Atlanta's has an array of rental options. It is a sprawling place where land is not at a diamond premium as in other premier cities. Expect to encounter amenity-rich complexes with functions, fountains, and racquetball. There are downtown highrises, bungalows in the social heart of the city. Some choose row houses near universities and in developing neighborhoods. Yes, you can even live near the Varsity if you crave those hot dogs that much... What'll ya have:
Cumberland-Smyrna: Edge cities to Atlanta, the Cumberland-Smyrna areas are scaled down amalgams of financial districts and mega-family centric zones. Home to offices (more space here than in Miami), malls, hotels, and, recently, The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. This area, especially if you work herein, is one of those places you may rarely leave. It's clean and has a little bit, but enough of everything to keep you content. Of course, if it's more of Hotlanta you seek, downtown is 10 miles Southeast. Complexes galore in this area with 1 BR apartments at $600 - $900 per month - be selective at the lower end; the higher end of this range can include non-standard features such as jacuzzi tub in unit, or bonus rooms. 2 BR pads available for around $1,050.
Emory-Deactur: Technically, one of the nation's premier universities has an Atlanta zip code, but it reaches into abutting Decatur to fulfill some of it housing, dining, and general entertainment overflow. This is a clean, safe, and historic district of Atlanta et al. With quaintly titled neighborhoods like Briarvista and Druid Hills, you can either expect this area to be green space peppered, comfortable and satisfying, or the setting of a David Lynch movie. From experience, I assure you it's the former. You'll find a smattering of cozy parks, restaurants, cafés, and tree-canopied walks in these environs. If you want nightlife, you can go either 2, 4, or 6 miles away (Brookwood, Virginia Highlands, and Buckhead Village, respectively) depending on the desired amount you wish to retain of memory, the next morning, in Emory. Expect to pay around $800 - $900 for a 1 BR in a professionally managed building. 2 BR places have a wide range of $1,000 - $1,500 and tend to feather into Atlanta's more tony nooks.
Brookwood: In between midtown Atlanta and its iconic Buckhead neighborhood, Brookwood lies magically close to downtown and major business districts, and has easy highway access. Brookwood has much big city appeal but is largely shielded from big city encroachment. This is especially true of Brookwood Hills - one of Atlanta's most exclusive neighborhoods, with a one-road-in, one-road-out design. What Brookwood Hills may lack in complex infrastructure, they more than make up for with a tireless enthusiasm for political ping-pong. In fact, putting a cold stop to Brookwood proper’s planned expansion is their pet (with emerald encrusted collar) project. Brookwood is a small, non-touristy area with a nice offering of walkable restaurants, parks, and nighttime outposts. Brookwood Hills... forget about it. Not without the password.1 BR starting around $900; 2BR around $1,250.
Buckhead: Originally dotted with estates and rolling hills, Modern Buckhead is now home to an abundance of mansions and has been known (at various times) as the wealthiest, most chic, most exclusive area of Atlanta with little exception, as well as the one most out of favor with other Atlantans.
Buckhead Village (the more urban section of Buckhead): received its share of funny looks when it began pursuit to corner the market on Atlanta's nightlife. The good news - they succeeded. The bad news - they succeeded. For a short time, Buckhead Village was a destination in and of itself. That gave way to nightly, rowdy gatherings - resplendent with alcohol, noise, and crime. While fun for a while, and certainly a boon to local coffers, Buckhead knew it was time for an utter rebranding. While this plan was taking effect, Buckhead Village became increasingly unpleasant with a "nobody really goes there anymore" feeling. Now, Buckhead, specifically the village, is thoroughly successful in its reinvention. It's fancy and family oriented, well policed, and well heeled (it never stopped being the latter - it's fall from grace was precipitous bet reversible). Still, and once again, the largest concentration of luxury hotels, dining, and shopping are within easy reach in Buckhead. 1 BR $900 - $1,200. 2 BR $1,200 - $1,550.
Virginia Highlands: Many cities refer to unique enclaves and niches within their limits as "villages." This usually translates into "small and wealthy". Virginia Highlands is a village, seven in fact, that comprise a prism of residential settings with opportunities for relaxing, exercising, people watching, diversion, and money spending. With sidewalk cafés, bistros, trendy dining, parks, pets, boutiques featuring the sublime to the far out, Virginia Highlands has a deceptively comprehensive urban vibe. It's as if Epcot designed it - X paired oddly, but perfectly next to Y and it goes on for several blocks, then stops. Bungalows and craftily built homes largely define Virginia Highlands residential landscape - a sweet respite from big. Figure $850 per person per BR and you won't go wrong.
What won't ya have?
An unmanageable problem with paperwork or pets. Atlanta is large with a good combination of family, wealth, and bohemian - that translates into choice and general flexibility. Most non-home apartments have weight limits on pets that tend to run on the high side. Chances are Fido is welcomed. Some top it at 35 lbs. so assume nothing. Metro Atlanta has around 24 dog parks. Cat parks - Zero - but millions of laundry hampers and windowsills.
Lack of traffic. The Weather Channel ranks Atlanta the third worst city in the U.S. for traffic, which is like Hooters stating that Montpelier, VT is the third hardest state capital to spell. Meh, both companies are based in Atlanta anyway. Yet Atlanta doesn't balance out choking road congestion with a welcoming, convenient public transit system. It's good, but not Atlanta Braves, 11 playoff appearances in a row good. Keep your car.
An ability to buy beer, wine, or liquor in stores on Sundays.
That pretty much covers it.
The view is great from Terminal D
Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is the world's largest in terms of passengers. In fact, the number of passengers annually transiting through ATL (88,000,000) is over 200 times the size of the ATL itself. What does that mean? In a nutshell, a peanut shell (this is Georgia after all) Atlanta is big and small. The metropolitan area is enormous statistically, while the city itself is relatively compact (around 420,000). As such, some of the desirable neighborhoods in Atlanta, aren't actually in The Big Peach - but close enough to easily be called the peach fuzz.