Avondale Estates, GA: What It's Like to Live Here
If you're looking to live in a town with a true village feel, consider Avondale Estates.
This inside-the-perimeter community just east of Decatur is a city unto itself. At about 2,900 residents, Avondale Estates is tiny compared with other incorporated areas of the Atlanta metro area. But it's easy access to the city makes it a popular address for a diverse range of single professionals, couples and families.
Founded in1924, Avondale Estates was originally conceived by planner and landowner George Francis Willis to be a self-contained community with its own parks, lake, pool and tennis courts. Willis named the development after Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, and downtown's commercial buildings, as well as many residences, were built in a Tudor-Revival style he and his wife had seen while traveling in England. The city was noted in This Old House magazine's list of "Best Old House Neighborhoods 2012." The town is also home to Georgia's longest running professional theater, Academy Theatre, and has a designated arts district.
Avondale Estates is located with easy access to Atlanta's big-city activities, but residents also enjoy events close to home. In May, the city hosts S.T.E.A.M. Fest, a Steam Punk festival held annually at the Academy Theatre, which includes performances and workshops. On Mother's Day Weekend, families enjoy Art-B-Que in the heart of the city's Rail Arts District. This festival gives local artists and musicians a chance to show off their talents and provides cooks an opportunity to gain bragging rights in a juried Barbeque competition.
The holidays bring a full calendar of events, with the Avondale Estates Christmas Tour of Homes and Holiday Market, Menorah and Christmas tree lighting celebrations and Mayors Motorcade, which provide gifts for patients at a local hospital.
Any time of year, aficionados of Waffle House will be happy to find the restaurant chain's first diner here, which opened Labor Day Weekend 1955. The original site has been converted into a museum for the company, and waffles are still served at a newer restaurant in town.
Children living in Avondale Estates are zoned for the DeKalb County School System, which includes Avondale Elementary School, Avondale Middle School and Druid Hills High School. The building that once housed Avondale High School is now used by the DeKalb School of the Arts, a magnet school. Students are also in the attendance zone of the Museum School of Avondale Estates, which technically has a Decatur address. This school was launched by a grass-roots effort of parents and the Avondale Education Association and is chartered by Georgia Charter Schools Commission. The school currently serves elementary level students and plans to expand to eighth grade during the next several years.