By Collin Kelley
and Britton Buttrill

A sure sign of Spring is when neighborhoods open the doors to some of their finest and most unique homes.
These days, home tours are more than just wandering through a house: there are chefs giving cooking demos, artists markets or they might be attached to a festival. Here’s a round up of this season’s offerings, both Intown and one OTP that is worth the drive.
Druid Hills Home and Garden Tour & Artist Market
What do U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, Atlanta architect Walter Dowling, cookbook author Henrietta Stanley Dull and Chicago gangster Al Capone have in common? They all share connections to Oakdale Road in historic Druid Hills.
You can learn about them and more famous residents of Oakdale at the 2010 Druid Hills Home and Garden Tour & Artist Market. This year’s tour welcomes guests inside six elegant home and garden jewels on Oakdale Road, presenting a slice of the street’s storied history. Only on Oakdale will be held Friday, April 16, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday, April 17, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.;  and Sunday, April 18, 1 to 5 p.m. along with a native plant sale, an artist’s market, luncheons and live entertainment.
The annual home and garden tour, run by volunteers of the Druid Hills Civic Association, benefits historic preservation and green space restoration in the neighborhood.
The 2010 featured tour homes range from large estates to cozy bungalows and maintain original historical details that blend with modern touches and thoughtful renovations.
The Artist Market at St. John’s Lutheran Church, located at the corner of Oakdale Road and Ponce de Leon Avenue, will feature a juried group of more than 45 artists from across Georgia and neighboring states. Lunch will be available at the Artist Mark, where diners will be entertained under a tent with live music and dance. Menus and a schedule for music and dance performances will be available at all the tour homes and market. Market hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Tickets for the tour are $20 in advance, $25 day of tour, $10 single house, $18 for group of 6 or more For tickets, visit www.druidhillstour.org, or call (404) 524-8687.
Buckhead in Bloom
The Atlanta Preservation Center’s annual tour of homes, Buckhead in Bloom, will be presented from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 11. This year the tour will feature beautiful and architecturally significant homes dating from the early 20th century.  The tour takes place in the Buckhead neighborhoods of Peachtree Heights West and Tuxedo Park.
Tickets to the tour are available at The Cathedral of St. Philip Book Store, Boxwoods Gardens and Gifts and The Swan Coach House. Tickets are $40 for non-APC members, $30 for APC current members.
In connection with the tour, a lecture will be given at 8 p.m. on April 9 in the Gould Room of The Cathedral of St. Philip.  Stephen McLeod, Assistant to the Director of Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens, will discuss 150 years of preservation at Mount Vernon. Tickets to the lecture are $10 and can be purchased in advance from www.PreserveAtlanta.com.


Inman Park Tour of Homes

This annual home tour is held each year in conjunction with the Inman Park Spring Festival (see Page 27 for all the details) and features Victorian-era treasures, Craftsman Bungalows, contemporary gems and stunning renovations.
Tour hours are noon to 4 p.m. on Friday, April 23, and noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 24, and Sunday, April 25. This year will feature nine homes, two gardens, and a church and includes one of the neighborhood’s most unique houses, the former Woodruff family residence.
Tour of Homes tickets are available in advance for $15, and onsite for $20. Tickets can be purchased online at www.inmanparkfestival.org.
Midtown Tour of Homes
The annual tour of some of Midtown’s most unique residences – from historic homes to lofts and condos – is Saturday, April 17, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, April 18, from noon to 5 p.m.
Tickets may be purchased in advance for $20 at Outwrite Books, Stonehurst Place Bed & Breakfast, Atlantic Station Market and 1010 Midtown condos.
Homes for the tour were still being determined at press time, so visit www.midtowntourofhomes.com for the latest information.


Buford Lanier Woman’s Club Tour of Homes
If you’re looking for a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon outside the perimeter, this tour might be just the ticket.
The 12th annual tour is Sunday, April 18, from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. featuring three homes and a luxury houseboat on Lake Lanier. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 the day of the tour. Group discounts are available to parties of 10 or more, advance purchase only.
Visit www.bufordlanierwomansclub.com for tour details and directions, and information about Buford Lanier Woman’s Club.
ASO Decorator’s Showhouse

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s 40th Annual Decorator’s Showhouse opens on Saturday, April 17, and continues through, Sunday, May 9. The home selected as this year’s Showhouse is located at 3639 Tuxedo Road in Buckhead and features four acres of beautifully landscaped gardens riminiscent of Claude Monet’s “Giverny,” which is this year’s theme.
Twenty-eight of Atlanta’s top interior and landscape designers transformed 29 spaces in and outside the home.
Hours for the tour will be 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and Friday through Saturday. Thursday hours are 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m.
Tickets are $20 through April 16 and $25 afterwards. A season pass for unlimited visits is available for $55. Tickets are available by phone at (404) 733-5000 or www.decoratorsshowhouse.org.