What It's Like to Live in Decatur

Decatur, a small suburb of Atlanta is a city unto itself, with a rich history and progressive vibe

Take a stroll through Decatur and see how friendly neighbors, tree-lined streets, great schools, parks and playing fields, libraries, colleges, and businesses all make our town a wonderful place to spend some time. We’re just minutes east of downtown Atlanta, minutes west of Stone Mountain, and the MARTA rail station is right under our downtown square, so getting here is a breeze.Named after Stephen Decatur, a 19th century U.S. Naval hero, Decatur retains a strong connection to its history, while preparing for the future with managed growth and responsible development. Decatur maintains its own identity while forging bonds with other communities locally, nationally and internationally.

Things To Do in Decatur

There's always something going on in Decatur

You will hear people say “there’s always something going on in Decatur” and it’s true.  From festivals and special events to poetry readings, live music performances or just sitting on the square to do some people watching, our community is vibrant and full of life. Numerous small businesses have opened in recent months, or will be opening soon, in downtown Decatur.

After suffering a decline in real estate values during the 1960s and 1970s, Decatur is enjoying a resurgence. Downtown development efforts have led to a popular mixed-use district. The city’s downtown is a busy hub, with activities year-round, including concerts in the community bandstand on the square (folks can bring their own picnic), a beach party every June featuring inflatable water slides, and a July 4 celebration that includes the Pied Piper Parade, a concert and a fireworks show. In August, the city hosts the BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival.

Residents and visitors also enjoy “Terrific Thursdays” – special shopping days throughout the year during which downtown’s 30-plus stores and restaurants offer discounts and treats.
Each December, the city hosts the Decatur Tour of Homes, featuring homes and other points of interest decorated for the holidays.
Many city residents have chosen to live in the Oakhurst neighborhood on Decatur’s southwest side, which has its own shopping village and slate of events.
Also located in the city are the Gallery at South DeKalb Mall and the North DeKalb Mall, both traditional enclosed shopping malls that have undergone attempts over the years to reverse the decline often seen in these types of properties. Both Malls are anchored by a Macy’s department store.

What's New in Decatur?

Decatur 101, Feel at Home Quickly in Decatur

Decatur has become well-known as a progressive city with a high level of civic involvement among residents. If you decide to move to Decatur, you’ll be made to feel at home pretty quickly, at least on an official level. The city’s government offers Decatur 101 classes from time to time, and any resident is welcome to sign up. The classes include a tour of city government buildings and presentations from department heads, a citywide scavenger hunt, and a Q&A with city commission members during a work session.

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