What is Druid Hills known for?

Druid Hills is known for being a historic neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia that is characterized by its winding roads, lush greenery, and elegant homes. Some key things that Druid Hills is known for include:

Historic Architecture

Druid Hills is home to many historic homes built in popular architectural styles like Queen Anne, Neoclassical Revival, Tudor Revival, and Colonial Revival. The neighborhood was developed in the late 19th and early 20th century as a planned suburban community by Joel Hurt, and was designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Some of the most iconic and historic homes in Druid Hills include:

  • The Callanwolde Fine Arts Center – A Tudor Revival style mansion completed in 1920.
  • The Swan House – A Neoclassical Revival mansion completed in 1928, now part of the Atlanta History Center.
  • The Asa Candler Jr. House – A Tudor Revival mansion built in 1916 for the son of Coca-Cola founder Asa Candler Sr.
  • The Rainbow Terrace – A Colonial Revival mansion built in 1924.
  • The St. John’s Lutheran Church – Completed in 1926 in the Gothic Revival style.

In addition to the grand mansions, Druid Hills also contains many beautiful historic bungalows and cottages built in styles like Craftsman, English Vernacular Revival, and American Foursquare. The Druid Hills neighborhood contains several historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places in order to preserve its unique architectural heritage.

Lush Parks and Green Spaces

Druid Hills is characterized by its abundant parks, green spaces, and tree canopy. The Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm, successors to Frederick Law Olmsted, helped design parts of Druid Hills to maximize open space and park access. Major green spaces in Druid Hills include:

  • Deepdene Park – A 9-acre park featuring walking trails, a playground, and an open lawn.
  • Candler Park – A 55-acre public park with a lake, golf course, walking trails, and sports fields.
  • Fernbank Forest – A 65-acre forest preserve with hiking trails.
  • Lullwater Park – Part of Emory University’s campus with walking trails along a lake and waterfall.

In total, about 60% of Druid Hills is occupied by trees and greenspace, earning it the nickname “Atlanta’s Suburban Forest.” The abundance of trees helps create a peaceful, secluded feel throughout the neighborhood.

Proximity to Centers of Culture and Learning

Druid Hills’ location just northeast of downtown Atlanta places it close to several major centers of culture and learning. Some of the most notable nearby institutions include:

  • Emory University – The highly ranked private university has its main campus centered in Druid Hills.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – The CDC headquarters are located in neighboring DeKalb County.
  • Fernbank Museum of Natural History – This museum and IMAX theater is right along the border of Druid Hills.
  • High Museum of Art – Atlanta’s main fine arts museum located downtown is about 10 minutes away.
  • Atlanta Botanical Garden – Home to impressive collections of flora located near Piedmont Park.

The proximity to Atlanta’s top universities and cultural attractions is a major draw for Druid Hills. It provides convenient access to amenities typically associated with living in the heart of a major city.

Thriving Restaurant Scene

In recent years Druid Hills has developed a vibrant dining scene, with new restaurants opening along major thoroughfares like Briarcliff Road and Ponce de Leon Avenue. Some of the most popular restaurants in Druid Hills include:

Restaurant Cuisine
Rathbun’s New American
Watershed Contemporary Southern
Hen Mother Bread, Pastries, Pizza
Donut Dollies Donuts
Chai Pani Indian Street Food

From upscale dining to casual takeout, Druid Hills offers an array of dining options for residents. The neighborhood is especially known for its brunch and breakfast scenes. The combination of tree-lined streets, historic homes, and excellent restaurants makes Druid Hills a very inviting place to spend a weekend afternoon dining alfresco.

Annual Tour of Homes

Each spring, the Druid Hills Civic Association and the Druid Hills Home & Garden Tour put on the annual Druid Hills Tour of Homes. This is a major event that allows both locals and tourists to get an inside look at some of the neighborhood’s most impressive and historic homes. The tour showcases chic renovations and period restorations of extraordinary Druid Hills houses. It provides a unique opportunity to see remarkable residential architecture spanning different eras and styles. Proceeds from the tour help fund preservation initiatives and community improvements in Druid Hills.

Location in Intown Atlanta

Druid Hills offers quick access to downtown Atlanta while still maintaining a peaceful suburban feel. It sits just northeast of the city center inside the perimeter of I-285 that delineates intown Atlanta from the metro area suburbs. Excellent schools, green space, historic homes and quick commutes make it a desirable intown community. The following table summarizes approximate travel times via car from Druid Hills to major Atlanta destinations:

Destination Distance Drive Time
Downtown Atlanta 7 miles 15 mins
Hartsfield-Jackson Airport 16 miles 25 mins
Buckhead 8 miles 20 mins
West Midtown 5 miles 15 mins
Virginia Highlands 4 miles 10 mins
Little Five Points 3 miles 10 mins

Being located intown near major employment centers like downtown and Buckhead makes it convenient for professionals to get to work. At the same time, tree cover and winding roads provide some insulation from big city noise and traffic.

Top Public Schools

Druid Hills contains some of the top performing public schools in DeKalb County and the metro Atlanta area. This includes:

  • Fernbank Elementary School
  • Paideia School (private PK-12 school)
  • Druid Hills High School
  • Druid Hills Middle School
  • The Paideia School

In 2022, the Niche rankings named Druid Hills High School the #2 Best Public High School in the Atlanta metro area.

Exceptional academics, arts programs, diversity, and access to parks help make these schools stand out. The schools have also produced many distinguished alumni. The quality education available is a major reason families seek homes in the Druid Hills area.

Annual Druid Hills Home Tour

Each December, the Druid Hills Civic Association puts on the Druid Hills Home Tour. This beloved community tradition allows locals and visitors alike to tour beautiful homes dressed up for the holidays. Both historic homes and contemporary houses showcase chic Christmas decorations. In addition to the house tours, the event includes live music, refreshments, and even visits from Santa Claus. Proceeds from the home tour support upkeep and improvements for Druid Hills parks.

Connection to Coca-Cola Company

Druid Hills has a strong connection to the history of the Coca-Cola company. This stems from Asa Candler, founder of The Coca-Cola Company, who built his family mansion in Druid Hills and lived there for over 25 years. Other Coca-Cola executives like Harold Hirsch also built mansions in Druid Hills during the company’s rise in the early 20th century. Asa Candler’s son, Charles Howard Candler, later donated the family’s mansion and estate to Emory University. The Coca-Cola headquarters were also once located along Ponce de Leon Avenue in Druid Hills before moving downtown.

Film Shoots

Druid Hills serves as a popular filming location due to its picturesque homes and landscapes. Blockbusters like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Rampage, and Stranger Things, along with TV shows like The Walking Dead, have all filmed scenes in the neighborhood. Druid Hills offers film crews a beautiful setting that can portray small town America. Location scouts are also drawn to the historic mansions as backdrops for period films or shows set decades ago.

Annual Porch Party

Each year Druid Hills hosts the Porch Party, a community event that brings residents together to socialize and celebrate the neighborhood. Locals decorate their front porches and lawns before hosting block parties and get togethers. The Porch Party spans multiple streets near Druid Hills High School that are closed to traffic for the occasion. In addition to mingling with neighbors, attendees enjoy live music performances, food from local restaurants, and family activities. The laid back event encapsulates the welcoming spirit and camaraderie found in the community.


With its charming historic homes, abundant parks and greenspace, excellent schools, and community spirit, Druid Hills has developed into one of Atlanta’s most desirable in-town neighborhoods. Its proximity to major destinations and job centers coupled with its serene residential streets make Druid Hills popular with families and professionals alike. The neighborhood’s proud history and engaged residents help give Druid Hills a distinct identity anchored in tradition and hospitality. When experiencing events like the annual home tour or porch party, it becomes clear why Druid Hills is known for being a wonderful place to call home.