6 fun facts you should know to help you schmooze with Va-Hi locals

Breaking away from the fratty Emory student stereotype when you go to a bar (at least, a bar that’s not Maggie’s) can be a little hard, especially if you’re trying to pick up that cute local UGA grad you see eyeing you from across the room. Instead of using a super corny pick-up line, try impressing the object of your interest with these fun conversation starters about the history of Virginia-Highland!

  1. Did you know the proper name of the neighborhood is “Virginia-Highland” (yes, that also includes the dash)? While you may often hear it casually called “Virginia Highlands”, “Va Hi”, or “the Highlands,” those names are not correct—as locals know and will point out.
  2. Fun fact: the first settler of the Virginia-Highland area was a man named William Zachary, who bought and built a 200-acre farm in 1812.
  3. In the 1880s, Virginia-Highland was developed into a “streetcar suburb.” The Atlanta Railway Company developed the Nine Mile Trolley, (also known as the Nine Mile Circle) which was a streetcar line that allowed Atlanta residents to travel from Downtown Atlanta to the “delightfully exhilarating” countryside, now known as Virginia-Highland.
  4.  Virginia-Highland has one of seven Atlanta “neighborhood arboreta.” Unlike the arboretum you’re used to seeing in botanical gardens and parks, neighborhood arboreta have markers identifying trees found in yards, sidewalk planting strips, as well as local parks in the Virginia-Highland area. Learn more about the Virginia-Highland Arboretum here!
  5. Can you guess where the name “Virginia-Highland” came from? The answer might be obvious to some, but Virginia-Highland got its name from the area around the intersection of Virginia Avenue and Highland Avenue.
  6. To top it off, the Virginia-Highland neighborhood has a lot to brag about. Creative Loafing readers named Virginia-Highland “Best Overall Neighborhood” in 2011. Also in June 2011, Atlanta magazine named Virginia-Highland its “Favorite Neighborhood Overall.”

There you have it, young grasshopper. Now slick back your hair, lightly sprinkle yourself with your favorite fragrance, and check for dinner stuck between your teeth. When you feel confident enough to chat with that cute local over a few rounds of PBR, drop a few of my fun facts in the conversation and, if all goes well, suggest taking a lovely stroll around the Virginia-Highland arboretum for your first date.  You can thank me later.