With its plethora of bars, restaurants and music venues, there’s no going thirsty or hungry for good food or entertainment in Virginia-Highland.
Don’t make the mistake so many newbies do: There’s no “s” on the end of “Highland.” Historians know it’s an easy mistake to make, given the neighborhood’s pastoral beginnings as rolling farmland. But the continued expansion of streetcar lines into these bucolic areas created suburban communities that allowed residents to enjoy the countryside while having an easy commute to the downtown business district.
Houses began sprouting up in the late 1890s, but the bulk of development took place from 1909 into the 1920s. One of the area’s original country homes, the Adair mansion on Rupley Drive, was built in 1895, but when the family moved out in 1911 it was converted to apartments that are still in use today. One of the oldest structures is Atlanta Fire Station 19, the 1924 brick edifice at 1063 N. Highland that residents have rallied behind to restore. Another area landmark is the Ace Hardware store that’s been in business on N. Highland for more than 30 years.
What not to miss:
The neighborhood boasts an active homeowners association that stages a variety of events that pull in visitors from around the city. Each June, the Virginia-Highland Summerfest features a 5K and an extensive artists’ market; the annual Tour of Homes in December offers a glimpse inside private residences.
And there’s no possibility of going hungry in this ‘hood: Among the noted eateries are the perennial favorites Murphy’s, Highland Tap and Fontaine’s Oyster House, along with La Tavola, Osteria 832 and American Roadhouse. Check out the local blues music scene at Blind Willie’s or the vibrant nightlife at Dark Horse Tavern and Limerick Junction pubs.
The original Taco Mac opened in Virginia-Highland in 1979 and still sports the original signage.