Everyone has their favorite reason for loving Atlanta’s DeKalb. For some people it’s grabbing a bite at their favorite restaurant in Downtown Decatur, for others it’s catching their favorite local band in East Atlanta Village. We decided to compile a list of our Top 5 Reasons We Love Atlanta’s DeKalb (and you should too).
Our Unmatched, Award-Winning Food Scene
Whether you’re digging into a banh mi on Buford Highway, or slinging back oysters at Kimball House in Downtown Decatur, you are guaranteed to find some of the best food in the southeast right here in Atlanta’s DeKalb.
Our food scene is something we take pride in. Over the past several years our chefs have gained national exposure and recognition for their craft. Bringing home multiple prestigious regional and national awards, and grabbing the attention of people like Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern, it’s no surprise our dishes shines in the south.
To help showcase our diverse food scene, our Off the Eatin’ Path food blog reviews our local restaurants, pubs, and pop-ups. You can follow Off the Eatin’ Path on Facebook for culinary news, videos, and recent reviews of our favorite dining spots throughout Atlanta’s DeKalb.
The Biggest Rock on the Planet
It’s no surprise that Stone Mountain Park is Georgia’s Number One Attraction. Open year round, the park is full of festivals, concerts, hiking and biking trails, and a nightly laser show throughout the warmer months that draws more than 4 million annual visitors
What many people don’t know is that at 825 feet tall, and reaching a towering 1,683 feet above sea level, Stone Mountain is the largest freestanding piece of exposed granite in the world. Granite that was mined from the mountain has traveled all over the world. Parts of the mountain were used in the Georgia Capital, the U.S. Capital, Fort Knox, the Panama Canal, and was even used to help build the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo
When planning your visit to Atlanta’s DeKalb, make sure a day is spent at Stone Mountain Park. Come out to see the biggest rock on the planet, and stay for the Lasershow. Before you visit, check out our amazing 360 degree arial tours of Stone Mountain.
The Richest (and Oldest) African American History in Georgia
Flat Rock, Georgia is a very small and very quiet community in Atlanta’s DeKalb with a rich and important history. Located in Lithonia inside the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, Flat Rock is one of the oldest African American settlements in the state of Georgia. The Flat Rock community has survived for 150 years and has never been incorporated.
During the Great Migration, T.A. Bryant Sr., a resident of Flat Rock, saw the importance of keeping the community together and encouraged his neighbors to remain in Flat Rock. Bryant bought 45 acres of land and broke it up and sold pieces to family and friends in order for them to stay. The majority of the community remained and created a beautiful place with a beautiful story of perseverance.
Today, the Flat Rock Archives are located in a home built by T. A. Bryant Sr. The archives serves as a museum and houses resources for genealogical and historic researchers. The Archives is also the center of a heritage tourism site that includes the oldest plantation house in Metro Atlanta, the Flat Rock Slave Cemetery, and historically significant artifacts from the Civil Rights Movement and African American culture.
One of Four Drive-In Theaters Left in GA
During their heyday, drive-in theatres were everywhere. Whether you were piling in a car with your friends after the football game, picking up your date, or spending a night with the family, catching a movie while in the comfort of your car was an every weekend event.
Over the past 40 years, drive-in theatres have dwindled in exchange for surround sound, cushioned chairs, and 3-D goggles. Today, there are only about 400 drive-in theaters left in the country. If you want to relive the classic movie experience, Atlanta’s DeKalb has one of only 4 drive-in theatres left in the state!
The Starlight Drive-In opened in 1949 for moviegoers to see the latest films, and today the theatre has 4 screens hosting double features throughout the week. Come out to relive a piece of Americana while watching current blockbuster films.
Home of a Southern (and Delicious) Tradition
Waffle House is a southern staple. It does not matter if you are stopping in for waffles at breakfast or coming in at 1am with friends for hash browns topped with Bert’s Chili, you are always guaranteed a meal Southerners love.
What many people don’t know is that the very first Waffle House was founded here in Atlanta’s DeKalb. Opening in 1955, Waffle House opened in Avondale Estates after two members of the community, Joe Rogers, Sr. and Tom Forkner, realized the need for a 24-hour diner. Today, Waffle House has over 1,700 locations in 25 states.
The very first Waffle House is now a museum that celebrates 60 years of delicious service. The restaurant has been restored to its original décor and walking inside transports you instantly back to 1955. In addition to the original look, The Waffle House Museum is full of memorabilia from the past 60 years.