WINNER: This is metro Atlanta’s best town square, according to readers

No. 5: Lawrenceville Lawn. No. 4: Alpharetta City Center. No. 3: Duluth's Town Green. No. 2: Decatur Square. No. 1: Marietta Square

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is committed to continuing our normal features, where appropriate, during the coronavirus outbreak. For full coverage of the outbreak in Atlanta, please check our Coronavirus News Section. We have decided to continue Best of Atlanta voting for the time being, despite social distancing. We encourage our readers to support local businesses after the authorities loosen the social distancing rules — along with supporting those businesses that offer delivery or pickup during the outbreak.

A town’s square has traditionally been a gathering place for the community. The modern town square has not only a fountain or gazebo, but also shops, restaurants and green spaces.

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During the coronavirus pandemic, these spaces have been put to good use for socially distanced, outdoor gatherings and activities. Soon, they will be decorated for the holidays.

So Best of Atlanta asked you to vote for your favorite town square, and more than a thousand of you responded.

Here are the top five finishers:

The No. 5 spot went to Lawrenceville.

“The Lawrenceville Lawn greenspace is a popular gathering spot that hosts a variety of concerts and other events, including a free summer yoga series, the city’s Fourth of July celebration and a Touch-A-Truck event. During the pandemic, many events include safety and social-distancing measures,” Mary Caldwell wrote for the AJC in October.

ExploreA guide to downtown Lawrenceville

Coming in fourth was Alpharetta.

“Known as Alpharetta City Center, the redevelopment encompasses six city blocks south of Academy Street and east of South Main Street. Initial phases saw the rise of a new City Hall and a Fulton County library branch. That was followed by shops and restaurants, executive office spaces, residential apartments and homes, a garage (with free parking) and lots of green space,” AJC’s dining editor, Ligaya Figueras wrote.

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Third place this year went to another Gwinnett County city: Duluth’s Town Green.

“The fountain in downtown Duluth is a central focal point for families to gather to enjoy the city’s outdoor amphitheater, Town Green, Taylor Park and City Hall areas,” Karen Huppertz wrote for the AJC in October. The city now plans to build outdoor seating around the fountain to give residents more options for socially distanced activities.

ExploreDuluth to add outdoor seating deck near Town Green fountain

Decatur Square came in second this year. Site of the AJC Decatur Book Festival in nonpandemic years, it has recently been the location for peaceful social protests. The Confederate monument that was controversial for years was removed from the square in June, just a month after a marker honoring lynching victims was installed.

ExploreMarker recognizing lynching victims installed in downtown Decatur

The 2020 winner of metro Atlanta’s best town square retains its title from last year. The Marietta Square received 38.9% of the votes to finish first this year.

At the center of the square is Glover Park, where you can have a picnic or catch a concert. And the square is “brimming with history,” its website states. The Great Locomotive Chase of the Civil War started here, militia trained in the park and the area was used as a military hospital.

ExploreMarietta Square has evolved around park

With many indoor activities canceled, exploring either your town square or those nearby can be a fun and safer activity.