There are a few neighborhoods in Atlanta that really practice what they preach. In Winnona Park’s case, the allure comes in the form of quiet streets, dotted with English country-style homes on sprawling lawns. The result is an enclave that’s secluded, private, and steeped in history—just like it’s always been.
Only blocks away from the center of Decatur, the tiny neighborhood of Winnona Park may be one of Atlanta’s best-kept secrets. This cozy part of the city still enjoys the same benefits as neighboring villages like Oakhurst, with walkability, excellent schools, safe streets, and proximity to major thoroughfares, all part of the package. You won’t find a commercial center in Winnona Park—it’s just too small—though the neighborhood is bookended by Agnes Scott College and Columbia Theological Seminary, two of Atlanta’s oldest academic institutions.
When homes do appear on the market, they’re usually snapped up pretty quickly. Younger families, looking for a life-long homestead, comprise a good portion of the population in these 700 homes. It’s for that reason that there’s an element of exclusivity to Winnona Park: when someone buys a house here, they tend to stick around for a while.
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—there are some deals here, but it’s not uncommon for a home to come with a price tag upwards of the $850s
Winnona Park is located just south of the Ponce Corridor, with its northern border along the much-quieter College Avenue. Memorial drive is a few blocks to the south. It’s about six miles to the east of Atlanta’s center, and a couple of miles due west of I-285. The neighborhood is small (smaller, even, than neighboring Oakhurst), but with a location directly southeast 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 Winnona Park 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.
If you want to avoid the bustle of Decatur, the village of Oakhurst lies just to the west of Winnona Park. With an intimate downtown, it’s a fine, walkable spot to grab dinner without having to cross any major thoroughfares.
Winnona Park certainly merits a self-guided driving tour (especially for home hunters). Much of the architecture is original to the area, dating back more than a century. Over time, however, savvy builders have come through to offer some modern takes on the Old World aesthetic.
Winnona Park shares zoning with many of Decatur’s exceptional schools, and for many a family who has moved to this neighborhood, that element has been a factor in their decision to live here, all by itself. Here’s a list of Winnona Park’s schools, from pre-school to post-grad.
College Heights ECLC (public preK)
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 Winnona Park, is a convenient access point to the Ponce Corridor. Traffic can be a little thick on these main arteries during peak hours, but with some clever foresight, residents of Winnona Park have come to rely on a few quieter back roads to get in and out.
The I-75/I-85 Connector is located about six miles to the west of Oakhurst, while I-285 lies about two miles to the east.
The Avondale Estates MARTA station is located to the northeast of Winnona Park, and the Decatur station lies just to the north. They’re both close, less than 10 minutes by foot.
Occupying a substantial footprint on the eastern end of Winnona Park, this Presbyterian seminary is one of the neighborhood’s oldest inhabitants: the school dates back to the 1820s, but the present location has been around for almost a century, and is regarded as a tranquil place for a stroll.
Located on South Columbia Drive, this home is famous for its classical Southern architecture, and for its pedigree—built in 1868, it’s the oldest home in Decatur.
You’ll notice these around the neighborhood: community gardens have taken root in Winnona Park, offering residents a chance to socialize while they cultivate their own crops.
Located on the main stretch of neighboring Decatur, No. 246 serves up locally sourced fare with a classically Italian sensibility and a great wine list. 129 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., (678) 399-8246, no246.com
The neighborhood watering hole, elevated: housed in an old gas station, this eatery boasts New American fare, an extensive list of local brews, and a sprawling outdoor space (bocce court included). 131 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., (404) 687-0500, leonsfullservice.com
Though they’ve made a name for their exceptional catering, there are few better spots in town to grab Sunday brunch in a rustic, laid-back environment. 2161 College Ave. NE, (404) 370-1088, suninmybelly.com