Young families, upon beginning their search for the perfect place to settle in the Atlanta area, invariably become captivated with Oakhurst, the quiet, historic neighborhood that lies just to the southwest of its big sister, Decatur.
Oakhurst Village, located at the heart of this tiny community, blends a palpable sense of cozy Americana with just enough of a youthful flair (Agnes Scott College is just down the street) to keep the 20-plus small business—including friendly watering holes and casually swank boutiques—hopping on the weekends.
The tree-lined avenues in this tranquil part of town are no different: a block’s walk in any direction yields a vision of a Southern neighborhood straight from a Hollywood set, and the inhabitants of the homes that line these streets are famous for their hospitality (don’t be surprised if you’re invited onto the front porch for a cocktail around sunset).
Proximity, too, is held at a premium in Oakhurst. The East Lake MARTA station is within a few minutes’ walk from any part of the neighborhood, and with an adjacency to the Ponce Corridor, access to the big city and the interstates is deceptively straightforward.
An amazing public school district (maintained, granted, by higher-than-average property taxes)
A walkable neighborhood and unusually safe streets
Proximity to Atlanta and the major arteries and roadways
A place to raise a family
Homes that retain a sense of old world character
An investment, but at a premium—homes here range from the mid $400s to $1.2M
Oakhurst is located just south of the Ponce Corridor, with its northern border along the much-quieter College Avenue. It’s about six miles to the east of Atlanta’s center, and a couple of miles due west of I-285. At only about one square mile, the neighborhood is small, but with a location directly southwest of Decatur, it affords access to the same amenities, schools, and public services as its neighbor.
Even though it’s technically a separate neighborhood, a lot of people will refer to Oakhurst as Decatur, just as some people from Decatur will say they live in Atlanta. So when you’re here, just go with the vernacular—people will know what you’re talking about.
It can get a little busy in Oakhurst Village on the weekends, as this quiet nook of town is popular with people from all over Atlanta. If you want to sample this area of town in its true, tranquil splendor, stop by on a Tuesday or Wednesday, when it’s only the locals.
If Oakhurst is a place you’d like to settle, do a little house hunting on foot. This neighborhood is famous for its "infill" new construction homes which offer maximized floor plans on relatively small footprints for the maximum in versatility.
Oakhurst shares zoning with many of Decatur’s exceptional schools, and for many a family whose moved to this neighborhood, that element has been a factor in their decision to live here, all by itself. Here’s a list of Oakhurst’s schools, from pre-school to post-grad.
College Heights ECLC (public preK)
Oakhurst Elementary (public K-3rd grade)
Winnona Park Elementary (public K-3rd grade)
5th Avenue School (public 4th-5th grade)
Renfroe Middle School (public 6th-8th grade)
Decatur High School (public 9th-12th grade)
Friends School of Atlanta (private)
School of the Oaks (private)
Agnes Scott College (private)
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.
College Avenue, on the north end of Oakhurst, is a convenient access point to the Ponce Corridor, which Memorial Drive, to the south, give another alternative for ingress and egress. Traffic can be a little thick on these main arteries during peak hours, but with some clever foresight, residents of Oakhurst have come to rely on a few quieter back roads to get in and out.
The I-75/I-85 Connector is located about 6 miles to the west of Oakhurst, while I-285 lies about 2 miles to the east.
The East Lake MARTA station is located to the northwest of Oakhurst. Much of the neighborhood is located close to this station, so it’s not too uncommon to meet residents who rely on the train to get to the center of town, for work or play.
This newly established event takes Oakhurst’s trademark “front porch pride” to the next level, transforming these Southern mainstays into mini music venues for folks from the neighborhood, and visitors alike.
Held each March, this event allows visitors to pay one price, and attend wine tastings held at a variety of Oakhurst business.
This historic building is used as a venue and community center nowadays, but for a sprawling example of classic Southern architecture, give it a stroll by, at least.
One part polished dive bar, one part great grub, and one part cold beer, this centrally located watering hole (a.k.a. “U-Joint”) is a local favorite. 906 Oakview Rd., (404) 373-6260, ujointbar.com
Exposed brick walls provide the aesthetics for this easy-going coffeehouse, which also boasts an admirable selection of wines and beers, should your lunch date stretch a little late. 707 East Lake Dr., (404) 371-1113, kavarnadecatur.com
An outdoor patio is a spot frequented, especially on the weekends, by folks looking for pub-grub and some of the city’s best native brews. A classic. 726 W. College Ave, (404) 464-5698, imperialdecatur.com
Oakhurst was originally built as a so-called “streetcar suburb” of Atlanta, and boasted direct streetcar access to the center of the city, and to the surrounding neighborhoods. This practice went on as early as the 1890s—a testament to this tiny neighborhood’s history.