Castleberry Hill was once ground zero for creatives on the come-up, home to loft dwellers by day and a rowdy nightlife scene after hours. But its luster has faded slightly in recent years, after a hot real estate market out-priced artists and then proceeded to collapse. The neighborhood can feel a little bit like a ghost town on a Monday afternoon when most galleries and businesses are closed, but there are signs of life among the vacant storefronts. Plus, its mix of vintage architecture, historic warehouses, and a killer skyline view make it the city's preferred urban haunt for on-location music video, TV, and film shoots.
Shop local at the Boxcar Grocer
Its name a nod to the rail lines that run alongside the neighborhood, the Boxcar Grocer is a quaint little market focusing on natural and healthy local foodstuffs from regional vendors such as Truly Living Well Urban Farm, Sweet Georgia Grains, Savannah Bee, and High Road Craft Ice Cream. The shop's interior channels the cool loft vibe Castleberry's known for, with exposed brick and metal accents. There's free Wi-Fi and fresh coffee and sandwiches, making it a nice, quiet work/lunch alternative to some of the more crowded coffee shops in town.
Hit the streets during the monthly Art Stroll
The second Friday of every month people fill Castleberry Hill's sidewalks for its Art Stroll, an open gallery tour with performances, street food, and a signature iron pour where people can scratch their own block molds beforehand. Don't miss Marcia Wood Gallery, Eyedrum's new location on Nelson Street, and murals leftover from past Living Walls.
Light up the night at FLUX
One night every fall, Castleberry Hill is transformed into the public art playground known as FLUX. Curated by local arts organization Flux Projects, the event (taking place Sat., Oct. 6, this year) can feature everything from roving bands of gypsies, migrating dance performances, colossal video installations, fireworks, glow sticks, and all manner of art in unexpected places.
Drink in the neighborhood's flavor at Elliott Street Pub
Dive bar meets sandwich shop meets jazz café in an intimate storefront tucked in a back corner of the neighborhood. A watering hole that matches Castleberry's quirky and eclectic vibe, the bar is a hot spot for watching games during football season, and the pub's new music venue, the 51, recently opened downstairs.
Take in an architectural tour
Because the neighborhood was a commercial and industrial hub in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the area is full of historic architecture and old signage. Much of it has been co-opted by the loft complexes that now dominate the area, but it's fun to grab a coffee from the Boxcar Grocer and wander the streets to take it all in.