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February/March CONTENTS FEATURES Navigating Atlanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Atlanta’s Top Attractions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Finding your way around the metro area can be intimidating. Get your bearings with our guide to some of the major roads and publictransportation options you’ll need to know.

Your child doesn’t have to stop learning once school stops. The Atlanta area has plenty of summer camps that are educational as well as recreational.

Check out our list of 20 of Atlanta’s must-see sites, from world-class museums to theme parks and other family-friendly destinations.

Summer Camp Guide 2015 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Unique Adventure Getaways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 From horseback riding in Upcountry, South Carolina to hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains, exciting leisure opportunities await just a short drive from Atlanta.




PHOTO: Provided by Decatur Downtown Development Authority.


In Focus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Relocation Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

The inside scoop on news, events and happenings around Atlanta.

Homes & Communities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14

A comprehensive guide to help you find your way before, during and after your move, including counties, neighborhoods, relocation tips, a map to metro Atlanta and much more.

From Suwanee to Decatur, these Georgia cities are getting national attention for their quality of life and other amenities.

Upcoming Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

Neighborhood Spotlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

Get caught up on the best exhibitions, theatrical productions, special events and live music across the metro area.

Just north of Atlanta, the city of Gainesville offers affordable housing, lots of recreational opportunities and proximity to Lake Lanier

Hidden Atlanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Special Advertising Section: Summer Camp Directory 2015 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Metro Atlanta offers many excellent summer camps. Learn more about some of the exceptional options available to Atlanta campers.

School Spotlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 The SAE School in Mableton emphasizes project-based learning, a yearround calendar and strong teacher-student relationships.

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Take a peek behind the scenes of a major news organization with one of three different tours of CNN’s Atlanta headquarters.

On the Cover: The Fox Theatre in Midtown Atlanta is known as much for its ornate architecture as for its concerts and theater shows. See page 30 for more. PHOTO: Sean Pavone /

MORE | Newcomer Magazine | 5

We wish to thank all the people who made this publication possible through their valuable time and dedication. We graciously thank our advertisers for their support of Newcomer magazine. ­—PK publisher/president

Patrick Killam editor

Kevin Forest Moreau marketing & promotions

Jeff Thompson contributing writers

Anna Bentley, H.M. Cauley, Sheila Cosgrove, Tony Jenkins, Rachael Mason, Cady Schulman director of sales & marketing

Patrick Killam account director

Lacey James

TO ADVERTISE CALL 770-992-0273 font: mawns handwriting

Scan this code to check out past issues of Newcomer.

Newcomer magazine, February/March 2015 Volume 18, Issue 6. Submissions, photography or ideas may be sent to Killam Publishing, Inc., 200 Market Place, Suite 230, Roswell, GA 30075. Submissions will not be returned unless otherwise requested and accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Newcomer magazine reserves the right to revise any necessary submissions. Reproduction in whole or in part of any elements of this publication are strictly prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. © 2015 Killam Publishing, Inc.

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6 | Newcomer Magazine | | Newcomer Magazine | 7


ne w s b i tes fr om a ro un d AT LANTA


PHOTO: Courtesy of the City of Suwanee

The metro Atlanta cities of Suwanee (pictured), Gainesville, Braselton and Woodstock were among the 10 Georgia communities honored with the inaugural PlanFirst designation. The honor, awarded by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), recognizes excellence in community planning. “These are communities that can serve as statewide models for others in how to actively and strategically implement a vision for the future,” said DCA commissioner Gretchen Corbin. The other communities were Athens-Clarke County, Coweta County, Johnson County, Jones County, Madison and Vienna.


Ever wondered what life was like in Oz before Dorothy showed up? That’s the premise that has made Wicked a smash hit. The national production of the award-winning Broadway musical tells the poignant story of two young roommates who eventually become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch. The show runs from Feb. 18 through March 8 at the Fox Theatre. For tickets and other information, call 800-278-4447 or visit

PHOTO: Courtesy of the Atlanta Home Show

Local School Makes the Grade

Make Your House a Home Whether you’re a master craftsman or just a weekend do-it-yourselfer looking for some home improvement tips, the 37th annual Spring Atlanta Home Show is the perfect event to help you spruce up your new home. The theme for this year’s event is “Remodel, Repair and Refresh,” and there will be experts from more than 350 participating companies on hand with the products and services to help you do just that. Get handy tips from pros and enjoy refreshments in the Backyard Beer Garden. March 20-22 at the Cobb Galleria Centre. For more information, visit 8 | Newcomer Magazine |

Looking for proof that Atlanta offers some excellent educational options? Holy Spirit Preparatory School was recently named a 2014 School of Excellence by the Catholic Education Honor Roll, which recognizes academic excellence in the nation’s Catholic high schools. It’s the school’s fifth consecutive School of Excellence Award. And that’s not all. Senior Meredith Jones (below left) recently achieved perfect scores on both the SAT and the ACT—an accomplishment achieved by only a few students each year. Congratulations to Meredith and the school!

PHOTO: Joan Marcus


infocus PHOTO: Gordon Parks (American, 1912–2006), Department Store, Mobile, Alabama,1956, courtesy of and copyright The Gordon Parks Foundation.

Just in Time for Valentine’s Day

PHOTO: Charlie McCullers

What better way to celebrate this romantic holiday than by revisiting theater’s best-known romance? Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette, presented by the Atlanta Ballet, promises to entertain and dazzle audiences with breathtaking choreography, Sergei Prokofiev’s stunning score and, of course, Shakespeare’s tragic tale of star-crossed young lovers. Feb. 6-14 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. For tickets and other information, call 404-892-3303 or visit

See History Up Close In 1956, Life magazine published a series of images by famed photographer Gordon Parks detailing the life and struggles of a multigenerational family in segregated Alabama. Gordon Parks: Segregation Story, at the High Museum of Art, showcases more than 40 of Parks’ color photographs, some of them never before seen, offering a stark and stirring look at this period of American history. The exhibit runs through June 7. For more information, call 404-733-5000 or visit

The Downtown Connector offers an inspiring view of the Atlanta skyline.

NAVIGATING ATLANTA Your Guide to Local Roads and Public Transit For a new resident, finding your way around Atlanta can be intimidating. It’s a big place, after all, with different neighborhoods and landmarks spread out across a metropolitan area that stretches across several counties. And then there are all those highways criss-crossing the city to keep track of. To help you get your bearings, we’ve broken down some of the major streets, interstates and public-transportation options you’ll need to know. 10 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: © 2015, James Duckworth/

By Muriel Vega

Main Roads and Highways

PHOTOS: © 2015, Kevin C. Rose/

TOP: A MARTA train at dusk. BOTTOM (Left): Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta.

There are dozens of streets in Atlanta with a “Peachtree” in the name, but there’s really only one Peachtree Street. Atlanta’s Main Street begins in the Five Points area of downtown, passing such landmarks as the Georgia-Pacific Tower and the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel before crossing into Midtown, where you’ll encounter the Fox Theatre, the Margaret Mitchell House and the Woodruff Arts Center (home of the High Museum of Art). Continuing north toward Buckhead, the district famous for its shopping and hotels, the street becomes Peachtree Road and passes on through Brookhaven. Other prominent roads to know are West Peachtree Street, which runs parallel to Peachtree in downtown and Midtown; Ponce de Leon Avenue, which begins in Midtown and travels to Decatur; and Buford Highway, the area’s center of international culture and cuisine, located primarily in DeKalb County. The Downtown Connector is the unofficial name of the approximately 7.5-mile stretch of highway where Interstates 75 and 85 merge as they pass through downtown Atlanta. Also known as 75/85, the Connector begins near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport at the Langford Parkway exit, and runs north past Turner Field, passing the campuses of Georgia State University and Georgia Tech. The Connector ends in Midtown at an interchange known as the Brookwood Split. A good deal of metro Atlanta is accessible via Interstate 85. Heading south from the Connector, I-85 leads to East Point, College Park and the airport; its northward stretch passes Chamblee, Doraville, Duluth and Suwanee on its way out of the state. Just after Suwanee, it splits off into Interstate 985, which leads to Buford, Flowery Branch and Gainesville. After splitting with I-85, Interstate 75 heads northwest, climbing through Smyrna, Marietta and Kennesaw on its way toward Chattanooga, Tennnessee. Its southern stretch heads southeast toward Macon and, eventually, Florida. Interstate 20, meanwhile, passes Six Flags Over Georgia on its way into Atlanta, crossing the Connector and Interstate 285 on its way east. Approximately 64 miles long, Interstate 285 is also known as “the Perimeter” because it forms a circle around the city. From East Point, it travels north toward Smyrna, arcing east past Sandy Springs and then south through Doraville, Tucker and Stone Mountain, looping westward toward the airport and College Park. Two major landmarks along this route are Spaghetti Junction, where it merges with I-85 near Tucker, and the Cobb Cloverleaf, where it connects with I-75 northwest of the city. u Newcomer Magazine | 11

Georgia State Route 400, also known as Georgia 400, is a former toll road that splits off from I-85 and cuts through Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Roswell, Alpharetta and Cumming, after which it becomes a surface road with traffic lights near the North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawsonville. The road ends near Dahlonega in Lumpkin County. The major landmarks along this road are the King and Queen buildings, a pair of distinctive office towers. Unlike the interstates, 400’s exits are numbered sequentially rather than based on mileage.

Public Transportation The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) provides rail and bus service to the metro Atlanta area, with four rail lines operating primarily in Fulton and DeKalb counties. All four rail lines connect, offering transfers at the Five Points station located off Peachtree Street. The fee for traveling one way is $2.50 including transfers, and payment is easy with prepaid MARTA Breeze cards, which can be purchased at train stations. The Gold and Red lines travel a north-south trajectory, while the Blue and Green lines take an east-west route that runs mostly through the city of Atlanta. The Gold line goes from the air-

port through downtown and the business district, past Lenox Square Mall and Chamblee to end in Doraville. The Red line makes the same trek from the airport through the downtown area but splits after the Lindbergh station and heads toward Buckhead and Dunwoody, ending near Sandy Springs. The Blue line starts in Stone Mountain and covers Avondale, Decatur, East Lake, Candler Park, Inman Park, Grant Park and much more. It stops at several landmarks, including the CNN Center, the King Memorial and Georgia State University. The Green line starts at Edgewood and splits from the Blue line after the Ashby station, terminating in Bankhead to the west of the city. To complement the rail service, MARTA offers bus and shuttle service. Bus stops are located throughout metro Atlanta with affordable fares and reliable schedules. MARTA also offers a free shuttle to Midtown’s Atlantic Station development and IKEA store. The shuttle departs from the Arts Center Station on the Red and Gold lines. Other public transportation options include Cobb Community Transit, which provides bus service throughout Cobb County and to downtown Atlanta; Gwinnett County Tran-

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sit, which serves Gwinnett County; and the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, which operates the Xpress commuter bus service, offering 33 routes across a dozen metro Atlanta counties. Now that you’re familiar with Atlanta’s major thoroughfares and transit options, you’re well on your way to getting around like a native. Bon voyage!

FOR MORE INFORMATION Georgia Department of Transportation

404-631-1990 MARTA

404-848-5000 Cobb Community Transit

770-427-2222 Gwinnett County Transit

770-822-5010 XPRESS

404-463-4782 | Newcomer Magazine | 13

Award-Winning HOMES



COMMUNITIES Five Metro Atlanta Cities Receiving National Recognition By H.M. Cauley


s a major metropolitan area, Atlanta encompasses much more than the city itself. The region includes surrounding counties where small towns and neighborhoods offer an alternative to living in the urban zone. In fact, five of those cities have been recognized by national organizations and media for their quality of life and the amenities they offer. Here’s a look at the regional award-winners.

Suwanee This Gwinnett County city just off Interstate 85 launched an ambitious plan in the early 2000s to create a downtown district with retail and residential sections as well as a 10-acre park, walking trails and concert areas. The Town Center project has been enormously successful in establishing a central gathering point for events and cementing the city’s identity.

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“Town Center is considered one of metro Atlanta’s great public spaces,” says Mayor Jimmy Burnette. “We provide more than 40 events each year that bring the community together. In addition, we’ve built a park system that offers distinctive uses, from playgrounds to community gardens, from trails to picnic shelters.” Suwanee also boasts excellent local schools and housing in a range of prices and styles. That

PHOTO: Provided by Decatur Downtown Development Authority

Families enjoy Decatur’s walkable downtown district.

PHOTO: (Top) Charles Plant.

TOP: The Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater in Peachtree City. CENTER: (Top) A Suwanee home; (Bottom) Duluth’s Town Green.

combination earned it spots on Family Circle’s 10 Best Towns for Families list in 2013 and Money’s Best Places to Live that same year. And cited Suwanee as one of the country’s Top 10 Cities to Raise Your Kids. “Suwanee is a safe community served by one of the best public school districts in the country,” says Burnette. “We have worked hard … to create a place that has a little bit of personality and offers residents and visitors reasons to want to live and work here.”

of the Best Affordable Suburbs in the country, according to BusinessWeek. Reader’s Digest honored Duluth as one of the Best 100 Cities in America, and NewsMax magazine named it among the Top 25 Cities and Towns with the Best American Values. “The city offers everything to capture the spirit of good living,” says Marketing Director Alisa Williams.


Peachtree City

Not far from Suwanee, the city of Duluth took a similar approach, recreating a downtown area where kids can romp in fountains and families can gather for picnics and concerts. The district incorporates existing historic elements for a quaint blend of old and new. And there’s a distinct dedication to the arts and entertainment: Duluth is home to the Red Clay Music Foundry, the New Dawn Theater Company, and the Town Green, an outdoor gathering and event space. The Gwinnett Center draws nationally acclaimed concerts and family-friendly performances and sporting events to its convention center, arena, theater and arts center.

The Gwinnett County city’s revitalized downtown is a magnet for locals, who enjoy access to a variety of restaurants, shops, cultural experiences and recreational opportunities. In addition, housing options abound across a range of prices, a fact that makes Duluth one

Peachtree City was designed in 1959 as a planned community of shopping districts, residential neighborhoods and golf courses linked by an intricate, 90-mile system of multi-use paths. Its proximity to the airport has long made it a popular home base for business professionals who appreciate the easy access to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Beyond the bustle of Atlanta, Peachtree City provides a respite from cars and traffic; most homeowners drive golf carts to connect to restaurants, shopping and entertainment. It’s also a magnet for families looking for a solid school system and a safe environment. Abun- | Newcomer | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 15

dant housing options, from acre-plus estates to condominiums, embrace the natural beauty of the area. Recreational opportunities abound in the many golf courses, tennis centers and lakes, while the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater is a top venue for outdoor concerts and shows. Peachtree City’s amenities have earned it a spot on Money’s list of Best Places to Live five times in the last decade—twice in the top 10. The financial website MarketWatch singled it out as one of the Best Places to Retire in Georgia, and it was ranked No. 5 on the list of the 50 Safest Cities in Georgia by Safewise. “These awards recognize Peachtree City’s overall quality of life, with great schools, safe neighborhoods, wonderful parks and recreational facilities,” says Mayor Vanessa Fleisch.

Decatur Gainesville’s pedestrian-friendly downtown square.

Long-established neighborhoods offer a mix of housing options, ranging from 1920s Craftsman cottages to more modern abodes. A favorite of foodies around the metro area, the city’s thriving restaurant scene draws local chefs who show off their expertise in a range of

eclectic and ethnic eateries. was so impressed with the dining scene that the website named Decatur its No. 1 Best Foodie City in 2013. It’s also been cited by the American Planning Association as one of the Top 10 Great Neighborhoods.

PHOTO: Gainesville Tourism and Trade.

The DeKalb County seat is a top choice for those who like the idea of living in a small town that bumps up against the big city. Easy access to MARTA means residents can commute to Atlanta in minutes, while kids can walk to local schools managed by an independent system. The community boasts a rich history reflected in its charming and vibrant downtown, anchored by a courthouse, churches and shops.

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“We are known for encouraging community participation and implementing plans and ideas that are built on community input,” says Assistant City Manager Lyn Menne. “Our yearround calendar of events brings the community together and fosters economic development.”

Surrounded on three sides by Lake Lanier, Gainesville offers exceptional recreational opportunities, from boating and swimming to communing with nature. Its weekend-getaway lifestyle earned it accolades as one of America’s Top 25 Most Fun, Affordable Cities by Bloomberg Businessweek and a Top 10 Spring Break Destination for Families by Along with a historic city center and business district, this Hall County city is noted for its wealth of new housing communities. Resortlike developments with golf courses, extensive sports amenities and social activities have grown in popularity with older buyers who move to the area to be closer to children and grandkids. Gainesville also offers a lower cost of living, a fact that has caught the attention of the AARP, which named it one of the Top 10 Affordable Cities for Retirement in 2011. The city was also singled out as one of the Best Places to Retire in Georgia by MarketWatch. In addition, Gainesville has developed a strong medical community that appeals to empty nesters. In 2014, Northeast Georgia Medical Center was named one of the nation’s Top 100 Hospitals by Truvex Health Analytics, and was also recognized as Georgia’s No. 1 Hospital by

the health care information company CareChex. Gainesville is also home to Brenau University and a campus of the University of North Georgia, adding to the city’s vibrant educational and cultural landscape. “As the economic center of North Georgia, we are home to multiple opportunities for higher education and visual and fine arts,” says Communications and Tourism Director Catiel Felts. “If you’re looking for good old-fashioned Southern hospitality, you’ll definitely find it here.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION Suwanee 770-945-8996 / Duluth 770-476-3434 / Peachtree City 770-487-7657 / Decatur 404-370-4100 / Gainesville 770-535-6860 / | NewcomerMagazine Magazine|| 17 17 | Newcomer



e Park Arts Festiva

Gainesville By Rachael Mason

Lake Lanier Islands Resort

L PHOTO: Lake Lanier Islands Resort

ocated 50 miles north of Atlanta in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Gainesville appeals to new residents with its scenic location along Lake Sidney Lanier, along with countless recreation options, both on water and dry land, and a mix of affordable housing and luxury residences. This historic city (it celebrated 193 years in 2014) is a favorite among working families and retirees.

Interactive Neighborhood for Kids


Culinary Treats

Whether you’re looking to settle permanently or just to get a taste of this beautiful area, Gainesville has a wide range of affordable housing options— the average home price is $164,500, according to U.S. Census figures. At McKinley Crossing (404-922-2483), homebuyers can choose from new construction homes in the $220s or select the perfect site for a custom house. Located along a nature preserve, the Lake Lanier Club (866459-8658) apartments offer lake and mountain views, two pools and a dock. Park Creek (770287-1414) is a gated apartment community with a fitness center, pool, tennis courts and much more.

Slow-cooked pork ribs are among the specialties at The Hickory Pig BBQ (770-503-5235), whose pulled pork sandwich made the list of Top 21 Barbecue Sandwiches in Garden & Gun magazine. At 2 Dog Restaurant (770-2878384), the peanut butter pie comes highly recommended, but this downtown eatery also serves lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. At Atlas Pizza (770-531-1144), the menu includes pizza, sandwiches and wings. Diners at the Atlanta Highway Seafood Market (770287-8277) often order the po’boys, gumbo and shrimp and grits.

Local Treasures

Arts and Entertainment

Residents and visitors alike enjoy shopping and dining in historic Downtown Gainesville. For a look at Gainesville’s past, check out the Historic Piedmont Hotel and Museum (770539-9005). Recreation options abound at the 37,000-acre Lake Lanier, including sailing, rowing, waterskiing, boat rentals and fishing, to name a few. The 1,500-acre Lake Lanier Islands Resort (770-945-8787) in nearby Buford offers waterskiing, horseback riding and a water park, among other activities. If you prefer to stay on dry land, you can golf, ride horses or just take in the scenery.

Stop by downtown Gainesville to take in one of the many concerts or other special events on the square. In April, don’t miss the annual Spring Chicken Festival, where locals compete in a chicken cook-off. The Smithgall Arts Center (770-534-2787), located in a restored train depot, is home to a gallery and sculpture garden and hosts concerts, outdoor performances and more. Kids from 2 to 10 will love the Interactive Neighborhood for Kids (770536-1900), a children’s museum with handson exhibits that include a 1955 airplane and a 1927 fire truck. N Downtown Gainesville

The Inside Track Gainesville is known as the “chicken capital of the world” for its thriving poultry industry.

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PHOTO: Gainesville Tourism and Trade

Park Creek

Johns Creek Montessori sChool of GeorGia

Sowing the seeds of organic learning Multi-age, vibrant learning communities with uninterrupted blocks of work time Montessori certified teacher in every classroom Hands-on, multi-sensory learning materials Nutritious lunch, organic milk, and healthy snacks offered daily 6450 East Johns Crossing • Johns Creek, GA 30097 770-814-8001 • | Newcomer Magazine | 19




SUMMER CAMPS Keep Your Child Learning All Summer Long

CENTER: Exploring marine life at Camp H2O.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Georgia Aquarium.

By Anna Bentley

Budding scientists enjoy Club Scientific’s specialized camp programs.

Other science-based specialty camps include those offered by the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC), and Camp H2O at the Georgia Aquarium. CEISMC Summer P.E.A.K.S. (Programs for Enrichment and Accelerated Knowledge in STEM) camps are mostly for middle- and high-school students and focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) topics like robotics and computer programming. Camp H2O is geared toward younger children, giving them a behind-the-scenes look at the aquarium through animal encounters and lessons from caregivers.

Soon, the school year will be winding to a close, and children across the country will start counting down the days to summer break. But that doesn’t have to mean a break from learning! Summer camps across metro Atlanta pair educational activities with recreational favorites, keeping kids active, engaged and learning all the way through August. If you’re interested in enrolling your child in a summer camp, the time to begin planning is now, since spots fill up well before the start of summer. Here are a few of the different types of camps available, along with tips for picking the right one for your child. Scientific Discoveries For pint-sized scientists, there are plenty of specialized science camps covering topics like video game development, computer programming, veterinary medicine, forensics, robotics, meteorology, chemistry, biology and even oceanography.

Specialized Studies

Club Scientific offers 42 week-long day camps across the metro Atlanta area for campers between the ages of 4 and 14. “Our camps inspire interest in science and technology,” says Club Scientific co-founder Bob Hagan. “Our goal is for kids to have fun and get excited about science.”

Other educational camps combine classroom learning with outdoor recreational activities to help students improve educationally—while still having plenty of fun in the process. Squirrel Hollow Camp at The Bedford School, a school for children with learning disabilities, pairs mornings of small-group tutoring with afternoon exploration of the school’s 45-acre Fairburn campus, including swimming, soccer and conquering a challenge course. “Squirrel Hollow is designed to provide academic tutoring in a recreational setting,” says Betsy Box, director of The Bedford School. “Students who attend all four weeks make average gains of six to eight months in reading, math and written expression.” u | Newcomer | NewcomerMagazine Magazine|| 21 21

Squirrel Hollow Camp balances academics with recreational activities.

Campers are encouraged to learn new skills and face new challenges at High Meadows Camp.

At McGinnis Woods Country Day School in Alpharetta, campers can pair subject-specific academic camps in math, Spanish and even chess with the school’s Sunsational Summer Camp program. Campers also take an educational field trip each week; past camps have visite such fun locations as the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the Center for Puppetry Arts and Cagle’s Family Farm.

Natural Education Many camps, like High Meadows Camp in Roswell, emphasize the importance of children making personal connections with nature, especially in today’s digital world. Campers are encouraged to try new things and learn new skills. “High Meadows offers campers a structured recreational program focusing on self-improvement, personal responsibility and environmen-

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tal respect,” says Camp Director John Dovic. “We endeavor to provide an experience that keeps children of all ages engaged, excited and learning from preschool through eighth grade.” New experiences for High Meadows campers could include archery, drama, woodworking or even dark room photography. Older campers can participate in the Knighthood Program, which rewards mastery of skills with ranks in-

cluding page, squire, sentry and, finally, knight. And at the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Camp Kingfisher, 127 acres of woodlands, ponds and trails become the classroom for 11 weeks of themed camps. Campers learn about wetland habitats, the interconnectivity of the food chain and more, through hikes, exploration activities and animal presentations. Summer camps hosted by the Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation Department also highlight the role that nature plays in learning. “Perhaps the most important aspect of summer camps at parks is that kids get to reconnect with nature,” says Nazanin Weck, the department’s resources and marketing coordinator. “Our camp staff makes sure to include plenty of outdoor activities exploring our parks and trails.” The county has age-appropriate programs for junior adventure campers (ages 5 and 6) and adventure campers (ages 7 through 13) at more than a dozen locations across the county, plus special-interest morning camps for preschoolers at select locations.

Making Your Selection After researching the different kinds of educational options available, you probably have an idea about the camps you’re interested in. But

that’s only half of the equation, says Peg Smith, CEO of the American Camp Association. Smith recommends taking a collaborative approach to choosing the right summer camp for your child. Talk with your child about his interests and expectations for summer camp, match them to your own, and then do your homework to select the best option. How are counselors selected and trained? What is the camp’s counselor-to-camper ratio? How does the camp approach communication with parents? What are its emergency procedures? How well-maintained are its facilities? These are all questions parents should ask their top choices. Also, ask if the camp is accredited, and if not, why not. Accreditation is an entirely voluntary process that shows a commitment to your child’s safety and well-being, Smith says. Lastly, get excited about camp—and make sure to share that excitement with your child. Talk about all the fun things he will do and the things he will learn. “The greatest gift you can give your child is helping them become independent,” says Smith. “The camp experience is a great way to do that. … It’s a good way to grow that resilience and that independence, as well as provide them with enrichment opportunities.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION Camp H2O at the Georgia Aquarium 404-581-4000 Camp Kingfisher: Chattahoochee Nature Center 770-992-2055, ext.222 CEISMC: Georgia Institute of Technology 404-894-0777 Club Scientific 800-379-8302 Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation 770-822-8840 High Meadows Camp 770-993-7975 McGinnis Woods Country Day School 770-664-7764

Strong Foundations for Life counTrY Brook MonTeSSori School 2175 N. Norcross-Tucker Rd Norcross, GA 30071 770-446-2397

Schedule Your Tour TodaY! Covered BridGe MonTeSSori School 3941 Covered Bridge Place & 488 Hurt Road Smyrna, GA 30082 770-434-3181 AMS AffiliAted • GAC ACCredited

Serving Toddler, Primary & Elementary Levels (14 months - 9 years) | NewcomerMagazine Magazine ||23 | Newcomer 23




GWINNETT COUNTY PARKS & RECREATION Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation offers a multitude of adventures this summer for kids ages 4 to 13. Top-notch facilities, super staff, and a low counselor-to-camper ratio provide safe, enriching environments. This summer’s camp themes are:

There are many excellent summer camps available to metro Atlanta campers, offering everything from traditional outdoor fun to academics and creative pursuits. The following profiles represent just a few of the exciting and inspiring options open to your child this summer. For additional information on the camps listed below, including location, age ranges, cost and more, turn to the “Beyond the Basics” chart on page 27. COUNTRY BROOK MONTESSORI AND COVERED BRIDGE MONTESSORI Summer programs at Country Brook (Norcross) and Covered Bridge (Smyrna) Montessori Schools are divided into fun and exciting two-week sessions, giving parents the opportunity to enroll their children into the sessions that best meet their scheduling needs. This flexible program allows for stress-free planning of vacations and holidays, while knowing that a space is being held in a familiar and fun Montessori program when you need it! Themed sessions take place in a Montessori environment where the goal is to encourage development of the “whole” child. Academics, social and emotional development skills, physical activity and more are all part of the child’s balanced day at Country Brook and Covered Bridge Montessori Schools. For more information on Country Brook Montessori, please call 770-4462397 or visit For information on Covered Bridge Montessori, please call 770-434-3181 or visit 24 | Newcomer Magazine


Behind the Mask: Bring your super powers and your super costumes, but remember: With great power comes great responsibility! Everyone’s a superhero this week! Destination Imagination: Explore the world! Visit a different country each day with cultural games and projects—all without the hassle of a passport and jet lag! Boom Fizz Bang! This is a week to mix and pour, to bubble and ooze, to trickle and drip, with the experiments you choose! H2-Oh! Water balloons, water slides, water games and races will keep kids splashing around for a week of H2O fun! Into the Wild: An interactive week of exploring all that nature has to offer! Find adventure in every corner with scavenger hunts, hikes, tracking down wildlife and more! Let the Games Begin! Get ready for a week of nonstop action as kids challenge each other to be the best that they can be. Ready, set, go! Time Travelers: Celebrate a different era in time each and every day! Enjoy this blast from the past! Day camps start at an affordable $125 per week. (Higher fees for non-Gwinnett resident may apply.) For more information, call 770-822-8840 or visit


PHOTO: (Top Right) Courtesy of Atlanta Girls’ School.

High Meadows Camp offers a traditional outdoor day program with unique facilities on more than 40 acres of meadow and woodland in Roswell, Ga. Campers ages 3 to 14 learn about themselves and the world around them, are encouraged to try new experiences, and build lifelong relationships. High Meadows campers are arranged in groups by age level. Each group generally consists of 12 to 15 campers and two counselors. As campers’ age levels increase, so do their opportunities to exercise responsibility and decision-making skills. Ants (preschoolers) participate in a half-day program that includes pony rides, nature, crafts, introductory swim and playground time. Grasshoppers (rising kindergarteners) enjoy a full day of camp featuring a variety of age- and skill-appropriate activities. Juniors (rising first- and second-graders) spend the majority of their day outdoors, while Super Seniors (rising third- and fourth-graders) make their home in rustic, outdoor shelters and participate in additional activities including archery and woodworking. Seniors may choose to take part in the Knighthood program, which features challenges and activities that hone their skills as they work to attain the elusive level of Knight. High Meadows Camp offers an exciting and challenging experience that will stay with your child for a lifetime. For more information, call 770-993-7975 or visit


Girls enrolled in SMART Girls Camp (grades 3 through 6) learn to be curious and confident young mathematicians, scientists and artists. Students learn important math, science, technology and/or creative writing skills through eye-opening experiments and hands-on research. Campers also participate in art, drama and/or puppetry workshops, designed to inspire creative thinking and build confidence. Girls enrolled in SMARTER Girls Camp (for grades 7 through 9) cross the bridge from simple talk about STEAM programs to actual steps toward pre-engineering fun! Campers will truly turn their minds on through interactive work, and will also learn leadership skills. SMART Girls Summer Camp offers two one-week sessions, June 1-5 and June 8-12. SMARTER Girls is offered the week of June 8-12. For more information or to register, visit



Come enjoy the weeks of summer at Midtown International School’s weekly STEAM camps. Campers explore real-world scenarios with a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) focus. Weekly camps offered include Rocketry 101, Garden Greens, Egyptology, Science Engineering, Brain Science, Biodiversity, Volcanoes and Plate Tectonics, and Artificial Intelligence: Robots Unplugged. For more information, or to register for a weekly camp, please visit

Squirrel Hollow Camp, a remedial summer program of The Bedford School, serves children with academic needs due to learning differences, or any students who need an academic boost. Between 40 and 50 students, ages 6 to 15, attend the two two-week day camps, held on The Bedford School’s beautiful 46-acre campus in Fairburn, Ga. Campers participate in an individualized academic program as well as recreational activities. Students receive instruction in reading, reading comprehension, writing skills and math through a variety of structured, multisensory techniques and materials. Tuition is $1,300 for one week and $2,500 for two, with a $100 discount per week if registered by April 15. For more information, call 770-774-8001 or visit u


www.newcomeratlanta.comNewcomer | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 25




Cool down with a field trip to the High Museum of Art for the museum’s Summer Art Excursion program. Students can take a walk on the wild side in the “I Love Animals” guided tour and art workshop, or they can explore design thinking in the “Be the Designer” guided tour and handson workshop. For more information or to register for a Summer Art Excursion, call 404-7334468 or visit

26 | Newcomer Magazine

The Rectory School, an independent boarding and day school located in beautiful Pomfret, Connecticut, offers a four-week summer program for boys and girls entering grades 5 through 9. Summer@Rectory offers a full day of morning classes and afternoon activities for both day and boarding students. The morning academic program offers choices that allow students to refresh their academic knowledge, improve their study skills, increase their English language proficiency, or explore new interests. The curriculum includes such subjects as Reading and Writing, Mathematics, Science, Life Skills, Arts and World Languages. The afternoon program includes an hourlong FOCUS program that lets students cultivate their interests outside the classroom. Students also participate in daily team competitions, including kickball, soccer, volleyball, broom hockey and other contests. Students earn points for their team throughout the fourweek program. Summer@Rectory also offers a variety of weekend activities at state parks, resorts, adventure parks and other fun spots. Trips scheduled for 2015 include the Southwick Zoo, Purgatory Chasm State Reservation, a Connecticut Tigers baseball game, and the Lake Compounce theme park. Attendance is mandatory for all boarding students; day students are welcome to participate, as well. For more information about Summer@Rectory, or to register, call the admissions office at 860-928-1328 or visit SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

PHOTOS:(Left) Courtesy of High Museum of Art; (Center) Zoo Atlanta; (Right) Courtesy of The Rectory School.

Zoo Atlanta’s Summer Safari Day Camp provides a fun and exciting opportunity to learn about animals and nature in a spectacular outdoor environment. A typical day at camp includes up-close animal encounters, arts and crafts, animal shows and feedings, keeper talks, educational videos and hands-on learning. Half-day camp sessions are available for children ranging from age 4 to first grade, and full-day camps are available for kids in kindergarten through eighth grade. For more information, call 404-624-5822 or visit

Beyond The Basics Summer Camp



Tuition/ Fees



CounselorCamper Ratio

Applicaton Deadline

Outdoor Activities


Country Brook and Covered Bridge Montessori Summer Programs

770-446-2397 (Country Brook); 770-434-3181 (Covered Bridge)

Norcross, Gwinnett County (Country Brook); Smyrna, Cobb County (Covered Bridge)

$400-$500 per 2-week session

May 26-July 31 (Country Brook); May 26-July 24 (Covered Bridge)

18 months-9 years (Country Brook); 14 months-9 years (Covered Bridge)





Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation Adventure Camps


Gwinnett County

Starting at $125/week

June 2–July 21






High Meadows Camp


Roswell, Fulton County

$900 (ants camp); $1,155 (day camp)

6/1-19; 6/22-7/10; 7/13-31

Pre-K-9th grade; 10th-11th grade

2:12-15 campers

Preregistration: 3/27



Midtown International School


Midtown Atlanta, Fulton County


June 1-July 31

Kindergarten through rising fifth grade





SMART and SMARTER Girls Summer Camp at Atlanta Girls’ School


Buckhead, Fulton County

$375 (1 week); $700 (2 weeks); $400 for SMARTER

June 1-5, June 8-12

Girls entering grades 3-9





Squirrel Hollow Camp


Fairburn, Fulton County

$1,300 for one week, $2,500 for two after April 15

June 15-26; June 29-July 10






Summer Art Excursions at the High Museum of Art


Midtown Atlanta, Fulton County

Call for information

June 9-July 31

PK-12th grade





Summer@Rectory at The Rectory School


Pomfret, Connecticut


June 29 – July 24

Grades 5-9





Zoo Atlanta Summer Safari Day Camp


Atlanta, Fulton County

$259-$350; call for more information

April 6-10; May 25-Aug. 14

4 years old to 8th grade


Friday of the week before camp begins



Victory World Christian School is a multicultural community of learners committed to Christian discipleship, academic excellence & world transformation. 1 Pre-K (4) through 5th grade elementary program 1 High curriculum standards & creative learning environments 1 Interactive technology in every classroom 1 Pick from 8 foreign languages to learn using Rosetta Stone

5905 Brook Hollow Parkway Norcross, Ga 30071 Ph: 678.684.2030 Fax: 678.684.2031


Newcomer Magazine | 27


The SAE School

A Project-Based Approach to Education By Rachael Mason


immy Arispe, Head of School at The SAE School, remembers very well what it’s like to be a student who needs to be engaged in a way that traditional public schools can’t fulfill. “I couldn’t sit still in school,” he says. “I had to tap things. I had to move around.” So when he and other parents got together in 2011 to discuss creating a different kind of school for their children, he drew on his own background as a public school student, determined to create the kind of school he might have appreciated. The result is The SAE School, an independent school in Mableton dedicated to providing a different educational experience for its students. The school operates on a year-round, 200-day calendar, with two-week breaks scheduled throughout the year. The goal is to prevent the academic regression that takes place over an extended break, and to keep teachers and students at peak performance throughout the year. “Sending kids away for 60 to 80 days during the summer isn’t good,” says Arispe of the school’s calendar. “They have to restart. The teachers have to restart.” In addition, the school’s curriculum focuses on project-based learning, a process in which teachers use projects, rather than textbooks, to teach concepts. That means teachers emphasize hands-on learning, rather than making students memorize facts. They also stay with a group of students for three years, following them to the next grade. The student creed includes the phrase “Dream and dream big,” Arispe says. “We help them understand they can do anything they want to do.” That includes potentially earning a black belt. “One of our unique components is martial arts,” Arispe says. Learning martial arts two to 28 | Newcomer Magazine |

three times a week keeps students active while also teaching self-discipline and self-control. “We expect them to master something,” he says. The school opened in August 2013, with a little more than 100 students in preschool through eighth grade. At the start of the second year, about 250 kids were enrolled. The school added ninth grade for the 2014-2015 school year, and plans to expand to 12th grade, adding a grade level each year. Well into its second year of operation, The SAE School has met its enrollment and budget projections, and Arispe has been pleasantly surprised by the distance parents have been willing to travel to bring their kids to the school. Students were originally expected to come primarily from Smyrna and south Cobb County, but some parents travel a half-hour or more to drop off their children. Of course, that’s far from the only feedback the school receives. Monthly meetings are set up for parents of students in each grade level. “Parents can come in to just talk and offer suggestions,” Arispe says. Classrooms at The SAE School include chairs that swivel and exercise balls as seating, so that students can move around as they work at their desks. They can also stand up at counters or easels. “We’ve created a really different kind of environment where you can be a kid,” Arispe says. “Guess what? You can have fun learning.” N

The Specifics Grades: Pre-K-9 Student/Teacher Ratio: 8:1 Tuition: $8,000-$12,000 Location: Mableton

Contact: 6688 Mableton Parkway Mableton, GA 30126 678-239-3200 Web: | Newcomer Magazine | 29

Atlanta’s TOP 20 In Your New City By Anna Bentley

Welcome to Atlanta! By now, you’ve probably realized that your new hometown has something for everyone: art lovers, history buffs, sports fanatics … even whale shark enthusiasts. While there are dozens of sights to take in and places to explore, we’ve narrowed down 20 of the city’s must-see picks. 30 Magazine | 30 || Newcomer Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTOS: (Left) ©2015, Kevin C. Rose/

Attractions The Must-See Sites and Stops

LEFT PAGE: (Left) Turner Field; (Right) Six Flags Over Georgia. RIGHT PAGE: (Top) The High Museum of Art; (Inset) The Georgia Aquarium.


was born; Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he began preaching at age 19; the King Center, where Dr. King and his wife Coretta Scott King are buried; the Peace Plaza, home of the “I Have A Dream” World Peace Rose Garden; and the Visitor’s Center. 404-331-5190,

Atlanta History Center Everything you need to know about the history of Atlanta can be found here. Permanent exhibits detail the Civil War, Southern folk arts, Atlanta’s hosting of the 1996 Summer Olympics and more. The center also operates three historic houses, including the famed Swan House, which recently appeared in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. 404-814-4000,

Woodruff Arts Center This Midtown Atlanta campus is the city’s foremost temple to the visual and performing arts. The High Museum of Art is the Southeast’s leading art museum, with more than 14,000 paintings, sculptures and artifacts in its permanent collection. TheTony Award-winning Alliance Theatre is known for launching Broadway shows and ambitious world premieres. And Symphony Hall is home to the Grammy Award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. 404-733-5000,

Fox Theatre

PHOTO: (Top) Photo Courtesy of High Museum of Art.

There’s nothing like catching a show at the Fox. Whether it’s a concert, movie screening or Broadway play, everything looks more special under the Fabulous Fox’s twinkling night sky. The Fox hosts guided, behind-the-scenes tours two to three days per week that highlight 10 of the theatre’s special features, including Mighty Mo, the world’s largest working Moller organ. 404-881-2100,

Margaret Mitchell House Though Margaret Mitchell might have called it “the Dump,” the apartment where she wrote “Gone With the Wind” is now a popular literary attraction. Guided tours are offered daily, and the Margaret Mitchell House also offers special exhibits on the making of the Gone With the Wind movie, its 1939 premiere at the Fox Theatre, and Mitchell’s life and writings. 404-249-7015,

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site This can’t-miss attraction showcases significant landmarks of the civil rights movement and the history of both Atlanta and the nation. It’s actually made up of five sites: the home on Auburn Avenue where Dr. King

KID-FRIENDLY PICKS Children’s Museum of Atlanta This downtown destination stimulates the imagination and encourages a sense of discovery with interactive exhibits that let kids experience life on a farm, create works of art, engage in creative problem-solving, and more. 404-659-5437,

Fernbank Museum of Natural History There are a lot of cool things about the Fernbank Museum: the striking dinosaur skeletons in the grand lobby; the fossils embedded in the limestone floors; the twinkling constellations in the Star Gallery. A recently announced expansion of the museum will add a 75-acre forest with immersive trails, play areas and sensory stations. 404-929-6300, u | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 31 | Newcomer

Taste flavors from all over the globe at the World of Coca-Cola.

This popular spot was billed as the world’s largest aquarium when it opened in 2005, and it’s only grown since. The aquarium is the home of more than 100,000 animals, with hundreds of species including sharks, beluga whales, sea otters, dolphins, penguins, sea turtles and many more. The dolphins even star in their own musical show. In addition to its themed galleries, the aquarium offers visitors unique experiences like behind-the-scenes tours, penguin encounters and even diving with whale sharks. 404-581-4000,

PARKS AND RECREATION Atlanta Botanical Garden Just off Piedmont Park, the Botanical Garden is devoted to developing and maintaining an impressive collection of plants for education, research, conservation and enjoyment. Must-see areas include the Fuqua Orchid Center (the nation’s largest collection of orchids under glass), the Kendeda Canopy Walk above the Storza Woods, and the elegant Rose Garden. 404-876-5859,

Six Flags Over Georgia

Oakland Cemetery

Families and thrill-seekers alike have been coming to this Austell theme park for nearly 50 years to ride roller coasters like the Georgia Cyclone, Great American Scream Machine and Mind Bender. In 2015, the theme park will add two rides: The Joker Chaos Coaster and Harley Quinn Spinsanity. 770-739-3400,

It might seem like an odd pick, but Oakland Cemetery, a Southern example of the garden cemeteries popular in the mid to late 1800s, is one of the city’s most peaceful green spaces. More than 1,400 trees dot its 48 acres, and heirloom daffodils, garden mums, irises and evergreens can be enjoyed throughout the year. Take a self-guided stroll or opt for one of the cemetery’s popular guided tours, highlighting its most famous residents. 404-688-2107,

World of Coca-Cola It’s only fitting that the World of Coca-Cola is located in Pemberton Park, a downtown plaza boasting some of the city’s top attractions: It’s named after John S. Pemberton, the inventor of Coca-Cola. The World of Coca-Cola celebrates Pemberton’s invention with exhibits about the soft drink brand’s history, memorable advertising campaigns and global reach. There’s even a Taste It! room where you can sample Coca-Cola sodas from around the world, including Italy’s bitter Beverly and the rarest of Fantas. 404-6765151,

Zoo Atlanta Ever wanted to feed a giraffe? Meet an African elephant? How about spy on a giant panda cub? You’re in luck: Zoo Atlanta offers all of these experiences, plus wildlife shows, keeper training demonstrations and more than 200 species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals on display. Don’t miss the giant pandas, Lun Lun and Yang Yang, and their twins. The zoo also offers educational summer camps and NightCrawler overnight adventures for kids and families. 404-624-9453, | 32 || Newcomer NewcomerMagazine Magazine |

Piedmont Park Every city has its hallowed ground, and Piedmont Park is Atlanta’s. This sprawling, 189-acre oasis in the Midtown neighborhood is one of the city’s most popular gathering spaces, and is the site of numerous festivals, concerts and other special events. Piedmont Park also features tennis courts, softball and soccer fields, volleyball courts and an aquatic center. The city’s premier greenspace, it’s a top spot for joggers, swimmers, sunbathers, and anyone in need of fresh air. 404-875-7275,

Stone Mountain Park Located just east of the city, this is the perfect spot to spend the day hiking—and the night enjoying a laser show on an 825-foot stone mountainside. Stone Mountain is known for its Civil War memorial carving of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, and also offers fishing, golf, plenty of hiking and numerous festivals throughout the year. 800-401-2407,

PHOTOS: (Left) ©2015, Kevin C. Rose/; (Right) Courtesy of the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Georgia Aquarium

The Atlanta Botanical Garden.

SPOTS FOR SPORTS NUTS College Football Hall of Fame The College Football Hall of Fame moved from its original home in South Bend, Indiana, to downtown Atlanta last year. New for the museum is the Fan Experience, which adds tons of interactive multimedia features— plus a giant Helmet Wall, with helmets from more than 700 college football teams. 404-880-4800,

Turner Field From the months of April through October, Turner Field is the home of the Atlanta Braves, the city’s Major League Baseball team. In 2014, the Braves announced a move to a new stadium currently being built in Cobb County, but until 2017, Turner Field is the only place to go for big-league catches, hammered home runs and the best hot dogs in town. 404-522-7630,

BREATHTAKING VIEWS SkyView Atlanta One of downtown Atlanta’s newest attractions, the 20-story SkyView Ferris wheel gives visitors spectacular skyline views, day and night. Fifteenminute trips let you take four rotations on the wheel’s climate-controlled gondolas; VIP gondolas boast leather seats and a glass floor. And it’s located just off Centennial Park, making it a great way to start or finish a day of downtown exploration. 678-949-9023,

Sun Dial Restaurant Located atop the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in downtown Atlanta, this popular spot for marriage proposals takes “a table with a view” to an entirely new level. The Sun Dial is a three-story rotating restaurant, offering diners spectacular panoramic views of Atlanta’s skyline. The upscale restaurant features contemporary American cuisine, a cocktail lounge, an observatory view level and live jazz. 404-589-7506,

5 MORE PLACES WORTH EXPLORING ATLANTA CYCLORAMA Located next to Zoo Atlanta, the Cyclorama features a rotating, 360-degree depiction of the Battle of Atlanta, an important Civil War skirmish. 404-658-7625,

PHOTO: © Albert Vecerka-Esto & Rockwell Group.

CNN CENTER Take a tour of the 24-hour news giant’s Atlanta studios, including the set of “Morning Express With Robin Meade.” 404-827-2300, GONE WITH THE WIND MUSEUM A fascinating shrine to the classic novel and film, with movie memorabilia, some of Margaret Mitchell’s personal volumes of the book, and much more. 770-794-5576, INTERACTIVE NEIGHBORHOOD FOR KIDS Located in Gainesville, Ga., this unique attraction encourages hands-on learning as kids discover what it’s like to shop for groceries, go to the bank, and more. 770-536-1900, LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTER This 35,000-square-foot interactive playground features 15 attractions, including a 4D cinema, a LEGO factory tour, a Master Builder Academy and much more. 404-848-9252,


Civil and Human Rights Atlanta’s Newest Must-See Cultural Destination


he Center for Civil and Human Rights is an engaging cultural attraction in downtown Atlanta that connects the American civil rights movement to global human rights movements of today. The New York Times called the Center the “main event” in downtown Atlanta’s renaissance, due in part to its singular architectural design by world-renowned architect Phil Freelon. The Center fulfills its mission “to empower people to take the protection of every human’s rights personally” through its award-winning exhibitions. The interactive, surround-sound lunch counter exhibition allows visitors to place their palms on the counter to experience the threats the heroic sit-in protestors braved in Greensboro, North Carolina. The “Who Like Me” responsive mirrors allow visitors to stand faceto-face with an everyday individual from around the world to hear their personal accounts of injustice and discrimination. The Center serves as the exclusive public venue for the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection, displaying the personal papers and artifacts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Center also features the original work of world-renowned photographer Platon, whose striking photographic mural honors activists from the U.S., Egypt and Burma. In the lobby, visitors are welcomed by designer Paula Scher’s vibrant mural, a collage of global protests through the years united by the central illustration of a single upraised hand for hope and freedom. Conveniently located next to the World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium at Pemberton Place, the Center for Civil and Human Rights is the new must-see destination in Atlanta for all generations. For more details, hours, and ticket information, call 678-999-8990 or visit | Newcomer | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 33


These destinations offer plenty of opportunities for mountain biking, hiking, and other activities.




Thrilling Destinations Just a Short Drive Away Now that you’ve completed the adventure of moving to your new city, you’re probably ready for an all-new adventure that’s less stressful, but just as rewarding. Fortunately, there are numerous adventure-filled vacations within an easy drive of Atlanta. From whitewater rafting in the Smokies to hiking in the Okefenokee Swamp, one-of-a-kind opportunities abound. By Tony Jenkins and Susan Flowers

Upcountry, South Carolina 800-849-4766, “The Upcountry” is a term used for a region of 10 counties in the northwest corner of South Carolina. Little more than two hours northeast from Atlanta, it’s perfect for an adventure-filled day trip or long weekend. The region’s most singular feature would have to be its waterfalls—more than 120 of

them, to be exact. Some are easily accessible, such as Reedy River Falls and Wildcat Falls, while others, like Rainbow Falls and Raven Cliff Falls, are perfect for serious hikers looking for more of a challenge. The 85,000-acre Andrew Pickens District of the Sumter National Forest is also ripe for exploration, whether you choose to do so on foot, bike, or horseback. And if you’re into water

34 | Newcomer Magazine |

activities, there’s the Chattooga National Wild & Scenic River, which offers rafting, canoeing, kayaking and trout fishing, as well as three major lakes—Hartwell, Keowee and Jocassee— popular for boating, fishing and SCUBA diving.

Sevierville, Tennessee 888-738-4378, Known as the birthplace of Dolly Parton, Se-

Whether you’re into fishing or whitewater rafting, adventures await a short drive from Atlanta.

PHOTO: (Bottom Right) Art Webster, USFWS.

Reedy River Falls in Upcountry, South Carolina.

vierville is a picturesque getaway less than four hours from downtown Atlanta. The area offers an abundance of activities for adventure-seekers and nature-lovers, including fishing, camping and canoeing at Douglas Lake; sparkling formations, grottos and a crystal-clear stream in the Forbidden Caverns; and rafting tours through the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. The town is only minutes away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is free to enter and is America’s most visited national park. With more than 800 miles of maintained trails, it’s a hiker’s heaven. Whether you’re looking for a strenuous all-day or overnight hike or something quick and easy, you’ll find it here, along with sights that are best experienced rather than described. Looking to add even more thrills to your getaway? Consider a visit to one of several zip-lining companies in Sevierville, where you can enjoy breathtaking mountain views as you zip along, hundreds of feet above the trees and streams. You can even challenge your family and friends on dual racing zip lines, or try some night zipping under the stars.

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge 912-496-7836, www.fws.gpv/refuge/okefenokee The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, only a five-hour drive from Atlanta, is an adventure-lover’s paradise. The Okefenokee was established in 1937 to conserve the Okefenokee Swamp, which is thought to be 6,000 to 8,000 years old and is teeming

A gator at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

with amphibians, fish, mammals, reptiles and birds—and a few larger animals as well. Paddle your canoe through the swamp and you might glimpse an alligator or a bear. Of course, wilderness canoeing is an experience best reserved for those who can take on a challenge, so come prepared for strenuous paddling or pushing canoes at some points. Visitors may also be subjected to extreme temperatures and precipitation. Canoers can camp at any of nine designated campsites located throughout the refuge. If you’re looking for something less taxing, guided boat tours are available, including a 90-minute trip through the Suwannee Canal and Chesser Prairie. You can also arrange for an extended or overnight excursion. Hikers can enjoy eight different trails. Take in nature’s wonders as you observe birds and other wildlife in their natural habitat, and enjoy plant life that surrounds you at every step. Walk the Upland Discovery Trail and take advantage of your chance to photograph a colony of redcockaded woodpeckers, or immerse yourself in the forests of the 4-mile Long Leaf Interpretive Trail. You may also enjoy cycling on the swamp’s paved roads, although bicycles are not permitted on hiking trails.

Huntsville, Alabama 800-843-0468, Huntsville, Alabama—less than four hours northwest of Atlanta—may be known for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, but that’s not the only attraction for those seeking an out-of-this world adventure. Whether you | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 35 | Newcomer

want to kayak along the Flint River or explore underground caverns, Huntsville has the right getaway for you. Just minutes from downtown, the Land Trust of North Alabama offers more than 30 miles of public trails for hiking, biking, bird watching or picnicking at one of three mountains; Wade Mountain, Blevins Gap and Monte Sano. The Monte Sano State Park has 14 miles of hiking/biking trails, including those geared toward serious hikers and bikers who don’t mind adventuring amongst exotic plants and wildlife. The Hays Nature Preserve and the Goldsmith Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary offer more than 10 miles of trails perfect for hiking or mountain biking. For a change of pace, there’s Cathedral Caverns. Just a 20-minute drive from Huntsville, it offers a breathtaking look at nature’s wonders, with 14 acres of underground caverns for amateur spelunkers to explore. Among the sights are the 45-foot Goliath stalagmite column, the Frozen Waterfall and the 126-foot entrance. Other fun activities include nature trails, a climbing wall and gemstone mining. Tent camping facilities are available within Cathedral Caverns State Park as well.

Hernando County

Kayaking on the Weeki Wachee River.

amed for the explorer Hernando de Soto, Hernando County, Florida, offers a wealth of opportunities to explore just six hours from Atlanta. Known as “Florida’s Nature Coast,” the region boasts more than 107,000 acres set aside for recreational use. Campers can pitch a tent under the stars in the Withlacoochee State Forest, while hikers and runners can enjoy a wide network of trails. Biking enthusiasts can take advantage of options including the 46-mile Withlacoochee State Trail and a 55-mile, all-terrain mountain bike trail in the Withlacoochee State Forest. Visitors can also paddle along the Weeki Wachee River, observe birds and wildlife at the Weekiwachee Preserve and Chinsegut Conservation Center, and ride horses along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, among other attractions. And no visit would be complete without a stop at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. This 538-acre park features canoeing and kayaking, a riverboat cruise and a live mermaid show that has entranced visitors for more than 65 years. For more information on Hernando County, call 844-435-7368 or visit 36 || Newcomer NewcomerMagazine Magazine | |

PHOTO: Hernando County Tourism Bureau.


Exploring “Florida’s Nature Coast”

38 40 47




Patrick Killam, Publisher 770.992.0273 Office 770.649.7463 Fax

ad Size:


issue: december/January 08

Full Page 8.375"x 10.875" HalF Page Horizontal 7.375"x 4.812" HalF Page Vertical 3.5625"x 9.875"

Mass Transit

One way to avoid long commutes is to take advantage of the city’s local transit system, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). Offering both train and bus service, MARTA is a convenient way to travel to downtown or the airport. The fee for traveling one way is $2.00 including transfers, and payment is even easier now with the Breeze limited-use and extendeduse cards. Weekly and monthly passes can be obtained at discounted rates. For fares, schedule and route information call 404848-5000 or visit

38 | Newcomer Magazine |

tHird Page Vertical 2.375"x 9.875"

Vehicle Emission Inspection Vehicles dating from 1985 through 2006 model year must be checked each year for emission standard compliance. Visit a statedesignated inspection station for the service. Call 800-449-2471 or visit

Driving Tips tHird Page Horizontal 4.75"x 4.812"

FourtH Page Vertical 3.5625"x 4.812"

SixtH Page Vertical 2.375"x 4.812"

MARTA Rail Service

ProoF SH

The Georgia DOT provides daily updates of road work, road closings and traffic delays, which are helpful when commuting. Updates can be obtained by calling (toll free) 1-877-694-2511, by dialing 511, or by visiting | Newcomer Magazine | 39

COUNTY INFORMATION EDUCATION public schools Cherokee County Schools Board of Education 770-479-1871

Cherokee County QUICK INFO

Elementary Schools 22 Middle Schools 7 Intermediate Schools 1 High Schools 6 Alternative 1 Evening 1 Per-pupil expenditures $8,578 School & bus information: 770-720-2112

County Neighborhoods Schools

pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS HOME SERVICES Cobb Energy (Electricity, Security, Telephone and Satellite TV) 770-429-2222 Electricity 706-276-2362 Amicalola EMC Cobb EMC 770-429-2100 Georgia Power 888-660-5890 770-887-2363

Sawnee EMC

Gas Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit Telephone AT&T 888-436-8638 ETC Communications 678-454-1212 TDS Telecom-Nelson 770-735-2000 Ball Ground Windstream 800-501-1754 Water Cherokee County Water Authority City of Ball Ground City of Canton City of Waleska

770-479-1813 770-735-2123 770-704-1500 770-479-2912

City of Woodstock


Cable TV Charter Communications 888-438-2427 Comcast 404-266-2278 ETC Communications


Hospitals Northside Hospital-Cherokee 770-720-5100 Wellstar Kennestone Hospital 770-793-5000

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Avg. SAT Scores Cherokee Co. 1560 Georgia 1460 National 1509

Median household income: $63,518 Median age of residents: 34 Population: 210,529 Sales tax: 6% Chamber of Commerce Cherokee County 770-345-0400, Property Taxes Per $1,000 of assessed value is: Unincorporated Cherokee County, $26.80; Incorporated Cherokee County, $24.06. Tax Commissioner: 678-493-6400

Cagle Dairy Farm, Canton

Located northwest of Atlanta, Cherokee County gets its name from the original inhabitants of the area, the Cherokee Indians. The county seat, then called Etowah, was established in 1833 and renamed Canton in 1834. Today, the city is enjoying its greatest economic boom in its history since more than $60 million was invested in residential and commercial development in 1998. Despite developing its own industrial base, Cherokee County remains idyllic and serene. Farming, especially poultry processing, remains a leading industry. Canton and the neighboring community of Woodstock have seen tremendous growth as subdivisions crop up to accommodate newcomers. In fact, nearly 60 percent of the county’s population are commuters. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median value of homes in 2006 was $194,900. Homes for well over $1 million can be purchased in such neighborhoods as Bradshaw Farms, Bridge Mill and Town Lake Hills. Interstate 575 and Ga. Highway 92 traverse the county, affording residents easy access to Atlanta and the nearby attractions of Town Center Mall, Lake Allatoona and the North Georgia Mountains. Other great places to live,

40 | Newcomer Magazine |

Ridge Mountains and along the banks of the Etowah River, Canton is prime location for development.


work and play in Cherokee County include the cities of Ball Ground, Holly Springs and Waleska.


Canton Canton was incorporated in 1833 and renamed in 1834 at the request of two founding fathers who had visions that the town might become a silk center similar to what existed in Canton, China. Canton did become famous for its “Canton Denim,” known worldwide for the high-quality denim produced by Canton Cotton Mills. Today, Canton is attracting new industry and residents. As a result, the city is re-investing in its downtown. As part of its “Streetscapes” program, downtown Canton will be restored to its historic look and features a newly designed theater on Main Street. Located at the foothills of the Blue

Twelve miles south of Canton, Woodstock is the fastest-growing city in Cherokee County. With a growth rate of 70 percent over the past 10 years, the city has doubled in size. Residents enjoy easy access to Interstate 575 and Ga. Highway 92, allowing short commutes to Cobb and Fulton counties. While affording convenience to big-city attractions, Woodstock still maintains its small-town appeal. Buildings dating back to 1879 characterize the downtown, where antique and other specialty shops are located. Various golf courses are located in Woodstock, including Arnold Palmer’s Eagle Watch, a course with wooded countryside views that is considered to be one of the top places to play in Atlanta. The 11,860-acre Lake Allatoona provides additional recreation. Woodstock is also convenient to more than 13 state parks. N For more counties and neighborhood information, visit our Web site at | Newcomer Magazine | 41


pUBLIC schools Cobb County Schools Board of Education 770-426-3300 Elementary Schools 71 25 Middle Schools High Schools 16 Magnet 6 Charter 6 Special 4 Per-pupil expenditures $8,816 770-422-3500

Elementary Schools 7 Middle Schools 1 1 High Schools Sixth-Grade 1 Magnet 1 Per-pupil expenditures $9,061 School and bus information 678-594-8000 Avg. SAT Scores

Cobb Co. 1534 Marietta City 1514 Georgia 1460 National 1509 pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS HOME SERVICES Cobb Energy (Electricity, Security, Telephone and Satellite TV) 770-429-2222 ELECTRICITY Acworth Power 770-974-5233 770-429-2100 Cobb EMC Georgia Power 888-660-5890 770-942-6576 GreyStone Power Corp. Marietta Power/ Columbia Energy 770-794-5100 GAS Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit TELEPHONE AT&T 888-436-8638 Comcast 404-266-2278 MCI Worldcom 770-541-7235 Outside Georgia 800-356-3094 WATER Austell Water Cobb County Water Systems Marietta Water Powder Springs Water Smyrna Water

770-944-4300 770-423-1000 770-794-5100 770-943-8000 770-319-5338

CABLE TV Bellsouth Multimedia 770-360-5000 Charter Communications 888-438-2427 Comcast 404-266-2278 HOSPITALS Emory Adventist Hospital 770-434-0710 WellStar Cobb Hospital 770-732-4000 WellStar Kennestone Hospital 770-793-5000 WellStar Windy Hill Hospital 770-644-1000

White Water

Cobb County

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Marietta City Schools Board of Education



One of Family Circle magaCobb County came into zine’s “Ten Best Towns for Famibeing in 1832 when the state lies,” Kennesaw takes pride in its County redistributed land once part small-town atmosphere and boasts Neighborhoods of the Cherokee Nation. abundant parks and green space, Named after Thomas exceptional recreational programs Welch Cobb, the county and top-notch schools, includ experienced a devastating ing Kennesaw State University. Kennesaw’s Historic Downtown setback during the Civil War when most of it was features shopping, dining and atSchools destroyed during the Battle tractions such as the Smithsonian at Kennesaw Mountain. affiliated Southern Museum of Median household income: $65,123 Today, Cobb County, Civil War and Locomotive History, Median age of residents: 35 located north of Fulton the Smith-Gilbert Arboretum and Population: 698,158 County, is one of the fastnearby Kennesaw Mountain NaSales tax: 6% est-growing counties in the tional Battlefield Park. Chamber of Commerce nation. With a diverse ecoCobb County nomic base that includes 770-980-2000, Rapidly defining what’s new jobs in the service, retail, Property Taxes and progressive in quality of life aerospace and technology The property tax is $28.75 per $1,000 of assessed and citizen services, Smyrna sectors, Cobb County ofvalue. Tax Commissioner: 770-980-2000 delivers an amazing sense of style fers a quality of life unsurand love of life. The new Market passed in the Southeast. More than $770 million has been spent luxury apartments and condos near Village, home to fabulous restaurants, on transportation improvements in Cumberland Mall, secluded sub- bars and upscale shops and services, recent years, allowing residents easy divisions in East Cobb and horse is the final piece of a master plan for access to Atlanta and the commer- ranches in the northwest corner success. Call it “Main Street USA” or cial districts of Vinings Overlook, of the county. The small towns of “Disneyland,” but don’t overlook its Cumberland Parkway and the pres- Marietta, Vinings, Smyrna and Aus- charm and ability to offer the best in tigious “Platinum Triangle” in the tell still retain their Southern charm fresh, trendy lifestyle options. N Galleria area. amidst urban settings. According to For more counties and neighborhood A variety of housing options the Census Bureau, the median valinformation, visit our Web site at exist in Cobb County, including ue of homes in 2006 was $205,200.

42 | Newcomer Magazine |




DeKalb County

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Located east of Fulton County, DeKalb County is the second largest county in the state with a population of about 705,000. DeKalb County contributes to Atlanta’s status as an “ international city” with its businesses and residences representing more than 30 different countries and 120 languages.


Decatur The county seat of DeKalb, Decatur is a charming historic city known for its recreation and pedestrian-friendly streets. Its beating heart

The square is also home to some beautiful public art, and hosts numerous festivals, town celebrations and neighborhood events. Decatur is home to a diverse population, attracting young professionals, families, retirees and bright young college students—the city is home to the prestigious women’s university Agnes Scott College, and world-renowned Emory University is just outside the city limits. Older brick homes, smaller bungalows and cottage homes distinguish the community and the surrounding neighborhoods of Avondale Estates, Oakhurst and Candler Park.


Emory University


DeKalb County prosCounty pers in part due to its exNeighborhoods cellent transportation sys- tem. Five major road ar- teries traverse the county: Interstates 20, 85, 285, 675 and US Highway 78. Schools Hartsfield-Jackson Inter national Airport is only six miles from DeKalb’s Median household income: $51,753 southern border and the Median age of residents: 35 Population: 739,956 DeKalb Peachtree AirSales tax: 7% port, a general aviation field, is reported to be Chamber of Commerce DeKalb County the second busiest air404-378-8000, port in Georgia. DeKalb County is also a leader in Property Taxes the biomedical commu- The property tax rate is $41.50 per $1,000 for unincorporated DeKalb County. Tax Commissioner: nity with The Center for 404-298-4000 Disease Control headis the Courthouse Square, which quartered there. The median value of homes in features an eclectic mix of store2006, according to the Census Bu- front boutiques and shops, restaurants and entertainment options. reau, was $190,100.

In the northern corner of the county is Dunwoody, a popular neighborhood among established professionals and young, upwardly mobile professionals raising families. It is often referred to as the “tennis set” neighborhood because of its numerous recreational outlets that include Lynwood Park and Recreation Center, as well as Blackburn Park and Tennis Center. Cultural attractions include the Dunwoody Nature Center and the Spruill Gallery. A variety of housing is available in Dunwoody, including apartments, townhomes, ranch-style homes, bungalows and mini-mansions with manicured lawns. Nearby Perimeter Mall provides shopping, dining and family entertainment. With its proximity to all major expressways and North Fulton’s booming business opportunities, Dunwoody is a hotspot for families. N For more counties and neighborhood information, visit our Web site at

EDUCATION pUBLIC schools DeKalb County Schools Board of Education 678-676-1200 Elementary Schools 83 Middle Schools 20 High Schools 20 Per-pupil expenditures $9,896 School & bus information 678-676-1300 City Schools of Decatur Board of Education


1 Early Learning Elementary Schools 4 Middle Schools 1 High Schools 1 Per-pupil expenditures $13,444 School & bus information 404-370-8737 Avg. SAT Scores DeKalb Co. 1334 City of Decatur 1577 Georgia 1460 National 1509 pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS Electricity Georgia Power


Snapping Shoals EMC


Walton EMC


Gas Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit Telephone AT&T



404-780-2355 Water

DeKalb County Water System 770-621-7200 Cable TV Charter Communication


Comcast Cablevision


Hospitals Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston


DeKalb Medical Center


Emory University Hospital


Piedmont Hospital and Medical Care Center

404-605-5000 | Newcomer Magazine | 43


pUBLIC schools Fulton County Schools Board of Education 404-768-3600 Elementary Schools 58 Middle Schools 19 High Schools 17 Charter 8 Centers 4 Per-pupil expenditures $9,561 404-802-3500

Elementary Schools 52 14 Middle Schools High Schools 20 Charter 15 Alternative 6 Per-pupil expenditures: $13,069 School & bus information: 404-802-5500 Avg. SAT Scores Fulton Co. 1567 Georgia 1452 National 1498 pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS Electricity City of College Park 404-669-3759 City of East Point 404-270-7010 City of Fairburn 770-964-3481 City of Palmetto 770-463-3322 Georgia Power 888-660-5890 Gas Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit Telephone AT&T 866-271-9724 Comcast 404-266-2278

Fulton County



Cable TV Charter Communications 887-906-9121 Comcast 404-266-2278 Hospitals Atlanta Medical Center 404-265-4000 Atlanta VA Medical Center 404-321-6111 Center for the Visually Impaired 404-875-9011 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding 404-785-9500 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite 404-785-5252 Emory University Hospital Midtown 404-778-2000 Grady Memorial Hospital 404-606-1000 North Fulton Regional Hospital 770-751-2500 Northside Hospital 404-851-8000 Piedmont Hospital 404-605-5000 Shepherd Center 404-352-2020 St. Joseph’s Hospital 678-843-7001

Fulton County serves as the center of the metro Atlanta area. With 90 percent of the city of Atlanta, including the state’s capital building, located within its borders, it sits at the hub of the area’s financial, transportation, retail, communications and cultural services. A number of Fortune 500 companies, including the Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines and UPS, are headquartered here. More than 970,000 people live in Fulton County, drawn by its convenience to Interstates 75, 85 and 285 and Georgia State Route 400. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median value of homes in the county is $246,200. Fulton is home to many of Atlanta’s signature neighborhoods, including its bustling downtown district. Older neighborhoods like Inman Park, Grant Park, Candler Park and Virginia-Highland offer affordable housing, pedestrianfriendly layouts and plentiful parks and recreational options. Midtown Atlanta is the heart of Atlanta’s cultural scene, with the Woodruff Arts Center (home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the High Museum of Art) and the historic Fox Theatre, as well as a host of art galleries. Midtown’s Piedmont Park, the city’s most popular green space, hosts many outdoor festivals and concerts.

filled with high-rises, upscale restaurants, the Governor’s Mansion, the historic Swan House and the Atlanta History Center. Buckhead is also an entertainment and dining hotspot. With more than 200 restaurants, bars shops and luxury hotels, the Buckhead area is a magnet for young professionals.

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development.

Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education

Fulton County

Downtown Atlanta skyline




Buckhead is “where old money lives and new money parties,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. With its mixture of mansions and uniquely styled homes, Buckhead is a favorite among architecture and history buffs. Convenient to Georgia 400, Interstate 85 and MARTA, it’s

44 | Newcomer Magazine |


One of metro Atlanta’s most vibrant and affluent cities, Alpharetta is home to approximately 62,000 residents, according to 2012 U.S. Census Bureau estimates. They're drawn to its mix of big-city vitality and small-town charm, as well as its many amenities and affordable housing options. Homes range Median household income: $57,664 from large apartment comMedian age of residents: 34 munities to elegant subPopulation: 977,773 Sales tax: 7%, Atlanta City: 8% divisions, with a median value of $324,300. Chamber of Commerce Alpharetta offers a vaGreater North Fulton 770-993-8806, riety of parks and outdoor Metro Atlanta attractions, including the 404-880-9000, Big Creek Greenway trail. South Fulton Shoppers flock to North 770-964-1984, Point Mall for a multiProperty Taxes tude of retail options. The The property tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value is: city’s historic downtown $44.12 for the City of Atlanta; $29.13 for incorporated area boasts an appealing Fulton County; $41.60 for unincorporated Fulton town square surrounded County; $33.75 for Johns Creek; $33.86 for Sandy by restaurants and shops. Springs. Tax Commissioner: 404-613-6100 The Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre hosts big-name The neighborhood also offers numerconcerts each summer. N ous antique stores, art galleries and For more counties and neighborhood mall shopping at Lenox Square and information, visit our Web site at Phipps Plaza..

County Neighborhoods Schools | Newcomer Magazine | 45

COUNTY INFORMATION pUBLIC schools Gwinnett County Schools Board of Education: 678-301-6000 Elementary Schools 72 Middle Schools 24 High Schools 20 Alternative 6 Open Campus 1 Per-pupil expenditures: $8,338 City Schools of Buford Board of Education:


Elementary Schools 1 Middle Schools 1 High Schools 1 Academy 1 Per-pupil expenditures $10,198 Avg. SAT Scores Gwinnett Co. 1526 City of Buford 1455 Georgia 1460 National 1509 pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS Electricity 770-945-6761 City of Buford City of Lawrenceville 770-963-2414 770-448-2122 City of Norcross Georgia Power 404-395-7611 Jackson EMC 770-963-6166 770-887-2363 Sawnee EMC 770-972-2917 Walton EMC Gas Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit


Telephone 888-436-8638

Water Buford 770-889-4600 Dacula 770-963-7451 678-376-6800 Gwinnett City Water Lawrenceville 770-963-2414 770-448-2122 Norcross Cable TV Bellsouth Multimedia 770-360-5000 Charter Communications


Comcast 404-266-2278 Hospitals Emory Eastside Medical Center


Joan Glancy Memorial Hospital 678-584-6800 Gwinnett Medical Center


Gwinnett Women’s Pavilion 678-312-4770 Summit Ridge Center for Behavorial Health 770-822-2200

Gwinnett County

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development


Some of Duluth’s neighborhoods include Edgewater Estates, Sweet Bottom Plantation, and Riverbrooke. Affluent estates with antebellum architecture can be found as well as apartment communities, older brick, ranch-style homes and subdivisions. Duluth still retains some of its original small-town businesses, along with chain businesses, many accessible by Ga. 400 and I-85.


Suwanee is named after the Shawnee Indians who settled here Mall of Georgia in the latter part of the 18th century. Following the official founding of Originally part of Georgia’s the city in 1837, Suwanee became Native American territory, Gwinnett a railroad stop along the Southern County was created by the State Railroad route. It remained a small Legislature in 1818 and named after country town well into the ’70s when Button Gwinnett, the third signer of construction of I-85 and U.S. 23 the Declaration of Independence and brought easy access to the region. a former state governor. Since then, Suwanee has exWhile the county was perienced tremendous once largely rural with small growth, from 2,000 resiCounty towns, country stores, farms dents in 1990 to more Neighborhoods and forests, today it is home to than 10,000 today. To more than 245 international help manage growth, companies and 450 high-tech the city has developed firms. With an average of 260 a comprehensive developSchools new professional and industrial ment plan that promotes companies relocating to the pedestrian-oriented deMedian household income: $64,005 county each year, attracting more velopment and mixedMedian age of residents: 33 than 6,000 new jobs, Gwinnett use zoning. Designated Population: 789,499 County remains in the top 10 a Tree City USA for more Sales tax: 6% ranking for growth nationwide. than 10 years, the city Chamber of Commerce The county supports many is committed to preserving Gwinnett County cultural events, restaurants 27 percent of its land as 770-232-3000, and shopping opportunities, green space. Property Taxes including the Mall of Georgia. Such foresight has The property tax in unincorporated Gwinnett Gwinnett County remains allowed Suwanee to retain County is $31.77 per $1,000 of assessed value. affordable for renters and first-time its old-fashioned charm Tax Commissioner: 770-822-8800. home buyers, many of whom find while providing contemhomes in the communities of Doraville, in Metro Atlanta and is home to porary convenience. Only 35 miles Lawrenceville and Snellville. The median some of the best golf courses and from downtown Atlanta, Suwanee is value of homes in 2006, according to private tennis clubs. There are close to big-city attractions, business numerous parks for recreation and districts and shopping. Many anthe Census Bureau, was $193,100. participatory sports, including tique shops and historic structures, Bunten Road Park and “Shorty” including several Victorian and reHowell Park. Two major malls, gional farm-style homes, are located Gwinnett Place and Northpoint, near downtown Suwanee. N are located near Duluth. The Southeastern Railway Museum, Amidst the pristine setting of which preserves and operates old For more counties and neighborhood Gwinnett County, Duluth has some railroad equipment, is a must-see information, visit our Web site at of the most exclusive neighborhoods for any railroad aficionado.




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upcoming EVENTS

Cinderella, Gwinnett Performing Arts Center The Northeast Atlanta Ballet brings the timeless fairy tale story to life. March 13-15, 888-929-7849,

I Love Lucy Live on Stage, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Travel back in time to 1952 as members of a studio audience awaiting the live filming of two episodes of the classic comedy “I Love Lucy.” March 13-15, 800-745-3000,

Snow White, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Theater & Concerts In the Mood, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre This 1940s revue features renditions of such classics as “Chattanooga Choo Choo” and “Moonlight Serenade,” performed by a 13-piece big band and six singer-dancers. Feb. 1, 800-745-3000,

Jerry Seinfeld, Fox Theatre The comedian and television personality performs. Feb. 6, 855-285-8499,

Snow White, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre The Atlanta Ballet Fellowship Ensemble brings the beloved children’s tale to life. Designed for ages 12 and under. Feb. 11-12, 404-893-3303,

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Fox Theatre

PHOTO: Kim Kenney

John Mellencamp, Fox Theatre

known for such hits as “This Love” and “Moves Like Jagger,” performs. Feb. 19, 800-733-5000,

The singer and songwriter known for such hits as “Jack and Diane” and “Pink Houses” performs. March 13, 855-285-8499,

Camino Real, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre The Atlanta Ballet stages a world premiere of this ballet based on the 1953 Tennessee Williams play of the same name. March 20-22, 404-892-3303,

An Evening With Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Fox Theatre

Tuck Everlasting, Alliance Theatre

The award-winning astrophysicist and author, host of the Fox program “Cosmos,” discusses science, exploration and the world as we know it. March 24, 855-285-8499,

A young girl who dreams of adventure meets a family with a fabulous secret in this wondrous world-premiere musical based on the acclaimed novel. Through Feb. 22, 404-733-5000,

Edward Foote, Alliance Theatre

The Alliance Theatre presents a world premiere billed as a Southern Gothic mystery, set against the backdrop of a small 1930s Appalachian community. March 27-April 19, 404-733-5000,

Billy Joel, Philips Arena The award-winning singer, pianist and composer, one of the best-selling recording artists of all time, performs songs from throughout his storied career. Feb. 28, 800-733-5000,

Exhibits & Events

Rigoletto, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Henry Winkler’s Personal Journey, Rialto Center for the Arts

The Atlanta Opera stages this new production of the classic opera by Giuseppe Verdi. Feb. 28

The actor and children’s book author discusses his Hank Zipzer books and his personal challenges living with dyslexia at this 9 a.m. event hosted by the Georgia branch of the International Dyslexia Association. Feb. 7, 404-413-9849,

Harry Connick, Jr., Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Legends, Philips Arena

The singer, pianist and actor performs songs from throughout his career. Feb. 16,

Witness awe-inspiring feats of strength and daring, and you may even see such mythical creatures as a unicorn and a woolly mammoth! The circus also lands at the Arena at Gwinnett Center, Feb. 19-March 1. Feb. 11-16, 800-733-5000,


Maroon 5, Philips Arena The Grammy Award-winning pop-rock group,

The President’s Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office, Booth Western Art Museum

48 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: © Eric Draper

The acclaimed African-American troupe performs. Feb. 11-15, 855-285-8499,

and March 3, 6, and 8, 404-881-8885,

Frida and Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting, High Museum of Art

The President’s Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office, Booth Western Art Museum

John Hunter Regatta, Lake Lanier Olympic Center

See rarely seen images from nine different White House photographers, stretching from the Kennedy years of the early 1960s to the Obama administration. Feb. 14-June 7,

You don’t have to know a coxswain from a canoe to enjoy the festivities as the best youth, high school and collegiate rowing teams compete in this 29th annual event in Gainesville, Ga. March 28,


Rose Glen Literary Festival, Sevierville, Tenn.

Suwanee SculpTour, Suwanee

Regional authors, including Will Harlan, Sam Venable, Bill Landry, Mike Maden and many others, discuss their work at this oneday event, held at the Sevierville Convention Center. Feb. 28,

Winter Arts Fair, Gainesville, Fla. Sample the works of more than 100 artists while enjoying continuous entertainment in a pedestrian-friendly environment. March 6-8,

Smoky Mountain Springfest, Sevierville, Tenn.

Downtown Suwanee’s walkable, outdoor public art experience returns with 15 new sculptures created by artists from across the country. Through March 2015,

Spring Chicken Festival, Gainesville Enjoy a parade, chicken cook-off and a “rehatch” market featuring recycled items. This event is a fundraiser for Keep Hall Beautiful and Main Street Gainesville. Late April,

Bodies the Exhibition, Atlantic Station

Enjoy spring decorations, mountain wildflowers and plenty of great events during this seasonal celebration. March 15-June 6, 888-738-4378,

This exhibit offers an unmatched view of the human body and how it works, with more than 200 actual bodies and specimens providing a look at our skeletal structure, nervous and reproductive systems, and more. Ongoing,




10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Closed Sunday



Scarlett on the Square Original Gone With the Wind memorabilia on display from the private collection of Dr. Christopher Sullivan. Gift Shop, facility RentalS annual eventS

770-794-5576 | Newcomer Magazine | 49


TOP: Get a behind-the-scenes look at the CNN newsroom in action. BOTTOM: A view of CNN’s Atlanta headquarters.

Inside CNN


tlanta is known for many things, from being the birthplace and home of the late civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to hosting the 1996 Summer Olympics. Foremost among those is the city’s status as the home of CNN. No tour of your new home is complete without a stop at the By Sheila Cosgrove CNN Center, which houses the network’s world headquarters, and the largest of its 48 bureaus worldwide. And the cable news giant offers not just one but three different ways to experience what goes on at the world’s very first 24-hour news network from behind the scenes. The quickest is the 55-minute Inside CNN Tour, offered every day between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., which offers visitors a look at how the network operates, including a view of the newsroom in action. Be aware that the tour involves going down eight different flights of stairs, so bring your comfortable walking shoes. Elevator-assisted tours are available throughout the day, but they sell out quickly, so make reservations ahead of time. Admission is $16 for adults, $15 for seniors and students ages 13-18, and $13 for kids ages 4-12. The Inside CNN VIP Tour offers a more immersive experience. It takes place four times a day Monday through Saturday, and takes visitors through both the CNN and HLN newsrooms. You’ll also tour the HLN control room, and take a peek inside Studio 7, CNN’s state of-the-art HD studio, where most of the network’s daytime broadcasting takes place. Even better, you’ll get a chance to take a commemorative photo behind a replica news desk. Admission is $35, and guests must be over the age of 12. The Morning Express With Robin Meade Tour takes fans behind the scenes of the popular HLN morning show, including a tour of the HLN control room and a souvenir photo. You may even get to meet Meade herself and other news personalities, depending on their availability. The tour takes place Thursday mornings at 8:30, and reservations are required. Children on this tour must be at least 12 years old. Admission is $49. The CNN Center is located at the corner of Marietta Street and Centennial Olympic Park Drive. For more information on the tours, call 404-827-2300 or visit

Taking the CNN Studio Tour

| 50 || Newcomer NewcomerMagazine Magazine |

Newcomer Magazine | February-March 2015  

Atlanta’s new resident relocation guide for businesses and families moving to Metro Atlanta.

Newcomer Magazine | February-March 2015  

Atlanta’s new resident relocation guide for businesses and families moving to Metro Atlanta.