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Atlanta Intown Neighborhoods

With traffic on the rise, Atlanta has seen steady growth as individuals and families opt for lifestyles free of commuter worries. To best describe Atlanta is to say it is a city of diverse neighborhoods, some filled with history, others representing history in the making. Real estate here is at a premium. While some will choose to renovate older homes, others will opt for new luxury condos and apartments which are breaking ground at a steady pace.Atlanta is unique in that some of its most quiet, colorful neighborhoods exist just minutes away from downtown's frenetic pace. Within Fulton County and part of Dekalb is an intown tapestry made up a several dozen distinct neighborhoods, each with its own identity. Here among the tree lined streets, you'll find young and old wandering the sidewalks, walking dogs, pushing strollers, sharing conversations with neighbors and other passersby. In these neighborhoods you'll often find some of the city's trendiest cafes and boutiques, all of which add to the area's character. You'll also find active community associations where neighbors meet to discuss what's best for the community as a whole. Here, growth and change are monitored with a careful eye to protect the neighborhood's integrity.

Ansley Park
Between Piedmont Road and Peachtree, Ansley Park features numerous sunken parks, mature trees and a broad range of architectural styles, from bungalows to Victorian mansions. One of Atlanta's first garden suburbs, the neighborhood is situated just across the street from the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. While Ansley Park itself enjoys a small town feel, it also has some of the city's finest and most recent architectural structures as its neighbors.

Located near Piedmont Hospital, Brookwood Hills is defined by its large oak and crepe myrtle trees. Here, one story bungalows reside side by side with three-story Colonial and Tudor mansions.

Some say Buckhead is an attitude rather than a place. Perhaps so. Certainly, it is the setting for some of Atlanta's most lavish homes, including the Governor's Mansion. Here, you'll find many a local walking along the sidewalks, enjoying the tall shade trees as they reach their shopping or dining destination. The Peachtree Street Corridor offers something for everyone, from Lenox Mall and Phipps Plaza to outdoor cafes and book stores filled to overflowing. Once the sun sets, Buckhead is Atlanta's hot nightspot. The streets fill to capacity as night owls find themselves waiting in line to hit the area's hottest nightclubs.

The Cabbagetown Grill has become a favorite among locals of this once abandoned, historic cotton mill neighborhood. The style here is eclectic with a touch of Victorian. Many of the homes here are in the midst of receiving extensive face-lifts by new owners.

Candler Park/Edgewood
Named for Asa Candler, the founder of the Coca-Cola Company, this neighborhood has also seen a rebirth in recent years as singles and families move into the brick and wood bungalows. Located directly on the MARTA line, residents have easy access to downtown and other areas.

Druid Hills
Once the setting for the popular movie Driving Miss Daisy, this neighborhood, situated next door to Emory University, is graced with a number of architectural gems, many listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A wealth of manor-style estates give the neighborhood a stately feel.

Garden Hills
A swimming pool, clubhouse and athletic field make this neighborhood a popular place for families. Located in-between Piedmont and Peachtree, residents have easy access to just about anything their hearts desire.

Grant Park
The newest residents include two Chinese pandas who are making their home at beautiful Zoo Atlanta, located in Grant Park. Also home to Cyclorama, this historic neighborhood offers ample opportunities for individuals interested in restoring historic homes.

Haynes Manor
Sometimes seen as the thoroughfare that connects commuters to I-75 from Peachtree Street, this lush neighborhood with ample green space is alive with family goings-on. An active neighborhood organization coordinates annual garden events, Halloween festivities and more. Golf and tennis fans appreciate the fact that the Bobby Jones Golf Course and Bitsy Grant Tennis Center are just around the corner.

Inman Park
Featuring late 19th Century Victorian, Colonial and Classical Revival style homes, Inman Park is a popular residential area just a stone's throw away from funky Little Five Points. While many homeowners prefer more traditional colors, there are a growing number of more eclectically appointed homes with colorful, offbeat exteriors.

Homebuyers still have a variety of homes to choose from in Kirkwood, one of intown's more recently rediscovered older neighborhoods. Here, some old Victorian-style homes still exist, such as the mansion of former Confederate General and Georgia Governor John B. Gordon.

Lake Claire
What this neighborhood lacks in a lake it makes up for in the tremendous wealth of trees and and other foliage that dot the landscape. Made up primarily of 1930s and 40s bungalows, this small community is located just a few blocks from Emory University, Little Five Points and the beautifully manicured Cator Woolford Gardens.

Midtown's skyline continues to change as new office and housing complexes continue rising. Located between Buckhead and Downtown, it is a haven for both young and old. At the center of the neighborhood is Piedmont Park with the adjoining Atlanta Botanical Gardens, both favorite in-town spots for outdoor enthusiasts. A cultural capitol, the area is also home to the 14th Street Playhouse, Fox Theatre and Woodruff Arts Center.

While it's often linked with its next door neighbor Virginia-Highlands, Morningside represents the area around Piedmont Road and Monroe Drive. Here, both the food and the brickwork are exceptional.

Old Fourth Ward
Located near Morris Brown College and The Atlanta Medical Center, the Old Fourth Ward is known for its large Victorian homes.

Peachtree Heights
Peachtree Heights spans a ridgeline running along Peachtree Battle Avenue to the west and Lindbergh Avenue to the east. This Buckhead neighborhood includes some of Atlanta's grandest mansions, as well as smaller homes popular with young families.

Peachtree Hills
Near pricier Peachtree Heights, Peachtree Hills offers a variety of older bungalows and cottages in addition to newer single family homes. On nice evenings, one often finds locals kicking back on the patio of The Tree House Pub.

Poncey Highland
Nestled between Ponce de Leon and North Avenues, Poncey Highlands features bungalows and cottages built in the early 1900s. Busy professionals flock to the recently opened Harry's in a Hurry for affordable gourmet fare to go.

Virginia Highlands
With its eclectic assortment of hip and funky restaurants, boutiques, galleries and salons, Virginia-Highland is justifiably referred to as the "Greenwich Village" of Atlanta. This place to see and be seen got its name from the intersection of Virginia and North Highland Avenues. The residential area, with its well-kept bungalows and Tudor style cottages, is a perennial favorite among young professionals and young families.

West End
A charming neighborhood filled with renovated Victorian cottages, this area south of downtown was designated a Historic District by the City of Atlanta in 1991. It also boasts the nearby Wren's Nest, birthplace of Uncle Remus.

Bartow County

  • Population: 80,000
  • Taxes: Sales: 7%
  • Property: $24.68 per $1,000 of assessed value
  • Median Income: $43,804
The friendly, small town atmosphere set against the peaceful backdrop of the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is the reason Georgians are making the pilgrimage to Bartow County. Nearby Lake Allatoona, with its ample recreational opportunities, is another feature of this region, the most northwestern of the metro counties. Government, business and residents here believe that progress and preservation go hand in hand. Which is why the blacksmith still hammers away at his anvil in downtown Cartersville, and the feed store, also situated in downtown Cartersville, is still the place to buy hay. While preserving the beauty and traditions of the past is important, the focus on new business is also vital. In Bartow County that growth is undeniable. Currently, Shaw Industries employs over 2000 individuals. Other major employers include Anheuser Busch and Lever Brothers.

With ample recreational programs, parents appreciate the ease in signing children up for sports programs. Newcomers will also find it easy to get involved here where volunteer opportunities, whether in the schools, civic organizations or local government, abound. The quality of healthcare is also on the rise. The Cartersville Medical Center, for example, recently became part of Emory University's well respected healthcare system.

One of the unique selling points of Adairsville is the fact that it is the first town to be listed in its entirety on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also home to Barnsley Gardens, which offers tourists an opportunity to wander through a historic antebellum estate and stroll along the estate's luxurious gardens.

The smallest town in the US to boast its own resident opera company, Cartersville, despite its quiet location, is a town on the move. Its school system is the only one in the state to offer charter schools at every level. Focused on achieving high academic goals, all four schools have been ranked among the highest scoring in the state and have been named state schools of excellence.

Newcomers appreciate the charm and friendliness of this old town, once a stagecoach stop, named for John Pendleton King of Augusta, a noted lawyer, US Senator, and railroad financier. It is home to the annual Great Locomotive Chase.

Cherokee County

  • Population: 140,000
  • Taxes: Sales: 6%
  • Property: $28.221 per $1,000 of assessed value
  • Median Income: $58,193
Part of Cherokee County's appeal is its scenic placement, nestled as it is in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Beautiful state parks, waterfalls and campgrounds are all within easy access. While the county still retains its rural charm and tranquility, it is also keeping pace with the current times with new homes being built at a steady pace to accommodate growing interest in the region. Those who want lake access can find ample opportunity on Lake Allatoona.

If you appreciate glancing at precious and semi-precious minerals and gemstones, you'll want to stroll the storefronts of this quaint town. These locally mined beauties are some of the best Georgia has to offer.

Horse farming and horticulture are two new agribusiness enterprises which have begun thriving here in addition to small industries. The addition of I-575 into the county has made commuting to downtown or other metro areas much easier.

In recent years, Canton's growth has been explosive, with new developments breaking ground on a regular basis. Sweetwater Park, located on Lake Allatoona, offers locals a spot to get away from it all with camping facilities, beach, boat ramp and nature trail.

Waleska is home to Reinhardt College, a two-year institution founded in 1883. Nearby is Lake Arrowhead, a resort community complete with an 18-hole golf course and a 540-acre lake.

Golfers go crazy at Eagle Watch Golf Club, a par 72 course designed by Arnold Palmer. Located in the southern part of Cherokee County, Woodstock is enjoying quiet growth as new residents move from closer-in metro communities.

Clayton County ...

  • Population: 230,000
  • Taxes: Sales: 7%
  • Property: $26.704 per $1,000 of assessed value
  • Median Income: $36,012
The finest musicians journey from around the globe for the rare opportunity to perform in the "near perfect" acoustic environment of Spivey Hall, a state-of-the-art performance center located on the campus at Clayton College and State University. Whether it's a ticket to a well known violinist or choir performance, sell outs are the norm here as audiences travel from near and far to hear music the way it was meant to sound.

Literary history also has its place in Jonesboro, the county seat, where Margaret Mitchell wrote of her mythical plantation, "Tara", in Gone With The Wind. For aviation history in the making, one has to look no further than Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport, one of the nation's most heavily trafficked airports and the home of Delta Airlines.

With its low taxes and broad range of residential styles in all price ranges, it's no wonder the region continues to enjoy steady growth.

Forest Park
Those who enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables will certainly want to take advantage of the State Farmers Market, the nation's largest open air market and the place where fresh produce is brought in on a daily basis. Forest Park is also home to one of Atlanta's hidden treasures, the Nellya Fencers Club, where a renowned Russian coach is turning entire families into internationally recognized competitors.

Past and present combine nicely in Jonesboro, which offers a look at Antebellum days at Stately Oaks Plantation. Tour guides are only too happy to explain life in the 19th century. For those who prefer the 21st century, there's the Clayton County International Park, once the beach volleyball venue for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Locals love taking advantage of such activities as swimming, paddle boating, fishing, golf and more.

The Reynolds Nature Preserve makes it easy to forget how close Morrow is to downtown Atlanta's hustle and bustle. Residents enjoy taking advantage of the miles of peacefully wooded hiking trails and the environment and wildlife programs that take place on a regular basis. Morrowites who prefer more culture have only to wander over to the campus at Clayton College and State University to take in a concert at Spivey Hall, an internationally renowned performance arts center.

Cobb County ...

  • Population: 583,541
  • Taxes: Sales: 5%
  • Property: $29.14 per $1,000 of assessed value
  • Median income: $41,297
Located just northwest of Atlanta, Cobb is one of the most prosperous and diverse of metro Atlanta's counties. With more than 240 international firms operating within its corridors, ample housing availabilities in all price ranges, and a wide variety of leisure activities, Cobb has something for everyone.

Here you will find the Chattahoochee River, Kennesaw Mountain with its Civil War Battlefield, Six Flags over Georgia, not to mention White Water and American Adventures, two popular amusement parks. Residents have a variety of private schools to choose from and can also take advantage of fine dining, theater, historic sites and art museums, all within easy access.

Golfers can choose from 13 courses situated throughout the county. Shoppers have numerous options, too. The Cobb Galleria Center offers upscale shops, restaurants and movie theaters while Cumberland and Town Square Malls offer more traditional mall shopping.

New shops and bed and breakfasts have sprung up along the train tracks in a revitalized downtown Acworth. Located near Lake Allatoona, this small town is seeing new growth as families come to take advantage of the natural resources.

The rural landscape is changing here as new subdivisions co-exist with older residential areas and business development along nearby I-20. Austell is just a short drive from Six Flags Over Georgia, a popular family amusement park which draws tourists from all over the Southeast.

East Cobb
Known for its excellent public school system, the area to the east of Marietta's city limits outward to the Fulton County line has seen a tremendous increase in population and development. Well planned subdivisions with a variety of architectural styles and built-in amenities are the norm here. In fact, some of the area's most lavish homes can be found in East Cobb, situated along the borders of the Chattahoochee River.

While it is home to a historic civil war battlefield site, Kennesaw is a town of new suburban homes in upscale subdivisions as well as older homes tucked away on quiet tree-lined streets. It is also home to Kennesaw State University, a four-year college with a growing reputation for excellence.

The old fashioned town square offers quaint antique shops, several fine restaurants and Theatre in the Square, one of the city's finest small theaters, offering Broadway-quality performances. Situated all around the square are numerous historic Victorian-style homes, rich in charm and character. Residents can also choose from a variety of new subdivisions with swim-tennis amenities. Marietta City Club also boasts one of the finest public golf courses in the metro area.

Powder Springs
Powder Springs is home to Sun Valley Beach, home of the Southeast's largest swimming pool in addition to 18 water slides, white sand beach, softball fields, tennis courts and volleyball courts. The housing market offers something in all price ranges.

Just southwest of this quiet area is Concord Covered Bridge, one of the state's few remaining covered bridges. In recent years, this area has undergone a major transformation. Residents take great pride in the new community center and public buildings. While it is only minutes away from Cumberland Mall and the Galleria, it still retains its small residential community feeling.

Visitors and locals love to wander through the shops of the area's picturesque village, which is just moments away from the banks of the Chattahoochee River. New cluster homes, condos and apartments have become part of the scene here, the home to many young professionals who like the area's close proximity to downtown Atlanta. Fine dining aficionados can have a peaceful view of the Chattahoochee River while sampling some of the best fare Atlanta has to offer at Canoe.

West Cobb
Once a predominantly pastoral area with fertile green farmland, West Cobb is now a fast growing mixture of suburban and rural. New subdivisions are springing up quickly as incoming residents discover this quiet haven of gently rolling hills and friendly neighbors.

Dekalb County ...

  • Population: 597, 082
  • Taxes: Sales: 7%
  • Property: $37.16 per $1,000 of assessed value
  • Median Income: $49,511
Located close to downtown, DeKalb county has much to offer its corporate and private residents. The laser show at Stone Mountain Park, site of the second largest granite monolith in the world, in addition to resort and other leisure facilities, draws tourists from around the globe. Other popular attractions include the Fernbank Museum of Natural History with its IMAX Theater, Fernbank Science Center and Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University.

DeKalb is also respected worldwide for the biomedical research conducted here. It is home to the Centers for Disease Control (the only federal agency located outside of Washington, DC), Emory University's Rollins Research Center and Yerkes Primate Center.

The city's closest answer to "Chinatown" is also found in DeKalb along the Buford Highway Corridor. Some of the more popular dining establishments among locals include Canton House, Oriental Pearl, and Pung Mie. Antique shoppers flock here, too, to search for finds in historic Chamblee.

Avondale Estates
Long touted as one of the safest places to live, Avondale Estates is a charming town nestled just outside of Decatur. This peaceful community, with convenient access to MARTA, has homes built around a lake and a downtown lined with stores designed as a Tudor village.

Situated in the northeast corridors of I-85 and I-285, these two towns are best known for the diversity of their population. Known as the place to search for antiques, this area is also home to the Peachtree-DeKalb Airport, the busiest private airport in the metro area. With an abundance of ethnic groceries, this is the place to look for hard-to-find ingredients.

Residents have only to walk a few blocks to take advantage of the fine dining and shopping opportunities that exist on and off the square in Decatur. The community also hosts a variety of ongoing community events, making this neighborhood a real find.

Two of the area's long-time anchors are Agnes Scott College and Columbia Theological Seminary. This community minded area is home to a picturesque town square which has seen a massive rebirth in recent years with new retail and dining operations opening on a regular basis. While new homes are being built, Decatur has a larger percentage of older homes which are being refurbished by new residents.

Located in northwestern DeKalb County, between I-285 and the Chattahoochee River, Dunwoody is known for its beautiful homes on spacious wooded lots. Perimeter Mall, with its extensive selection of shops, is located within easy driving distance. It is also close to several of the metro area's finest hospitals.

Emory/Druid Hills
Located next to Emory University, the area is home to the Centers for Disease Control, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center and Fernbank Museum of Natural History. The beautiful neighborhoods of Druid Hills served as the backdrop for the movie Driving Miss Daisy.

Stone Mountain
This town is dominated by the mountain which shares the town's name. Visitors flock to see the massive carving on the side of the mountain depicting Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, the Civil War's greatest confederate commanders. The national park also includes a resort hotel, walking trails, antique train and more. The Village of Stone Mountain is also a draw for locals and tourists who enjoy wandering through quaint shops in an old-fashioned setting. ART Station offers a fine selection of art classes and live theater performances.

In Tucker, which borders Gwinnett County, residents head to Main Street each August to celebrate Tucker Day, complete with arts and crafts exhibits and a host of other activities. Residents can select from a broad range of architectural styles in every price range.

Douglas County ...

  • Population: 96,100
  • Taxes: Sales: 7%
  • Property: $29.814 per $1,000 of assessed value
  • Median Income: $52,103
Despite its close proximity to downtown Atlanta, Douglas County, with its ample parks and the Annie Clinton Nature Preserve, remains a quiet suburb. As quiet and traffic-free as it is, Douglas County's growth is explosive. The recently opened Arbor Place Mall is the third largest mall in Georgia and provides residents with the opportunity to do all their shopping without leaving the immediate vicinity. Amusement park fans delight in the fact that Six Flags over Georgia is less than 20 minutes away.

Like so many once sleepy towns, Douglasville is seeing the growth that is common to the metro area. New subdivisions continue to rise from the picturesque rolling hills. The cultural arts center offers residents and tourists fine art exhibits and performances. What residents appreciate most is a small-town feel with easy urban access.

Lithia Springs
The Lithia Springs Water and Bottling Company, site of historic mineral water springs, also features the Family Doctor Museum with its medicinal garden and "Frog Rock." Once a small resort community which catered to such famous people as the Astors and Vanderbilts, this town is now known for its homesites, which possess both rural ambiance and proximity to the city.

Fayette County ...

  • Population: 94,869
  • Taxes: Sales: 5%
  • Property: $32.97 per $1,000 of assessed value
  • Median Income: $68,852
The nation's first and largest planned community is located in Fayette County. Peachtree City, a community where golf carts are often used in lieu of cars, has over 70 miles of bike paths, two lakes and 30 restaurants. The community takes great pride in its championship golf courses and friendly neighborhood spirit. The area is also home to Georgia's oldest courthouse and serves as the headquarters for the Jitterbuggers Teen Club, an organization that provides quality entertainment for young people within their own communities.

Famous as one of the fictional settings for Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind, Fayetteville also likes to boast it has one of the lowest crime rates in the metro area. River's Edge Golf Club, with its par 71 championship layout, is ranked among the top 25 courses in Georgia. The Fayette County Historical Society offers one of the most complete Civil War reference libraries.

Peachtree City
This award-winning community has extensive residential neighborhoods in all price ranges as well as a thriving business community, golf courses, schools and other amenities. Here, the golf cart is usually seen as the family's second or third car.

Forsyth County ...

  • Population: 110,000
  • Taxes: Sales: 7%
  • Property: $20.823 per $1,000 of assessed value
  • Median Income: $59,320
Once a rural community, the county is rapidly changing as residents move into moderate to lavish subdivisions which are springing up throughout the area. These new residents are building near the shores of beautiful Lake Lanier and in the southern end of the county where the convenience to Georgia 400 makes for an easier commute to downtown Atlanta. Forsyth has recently been named the fastest growing county in the nation.

Lying just beyond the shores of Lake Lanier, Cumming is home to Pooles Mill Covered Bridge and Lanierland Music Park. Sunday is the day residents and visitors flock to the upscale Polo Fields subdivision to watch horses and riders compete during the season. While traditional southern fare continues to delight large crowds at the Meal House, the town has a distinct contemporary flavor. New swim-tennis subdivisions, some interspersed among rolling horse farms, offer something for everyone in all price ranges.

Fulton County ...

  • Population: 1,283,489
  • Taxes: Sales: 7%
  • Property: $438.85 per $1,000 of assessed value
  • Atlanta/Fulton Median income: $45,031
Once called the "Land of Enchantment" by the Cherokee Indians, the county that houses the city of Atlanta continues to enchant young and old with its incredibly diverse mix of housing, business and cultural/entertainment opportunities. Fulton County is a central hub of activity for the entire state of Georgia. Here you'll find the major sports arenas for the Braves, Falcons, Hawks and Thrashers. Culture also reigns supreme here with the Woodruff Arts Center, which houses the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Alliance Theatre and High Museum of Art. Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind premiered at the renowned Fox Theatre. Fulton County is also recognized as the nation's capitol for puppetry with its unique Center for Puppetry Arts.

While in-town and suburban growth has reached an all-time high, corporate growth is also booming. Fulton County serves as national headquarters for such organizations as Turner Broadcasting, Georgia Pacific, CARE, UPS, The American Cancer Society and more.

Those looking to send their children to private schools have come to the right neighborhood. The Atlanta International School, Pace Academy, Lovett School and the Galloway School are just a few examples. Fine dining and shopping opportunities also abound. With several malls to choose from, if you can't find what you're looking for in Fulton County, chances are, it can't be found anywhere.

With traffic on the rise, Atlanta has seen steady growth as individuals and families opt for lifestyles free of commuter worries. To best describe Atlanta is to say it is a city of diverse neighborhoods, some filled with history, others representing history in the making. Real estate here is at a premium. While some will choose to renovate older homes, others will opt for new luxury condos and apartments which are breaking ground at a steady pace.
see Atlanta Intown Neighborhoods

Once a quiet residential town, Alpharetta has exploded with the expansion of Georgia 400, which now reaches from Buckhead to well beyond Atlanta's suburbs. From perfect starter homes to upscale communities like Country Club of the South, home to several of Atlanta's top athletes and executives, Alpharetta offers something for everyone. While the area is bustling from morning to night, several parks along the Chattahoochee River offer perfect opportunities to kick back and relax.

Golfers appreciate the fact that Brookhaven was initially founded as a golf club community, a club that remains one of the city's most exclusive. Lush, well manicured landscapes are everywhere here as are a wealth of early 20th century Colonial, Georgian and Tudor-style homes. History shares company with more contemporary tastes as newcomers undertake major renovations and developers have introduced new cluster homes and townhomes.

Few downtown squares have as much charm as that of the square in Roswell. While historic tours are available a few blocks away at Bulloch Hall (the one-time home of President Theodore Roosevelt's mother Martha), the square itself is filled with a fine array of galleries, shops and restaurants that provide hours of peaceful shopping or wandering. Several parks along the Chattahoochee River offer a nice respite from hectic daily lives. A variety of real estate options exists with something for all budgets.

Sandy Springs
Tennis enthusiasts appreciate the proximity of the North Fulton Tennis Center, always a hotbed of ALTA (Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association) activity. Besides enjoying a variety of outdoor activities, Sandy Springs residents enjoy tending their own lush gardens in this neighborhood filled with large wooded yards. A wealth of recently built cluster home developments offers the ideal solution for those who prefer yardless existences. With Perimeter Mall, Home Depot Expo, and a variety of other shopping opportunities to choose from, residents seldom have to leave the neighborhood.

Gwinnett County ...

  • Population: 585,000
  • Taxes: Sales: 6%
  • Property: $31.41 per $1,000 of assessed value
  • Median Income: $65,644
Most people would find it impossible to believe that Gwinnett was once a rural county. In fact, when it comes to growth, Gwinnett holds court as one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. The most recent tribute to its focus on economic development was the recent grand opening of the Mall of Georgia with its two million square feet of retail and mixed use space. Housing a state-of-the-art IMAX theater, the mall offers something for everyone, even non-shoppers.

As a whole, the county offers something for everyone. The Gwinnett Civic and Cultural Center offers ongoing events and performances. Wholesome family fun can be found on the shores of Lake Lanier. In Norcross, antique aficionados have more than 200 shops to meander through in one marketplace. And animal lovers can spend a lazy afternoon walking the animal-filled trails at the Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn.

Easily accessible via I-85 and I-285, Gwinnett County is home to such corporate giants as Scientific Atlanta, CIBAVision and Primerica Financial Services. While new companies continue moving into the area, many choose to make the easy commute towards downtown. One of the more attractive aspects of the county is its wealth of affordable housing. While the area is rich in upscale subdivisions, first-time homebuyers are certain to find the home that suits their taste as well as their budget.

Located in the northernmost part of the county right on Lake Lanier, Buford is known for its unique artists' colony which opens up its studios to the public several times each year. Singles and families appreciate the small-town quiet of this quaint town which once served as little more than a train depot.

Convenience is one word that trips easily off the tongue in Duluth. Gwinnett Place Mall is just a stones throw away from the area's many subdivisions as are a glut of other retail operations, restaurants, automobile dealerships and grocery stores. Those looking for a luxurious lifestyle will appreciate Duluth, where many homes reach over a million dollars.

Despite its accelerated growth, Lawrenceville retains the charm of its Victorian-style town square. The area is known for its lovely homes sitting on gently rolling slopes with large trees.

Located in the northeast section of Gwinnett, the quiet community of Lilburn remains a good place to raise a family. Residents appreciate larger lots, a well maintained city park and the unique shops located in Old Town Lilburn.

Much of Gwinnett's high tech industry takes place in neighboring Peachtree Corners. Norcross is also home to many of the area's newer homes and apartment complexes.

Like the rest of Gwinnett, Snellville is a rapidly growing area with fine residential areas on spacious lots. It is also the home of General Beauregard Lee, the Yellow River Game Ranch's resident groundhog, who lets Atlantans know whether spring will be early or late.

For years, Suwanee has been recognized as the site of the Atlanta Falcons training camp. These days, it is known more for spacious, affordable homes. Suwanee also retains many historic structures, including grand Victorian homes and regional farm-style homes, all clustered around the City's original one-mile radius, known as Suwanee's Old Towne.

Sugar Hill
One of Gwinnett's newest areas, it is laced with attractive residential communities.

Hall County ...

  • Population: 123,290
  • Taxes: Sales: 7%
  • Property: $24.0 per $1,000 of assessed value
  • Median Income: $44,500
Nestled quietly at the southern edge of the Chattahoochee National Forest and the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Hall County is also known as the "Poultry Capital of the World." While it is home to a wealth of farming and poultry industries, it is also home to 35 Fortune 500 companies. Commuters find the county, located 53 miles northeast of Atlanta, accessible via I-985 and Georgia 400. What makes the area so attractive is its relaxing setting on Lake Lanier. Even locals rent houseboats for parties and events. This area is also rich in Georgia history, which can be discovered at such venues as the Chief Whitepath Cabin and the Georgia Mountains Museum. Visitors also enjoy the Elachee Nature Science Center, with its natural history museum and 1200-acre nature preserve.

What was originally a trading post at the intersection of two Indian trails has grown to be a prosperous city. Forever Resorts Holiday Marina, located on Lake Lanier, with its luxurious houseboat rentals, has a steady stream of customers who enjoy spending a few days cruising the area's scenic shoreline. For some the area is a second home, ideal for weekend getaways from the frenetic pace of city life. Many call Gainesville their primary residence and enjoy living near the water.

Lake Lanier
Although it's not an incorporated city, Lake Lanier is a growing residential community. Centered around the lake, this area has grown as residents have chosen to take advantage of the area's natural beauty and recreational benefits. Homes here range from very modest to lavish.

Henry County ...

  • Population: 118,614
  • Taxes: Sales: 7%
  • Property: $34.75 per $1,000 of assessed value
  • Median Income: $54,829
Although it's less than 30 minutes from downtown Atlanta, Henry County still possesses its small-town charm and friendly atmosphere despite its recognition as the 5th fastest growing county in the nation. Here, there's still a U-Pick-It farm or two dispensing buckets to young and old for the picking of luscious blueberries and strawberries. Southern traditionalists can participate in the genteel sport of quail hunting at Dogwood Plantation. While historic homes line the streets of McDonough, progress is all around with new employers eager to relocate here. The newest addition to the community is an warehouse in McDonough. And discount shoppers always find something to delight over at the Tanger Factory Outlet Center. NASCAR fans will appreciate the proximity to Atlanta Motor Speedway, the site of some of the sport's greatest battles.

Locust Grove
Named for a grove of beautiful locust trees, this charming south Henry County town often attracts visitors to two shopping experiences; a 100-year-old family-operated hardwood store and the Tanger Factory Outlet Center. Locals and visitors also enjoy strolling the grounds of Noah's Ark, an open-to-the-public children's care home and animal rehabilitation facility where emu's, pigs, bears and other creatures vie for individual attention.

Antique shoppers know that the first and third Saturday of the month is the time to be in McDonough to check out the newest shipment at Ragtime Antiques. Henry's County seat, McDonough is filled with historic old homes as well as 50 acres of parks. The annual Geranium Festival attracts visitors from across the state.

While it's rich in history, Stockbridge is home to Eagle's Landing, one of metro Atlanta's most well-known planned communities. Residents appreciate the more than 3,000 acres of country club amenities, diverse neighborhoods and businesses.

Paulding County ...

  • Population: 84,000
  • Taxes: Sales: 7%
  • Property: $26.45 per $1,000 of assessed value
  • Median Income: $47,312
This serene county northwest of Atlanta, with its shops lining the downtown area, has managed to retain its small town flavor while undergoing rapid growth. It is, in fact, one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. The Georgian Resort is one of the county's recent development activities. Still in its infancy, this 1200 acre development in south Paulding has one completed golf course with several others under construction. Plans also include the construction of a five star, 500-bed convention resort with spa, tennis and equestrian centers.

Dallas is the small town that resembles cities of decades past. Dallas is the county seat of Paulding County. Here, the stately courthouse dominates the downtown. The town was named for George M. Dallas, who was U.S. Vice President under James K. Polk.

Picturesque is perhaps the best way to describe Hiram. With a quaint, old European-looking downtown, it is a small town with charm. It is also one of the fastest growing areas of Paulding County, as newcomers discover the appeal and availability of land in this quiet corner of the state.

Rockdale County ...

  • Population: 69,000
  • Taxes: Sales: 6%
  • Property: $36.17 per $1,000 of assessed value
  • Median Income: $49,150
Home to the Georgia International Horse Park, the equestrian, mountain biking and modern pentathlon venue for the 1996 Summer Olympics, once rural Rockdale County is an area focused on the future. Partners for Tomorrow, the area's economic development group, is working hard to ensure the community is a good place to work and live. Their efforts are paying off as new businesses continue to relocate and new subdivisions continue breaking ground across the once rolling farmland. Lithonia Lighting, the largest lighting manufacturer in the world, is located in Rockdale.

Just up I-20, Atlantans have discovered the quiet charm of this blossoming town. Horse farms are mixed in with older residential areas and a growing mix of new residential subdivisions. The historic downtown area offers an interesting mix of history and shopping.

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