have those), to toys, and the best card selection in the area.
Shop the Velvet Hammer. When you think of Ace Hardware, clothing, and jewelry aren’t the first thing that come to mind, but this is a great place to shop for both, and then maybe pick up a Big Green Egg at the same time.
Get a Cupcake from the ATM. Sometimes the urge for a delicious cupcake can strike when you least expect it. No worries, the Cupcake ATM is always open outside Sprinkles Cupcakes.
Other notable kids stores in and around Buckhead include Sprong Children’s Shoes, Kazoo Toys, King and Bear Boutique, Learning Express, The Children’s Shop, Richard’s Variety Store, Baby Bella Boutique, Monsoon Children and Janie and Jack.
If shopping isn’t your weekend activity choice then you are in luck, because Buckhead has more to offer than high end stores!
Places To Visit
Atlanta History Center combines the history of Atlanta with 33 acres of gardens, hands on exhibits, family activities and exhibitions. With seasonal festivals, such as Sheep to Shawl, Day Of The Dead, and Fall Folklife Festival you can enjoy the History Center in many different ways.
Kids can take part in Summer camps, or visit their Magic Monday program, which runs once a month during the school year and allows kids to explore the museum, along with interactive activities, storytelling, and crafts. And keep your eyes open, because in the Fall of 2018 the Cyclorama, a painting representing the Battle of Atlanta and formally located in Grant Park, is reopening at Atlanta History Center, and will be better than ever!
Located behind Atlanta History Center is Buckhead’s favorite location for baby showers, bridesmaid luncheons and lunching with the ladies, Swan Coach House. This uber-Southern restaurant oozes charm and hospitality while serving up sweet tea and Buckhead’s favorite chicken salad sandwiches.
Venture on down West Paces Ferry Rd and you will soon come across the Georgia Governor’s Mansion, home to every Governor since 1968. Tours are available during the week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 10 am and 11:30 am.
If nature is more your forte then you don’t have to venture far for an urban oasis of wilderness right in the heart of Buckhead! Blue Heron Nature Preserve is 30 acres of nature right off Roswell Road, surrounding Nancy Creek. From educational programs to Summer camps to workshops for adults this is a nature lovers paradise.
Head up Roswell Road a bit and soon you will be at Chastain Park, Buckhead’s very own version of Piedmont Park. Home to the Chastain Parks Arts Festival, NYO Sports, Chastain Horse Park, Chastain Park Pool, and a recently renovated, to the tune of $2.8 million, Chastain Park playground. If none of that catches your fancy, well, you can walk or run on their 3+ mile PATH trail, or pack a picnic and enjoy music under the stars at Chastain Park Ampitheatre, an open air, intimate concert venue that brings some of the best to Buckhead.
Celebrate the Movies. Atlanta, and Buckhead are popular movie and television filming locations. You never know when you’ll run into production trucks. One of the most well-known movies filmed in Buckhead was the Hunger Games. The Swan House, part of the Atlanta History Center served as President’s Snow’s home. Take a special tour of the home and sit in President’s Snow’s chair, and see some of the props from the movie set.
One of my favorite springtime drives is along Habersham Road. The beautiful Buckhead homes become second only to the beautiful yards with blooming azaleas, dogwood trees bursting with white blossoms, and huge sloped lawns perfectly coifed to capture the Georgia sun.
Playgrounds and parks are not scarce in Buckhead, so getting the wiggles out is something that can easily be accomplished at almost every turn. Little Nancy Creek Park is on the North side of the area, and is well shaded, and has a walking path which leads you over Nancy Creek itself, where you can often find kids searching for fish and other wildlife.
The Northside Trail Beltline Atlanta, the first section of the Beltline to open on the North side of Atlanta, is Buckhead’s very own, and is a mile long trail that takes you past some of the prettiest areas of the city.
Shady Valley Park, in Pine Hills, is a hidden gem which neighbors are loathe to share – but it is not to be missed! Tennis courts, a playground and playing fields make up this appropriately named shaded area, perfect for a hot Atlanta Summer day.
Tanyard Creek Park, off Collier Rd and along the Northside Trail, provides an insight into the history of Buckhead as it was an integral place during the Battle for Atlanta in the Civil War. Spend some time walking throughout the park and reading the markers which detail the events that took place there, before heading to their play area.
Garden Hills boasts not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 distinct park areas to visit! Garden Hills Park is the central point of the neighborhood, and is home to the Garden Hills pool and clubhouse, playing fields, and a playground. Sunnybrook Park is a series of nature trails with 27 different species of trees, all identified by plaques posted in 2016, so make a game out of it and see how many you can find!
Explore the urban wildlife of Alexander Park, once used for Summer camps but has since become an area for exploration and discover. And Frankie Allen Park, home to the renowned Buckhead Baseball league, also has a playground, tennis courts and walking trails. Tucked away in the park is a small cemetery, the final remains from before World War II when this park was a community once known as Macedonia Park, which included homes, churches and stores.
Atlanta Memorial Park, part of the Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy which includes Bitsy Grant Tennis Center and the Bobby Jones Golf Course, has a brand new playground, with areas focused on age specific play structures and trails waiting to be conquered! Also located along the Northside Trail, this city park is one of the nicest you will find.
The Duck Pond Park is a privately owned park which includes, naturally, a duck pond, as well as gardens and wooded areas. Available for private rental you can also visit the park for free, fish (catch and release!) and observe this natural oasis.
Want to ‘shoot the hooch’? Luckily for you the Chattahoochee National Park is nearby, and you can shoot the hooch (that’s rafting down the river for those who didn’t grow up in these parts!), cycle or hike the trails. Catch some fish for dinner, or pack a picnic and dine along the river, enjoying this beauty in its natural element.
Speaking of picnics, the Peachtree Road Farmers Market is just the place to get the bounty you need to fill that picnic basket. Open Wednesday nights from April through October and Saturday mornings from April through December at the Cathedral of Saint Philip in the heart of Buckhead on Peachtree Rd., this market brings a new meaning to Farm to Table. Local vendors sell everything from organic fruits and veg to local honey to grass-fed and free range meat and eggs, along with breads, desserts, soaps, artwork, pasta, soups, and so much more. Chef demos, live music, and local beers round out this well loved and well attended market.
When the weather is rainy, or, being in Atlanta, too hot to be outdoors, Legoland Discovery Center at Phipps Plaza is a great indoor solution to those bad weather day blues! Walk through a Lego replica of Atlanta, ride Kingdom Quest or Merlin’s Apprentice Ride, watch a Lego rocket blast off at the new Space Mission, play in Pirate Adventure Island, be a part of the movie in the 4d Cinema, build and race cars on their special building tracks, explore the Lego Friends, and there is even a Duplo area for those with smaller hands. As all good adventures do this one ends in the Lego shop so be prepared to ward off chants of “I want this!”, or tire them out enough so they don’t have the energy to do so!
For free indoor activities both Pottery Barn Kids at Lenox Square Mall and Barnes and Noble on Peachtree Rd offer free weekly storytimes! Visit Pottery Barn Kids on Tuesdays at 11 to hear a story, participate in a craft and earn a special surprise after five visits! The times for Barnes and Noble varies weekly, so be sure to check out their calendar of events, and stick around after for a craft or activity!
If rolling strikes is more up your alley a visit to The Painted Pin on Miami Circle is in order! This 21 and up (except Saturdays and Sundays before 5 pm) ‘boutique bar, bowling and entertainment venue’ offers 20 full service lanes, bocce courts, shuffleboard and ping pong tables, skee-ball machines, darts, giant Jenga, ring toss and more. Eating and drinking is optional, but why would you ever opt not to when you have a night of fun planned?
The Atlanta History Center is located in the heart of Buckhead. Bring the kids for the ever-popular Sheep to Shawl day each spring and learn what life was like on a farm. There is also a wonderful exhibit that chronicles the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
Dine Among Priceless Artwork. The St. Regis Atlanta, located in the heart of Buckhead, is a gorgeous hotel with a fantastic upscale restaurant called Atlas. In addition to delicious food and drinks, Atlas also has an amazing art collection. Ask the hostess for an iPad to do a self-guided tour of original art from Picasso, van Gogh, Soutine, and more.
Where To Stay
Visitors to Buckhead are lucky to have a number of options of places to stay, ranging from the luxurious to the comfortable. If you are looking for a hotel which offers you a great location at a good price then check out the following hotels: Doubletree, Embassy Suites, JW Marriott, Marriott Buckhead Hotel and Conference Center, Hyatt Place or the Springhill Suites.
Taking it up a notch and you can stay at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead, W Hotel, or the Intercontinental. And if luxury is the only way you stay, then Buckhead has that covered as well, from the Mandarin Oriental to the Ritz Carlton to the St. Regis. You won’t have to go far to find whatever level of comfort you seek!
It doesn’t matter if you are coming for a quick visit, a long stay or looking for a place to live, Buckhead has amenities and parks and restaurants to make even the pickiest of people happy, and this “city” within the city is one you don’t want to miss out on!
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