So, you’re new to Atlanta. You’re just getting used to the city, but you’re not really sure what you’re looking for as far as settling down is concerned. You’ve got a few friends who live here though, and they’ve tried to help you out by pointing you in the right direction.
Sooner or later, you’ll hear about Lake Claire, everyone’s favorite neighborhood that nobody knows about. It’s just off the Ponce Corridor, but it’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it tiny. The homes are totally cute, and some are old enough to be considered historic, but the total mix of architectural styles makes the neighborhood hard to define. There are a couple of great little restaurants, but you won’t really meet anyone who says, “Hey, let’s grab brunch in Lake Claire"
In other words, Lake Claire is a place where people, well, live—it always has been. While some of the surrounding communities have been punctuated by periods of prosperity, decline, and rejuvenation, this collection of 1,200 homes has always stayed steady, minding its own business. It’s part of the charm.
And yet, as the city has evolved, Lake Claire found itself more and more in the center of it all. It’s just as easy to get to Decatur as it is to Midtown; Emory University and CDC are just a short drive north; trendy Little Five Points, with its counterculture and gastropubs, is only about 10 minutes away by foot. There’s even a MARTA stop.
As the people who live in Lake Claire will tell you, they like their part of town. It’s quiet, and the people are nice, and that’s all that matters. And while it’s not necessary to have everything so close by, it doesn’t hurt, either.
Talk to some residents to get a better feel for the neighborhood. The folks who live in Lake Claire come from all ages, family structures, careers, and walks of life, and will be happy to help get you acquainted.
Young couples sometimes move to Atlanta because one of them landed a great job. But the other person might still be on the job search. With a location that’s central to the city, some of Atlanta’s largest employers, and the interstates, Lake Claire’s centrality makes it a solid choice.
This neighborhood is a great starting spot for an avid runner. From neighboring Candler park, it’s possible to hoof it all the way over the Old Fourth Ward without ever leaving the connected network of public parks.
Lake Claire is located in DeKalb County, and while this neighborhood is located closeby to some good private options, it’s technically zoned for the following schools in the Atlanta Public School System:
Atlanta Public School System
Mary Lin Elementary (public)
Inman Middle (public)
Grady High School (public)
Lake Claire Park is the only City of Atlanta park in the neighborhood, though there are some quiet green spaces peppered around, too (the Community Land Trust is a favorite, too). While Lake Claire Park is a lovely space, many residents here are tempted by the lavish Candler Park, just a few minutes’ walk to the west (a city-wide favorite for a Saturday afternoon picnic or annual festival).
New to Atlanta?
Whether you’ve already slated your move to Atlanta, or are just considering this city as your new home, you’re likely going to be doing a lot of research. Every city has nuances, history, quirks, and jargon that can be confusing for newcomers, and Atlanta is no different. We’ve taken the liberty of providing a few basics with our Atlanta Beginner’s Guide. Check it out, and you’ll be feeling like a local in no time.
With Ponce de Leon to the north and DeKalb Avenue to the south, surface street travel to Atlanta and Decatur is easy. Clifton Road, too, which runs north, leads straight to the Emory University area.
Interstate 20 isn’t too far away; going south on nearby Moreland Avenue is about a five-minute drive to the onramp. Likewise, it’s only about 10 to 15 minutes to get to the connector (a straight-shot on Ponce or DeKalb Avenues), and a little bit farther than that (to the east) to hit the I-285 Perimeter.
Lake Claire is served by two MARTA stations, each only a few minutes by foot (both are located on DeKalb Avenue. To the east of town, East Lake station is the place; to the west, Edgewood-Candler Park is easy to get to as well.
While not technically a public park, this piece of land, owned and cultivated by the community of Lake Claire, features all the amenities of an official Atlanta green space, like old growth trees, walking trails, gardens, and a small lake..
A quirky fundraiser cultivated by Nuclear Watch South, this annual event features a roster of local and regional acts, local food vendors, and plenty of opportunities to become educated on the state of the region’s nuclear power stations.
If home hunting happens to take place in mid fall, then signing up for this annual tour of homes would be a great way to explore, up close and personal, the eclectic mix of architectural styles lining the streets of Lake Claire.
People love Flying Biscuit. There are a few locations scattered around the city, but they all offer down-home cooking, great coffee, and a breakfast menu that’s still sizzling even after the sun goes down. 1655 McLendon Ave. NE, (404) 687-8888, flyingbiscuit.com
This local pizza chain is a city favorite, and the Lake Claire Location is no exception. The thin crust and Sicilian slices are perennial favorites, a great lineup of local beers is on tap, and there’s outdoor seating that stretches into the late hours. 1634 McLendon Ave. NE, (404) 687-9190, fellinisatlanta.com
With a name that sounds like a lost Beatles track, this cozy, kitschy eatery serves up pastries, coffee, and high tea to a backdrop lined with books. 1645 McLendon Ave. NE, (404) 474-1402, drbombays.com