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Relocation, Lifestyle & Living in Atlanta

June/July 2014

Living South of Atlanta

Hit the Road!

Five Convenient, Charming Neighborhoods

Watershed on Peachtree

Fun, Fabulous Destinations Less Than a Day Away

Standardized Test Guide

Southern Cuisine Reinvented

Atlanta’s Top

Tips to Help Your Child Prepare

ATTRAcTionS For Families 12 Places Everyone Can Enjoy

June/July CONTENTS FEATURES Atlanta’s Best Neighborhood Parks . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Atlanta’s Top Attractions for Families . . . . . . . . . . 26

Explore five of the metro area’s more intimate outdoor spaces, perfect for a little afternoon workout or spending time with the kids.

Learn about some of the most common standardized tests your kids take, why they’re important and how to prepare for them.

These family-friendly destinations are filled with history, fascinating wildlife and exhilarating activities the whole family can enjoy.

Standardized Tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 4 Great Road Trips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Whether you’re looking to spend a day, a night or a week, these funfilled destinations are less than a day’s drive from Atlanta.



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

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

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

Why I Love Atlanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

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.

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musician Alcides Rodrigues shares his favorite restaurants, neighborhoods and more.

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

Homes and Communities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

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

These five convenient communities just south of Atlanta offer easy access to the city, affordable housing and much more.

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

School Spotlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 The SAE School in Mableton emphasizes project-based learning, a yearround calendar and strong teacher-student relationships.

Restaurant Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Watershed on Peachtree updates a beloved Decatur institution with a fresh new look and a bold approach to Southern cuisine.

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The Tellus Science Museum introduces kids of all ages to dinosaurs, the stars, and the wonders of scientific discovery. Find Newcomer Newcomer Magazine Magazine on on Facebook Facebook and and Twitter Twitter for for lots lots of of additional additional Find Find Newcomer Magazine information before before and and after after your your move, move, from from news news on on deals deals and and events events to to information on Facebook and Twitter tips on on real real estate, estate, organizing, organizing, events, events, restaurants restaurants and and much much more! more! Facebook: Facebook: tips Follow@NewcomerAtlanta. us for additional information before and after Newcomer Magazine; Magazine; Twitter: Twitter: Newcomer @NewcomerAtlanta.


your move, from news on deals and events to tips on real estate, organizing, restaurants and much more! Facebook: Newcomer Magazine Twitter: @NewcomerAtlanta

PHOTOS: (Left) Steven Jackson; (Center) Fernbank Museum of Natural History/©Brian Upchurch; (Right) Courtesy of Nashville CVC



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


Patrick Killam

editor Kevin Forest Moreau

marketing & promotions Jeff Thompson administrative assistant Rebekah Finkel contributing writers H.M. Cauley, Sheila Cosgrove, Carly Felton, Alexa Martin, Cady Schulman, Muriel Vega director of sales & marketing Patrick Killam

account director Lacey James

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Newcomer magazine, June/July 2014 Volume 18, Issue 2. 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. © 2014 Killam Publishing, Inc.

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inFOCUS n e w s b i tes fr om a ro un d AT LANTA

Suwanee in the The news seems to be spreading about Suwanee. The website recently singled out the Gwinnett County community as one of the country’s three Best Small Cities to Raise a Family, along with Sharon, Mass., and Sherwood, Ore. The city was also recognized for its public art program (below), winning awards from the Atlanta Regional Commission and the ArtWorks! Gwinnett Fusion Awards. For more information, visit

PHOTO: Bill Mahan

Imaginary Friends

Back by popular demand, last year’s hit Imaginary Worlds brings a larger-thanlife menagerie of topiary sculptures to the Atlanta Botanical Garden through Oct. 31. Titled A New Kingdom of Plant Giants, this summer’s exhibit features some fresh faces—including four friendly frogs, a gang of gorillas, and a pair of orangutans— among the amazing creations from International Mosaiculture of Montreal. For more information, call 404-876-5859 or visit

PHOTO: Courtesy of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Help Foster Healthy Habits

An Unforgettable Evening You don’t have to be an opera buff to enjoy Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida, a timeless tale of forbidden love, jealousy and intrigue. Don’t miss a rare chance to watch as the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra brings this stirring saga to life, led by Robert Spano with assistance from a cast of talented soloists and the ASO Chorus. June 5, 7 and 8 at Symphony Hall. For tickets and other information, call 404-733-5000 or visit 8 | Newcomer Magazine |

Good nutrition is critical to children’s well-being and academic success. That’s why local nonprofit Beyond Milk and Cookies is partnering with After School All Stars Atlanta and the Georgia State University Education Department to host afterschool classes to teach children about cooking, food preparation and safety, and healthy eating. The organization is seeking volunteers with special cooking talents. For information on classes, volunteering opportunities and more, visit

PHOTO: Atlanta Botanical Garden


infocus Rock On!

PHOTO: Deen van Meer

Whether you’re looking to entertain the kids or hunting for that perfect piece of one-of-a-kind jewelry, the Tellus Science Museum’s RockFest has you covered. This two-day indoor and outdoor event features one of the largest gem and mineral shows in the South, with dealers and vendors showcasing precious gems, fossils and more. There are also special children’s events like Rock Bingo for your budding geologist. June 14-15. For more information, call 770-606-5700 or visit

Something for Everyone With an engaging mix of tried-and-true classics and eagerly anticipated debuts, the 2014-2015 season of Broadway in Atlanta, sponsored by Fifth Third Bank, promises a year of crowd-pleasing performances. The season kicks off with Disney’s The Little Mermaid (July 8-13), followed by Mamma Mia! (Sept. 23-28), The Phantom of the Opera (Oct. 22-Nov. 2), Dirty Dancing (Nov. 2530), Disney’s Newsies (above, Jan. 20-25), Wicked (Feb. 18-March 8), Blue Man Group (April 7-12), Pippin (May 5-10) and Motown the Musical (Aug. 18-23). For more information, call 800-278-4447 or visit | Newcomer Magazine | 9

Heritage Green in Sandy Springs.


Parks Recreation Atlanta’s Most Peaceful Neighborhood Parks By Alexa Martin

The metro area is filled with beautiful, expansive parks, from Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta to sprawling Piedmont Park in Midtown. But it also has plenty of smaller spots for when you just want to spend an intimate afternoon playing catch with the kids or strolling through nature. With that in mind, we’ve spotlighted five neighborhood parks where you can enjoy great recreational amenities while taking a break from the everyday world. 10 | Newcomer Magazine |

The Splash Pad (top) and a children’s play area (inset) at Historic Fourth Ward Park.

COBB PARK AND KIDSCAPE VILLAGE Smyrna’s 5.8-acre Cobb Park, located just west of the city’s downtown area, is one of the most popular spots in metro Atlanta among parents of small children, perfect for a morning or afternoon of fun-filled activity. The recently renovated Kidscape Village boasts swing sets, slides and a small train for the younger tykes, and a large playground with climbing structures and other diversions for slightly older kids. There’s also a baseball field that can be used for a variety of sports. The park itself radiates a rustic, wooded feel, full of benches and shaded areas ideal for relaxing on a summer afternoon. This place can fill up fast, especially on weekends, so be prepared to share the space with other families.

PHOTOS: By Steven Jackson.

HERITAGE GREEN This 4-acre park is the heart of Sandy Springs, a bustling city of more than 93,000 residents just north of Atlanta. Heritage Green serves as the city’s official gathering place, and is the home of the natural spring for which the town is named. Heritage Green is also home to the Heritage Sandy Springs Museum, dedicated to preserving the area’s history. In addition to the perma-

lawn hosts as many as 1,000 people for concerts that take place on a semicircular stage. The annual “Concerts By the Springs” live music series stretches through September, with performances by Yacht Rock Revue on June 8, the Grains of Sand Band on July 13, the Highballs on Aug. 10, and Bogey and the Viceroy on Sept. 14. The lawn is also available for theatrical performances, weddings and other special events.

Heritage Green serves as Sandy Springs’ official gathering place.


nent Sandy Springs: Land and People exhibit, the museum currently hosts The Civil War in Sandy Springs, which explores the Union occupation of the small farming community in 1864. The exhibit runs through April 1, 2015. The Sandy Springs Society Entertainment Lawn is a terraced, 14,000-square-foot expanse of lush greenspace located within the park. The

Located at the intersection of Buford Highway and Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, this 10-acre park is known as “Suwanee’s front yard.” Visitors walk, jog and bicycle along a mile of paved surfaces dotted with interlinking pathways and sidewalks. They also enjoy sitting back on park benches to chat with friends or simply take in the beautiful scenery, which includes four garden areas and more than 200 maple, sycamore, oak and other trees. Of particular interest to families is Big Splash, the largest interactive fountain in Gwin- | Newcomer Magazine | 11|

Sims Lake Park in Suwanee.

Smaller visitors will enjoy the children’s playgrounds, with slides, swings, rock walls, climbing areas and other features. There’s also the Splash Pad, with jets of water streaming from the ground and overhead; this fountain area is open May 1 through Oct. 1. Additional features include an athletic field, an outdoor theater and a 15,000-square-foot public skate park.



Opened in 2011 in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, Historic Fourth Ward Park stands as a vibrant symbol of the area’s revitalization over the last decade. Designed as a focal point for the rapidly evolving community, this 17-acre park located near the Atlanta BeltLine—a multi-use trail designed to form a ring of parks and green spaces around the city—features a picturesque lake, rolling lawns and plenty of paved pathways for walking and biking.

Since its opening in 2008, this moderately sized (62 acres) general-use park has become a major draw for nature lovers throughout Gwinnett County and beyond. Located just a few miles from downtown Suwanee, Sims Lake Park feels like a gorgeous preserve worlds away from city life. Dog owners walk with their furry friends while hikers and bikers enjoy the looping, 1.2-mile trail. And people from all walks of life, from families with children to seniors and

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young professionals, take in the beautiful view of the sparkling, 7-acre lake that gives the park its name. A playground and picnic pavilion situated near the entrance offer kids a perfect spot to blow off some steam while the parents relax, and a pair of 2-acre meadows provide great opportunities for tossing a Frisbee or laying out in the sun. And an abundance of scenic backdrops attracts those who simply enjoy being surrounded by natural beauty.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Cobb Park and Kidscape Village

Heritage Green

Town Center Park recreationparks.php

Historic Fourth Ward Park

Sims Lake Park recreationparks.php

PHOTO: By Bill Mahan.

Gwinnett County’s Sims Lake Park is a major draw for nature lovers.

nett County. Adults and children splash and frolic among 43 jets that shoot up to 1,400 gallons of water per minute. The fountain is generally open seven days a week between April and October. Town Center Park is Suwanee’s premier spot for special events, including Food Truck Fridays, Movies Under the Stars, the Arts in the Park festival and the annual Suwanee Day celebration. Among its amenities is a terraced amphitheater that can host up to 1,000 for outdoor concerts and other events. Upcoming events include the 2014 Dare to Dash 5K and Family Fun Day on June 14; Broadway in the Park, featuring performances of Cinderella and Spellbound, July 25-26; and an August Concert and Wing Festival, Aug. 16.

Atlanta WHY I L VE Alcides Rodriguez

Alcides Rodriguez plays clarinet and bass clarinet for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. How long have you lived in Atlanta? I have been living in Atlanta since September of 2005.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Atlanta? I love the weather in the summer. I don’t like the cold. Growing up in a tropical-weather country (Venezuela), I am very comfortable with the heat. I like the mixture of different cultures. … And the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The ASO is a world-class orchestra, and every Atlantan should be aware and proud of that fact. I encourage Atlantans to come and experience for themselves what an amazing artistic treasure they have in their own city.

What’s your favorite neighborhood? I like the Morningside/Virginia-Highland area. It is quiet, the houses are great, and there are some wonderful places to eat. I also really like Decatur. It is very walkable and the downtown area is very nice and has some of the restaurants and coffee shops I frequent the most—Brick Store Pub, Leon’s Full Service, the Iberian Pig and Dancing Goats Coffee Bar.

PHOTO: Derek Blanks

What is your favorite place to eat in metro Atlanta? It depends on the occasion. If I am looking for a great burger, I would go to Yeah! Burger or Grindhouse Killer Burgers. Alon’s in Virginia Highlands is another favorite. I love their sandwiches, salads, pastries and coffee. Holeman & Finch has a great menu, a great wine list and original mixed drinks. Ecco is another favorite place that I like to visit for special occasions. They have great food and excellent wines. | Newcomer Magazine | 13

The Coweta County Courthouse in Newnan.




Five Convenient Suburbs With Unique Appeal By H.M. Cauley

PHOTO: Courtesy of the Coweta County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Whether you’re looking for proximity to downtown Atlanta and the world’s busiest airport or simply an alternative to big-city living, the metro area boasts several communities to fit your needs. Located just south of Atlanta, these five towns offer easy access to the city, affordable housing and a variety of shopping and recreation options.

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TOP: The Georgia International Convention Center in College Park. RIGHT: Outdoor dining in East Point.

EAST POINT Just west of Interstate 85, the city of East Point boasts the charm of a small town within viewing distance of the Atlanta skyline. “We have a prime location, with easy access to all the major interstates, ‘big city’ amenities, charming tree-lined streets and character-filled neighborhoods,” says Erin Rodgers, the city’s economic and downtown development director. East Point’s estimated 35,000 residents enjoy a median home price of $121,500, and are spread out over 20 neighborhoods, including the popular Jefferson Park, Conley Hills and Frog Hollow. Much of the city’s vitality comes from its neighbor, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The MARTA train line makes a short hop to Atlanta’s major work centers. Visitors and locals alike flock to Camp Creek Marketplace for a variety of major retailers and branches of noted restaurant chains. Another local draw is the Dick Lane Velodrome, one of the nation’s leading bicycle racing facilities. The nearby Georgia Sports Park features natural-grass fields that host soccer, ultimate Frisbee and Gaelic football competitions. The city is served by the Fulton County Schools public school system, as well as independent schools including Discovery Montessori Academy and Romar Academy.

COLLEGE PARK A little south of East Point, College Park serves as a gateway to Atlanta, thanks to its close proximity to both Hartsfield-Jackson and the city’s downtown area, as well as its easy accessibility via I-85, I-285 and MARTA. College Park is intricately linked to the airport—the city’s logo even features an airplane as a reminder of that relationship. The Georgia International Convention Center, located in the city limits, is connected to the airport by the ATL Sky Train, making it a hub for major conventions and meetings. Hotels, car rental offices and restaurants serve the thousands who

pass through town on their way to Atlanta and points beyond. Home to more than 14,500 residents, College Park boasts a variety of affordable housing options, with an average home price of $162,900. The city ranks fourth in the state for the size of its urban historic district, with more than 850 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Students attend public schools in the Fulton County Schools system. The Main Street Academy, a county charter school, is based here, as is the prestigious Woodward Academy, with more than 2,700 students. u | Newcomer Magazine | 15

TOP: Spivey Hall, a firstclass concert hall in Morrow. BOTTOM: (Left) The Flat Creek Golf Club and (Right) golf carts in Peachtree City.

Less than half an hour from both downtown Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the city of Morrow is a diverse, family-friendly community offering the perfect balance of intimacy and big-city convenience for its approximately 6,800 residents. The city’s median home price is approximately $109,600. Despite its relatively small size, Morrow exerts its fair share of influence over the metro Atlanta area, thanks to its status as a university town that plays host to several institutions of higher learning. Foremost among those is Clayton State University, offering nine master’s degree and 41 undergraduate degree programs for some 7,000 students. Other campuses include Strayer University, Ohio Christian University,

the Pacific Institute of Technology and the Interactive College of Technology. Morrow is served by Clayton County Public Schools, including Morrow Elementary, which has been hailed as a School of Excellence and a Title 1 Distinguished School. It’s also home to the Georgia Archives and the adjacent Southeastern Regional Branch of the National Archives. Attractions of note include Spivey Hall, a world-class, 400-seat acoustic concert venue; the 146-acre Reynolds Nature Preserve, filled with forests, wetlands, hills and hiking trails; the Morrow Pedestrian Path System, which connects residents to different neighborhoods and parks; and the Morrow Center, an event facility that hosts business meetings, social functions and weddings.

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PEACHTREE CITY Twelve miles off Interstate 85 sits one of Georgia’s newest cities, dating back to 1959. Peachtree City was built across more than 12,000 acres with three lakes on the southern side of Fayette County. Today, 34,600 residents live in five planned villages, each with its own shopping districts, restaurants, parks and amenities, and enjoy an average home price of $277,800. Students attend Fayette County Public Schools and independent schools including St. Paul Lutheran School. One of Peachtree City’s most striking features is its 90 miles of golf cart paths that link the town’s villages, schools and amenities, providing quick and easy transportation for walkers, joggers and an estimated 10,000 golf

PHOTOS: (Top) Guy Welsh, Studio Burns; (Bottom Left) Dan Nelson.


carts—one of the area’s primary modes of transportation. Not surprisingly, the city is also home to several golf courses and country clubs. The Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater hosts outdoor concerts. Annual events include the Shakerag Arts and Crafts Festival and the International Festival and Dragon Boat Races. The Southern Hollywood Film Tour takes visitors to sites used in such movies and TV shows as Fried Green Tomatoes and “The Walking Dead.”

Why settle for a dull hotel when

you can have a home?

NEWNAN Newnan, the seat of Coweta County, sits roughly 37 miles south of Atlanta. Known as the “City of Homes,” it traces its roots back to the 1820s, and much of that history can still be seen in its historic homes. The median home price today is $182,000. Newnan’s leading employers include Piedmont Newnan Hospital, Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation and the Yokogawa Corporation. The historic downtown area is a thriving district filled with quaint restaurants and shops. Other draws include the Forum at Ashley Park shopping center and beautiful Oak Grove Plantation. Students attend Coweta County public schools, including the award-wining Northgate High School, as well as such independent schools as The Heritage School, Orchard Hills Academy and Mills Chapel Christian Academy. (For more information on Newnan, see our Neighborhood Spotlight on page 18.) From top-notch entertainment and education to convenient transportation options and a relaxing, small-town atmosphere, each of these cities offers all the amenities of a major metro area while retaining their own unique identity and appeal. If you’re looking for a distinctive place to call home, consider joining one of these communities just a short drive south of town.

Temporary housing that feels like home. For less than the cost of a hotel room, business professionals, home buyers, relocating employees and families can enjoy all the comforts of home in one of our fully furnished and decorated 1, 2 or 3 bedroom apartment homes. Full Amenities included: Cable | Wireless high speed internet Fully equipped kitchen Washer and dryer in apartment All utilities included | Pet friendly 14-day stay minimum | Serving the entire metropolitan Atlanta area | 800-428-9997

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION College Park East Point Morrow Newnan Peachtree City | Newcomer Magazine | 17


Park Arts Festiva


By Carly Felton and Sheila Cosgrove

A Coweta County Courthouse

Dunaway Gardens

PHOTO: Courtesy of the Coweta County Convention and Visitors Bureau

lthough it’s steeped in history, Newnan isn’t living in the past. Named for Daniel Newnan, a Georgia secretary of state and U.S. congressman, this thriving center of some 34,000 residents (according to U.S. Census estimates) has enjoyed substantial growth in recent years, thanks to a downtown improvement project, a new and expanded Piedmont Newnan Hospital and the 2012 arrival of a Cancer Treatment Centers of America facility, among other highlights.


Arts and Entertainment

Newnan’s six historic districts—Cole Town, College-Temple, Downtown, Greenville-LaGrange, Platinum Point, and Newnan Cotton Mill and Mill Village—boast gorgeous antebellum and Victorian homes. Madison Park (706-568-7650) features two- and three-story single-family homes ranging from the $180s to the $230s. Highlands at Newnan Crossing (770-252-0003) offers elegant homes in the low to mid $200s. The lush, wooded Lake Redwine Plantation community (770-2530008) sits on more than 1,300 acres (including a 300-acre lake) and boasts custom homes ranging from $220,000 to $749,000. The Preserve at Greison Trail (770-254-4747) features one- to three-bedroom luxury apartment homes, a swimming pool, athletic center and other amenities.

The Newnan-Coweta Historical Society (770251-0207) preserves the city’s heritage and operates the Historic Train Depot, which hosts events, and the McRitchie-Hollis and Male Academy Museums. The Newnan Community Theatre Company (770-683-6282) stages theatrical productions and improv comedy shows. The Centre for Performing and Visual Arts (770-2542787) is home to community concerts, theatrical performances and art exhibits. Chattahoochee Bend State Park (770-254-7271) offers more than 2,900 acres of natural beauty for campers, boaters, fishermen and more.

Local Treasures Oak Grove Plantation (770-463-3010) is a classic 1830s Southern plantation that hosts weddings and meetings. Dunaway Gardens (678-423-4050) is a picturesque rock and floral garden and popular wedding venue. The Forum at Ashley Park (678-423-5445) features a movie theater, restaurants and retail shops. Historic attractions include the Coweta County Courthouse, built in 1904, and Oak Hill Cemetery, where many Civil War soldiers are buried.

Culinary Treats Sprayberry’s Barbecue (www.sprayberrysbbq. com) offers up tasty classic barbecue, Brunswick stew and much more at two locations. The Redneck Gourmet (770-251-0092) serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers items such as steak & eggs, sandwiches, salads and surf & turf. The Cellar (770-683-6328) specializes in steaks, burgers and seafood, and features more than two dozen craft beers. For an elegant dining experience, head to Ten East Washington (770-502-9100) for herbed filet mignon, grilled lamb chops, Mediterranean free-range chicken and other fine fare. N Lake Redwine Plantation

The Centre for Performing and Visual Arts

THE INSIDE TRACK Thanks to its booming railroad and cotton industries, Newnan was considered one of the wealthiest cities in the nation in the mid-19th century.

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Standardized Tests

How to Tackle the SAT, CRCT and More By Muriel Vega

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Whether your child attends a public or independent school, he or she will be required to take some form of standardized test. A standardized test is one that is administered and graded in a consistent manner, usually given to students across an entire school or school system or even nationally, as opposed to one created by a teacher for a specific class. These tests are often used to determine whether your child passes to the next grade level and what kind of college he or she attends.


n the pages that follow, we break down some of the most common standardized tests your child may encounter, as well as resources like websites, classes and tips on how to prepare your child for these important examinations.


cation website contains links to study guides for the CRCT, EOCT and GHGST. The Georgia Online Assessment System provides access to tests with the same kinds of questions that appear on the abovementioned tests. Students at independent schools may also be required to take standardized tests, such as the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS). This test is administered to students in elementary (grades 3 through 5) and middle school (6 through 8). According to state law, public school districts may elect to administer the test as well. Another standardized test independent school students are likely to encounter is the Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT), which is administered to students in grades 3 through 11 and is used to help independent schools assess an incoming student’s academic skills.

One test all college-bound students are guaranteed to take is the SAT.

If your child is enrolled in a Georgia public school, there are a number of tests he or she will be required to take. These include the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT), which measures how well students in grades 1 through 8 have absorbed lessons in reading, mathematics and English and language arts; students in grades 3 through 8 are also tested in science and social studies. The End of Course Test (EOCT) similarly measures competency in science, social studies, mathematics and English language arts in grades 9 through 12. Students in the 11th grade currently are required to take the Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) in order to graduate from from high school. (Students who entered high school after fall 2011 will not be required to take the GHSGT.) The Georgia Department of Edu-

COLLEGE APTITUDE TESTS One test all college-bound students are guaranteed to take is the SAT (formerly the Scholastic Assessment Test), a college admissions test that evaluates reading, writing and math skills. u | Newcomer Magazine | 21

A number of Atlanta-area schools, including St. Pius X and Greater Atlanta Christian School (GAC), offer prep courses or workshops for the SATs. “We do offer an elective for SAT prep,” says Lori Davis, a college counselor at GAC. “You can also find practice tests at the College Board and Georgia College 411 websites.” Emory University offers an SAT prep class, as well. Another popular college admissions test, the ACT (originally an acronym for American College Testing), covers English, math, reading, science and an optional writing component. Students can find test preparation materials on the ACT’s website. Students seeking additional preparation for the SAT may elect to take the PSAT (also known as the PSAT/NMSQT, for Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test), which provides firsthand practice for the SAT and also determines a student’s eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship program. Practice test questions are available through the College Board website.

Students can also prepare by taking practice tests, reading each question carefully and identifying key words so that they understand exactly what the question is asking. Encourage your child to evaluate multiplechoice questions, eliminating each answer until only the correct one remains. It’s also important for children to manage their study time effectively, review their basic skills and work on improving their vocabulary. Above all, make sure your child maintains a positive attitude, gets enough sleep and has a proper breakfast on the day of the test. With the right physical and mental preparation, he or she will be well on their way to acing these important tests.

Identify key words so you know what the question is asking.

TESTING TIPS No matter what test your child is preparing to take, there are some important things he or she can do to make the experience easier and less intimidating. One key piece of advice is to make sure he or she knows as much as possible about the test. “I tell students that they need to understand the test they are taking and know the test structure,” says GAC’s Davis. “For example, are you going to lose points for a wrong answer?”

STANDARDIZED TEST RESOURCES Georgia Department of Education


Georgia Online Assessment System

PSAT student/testing/psat/about.html

Georgia College 411


College Board


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The SAE School

A Project-Based Approach to Education By Cady Schulman


s another summer rolls around, students across Georgia are enjoying a long break from schoolwork. But Jimmy Arispe, head of school for The SAE School in Mableton, says that extended interruption hurts their academic performance. “Sending kids away for 60 to 80 days during the summer isn’t good,” says Arispe. “They have to restart. The teachers have to restart.” That’s why The SAE School, a pre-K through 9th grade independent school in Mableton, adheres to a 200-day, year-round calendar, with several two-week breaks scheduled throughout the year. This structure provides “a much more emotionally stable environment than what others are experiencing,” Arispe says. “It’s a consistent continuum of learning. It’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon to get to graduation.” The year-round calendar, designed to prevent the academic regression that takes place over an extended break and to keep teachers and students at peak performance throughout the year, is just one part of The SAE School’s unique approach to education. The school got its start in 2011, when a group of parents met to discuss how they could create a different kind of school for their children. The SAE School opened its doors in August of 2013, offering a new option for parents seeking a different educational experience for their children. The school’s curriculum focuses on project-based learning, a process in which teachers use projects, rather than textbooks, to teach concepts. “Our kids are creating projects that integrate those standards of learning,” Arispe says. “The kids always have something in their hands. We don’t have a textbook in the classroom.” For example, students built a city to learn about community and such mathematical concepts as perimeters.

24 || Newcomer Newcomer Magazine Magazine ||

“They didn’t do it on paper,” Arispe says. “They actually used cardboard boxes and various other things you might find in a house, like toilet paper rolls and shoe boxes. … Instead of talking about it and learning about it from a book, they built it to talk about different reasons why a school needed to go here.” The SAE School also focuses on the enrichment of its students, who take music, physical education classes and tae kwon do for 30 minutes each day. “We have seen bodies of overweight children transform before our eyes because they’re so active,” Arispe says. Another way The SAE School differs from other schools is the concept of stability. Starting in kindergarten, students move through grades with the same three teachers for three years. Students “want to see the same faces every single morning,” Arispe says. “This is a smarter way to do relationships, and that really is what the core and foundation of education is. It’s about forming meaningful, long-lasting relationships between students and adults.” While the school currently goes to 9th grade, it will add a grade each year, expanding to 12th grade as this year’s older students advance. “It’s too easy not to do high school,” Arispe says. “You’ll see many, many schools go through 8th grade and junior high, and then they’ll give away the kids to high school. We’re not about that. Our kids are special enough to us that we want to make sure we get them to the finish line.” N

THE SPECIFICS Grades: Pre-K-9 Student/Teacher Ratio: 16:1 Tuition: $8,000-$12,000 Location: Mableton

Contact: 6688 Mableton Parkway, Mableton, GA 30126 678-239-3200 Web: | Newcomer Magazine | 25



ATTRACTIONS 12 Places the Entire Family Can Enjoy By Kevin Forest Moreau

See more than 500 species of aquatic wildlife at the Georgia Aquarium.

26 | Newcomer Magazine |

By now, you might already know that metro Atlanta is filled with great neighborhoods, restaurants, entertainment venues and other draws for adults. But it also has plenty to offer for families with children, including attractions filled with history, fascinating wildlife and exhilarating activities. Now that summer’s here, it’s the perfect time to pack everyone into the car and explore your new city’s family-friendly destinations. Here are a dozen that everyone can enjoy. The Atlanta History Center.

The Booth Western Art Museum.

The Center for Puppetry Arts features entertainment for all ages.

PHOTOS: (Left) Courtesy of Atlanta History Center; (Center): ©Center for Puppetry Arts.



Dedicated to highlighting and celebrating Atlanta’s rich past, this 33-acre complex in the Buckhead neighborhood allows kids and adults alike to step back in time and tour the Swan House, an elegant 1928 mansion. Visitors can also get a glimpse of life during the Civil War at the Smith Family Farm, where they can interact with characters from the period and participate in daily chores. The permanent exhibit Turning Point: The American Civil War features more than 1,500 artifacts, including cannons, flags and other items guaranteed to capture your child’s imagination. 404-814-1400,

BOOTH WESTERN ART MUSEUM What little boy doesn’t love cowboys? This Cartersville attraction, less than an hour north of Atlanta, shines a spotlight on artwork and artifacts that explore life in the American West. Browse paintings, sculptures, Western movie

Learn about puppets from all over the world and create your own puppet at this entertaining and educational attraction in Midtown Atlanta. The Center also hosts special exhibits as well as performances and film screenings for families, teens and adults (upcoming shows include Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat, June 12-July 20). The space is currently undergoing an expansion that will double its size; when it’s finished, the Center will feature a new museum housing the world’s largest collection of Jim Henson memorabilia. The addition is set to open in 2015. 404-873-3391, posters and other works of art exploring this pivotal period in American history. Kids can get a close look at Native American objects, walk among stagecoaches and covered wagons, and even dress up as a cowboy or cowgirl in the interactive Sagebrush Ranch gallery. 770-3871300,

GEORGIA AQUARIUM Home to more than 500 species from around the world, this downtown Atlanta landmark offers a truly immersive experience. You don’t have to be a budding marine biologist to be amazed by the Georgia Aquarium’s impressive collection of whale sharks, beluga whales, man- | Newcomer Magazine | 27

The Georgia Scorcher at Six Flags Over Georgia.

Interactive Neighborhood for Kids.

The Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

ta rays, penguins and many more aquatic creatures—more than 100,000 in all, inhabiting more than 10 million gallons of fresh and marine water. Its newest exhibit, Sea Monsters Revealed: Aquatic Bodies, provides a one-of-a-kind look at both the outside and insides of some of the sea’s most extraordinary residents. Visitors can also take a behind-the-scenes tour, enjoy the AT&T Dolphin Tales show, swim with the aquarium’s whale sharks, get up-close and personal with the beluga whales, and even arrange a group sleepover. 404-581-4000,

CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF ATLANTA Located in downtown Atlanta, the Children’s Museum of Atlanta encourages creative, imaginative play with interactive exhibits. Watch your children experience life on a farm, explore a forest environment, create works of art and more. The Imaginators, a group of professional actors and educators, perform entertaining programs that make education fun. 404-659-5437, 28 | Newcomer Magazine |

FERNBANK MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY From the bronze dinosaurs that greet you on your way inside to eye-popping documentaries screened in its IMAX theater, the Fernbank Museum is a fun mix of education and entertainment. Walk beneath skeletons of dinosaurs in the Great Hall’s Giants of the Mesozoic exhibit, and explore the history of the planet and the state via A Walk Through Time in Georgia. Catch the exhibit Whales: Giants of the Deep through Aug. 24, or the film Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, narrated by Morgan Freeman, through Aug. 14. 404-929-6300,

INTERACTIVE NEIGHBORHOOD FOR KIDS This attraction in Gainesville, Ga., about an hour north of Atlanta, is perfect for children ages 2-10. Kids can explore part of an actual airplane, learn about money and banking, clamber through a family playhouse, shop in a grocery store and pretend to be a doctor, dentist, policeman or hair stylist. Visitors can also create their own pottery, climb aboard a real

PHOTO: (Bottom Right) Fernbank Museum of Natural History/©Brian Upchurch.

The Children’s Museum of Atlanta.

1927 fire truck, romp around in an indoor park and participate in many other fun, interactive activities. 770-536-1900,

SIX FLAGS OVER GEORGIA Featuring everything from pulse-pounding thrill rides to kid-friendly entertainers, this amusement park is on every Atlanta kid’s summertime to-do list. Your little ones can take a tour of the park on a steam-engine locomotive, indulge in good-natured fun in the bumper cars or enjoy live-action shows starring their favorite “Looney Tunes” characters. Don’t forget the Dare Devil Dive and exciting roller coasters including Goliath, Ninja, Great American Scream Machine and Superman: Ultimate Flight. A brand-new water park, Hurricane Harbor, is scheduled to open in time for summer 2014. 770-739-3400,

STONE MOUNTAIN PARK One of Georgia’s most popular attractions, this beautiful 3,200-acre park offers a non-stop array of events and activities. Climb (or take a cable car) to the top of the mountain, brave the SkyHike adventure course or cool off while navigating the rope bridges and tunnels of the Geyser Towers. Go camping, fishing or hiking on the property, enjoy a train ride around the park, or play a little golf while the kids enjoy some live entertainment. Then cap it all off with the famous Lasershow Spectacular. 770498-5690,

Continued on pg. 30 u

OUTSIDE THE BOX Thinking outside the box has never been so much fun! Outside the Box, a new feature exhibit at The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, taps into the imaginative minds of children to encourage “outsidethe-box” thought, innovation and exploration. Through highly engaging props, activities and lots of interactive fun, children will discover the building blocks of math, engineering and technology. In the exhibit, visitors can use giant and small cardboard boxes, tubes and cylinders to explore creative play and building, using their imaginations to create castles, bridges, small towns, huge cities and more. Children can also experiment in the rotating “Maker’s Space” and turn their dream inventions into realities. Watch as your little creative geniuses design a super-powered paper airplane or even make a robot that walks—the sky’s the limit!

Outside the Box runs at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta June 14 through Dec. 31. For more information, call 404-659-5437 or visit | Newcomer Magazine | 29

Tigers at Zoo Atlanta.

The World of Coca-Cola.

WORLD OF COCA-COLA Atlanta, as you may know, is the home of Coca-Cola, and this 60,000 square foot museum and shrine, located downtown near the Georgia Aquarium, pays tribute to the world-famous soft drink with interactive exhibits, more than 1,200 pieces of Coke memorabilia, a 4-D theater, and a vault said to contain the drink’s secret formula. There’s also a bottling line, an exhibit of Coke artwork by Norman Rockwell, and CocaCola Freestyle, which offers more than 100 Coke flavors from around the world. 404-676-5151,

ZOO ATLANTA Sprawling over nearly 40 acres in the Grant Park neighborhood of Atlanta, Zoo Atlanta is home to more than 1,500 animals representing more than 200 species. The Zoo boasts the nation’s largest population of gorillas, and is one of only four in the country to house giant pandas (there are currently four living at the zoo, including a pair of twins born in July 2013). Other famous residents include giraffes, lions, meerkats, black rhinos, parakeets and a Komodo dragon. The zoo also features rides, an indoor play area and educational sleepovers, among other programs. 404-624-5600, 30 | Newcomer Magazine |

5 FUN FAMILY EVENTS Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival: Catch classic films and recent hit movies in style at the gorgeous Fox Theatre. Enjoy a cartoon short and a singalong with the Fox’s massive “Mighty Mo” organ before the show. The festival runs on select dates June through August. Flying Colors Butterfly Festival: Watch as hundreds of butterflies are released into the air at this 15th annual familyfriendly event. Hand-feed more than 250 butterflies and enjoy live music, arts and crafts and much more. June 7-8 at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Virginia-Highland Summerfest: Celebrate the start of summer with this two-day outdoor festival featuring live music, a 5K race, children’s activities and more. June 7-8 in the Virginia-Highland neighborhood in Midtown Atlanta. Fantastic Fourth Celebration: Stone Mountain Park hosts three days of patriotic festivities. Spend the day enjoying the park’s many attractions, followed by the Lasershow Spectacular and a patriotic fireworks display each evening. July 3-5. July 4th Weekend Star Spangled Beach Party: Callaway Gardens hosts a weekend of fireworks, fun beach activities, live music and performances by the FSU Flying High Circus. July 4-6 at Robin Lake Beach.

PHOTOS: (Left) Courtesy of Zoo Atlanta; (Right) © 2014, Kevin C. Rose/

TURNER FIELD There are few better places to enjoy our national pastime than this vibrant ballpark, which offers plenty to see and do in addition to the game itself, including special concerts and promotional events. The Braves Museum and Hall of Fame provides an educational look at the Atlanta Braves’ history, and tours of Turner Field give visitors a behind-the-scenes look at life in a major league park. Kids will enjoy playing in the Taco Mac Family Zone, testing their pitching and hitting prowess in Scouts Alley, or running the bases after most Sunday home games (limited to children ages 4-14). 404-522-7630,


Watershed on Peachtree

A Fresh Interpretation of Classic Southern Cuisine by H.M. Cauley “We particularly wanted the bar to be a focal point, a place where people can come and have food and not be cramped,” Truex says. “It’s been a big part of our success.” The restaurant’s “20 for $20” monthly wine tastings have also established the bar as a destination for the after-work set. Diners are also turning out for the recently launched Sunday Creole jazz brunches. Leading off the list of dishes are crawfish crab étouffée, baked oysters Bienville and classic beignets dusted in powdered sugar. Poached eggs Sardou are nestled atop a bed of creamed spinach, artichoke hearts, country

PHOTOS: Letter B Creative Photography


atershed on Peachtree, situated in the mixed-use Brookwood condominium development in Buckhead, is a relative newcomer to the neighborhood, having opened only two years ago. But as most food-conscious Atlantans know, it’s a restaurant with a past. Watershed started out as a small Decatur restaurant under the direction of local celebrity chef and cookbook author Scott Peacock. His approach to Southern food was classic; his fried chicken had people standing in line on the night it appeared on the menu. These days, the casually elegant eatery has a new look (pale blond woods, tables with plenty of elbow room and picture windows overlooking Peachtree Road) and a new chef to match its new location. Joe Truex, another local chef with a legion of fans from his previous ventures, including Midtown’s now-closed Repast, has kept much of the same menu. But with the move to Buckhead, Truex seized the chance to reinvent the restaurant’s concept. He’s spent the last two years shifting away from classic Southern cuisine and putting his own thumbprint on the menu. “I’m a classically trained chef from Louisiana, so my influences come from that,” Truex says. “So I’ve added some of my own signature dishes, like the jambalaya. It’s a deconstructed version that I took some liberties with to give it different textures and flavors. It’s one of our most popular sellers.” The dish is packed with catfish, shrimp, grilled andouille sausage, fried oysters, crab and a rice croquette. Truex’s roots also show up in the Georgia shrimp salad with sweet peppers, avocado and a Creole remoulade, and the classic pimento cheese log, a blend of aged, sharp cheddar and roasted peppers, rolled in crushed pecans and served with homemade wafers and pepper jelly. Die-hard Watershed fans can still find their old favorites here as well. The classic fried chicken, soaked three days in brine before cooking, still draws a crowd on Wednesday nights. The “very good chocolate cake,” though changed from a layer cake, is still a sweet sensation, now packed into a small jar that gives diners more of the rich icing they love. Another winning aspect of the new WaTHE tershed is its roomy bar. It’s a feature that Hours: Lunch Tue-Sat; Brunch Sun; wasn’t available in the former space, and it Dinner Tue-Sat has helped the restaurant establish itself as a Reservations: Yes neighborhood gathering spot where an afterPhone: 404-809-3561 Parking: Valet work crowd unwinds with cocktails, wines Attire: Casual and small plates such as shrimp wrapped in country ham or deviled eggs.

ABOVE: The dining room at Watershed on Peachtree. LEFT: Fried chicken, served on Wednesday nights.

ham, Hollandaise sauce and grits. The roast beef po’ boy comes with a side of spicy slaw; the blackened salmon is paired with creamed black eye peas. Everything is served to the rhythm of a jazz trio. “Watershed has always been a chef-driven neighborhood place, and now with a new chef and a new neighborDETAILS hood, we wanted to create something Atmosphere: Comfortably upscale that really branded us,” Truex says. With Recommendations: Pimento cheese log with an updated menu and a warm, welcomhomemade wafers, fried chicken, “very good ing atmosphere, Watershed on Peachtree chocolate cake” Location: 1820 Peachtree Road, successfully builds on the old restauAtlanta, GA 30309 rant’s reputation for a quality Southern Web: dining experience. N || Newcomer Newcomer Magazine Magazine || 31



Quick and Easy


4 Great Destinations Less Than a Day’s Drive Atlanta is filled with many exciting spots to visit and things to do, but sometimes you just want to explore someplace new. With summer in full swing, there’s no better time to take the family on a well-deserved vacation. And whether you’re looking to spend a night, a week or just an afternoon, your new home is convenient to several great cities worth a trip. Here are four fun-filled destinations, all less than a day’s drive. By Kevin Forest Moreau

32 | Newcomer Magazine |

Rome, GA

TOP: The entrance to the limestone cave from which Cave Spring gets its name. BOTTOM: Oak Hill in Rome, Ga.

PHOTOS: Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Rome, Ga. About an hour’s drive from Atlanta, Rome offers an abundance of beautiful scenery and outdoor activities. Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, the city’s vibrant downtown is located at the convergence of the Etowah and Oostanaula Rivers, where they merge to form the Coosa River. Rome is known for its historic buildings and cemeteries, and for the Rome Braves, a minor-league affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. Rome is also home to Berry College, which at more than 26,000 acres is considered the largest college campus in the world. Oak Hill & the Martha Berry Museum, one of Rome’s most popular attractions, highlights the history of Berry College and its founder, Martha Berry. Cave Spring, about a dozen miles away, is home to an impressive

limestone cave renowned for its water spring, stalagmites and the “Devil’s Stool” rock formation. Consider a quick jaunt to Rome for the Fourth of July, when three blocks of the city’s downtown will be cordoned off for a celebration with live music, a 5K fun run, a children’s area and more. And throughout the summer and into October, residents will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Ellen Axson Wilson, who was raised in Rome and was the wife of president Woodrow Wilson, with a series of events including an exhibit of her artwork at the Martha Berry Museum.

Lookout Mountain, Ga. Just two hours northwest of Atlanta along the Georgia-Tennessee border, Lookout Mountain boasts a number of eye-opening attractions. High atop | Newcomer Magazine | 33

Asheville, NC

the mountain, Rock City Gardens draws nearly half a million visitors a year, who come to view stunning rock formations thought to be 200 million years old. This 4,100-foot trail is also filled with deep crevices and lush gardens with more than 400 species of wildflowers and vegetation. Other attractions include the Enchanted Trail, which winds through the 14-acre property; a 1,000-ton balanced rock; the Swing-A-Long Bridge, which spans nearly 200 feet; and Lover’s Leap, which offers breathtaking views of seven states from above a 90-foot waterfall. Ruby Falls, located in a limestone cave deep in the heart of the mountain, is known as America’s tallest and deepest underground waterfall open to the public. This 144-foot waterfall flows from the roof of the cavern. And the Incline Railway, heralded as the steepest railway in the world, whisks visitors up to the top of Lookout Mountain, where they can enjoy magnificent views of the Chattanooga Valley and explore the battlefields of Point Park, where the Battle of Lookout Mountain took place during the Civil War.

door activities. Located in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is one of the top outdoor cities in the Southeast, with recreation options including white water rafting, hiking trails, zip line canopy tours, mountain biking, horseback riding and much more. The city’s downtown district is filled with lovingly preserved buildings sporting art deco, beaux arts and neoclassical designs. Visitors and locals stroll among artists, street musicians, art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and museums. The sprawling Biltmore Estate is one of Asheville’s must-see attractions; built in the late 1800s by art collector George Vanderbilt, it features 250 rooms and occupies more than 178,000 square feet. Other notable attractions include the Basilica of St. Lawrence, a Catholic church dating back to the early 1900s; the Moog Factory, where world-famous Moog synthesizers and electronic instruments are created; and the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Historic Site, where the author spent part of his formative childhood.

Asheville, N.C.

Also just three and a half hours from Atlanta, Nashville sits on the Cumberland River and sports a rich downtown area known for its restaurants, entertainment venues, shops, galleries and museums.

Approximately three and a half hours from Atlanta sits the beautiful and vibrant city of Asheville, renowned for its lively mix of architectural styles, its eclectic arts scene, its rich history and its nearly endless array of out34 | Newcomer Magazine |

Nashville, Tenn.

Continued on pg. 36 u

PHOTO (Top):

TOP: The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C. BOTTOM: Ruby Falls at Lookout Mountain. | Newcomer Magazine | 35

Nashville, TN

Nashville, the capital city of Tennessee, is also widely known as the epicenter of the country music industry, earning the nickname “Music City.” Fans making a pilgrimage to the city will want to be sure to check out the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, a shrine to the genre’s rich past filled with historic artifacts and informative exhibits. The Grand Ole Opry House, another must-see musical landmark, is the home of the weekly Grand Ole Opry live show, dedicated to country, bluegrass, gospel and other down-home genres. The historic Ryman Auditorium, the Opry’s most famous former venue, still hosts a variety of concerts and performances. Nashville is also home to Vanderbilt University, a private research college. The Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the classic Greek temple, houses an art museum. The Hermitage, the former plantation home of Andrew Jackson, is now a museum devoted to the former president. And the Tennessee State Museum traces the state’s past from prehistoric times to the present.


36 | Newcomer Magazine |


Asheville, S.C.

Lookout Mountain

Nashville, Tenn.

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Nashville CVC.

TOP: The Nashville skyline at night. BOTTOM: The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn.

38 40 47




THERE Driver’s License

Out-of-state drivers are required to obtain a Georgia driver’s license within 30 days. To obtain your license, you will need to provide the following: 1) Previous driver’s license; 2) Two pieces of identification; 3) An eye exam at the time of issue; 4) A $20 fee (in cash) for a five-year license, or a $35 fee for a 10-year license. Licenses are issued through the Georgia Department of Driver Services at several sites across Atlanta. Call 678-413-8400 or visit

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 |

Car Tag

MARTA Rail Service

You must register your car within 30 days of residency. Bring with you the following information: 1) Car title, name and address of lienholder, or copy of lease agreement; 2) Current tag registration; 3) Mileage reading of vehicle; 4) Proof of insurance; 5) Emission certificate (if applicable). There is an approximate $20 fee for your tag. In January 2006, the state began charging sales tax

GETTING STARTED Patrick Killam, Publisher


on vehicles. Your tag office will provide the amount ad Size: of sales tax on your vehicle. For770.992.0273 information on a Office specific county, contact the appropriate county’s issue: december/January 08 770.649.7463 Fax Tax Commissioner’s Office. Registration applies to U.S. citizens at least 18 years of Full age. You have8.375"x up to 10.875" 30 days before an Page Vehicles dating from 1985 through 2006 model election to register. Register at your local Voter HalF Page Horizontal 7.375"x 4.812" year must be checked each Registration Office and most public libraries. Refer year for emission standard to the AT&T directory for locations, or download HalF Page Vertical 3.5625"x 9.875" compliance. Visit a statea registration form at designated inspection tHird Page Vertical 2.375"x 9.875" station for the service. Call 800-449-2471 or visit All phone numbers in the metro Atlanta area By law, children must be 5 years old include the area code The Georgia DOT on or before September 1 to enter plus the sevenprovides daily updates kindergarten and 6 years old on or before digit number. tHird Page Horizontal 4.75"x 4.812" of road work, road September 1 to enter the first grade. To enroll To make a phone call, dial one closings and traffic your child in either kindergarten or first grade, of the four area codes (404, 770, 678 and 470) delays, which are helpyou will need to provide the child’s social and the seven-digit number. In general, 404 is FourtH Page Vertical 3.5625"x 4.812" ful when commuting. security number; a vision, hearing, and dental designated for intown areas and 770 for suburbs; Updates can be obtained screening from a family practitioner or local the 678 and 470 area codes overlay both areas. by calling (toll free) health clinic; and immunization records on Cell phone subscribers can choose from any area 1-877-694-2511, by dialing 511, or by visiting Georgia State Form 3231. code whenPage signing up for service. SixtH Vertical 2.375"x 4.812"

Voter Registration

Vehicle Emission Inspection

Making a Phone Call

Driving Tips

Registering for School | Newcomer Magazine | 39

COUNTY INFORMATION EDUCATION pUBLIC schools Bartow County Schools Board of Education: 770-606-5800 Elementary Schools Middle Schools High Schools Career Academy Per-pupil expenditures: School & bus information

Bartow County

12 4 3 1 $8,311 770-606-5873

Tellus Science Museum ADAIRSVILLE

Avg. SAT Scores Bartow Co. 1440 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 Cartersville 770-387-5631 Georgia Power Company 888-660-5890 Gas Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit

Telephone AT&T Residential 770-382-9743 Water Bartow County Water Department 770-387-5170 Cable TV AT&T 866-271-9724 Comcast 800-266-2278 Hospitals Cartersville Medical Center 770-382-1530 Emory Heart & Vascular Center 404-778-8400

the county seat after nearby Cassville was largely destroyed by Union General William Sherman. Located within the hills of North Georgia, Cartersville boasts several museums, including the Tellus Science Museum, the Booth Western Art Museum, the Rose Lawn Museum and the Bartow History Center. It is also home to the Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site, featuring prehistoric mounds dating back more than 1,000 years. Natural attractions including Lake Allatoona, Red Top Mountain State Park and the Pine Mountain Trail provide residents with outdoor recreation options and other familyfriendly activities. Today, Cartersville boasts a population of more than 19,000 residents, and has its own school district made up of five schools, from pre-K to high school.

WHITE Originally named Cass County, BARTOW Bartow County was renamed after CARTERSVILLE Colonel Francis S. Bartow in 1861. EMERSON Rich in Native American history, the county was created from part of Cherokee County in 1832. The county saw great devastation during the Civil County The first Georgia War, which was especially Neighborhoods town to be registered in tragic after the prosperous the National Register of antebellum period the area had Historic Places, Adairsville enjoyed. Union General William Schools Sherman burned nearby Cassville, was named after Chief John Median household income: $49,060 the original county seat, to the Adair, a Scottish settler who Median age of residents: 35.6 ground in 1864; the county married a Cherokee Indian Population: 100,661 seat was moved in 1867 to girl. The Western and Sales tax: 7% Cartersville, where it remains. Atlantic Railroad played Chamber of Commerce Though Cassville never a central part in the city’s 770-382-1466, recovered from the war, the growth in the mid-1800s, as Property Taxes county and Cartersville benefited local businesses flourished Per $1,000 of assessed value is: from the area’s natural resources around the depot. SixtyUnincorporated Bartow County, $27.73 and transportation. Mining and five miles from both Atlanta Cartersville, $30.73 agriculture became important and Chattanooga, the city Adairsville, $32.66 parts of the local economy along is perfect for an overnight Tax Commissioner: 770-387-5111 with textiles, corn and cotton. stay, especially at the . Today, the county offers a Currently, the county employs a nearby Barnsley Gardens tight-knit community, with a great sole commissioner form of government, Resort, which offers spa treatments, school system and affordable housing. and is the largest county to have such a gardens, restaurants, golf and In addition to Cartersville, the county government in the state. Georgia is the beautiful English cottages sure to is also home to the cities of Adairsville, only remaining state to allow for sole take your breath away. Kingston, Euharlee and Emerson. commissioner governments. Adairsville is also an antiques Attractions include the Euharlee lover’s dream, with the Georgia Covered Bridge and History Museum, North Antique Mall and the 1902 the Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Stock Exchange shop both in the Center, the Civil War Museum in small downtown area. N Kingston, the world’s first Coca Cola outdoor advertisement and abundant For more counties and neighborhood Incorporated in 1850, Cartersville nature trails in such spots as Pine Top information, visit our Web site at is full of history. The city became Mountain and Red Top Mountain.

40 | Newcomer Magazine |






Cherokee County

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


Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

County Neighborhoods Schools 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,

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

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 Avg. SAT Scores Cherokee Co. 1560 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 706-276-2362 Amicalola EMC Cobb EMC 770-429-2100 Georgia Power 888-660-5890 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 | 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 888-436-8638 AT&T 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 |


Smyrna | Newcomer Magazine | 43

COUNTY INFORMATION EDUCATION pUBLIC schools DeKalb County Schools Board of Education 678-676-1200

DeKalb County 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.

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


Early Learning 1 Elementary Schools 4 Middle Schools 1 High Schools 1 Per-pupil expenditures $13,444 School & bus information 404-370-8737


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

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


Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Avg. SAT Scores DeKalb Co. 1334 City of Decatur 1577 Georgia 1460 National 1509

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.

44 | Newcomer Magazine |

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


Fulton County

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.

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


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


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


Elementary Schools 52 14 Middle Schools High Schools 20 Charter 15 Alternative 6 Per-pupil expenditures: $13,069 School & bus information: 404-802-5500

Downtown Atlanta skyline



Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development.

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.


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 | 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.




46 | Newcomer Magazine |



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Father’s Day Week, Interactive Neighborhood for Kids Make a special craft present for Dad just in time for Father’s Day. June 9-13, 770-536-1900,

Fourth of July Celebration, Wills Park

Theater & Concerts

Exhibits & Events

Evita, Fox Theatre

Ice Cream Week, Interactive Neighborhood for Kids

Zac Brown Band, Aaron’s Amphitheatre

Jesus Christ Superstar, Philips Arena

Alpharetta Summer Brew Moon Fest, Downtown Alpharetta

This production of the groundbreaking rock musical features performances by rock and pop singers including John Lydon, JC Chasez and Michelle Williams. June 16, 800-745-3000,

The Voice 2014 Tour, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Watch as finalists from the most recent season of the hit TV singing competition “The Voice” and favorite stars from past seasons, including season 5 champ Tessanne Chin and runner-up Jacquie Lee, perform live. June 29, 800-745-3000,

Cave Spring, Ga., less than two hours from Atlanta, hosts this 39th annual celebration with more than 100 vendors. Take a swim in Rolater Lake, explore the town’s historic limestone cave, and much more. June 14-15, 800-444-1834,

Fourth of July Celebration, Wills Park Pack a picnic and celebrate your independence in Alpharetta with children’s activities, live music and a brilliant fireworks display at dusk. July 4,

Timothy Reynolds, Bridgepoint Plaza

June 7, 800-745-3000,

Cave Spring Arts Festival, Rolater Park


The violin player and his band perform as part of the free First Friday concert series in downtown Rome, Ga. June 6, 800-444-1834,

Run a 5K race and then stick around for a street party with live music, great food and more than 100 beer vendors from around the world. June 21,

Create your very own ice cream flavor at this fun, hands-on museum. June 2-6, 770-536-1900,

The Atlanta-based Grammy Award-winning country and folk band performs.

This summer cocktail series features a complimentary beverage, a special evening exhibit viewing, music, a keeper presentation and work by local artists. June 12 and July 10, 404-624-5600,

Craft Beer Festival and 5K Road Race, Downtown Alpharetta


Broad Street Block Party, Downtown Rome

Celebrate summer with wine, beer and delicious food from some of Alpharetta’s best restaurants.

Celebrate the Fourth in style along three blocks of downtown Rome, Ga., with a children’s play area, live music by the high-energy Infinity Show Band, and a fireworks display. Visitors can also take part in the Color Me Free 5K Fun Run at nearby Ridge Ferry Park. July 4, 800-444-1834,

June 7, 678-297-2811,

Movies Under the Stars, Town Center Park

Fabulous Fourth, Mall of Georgia

Bring lawn chairs, a blanket and snacks while enjoying a screening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. June 7,

The Mall of Georgia’s 12th annual Independence Day bash features children’s activities and rides, live music, food and drink concessions, a special screening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and the largest fireworks display in Gwinnett County. July 4,

Art of the Animal, Booth Western Art Museum

Lionel Richie, Chastain Park Amphitheatre The popular soul, R&B and pop singer performs hits from throughout his career. Atlanta native CeeLo Green of “The Voice” fame opens. July 7, 800-745-3000,

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PHOTO: © Kent Ullberg, Scent of Vixen, 2013

Experience the award-winning Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical that explores the life of the legendary Argentine first lady Eva Peron. June 3-8, 800-278-4447,

PHOTO: Courtesy of Alpharetta Convention & Visitors Bureau

Wild on the Rocks, Zoo Atlanta

Legendary 4th of July, Lenox Square Atlanta’s premier Fourth of July celebration features the Southeast’s largest fireworks display and live entertainment from the winner of the “Atlanta’s Next Legend” talent search, the Journey tribute band Departure and Party on the Moon. July 4,

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

Peachtree Road Race, Buckhead and Midtown Atlanta One of Atlanta’s largest Fourth of July traditions, this 10K race draws 60,000 competitors from across the globe. The race starts at Lenox Square Mall in Buckhead and ends at Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta. July 4,

Sparkle in the Park, Lilburn City Park Enjoy a fun-filled Fourth of July with food, fireworks and live music courtesy of the Jimmy Buffet tribute band A1A. July 4, 770-638-2225,

Parsons Alley Farmers Market, Duluth Peruse and purchase locally grown produce, baked goods and other products in Parsons Alley across from the Duluth Town Green. Thursdays through September, 678-475-3512,

Food Truck Fridays, Town Center Park Enjoy a variety of delicious options from local food trucks and live music on the first Friday of each month (except July). Through Oct. 3,

Suwanee Farmers Market, Town Center

Salute to the Red, White and Blue, East Point

Browse and purchase local produce, honey, jams, salsa, baked goods and more. The market is open Saturday mornings through Oct. 4 and Tuesday evenings through Aug. 5. Through Oct. 4,

This family-friendly tradition features a carnival complete with carousel, Ferris wheel and the area’s largest fireworks display. July 5,

Mi Casa, Your Casa, High Museum of Art Explore more than 35 three-dimensional open frames of a house installed throughout the High’s Sifly Piazza and around the Woodruff Arts Center campus. July 18-Nov. 2, 404-733-5000,

Broadway in the Park, Town Center Park Enjoy productions of Cinderella and Spellbound, courtesy of Suwanee Performing Arts. July 25-26,

Lilburn City Market on Main, Lilburn Find fresh, local produce all summer at the City of Lilburn’s new weekly farmers market in Old Town. Tuesdays through August, 770-638-2225,

Ninjago Training Camp, LEGOLAND Discovery Center See if your little one has what it takes to join the Ninjago team and take on the bad guys! Summer 2014, 404-848-9252,

Art and the Animal, Booth Western Art Museum Browse sculptures and depictions of animals selected to tour museums across the country by the Society of Animal Artists. Through Sept. 7, 770387-1300,

Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas, High Museum of Art

Philip Haas: The Four Seasons, Atlanta Botanical Garden This exhibit by contemporary artist Philip Has features four gigantic, three-dimensional sculptures made with fiberglass that include oversized twigs, vegetables, fruits and other natural elements. Through October, 404-876-5859,

Thirsty Thursdays, Downtown Duluth Enjoy food and drink specials as well as discounts at participating bars, restaurants and vendors. Thursdays through October, 678-476-3434,


Fridays N Duluth, Duluth Festival Center & Amphitheatre Enjoy movies, children’s activities, concerts and more at this free weekly event for all ages in downtown Duluth. Fridays through October, 770-476-3434,

Free Fridays, Gainesville, Fla. Enjoy free concerts by local and regional acts, every Friday from 8-10 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza in historic downtown Gainesville. Through November, 352-393-8746,

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

Get a rare peak at some of the world’s rarest and most beautiful automobiles designed by the likes of Ferrari, Bugatti, General Motors and Porsche.

Bodies the Exhibition, Atlantic Station

Through Sept. 7, 404-733-5000,


This exhibit offers an unmatched view of the human body and how it works. 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

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Tellus Science Museum


ig for a fossil bone. Pan for gold nuggets. Check out a completely solar house. Peer inside the cramped cockpit of a replicated Apollo 1 space capsule. A diversity of experiences that appeal to a range of curious minds waits under one roof at the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville. A speedy drive of about 45 minutes north along Interstate 75 whisks visitors to this gem By H.M. Cauley of a museum, which opened in its current form in January of 2009. Before that, the space housed the Weinman Mineral Museum, which lives on as the Weinman Mineral Gallery. One of the museum’s four galleries, it explores such mysteries as how pennies evolve from copper boulders and how gems are carved from minerals. “I’d say most people who visit are surprised by our rocks and minerals,” says Shelly Redd, the museum’s marketing director. “There’s such a variety in the collection, including minerals from around Georgia and an exhibit on meteorites.” Another permanent collection, the dinosaur display, boasts a recently acquired triceratops skull. There are also exhibits on transportation technology, the sun as a source of energy, earthquake phenomena and the often-overlooked wonders in our own backyards. Each area offers hands-on activities, from panning for gold to digging for dinosaur bones, for the entire family. The 120,000-square-foot museum also includes a planetarium, which hosts shows that ponder questions from alien life to planets in far-off galaxies. The observatory gives visitors a view of the moon and planets through a 20-inch telescope. On designated days, the observatory stays open after dark, allowing visitors to examine the night skies. It also extends its hours on special occasions—for the full lunar eclipse that took place last April, the observatory was open from midnight to dawn. The museum also offers special events and exhibits, workshops, a lunch-and-learn series, a “Night at the Museum” program, summer activities and group field trips. There’s also an outdoor pavilion that’s perfect for picnics, and a café offering snacks, meals and drinks. Visitors should allow three hours to explore the entire museum. The Tellus Science Museum is located at 100 Tellus Drive in Cartersville. For hours, admission prices and other information, call 770-606-5700 or visit

A Gateway to the World of Scientific Discovery

The dinosaur display boasts a recently acquired triceratops skull.

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Newcomer Magazine | June/July 2014  

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

Newcomer Magazine | June/July 2014  

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