Advice on moving back to GA

yellajacket20

Georgia Tech Fan
Messages
30
The pandemic has been rough on us being so far away from family, so my wife and I were really looking to move closer (mine in Blairsville, hers in Orlando). Yesterday, I got a job offer to work for a company in Gainesville. I lived in Kennesaw while I was at Tech and we spent a year in McDonough right after we got married (left 2011). I have no experience with the northeast suburbs and was only able to spend a few hours driving around while I was there for the interview.

What can y'all tell me about areas that are within reasonable driving distance of Gainesville (30 mins or so)? My wife homeschools, so not too concerned about school ratings, although it is usually an indication of how nice the area is in general. We really value parks, hiking, kids learning opportunities (museums and such). She's not the biggest fan of driving around Atlanta, so while she would take advantage of the aquarium and zoo, it would be great if we lived somewhere that had other field trip options. Is Buford the sweet spot? Any other areas you might suggest?
 

CuseJacket

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
15,455
Not nearly an expert of the area but happy to get the ball rolling on replies. My in-laws live in Gainesville, so the areas are somewhat familiar to me, though I'm positive there are more qualified folks than myself to chime in.

To check all of your boxes, I suspect Buford is a logical place to start given the popularity. Depending on what part of Gainesville your job is, you can nearly get to the northern part of Alpharetta in 30 minutes (Browns Bridge to 400), though it's more likely 40 min even without traffic. Otherwise, there are smaller towns (Cumming, Braselton, etc.) which are all different directions. Those start trending more toward rural than suburban, though maybe still big enough for you; just different pros/cons relative to your list of priorities.
 

Techster

Helluva Engineer
Messages
13,718
Personally, I really like the Suwanee and Sugar Hill area of that part of GA for raising a family.

Check out what Suwanee is doing with their Town Center area. LOTS of walking/running/biking trails. There's a splash pads for the kids during the summer, and I believe they have concerts in the amphitheater during the warm seasons. You're just minutes away from the Chattahoochee River and all its trails. The selection of restaurants is very good, and you're minutes from Mall of GA and Sugarloaf Mills if you really want to do some shopping.

Sugar Hill/Buford area is close to Lake Lanier and there's a bunch of trails and outdoors things. Sugar Hill is working on their equivalent to Atlanta's Beltline, except more nature oriented.

Really, Suwanee/Sugar Hill/Buford are all so close to each other that it's almost the same area. Suwanee gets my tiebreaker because of how their attracting restaurants and retail, but also keeping it family oriented. I don't have kids, but if I did, it would be really hard to find an area that can compete with what that area offers in terms of shopping, restaurants, and outdoor activities. Homes are reasonably priced compared to the rest of metro Atlanta....you get a lot more quality and sqft for the money there.

In terms of museums and zoos, it's REALLY hard to compete with Atlanta. Atlanta is only about 30 minutes away, so it's a short trip to visit those museums from the area you're looking to move to.
 

THWG

Helluva Engineer
Messages
3,404
The pandemic has been rough on us being so far away from family, so my wife and I were really looking to move closer (mine in Blairsville, hers in Orlando). Yesterday, I got a job offer to work for a company in Gainesville. I lived in Kennesaw while I was at Tech and we spent a year in McDonough right after we got married (left 2011). I have no experience with the northeast suburbs and was only able to spend a few hours driving around while I was there for the interview.

What can y'all tell me about areas that are within reasonable driving distance of Gainesville (30 mins or so)? My wife homeschools, so not too concerned about school ratings, although it is usually an indication of how nice the area is in general. We really value parks, hiking, kids learning opportunities (museums and such). She's not the biggest fan of driving around Atlanta, so while she would take advantage of the aquarium and zoo, it would be great if we lived somewhere that had other field trip options. Is Buford the sweet spot? Any other areas you might suggest?
I live in Burford and it's really nice here. Lots of parks, Gainesville is a reasonable drive, and there is lots of stuff to do, especially around the Mall of Georgia. However, it is becoming extremely crowded now and traffic around the area just keeps getting worse and worse. I would look into Flowery Branch, Hoschton, or Jefferson as well, but anything around this area should be fine.
 

MountainBuzzMan

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
838
Another good option is North Forsyth County and take one of the bridges across the lake to Gainseville, it would be a short commute. The schools in Forsyth are some of the best in the state. With house prices going nuts in South Forsyth, North Forsyth will be a good place for significant long term house appreciation. Plus you are an easy shot to go north to the mountains for hiking and camping. Dahlonega has some nice places as for outdoors as well
 

BeachBuzz

Georgia Tech Fan
Messages
23
I would go to Dahlonega. I grew up there and it is a great small town. Lot's of outdoor stuff to do. If your wife doesn't like driving around Atlanta, I wouldn't think Buford would be much better traffic wise. If I had to go back to Georgia and could live anywhere, it would probably be Dahlonega.
 

SnidelyWhiplash

Helluva Engineer
Messages
15,439
Not nearly an expert of the area but happy to get the ball rolling on replies. My in-laws live in Gainesville, so the areas are somewhat familiar to me, though I'm positive there are more qualified folks than myself to chime in.

To check all of your boxes, I suspect Buford is a logical place to start given the popularity. Depending on what part of Gainesville your job is, you can nearly get to the northern part of Alpharetta in 30 minutes (Browns Bridge to 400), though it's more likely 40 min even without traffic. Otherwise, there are smaller towns (Cumming, Braselton, etc.) which are all different directions. Those start trending more toward rural than suburban, though maybe still big enough for you; just different pros/cons relative to your list of priorities.

I thought I read at some point they were going to rename Alpharetta to Breathinghard since it was so close to Cumming.

 

AUFC

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
947
Athens is fun, you guys are being lame. Probably should mention that I've never been there for a football game though. For Friday/Saturday night dinner/drinks and a concert though, absolutely perfect experience.
 
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