By Julia Turner and Collin Kelley
Five Intown neighbors will mark the season with annual holiday home tours that will not only offer a glimpse inside beautifully decorated interiors, but also a chance to taste food from local restaurants and shop for last minute gifts. Mark your calendars.
Virginia Highland Tour of Homes
The 17th annual Virginia Highland Tour of Homes is set for for Dec. 10-11. Presented by the Virginia Highland Civic Association, tour times are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
The seven homes on this year’s tour include several beautifully renovated bungalows, a new construction that captures the spirit of the craftsman style in meticulous detail, as well as a new construction contemporary home in the Modernist/International style. Also featured is a renovation that appeared in an issue of Southern Living magazine earlier this year.
Food tastings from local restaurants will be held in each of the seven homes on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Restaurants will include Genki Noodles and Sushi, Atkins Park, Goin’ Coastal, La Tavola/El Taco and D.B.A. Barbeque.
Over the past six years the tour has raised over $100,000, which has helped create the Cunard playground at John Howell Park, renovate Orme Park, and plant trees with Trees Atlanta. Funds raised this year will also go towards the new Highland Park project, annual grants to local schools, and other projects.
Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 the weekend of the tour. Tickets may be purchased online at vahitourofhomes.org or Intown Ace Hardware, Aurora Coffee or San Francisco Coffee.
Peachtree Garden Club Christmas Home Tour

Peachtree Garden Club’s annual holiday treat is set for Thursday, Dec. 8, and features four distinctive homes in close proximity in an exclusive northwest Atlanta neighborhood. The homes, two on Garraux Road, one on Garraux Place, and one on Nancy Creek Road, will be festively decorated and open to Tour goers from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased online for $26 at peachtreegardenclub.org. Tickets are also available in person at Boxwoods, The Mercantile in Brookheaven, Erika Reade Ltd., Glen Weakley Ltd., and Gramercy Fine Linens & Furnishings.  Or you can urchase at the door of any of the homes on the day of the tour for $30 per ticket, cash or check only.
All proceeds benefit the Peachtree Garden Club Community Fund, which in turn supports charitable, scientific and educational needs in the fields of horticulture and conservation through the donation of funds to organizations in the Atlanta area.

Avondale Christmas Tour of Homes & Holiday Market
Visit some of Avondale Estates’ oldest homes on Dec. 11from 3 to 8 p.m. The tour features seven homes starting with and English Tudor on Covington Road, built in the early 1920s. Other homes include a newly renovated ‘30s bungalow, a transformed ‘50s brick bungalow, and a brick two-story American foursquare built in the late ‘40s. Points of interest on the tour are The Museum School, a new addition to the community, a charter school that opened in the fall of 2009, and Avondale Baptist Church, with its sanctuary filled with members’ nativities from around the world.
The Holiday Market will be open from noon to 6 p.m. and feature 30 booths where shoppers can purchase a variety of items such as jewelry, pottery, purses, bottle stoppers, soaps, lotions, leather items, jams and jellies, baked goods, pecans, grits bits, and cured meats. The holiday café will serve delicious soups and desserts.
Trolleys for the tour will run from 3 to 5 p.m. and from 5:30-7:30 p.m., or participants may drive themselves to each location. Tickets may be purchased for $12 in advance at Avondale City Hall, Finders Keepers Furniture, REAL Salon and Seventeen Steps, or for $15 on the tour day at the Avondale Community Club. Assure your place on a trolley by signing up in advance at various Avondale businesses or contact Margaret Lunsford at mplcvl@aol.com. More information can be found at avondaletourofhomes.com.
Decatur Candlelight Tour of Homes
The 29th annual Decatur Holiday Candlelight Tour of Homes is Dec. 2 and 3 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. The tour features homes in the Winnona Park and Glenwood Estates neighborhoods, including six single-family homes and one condo located in a completely renovated apartment building.
In addition to the seven beautiful homes, guests on the tour will also enjoy seeing points of interest that include the historic chapel at Decatur First United Methodist, the chapel at Agnes Scott, and the brand new 4/5 Academy at Fifth Avenue.
The tour supports several local non-profits that benefit the Decatur community. The Decatur Education Foundation works to help Decatur youth realize their full potential, not only in the classroom but also through learning experiences that contribute to personal development. The Decatur Youth Fund provides scholarships to low-income youth for summer camp programs. The DeKalb History Center collects, preserves and shares the history of DeKalb County. The Oakhurst Community Garden Project teaches environmental awareness through hands-on gardening and outdoor education programs.
Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and will be available soon at select locations in and around Decatur. For more, visit decaturtourofhomes.com.
Grant Park Candlelight Home Tour
Grant Park captures the holiday spirit with their Candlelight Home Tour on Dec. 10 and 11 from 6 to10 p.m. The neighborhood is Atlanta’s largest historic district with homes built in the Victorian, Craftsman, Italianate and various other styles from the turn of the 20th century.
The Candlelight Tour of Homes features eight to 10 homes representing renovations as well as new homes built to reflect the historic district’s character. Adding to the festivity are caroling hayrides, visits with Santa, an Artists’ Market, and holiday concert by the St. Paul choir.
The holiday home tour provides funds to three of Grant Park’s community enriching non-profits – St. Paul, the Grant Park Cooperative Preschool and the Grant Park Parent Network.
All activities, including the ticket booth and where pre-purchased tickets are exchanged for programs, are at St. Paul United Methodist Church, 501 Grant Street. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the weekend of the tour and may be purchased by calling (404) 688-7501 or online at CandlelightTourofHomes.com.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

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