This person wants to live close to Decatur, but isn’t so keen on paying the high, school-funding property taxes. They want to live close to Atlanta, too, because that’s where the action is. They want to enjoy the laid-back, urban-infused vibe of Kirkwood, and would prefer that it be a short walk away. While they might work at Emory, CDC, or at a trendy little coffee house, that’s just the day job: during the weekend, they dig the head shops in Little Five Points, and aren’t above catching a show at the EARL in EAV.
Still, time spent at home is important to an East Laker. As much as this person values the communities that encircle their own, they want privacy, quiet, some cool neighbors, and a back yard big enough to put some Adirondack chairs and a fire ring—all close enough to the bustle, while still being a world away.
One of the most affordable Intown neighborhoods.
Proximity to community amenities
Walkability to parks and recreational activities
A quick commute to the center of Atlanta
Homes with a little character (and maybe a little fixing up to do)
A diverse population
A lot of potential for future growth, and a potential increase in property value.
East Lake is located about six miles east of Atlanta’s center, and about a mile due south of Decatur. The major thoroughfare, which passes right through the center of the neighborhood, is Memorial Drive, which does grant easy access by car to Downtown Atlanta, or to I-285 to the east.
The name might sound a little familiar to golf fans. The East Lake Golf Course, located directly to the south of this neighborhood, is one of the finest in the region, and has been a regular fixture on the PGA tour for years.
There isn’t a lot to do in East Lake besides, well, live. The neighborhood doesn’t have a formal ‘downtown,’ but that’s OK: homes here are located close to some great eateries and entertainment options (we recommend the half-mile stroll northward, to Oakhurst).
In case you’re wondering, East Lake does get its name from a lake. It’s located on the famous golf course, just to the south, and it’s a fixture of the neighborhood.
The singles or younger couples who move to East Lake might not have the school system in mind when it comes to choosing a home. The public schools in this area aren’t rated very well, though a few private institutions are close by. Here’s a complete list.
City of Atlanta Public School District
East Lake Elementary (public)
Maynard Jackson High (public)
Drew Charter School (public)
The Atlanta School (private)
School of the Oaks (private)
Columbia Theological Seminary (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.
Memorial Drive, which runs from the Perimeter to the heart of Downtown, runs straight through the center of East Lake. Meanwhile, an abundance of surface streets and quiet back avenues offer some clever options for getting around during rush hour.
East Lake does have the advantage of being centrally located to some of Atlanta’s major arteries. The connector is about five miles to the west; the Perimeter is less than three miles away, and a five-minute drive down Memorial Drive grants access to I-20.
As the name would imply, the East Lake Station is going to be your best bet. Contrary to the name, however, it’s actually not located very close to the neighborhood of East Lake itself, though a mile’s walk north to College Avenue will get you there.
For golfers, this course is a standard bearer, steeped in a unique history all its own. In addition to being the home course of the legendary Bobby Jones, it has served as the site of the PGA’s annual Tour Championship since 2004.
This community gathering was started back in 2009, and has grown in size each year since. Offering everything from fresh produce to artisanal foods to charity cookoffs, this market is open for business every Saturday from April to October. Arrive early, before the good stuff gets sold.
Keep an eye open as you’re driving around: each month, a “Best Yard” sign pops up in front of the most deserving home. We’re under the impression that the tradition was started as a way to encourage the beautification of the neighborhood, but from what we’ve gathered, there are some residents who have grown to take the distinction pretty seriously.
All-day breakfasts in a quirky environment are on call at this trendy little coffee house, located in the center of East Lake. 2462 Memorial Dr. SE, (404) 377-2227, mycoffeeshopel.com
A cozy gastropub offers some pretty imaginative fare amid brick walls, or outside on a sun-drenched patio. Technically in Oakhurst, if East Lake has it’s own neighborhood watering hole, this would be it. 659 East Lake Dr., (404) 373-1116, steinbecksbar.com
Just south of the golf course, Marie’s serves up some exceptional Southern soul fare along with sandwiches and light bites, in a bright, cheerful atmosphere. 556 Fayetteville Rd. SE, (678) 705-2266, mariesatummatcafe.com