The Best of Summer in Poncey-Highland

Jul 21, 2020

When the balconies and terraces of the modern townhomes in the historic mix of architecture found among the Virginia Highland and Poncey-Highland neighborhoods of Atlanta are no longer enough, when it’s time to venture forth for the pure pleasure that lies beyond in these gorgeous summer days, then there are real treasures to choose from. The Atlanta Beltline and the Ponce City Market are just the beginning. But they are indeed great places to start.

Whatever Happened to Sears

It occupied no less than 16 acres just east of downtown Atlanta, and it enfolded 2.1 million square feet. It was a warehouse. It was a train-stop. It was a showroom. It was the eight-story eastern headquarters of Sears Roebuck & Co.  Today it stands as an enormous object lesson in how to just be cool. Never a bad idea during an Atlanta summer.

“I had no idea Atlanta was such a great place til we made that picture here.” So say many movie-makers, especially since 2017, when Atlanta exceeded Hollywood for the number of film and TV projects produced here. The townhomes here above Ponce City Market became a residence of choice for actors and producers who relocate here for two or three months of filming. Coming back to stay is not at all uncommon, and the first impression made by this up-to-the-minute vibe, this kaleidoscope of interests, this bazaar of the goods of the world is a big part of what sank the hook in Hollywood.

When It’s Time to Relax

And the Market is by no means the only place for great dining and relaxing. For more than 20 years, The North Highland Pub has hosted fun conversations, fortunate encounters and many discussions that actually still seemed smart the next day. Serving more than you’d expect from pub fare, The North Highland offers imaginative twists like Reggae Rolls with jerk chicken, as well as hearty brews from Ireland, Belgium, California, and right here in Atlanta. The Pub thrived in part because of the cool crowd it always draws, in walking distance from not only Virginia Highlands, but Little Five Points, Poncey-Highlands, and the Old Fourth Ward, it’s not surprising that the Pub is known for its interesting patrons.

For even longer, since 1956, Manuel’s Tavern is like an in-person current events and history lesson in one gulp, and it’s right town the street. Named this year to the National Register of Historic Places, Manuel’s never sits back on its past. Although its relaxed and “collected” approach to furnishings and décor have been imitated everywhere, this right here is the real thing, and you’ll know it the minute you walk into Manuel’s.

If the Audubon Society Married a Jewelry Store

We try hard to avoid clichés, but there’s just no getting away from this one. Few phrases have ever fit so well as calling the Atlanta Beltline the “emerald necklace” of our city. Without an easy phrase and a vivid image like that one, how indeed would we ever describe it? Twenty-two miles of leafy trails that usher strollers, power walkers, and joggers; bicyclists, cross-trainers, and in-line skaters; bird-watchers, agronomists, and architecture geeks, through 45 Atlanta neighborhoods. Anytime is a good time to enjoy the Beltline, yet some say summer is the best time of all.

One of the world’s great linear parks in its own right, the Beltline is actually a visionary connection among several trails that existed here before it. That kind of insight and intention and cooperation is a hallmark we see throughout Atlanta economic history. It also serves to connect “on foot” some of the grand and treasured parks that Atlanta has enjoyed for generations.

For summer enjoyment outdoors, the Historic Fourth Ward Park is right nearby. The Atlanta Botanical Gardens and even Chastain Park are beyond, a couple of the corners of paradise you can reach – just by stepping forward from what once was the railroad freight platform of the Sears building. Seems a little like a miracle.

The opportunities that a lifestyle like this might present to you, whether for living or investment – or both – is our professional field. For more information on how to own at 550 North Highland, visit or contact us at 770.282.3824.