Introduction to Decatur, Georgia
Decatur is a small city located in northeastern Georgia, just 5 miles northeast of Atlanta. Named after US naval hero Stephen Decatur, the city was founded in 1823 at the intersection of two Native American trails. Originally slated to be the southernmost terminus of the Western and Atlantic Railroad in the 1830s, the city objected, allowing nearby Atlanta to take that honor. The city played a pivotal role in the battle of Atlanta during the Civil War. While Atlanta eventually became one of America's largest and most important cities, Decatur retained its small town roots. With a population under 20,000, a land area of 4 square miles and its business district located near Atlanta neighborhoods, Decatur has succeeded in combining small town living with big city access.
For a small city, Decatur has more than its share of culture. Neighborhood Playhouse is a community theater that has staged comedy and drama productions for more than 25 years. PushPin Theater, formed in 1990 by Atlanta actors, has offered more than 50 workshop productions. Among the city's natives are musicians Amy Ray and Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls and Michael Stipe of REM.
Decatur Sports and Leisure
Sporting events are available in nearby Atlanta at venues that are accessible from Decatur without having to enter the heart of the city. Baseball's Atlanta Braves play south of downtown at 50,000-seat Turner Field. The NFL's Atlanta Falcons play at 71,000-seat Georgia Dome, southwest of downtown Atlanta. Philips Arena, situated just west of downtown Atlanta, hosts home games of the NBA's Hawks and the NHL's Thrashers. Atlanta Motor Speedway, located 30 miles south of downtown Atlanta, is one of the largest and oldest in the country. It hosts two NASCAR Busch and Nextel Cup races each year.
Popular recreational activities include rafting on the scenic Chattooga River, camping at Stone Mountain Park Campground and golfing on the area's many courses. Some of the highest-regarded links in the country within an hour's drive: Cuscowilla on Lake Oconee, Hawk's Ridge Golf Club in Ball Ground, and The Farm Golf Club in Rocky Face.
Decatur at Night
Decatur's nightlife feeds off the many attractions in nearby Atlanta, one of the nation's youngest cities and the #3-ranked city on Forbes Magazine's 2004 Top Cities For Singles list. Nearby Athens, home of the University of Georgia, is another popular and loaded with a varied assortment of bars and clubs. But Decatur offers something Atlanta and Athens can't: the nearby pleasures of a big city scene without any of the accompanying headaches.