15 Best Things to Do in Decatur, GA

Decatur, GA
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Decatur maintained its reputation as a peaceful but vibrant suburb within metro Atlanta.

This small city is known throughout Georgia as a destination for food lovers, art enthusiasts, families, and people who want to escape Atlanta's hustle and bustle.

Just eight kilometers away from Atlanta's city center, Decatur is a convenient location for a memorable day trip with yourself or your family.

The entire four-square-mile city is packed with art galleries, gourmet restaurants, bars, and parks.

Many people settled down in Decatur because it perfectly blends the plush city living and the laid-back small-town life.

Decatur is a wonderful place to discover its hidden gems and an excellent jumping point to explore Atlanta and DeKalb County from a visitor's perspective.

In addition, Decatur is also known for its vibrant LGBTQ community, making its community more welcoming to everyone.

So, what's in store for you in this Atlanta suburb?

Read on to find out the 15 best things to do in Decatur, GA.

Eat Delicious Spanish Food at The Iberian Pig

Name sign of the iberian pig restaurant with black chair and tables outside.
strixxvaria, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This Decatur restaurant is known for its Spanish-inspired tapas and authentic Spanish cuisine.

It boasts a modern Spanish tapas cuisine, combining Spanish traditions and fresh, eclectic culinary creativity.

Furthermore, the restaurant is also known to serve the world-famous Jamon Iberico from the Iberian region of Spain.

They also have an excellent wine collection from Argentina, Spain, and Chile.

Overall, The Iberian Pig is a wonderful place to dine and enjoy delicious Spanish food in its warm and cozy restaurant interior in the heart of Decatur City.

Enjoy the Outdoors at Glenlake Park

This 17-acre green open space in Decatur City is a popular destination for locals and visitors to have a picnic and do outdoor recreational activities.

Like any public park, Glenlake Park is equipped with nice amenities, such as picnic tables, barbeque pits, pavilion, sports facilities, playgrounds, and a swimming pool.

In addition, it has two baseball diamonds, tennis courts, a basketball court, a volleyball court, and a dog park, which is open for the public.

Glenlake Park pretty much has it all, making it a popular place for locals and visitors to hang out.

Furthermore, it's located near the historic downtown Decatur where you can treat yourself to a wide array of shopping and dining options.

Search the Tiny Doors of Secret Doors Decatur

Decatur is known throughout Atlanta as a major art hub.

A testament to it is the unique and adorable fairy doors scattered throughout Decatur.

There are 32 tiny doors, called the 'fairy doors,' which are the product of the group's creative imagination, the Secret Doors of Decatur Project.

These tiny doors are well-hidden from plain sight across Decatur's streets, which 24 local artists installed a few years back.

Local artist Larry Holland headed the group behind this unique artwork through a seed grant funded by the Decatur Arts Alliance.

Several shops and businesses agreed to display these tiny doors in front of their stores to make it more exciting to find the doors.

It adds more excitement and fun strolling through Decatur's streets from a visitor's perspective.

In addition, you get to visit shops and restaurants with tiny doors installed on them along the way.

Treat Yourself with Delicious Donuts at the Revolution Doughnuts

If you're too guilty thinking about eating sweets like donuts, then you need to try Decatur's Revolution Doughnuts.

This small but promising donut joint boasts a farm-to-table, hand-crafted, simple, tasting donut made from organic ingredients.

Revolution Doughnuts owner Maria Moore Riggs got the concept of creating organically-made donuts during her stint in a California resort, where the ingredients of their sweets and pastries got sourced from organic gardens and farms.

That inspiration ultimately opened up her donut joint, which many Decatur locals now love.

Moreover, Revolution Doughnuts is nestled along a street filled with restaurants and shops along West College Avenue, making it a convenient location to grab a dessert after a hearty meal.

Their Maple Glazed with Bacon, Cinnamon Apple Fritter, and Fresh Strawberry donuts are must-tries.

Be One with Nature at the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve

Aerial view of the clyde shepherd nature preserve.
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Located just north of the city limits of Decatur, the Clyde Sheperd Nature Preserve offers visitors its 28-acre property teeming with wildlife and rich foliage in the middle of DeKalb County.

The nature preserve features more than 300 species of flora and fauna native to Georgia.

It's an excellent place to do outdoor activities like hiking, nature photography, and animal sightings.

During your visit, you will likely come across animals like beavers, red foxes, river otters, flying squirrels, raccoons, warblers, hummingbirds, and turtles.

The South Peachtree Creek Nature Preserves, Inc., manages the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserved that opened in 1995 to serve its purpose in providing local wildlife and plants a protected area to thrive.

Today, it's one of the frequently visited nature preserves in DeKalb County.

There are numerous trails you and your loved ones can traverse and enjoy the sceneries along the way.

Get Captivated by the Beauty of Woodlands Garden of Decatur

If you're seeking a romantic spot during your visit to Decatur, you should check out the Woodlands Garden of Decatur.

This eight-acre public garden houses different native plants and flowers in Georgia.

Since there's no entrance fee, you can explore this beautiful garden with your loved ones or your special someone and be amazed at the beautifully manicured lawns featuring exotic and colorful plants and flowers.

While strolling through the garden, you'll be traversing a winding network of trails covered in mulch, meandering through a wooded area.

In addition, the Woodlands Garden of Decatur has friendly volunteers who provide a tour around the area.

Hike through the Mason Mill Park

Another public park you should visit in Decatur is Mason Mill Park.

This park offers visitors an operational experience through its vast, miles-long wooded trails, perfect for jogging or hiking.

It has a vast playground where your kids can have fun climbing and sliding.

In addition, Mason Mill Park has a recreation center, a community garden, and numerous sports facilities for tennis and pickleball.

Furthermore, the park also contains around 120-acres of forested areas where the trails are located.

The trails ultimately lead to other known places in DeKalb County, such as the Emory University, Leafmore neighborhood, Medlock Park, and the Decatur Waterworks.

Pay a Visit to DeKalb History Center Museum

The DeKalb History Center Museum is a nice historical attraction to uncover the backstory of Decatur, DeKalb County, and Atlanta through its vast collections of artifacts from its exhibits.

In addition, this museum in Decatur is nestled in the historic DeKalb County Courthouse.

If you're a history buff, you'll be mesmerized by the exhibits and galleries that share many fascinating histories of DeKalb County.

You can even discover less-known facts about the county if you're curious enough to dig deeper.

You can browse through various topics about history, including the pioneering families of DeKalb County, genealogy, cemeteries, historic sites, historic homes, the Civil War, natural attractions, and the Civil Rights Movement history.

Have a Hair-Raising Experience with the Decatur Ghost Tours

If you're tired of the usual tour around DeKalb County, you can join the Decatur Ghost Tour's after-dark walk tours around the city.

This tour company is famous across DeKalb County for its spooky tours around Decatur's streets, where you'll be stopping by old abandoned buildings, houses, cemeteries, and haunted places, which all have their own creepy stories to tell.

One of the highlights of their tour is going to the old passenger railway depot, where many people heard agonizing cries of Civil War soldiers who died on the battlefield back in the day.

Aside from ghost stories and other creepy stuff, there are also hints of history you'll be learning along the way since most places you'll be visiting are old abandoned buildings, streets, and structures.

Listen to Great Live Music at Eddie's Attic

Two men performing with acoustic guitars at eddie's attic.
Ravenandadove, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Decatur's arts community goes beyond the usual.

One of Decatur's flourishing arts is music, and to experience it you can head to Eddie's Attic.

It is a bar, restaurant, and entertainment hub rolled into one venue.

If you ask Decatur locals where to watch live musical performances, they'll likely direct you to Eddie's Attic.

A white-haired man playing saxophone at eddie's attic.
Shawnvinson, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

It is the place where having a good time is virtually guaranteed since most of Decatur and DeKalb County's local bands, singers, and musicians converge at the place to share their passion for music.

Eddie's Attic is not your typical bar, as dozens of popular singers have already performed here like Tyler Childers, Michelle Malone, Justin Bieber, Sheryl Crow, Eric Taylor, and Dana Cooper, to name a few.

Celebrate Arts with the Decatur Arts Alliance

The Decatur Arts Alliance is one of the responsible organizations in the city for its vibrant art community.

Through its partnership with locals and the city of Decatur, the group hosts annual arts festivals.

They also help promote local artists, theater groups, galleries, exhibits, dance groups, and other entertainment venues in Decatur.

They sponsor and host the annual Decatur Wine Festival, Decatur Arts Festival, Decatur Book Festival, and the Oakhurst Arts & Music Festival.

In addition, the group hosts local galleries featuring aspiring local artists at 113 Clairemont Avenue in Decatur.

Lastly, they installed numerous public arts around Decatur.

If you're interested in visiting one of their galleries or joining one of their festivals, you can check out their official website.

Chug Down a Pint at the Three Taverns Brewery

Northern Georgia has had a growing craft brewery industry flourishing over the years.

One of those who thrived from this growing industry is the Three Taverns Brewery.

It has a taproom that you can visit in Decatur, offering you their best craft beer list, such as German-style pilsners, Belgian-style IPAs, and wheat beers.

In their taproom, you'll feel cozy, which boasts an elegant combination of rural and urban design using hardwood furniture and brickwork.

If you're looking for a place in Decatur to unwind and enjoy a pint of craft beer, you can check out the Three Taverns Brewery.

Immerse Yourself with Locals at the Dekalb Farmers Market

Like most vibrant communities, Decatur also boasts a wonderful farmers market dubbed as the "Dekalb Farmers Market," which offers everyone a wide range of fruit and vegetable produce from local farmers.

The DeKalb Farmers Market is known for its ethnic and exotic vegetable and fruit selection, along with its farm-raised and wild-caught fish and meat.

Aside from the usual farmers' market products, their vendors serve freshly-baked pastries, bread, cookies, and cakes.

At the same time, they have a separate dairy product section, featuring more than 400 types of cheeses from Latin America and Europe.

The DeKalb Farmers Market virtually has anything you want to put on your table, making it an excellent starting point to your Decatur travel adventure.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Wander through the Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Exterior side view of the fernbank museum.
Rob Hainer / Shutterstock.com

Located just beyond the city limits of Decatur, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History is an excellent place to start your travel adventure there.

This museum in Atlanta's suburban area is perfect for bringing kids with you.

It is filled with life-sized dinosaur statues and other prehistoric creatures towering above its elegant gardens.

Dinosaur statues in front of the fernbank museum.
Rob Hainer / Shutterstock.com

Inside the museum, you'll be amazed by its collection of dinosaur fossils, including a huge Argentinosaurus skeleton measuring up 37 meters long.

In addition, the museum's Fernbank Forest is also a nice outdoor attraction where everyone is taught to survive in the wild through its interpretative walkways.

Moreover, it also has a saltwater aquarium filled with exotic marine animals and an interactive gallery called NatureQuest, wherein kids can have fun with its live animal habitats.

With just a ten-minute drive from Decatur's city center, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History is worth checking out.

Dinosaur bones on display inside the fernbank museum.
ferita Rahayuningsih / Shutterstock.com

Watch Live Performances at the Onstage Atlanta

The OnState Atlanta is a theater group founded in 1971.

The group comprises semi-professional theater performers who aim to provide locals and visitors in DeKalb County with top-notch stage plays and theater entertainment while contributing to Atlanta's art community.

Located just beyond Decatur's city limits in Scottdale, Onstage Atlanta has regularly scheduled performances throughout the year.

They feature different plays, including musical, drama, comedy, and suspense.

Check out their official website and social media page to learn about their scheduled theater performances.

Final Thoughts

There is much more in Decatur to discover than the list you've read above.

This small city within metro Atlanta is filled with hidden gems, making your visit there more exciting.

There's something for everyone waiting in Decatur from arts, food, and history.

If you're undecided which attraction to visit first, you can always refer to this post.