Everyone’s idea of the perfect vacation is a little different, and if your family loves being in the middle of the bustling city, then Atlanta could be the perfect destination. In Atlanta, small town southern charm blends with the options of a major urban center, including restaurants, shopping, museums, art galleries, and other attractions. Located in north central Georgia, Atlanta is the state’s capital city and offers many and diverse neighborhoods for your family to settle into for a week or extended weekend. Here are the top 12 neighborhoods to start your search for your family’s next vacation rental in Atlanta.

1. Downtown Atlanta Neighborhood

Source: Flickr/Keith Allison

Find a trendy condo or small family home as your vacation rental in the heart of Atlanta. Spend your days shopping, visiting museums, and taking the kids to cool attractions. Visit the Children’s Museum of Atlanta, where the kids get their hands on science or discover what lives in the ocean at the Georgia Aquarium. End the day with some greasy food at the Varsity, where you are greeted at the counter by a worker who yells, “What ya have?”

2. Midtown Atlanta

Source: Flickr/smoddelm

Soak in the culture when you choose a vacation rental in the Midtown Atlanta neighborhood. Indulge your need for a little retail therapy at the Midtown Mile with its selection of upscale stores. Bring your bikes, roller blades, and your dog to Piedmont Park for a day of riding on the trails. For dinner, you can take your family to one of the locally owned restaurants, such as Pasta da Pulcinella located in a converted early 20th century home.

3. Atlantic Station Neighborhood

Source: Flickr/Susumu Komatsu

Find a luxury condo or townhome for your stay in the Atlantic Station area, and enjoy the pool and other amenities assigned to the complex. When you want to get out of the pool, walk or ride your bike to the upscale shops in the neighborhood, or catch a movie at the state-of-the-art movie theater. When hunger strikes, you can enjoy any one of the chains or locally-owned restaurants in the neighborhood. The neighborhood hosts frequent events and festivals, so check out the flyers around the area when you arrive.

4. Little Five Points

Source: Flickr/Pawel Loj

Enjoy the laid back and bohemian vibe in the Little Five Points neighborhood, which is filled with turn-of-the-century Victorian homes that people have converted to apartments. While staying in the area, do some shopping at the iconic Junkman’s Daughter and Wax N Fax. For dinner stop in and have Heart Attack Burger at the Vortex if you’re out without kids, or grab a slice of pizza from Fellini’s.

5. Virginia Highlands

Source: Flickr/Heather Kennedy

Select a vacation rental in this upscale neighborhood filled with single-family homes that have all the bells and whistles. Get your hair done in one of the upscale salons, or do some shopping at the unique boutiques. Take the kids to see a cool film at the IMAX theater at the Fernbank Science Center. In the evenings, stop by the Osteria 832 for a pizza and pasta on the outside porch with the family.

6. Grant Park Neighborhood

Source: Flickr/Steve

Settle into a modest family home in the Grant Park neighborhood with a large yard for the kids to play outside. Spend your days biking through the residential streets and playing in the local parks. Take the kids to Zoo Atlanta to see the pandas and other animals, and check out the Atlanta Zoo Cyclorama, a presentation about the American Civil War, where the audience moves around the exhibits while seated.

7. Sweet Auburn Neighborhood

Source: Flickr/William Frank Fox

Enjoy wandering through this historic neighborhood with its rich history on the east edge of downtown Atlanta. Be sure to stop by the Sweet Auburn Market to pick up fresh veggies and fruit to make a fresh dinner at your vacation rental, or take a table at one of the locally owned Soul food restaurants for some iconic chicken and waffles, or shrimp and grits.

8. Buckhead Neighborhood

Source: Flickr/Kristopha Hohn

In the Buckhead neighborhood, your family is in the middle of one of the most luxurious areas in Atlanta. Enjoy the hustle and bustle of the streets as you walk from shop to shop or step out for dinner in the evenings. You can take your family to Lenox Square Mall or Phipps Plaza to shop at your favorite upscale stores, such as Tiffany’s, Jimmy Choo, Prada, Louis Vuitton, and many others.

9. Sandy Springs

Source: Flickr/Andrew Guyton

To the north of Atlanta is the suburb of Sandy Springs, where you can find vacation rentals that include condos, single family homes, and townhouses. Enjoy a slower pace than staying in the bustling Atlanta neighborhoods. Head out to Morgan Falls for some fishing and to let the kids play on the playground. At Slingshot, your family can race each other on go-carts and then stop at one of the many nearby restaurants for dinner.

10. Marietta

Source: Flickr/Jennifer C.

On the north side of Atlanta, you can stay in the town of Marietta with its mix of business district and residential areas. Find all your favorite stores and some unique boutiques for a day of shopping. Take the kids to Six Flags White Water for a day of water slides, bobbing on the lazy river, and playing with water toys in the children’s area. If you’re there on the weekends in the summer, stay for the Dive-In Movies, where everyone gets on a float in the wave pool and watch a movie.

11. Austell

Source: Flickr/TimothyJ

On the west side of Atlanta, find a vacation rental that saves your family some money while settling close enough to all the action to drive to downtown in half an hour. You and your kids can spend a couple of days exploring Six Flags Over Georgia. In this park, there are numerous roller coasters, thrill rides, sky buckets, and rides for younger kids along with shows that the whole family will enjoy.

12. Stone Mountain Area

Source: Flickr/Ryan Stavely

When you stay in the Stone Mountain area, you can spend almost every day in Stone Mountain Park. This park has a lake, designated swim area, a water park, stables, horseback riding, train rides, and hiking trails. Hike up the top of Stone Mountain, or take the gondola up to the top, for amazing views of the surrounding area. In the warmer months, there’s a laser light show against the mountain each evening.