Just inside I-285, between downtown Atlanta and Stone Mountain, in DeKalb County, Decatur, the county seat, offers the best of small-town life with all the perks of living in a big city. Decatur's motto is "a city of homes, churches, and schools," and indeed, with almost 20,000 people it is its own city, but it is also part of the Atlanta Metropolitan area. As such, it is a mixed-use diverse community with well-established businesses, top restaurants, eclectic shops, hip clubs, live theater, parks, independent schools, and walkable neighborhoods - all within minutes of downtown Atlanta. With well-known colleges and universities like Agnes Scott, DeVry, Colombia Theological Seminary, and nearby Emory, as well as excellent public schools and a strong sense of community that attracts young families, Decatur has a lively contemporary energy.
Named after Stephen Decatur, a US naval hero, Decatur has a rich history. The city's courthouse sits on the cross-section of two Indian trails (now the intersection of E. Ponce de Leon, McDonough, and Clairmont) and anchors the heart of the city, known as the Square. The courthouse and Square have always been "the" gathering place; that tradition continues today with numerous festivals and events throughout the year. In the 1830s, residents rejected a bid to make Decatur a stop on the Western and Atlantic Railroad, shaping its destiny forever. The railway moved west 7 miles to Terminus, which later became Atlanta. Several exciting walking tours highlight landmarks of Decatur's role as a strategic site in the Civil War's Battle for Atlanta.
Today's residents embrace the city's history, while preparing for smart growth that continues to enhance the urban characteristics of their small town. Decatur features beautiful historic neighborhoods and offers a variety of architectures and options-bungalows, Craftsmans, condos, Victorians, and townhomes-to suit every taste.
* note: the zip codes 30030, 30032, 30033, 30034, 30035 were used to represent Decatur.