In New York it’s easy to get around without a car. In Atlanta it isn’t as easy, not only because of limited transit routes, but also because there are few neighborhoods that provide the amenities needed to live car-free. Keeping in mind the need for safe and walkable destinations such as grocery stores and convenient transportation options, see the list below of Atlanta neighborhoods that are great to live in if you don’t have a car. Note that downtown Atlanta, while very walkable and near several MARTA stations, did not make the list due to current lack of grocery and clothing stores. For more information, see the Atlanta Neighborhood Guide to explore more neighborhoods near MARTA.
Buckhead has been booming with new condos and apartments (if you can afford them) near the Lenox and Buckhead MARTA stations. Plenty of retail shopping is in the area including a Publix near Phipps Plaza, a Kroger off of Piedmont Road and a Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods off Peachtree Road. Nightlife can be found at hotel bars and in the Buckhead Village near the intersection of Roswell and Peachtree Roads. Bus 110 and bus 5 are the local bus routes for additional service to Midtown and Sandy Springs.
Downtown Decatur is charming, highly walkable and safe. The small-town square has numerous restaurants and a few nightlife options along with a small Kroger and weekly farmer’s market. There are some affordable apartments nearby along with condos and single-family houses. In addition to the MARTA station being right under the square, bus 2 travels down Ponce de Leon Avenue in the area to Midtown or ride the free Cliff Shuttle to the Emory University campus.
Little 5 Points/Inman Park
A hip neighborhood, Little 5 Points has boutique shops, restaurants and music and nightlife venues. Sevenanda is health food store in the neighborhood or shop at the nearby Kroger or Publix, though having a bike would be useful for grocery trips. Bus 6 that runs through the area and travels to Emory University and the CDC. If quieter living or closer access to the BeltLine is desired, consider the historic Inman Park neighborhood next to the Inman Park MARTA station.
Midtown is one of the most walkable areas in Atlanta with plenty of restaurants and nightlife options just steps away from three MARTA stations. There are still some affordable apartments in the residential neighborhood south of Piedmont Park as well as luxury apartments and condos that are more centrally-located. Groceries can be purchased at Trader Joe’s or Publix. While the area is very walkable, always use caution at night, especially south of 7th Street and along Juniper and Piedmont as this urban area is not crime free.
Virginia Highland/Poncey Highland
Virginia Highland and Poncey Highland are two safer neighborhoods in the city that have great restaurants, nightlife venues and four grocery stores: Kroger, Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Publix. Piedmont Park and the BeltLine are also nearby for recreation or bike commuting, and while the neighborhood isn’t as convenient to the train, the neighborhood has four major bus routes that go through the area, 6, 16, 36 and 2. These routes provide convenient access to all rails lines as well as downtown, Emory University, Little 5 Points, Midtown, Candler Park and Inman Park.