- By Adam Kincaid For the AJC
The West End neighborhood is among today's upward-trending neighborhoods in Atlanta. It's always been a junction point for roads leading to Decatur and Lawrenceville, and even the old Indian villages beyond the city's earliest settlement bounds ran through West End. Today, it's mile zero on the Atlanta Beltline. So, take that, Ponce City Market.
Two centuries of intersecting is reflected throughout the neighborhood − in the diversity of people and cultures and in the variety of architecture.
A 2016 Redfin study named Atlanta's West End among its hottest neighborhoods.
"Real estate pioneers are flocking to West End, because it's in a great location, situated on the Westside Trail with plenty of green space, parks and proximity to the Beltline," Redfin agent Will Fassinger noted in the study last year. "People also like West End, because it has beautiful, historic Queen Anne, Folk Victorian and bungalow homes with lots of character that are being restored with modern amenities."
Wondering why Redfin made this strong declaration?
Here are some pretty solid reasons why West End has become one of Atlanta’s rising stars:
Get used to hearing about the Westside Trail. As Atlanta doubles down on its Beltline activity, neighborhoods like the West End are probably going to be the big winners. In 2013, the City of Atlanta was awarded an $18 million grant to develop the southwest Atlanta Beltline. The Westside Trail runs from University Avenue in Adair Park north to Lena Avenue at Washington Park. While passing through West End (at White Street), the Beltline will connect itself to and become the existing West End Trail. You can try it for yourself when the West End Urban Confidence Class meets on Saturday, Jan. 14 for a bike ride.
503 Peeples St., Atlanta, 404-612-0500. www.hammondshouse.org
Hammond House Museum, which opened in 1998, is situated in the former home of the late Dr. Otis Thrash Hammond, an arts patron and physician. Its mission is to "explore the cultural diversity and legacy of artists of African descent." Hammond House is also a great place to see more than 350 works of art from America, Africa and the Caribbean islands.
1050 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd., Atlanta, 404-753-7735. www.wrensnest.org
The Wren's Nest, also known as the Joel Chandler Harris House, was the home of author Joel Chandler Harris until his death in 1908. He wrote, from that home office, about magical characters like Brer Rabbit and Uncle Remus for a generation of children. The museum opened in 1913, with some pretty famous financial supporters including Andrew Carnegie and President Theodore Roosevelt. Today the home is a National Historic Landmark, having gained its designation from the National Park Service in 1962. If you visit in the spring, notice that wrens still use the mailbox to make nests (it's where the house got its name).
1059 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd., Atlanta, 404-343-6126. tassilisrawreality.com
The West End is all about the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle. One of the best spots to grab a wrap (if you don't mind the wait) is Tassili's. Raw options? Check. Vegan? Check. On point with the Spicy Kale Wrap? Put down another check. Love a tasty dessert with your lunch? That's four checks. Worth the wait. Not everything is served raw, but they do offer marinated veggies, kale salad and a seaweed salad among other choices.
Oak At Ashby Street Shopping Center, 530 Joseph E Lowery Blvd. SW, Atlanta, 404-758-2221.
If Taste of Tropical was an automobile, it'd be a 1989 Porsche. The interior, a two-seater. And no, not well maintained. The exterior? A couple dents here and there, and ready for some paint. Probably a new sign would be nice, although the old one is now so old it's almost retro cool. The engine? Yes, very much running well. Taste of Tropical offers all the island dishes you've come to know and love in massive quantities for cheap. Jerk chicken (of course), peas and rice, oxtails, curry. It's likely one of the best Atlanta feasts you can get served on a Styrofoam.
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