Yesterday, my wife Mary Ann and I set out to visit this year’s HGTV Green House. We left our Johns Creeks, Georgia home and drove 20 miles through scenic countryside to Serenbe Community. For anyone 55+ in search of a wonderful retirement community in Georgia, Serenbe may be the right fit for you!
According to their website: “Serenbe is a 1,000 acre community located under 30 minutes from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. It is a national model for the future of balanced development in the U.S.— focusing on land preservation, agriculture, energy efficiency, green building, workability, high density building, arts and culture, and community living for multiple generations.
With a projected 70% of future building occurring in the greenfield, Serenbe demonstrates how urban development models can succeed on the edge of a metropolis while preserving a vast majority of the greenspace. Serenbe’s ultimate goal is to demonstrate how development can accommodate the need for housing with minimal impact on nature—Serenbe’s land plan call for a preservation of at least 70% of the acreage, while accommodating as many or more people as traditional subdivision-style development, which would disturb nearly 80%.”
Still not convinced Serenbe is one of the best small town retirement communities in Georgia? Well, the photos I snapped during our visit may paint an even more compelling picture!
Our first stop was the Stables Market, where vendors were setting up their wares.
Meanwhile, outside the Stables Market, we passed the cutest donkeys.
Next, we visited the Serenbe Farms Saturday morning market. Mary Ann picked up organic beets, which she planned to roast later. Not only does Serenbe Farms provide the three community restaurants with fresh fruits and vegetables, but they also sell their produce to members of the retirement community.
After we finished browsing the morning market, we headed deeper into the village. On our way there, we passed beautiful houses that’d be ideal for anyone looking for a quaint, small town retirement home in Georgia. Wildflowers, including Brown-eyed Susans, bloomed everywhere in sight.
While Mary Ann window shopped in the village, I spotted some upscale townhomes across the street. Although a beautiful option for any 55+ retiree, they almost looked at odds with the rural setting. Perhaps this could be considered “city living in the country”— just the opposite of the Doraville song that says “country living in the city.”
Further down the street was a row of even more modern-looking homes. One side of Main Street afforded a view of residential shops. The other side offered a much different picture altogether, which can be seen in the photo below.
After some discussion, we decided to visit the Blue-Eyed Daisy Bakeshop over the two more formal choices: The Hill and the Farmhouse.
The Blue-Eyed Daisy Bakeshop was a lot busier than I expected. I got the veggie burger, and Mary Ann chose the chicken wrap. Their bakery case was full of cakes and other pastries. Apparently, the Blue-Eyed Daisy Bakeshop was set to be featured on the Food Network original TV show Cupcake Wars later that month.
Finally, we decided to visit the HGTV Green House. A worker informed us we needed tickets, and the next available tour was at 4PM. Nevertheless, we toured two interesting homes. First up: The Bosch Net Zero home. During our tour, I learned that “net zero” means the home generates its own energy. Their washer only used $16 of energy per year. Per year! How was that even possible? Of course, The Bosch Net Zero home was not only eco-friendly; it was also beautiful. I appreciated the decorations by Ballard Designs.
Our next stop was a gorgeous Victorian home. At four stories, it was huge. Unfortunately, for those of you who are considering moving to Serenbe Community, this was not one of the available retirement homes.
Above is the photo I took from the top of the staircase on the fourth floor. Disclaimer: don’t stare too long, or you might get dizzy! The fourth floor was a karaoke studio.
For everyone disappointed the Victorian home we toured was not for sale, have no fear. A drive around Serenbe Community proved it had many housing options. We saw countless houses and cottages that would make perfect small town retirement homes for any Georgia native or transplant.
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