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Atlanta has been thoroughly divided and subdivided into a complex network of districts and neighborhoods. In some areas, every other block or so seems to claim distinction as its own unique neighborhood with its own specific nickname, which can get rather confusing for visitor and native alike.
The nice thing about the neighborhoods in this town, however, is that despite the influences of time, gentrification, urban renewal and shifting demographics, most neighborhoods have managed to retain their charm and flavor. Another pleasant surprise is that unlike some cities, the attractions and amenities of Atlanta are fairly evenly distributed among the various neighborhoods.
Whatever you might be looking for, from high-end shopping in Buckhead to fine dining in Virginia Highland to ultra-cool clubbing in Little Five Points, each of the city's districts has much to offer. As more and more residents and tourists flock to this capital of the New South, Atlanta's diverse neighborhoods stand as a fitting parallel to the rich melting pot that the city has become over the years.
The ever-changing downtown skyline is dominated by skyscraper hotels and office buildings. Most major chain hotels are represented, including the Ritz-Carlton, the Atlanta Hilton & Towers, the dramatically-sloping Marriott Marquis, and the Westin at Peachtree Plaza, which features the aptly-named, revolving Sun Dial restaurant on the 71st floor.
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The line between Downtown and Midtown has never been distinctly drawn, but a safe choice for the demarcation is busy Ponce de Leon Avenue. This vibrant and diverse neighborhood stretches from the Georgia Tech campus on its western edge, north several miles toward Buckhead, and dissipates slowly to the east into the Virginia-Highland area.
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The latest addition to a growing list of gentrified Atlanta neighborhoods. The process in East Atlanta is a slow one, and even as a solid collection of shops and restaurants gains a foothold in the blocks around the intersection of Flat Shoals and Glenwood Avenues, most of the surrounding area continues to struggle.
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An address in Buckhead--be it for home or business--is a mixed blessing. Certainly some of the ritziest but also some of the bawdiest and most rowdy elements call this area just north of Midtown home. Still, through the years, Buckhead has held onto its claim as the most renowned and fashionable of all Atlanta neighborhoods.
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Geographically dubbed Little Five Points, this conglomeration of secondhand shops, piercing parlors, funky bars and music venues sprang up around the corner from where Euclid and McLendon Avenues converge on busy Moreland Avenue.
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Perhaps the city's most quietly-hip and sought-after address, the largely residential Virginia-Highland area has been called Atlanta's answer to New Yorks SoHo and Los Angeles' Melrose Avenue.
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In marked contrast to the funky, developing neighborhoods of urban renewal in the general vicinity of downtown, this trendy area has reinvented itself over past few years to become a rather enviable and affluent address.
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