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Relocation, Lifestyle & Living in Atlanta

June/July 2015

Our Best Bets for Family-Friendly Activities

Summer Fun in the City


College Admissions success Crafting a Memorable Application

spectacular savannah Discover Culture and Natural Beauty

LeGOLAND Discovery Center Build, Learn and Play at This Fun Attraction

June/July CONTENTS FEATURES Money and Moving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Summertime in the City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Tally up your expected moving expenses before you move to avoid any unhappy surprises. Here are some tips and points to consider.

Looking for things to do in your new city this summer? We’ve rounded up 13 of our best bets for adventure, relaxation, family fun and more.

Standing Out in College Admissions . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Spectacular Savannah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

How can your child craft a memorable college application? Local counselors and admissions representatives offer their advice.

Georgia’s first city is brimming with history and culture, making it the perfect spot for a weekend getaway or leisurely vacation.




DEPARTMENTS In Focus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 The inside scoop on news, events and happenings around Atlanta.

Homes and Communities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Learn about the difference between homeowners associations and neighborhood associations—their responsibilities, common rules and relative costs—and which might be right for you.

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

Upcoming Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Get caught up on the best exhibitions, theatrical productions, special events and live music across the metro area.

Neighborhood Spotlight. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Close to the city, but far enough away to maintain its small-town feel:

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

Fayetteville’s desirable location, excellent schools and historic downtown make it a top choice.

The LEGOLAND Discovery Center at Phipps Plaza lets families build their own adventures and explore everything LEGO.

School Spotlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 At the Bedford School in Fairburn, children with learning differences are able to build their self-esteem and confidence in themselves.

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Find Newcomer Magazine on Facebook and Twitter For additional information before and after your move, from news on deals and events to tips on real estate, organizing, events, restaurants and much more! Facebook: Newcomer Magazine Twitter: @NewcomerAtlanta | Newcomer Magazine | 5

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Newcomer magazine, June/July 2015 Volume 19, 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. © 2015 Killam Publishing, Inc.

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

space age


PHOTO: Jeff Roffman Photography

Even if you’ve never been to Space Camp, if you’re a fan of space travel, you won’t want to miss the 2015 Space Camp Alumni Festival Weekend at the US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL, July 23-25. Where else can you hang out with astronauts, take a spin on astronaut training simulators and compete in a Top Gun competition? The weekend also includes the annual Space Camp Hall of Fame induction dinner and a concert with Rock Yacht Revue under the USSRC’s Pathfinder space shuttle. For more information, visit


If you ever dreamed of finding yourself in a fairy tale, you may feel a tinge of jealousy while visiting Once Upon a Time… Exploring the World of Fairy Tales. The latest exhibit at The Children’s Museum of Atlanta allows kids to interact with larger-thanlife scenes from seven of the world’s most famous fairy tales. While learning the meaning and history of the timeless tales, they can play a harpsichord from Beauty and the Beast, try on a glass slipper from Cinderella and even crawl through a mole’s hole from Thumbelina. Through July 26. For more information, visit

Music in Full Bloom

Local Schools Continue to Excel Congratulations are in order for several local schools, starting with Mt. Bethel Christian Academy, which recently opened a North Campus that will serve grades 9-12. Meanwhile, Atlanta’s Holy Spirit Preparatory School celebrated its 19th annual Spring Gala in April at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead. Through sponsorships, ticket sales, auction items, and donations, the gala raised just over $200,000. Way to go Holy Spirit! Additional kudos to the young actors at Eastside Christian School (photo above), who had not one, not two but four sold out performances of its recent production of Sound of Music! 8 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: Atlanta Botanical Garden

PHOTO: Eastside Christian School

The annual Concerts in the Garden summer series has been a popular event at the Atlanta Botanical Garden for years and this summer it’s expanding to the recently-opened garden in Gainesville, GA. Come prepared to spread out on cool grass, relax and take in great shows, while surrounded by woodland beauty at the garden’s Ivester Amphitheater. The series kicks off June 13 with Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, followed by The Temptations (July 11), and Scotty McCreery (July 17). For more information, visit

infocus Suwanee SculpTour is bigger than ever this year in many more ways than one. The city’s popular public art showcase is featuring 17 new sculptures created by a variety of artists from Georgia, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. One of those sculptures, Dancer XX, is the heaviest ever included in a SculpTour exhibit. Weighing 3,000 pounds, the 20-foot tall male figure standing on one leg with raised arms will be joined by pieces ranging from simply beautiful to those dealing with topics such as the pain of love, unattainable success and awareness. Through March 2017. For more information, visit

PHOTO: Sevierville CVB

PHOTO: City of Suwanee

Showcasing Sculpture

Summertime in Sevierville Less than four hours from downtown Atlanta, Sevierville, Tennessee is a picturesque getaway that is easily enjoyed year-round, but gets better during the summer, when there are a plethora of events on tap. Among the many things you can do in Sevierville this summer include yelling “Play ball!” when the Tennessee Smokies take the field (June 4-10), doing The Twist with Chubby Checker (June 12, Country Tonite Theater) and enjoying a nice glass of vino during Wine on the Lawn at Hillside Winery (June 19). For a full listing of events, go to | Newcomer Magazine | 9



Simple Steps to Keep From Breaking the Bank By Daniel Beauregard

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Moving to a new city can be an expensive and stressful proposition. There are many financial factors to consider: Should you rent rather than buy a new home? What’s the cost of living in your new city? What should you budget for? A little preparation can go a long way toward preventing unwanted or unexpected expenses and taking much of the anxiety out of the experience.


he first and most important step is to have a plan in place so that you know what to expect. “Any proper plan begins with a list of expenses relating to the move itself, getting set up, and ongoing changes with annual expenses such as property or tax rates— city and state—as well as differences in living expenses,” says Debbie Montgomery, an Atlanta-based certified financial planner.

MAKING THE MOVE It’s important to be aware of small expenses that can add up quickly, such as packing materials. Be sure to budget for such items as boxes and tape. Figure out what you’ll need beforehand and buy as much of it as possible before you get started.

If you’re moving your belongings yourself, there are additional costs to account for, including van or trailer rental. If your trip will take several days, determine whether you’d feel comfortable booking hotels in advance, and be aware that discount travel sites like Priceline and Hotwire don’t disclose where you’ll be staying until after you’ve paid for the room. Moving with pets presents its own issues, such as making frequent stops to let your animal stretch its legs, and finding pet-friendly lodgings. A cross-country move presents other issues, as well. “If you can afford to hire a mover and ship all of your belongings, then that is the easiest way,” says David Weinberg, an attorney who has worked as both a residential and commercial real estate agent. “You just have to consider

that it will take the mover several days to get to your new residence.” Do some comparison-shopping of different moving companies to get the best price for the best service. If you’re moving for your job, check with your employer to see if they will cover the cost of the move. And whether you’re leaving behind an apartment or selling a house in your old city, “don’t forget to cancel your utilities and return your cable boxes,” Weinberg says.

FINDING YOUR NEW HOME Perhaps the most significant financial issue is deciding where you’re going to live. Often, there’s not enough time to scout various neighborhoods and make an informed decision be- | Newcomer | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 11

fore you move to your new city. Daren Blomquist, vice president of real estate website, recommends renting for up to six months while you investigate different parts of the city. This can be a difficult adjustment if you’re used to owning a home, but Blomquist stresses that there are many single-family homes available for rent in today’s market. “Choosing to rent doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck in an apartment,” he says. When considering the rent-versus-buy debate, it’s crucial to weigh such factors as the expenses involved in homeownership and how long you plan to live in your new city. “Typically, if you’re not planning on staying in that city for more than five years, you should rent,” Blomquist says. “The equity that you would build in a home in less than five years isn’t going to offset the costs of keeping it up.” If you do decide to buy, engage the services of a knowledgeable Realtor to help you navigate the process and advise you on the different mortgage rates available, as well as mortgage interest-rate deductions and other incentives for which you may be eligible. Additionally, a Realtor can give you a clear picture of the financial landscape involved in buying a home,

including sales and property taxes and closing costs, which are generally 3 to 5 percent of the purchase price. Whether you’re renting or buying, however, you should definitely consider purchasing insurance to cover any unexpected losses or damages. Pay particular attention to the rate, as well as how much coverage a particular plan offers. “Find an [insurance] agent who has been in the business 10 years,” Weinberg says, “and who is willing to spend 30 minutes to an hour explaining coverage limits with you, what special needs you may have.”

COST OF LIVING IN ATLANTA Once you’ve factored in the cost of your new home (and getting yourself there), it’s time to take into account the costs associated with living in Atlanta. The good news is that this isn’t an expensive place to live. The American Chamber of Com-

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merce Research Association’s Cost of Living Index for 2012 places Atlanta’s cost of living at approximately 96 percent of the national average, meaning life in Atlanta is a little cheaper. Sites such as Relocation Essentials, and offer cost-of-living calculators that can give you a sense of what you’ll need to make in Atlanta to approximate the salary you earned in your previous city. It’s also a good idea to take into account any auto or property taxes or expenses that might be different from your previous city. Most counties in metro Atlanta, for example, require yearly emissions inspections for cars and light trucks dating from 1989 to 2010. And as Debbie Montgomery points out, don’t forget to budget for filling your new home with such items as tools, curtains, furniture and appliances. Most importantly, be sure to leave room in your budget for exploring everything your new home has to offer. “Consider how far the dollar will take you,” advises Weinberg. “If you can’t afford to enjoy your new city, then why move there?”




What You Should Know About HOAs and Neighborhood Associations By Susan Flowers

When it comes to neighborhoods, Atlanta offers everything from older, tree-lined communities to new subdivisions with the latest perks. And those areas offer just as much variety when it comes to neighborhood and homeowners associations. Whether you’re looking for an area with strict standards for appearance with an eye toward property values, or fewer rules but more personality, metro Atlanta has the right neighborhood for you. 14 | Newcomer Magazine |

Is An HOA Right for You? A homeowners association (HOA) is a legal entity that is typically responsible for upholding rules governing the appearance of properties. An HOA will often have the right to enforce those rules by issuing fines and even placing liens on properties of noncompliant owners. “The big advantage is that there’s a standard that’s set for everyone,” says Realtor Josh Jarvis of Jarvis Team Realty. “They also do some other things, like maintain the amenities.” Because of the HOA, these neighborhoods are often able to offer pools, sidewalks, clubhouses or tennis courts. Cal McShan, vice president of the Atlanta division of Sentry Management, which manages HOAs for 300,000 homes, condominiums and townhomes across the country, notes that an HOA can be crucial to your home’s value in the long run. “In today’s market, having the help of an association, in terms of the services that are provided, is key to the health of the property you’re purchasing,” he says. “If things are uniformly maintained [by an HOA], you don’t or two sore thumbs” lowering home values, says Sentry Management marketing director Paul Queen.

property. You may not be able to, or it might cost more than it would otherwise, because you can’t just go get an aluminum building.” Another potential drawback is the impact of HOA dues on your purchasing power. While a well-maintained neighborhood can prevent your home’s value from depreciating, what you pay toward an HOA will be considered by banks when you apply for a loan, because your dues affect your debt-to-income ratio. “If you pay $600 a year, that’s $50 a month,” says Jarvis. “A lot of people don’t think about that.” This can play an especially large role in the purchase of a townhome or condo, or in the purchase of a home priced near the limit of what you can afford.

Because of the HOA, these neighborhoods are often able to offer pools, sidewalks, clubhouses or tennis courts. Of course, one person’s sore thumb can be another’s needed enhancement. Keep in mind that an HOA’s interpretation of standards can differ from yours, and you have to abide by the organization’s rules. “They can also restrict things that you want to do to the home,” Jarvis says. “For example, you may want to put an outbuilding on your

Do Your Research

If you’re looking for a home in a neighborhood with an HOA, a little due diligence can pay off in the long run. Ask to see financial reports for any HOA you’re seriously considering. Without adequate funding, amenities can’t be maintained and improvements can’t be made. It’s reasonable to expect that your neighborhood’s pool and other features will be just as attractive in 10 years as they are today. u Newcomer Magazine | 15

It’s also a good idea to ask to see the minutes of the past few HOA meetings. These documents can inform you of ongoing problems that can factor into your decision to buy. “What they’re talking about in the minutes gives you a good snapshot of what the issues are in a neighborhood,” says Queen. Although HOA documents are nobody’s idea of a pageturner, it’s still important to give them a thorough read. If an HOA’s standards differ significantly from yours, it’s better to know before you purchase. Drive through the neighborhood to be sure that it’s properly maintained. Amenities or homes in poor condition can tell you that an HOA isn’t doing its job. And if you’re considering a gated community, be aware that everything inside those gates is the responsibility of the neighborhood’s homeowners. If a road inside a gated community needs paving, the association, not the county, is responsible for the cost. “In a gated

community, the only things they don’t own are the mailboxes,” says Jarvis.

Neighborhood Associations If you’re looking for a looser structure than that offered by many homeowners’ associations, a neighborhood association might be the ticket. Found more often in areas close to Atlanta’s

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downtown than in the suburbs, neighborhood associations frequently act as advocates for a community, working with elected officials on improvements and taking actions to enhance the area’s quality of life. A neighborhood association is typically less concerned with enforcing standards for appearance and more concerned with issues that affect the community, says Nancy Dorsner of the Lake Claire Neighbors. “Really, it’s just having an organization that can represent the neighborhood when things come up like school redistricting,” she says. “It’s a whole lot easier for the association to get face time with elected representatives. Every person in the neighborhood can’t get a meeting with our city council person. We can speak with one voice on neighborhood issues, like recommending that a traffic light should be changed.” Although the name suggests that it’s an HOA, the 1,200-member Dunwoody HomeContinued on page 18 | Newcomer Magazine | 17

“Our neighborhood is laid back. We like the fact that it’s quirky and interesting.” — STACEY HARRIS, Dunwoody Homeowners Association

owners Association is actually closer to a neighborhood association in function. The Dunwoody HOA covers the entire city of Dunwoody, a DeKalb County suburb with a population of around 46,000. With events including Food Truck Thursdays, a Fourth of July parade and live concerts, “We very much add to the quality of life in our city,” says President Stacey Harris. The group also hosts candidates’ forums for city council and mayoral elections. The Lake Claire Neighbors group seldom, if ever, tackles issues relating to the appearance of

individual homes. “Even though we may have an issue of growing grass too long, we prefer the more flexible and free approach to how our neighborhood evolves,” says Dorsner. “Our neighborhood is laid back. We like the fact that it’s quirky and interesting. We don’t have to have all matching mailboxes,” she adds. Remember that HOAs and neighborhood associations are different entities that serve different functions, and be aware of what each offers and what you want when you’re investigating a particular community. Good luck!

IMPORTANT FACTS • An HOA is a group of property owners with the authority to enforce rules concerning such issues as yard work, safety and uniformity of appearance. • A neighborhood association is a group of neighbors and business owners concerned with such issues as quality of life. • If you move into a community with an HOA, membership is generally mandatory. • Most condominium communities are HOAs. • Some HOAs have restrictions about parties, noise, etc. • HOAs usually own and maintain community property such as roads, tennis courts, etc.

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e Park Arts Festiva

spotlight Fayetteville By Muriel Vega

Southern Ground Amphitheater

Sparrow’s Cove

PHOTO: Courtesy of the City of Fayetteville


Culinary Treats

Fayetteville boasts a variety of housing options for both professionals and families. Whitewater Creek (770-629-2563), a gated, private golf community, boasts a private clubhouse, tennis, four lakes and other luxurious amenities, with homes starting in the mid $400s. The Sparrow’s Cove and Apple Orchard subdivisions often feature starter homes starting in the $200s. If you’re looking for affordable apartment living, the Cobblestone Fayette Apartments (770-719-9477) offers one-, two- and three-bedroom units starting at $790. Weatherly Walk Apartment Homes (770-460-1491) offers a variety of floor plans, as well as amenities including tennis courts and a swimming pool.

The Royal Chef (770-716-8299) offers a cozy atmosphere and quality Chinese cuisine. The Speedi-Pig Barbecue (770-719-2720) is famous for its Brunswick stew and 99-cent Piglet sandwiches. Broadway Diner (770-716-2628) serves breakfast, sandwiches, steaks and other staples. Head to Franks at the Old Mill (770460-6455) for Italian and Mediterranean specialties, or Village Café (770-460-7888) for sandwiches, pasta and other American fare. Partners Pizza (770-716-1528) serves up calzones and specialty pies.

Local Treasures Southern hospitality and history are alive in Downtown Fayetteville, anchored by the Old Courthouse Square and surrounded by small shops, murals, a cemetery and train depot. Built in 1825, the Fayette County Courthouse is the oldest surviving courthouse in Georgia. Just outside the square, the Holliday-Dorsey-Fife House Museum (770-716-5332) boasts ties to such figures as Margaret Mitchell and “Doc” Holliday. Fayetteville is also home to Piedmont Fayette Hospital (770-719-7000), named one of the nation’s top 100 hospitals by Thomson Reuters.

Arts and Entertainment The downtown area hosts more than two dozen events each year, including “Lunch on the Lawn” outings with live entertainment on the courthouse lawn. The Southern Ground Amphitheater (770-719-4173) hosts national musical acts and family movie nights. The popular golf course at Whitewater Creek hosts an annual golf tournament in the fall. The Fun Junction USA (770-460-5862) amusement park provides family fun with mini-golf, the Screaming Eagle coaster and other attractions. The Fayette Pavilion features great shopping with stores, restaurants and a movie theater. N

The Holliday-Dorsey-Fife House Museum

The Inside Track Fayetteville was recently recognized as a top 10 suburb for retirement by Forbes magazine.

PHOTO: Courtesy of the City of Fayetteville

PHOTO: Courtesy of the City of Fayetteville


stablished in 1922, Fayetteville is a pedestrian-friendly community with a small-town feel and a thriving, historic downtown. Its low unemployment rate and one of the best school systems in the state contribute to a high quality of life. Just 15 miles from HartsfieldJackson Atlanta International Airport, Fayetteville offers easy proximity to downtown Atlanta, yet is far enough away to offer a peaceful retreat.

ing p e r P or F ege l l o C



THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS PROCESS How to go Above and Beyond What’s Expected By Anna Bentley 20 | Newcomer Magazine |

Stand out by getting involved in activities related to your interest.

It’s a topic on the minds of many high-school students and their parents: college admissions. With an ever-growing number of prospective college students—and an average of seven to 10 applications per student—colleges are seeing more competition than ever before. So, how do students stand out in the sea of applicants? According to some of metro Atlanta’s college and admissions counselors, the strongest applications are ones that show a pattern of success—and a little personality.

Going Above and Beyond The most important aspect of a student’s application is his or her academic record. Strong academic performance is important, as well as the relative rigor of the class load. Admissions officers value strong grades, but they also consider classes taken in the context of classes offered at particular schools. “We really want to focus on seeing that a student has challenged themselves and taken rigorous classes in high school,” says Patrick Winter, senior associate director of admissions at the University of Georgia. And the same goes for extracurricular activities, too. Says Winter: “It doesn’t necessarily matter what they do as

To show further initiative, Nancy Beane, college counselor at northwest Atlanta’s The Westminster Schools, encourages her students to get involved in activities related to their interests and communicate that in their applications. “If you’re interested in engineering or medicine, what have you done that might lend itself to that kind of major?” she says. “Have you done a robotics program if they have it at your school? Are you in the science bowl? What have you done that really speaks to that?”

Authenticity Matters

much as that they demonstrate that they’re doing something with their time, whether that’s volunteering, whether that’s working, whether that’s doing a service project: We want to see that someone recognizes the fact that they’re doing something above and beyond the minimum that is expected of them.” Does it matter how many extracurricular activities a student participates in, or how many internships he’s completed by graduation? Not necessarily. For admissions counselors, the most important thing is the level of effort. Students stand out by making an impact—not just participating—in their activities, no matter how many they choose.

“I think the most important thing is for [students] to honestly be themselves, to be authentic and to be honest,” says Jessica Jaret Sant, director of college counseling at The Lovett School, an independent K–12 school in northwest Atlanta. “Kids often write about or do what they think an admissions person wants to see or hear instead of whatever it is that they really care about. We hear questions all the time about, ‘How much community service do I need?’ or, ‘What do you think an admissions counselor wants to hear in my essay?’ when the reality is the most refreshing students in those pools are the ones who are just comfortable enough to be who they are.” Before joining The Lovett School, Sant was an admissions counselor at Emory University and the University of Georgia. She recalls students that spoke in an authentic voice and presented themselves as they were—successes, failures and all—were some of the most memorable candidates. u | Newcomer | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 21

the reader learn more about their personality, their values and who they are as an individual. For letters of recommendation, Beane and Sant recommend seeking teachers from the student’s junior or senior year, and preferably one humanities teacher and one math/science teacher. And while students might be tempted to choose teachers who saw them at their best, Sant recommends considering teachers of classes students have struggled in instead. “When I was reading applications, the best letters of recommendation that I read were from teachers who actually observed the student struggle and overcome,” she says. “It’s those teachers who can speak to that student’s ability to overcome adversity the best.” Ultimately, the application that stands out

HELPFUL RESOURCES The Written Element When it comes to completing essays, the advice for students is clear: Answer the question asked. Use your own voice and writing style. And check for typos and mistakes before submitting—better yet, have someone else review it, too. While students should thoughtfully consider the question asked, they should be careful

not to overthink it, too. “It doesn’t have to be something that’s earth-shattering,” says Beane. “Whatever means something to them is what they should write about.” Essays are also a great chance for students to show a side of themselves not represented in other parts of their application. Sant recommends that students take this opportunity to let

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is the one that is organized, conveys a sense of personality and shows a history of academic performance and initiative. Says Winter, “Usually the best predictor of future success is past success, and so when we see students that have been involved in things in high school that demonstrate interests beyond academics, that’s a good indicator that that’s a student who is going to be engaged with our campus. “Every college wants students that are going to be successful academically, and that is always overwhelmingly the most important factor. When we have thousands of applicants that all predict to be successful students, we want to round out the class with students that are able to contribute to the environment, that are going to be leaders on campus, that are going to get involved in things and that really make the most of their experiences here.”

WHAT PARENTS CAN DO TO HELP Aside from lending your college-bound teen a hand with his or her homework, here are some ways you can help nudge your student in the right direction. • Check in with your child’s college counseling department or guidance counselor to ask about his or her progress. • Encourage your child to polish her resume by pursuing community service, like a church mission trip to another country. • Likewise, help your child choose extracurricular activities that complement each other and illustrate personal growth and commitment. | Newcomer | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 23


The Bedford School

Helping Children with Learning Differences By Cady Schulman


tudents with learning differences can have a hard time fitting in and succeeding in traditional schools, especially if their difficulties aren’t severe enough to qualify for special needs classes. That’s where The Bedford School comes in. Located in Fairburn, Ga, the school is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The Bedford School serves grades 1-9, and works with children who have been professionally identified as having learning differences, such as dyslexia or ADD/ADHD. “We can do so much more when the whole school is highly structured and teaching the methods that children with learning differences need than just trying to provide supplemental help and have them in a regular program,” said Betsy Box, the school’s founder and director. The Bedford School, which Box says is the only school of its kind on Atlanta’s southside, places a strong emphasis on multisensory teaching. Math and language arts are taught twice a day so that they’re presented at the right pace for students to process. “Sometimes it’s not the skill, it’s how fast it’s being thrown at them,” Box said. “We work on repetition, too.” The school also groups students by ability so that students who are at the same level are taught together. That’s something that Box says works hand-in-hand with multisensory teaching. “It meets everyone’s learning style,” she said. “It’s visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile. And, when you do ability grouping, the teachers can teach exactly what those kids needs.” While the school teaches children in grades 1-9, 3rd and 4th grades are the most in demand. “A lot of bright little kids can kind of hold it together for a long time and

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they may look like pretty good readers but they may have just memorized a lot of words,” Box said. “By 3rd grade, you can’t just get by on memory work, and you have to start reading for social studies and science content.” When it comes to 6th graders, many parents are afraid of how their children will adapt to a traditional middle school setting. “In a traditional middle school, a lot of academic issues are written expression, organization and working independently,” Box said. “Those are things that we have to teach our kids to do more directly.” And, The Bedford School’s middle school program is designed to help students acclimate back into a regular high school for 10th-12th grades. “Some of them go to public school, and some of them go to private schools, Box said. “There are three private schools near Bedford that have added support programs for learning differences. They just need accommodations like longer time for a test or a note taking buddy.” And, attending a school like The Bedford School before a more traditional learning setting helps the self-esteem of children with learning differences. Box said parents have told her that they feel like they have their children back. “It helps their independence and responsibility,” Box said. “They’re more focused. They’re willing to work harder because they’re successful. It’s a big motivator.” N

The Specifics Grades: 1-9 Student/Teacher Ratio: 5:1 Tuition: $18,250 Location: Fairburn

Contact: 5665 Milam Rd., Fairburn, GA 30213 770-774-8001 Web: | Newcomer Magazine | 25

TOP: Piedmont Park, Midtown Atlanta. CENTER: Atlanta Botanical Gardens. BOTTOM: Turner Field, home to the Atlanta Braves.

The days are longer, the temperatures are higher and the weekends are full of events, festivals, concerts and more; it’s summertime in Atlanta, and there’s no better time to explore your new hometown!


hether you’re looking for an exciting outdoor adventure or a familyfriendly attraction, Atlanta offers something for everyone, all summer long. Here are 13 of our top picks for fun and sun in the city this summer.

PHOTOS: (Top) Courtesy of Piedmont Park Conservancy; (Center) Courtesy of the Atlanta Botanical Garden; (Bottom) ©2014, Kevin C. Rose/

1. Explore Piedmont Park. Every city has its own treasured greenspace; for Atlanta, it’s Piedmont Park. On any given day, Midtown’s Piedmont Park is filled with joggers, people-watchers, dog walkers, sunbathers and Frisbee players— and on especially beautiful summer days, the best seat in the city is a patch of grass on its great lawns. Aside from its walking and jogging paths, another big draw is Lake Clara Meer, a stocked fishing lake with stunning views of Midtown Atlanta serving as its backdrop. The park is also a popular spot for many festivals and concerts throughout the year, including the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, the Atlanta Jazz Festival and Music Midtown. 404-875-7275, 2. Enjoy the Botanical Garden. Nestled in Midtown just outside Piedmont Park is the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Wander through the garden’s 15-acre Storza Woods forest, see its impressive collection of tropical orchids in the Fuqua Orchid Center, smell the roses in the Rose Garden, explore the garden’s tropical and desert plant collection in the Dorothy Chapman Fuqua Conservatory or peacefully reflect in the Japanese Garden. And remember to keep an eye out for special sculptures and water features as you explore the garden; pieces from its Art in the Garden collection are sprinkled throughout the space. Atlanta Botanical Garden also hosts special events and lectures throughout the summer. 404-876-5859, u Newcomer Magazine | 27

July 4th celebration at Lenox Square; (Center) The Dare Devil roller coaster at Six Flags.

4. Visit Six Flags Over Georgia. Roller coasters. Water rides. Funnel cakes. Few things are more quintessentially summer than spending a day at a major theme park. Take the kids—or the kids at heart—to Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell for a thrill-filled summer adventure. This summer, THE JOKER Chaos Coaster joins Six Flags’ roster of roller coasters; Harley Quinn Spinsanity, a twirling teacups-inspired ride, is also new for 2015. It’s not all roller coasters and

offers live music and family-friendly fun, followed by a spectacular fireworks show at nightfall. And in Buckhead, the Legendary Fourth of July at Lenox Square will celebrate its 56th year celebrating Independence Day with one of the largest fireworks shows in the Southeast.

6. See a Movie at the Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival. A special summer-

“spinsanity,” though; Six Flags also has exciting rides geared toward younger guests, as well as its own in-park water park, Hurricane Harbor. 770-739-3400,

5. Celebrate July 4th. For Independence Day celebrations, you’ve got plenty of options. At Stone Mountain Park’s Fantastic Fourth Celebration (, the celebration lasts four days from July 2–5. During the day, enjoy the park’s family-friendly activities like hiking, fishing and mini-golfing; by night, experience the park’s famous Lasershow projected on Stone Mountain’s 825-foot granite mountainside, followed by a patriotic fireworks finale. Centennial Olympic Park’s 4th of July Celebration (

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time treat, the Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival at the Fox Theatre pairs classic films and current blockbusters alike with the historic beauty of the Fabulous Fox. And, true to the Fox’s roots as one of the city’s finest movie theaters, all showings feature pre-show cartoons and a mini concert on Mighty Mo, the Fox’s custom-built Möller organ dating back to 1929. This year’s movie lineup and show times have not been announced yet, but check the Fox Theatre’s website for updates. 404-8812100,

7. Enjoy an Outdoor Concert. Atlanta’s amphitheaters come alive in the summer, hosting top touring acts and emerging artists alike. At Alpharetta’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park (, you can catch the Barenaked Ladies, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Boston,

PHOTO: (Top) Courtesy of Lenox Square.

3. Take in a Braves Game. Atlanta is home to the Atlanta Braves, its own Major League Baseball team, and Turner Field, located in the heart of Atlanta, is the home of the Braves. Travel to the Ted, as Turner Field is affectionately called, to cheer on the team. Come early to watch batting practice, stay after the game on Fridays for the free Friday Night Fireworks show and check the team’s website for special themed days, giveaways, postgame concerts and more (some of this year’s concerts include Boyz II Men and Charli XCX). That’s not all the city’s baseball options though; the Gwinnett Braves, the team’s Triple-A affiliate, will also play at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville all summer long. 404-577-9100,

Kansas and Rush this summer. Atlanta’s Delta Classic Chastain Park Amphitheater (www.class will host Tony Bennett with Lady Gaga, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Boyz II Men and Idina Menzel. And Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood ( will have Fall Out Boy, Lana Del Rey and Lady Antebellum. For a more intimate setting, try Park Tavern in Piedmont Park (www.parktavern. com). Its free Sunset Sessions at Park Tavern concert series will bring up-and-coming alternative acts to the tavern’s covered patio every Sunday night through September.

Dolphins at the Georgia Aquarium; (Center) Patio Dining at Atlanta’s many restaurants; (Bottom) Tubing on the Chattahoochee River is an Atlanta tradition.

8. Take a Hike. From the rolling foothills of the Appalachian Mountains to the banks of the Chattahoochee River and its many tributaries, there are nearly limitless options for day hikes around Atlanta. Get familiar with the area’s state parks by exploring its many trails, overlooks, waterfalls and historic sites. There are plenty of spots close to the city (Sweetwater Creek State Park, Morningside Nature Preserve and Sope Creek Park are all top picks), and the peaks and valleys of the Appalachian Mountains are only about 90 minutes away. 404656-2770,

9. Patio Dining. Take advantage of the warm weather by dining al fresco at some of the city’s most picturesque patios. Intown, try Kevin Rathbun Steak in Inman Park, which overlooks the BeltLine, a burgeoning urban multiuse trail. Six Feet Under’s two locations offer distinctive patio views: In Grant Park, the seafood spot overlooks Oakland Cemetery, while the Westside location’s patio has more of an urban feel. Canoe in Vinings boasts a riverside bar, while the patio at East Atlanta’s Holy Taco makes it one of the city’s most sacred taco spots. 10. Hit the Beach. Atlanta might be a five-hour drive to the beaches of South Carolina, Florida or coastal Georgia, but there’s a much closer option: the shores of area lakes, including Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona. Both options feature all the perks of the beach without all the tedious hours on the road. And others, like Robin Lake Beach at Callaway Gardens and Lake Lanier Islands at Lake Lanier, offer additional amenities and resort-style lodging. There’s a nearby option no matter what side of the city you’re on; see and for options north of Atlanta and if you’re south of the city.

11. Shoot the Hooch. A favorite lazy afternoon pastime for locals, “shooting the Hooch” simply means enjoying the Chattahoochee River, preferably in a tube or raft. The Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell (www.chattnaturecenter. org) offers guided canoe tours of the Hooch for beginners and advanced canoers alike, and at the appropriately named Shoot the Hooch (, you can rent tubes, rafts, canoes and kayaks from one of four locations along the river. Or, park at a National Park

Service entrance and enjoy the river however you wish: fishing, swimming, kayaking or just relaxing on its banks.

12. Enjoy a Day Downtown. Five of the city’s top family-friendly attractions are conveniently centralized downtown, with Centennial Olympic Park and its interactive Fountain of Rings, a perfect spot for cooling off on a hot summer day—right in the middle. Across from Centennial Olympic Park are the World of Coca-Cola | NewcomerMagazine Magazine|| 29 29 | Newcomer

The Children’s Museum of Atlanta.

Museum of Atlanta (www.childrensmuseum; the CNN Center and its Inside CNN Studio Tour (; and SkyView Atlanta (, a 20-foot Ferris wheel offering unparalleled views of the city skyline. Actually, you might need a few days to take all of this in!


13. Find a Festival. Festival fanatic? Are you

(, a museum devoted to the city’s signature soda brand; Georgia Aquarium (, the world’s largest aquarium; and the newly opened Center for Civil and Human Rights (www.civil Also within walking distance are the College Football Hall of Fame (; Imagine It! The Children’s

one that enjoys large crowds, festivities and the great outdoors? You’re in luck. Atlanta’s summertime festivals range from neighborhood festivals like the Virginia-Highland Summerfest (June 6–7; and the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival (Aug. 29– 30; to monthslong celebrations like the National Black Arts Festival ( There’s the Flying Colors Butterfly Festival at the Chattahoochee Nature Center (June 6–7; www.chattnaturecenter. org), the Atlanta Street Food Festival (July 11; and the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival (July 25; There’s even a music festival held in the city’s oldest cemetery: The 5th annual Tunes from the Tombs will be held June 13 at Oakland Cemetery (www.tunesfromthe

Strap on Some Skates at the Cooler

Ice-skating is a great way to have fun (and get a little exercise) while keeping cool. And there’s no better place to lace up and hit the ice than the Cooler, also known as the Alpharetta Family Skate Center. One of the state’s foremost skating and family recreation facilities, the Cooler features two ice arenas and a large roller-skating rink, and offers classes in figure-skating, ice-skating, roller-skating, ice hockey and roller hockey—as well as volleyball, yoga, wrestling and martial arts programs and a state-of-the-art fitness center. In addition, it’s open all year long! 770-649-6600,



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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DeSoto Caverns

A Family-Friendly Natural Wonder By Muriel Vega

Located in Childersburg, Alabama, just two hours from Atlanta, sits DeSoto Caverns Family Fun Park, a one-of-a-kind attraction. Visitors to DeSoto Caverns can get turned around in the Lost Trail Maze, wage war with water cannons, get up-close and personal in bumper cars, and test their agility on the climbing wall.


ut while it offers fun rides and games, don’t expect your typical amusement park. DeSoto Caverns also allows guests to explore the breathtakingly beautiful cave that gives the park its name. “With our wacky attractions, we’re not your average, everyday amusement park,” says Caprece Clinton, the park’s director of marketing.“They’re surprised by the awesomeness that we have here, especially the cave.” Visitors walk down into the cave, which opens into a main room that can be a bit overwhelming—after all, it’s larger than a football field, and the ceiling is 12 stories high. Tours of the caverns twist and turn through striking formations of stalagmites and stalactites. The main room also features special laser shows during seasonal celebrations including Christmas and the Fourth of July. And the caverns remain at a constant 60 degrees, perfect for a visit at any time of year. For those seeking a little more adventure, there’s the DeSoto Cave Crawl Box, where children (and some adults) can crawl, climb and slip

through a winding, dimly lit manmade maze. And visitors looking for something a little easier on the muscles will surely love the gemstone panning area. DeSoto Caverns’ location offers it easy access to travelers heading across the Southeast. And because of its size, visitors can see and do everything in one day, making it a great weekend getaway or an ideal stop during a long trip. There’s also a 16-site campground, and there are special packages available for campers, as well. With so much to see and do, DeSoto Caverns remains a hidden gem for those in search of family-friendly entertainment. In June, the park will be hosting a 50th anniversary celebration, featuring Native American dances, activities, and much more. “We’re not the regular amusement park people think of,” Clinton says. “We’re fun, and we want families to have a good time here.” DeSoto Caverns is located at 5181 DeSoto Caverns Park in Childersburg, Alabama. For more information, visit or call 800-933-2283. | Newcomer | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 31




Azalea bushes in bloom at Forsyth Park.

SAVANNAH History, Culture and Natural Beauty in Georgia’s First City

Situated along the Savannah River in the Southeast corner of Georgia, Savannah is known for its breathtaking beauty, old-world charm and rich history. The state’s first capital is a thriving business center (thanks to its manufacturing base and bustling port), as well as a popular destination for tourists, who come to marvel at its architecture, its trees draped in Spanish moss, and its rich links to the past. The romance, history and touch of mystery create a charming atmosphere that makes Savannah a favorite for weekend escapes or leisurely vacations. NewcomerMagazine Magazine | 32 ||Newcomer |


By H.M. Cauley

LEFT: Historic Savannah homes. RIGHT: (Top) The Savannah River; (Bottom) Forsyth Park.


Historic Appeal

Count Casimir Pulaski was a Polish officer who fought alongside the colonists. Today, his name graces the Fort Pulaski National Monument. The walls of the fortress still bear the pockmarks of the bombardment it endured during the Civil War. Visitors can stand on the ramparts where cannonballs still rest in the bricks and get a sense of what the fort was like in 1862. 912-786-5787, The Massie Heritage Center offers an overview of the city’s design and intricate grid system, and tells the story of the city’s past through exhibits on the native tribes of the region and past and ongoing preservation efforts. 912-395-5070, The city’s wealth of historic homes gives a glimpse into the prominence Savannah enjoyed in its heyday. Many of the mansions are open to the public and decorated with period pieces that recreate a bygone era. Among the most popular is the Mercer Williams House Museum, which dates back to 1868 and draws crowds who marvel at the structure’s carved woodwork,

The city’s wealth of historic homes gives a glimpse into the prominence Savannah enjoyed in its heyday.

Founded in 1733, Savannah is Georgia’s oldest city, and is believed to be one of the first planned cities in the country. In fact, the city’s layout is one of its main attractions; the center of town is a grid of garden squares filled with fountains, trees, flowering shrubs and benches that invite visitors to linger amid the park-like setting. The imminently walkable downtown is home to ornate antebellum and Victorian mansions that add to the city’s ambience. Because of its significance as a port city, Savannah found itself the center of attention during both the Revolutionary and Civil wars. In 1779, the five-day “Siege of Savannah” pitted French soldiers against the British forces. Today, the battle is largely retold through markers at sites such as Forsyth Park, the scene of the French camps and trenches, and Battlefield Park, where hundreds of granite stones represent those who died in battle. The Savannah History Museum features displays recounting the siege. 912-651-6825, | Newcomer | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 33

marble mantels and polished parquet floors. The house is also a magnet for mystery lovers, as it’s the site of a famous murder involving preservationist and antiques dealer Jim Williams; the resulting trial, appeals and legal battles were the inspiration for the book and movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. 912-236-6352, Other historic sites include the 150-year-old Bonaventure Cemetery (which played a prominent role in the Midnight book and movie), the birthplace of Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low and the childhood home of famed Southern writer Flannery O’Connor. One of the best ways to see the city’s highlights is on an Old Town Trolley Tour that stops at 15 top sights. Daily excursions depart from the Savannah Visitor’s Center. For those looking for spine-tingling stories, the Trolley runs ghost tours as well. 888-910-8687,

Arts and Attractions


A trip to Savannah isn’t complete without a stroll along lively River Street. The entertainment and dining hub of the city, this riverside walkway is

lined with renovated cotton warehouses that are now home to more than 75 shops, pubs, boutiques, galleries and hotels with sweeping views of the Savannah River and its port traffic. Visitors can stroll along the concourse, dine at any number of eateries that specialize in local seafood or book a riverboat cruise to get a different view of the town. On St. Patrick’s Day, River Street is ground zero for Irish-inspired merriment.

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Lady and Sons, where Southern staples like shrimp and grits and the buffet of fried chicken, catfish, yams, collard greens and more draws hungry tourists. 912-233-2600,

Where to Stay

PLANNING YOUR VISIT Savannah Convention & Visitors Bureau 912-644-6400,

Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport 912-964-0514,

Bed and Breakfasts of Savannah


As home to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), the town has a particular allure for artists in all media. The college and its museum of art boast extensive permanent collections of British and American art, photography, contemporary art and more. The museum, a restored 1856 Greek Revival structure that once housed the offices of the Central of Georgia Railroad, is a work of art all its own. 912-525-7191, The historic Savannah Theatre opened its doors in 1818, and is still one of the city’s entertainment anchors, where plays, popular Broadway musicals and more take center stage. 912-233-7764, In Savannah, eating is an attraction as well. Among the local favorites are Elizabeth on 37th, the Gryphon Tea Room and the Olde Pink House. Fans of food personality Paula Deen can dine at her family eatery, The

Savannah boasts a thriving hospitality industry, with a number of quaint inns and privately run bed-and-breakfasts that are often noted for their romantic allure and the chance to spend a night in a historic property. Among the most popular are The Gastonian, a 4-star inn with 17 sumptuous rooms (912-232-2869,; Kehoe House, a 1892 home on the National Registry of Historic Places that caters only to adults (912-232-1020,; and the East Bay Inn, a restored cotton warehouse built in 1852 (912-238-1225, Filled with history, beautiful architecture, breathtaking parks and great food, Savannah has something to offer travelers of every stripe. After one visit to Georgia’s first city, you’re sure to rank it first among your favorite in-state getaway destinations. | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 35 | Newcomer 35



Sevierville TENNESSEE


The Perfect Summer Getaway

ust a four-hour drive from Atlanta, beautiful Sevierville, Tennessee is the perfect spot for a day trip, weekend getaway or summer vacation. Here are 8 attractions and stops that are worth the drive. Great Smoky Mountains National Park: The most-visited national park in the country is a nature lover’s paradise, with a wealth of camping, lodging and recreational opportunities. Sevierville Golf Club: Two 18-hole courses offer championshiplevel golfing at this pristine public club. Enjoy a pre- or post-game meal at Mulligans Restaurant. Floyd Garrett’s Muscle Car Museum: You don’t have to be a car enthusiast to be amazed by this one-of-a-kind collection of American muscle cars, including Chevys, Mopars, Shelby Mustangs and more. Tennessee Museum of Aviation: This 50,000-square-foot attraction features a revolving roster of exhibitions and aircraft, historical artifacts and aviation memorabilia. Forbidden Caverns: Explore one of America’s most spectacular caverns, with awe-inspiring formations, majestic natural chimneys and a crystal-clear stream. Rainforest Adventures: Experience ring-tailed lemurs, giant pythons, deadly cobras and more at one of the finest small zoos in the country. The Diner: Step into the past at this dazzling 1950s-style eatery, which specializes in buffalo and elk burgers along with more traditional fare. The Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant: Tour a working apple orchard after dining at this charming restaurant housed in a 1920s farmhouse. For more information on things to see and do in Sevierville, call 888-7384378 or visit

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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

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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

GETTING STARTED tax on vehicles. Your tag office will provide the amount of sales tax on your vehicle. For information on a specific county, contact the appropriate county’s Tax Commissioner’s Office.

Vehicle Emission Inspection

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

Driving Tips

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

NEED TO KNOW Voter Registration

Registration applies to U.S. citizens at least 18 years of age. You have up to 30 days before an election to register. Register at your local Voter Registration Office and most public libraries. Refer to the AT&T directory for locations, or download a registration form at

Making a Phone Call All phone numbers in the metro Atlanta area include the area code plus the sevendigit number. To make a phone call, dial one of the four area codes (404, 770, 678 and 470) and the seven-digit number. In general, 404 is designated for intown areas and 770 for suburbs; the 678 and 470 area codes overlay both areas. Cell phone subscribers can choose from any area code when signing up for service.

Registering for School By law, children must be 5 years old on or before September 1 to enter kindergarten and 6 years old on or before September 1 to enter the first grade. To enroll your child in either kindergarten or first grade, you will need to provide the child’s social security number; a vision, hearing, and dental screening from a family practitioner or local health clinic; and immunization records on Georgia State Form 3231. | 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.

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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 AT&T 888-436-8638 Comcast 404-266-2278 MCI Worldcom 770-541-7235 Outside Georgia 800-356-3094 WATER Austell Water Cobb County Water Systems Marietta Water Powder Springs Water Smyrna Water

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

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

White Water

Cobb County

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Marietta City Schools Board of Education



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

42 | Newcomer Magazine |




DeKalb County

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

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


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

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


Emory University


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

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

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


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

UTILITIES & CONTACTS Electricity Georgia Power


Snapping Shoals EMC


Walton EMC


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



404-780-2355 Water

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


Comcast Cablevision


Hospitals Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston


DeKalb Medical Center


Emory University Hospital


Piedmont Hospital and Medical Care Center

404-605-5000 | Newcomer Magazine | 43


PUBLIC SCHOOLS Fayette County Schools Board of Education 770-460-3535

Avg. SAT Scores

Fayette Co. Georgia National

1550 1431 1483

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

UTILITIES & CONTACTS HOME SERVICES ELECTRICITY Georgia Power Company 888-660-5890 Coweta-Fayette EMC 770-253-5626 GAS Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit TELEPHONE AT&T Residential


WATER Fayette County Water 770-461-1146 Comcast

CABLE TV 404-266-2278

HOSPITALS Fayette Care Clinic 770-719-4620 Piedmont Fayette Hospital 770-719-7000


Old-fashioned community pride mingles with a progressive sensibility on the streets of historic downtown Fayetteville, where antique stores and boutiques sit side by side in refurbished buildings. Boasting a population of approximately 16,000 residents, Fayetteville is home to the Fayette County Historic Society, Research Center and Museum. A haven for family fun, Dixieland Fun Park offers an assortment of activities for young and old alike. The HollidayDorsey-Fife Museum provides a fascinating link to the past thanks to its association with several historical figures, including Margaret Mitchell and "Doc" Holliday. The 1,500-seat Southern Ground Amphitheater attracts national touring acts with its annual summer concert series.

17 6 5 1 1 $8,359 770-460-3520 Photo: Courtesy of the City of Fayetteville

Elementary Schools Middle Schools High Schools Alternative Open Campus Per-pupil expenditures School & bus information

Fayette County


Starr's Mill in Fayetteville

Located southwest of Atlanta, the land comprising Fayette County was ceded from the Creek Indian Nation in 1821, thus creating Georgia’s 49th county. The county seat, the city of Fayetteville, was established in 1823 and contains the oldest courthouse in the County state, built in 1825 and located Neighborhoods The area now known on Fayetteville’s historic town as Peachtree City was square. Both the county and city Schools originally settled by were named for the Marquis de Woodland Era Indians LaFayette, who fought alongside Median household income: $82,216 Median age of residents: 42.4 several thousand years ago, George Washington in the Population: 107,104 and ceded to the Federal Revolutionary War. Sales tax: 6% government in 1821 by Author Margaret Mitchell Chamber of Commerce Chief William McIntosh, Jr. spent many summers at her 770-461-9983, Comprising some grandfather’s home in Fayette 12,000 acres, Peachtree County, which helped to inspire Property Taxes Per $1,000 of assessed value is: City was chartered in the locations in her novel Gone With Unincorporated Fayette County, $30.70; 1950s as a masterplanned the Wind. Fayetteville, $31.64; community of five separate Today, the 199-square mile Peachtree City, $34.54. villages. Today, the area area is renowned as a thriving Tax Commissioner: 770-461-3611 is linked by a 90- mile economic center that features network of trails and golf numerous attractive incentives for businesses, including the 2,200From 1984 to 1994, Fayette cart paths connecting homes, acre Peachtree City Industrial Park, County was the fifth-fastest growing businesses, schools and parks. Gol carts, bicycles and walking are the which features its own Foreign Trade county in the U.S. Zone, which allows merchandise to Fayette County boasts several preferred modes of transportation enter from or exit to foreign countries golf courses and two amphitheaters, among its 35,000 residents, who without a formal U.S. Customs entry among other attractions serving a enjoy its wooded scenery and or payment of duties. In addition, family-oriented population of more wealth of parks, playgrounds and Fayette County maintains a rural, than 106,000 residents. Single-family recreational areas. N . small-town allure, and has been housing in Fayette County ranges For more counties and neighborhood recognized as one of the nation’s from the $50,000s in moderateinformation, visit our Web site at most attractive communities for income areas to more than $2 million corporate family relocation. in affluent neighborhoods.

44 || Newcomer | NewcomerMagazine Magazine |


Peachtree City


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

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.


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 riety of parks and outdoor 770-993-8806, 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 Middle Schools 14 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.


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 770-822-2200 for Behavorial Health

Gwinnett County

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development


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

Mall of Georgia




46 | Newcomer Magazine |



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upcoming EVENTS

Summer Concert Series, Dunwoody Nature Center Bring a chair, blanket and a picnic dinner and cool off with a rotating selection of craft beers while enjoying a night of rockin’ tunes on the Nature Center meadow or back porch of its new deck. Georgia Flood performs June 13, followed by Deja Blue Grass Band, June 27, and Allatoona, July 11.

Broadway in the Park presents Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Town Center Park You’ll go on many magical adventures during this timeless tale about a car that flies, floats and even thinks. July 24, 25, 678-482-6333,

Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, Chastain Park Amphitheatre If you like a little razzle with your dazzle, you won’t want to miss this crooner/pop superstar duo, because together, they provide it in spades. July 29,

Site of the Chattahoochee River Country Music Festival

Theater & Concerts Fridays -N- Duluth, Duluth Town Green Every Friday night through October, visit downtown Duluth for a night filled with fun, food and live music. Also, on the first and third Friday of the month, movies are shown at dusk. Through Oct., 770-476-3434,

Mace Hibbard, The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta Grammy Award-winning saxophonist, composer, and educator Mace Hibbard will perform at the Morris & Rae Frank Theatre, continuing its Jazz at the JCC series. June 14,

Every third Saturday, June-August, 770-476-3434,

Exhibits & Events

Flying Colors Butterfly Festival, Chattahoochee Nature Center

Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace Miniland Model Display, LEGOLAND Discovery Center

If you love beauty, it would be hard not to enjoy this event, which features more than 250 free flying butterflies. There will also be live music, entomology exhibits, arts and crafts, face painting, butterfly parades and more. Kids are encouraged to wear their butterfly costumes and join the daily butterfly parades! July 6, 7,

Don’t miss this walk-through exhibit which will offer a galactic immersion into the sights and sounds of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. Ongoing, 404-848-9252,

Bruce Munro: Light in the Garden, Atlanta Botanical Garden

Concerts in the Garden, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Gainesville

As if the Atlanta Botanical Garden wasn’t beautiful enough on its own, during this event it will transform at dusk with imaginative, luminous works of art, which have been created from hundreds of miles of optic fiber. Through Oct. 3,

Concerts in the Garden, Atlanta Botanical Garden The 13th edition of this popular musical event kicks off with Josh Turner (June 20), followed by Smashmouth, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Tonic (July 23), The Beach Boys (July 24), Colbie Caillat (Aug. 7), John Hiatt and The Combo and The Taj Mahal Trio (Aug. 21), Melissa Etheridge (Aug. 22), and The Mavericks & Los Lobos (Aug. 28).

Food Truck Friday, Town Center Park Bring a hearty appetite to Suwanee’s Town Center Park the first Friday of each month and enjoy a variety of food choices, from spicy to savory, as well as high school jazz performances.

Head to historic downtown Duluth on June 20 for Jimmy Buffet tribute band A1A, July 18 for alt-rockers Vertical Horizon and August 15 for Yacht Rock Schooner, who will provide the smooth sounds of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. 48 | Newcomer Magazine |

Through October, PHOTO:Atlanta Botanical Garden

Summer Stage Concert Series, Duluth Town Green

Fantastic 4th Celebration, Stone Mountain The Fourth of July fun isn’t limited to just one day at Stone Mountain, where you can experience what has been called a “Must-See Fireworks Show” by USA Today, four nights in a row! The special patriotic fireworks finale

will follow the world famous Lasershow each night. July 2-5,

Summer Concert Series, Dunwoody Nature Center

The Story Behind Selma, Center for Civil and Human Rights Join civil rights activists Bernard Lafayette Jr., Charles Mauldin, and Joanne Bland as they talk about their experiences during the American Civil Rights Movement; and, specifically, within the context of the Selma Movement. June 3,

PHOTO:Dunwoody Nature Center

The Fox Theatre Block Party, Peachtree Street NE and 3rd Street NE. This celebration is a thank you to Atlanta for supporting the Save the Fox campaign in 1974-1975, and will include live entertainment on two stages, special tours, food and drinks, activities, and prizes. June 7,

Wild on the Rocks, Zoo Atlanta Mix, meet, and mingle at the city’s wildest summer cocktail series for adults! Tickets include a complimentary beverage, evening exhibit viewing, music and more. June 11, Atlanta Moon Ride, Piedmont Park

Luvuyo Mandela: Social Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century, Center for Civil and Human Rights

Camp Broadway, Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Join the great-grandson of Nelson Mandela as he discusses prevalent xenophobia in Africa and the effect that it is having on entrepreneurial initiatives on the continent. June 25,

Lenox Square has celebrated Independence Day in grand tradition with patriotic activities for the entire family for more than half a century. This year’s 56th annual event will include the largest fireworks display in the Southeast, musical entertainment and food concessions. July 4, 404-233-6767,

Atlanta Moon Ride, Piedmont Park This third annual night-cycling event will include a fun, safe, 6.5-mile bike ride through Atlanta’s coolest neighborhoods and participants are encouraged to ride with flair—dressing in costume, decorative helmets, glow sticks, bullhorns, etc. June 19,

More than 20 of country music’s top performers, including Brian Collins, Corey Smith, Bubba Sparxxx, Cowboy Troy and Kentucky Headhunters will be on hand for this three-day festival at the picturesque 1100-acre Foxhall Resort and Sporting Club only 20 minutes from downtown Atlanta. July 24-26,

5K Bull Run, Tioga Town Center Inspired by Spain’s Running of the Bulls, the Gainesville Roller Rebels will be donning bull horn helmets, red shirts and red markers as they act the part of the bull and chase runners, who will be wearing white, through the streets of Tioga Town Center. July 25,

A Short Drive Away A T. rex Named Sue, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, Florida A short trip to Gainesville, Florida and you’ll be able to experience the largest, most complete and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered! Through Sept. 13, 352-846-2000,

Chattahoochee River Country Music Festival, Foxhall Resort & Sporting Club

Don’t miss it when the Atlanta Braves and the Center for Civil and Human Rights partner for discussion about athletes and social responsibility; panelists will be wide-ranging and have an interest in where we as a community go from here. June 19,

July 27-31, 212-575-2150,

Legendary 4th of July, Lenox Square

Braves Heritage Discussion, Center for Civil and Human Rights

Camp Broadway’s Original Summer Program enables theater-loving kids, ages 10-17, to develop their confidence, character and presentation skills through ensemble performance.

Music on Main Street, Downtown Hendersonville, North Carolina A favorite downtown event, Music on Main Street offers classic rock ’n’ roll and beach music throughout the summer. There will also be a special patriotic concert on July 4th, complete with a fireworks demonstration. Fridays, June 5 through August 14,

Monday Night Live, Downtown Hendersonville, North Carolina For four Monday evenings in June, a variety of local and regional musicians will perform everything from folk and bluegrass to salsa and R&B in historic Downtown Hendersonville. June 8 through June 29, | Newcomer Magazine | 49


LEGOLAND Discovery Center


he LEGOLAND Discovery Center is a dream come true for adults and children alike—a dream constructed out of more than 2 million colorful LEGO bricks. Opened in March of 2012, this 35,000-square foot space at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead is an interactive playground that sparks kids’ creativity at every turn, and offers a little education along the way. Designed for children ages 3 through 10, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center is filled with wonders like the 4D Cinema, which lets viewers become part of the story unfolding onscreen By Lindsay Oberst as they experience bursts of wind, rain, snow and even lightning. At the Build and Test zone, kids create their own vehicles and test them on a speed track, while at the Earthquake Tables, they construct towering buildings and then stand back and watch as the plates shift, testing the strength of their creations. Little visitors can see how these beloved bricks are made in the LEGO factory, and participate in adventure areas like Kingdom Quest, Merlin’s Apprentice and the LEGO Fire Academy. They’ll also enjoy LEGO Friends—Olivia’s House, where they can watch LEGO Friends movies, create LEGO garden, whip up delicious snacks and even perform karaoke. Adults will appreciate the education benefits of the center, which offers school trips that get students excited about using math and introduces them to basic concepts of physics and engineering. Grown-ups will also get a kick out of MINILAND, featuring miniature versions of such local landmarks as the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Stone Mountain and Centennial Olympic Park. And Star Wars fans will enjoy a special Episode 1: The Phantom Menace MINILAND display on view through the end of the year. There are also monthly Adult Nights, allowing visitors without children to check out the attraction and participate in building challenges with the center’s Model Builders. The staff recommends two to three hours to take everything in, but you might want to budget a little extra time to hit the on-site café—and the LEGOLAND shop, bursting with more than 900 products including the latest LEGO sets. Of course, no matter how long your visit, your little ones will be shouting “When are we coming back?” before you’ve even left. For hours, ticket prices and other information about LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta, call 404-848-9252 or visit

Building Creativity and Family Fun

50 Magazine | 50 ||Newcomer Newcomer Magazine |

Newcomer Magazine | June/July 2015  

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

Newcomer Magazine | June/July 2015  

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