Atlanta, Georgia has experienced economic stability and growth over the last decade. Even in this fast-paced city, southern hospitality is still alive and well, making it one of the best places to live! Its strong economy has attracted many young professionals to the area, bringing cosmopolitan restaurants and high-end retail. It’s also a great choice for retirees searching for a city with vibrant communities, a low cost of living, and warm weather. If you’re not sure about staying in the city, however, here are some small-town suburbs that are close by!
Just 20 miles from downtown Atlanta is the affluent suburb of Roswell. The area is rich in Civil War history, including three historic homes; Smith Plantation, Barrington Hall, and Bulloch Hall, which was the home of President Roosevelt’s Mother. It encourages visitors to experience historic sites such as Roswell Mill Village and Civil War sites by exploring with a walking tour. Besides historical sites, one of the greatest reasons that Roswell is a great community to live in is its parks. The Roswell parks department is award-winning and acclaimed for its high amount of acreage per resident, far over the national average. Trails make the parks accessible for retirees that wish to enjoy the outdoors. Roswell is also the safest city in the state of Georgia and ranks as the 18th safest in the entire United States.
Though considered part of the Atlanta metro area, Decatur has a distinctly small-town feel. It boasts a long list of historic structures, many open to view for the public and some still privately owned. Public transportation provides easy access to downtown Atlanta as well. Its town square is a lively place for residents to meet and has been developed to attract a variety of businesses and residents. It also has one of the highest education levels in the Atlanta area whose citizens remain involved in their community. It’s clear why this area is one of the best neighborhoods to live in.
In 2011, Marietta was named as a top ten city for the fastest growing retiree population. It has grown in population to become one of the largest suburbs of Atlanta. The community boasts an active town square and three locations for live theatre performances. It includes six historic districts which can be experienced through an online virtual tour on the city’s website. For retirees that enjoy the outdoors, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park has 17 miles of trails through its nearly 3,000 acres. The park also has a preserved battleground from the Civil War. The best neighborhoods in Marietta can be explored by foot, trolley, or bike.
Only 40 miles North of Atlanta is the community of Cummings. It is close enough to be a commuter city while still offering a small-town quality of life for retirees. The nice weather is best enjoyed at Cumming’s #1 attraction, Lake Sidney Lanier. The lake is centrally located with plenty of boat ramps to dock and enjoy restaurants, lodging, and shopping in the community. Its rich arts community includes the historic Cumming Playhouse. Housed in the Cumming Public School Structure from 1923, it continues to entertain residents. Nearby, the fairgrounds host Cummings community events providing activities for retirees year-round.
Travel an hour North of Atlanta and you will find the city of Dahlonega, connected directly to the city by Georgia state route 400. The North Georgia terrain provides excellent opportunities for retirees to enjoy the outdoors. The area at the Appalachian foothills provides fertile land for wineries as well. The downtown area is full of well-preserved historic architecture and arts activities. The local government is fully committed to supporting the needs for growth to accommodate new residents choosing Dahlonega as their retirement community while preserving the environment.
Also seated along Lake Lanier, the city of Gainesville is situated among the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains. It is located just 50 miles Northeast of Atlanta, GA. The community has a small-town feel and offers a variety of ways to explore its history. One of these is the Northeast Georgia History Center which offers interactive exhibits including a Cherokee Indian Chief’s cabin for visitors to explore. Providing transportation around Gainesville is the Red Rabbit. This extensive bus system has three routes and 130 stops. The climate is sub-tropical and is one of the warmest of the neighborhoods near Atlanta.
Robert FowlerContributing Writer
Robert Fowler is a retired blogger who lives with his wife, Mary Ann at Village at Deaton Creek, a Del Webb Community in North Georgia. Robert was previously the President of Retirement Media Inc. He has visited numerous 55+ Active Adult Communities over the years, sharing his experiences along the way with readers. View more posts