8 most exciting metro Atlanta suburbs, according to Thrillist

The suburbs sometimes get a bad rap as being “boring.” After all, the action is in Midtown, right?

Not necessarily. According to Thrillist, the suburbs of Atlanta have a lot to offer. From dining to nature, metro Atlanta’s suburbs are more than just family-focused neighborhoods and strip malls.

Here are eight of the “most exciting” metro Atlanta neighborhoods, according to Thrillist:


Come for the art shows; stay for the food. If you don’t live in the area, you’ve likely driven up Interstate 75 and checked out the Marietta Square. It has hosted art shows and numerous festivals over the years.

However, Thrillist writes, the “real draw is the food. There’s something for everyone from the minimalist-fancy Spring and Australian Bakery Cafe with delicious hand pies. If you’re looking to imbibe, check out the 32 drafts at Two Birds Taphouse, The Third Door for a more speakeasy-like experience, or Glover Park Brewery for some local craft beer. For a plethora of options, drop into Marietta Square Market with food stalls like D’Cuban Cafe, Creme de la Crepe, and Four Fat Cows.”


Roswell is home to some of the best hiking trails in the metro area. Hike the Vickery Creek Trail to a beautiful waterfall. In addition, there is the Chattahoochee Nature Center, where you can learn about the area’s environment.

And then there’s the food, Thrillist wrote: “If you visit for brunch or breakfast, definitely visit Fellow’s Cafe. The historic former cottage has indoor and outdoor seating and a killer menu with options ranging from ricotta pancakes, sweet potato eggs benedict, and various toasts. If you come for dinner, it’s a close call between Table & Main, known for Southern fare like fried chicken and short rib, and its sister restaurant Osteria Mattone, known for housemade pasta and pizza. Whichever one you choose, plan on making a reservation.”

If you’re looking for some after-hours fun, head over to Mac McGee, voted by AJC readers in 2020 as the best late-night spot in Roswell.


If mountain biking excites you, head to Blankets Creek with your two-wheeler. With trails for beginner, intermediate and advanced riders, there is something for everyone.

When you’re done, get cleaned up and head to Woodstock’s “charming downtown with plenty of restaurants, like Century House Tavern (actually set in an old house) and Freight Kitchen and Tap, and shops, like Spirited and Antiques by Samson and Delilah to explore,” Thrillist wrote.


Avalon is like another city within Alpharetta, with restaurants, shopping and a movie theater. There is also a green space where concerts and other events are held. If you’re a true music lover, however, head to Ameris Bank Amphitheatre, which sits on 45 acres of wooded land. It seats 7,000 under a distinctive fan-shaped roof and another 5,000 on the lawn, under the stars.

If sitting isn’t your thing, the Big Creek Greenway beckons you. Home to blue heron, deer, ducks and Canada geese, this 12-foot-wide, 8-mile-long concrete path goes through the woods along Big Creek. It’s great for bike riding or just walking.

“The restaurants and shops here are mostly locally owned,” Thrillist wrote. “If you’re hungry, grab a bite from Never Enough Thyme (a cafe with soups and salads), Coalition Food and Beverage (modern comfort food), or Restaurant Holmes. Head to Valor Coffee for a caffeine fix and Crave Pie Studio for a sweet treat.”


“Duluth offers critically acclaimed restaurants, apartments and townhomes within walking distance of downtown and a Town Green for its nearly 30,000 residents to gather with family and friends,” the AJC’s Tyler Wilkens wrote in 2021.

In addition to its parks, Duluth is known for its food. There are great places like O4W Pizza, micro food hall Sweet Octopus, Crave Pie Studio, and the market Provisions on Main. But it’s the Korean food that will bring you back.

“Duluth also boasts a large Korean community with plenty of Korean-owned restaurants to support like Breakers BBQ, Dan Moo Ji which serves twists on Korean classics, and Thank U Chicken,” Thrillist wrote.


According to the latest census numbers, Smyrna is the fastest growing city in Cobb County.

Smyrna Mayor Derek Norton said he wasn’t surprised, because the city’s “sense of community,” parks and recreation amenities, and proximity to Atlanta make Smyrna a great attraction to newcomers, the AJC’s Kristal Dixon wrote.

Smyrna is also the starting point for the Silver Comet Trail, which you can bike, walk or run all the way to the Georgia-Alabama line. And it’s adjacent to The Battery, where you can shop, eat or watch the Atlanta Braves play in Truist Park.

Sandy Springs

“Living in Sandy Springs offers residents an urban suburban mix feel, and most residents rent their homes. In Sandy Springs there are a lot of restaurants, coffee shops, and parks,” Niche wrote recently when ranking the city in the top 20 best cities to live in 2021.

Living here comes at a price, however. ZIP code 30327, which includes parts of Atlanta and Sandy Springs, was No. 47 on Bloomberg’s list of 50 richest ZIP codes.,

“Sandy Springs is also known for its recreational areas, like the 30-acre riverside Morgan Falls Overlook Park and trails within the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area,” Thrillist wrote. “It’s easy to feel quite secluded despite only being a few minutes from the perimeter and bustling Roswell Road.”

Stone Mountain

If the only thing that comes to mind when you hear “Stone Mountain” is the giant Confederate carving, then you need to visit this area.

From its beginnings as a meeting and ceremonial place for Native Americans to its emergence as a major tourist resort in the 1850s, Stone Mountain Park has continued to grow and attract visitors,” Mary Caldwell wrote for the AJC.

“The natural attraction also offers 15 miles of wooded nature trails, the Grist Mill and Covered Bridge and a 363-acre lake for anglers,” she added. “In addition to its natural wonders, Stone Mountain Park’s year-round highlights include the Summit Skyride, a high-speed Swiss cable car with views atop Stone Mountain, and the Confederate Hall Historical and Environmental Education Center.”

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