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In this May 2017

Issue 204



Celebrating 200 Reasons We Love The Northside

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Full Speed Ahead The Atlanta Rowing Club (ARC) ran the Head of the Hooch, also known as “The Last of the Great Fall Regattas,” for the first time in 1982. While that race has outgrown its Roswell origins, the ARC — along with out-of-water opportunities to row — continue to attract young and old to the sport.

Wild and Free in Cali Adults need a summer vacation, too. Leave the kids at home and hop on a plane to the West Coast, where you can choose your own adventure through national parks, posh hotels, Napa Valley vineyards and much more.

Destined for Fun When school’s out for the season, many Northsiders, especially fiends of off-shore fishing, head south to get their beach fix along Florida’s Emerald Coast. At an estate ideal for multi-generational getaways, reel in family fun with an excursion that ends with cooking your crew’s fresh catch for dinner.

Wetting a Line Whether teaching a little one to tie a fly or wading into waters as a first-timer yourself, we scouted the experts who’ll help you leave North Georgia’s top trout spots with the fishing stories and photos well worth any bragging rights.




ON THE COVER Members of the Atlanta Rowing Club on the Chattahoochee River near Roswell | Photo courtesy of Samantha Taylor Photography



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Editor’s LETTER

PointsNorth Atlanta

Natural Selection

PRESIDENT / CEO Witt Beckman


PUBLISHER Carl Danbury Jr.

“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.” – Edward Abbey


Currently on my nightstand is “Desert Solitude: A Season in the Wilderness,” an autobiography by Edward Abbey, who recounts his times as a park ranger in southeastern Utah. Having just hiked several trails through the steep red canyon cliffs inside Zion National Park, it seemed a natural selection for me. In fact, the timing couldn’t be more appropriate — our May issue is filled with as many literary leanings and outdoor explorations as we could find. We start on the water, dipping our toes into the world of rowing. Thanks to its health benefits and camaraderie, rowing continues to make waves in boutique studios as well as regattas. For more rowing stories, add a copy of Daniel James Brown’s “Boys in the Boat” to your summer reading list. Flashlight in hand, we uncover other classics that have traditionally kept us reading long after the lights went out, so get your library card ready as we also shed light on upcoming summer reading activities. A good read can take you far. Inspired by the Choose Your Own Adventure series that was well read in my youth, this month’s travelogue on California is specifically designed for you to select your own storyline. Tag along as much as you like as I delve deep into Yosemite National Park and explore South Lake Tahoe, or opt for a quick escape to posh pampering in Sonoma and a different route to wine tasting in Calistoga. Flipping back and forth is absolutely allowed, if not encouraged. Among this issue’s pages, you’ll also find accounts of fishing expeditions and for those with lofty summertime goals, another outdoor thrill awaits in the treetops. While the rest of us were immersed in nature, Associate Editor Colleen Ann McNally revisited Alpharetta, the community she calls home, for our latest installation of “Two-Hundred Minutes In.” Her discovery proves that adventure awaits near as well as far. Only time will tell if my next adventure will come close to topping my Yosemite experience. It’s silly to assume I can capture the journey as vividly as legendary writers like John Muir, Mark Twain and Abbey, so I won’t even try. Instead I’ll leave it to the latter: “May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys … where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you — beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.”


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Please Recycle This Magazine


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Nos. 61-73

POW E 8 | POINTS NORTH | May 2017

Charting the Rise of


W ERING Upstream written by BROOKS METZLER

NORMALLY ON A CHILLY SATURDAY AT 8 A.M., you’ll find me in bed. But one March morning, under a powder blue sky, I watched dozens of self-propelled watercrafts whizz by unfettered by the 38-degree morning. “Tom Donohoe” graced the stern of a slender white boat and I watched a team of eight place it into the Chattahoochee River with several military-precise motions.


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“We’re out here because we love being on the water.” KIM GRIFFITHS | Atlanta Rowing Club

“All of the greats have boats named after them,” said Kim Griffiths. As a rower in the Atlanta Rowing Club and the chair of the social committee, she guided me through a tour of their boathouses leading down to the water. Donohoe, she explained, founded the group with a few fellow rowers in 1974. Initially, they used Stone Mountain Lake for practices, but began constructing boathouses and hosting practices from the dock on Azalea Drive in Roswell in 1978. By 1980, the club operated exclusively from this location, and in the decades since, a new wave of enthusiasts — competitive and recreational alike — is swelling on the Northside.




Like most non-profits, the Atlanta Rowing Club relies strongly on member volunteers. Members are required to put in eight 10 | POINTS NORTH | May 2017

hours of volunteer work per year, not counting the additional six required during the nation’s second largest regatta, Head of the Hooch. Griffiths added that many members actually exceed those hours. “We’re out here because we love being on the water,” she said. According to an ARC newsletter, in 2015, the average member provided 20 hours of service. At the dock, I met up with Bryce Chung. The Hawaii native wore red sunglasses and spoke excitedly of the club; after all, he’s been president of ARC for the past four years. We chatted for a few minutes, then boarded the launch, a matte-grey boat with a nine-horsepower Mercury outboard engine. It’s the boat of choice for rowing coaches, who’ve long praised its maneuverability and low wake. We quickly shoved off and sped over to the first group. These eight men and women comprise a master’s team — the name given to rowers who are past the post-collegiate level (ages 23 and above). In fact, Atlanta Rowing Club is the only organization of its kind in the region

offering beginner’s programs for older adult rowers. This particular master’s team rowed in what crews refer to as an “eight.” Eights are the largest and most stable shells, and actually house more than the name lets on. A ninth person, called a coxswain, is in charge of guiding rowers through the course like a rally co-pilot. These boats measure a whopping 60 feet in length and cost as much as an Audi A4. As we set off down the river, the men’s competitive group, who rowed in a quad, soon joined us. This shell differs as it holds only four people and each rower powers two oars through the water instead of one. The quad is more difficult to row than the eight, but pales in comparison to a pair. “Even the slightest error [in a pair] and you’re in the water,” Griffiths said. After watching several pairs go by, it was easy to see why. Their boats were only as wide as the cleaver blades on their oars and each person held one oar, meaning any lapses in rhythm would end with a cold splash in the river.




Most of the ARC member dues go toward funding equipment cost and rental of land from the City of Roswell, but a good portion is allocated to hiring additional coaches. Most recently, these efforts have been aimed at honing teams in preparation for Head of the Hooch. On the first Saturday and Sunday in November, rowing teams nationwide converge on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The first Head of the Hooch regatta took place at the ARC’s home base in 1982 and saw 105 boats registered. In 2004, the competition moved to its present location, with 10 times as many entrants. By 2015, it had reached a maximum capacity with 2,300 competing boats — rivaled in size only by Massachusetts’ Head of the Charles. What does it take to train for this sport? Ask Alison Eloquin, an instructor at American Row House in Marietta. The regatta bug caught her when she was a teenager. Eloquin said she’d played softball and basketball from a young age, but made a switch after discovering her cousin rowed. “Rowing isn’t as big in the PHOTO COURTESY OF CARYN OXFORD

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South,” Eloquin said, and that uniqueness appealed to her. She started rowing in high school, first joining Saint Andrew Rowing Club, an arm of Georgia Tech’s rowing program aimed at teaching and training youth rowers. It wasn’t long before Eloquin was hooked, and she soon joined the Atlanta Junior Rowing Association (AJRA). This introduced her to the competitive side of rowing, and during that time she competed at regattas in Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee. Eloquin currently works as a mortgage broker, but still finds time to teach classes at Marietta’s American Row House twice a week. Each class at the indoor studio is 45-minutes long and divided into a warm-up, intervals of endurance, stamina or power and a cool-down. Whether an older chain-driven unit, a modern WaterRower or out on the Hooch, rowing aficionados will tell you the many physical benefits rowing offers far outweigh any delayed onset muscle soreness. As a cardio exercise, Eloquin emphasized that nothing beats rowing, as not only does it get your heart rate up, but it also strengthens and activates various muscle groups in your body. “One rowing stroke works so many different muscle groups — you can’t get that with anything else,” Eloquin said, adding that rowing utilizes 84 percent of our body muscles with every stroke. The term “stroke” triggers a common misconception held by beginners, or rowers who may not have been taught the correct technique. Eloquin said that while rowing does work the upper body, the majority of work comes from the legs to physically push the seat back. In proper form, the arms are simply there to guide the oars through the water. “It’s very high intensity [and] low impact, which is great across the board,” Eloquin said. The lack of impact inherent to the sport means it’s much easier on the knees, lower back and hips than other exercises. This also means rowing can be great cross-training for runners and

“One rowing stroke works so many different muscle groups — you can’t get that with anything else.” ALISON ELOQUIN | American Row House

sprinters, whose workouts are naturally high impact, but all levels of athletes are welcomed, too. Since it’s a seated exercise, Eloquin believes rowing can work wonders for elderly people, those who are coming back from a sports injury or even those who have previously not done intense physical activity. Eloquin added that several of the people who attend her classes are in their 70s. While rowing certainly provides a great workout, its benefits extend far beyond strengthening your quads. To Eloquin, rowing is an exercise in finesse and rhythm. “[On the water,] every oar has to move at the same time and be in sync,” she said. “When you’re in the boat, you’re individually giving it your all to reach the determined meter mark, but you’re also relying on your teammates to give that same effort every time.” Eloquin recalled many races when she and her teammates stepped out of the boat and were nearly sick after their intense push to the finish. That solidifies or breaks bonds in rowing, she said. And it’s one of the things that’s made rowing so important to her. “The camaraderie of [rowing] really kept me coming back. You’ve got to have their back [whoever is sitting in front of you].“



CATCHING THE CURRENT Now you may be interested in getting in a boat, but the next question is, “Where do I start?” Thankfully, the rowing scene in Atlanta has grown dramatically in the past couple of decades, so your options are better than ever. For adults who want to become involved, the ARC’s Learn to Row courses are a great place to start. Participants begin indoors at the club’s boathouse, learning the techniques necessary to master their stroke before hitting the water. The club further incentivizes those who are curious about rowing by participating in National Learn to Row Day, which takes place on June 3. ARC offers free tours and seminars to those who want to learn more about rowing and according to club records, last year’s event amassed more than 100 participants. Atlanta Rowing Club also offers innovative Adaptive Rowing programs, aimed at those with physical disabilities. On March 18, the club hosted its Adaptive Rowing open house and hopes to begin a PHOTO COURTESY OF SAMANTHA TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

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redesign of their dock area to make it more accessible, according to Chung. Anna Virgo, program coordinator and coach of the women’s varsity team, explained what AJRA is all about. “Kids typically get interested in rowing after attending one of our summer camps,” Virgo said. The camps, which take place in one- and two-week sessions, teach middle and high schoolers the fundamentals of rowing, including the history of the sport, terminology, equipment and safety on and off the water. Virgo herself was a high school rower, and, like Eloquin, began at the Saint Andrew Rowing Club then continued for three and a half years with Georgia State University. She began coaching in 2005 and has since coached novice women’s teams, developmental teams and varsity teams. As a program coordinator, she assists members of the board of directors in planning events. “Right now, we’re trying to create partnerships with the community,” Virgo said. Junior rowers come from high schools all over the Northside and Virgo said the AJRA wants to further solidify those bonds with the communities close to their boathouse. Booths at Taste of Alpharetta, as well as partnerships with Dunwoody Parks and Recreation and the City of Sandy Springs help strengthen AJRA’s

already-reputable image in the community, while bringing in new rowers and helping local schools become involved. “Our group takes from about 40 schools, but many schools still don’t allow rowing clubs,” Virgo said. This is due to a variety of reasons, but mostly fundraising woes and a simple lack of awareness about the sport. “What we’re really excited about is Middle School Adventure Night,” Virgo said. Coming up in June, this night promises fun activities for middle schoolers, centered around rowing and all taking place at the Roswell River Landing. For students who’d like to become involved, AJRA has made it easy for a wide range of middle and high school athletes of all abilities. Development programs are aimed at seventh and eighth graders who have never rowed before attending a Learn to Row camp, according to Virgo. Similarly, recreational teams offer high school kids

an opportunity to learn the same skills. But for those who’d like to go full steam ahead, there’s the novice program, where high school rowers practice five days a week and participate in competitions throughout the region. These kids compete in the fall and spring, and many also attend winter conditioning camps offered by AJRA. No matter what level of commitment, Virgo believes these programs provide invaluable skills for anyone who participates. “It’s the ultimate team sport, but at the same time, it’s also very personal,” she said. “Every new season, I see kids who may not have been athletic before gain a new passion,” she said. That’s more than reason enough for her to wish for the sport’s strong future. PN

TWO IF BY LAND For those who’d rather stick to dry land, American Row House in Marietta offers a variety of options available in morning and evening classes Monday through Saturday. Classes range from endurance-based exercise during which participants spend more time on the rower to high-intensity interval workouts, where rowing fundamentals are divided into strength training stations and approximately only one-third of the time is spent on rowers. If you’ve been hesitant to dip your toes in the water, this is your chance to grab the paddle and go. Riding the popularity wave of local rowing, another boutique studio is making its own wake. Total Row Fitness in Buckhead has a number of classes to bring the health benefits of rowing to even more local crews.

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64 L Counting ON ...



SUMMERTIME BECKONS READERS to grab their flashlights, power down digital pages and jump into the fresh feel of turning chapters in a good book. With local libraries delivering well-stocked shelves of reading material and plenty of events to put page-turning time on your calendar, there’s never been a better time to knock novels off your list — be it a childhood classic or a literary favorite celebrated by

fellow bookworms everywhere. Start stocking up your summer slate with Forsyth County Library’s Kick-Off Carnival. Starting May 31, the Cumming, Post Road and Hampton Park branches invite you to watch a one-man circus show, take home balloon art, register for a chance to win fun prizes and more. Add renowned nonfiction to your list via Roswell Reads’ official 2017 book selection, “The Underdogs: Children, Dogs, and the Power of Unconditional Love.” The heartwarming collection of stories by Atlanta author Melissa Fay Greene retells the experiences of several people whose lives have been impacted by service dogs. “The Underdogs” is available for checkout in print, e-book and audio book formats at the Roswell and East Roswell Libraries. Whether curling up inside a pillow fort in your living room or on a chaise lounge by the pool, be sure to claim your copy of used, new and unique books from a handful of our favorite notable nooks like Read It Again in Johns Creek (, Bookmiser in Roswell ( and FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock ( After you’ve settled in for long afternoons — and maybe even some nights — of quiet time (required or not), share your stack with us on social media. PN

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alifornia Cruisin’ ITH WAN

65 W


VERY ONCE IN A WHILE, life sends us

to places that come with a sense of belonging — as if we’re destined to be there, to absorb it firsthand. Walking the same steps as John Muir, Mark Twain and Jack London, I felt an ordinary experience turn into a legendary, if not literary, one. Few destinations can surpass an untamable sense of wonder and superior cuisine like California. Recently, an intrepid ally and I traveled deep into the heart of Yosemite National Park and the shimmering shores of Lake Tahoe for an epic outdoor fix, then to ­Sacramento, Calistoga and Sonoma for a taste of finer things. We landed in Sacramento, grabbed a bite at Cafe ­Bernardo, a local bistro where a watermelon and cucumber salad hit the spot before we hit the road for Yosemite.

Calistoga Glen Ellen

South Lake Tahoe Sacra mento Yosemite National Park





FARM-TO-FORK ADVENTURE Sacramento residents know farm-to-fork as a way of life rather than a turn of phrase and while the term teeters toward trite elsewhere, Sacramento has been an agricultural powerhouse since the 1800s. With a year-round growing season, ideal climate and a bounty of crops positioned across 1.5 million acres, sharing its fervor for flavor is not a passing trend. For self-proclaimed foodies, the best time to visit this “Farm-to-Fork Capital of America” is during its annual Farm-to-Fork Festival held in September; however, even if your schedule doesn’t always align, your palate certainly will. Start by calling one of the well-appointed rooms in The Citizen Hotel home, followed by dinner reservations downstairs at its onsite Grange Restaurant.

The Sacramento River Bridge, also known as the Tower Bridge, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The vertical lift bridge looks yellow but is actually painted gold. BELOW: Delicious dessert at The Citizen Hotel’s Grange Restaurant

The Citizen Hotel, a beautifully and whimsically decorated downtown landmark, was chosen for its location and design as a prestigious addition to Autograph Collection Hotels. In a former life, the hotel was known as the California Life Insurance building and, constructed in 1925, it also became the state’s first skyscraper. Today, the hotel personifies not only the city of Sacramento but the state of California in that no two rooms are alike. The same is true of the dishes at Grange, which are based on Executive Chef Oliver Ridgeway’s deeply rooted philosophy of using only the freshest local ingredients. Highlights of our culinary experience included heirloom melon with avocado, cucumber, opal basil, extra virgin olive oil and Calabrian chili as well as the Storm Hill Zabuton served with Brentwood corn, pickled onions, radishes and cilantro. Don’t over do it, as desserts like the Mexican Chocolate Fritter with ganache and dulce

de leche or the Grange Chocolate Hazelnut Bar made with salted caramel, coffee ice cream and cocoa nib crumble await. With that kind of indulgence in mind, it helps to know the hotel is walking distance to a number of museums and Sacramento has many to discover. Among the cultural detours available, the Crocker Art Museum left a lasting impression. Edward Bryant (E.B.) Crocker and his wife became wealthy through his role as the attorney for the Central Pacific Railroad. Seeking to

bring culture to California, they commissioned a ballroom for community use and showcased the family’s ever-expanding art collection by adding an adjacent gallery. Established in 1885 as Crocker Art Museum, it is the first public art museum founded in the Western U.S. and remains one of the leading art museums in California. Craving California’s outdoor culture, we bid adieu to Sacramento in lieu of Mother Nature.


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YOSEMITE’S GRANDEUR Make no mistake, once you’ve driven a single mile into Yosemite National Park, you’re smitten. The 761,000 acres of wilderness gracing the Western Sierra Nevadas were established as a national park in 1890 and continue to amaze visitors today. I learned this lesson firsthand as I found myself propped against a massive rock wall in an effort to catch my breath and safely admire the view. A result of the view rather than the climb, I could only shake my head. I tried to convince myself that eventually, the scenery would get tiresome and such incomparable impressions would fade the longer we hiked. With every craggy crest, another somehow more spectacular than the previous presented itself as proof that, in fact, I was wrong. Yosemite, I learned, is not a destination for doubt. We, like many, had come specifically for a perspective found only via twisting trails and gorgeous slabs of granite en route to Half Dome. You know it’s going to be a good day when the shuttle stop that escorts hikers to the trailhead is known as Happy Isles. There, our steep ascent did not delay. We padded up the Mist Trail, a short, but challenging signature hike named for the spray that greets guests as they enjoy the up-close views of both Vernal and Nevada waterfalls. Vernal Fall Footbridge is about .8 miles from the start, according to the GPS on my watch and led us to the top of Vernal Fall — a welcome reward for conquering

Nowhere will you see the majestic operations of nature more clearly revealed beside the frailest, most gentle and peaceful things. Nearly all the park is a profound solitude. Yet it is full of charming company, full of God’s thoughts, a place of peace and safety amid the most exalted grandeur and eager enthusiastic action … JOHN MUIR, “YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK,” Atlantic Monthly, August 1899


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LEFT: One of many majestic views of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park RIGHT: Upper Yosemite Falls May 2017 | | 19

12 IN 2017

ABOVE: The pool scene at Rush Creek Lodge RIGHT: Rush Creek terraces provide another peaceful retreat.

a stairway of more than 600 steps. After the footbridge, the Mist Trail and the John Muir Trail diverge and ambitious hikers can dig in for a longer day of climbing their way to Yosemite’s iconic dome. To minimize the crowd, hikers need a day pass to summit Half Dome. Without it, I recommend going as far as you can before a ranger stops you, then take a different trail back to the village. It’s worth noting that if Half Dome is on your Bucket List, heed the warning of using extreme caution. It was a 14- to 16-mile day of hiking, and not an easy one. Even longer than my double-decade wait to explore Yosemite National Park was the 25 years since the sound of construction has interrupted the cacophony of resident crickets. Last summer, Rush Creek Lodge, the first contemporary hotel in the area was built to host another generation of explorers. Equipped with 143 rooms, along with suites and hillside villas for larger parties, its lofty cabin-like facade fits into the landscape as easily as it earns accolades for 20 | POINTS NORTH | May 2017

amenities — ideal for counterparts inclined to the great indoors as well. Debate suddenly emerges over where to dedicate more time: the heated pool or the activity area, where games like bumper pool, Foosball and shuffleboard commonly entice friendly competition. We opted for snacks and cocktails from the poolside

t­ errace while soaking our tired muscles in the heated pool, followed by a hearty dinner at The Tavern and fireside s’mores for a well-earned dessert. Billing itself a destination within a destination, the property boasts a recreation team that hosts nature talks, hikes, games and live music daily in addition to


an impressive list of guided experiences that promise plenty of postcard-worthy moments. By the time we left Yosemite, we understood Muir’s passion and how his musings became synonymous with a contagious call into nature. T O C L I M B MORE MOU NTA INS, continue cruising into


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SHORES AND SWITCHBACKS As our path would attest, we weren’t prepared to end the expedition, as we essentially drove from Muir’s stomping ground to Twain’s. In his 1872 account “Roughing It,” Twain ruminated the following about Lake Tahoe: “The shore all along was indented with deep, curved bays and coves, bordered by narrow sand-beaches; and where the sand ended, the steep mountain-sides rose right up aloft into space—rose up like a vast wall a little out of the perpendicular, and thickly wooded with tall pines.” The land lived up to the description. Aside from a starting elevation of 6,800 feet and a finishing elevation just shy of 9,000 feet with a panorama of Emerald Bay, Granite Falls and Desolation Wilderness, we were working hard but hardly roughing it in South Lake Tahoe. The Lake Tahoe Basin originated from a geologic faulting approximately 2 to 3 billion years ago and, as the second deepest lake in the U.S., Lake Tahoe sits with about two-thirds in California and the remaining in Nevada. With only one day to spend on the south shore, we picked up our pace.

ABOVE: View of South Lake Tahoe’s beautiful Emerald Bay

Touted to be the most prominent and one of the most beautiful features along the southwestern shore, Emerald Bay was our next stop. From here, hikers have a couple of options, all of which gain a fair amount of altitude and boast views of amazingly azure water. Treated to both, we followed the same sinuous trail we’d taken on the way up, but daringly dipped our toes in the frigid water and enjoyed a slowpokey clip on the way back. Premonition or not, we slowed to a crawl again hours later at Cold Water Brewery. Perhaps the best craft beer and

food scene on the south shore, winner of the “Best New Business” award and voted best new overall restaurant in South Lake Tahoe, Cold Water Brewery also deserves credit for the Lake Tahoe Brewfest, which supports South Lake Tahoe Boys and Girls Club. Although Twain wouldn’t have waxed poetic on the brewery or the homemade chai lattes from Free Bird Café, his claim that “[the eye] suffered but one grief, and that was that it could not look always, but must close sometimes in sleep,” was true. The time for a sojourn into sophistication had come.


May 2017 | | 21





Opting for opulence? CHECK INTO

WINE BY THE GLASS(ES) When visiting California’s Wine Country, a little geography lesson is helpful. Within Napa Valley, just an hour from the San Francisco Bay, are a handful of distinct towns — from north to south you’ll find Calistoga, St. Helena, Rutherford/Oakville, Yountville, the city of Napa and American Canyon. We started in Calistoga, known for its hot springs and spas before top-tier cuisine helped to solidify its reputation.

TOP: The now famous photo opp at Chateau Montelena RIGHT: The award-winning wine from the Judgment of Paris

From there, we ventured to Sonoma Valley, replete with its own set of cities like Glenn Ellen, the last home of “Call of the Wild” author Jack London. Only during a vacation among the vines does one start sipping wine shortly after breakfast. Wine tasting at Tamber Bey, a horse and wine lover’s paradise, was a fabulous start. Originally known as Deaux Chevaux Vineyards (DCV), the winery was renamed after Tamborina and Bayamo, the winemaker’s first two Arabian horses, and is, as anticipated, unlike any other. Situated on Sundance Ranch, a world-class, 22-acre equestrian facility, Tamber Bey is the stunning result of a 15,000-square-foot covered riding arena being remodeled into a state-of-the-art winemaking facility. The original barn clubhouse is now the tasting room, but we wandered, as we are apt to do, outside. There, we settled in for our first PHOTOS COURTESY OF CHATEAU MONTELENA

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12 IN 2017

TOP: The Gaige House, in Glen Ellen, is one of the fine independent boutique properties within the Four Sisters Inns collection.

sips paired with savory cookies like the Cardamom Crunch served with DCV Rabicano. While you sip and swirl, stories about the horses go neck and neck with those about the wine. Of course, when it comes to wine, few have stories to tell like Chateau Montelena. If you aren’t already familiar with what is known as the “Judgment of Paris,” there’s a movie with the same name as the fateful decision on June 7, 1976. Ah yes, that unthinkable moment when nine of the finest oenophiles in France unknowingly voted against their own and put Napa Valley officially on the map. The topsoaring red winner was Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars ’72 while the white was Chateau Montelena ’73. Though we didn’t sample the historic wine, we were treated to a modern tasting, including the 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Due to the movie’s recent traction, this winery established in 1882 is now the background for so many photos, a tripod to hold cameras is already set up and ready to record your visit.

Enjoying its own renaissance as of late, Madrone Estate Winery, one of Sonoma Valley’s most historic estates and the longest operating winery in Glen Ellen, was a welcomed stop. Madrone’s resurgence came in 2017 when the Stewart Family added a small-lot winery within the original barrel cellar built in 1887. The Stewart family, three generations of vintners, remodeled the tasting room along with its offerings, reviving the original establishment. Today, winemaker Kat Doescher is at the helm of the boutique Madrone Estate, Stewart Family Reserve and Valley of the Moon wines. Infusing more literature into our California experience, we popped into Pangloss Cellars, housed inside a 114-year old historic building in Sonoma’s town square. Typed on the tasting menu were the words, “Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” This Voltaire quote is no coincidence as the winery, which was established to celebrate optimism as a way of life, is aptly named for Dr.

Pangloss, the eternal optimist in Voltaire’s novel “Candide.” The Tasting Lounge embodies that of a friend’s family room with its warm, inviting and comfortable ambiance. Towering over the bar is a 15-foot olive tree — the only distraction from the vintage armchairs where sipping winemaker Erich Bradley’s craft provides plenty of positivity.


To find some at the Fairmont Inn & Spa KEEP READING


Move on to the next page

SONOMA’S ZEN Some days start as only they should in Sonoma — with a spa treatment at an elegant Spanish Mission–style treasure tucked into the heart of wine country. PHOTO COURTESY OF FOUR SISTERS INNS

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Listed among Travel + Leisure’s top 25, The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa presides atop an ancient thermal mineral spring historically revered by Native Americans for its healing power. As tough spa decisions go, the 40,000-squarefoot retreat makes life easy with a menu divided into categories of Relieve, Restore or Results. Its welcoming amenities, on the other hand, do not make it easy to depart. Alas, after a Total Body Recovery treatment and a fair share of serenity, we traded one posh stop for another. Wrapped into a collection of independent hotels, each with its own unique story to tell, the Gaige House, situated just off the main road in Glen Ellen, was a sublime surprise. The Four Sisters Inn brand of hotels, found only in California, vary from one to the next in personality but as our stay indicated, deliver a stellar experience. Our room, the Zen Suite, is one of its 23 stylishly appointed guest rooms, where the polished Asian-inspired aesthetic like the glass atrium works incredibly well. Creekside and garden suites are other spacious options. While in Sonoma, definitely don’t miss the girl & the fig, owned by renowned cookbook author Sondra Bernstein. We were easily lured into “Country food with a French passion,” prior to more ­ California cruising.

we opted to go for a run through downtown Calistoga and on our way back, we found the bocce ball court, the pool and a fantastic fireplace. Solage, along with its parent company, Calistoga Ranch, provides a small fleet of Mercedes-Benz for

guests to use during their stay. Should the ultimate in luxury and a complete retreat into nature be a top priority, then a retreat at Calistoga Ranch is a necessity. This unparalleled piece of heaven is essentially an oasis for the upper

LIFE OF LUXURY Our refined residence in Calistoga was one of the modern bungalows at Solage, a Forbes Five-Star Napa Valley resort. As part of the Auberge Resort Collection, Solage provides guests every bit of the pampering you’d expect including the sixtime Michelin-starred Solbar restaurant, where we found plenty to love. Decisions here included Frog’s Hollow autumn flame peaches, Parmigiano mousse, prosciutto san daniele, charred onions with honey-lavender vinaigrette and crispy Louisiana Gulf shrimp with heirloom melon, puffed forbidden rice, pickled lemon cucumbers, ginger and mizuna. Each room comes with complimentary cruiser bikes to explore the resort, but May 2017 | | 25

TOP: The entrance to the wine cave at Calistoga Ranch LEFT: Executive Chef Bryan Moscatello in action at The Lakehouse Restaurant RIGHT: A peek inside the suites at Calistoga Ranch

echelon to vacation in privacy. Each of the 50 guest suites nestled into the 157 secluded acres was built off property, flown in by helicopter and placed. Doing so brought the outdoors in and prevented any alterations to the land. The 12-year-old property, which is not open to the public as a means to maintain its privacy, is both family and pet friendly.

As a guest, everything at the resort is accessible including the 256 Calistoga Ranch employees. The Spa, rated among the top 25 small resorts by Condé Nast Traveler, is where nature’s elements collide in every pampering way possible, compliments of Calistoga’s naturally healing ­mineral water pools. The property has a 3- and a 5-mile hiking trail, both boasting PHOTOS COURTESY OF CALISTOGA RANCH

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views of Napa Valley as well as a set of stairs to an observation deck where the resort offers stargazing and wine tasting. Our visit also included the chicken coop, outfitted with a chandelier for a hen named Phyllis. Along with more recognizable celebrities, she is as much of an attraction as the wine cave. Used mostly as a special events location, the wine cave can be outfitted for a private dinner experience for guests, who also have their choice of dining among the vines or hiking to Hourglass Vineyard where a private barrel tasting at the winemaker’s home can be arranged. We were perfectly content to snag a table by the outdoor fireplace at the Lakehouse Restaurant, where a true Napa Valley experience beckoned. Executive Chef Bryan Moscatello, the creative talent at the Lakehouse for almost three years since leaving The Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado, sent a parade of beautiful bites between his kitchen and our table. Among them were a charred octopus served with sunchoke, fresh anise, citrus and blood orange glaze and watercress vichysoisse with potato confit, caviar and pickle, followed by rabbit rossini with foie gras, truffle, madeira and citrus coriander bloom as well as branzino with red Russian kale ravioli. My table of two shared a bottle of Calistoga Ranch’s Cabernet. Rated in the high 90s by Wine Spectator, it was a most appropriate finish to our time in Napa. PN

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ALPHARETTA on page 56 May 2017 | | 27



AN ESTATE OF Family Reunions, Fishing Trips and Multi-Generational Getaways Demand It written by CARL DANBURY


ometimes three generations need three floors. Sometimes, they require separate housing altogether. Imagine gathering three adult couples – a set of grandparents, parents and a newly married couple – with their need for three bedrooms, along with three single daughters ranging in age from 19 to 28. Then, add a friend or two to the group 28 | POINTS NORTH | May 2017

and coordinate a rental for a long holiday weekend. When you are trying to accommodate groups such as these and maintain a state of tranquility, keep Newman-Dailey Resort Properties in mind. With 30-plus years of experience in property management and vacation home rentals, Newman-Dailey has a variety of homes in Florida from

Destin proper to the far reaches of Highway 30-A available for both short- or long-term rentals. The Estate of Tranquility, as it is so cleverly coined, is located in marvelous Miramar Beach in the Destiny East single-family home community, just steps from Scenic Highway 98 and ultra convenient to the Mid-Bay Way (also known as Highway 293).

WIDE OPEN SPACES Boasting six bedrooms, five with king beds and one with two roomy bunk beds, six and a half bathrooms, a private pool (heating optional with fee), wireless internet, seven televisions, two DVD players, washer and dryer and a community clubhouse with tennis and fitness room, the Estate of Tranquility is where PHOTOS COURTESY OF CARL DANBURY; STOCK.ADOBE.COM

May 2017 | | 29

Emerald Coast vacationers go to drool. The open floor plan — sizable kitchen, dining area and great room — allows for great entertaining, large family or group meals, essential board and card game playing, as well as the obligatory sports watching during any busy holiday weekend. Recollect the peaceful mornings when each daughter not only had her own bathroom, but her own bed, as well! The convenient location belies what most often strangles a trip to the Emerald Coast traffic. Bike riding and walking is incredible in this area. Scenic Highway 98

features wide sidewalks and slow-moving traffic, and inside the community gates, there is virtually no traffic at all. We rented four bicycles from Coastal Cruisers, and they were delivered to and picked up from the rental home. Henderson Beach State Park is less than 2 miles west and the nearby public beach with its sugar-white sands is less than a quarter mile from the front door of Estate of Tranquility. More conveniences in close proximity are longtime favorite restaurants: The Crab Trap Destin, Captain Dave’s on the Gulf, Camille’s at Crystal Beach and 790 on the

Gulf. Indian Bayou Golf Club also is just 4 miles away. Some Bucket Lists include deep sea fishing, and while seeking the elusive blue marlin off the coast might be a dream for some, the girls in my family were fine with a communal party boat like the Destiny or Destin Princess. Both are docked at the Destin Fishing Fleet Marina and can accommodate individuals, small or large parties. We chose a six-hour trip with all bait, tackle and license included in the price of your trip ($65 in the winter, $80 in the summer). After cruising 10 to 15 miles offshore, signals were given so that our group could begin fishing. Bait your hook, drop your line near the bottom of the Gulf and look for a sign. After a slow start, our group caught amberjack, Vermilion snapper, red snapper, white snapper and triggerfish. When required, the friendly crew was handy with a gaffe and amicably untangled crossed lines. This kind of fishing doesn’t require trolling or a long wait for action. The captain and the crew need to find the fish and the bait that will attract the fish. The rest is up to you. Once the excursion was complete, our fresh catch was expertly cleaned, bagged and put on ice an additional 35 cents per pound. The fun had just begun!

HOOK, LINE AND SINKER After showering and dressing back at the Estate, we returned to the marina PHOTOS COURTESY OF NEWMAN-DAILEY PROPERTIES

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for dinner at Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer. Truly one of the greatest ideas of all restaurants convenient to charter boats is Brotula’s hook-and-cook option for those who wish to enjoy their fresh catches of the day. Our server, Alex, whisked the fish away to the kitchen, took our drink orders and provided us with good intelligence about the appetizers and sides offered. What ensued was an extraordinary display of culinary execution. Fried pickles, lobster-and-spinach dip and fried green tomato Caprese led the way. Our fresh catch, which was nicely prepared in three different ways – broiled, blackened and fried – was served on a huge platter. Accompanying the main trio, were scrumptious Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, cheddar cheese grits and asparagus. There was no way Alex could handle everything by himself for our group, and no fewer than five others chipped in at some time during our meal.

Chef de Cuisine Thomas “Tommy” Lemasters checked on us twice during our meal. Born and raised in the local area, Lemasters was totally invested in seeing that we were pleased with our meal. And although there was way too much fish (I suggest you bring no more than eight ounces per person), we still dove into Brotula’s signature Key lime pie and seasonal cobbler for dessert. The 5,500-plus square-foot restaurant offers lunch and dinner daily with indoor and outdoor dining options, live music and Sunday brunch specials. Although Brotula’s focuses on steamed and boiled seafood, there are other options for those who don’t enjoy shellfish or seafood, such as meatloaf, chicken potpie and Delmonico rib-eye. Partners Christopher Ruyan and Tyler Jarvis have done such an impeccable job with Brotula’s and at nearby Jackacuda’s Seafood & Sushi, that renowned Gulf Coast

Chef Tim Creehan asked the pair to take over his Cuvée Destin, which reopened this spring as Cuvée Kitchen + Wine Bar. Back at the Estate, movie watching, board and card games ensued. Five days in comfortable surroundings, with the freedom to walk the beach, safely bike and spend time with family under the same roof made for a nice reunion. Personal space, unfettered bathrooms and a private pool made for a reunion that everyone looks forward to repeating for years to come at a property that perfectly mirrors its name. PN

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May 2017 | | 31

How to Catch




oes a fisherman share his go-to spot for wetting a line? As someone who has never strung a pole, I wouldn’t know where to start. Yet, I was surprised when I asked local experts to share their tips for beginners, and there was no sense of stinginess. Instead, they reeled me in with their accounts. Perhaps their free flow of knowledge is a result of our region’s wealth of places to get a bite. With plenty of places for any and all skill levels, the question more important than "Where to go?" is “When?”


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ENDLESS SUMMER “Way down yonder on the Chattahoochee” river, as Alan Jackson so articulately put it in his hit 1993 country song, you’ll find a year-round fly-fishing destination. The local tailwater, which comes out of Buford Dam from Lake Lanier, is also an ideal place to learn, according to Alpharetta Outfitters Manager Jeff Wright. “The great thing is there are access points 15 to 20 minutes away from Alpharetta,” he said. “You can wade right into the water there, so you can be catching trout within 20 minutes of your door.” When I caught Wright on the phone, he had just returned from a fishing trip in Patagonia. With a worldview and expert opinion on the matter, he explained what makes the Chattahoochee a great yearround spot. “As a tailwater, it stays cool with an average temperature of 50 degrees, even in the summer [when temperatures outside rise]," he said. Wright also shared that the section, from Buford Dam down to around where Highway 9 crosses the Chattahoochee, is the spot that’s good for trout throughout all seasons. Still, there’s something special about fishing when the days stretch longer. "During the summer, farther down [the river] you start to have striper fishing, bass fishing and carp fishing as you go closer into the Perimeter,” he said. Need help finding the right place to cast off? Alpharetta Outfitters’ staff won’t only tell you, they’ll show you. “We offer guided trips that cater to new fly-fisherman and we also offer trips that are a little more involved – they might take you to a piece of water that you haven’t experienced before and teach you a new technique you haven’t used like Euro nymphing or streamer fishing. [Trips] are good ways to add to your fly-fishing set of skills,” Wright said. “We offer free clinics at the shop, as well, but as far as actually getting out and getting on the water, those half- or full-day guided trips are great options," he added. In addition to time length, you can choose from wade trips or float trips on a drift boat, and if you want to use your own gear or borrow rods, reels, waders and

boots. Alpharetta Outfitters can provide it all, including flies. For the full-day trips, they’ll even pack your lunch. “Some people may have been gifted a rod or maybe they have a rod they had a family member buy for them at Christmas, from a birthday in the past – we have a lot of people come in that got a rod 10 years ago and just never got out to use it. Now,

they’re finally retired or want to set aside some time to start to learn to fly-fish," Wright said. In his voice, I could hear Wright's passion for educating others about the sport. However, when it comes to the team at Alpharetta Outfitters, there must also be downright generosity in the water. Their

May 2017 | | 33

LOCAL FISHING HOLES Noontootla Creek Farms

30 inches, making it hard for one person to handle without hurting the fish. NCF has a catch-and-release policy. Husley has been fishing North Georgia waters for more than 40 years, and like Wright, has experience in waters across the country, even leading guided trips in Wyoming. As for local spots beyond NCF, Hulsey enjoys getting out on the nearby Toccoa River. Cooper's Creek and Rock Creek are also heavily stocked as well as have wild populations of trout this time of year. "In the winter, the fish aren't too aggressive; they might only move one or two inches to eat a fly, where in the spring they might move a foot or two," Hulsey said. In the springtime, there are a lot of insect hatches when bugs come up to the surface of the water, and you can get lucky with dry fly-fishing, he explained. “There’s nothing more exciting than seeing one of these big browns or rainbows come up and pounce on a fly when it’s on the surface of the water. It’ll stop your heart if you don’t watch out," Husley said.

HOOKING THEM YOUNG stated mission is not only to serve their customers with the best equipment for the outdoors, but also to serve communities around the world. This translates into 100-percent donations of all the company’s net profits and additionally, in December 2014, the shop donated $1,000 each day of the month. They credit their customers for making the philanthropy possible, proving the Northside is stocked with nuanced and novice fishermans and fisherwomans alike. Regardless of which category you fall into, professional guides can help take you to the next level.

HEART-STOPPING ACTION According to the website for Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (georgiawildlife. com/fishing/trout), there are 100,000 trout anglers on Georgia’s approximately 4,000 miles of trout streams. To meet the demand, stocking and special regulations are used on some streams to maintain

acceptable catch rates. With help from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, they stock streams with rainbow, brown and brook trout from late March through August. For this reason, Noontootla Creek Farms (NCF) in Blue Ridge is a hidden gem with its own appeal. Originally a privately held, operating farm consisting of more than 1,000 acres, NCF is now open to the paying public with more than 2 miles of quality trout water, excellent quail hunting and a sporting clays course. NCF’s website describes its fly-fishing opportunities as more technical in nature than many other private trophy trout waters in North Georgia. “This is a high quality trout fishery that is enjoyed by all for both its beauty and the way it fishes,” reads. NFC’s Fishing Manager David Husley put it in his own words as "a managed trophy fishery and it's been open to fish for about a dozen years now." One of the biggest reasons visitors must fish with a guide is the size of the fish. He said some exceed

Duly noted. What about Husley’s best piece of advice? "The big thing is not to be intimidated by fly-fishing," he said without hesitation. “It's probably simpler than fishing with a spinning or bait-casting reel." He said that children ages 8 to 12 might even have the easiest time learning. "If kids have any interest in fishing at all, they can learn how to fly-fish,” he said. "They have no preconceived ideas or bad habits yet." When it comes to an age requirement, Alpharetta Outfitters leaves it up to the parent’s discretion. Wright said he recommends the 11- to 12-year-old age range as a good minimum to be able to safely wear a pair of waders and boots while remaining stable in river currents. “Size is your advantage, to some extent, so that you don’t feel like you’re being pushed down stream,” Wright said. “We had a trip this past weekend with an 11-year-old son and a 13- or 14-year-old daughter. It all goes back to their attention span. At that age range or a little bit PHOTO COURTESY OF WITT BECKMAN

34 | POINTS NORTH | May 2017

May 2017 | | 35


younger, some kids have longer attention spans than others.” Wright added that fly-fishing has all kinds of applications. “You don’t necessary have to go stand in a river. You can go to a pond and catch blue gill on a fly rod, so you can be very young and do that to learn how to cast. We have a lot of young kids that come through our intro clinics and come away from that being able to catch blue gill.” PN

TAKE ME FISHING ALPHARETTA OUTFITTER’S BUGS AND SUDS! Held this month on May 18 from 6 to 8 p.m., Bugs and Suds is a regular gathering of tiers sitting down to tie flies, swap stories and enjoy a cold beverage. Bring your vice, tools and tying materials and Alpharetta Outfitters will provide the rest. This event will be hosted at the shop. Come one, come all! No reservation required. 678-762-0027,

ALPHARETTA YOUTH FISHING DERBY Bring your fishing gear, bait and other outdoor supplies and enjoy a fun morning of fishing in the pond near Brookside Office Park on June 3 from 8 to 11 a.m. in Alpharetta. The annual Youth Fishing Derby for children age 4 to 12 years (accompanied by an adult) is a free program, but space is limited around the lake so pre-registration is required. A waiting list will be formed once the program fills. The lake will be stocked with catfish so bring your night crawlers or worms to increase your chance of catching a lot of fish. Prizes will be awarded for the longest fish and the most fish caught. Children must be present at the end of the event to win prizes. This event is subject to cancelation in the event of inclement weather. For more information, call 678-297-6130 or email

RIVER THROUGH ATLANTA Chris Scalley, the owner of River Through Atlanta, grew up on the Chattahoochee River and brings his passion for the river and the trout PHOTOS COURTESY OF

36 | POINTS NORTH | May 2017

to his clients. Spending more than 200 days a year on the “Hooch” gives Scalley an unsurpassed knowledge of the river’s ecosystem and the behavior of the trout that inhabit it. No matter the time of year, Scalley and his affiliate guides are ready to share the most efficient tactics for catching fish for their clients. Even if you’re new to the sport of fly-fishing, his expert guides offer group trips, classes and private instruction to have you casting and presenting flies with proficiency by the day’s end. 770-650-8630,

COHUTTA FISHING CO. A full-service fly shop in historic downtown Cartersville, Cohutta Fishing Co. carries rods/reels, gear bags, packs, waders and boots, along with a large selection of flies and tying materials. Owner Andy Bowen is a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain and a member of the Coastal Conservation Association, Trout Unlimted (Coosa Valley Chapter), Bonefish and Tarpon Trust as well as the Atlanta Fly Fishing Club. He combines his 30 years of experience fishing in exotic destinations in the Virgin Islands, Mexico, Costa Rica and Chile and regional favorites like the Outer Banks of North Carolina with experiences from the talented guides on staff. Fly tying and fly-fishing schools are held specific Saturdays of each month (call for class dates and availability.) Their most popular class is a two-hour, $50 class covering the basics for the beginner looking to get into the wonderful sport of fly-fishing, but other options include spending a full, 8-hour day on the water. 770-606-1100,

THE STRIPER EXPERIENCE If Lake Lanier is on your summer fun list, call Captain Ron Mullins, owner of The Striper Experience. His fishing guide service draws on his 30-plus years of both saltwater and freshwater fishing, as well as his time as a licensed U.S. Coast Guard Captain and working on a commercial fishing boat off the Florida coast. Mullins decided to transform his passion into a business to help guide others to their ultimate striped bass catch. 678-300-4865,

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Counting ON ...




NAOMI RUTH IS 150 YEARS OLD AND NOT SHOWING ANY SIGNS OF SLOWING down. You can find her 18 miles south of Atlanta in Panola Mountain State Park — a worthwhile drive from the Northside when you consider the park’s status as the crown jewel of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area and the only park in Georgia to offer Canopy-Adventure-Research-Educational Technical Tree Climbing (CARE TTC). The park rangers have named 10 other large climbing trees in the park, but Naomi Ruth is everyone’s favorite. This 100-foot Southern Red Oak is part of the Tree Top Excursions tree-climbing program. Using a double-rope technique, groups of up to 12 harnessed climbers can ascend Naomi Ruth at a time, stopping along the way to swing from branches, walk on limbs or bat-hang freestyle upside-down. Want more? A geocache is discretely hidden in the tree. Climbers from 4 to 104 can enjoy the fun. It’s challenging to hoist yourself to the top, and those afraid of heights might balk at first, but the thrill of tree climbing makes even oldies (like me) feel like a kid again. Make reservations for an overnight climb that includes stargazing, a bonfire and four-point hammocks to sleep high in the canopy. Or, plan your next birthday party to go swinging from the treetop. Although birthdays signal you’re another year older, with Panola Mountain State Park’s Tree Top Excursion, you never really have to grow up. PN PHOTOS COURTESY ZACH WILLARD

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May 2017 | | 39

Enjoy THE

OUTDOORS ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) had such an amazing time last year, they’re doing it again! Join the ASO Sept. 15 for an encore presentation of “Star Wars and More: The Music of John Williams with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra” at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park. Principal POPS Conductor Michael Krajewski will lead


40 | POINTS NORTH | May 2017

Summertime Fun


this concert featuring the best of John Williams’ legendary film scores, including music from “Hook,” Harry Potter and the Star Wars series — including selections from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Tickets are on sale now at 404-733-4900,


Chattahoochee Nature Center

Escape to Atlanta’s nature destination. Join the Chattahoochee Nature Center for wildlife, wooded hiking trails and eco-education all along (and on) the tranquil Chattahoochee River. Whether it’s canoeing on the river, learning about the May 2017 | | 41

Summertime Fun

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION wild animals that call it home or experiencing the living wetlands, they have it all. It’s fun and learning for all ages. This year, the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell celebrates 41 years connecting people with nature. 770-992-2055 x 238,

CHEROKEE ARTS FESTIVAL Just 25 minutes from Alpharetta or Marietta, Canton offers the charm of a historic river town with a view of the North Georgia Mountains. The Cherokee Arts Festival on May 20 and 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. is located in Canton’s newly revitalized historic downtown district. At the festival, you’ll find an artist’s market with a wide variety of exhibitors from the state and surrounding areas, a Serenity Garden flower and plant market, tempting food concession as well as a wine and beer garden, a literary celebration, live entertainment and an interactive children’s experience with hands-on activities. Did we mention free parking? 770-704-6244,


CITY OF NORCROSS Enjoy the “sweet sounds of summer” in downtown Norcross and get ready for some serious fun as the city kicks off an exciting lineup of events beginning in May. Designed to encourage citizens and neighbors to explore and enjoy downtown Norcross, this year’s summer experience has something for everyone. Highlights include the Summer Concert 42 | POINTS NORTH | May 2017

Gibbs Gardens

May 2017 | | 43

Summertime Fun

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION Series beginning on May 26, the Memorial Day Celebration on May 29, the Bluesberry Music Festival on June 17, Jazz in the Alley beginning on June 24 and Red White & BOOM on July 3. Promised to be music to your ears, the City of Norcross invites you to join them in enjoying the sweet sounds of summer at a multitude of events throughout the coming months. 770-4482122,


DAHLONEGA ART & WINE FESTIVAL Head to the historic downtown Dahlonega Square for this exciting festival, held in the heart of the North Georgia Mountains on May 20 and 21. See high-quality arts and crafts, hear the sounds of live jazz and taste the fine wines of local wineries, all in the festival’s Wine Garden. 706-867-8059,


FREEDOM BOAT CLUB Days do not have to be ordinary

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and boating should be an escape rather than a nuisance. Boating should be a way for people to relax, connect with friends and create powerful memories with family. Enter Freedom Boat Club, the world’s largest members-only boating club. A simple alternative to boat ownership, Freedom does all the work: just get to the dock and they’ll have a boat waiting for you, fueled up and ready to go. With more than 125 locations including two at Lake Lanier at Holiday Marina and Bald Ridge Marina, Freedom offers access to a fleet of boats that come with less stress and a lower price tag than owning your own. They clean, maintain, store and do all the prep work as well as eliminate hassles like dock fees, insurance and trailers. 404-901-4907,

GEORGIA MOUNTAIN FAIRGROUNDS Located along the shores of beautiful Lake Chatuge in

the North Georgia mountain community of Hiawassee — only two hours from Atlanta, Greenville, South Carolina, Asheville, North Carolina and Chattanooga, Tennessee — the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds plays host to several popular annual events as well as offers a wide variety of unique venues and beautiful year-round camping facilities. Plan your next visit for fun during events like The Georgia Mountain EggFest on May 20, the Georgia Mountain Fair held July 21 to 29 or their Fourth of July fireworks celebration — just to name a few. 706-896-4191,


GIBBS GARDENS Experience 220 acres of breathtaking gardens, adjacent to spring-fed ponds, streams and lakes, surrounded by hillsides covered with mature woodlands. In the summer, enjoy fragrance and color with roses,

hydrangeas, daylilies, water lilies and crape myrtles — not to mention a calendar full of events. On May 20 and 21, arts and crafts on the Great Lawn are included with a special admission price. Their Saturday Twilight series in May and June offer extended evening hours and live music. Enjoy food and drink, with the option to preorder dinner. From mid-June to mid-December, Gibbs Gardens is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (entry gates close at 4 p.m.) 770-893-1881,

LANIER ISLANDS This year, LanierWorld Summer has an extended 2017 season. That means you can have more fun, for more days! Gates open weekends between April 29 and Oct. 1 and daily between May 20 and August 6. With the return of the season also comes a new line-up for the Summer Concert Series at Sunset Cove Beach Café & Club. A different band

May 2017 | | 45

Summertime Fun


Fernbank Museum of Natural History preforms each Saturday night from 7 to 11 p.m., with extra festivities scheduled for the Full Moon Parties on May 13, June 10 and July 8. For a full list of event dates and details, visit their website. 770-945-8787,


46 | POINTS NORTH | May 2017

NORTHEAST GEORGIA ARTS TOUR Mark your calendar for June 9 through 11 for the Northeast Georgia Arts Tour. Visitors are invited to enjoy the best of the arts in the Mountains of North Georgia with local artists demonstrating at galleries and studios. Their tour brochure with

full-color map and member description is designed for year-round use as a self-guided driving tour. 706-947-1351,

SWEETLAND OUTDOOR Build the back yard living area of your dreams with Sweetland Outdoor. For superior outdoor

lawn furniture and other outdoor products in Alpharetta, Cumming and the greater Atlanta area, look no further. They offer the best outdoor value by virtue of their poly lumber (or polywood) furniture and patio products — most from Amish-crafted design and construction quality. They can also help you achieve the

perfect outdoor space you want with their handcrafted (in Georgia) arbors, arches and lawn furniture. They also feature trampolines, playground and basketball equipment and backyard barns. Almost all of their products are proudly made in the U.S. 770-569-7772,

Cool Off

INDOORS ANDRETTI INDOOR KARTING & GAMES Beat the heat this summer with some cool indoor fun at Andretti Indoor Karting & Games! Their premier 100,000-square-foot entertainment/event destination features high-speed Superkarts, 120-plus games in the arcade, a ropes course, a rock wall*, a zip line*, racing simulators, laser tag, boutique bowling and dark ride interactive motion theater. Fuel up in the Andretti Grill, delivering from-scratch American favorites with a brick pizza oven, XXL Big Green Egg and two full bars. Wow your guests or employees with an unforgettable event showcasing a wide variety of gourmet in-house catering, free Wi-Fi and comprehensive audiovisual capabilities. All your summertime fun for the whole family awaits under one roof at Andretti Indoor Karting & Games! Roswell, 770-992-5688; Marietta, 678-496-9530; *Attractions vary by location.

FERNBANK MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY This summer, discover a new way to museum. Fernbank’s

dinosaurs, hands-on science, giant screen films and immersive exhibitions are now complemented by new outdoor exhibitions in WildWoods. Journey from the tops of the trees to underground burrows on science-filled adventures to discover beautiful nature trails, unique children’s exhibits, an imaginative nature gallery, mysterious animal tracks and elevated walkways. Journey inside the 65-acre old-growth Fernbank Forest and be surrounded by some of Atlanta’s oldest and tallest trees, beautiful views and an amazing diversity of wildlife. Bonus: it can be 10 degrees cooler beneath the trees! If it’s cool you’re seeking, Fernbank’s new Giant Screen Theater takes audiences from the Great Wall of China to the world’s tallest buildings in “Dream Big,” on a visually stunning odyssey through the rainforest in “Amazon Adventure,”, and to the frozen landscapes of saber-toothed cats, giant sloths and iconic mammoths in “Titans of the Ice Age” which opens alongside the new exhibit “Mammoths and Mastodons” on June 17. Plan your adventure online now. 404-929-6300,



TELLUS SCIENCE MUSEUM Get ready for summer’s biggest indoor/outdoor event at Tellus Science Museum! Held June 10 and 11 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., gem, mineral, fossil and jewelry dealers from all around the country will be at the museum for Rock Fest. You will see rare and exotic jewelry, plus ancient


770-992-2055 x238


May 2017 | | 47

Summertime Fun


SUMMER CAMPS for KIDS in the City of Roswell AWARD-WINNING CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHOR and accomplished children’s writing instructor, Mary Ann Rodman, begins her fifth season of “Kids Can Write” writing camps at Barrington Hall next month. Rodman teaches children ages 10 to 14 creative writing using guided exercises in both individual and group instruction. Advanced registration is required. Please call 770-640-3855 to register your child. Basic Camp (offered June 19 to 23, June 26 to 30 and July 10 to 14) is the beginning creative writing camp; Advanced Camp (offered July 17 to 21 and July 24 to 28) builds on what was taught in Basic Camp. Each session is $250 per person and is held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. 770-640-3855, HELD JUNE 26 TO 30 from 9:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., “Young Ladies Camp” will delight 10 young ladies in experiencing the history of entertaining and daily life from the 1800s to today. In the gracious historic setting of Bulloch Hall, the camp offers the opportunity for girls from ages 9 to 12 to explore a historic site, learn social graces and do crafty projects...with a surprise for their parents on the final day! The cost is $200 per child or $175 for members of Friends of Bulloch. 770-992-1735 ext. 4, EXPLORE THE PAST AT “Camp Rough Riders” where history is made fun! Campers ages 6 to 11 can spend July 10 to 14 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. learning heritage tasks, including churning butter, making ice cream, candle dipping, woodworking, blacksmithing, quilting, sampler making, 19th-century gardening, making gourd crafts, as well as lessons in Cherokee Indian life, archaeology and more – all on the grounds of historic Bulloch Hall. Download the registration form online or call Pam Billingsley to register. The cost is $200 per person. 770-9921731 ext. 2, SMITH PLANTATION WILL ONCE AGAIN HOST a week full of fun and learning for children ages 7 to 11. At “Camp Yesteryear,” activities include 19th-century crafts and games, farm life, gem panning, the Ways of Our Ancestors program, open hearth cooking, soap making, herbs and gardening, an animal encounter and arts and crafts. Session one is from June 12 to 16 and session two is from June 19 to 23; the hours for both are 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with a $200 fee per person. 770-641-3978,

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FEATURE HEADER fossils and mineral specimens from around the world that you can purchase for your own collection. This event is suitable for all ages and there will be various geology-themed children’s activities. You can purchase a geode at one of the demonstration tents and have it cracked open right in front of you to see what treasure may lie inside, plus you can win door prizes every hour. The event is free for members and the cost of regular admission for non-members. 770-606-5700,

MARK OF THE POTTER Georgia’s oldest craft shop, Mark of the Potter, is just 10 miles up Scenic Highway 197, north of Clarkesville. Celebrating 48 years of quality, functional stoneware pottery and other artful items in “an interesting shop of contemporary crafts,” Mark of the Potter is a must-see in Northeast Georgia and Habersham County. While you’re there, see the insides of Grandpa Watts’ old gristmill and feed the protected, trophy-sized trout. 706-947-3440,

Summer Camps


Creative Writing Camps at Barrington Hall Various dates in June & July 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Ages 10 – 14

at Smith Plantation June 12 -16, June 19 – 23 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Ages 7 - 11

YOUNG LADIES CAMP at Bulloch Hall June 26 – 29 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Ages 9 - 12

CAMP ROUGH RIDERS at Bulloch Hall July 10 – 14 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Ages 6 – 11

Register today! Smith Plantation: 770-641-3978 Barrington Hall: 770-640-3855 Bulloch Hall:770-992-1731 (ext. 4)

MARIETTA GONE WITH THE WIND MUSEUM The Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum at the historic Marietta Square has been a tourist favorite since 2003. Housed in a former cotton warehouse, circa 1875, the collection features original scripts, conceptual artwork, personal items of the cast and the original honeymoon gown worn by Vivien Leigh in her role as Scarlett. The museum and gift shop are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed Sunday. Visit their website for more information about facility rentals and annual events. 770-794-5576,

May 2017 | | 49

Summertime Fun




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THE BEAUTY OF NORTH GEORGIA IS IN ITS SURROUNDINGS — the mountains, clean rivers, fresh air and clear skies. It may be an hour’s drive, but it’s a world away. Take it all in while biking, hiking, canoeing or kayaking. Maybe you prefer to sample the many fine wines produced by the local vineyards or refresh with a craft beer. You can check out the local farms that provide a bounty for fresh vegetables and fruits. Feeling artistic? Enjoy both fine arts and performing arts via North Georgia’s many museums and playhouses.   If you’re interested in buying property and meeting the

businesses like Modern Rustic Homes that make North Georgia such a fun and healthy place to live, make plans to attend the North Georgia Living Showcase on June 10. The showcase is opened from at 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Highland Crossing Shopping Center on Highway 515 in Ellijay, Georgia and admission is free.


PLANTATION ON CRYSTAL RIVER A hidden gem along Florida’s Nature Coast, the Plantation on Crystal River offers the unforgettable experience of swimming with manatees — the only location where you can legally interact with these gentle giants. The onsite marina, world class fishing both inshore and offshore, boat rentals, kayaking, 18 holes championship golf course, spa, scenic pool and Tiki Bar overlooking the water plus their inviting accommodations make Plantation the place for family and friends to stay and play. 800-636-6262,


VALHALLA RESORT HOTEL AT INNSBRUCK Opening in summer 2017, the new Valhalla Resort Hotel is the first luxury resort located in Helen, Georgia. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the prestigious Valhalla Resort Hotel at Innsbruck has the ambience of rustic elegance reminiscent of an Old World Scottish castle. Overlooking the Innsbruck Golf Club and golf course, Valhalla is surrounded by breathtaking scenic mountain views and near Helen’s quaint Bavarian Alpine Village. The unique marriage of grand European architecture and luxurious, rustic-contemporary design creates an unforgettable experience and one-of-a-kind retreat. Warm, Southern hospitality, personalized service and attention to detail aim to allow guests to fully experience the pure beauty and relaxation of this regal retreat. Just as the great warrior heroes of Norse Myth and Legend retreat to Valhalla, their eternal heavenly dwelling place, guests are invited to retreat to their beautifully appointed king suites while also enjoying world-class dining, indulging at the Solasta Spa & Salon, relaxing by the pool, playing a round of golf at the scenic Innsbruck Golf Club, wine tasting at local vineyards, visiting local artisans, boutiques and attractions or just taking in the gorgeous mountain views from your private balcony or the roof-top Sky Bar. They welcome you to make yourself at home and allow yourself to escape into their luxurious retreat to relax, reflect and renew. 706-878-2200, PHOTO COURTESY OF ADOBESTOCK.COM

May 2017 | | 51

Summertime Fun



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Where to DINE

FOR YEARS, The Black Sheep Restaurant Bar & Patio has been one of Blue Ridge’s best dining experiences. The uptown restaurant is committed to providing guests with great service and an innovative menu in an authentic setting — a beautifully restored 1914 house that was built by Colonel William Butt, a former Blue Ridge mayor. Black Sheep specializes in upscale Southern comfort food, such as shrimp and grits, BBQ pulled pork, steaks and meatloaf. To really embrace your mountain town surroundings, imbibe in the restaurant’s own brand of moonshine, including apple pie, peach and chocolate cherry flavors. Call ahead for reservations because you won’t want to miss this. 706-946-3633, IT STARTED AS A DREAM: Living in the mountains, serving great food in a spectacular riverside setting… Toccoa Riverside Restaurant. Now, for nearly 20 years, the restaurant has hosted thousands of folks, locals and visitors alike, who come for the great food, peaceful riverside setting and just plain family fun. In 2012, a tragic nighttime fire swept through the restaurant, burning it to the ground. Thankfully nobody was hurt, but they had to start over. With a vision to make the Toccoa Riverside even better than ever, in 2013 the doors opened to an all-new dining experience along the banks of the river. Twenty minutes away, another dining experience awaits at their sister restau53 | POINTS NORTH | May 2017

rant, Morganton Grill. “Your Hometown Eatery,” Morganton Grill serves breakfast, lunch and dinner six days a week — they are closed Tuesdays so that we can enjoy the lake, mountains and rivers in and around Morganton and Blue Ridge. 706-532-7891,; 706-900-1909,

Where to PLAY

FAMILY OWNED and operated for 74 years, Mercier Orchards is now in its fourth generation! Boasting more than 35 varieties of apples, the orchard also raises several types of berries and fresh produce. There are many u-pick opportunities throughout the year. Also available is a deli, a farm winery and a bakery offering famous fried pies and so much more. Check out what’s happening online, or like them on Facebook for the most current info. 800-361-7731, TUCKED INTO THE southern pocket of Fannin County, Noontootla Creek Farms’ 1,000-acre property offers guided fly-fishing, a sporting-clay course and upland wingshooting (quail and pheasant hunting in season from November through March) — both traditional and compound archery. Even if rods and shotguns aren’t your life’s burning passion, it’s fun to learn. All three species of Georgia trout — rainbow, brown and brook — can be caught in challenging Noontootla Creek, and guides will outfit each member of your party with waders, boots, rods,

Summertime Fun

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION reels and flies. After you cast in the morning, blast in the afternoon back at the farm’s 12-station sporting-clay course — it’s like golfing with a shotgun, cart included. Sleepy mountain views across the valley are worth the trip alone, but the folks at Noontootla Creek Farms work hard to create extra unique experiences guests never forget. 706-838-0585, THE TOP INDEPENDENTLY rated white water rafting company on the Oconee River in the Cherokee National Forest, Raft One is sure to be a memorable experience for your group. The river’s class one to five rapids are perfect for rafting. Raft One also offers mountain biking and zip line canopy tours. It’s the adventure you’re looking for at the price you can afford. 888-723-8863,

Where to STAY

WITH MORE THAN 140 Blue Sky Cabin Rentals to choose from in the beautiful towns of Blue Ridge and Ellijay, you can pick the cabin that is perfect for you and your guests. You can choose waterfront or mountain view, pet friendly, luxury or affordable rustic. Can’t decide? Just give them a call and let one of their local agents help you to pick the perfect property for you and your special occasion. Blue Sky goes up and beyond by helping you plan your complete trip, including kayak and canoe rentals, in-cabin massages,

in-cabin meal prep from their traveling chef and grocery delivery. Now is the perfect time to go where the pavement ends and relaxation begins. Through June 29, 2017 call in to book your Monday through Thursday stay and get a 10-percent discount (exclusions may apply). 855-6362226, FIND YOUR PLACE for summer fun! North Georgia awaits; from the thrill-seeking adventurer to finding your inner Zen amongst nature’s beauty. Southern Comfort Cabin Rentals provides vacation homes that encompass each of these wishes and everything in between. Whether you’re looking for a home nestled into a lakeside cove, a cabin with the creek at arm’s reach or a log estate perched high into the mountainside, we have an extensive portfolio to fit your needs. In addition, with their price match guarantee, you’ll rest easy knowing your summer vacation won’t blow your budget. No matter the reason, a visit to Blue Ridge is always in season. Less than 90 minutes from Atlanta, Blue Ridge is calling. Let Southern Comfort help plan your perfect mountain adventure this summer! 1-866-4 CABINS, IF NOONTOOTLA CREEK Farms is the target on your trip, then stay on property in the four-bedroom farmhouse sleeping eight for a bull-eyes experience. The accommodations can serve as your family’s home base for any and all Blue Ridge area activities. 706-838-0585, n

May 2017 | | 53


Blue Ridge

Summertime Fun




706.946.3663 480 West Main Street Blue Ridge, GA 30513 54 | POINTS NORTH | May 2017


Blue Ridge

Summertime Fun Find Your Place for Summer


Fox Run Lodge

Moonrise Kingdom

A Bit of Heaven


a visit to Blue Ridge IS ALWAYS IN SEASON

Mention “Points North” when booking to receive an exclusive offer! 240 WEST MAIN STREET • BLUE RIDGE



3668 Newport Road Blue Ridge




May 2017 | | 55




Nodding to their ever-changing charm and steady draw, we’re highlighting ways to spend 200 minutes in a different Points North Atlanta community for each of our 2017 issues. Whether you spend all 200 minutes in one place or divvy it up to discover several, enjoying your time in this neighborhood starts now.

SWEETLAND OUTDOOR WHEN EN ROUTE TO my parent’s house, I sometimes do a double take. This either happens at night when the unfamiliar bright Q DOWNTOWN ALPHARETTA lights of Avalon stun me or in Smokejack BBQ ED Sis & Moon’s the morning when I notice ISAKSON/ ALPHARETTA construction progress of the FAMILY OLD M ILTON YMCA . mixed-use development. P T K S W Y . AIN S. M “This is a place where FLEETWOOD memories are made, new DANCE CENTER traditions emerge, famiHE MB RE lies gather and commuER OA D nity happens,” reads the Y. description on W 400 PK DE I These words might have TS ES W sounded cheesy if I didn’t ALPHARETTA Q Y. GREENWAY KW know the statement’s credP T (Trailhead IN O ibility. The first phase was Begins at HP T YMCA) R unveiled in fall 2014 and has been NO anchored by a premium movie theATLANTIC ater, high-end boutiques and locally SEAFOOD CO. owned restaurants surrounded by luxury residences, office spaces and resort-level hospitality. At a glance, it’s a glorified shopping markets, mall with hour-plus wait times for a but still, many dinner table. In the years since opening, of their original projections and goals my perception has evolved, revealing have been exceeded. a host for my family’s traditional Last month, Phase II officially Christmas Day movie outing, a place to opened, doubling Avalon’s size and trimeet up with friends and even where I pling its density. Tallying the expansion’s was let in on the secret planning for how addition of 1,000 jobs, 350 residents, 20 my sister’s fiancé was going to pop the stores and restaurants, and by early 2018, question. the 325-key Hotel Avalon and conference When I took a hard-hat tour of the center, I can confidently say this “devel“urbanburb” nearly three years ago, I opment” has played a hand in reshaping couldn’t have foreseen all the moments the area as I’ve known it. At this rate, I spent and memories made there. Instead, wouldn’t blink an eye if the conference I started to see the city in more quancenter announced it would host titative terms. When North American TEDxAlpharetta next year. Properties began designing Avalon, they However, if you came to town and did extensive market research that comand only visited Avalon, I can also confipared the area to similarly burgeoning dently say that you’d be missing out. L AL MB KI





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Two-Hundred MINUTES IN ... A L PH A R E T TA

69 N UM BE R


What makes a person “from” a place? In truth, I wasn’t born in Alpharetta, but arriving just after kindergarten has kept the city as my de facto answer of where I’ve called home for 20 years. I can point out the places I’ve broken bones, celebrated birthdays, found the perfect prom dress, attended funerals and graduated from high school. As a person can change in many ways during that timeframe, so too can a place. Perhaps no one knows that better than the team behind

North American Properties, who have the data to prove it. Avalon has been warmly embraced as a “third place,” next to home and work or school, for guests, residents, employees and the estimated 9 million visitors who have frequented. In early April, I got another sneak peek at its next wave, just a couple weeks before new retailers like South Moon Under, Boogaloos, Levi’s, Urban Outfitters, Scout & Molly’s, Brooks Brothers and Hammer Made — among others — opened their doors. While some shops like


Apple, Lucky Brand, Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma have relocated from their North Point Mall locations, the arrival of others to the Northside — and likewise the restaurateurs and chefs it has attracted — signal a shift in the way people are spending their money and time. Just ask Peter Tokar, who has served as the economic development director for the City of Alpharetta and managing director for the Alpharetta Development Authority since 2012. In his first role, Tokar is responsible for leading recruitment, retention and expansion initiatives for the city with the end result of creating jobs, increasing the city’s tax base and providing a quality of life second to none for both businesses and residents. With the Authority, he helps provide bond financing for economic development projects, create grant programs to assist local businesses and provide

analysis and studies to promote smart development. Currently, Alpharetta is home to more than 600 technology companies, including Microsoft, the first to lease office space at 8000 Avalon. It’s gaining a reputation as both a healthcare and tech hub of the metro Atlanta area, and Nerd Wallet claimed it’s the best place in America to start a business while Forbes ranked it as one of the country’s friendliest cities. By now, it should come as no surprise that the City of Alpharetta is also the sixth fastest growing municipality in the nation according to the U.S. Census Bureau. What began as a quiet trading camp more than 155 years ago is, today, a sophisticated and affluent city that is home to 60,000 residents and boasts a daytime population upward of 100,000.



THE RISE OF THE URBANBURB With so many people coming and going, there’s a caveat and it’s called traffic. However, with the city’s expansion has come an attitude of reconsidering how we want to live, pitting suburban sprawl against Avalon’s New-Age mentality. While my parents’ home is just 4 miles away, I’ve never considered biking there — until now. Earlier this year, local headlines put me in the market for a new set of two wheels when they PHOTO COURTESY OF AVALON

58 | POINTS NORTH | May 2017

EXCEPTIONAL DENTAL CARE is a lot closer than you think. MONDAY TO THURSDAY 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. | FRIDAY 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. SATURDAY (by appointment only) 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. WE DO NOT OVERBOOK. Unless of an emergency, you will not spend half a day

waiting for a 20-minute appointment.

Now located across from the Northside Hospital medical complex in Alpharetta, Dr. Michael Healey’s trusted pediatric and orthodontic dental practice is now easily accessible to more patients. The new office incorporates all the advances in pediatric care, including gag-free x-rays and white ziconium crowns for children, instead of stainless steel.



770-993-9395 | DOCHEALEY.COM

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Two-Hundred MINUTES IN ... A LPH A R E T TA announced plans for the Alpha Loop. While the Alpharetta Greenway treelined paths have been a popular destination for weekend recreation, the Alpha Loop proposes something different: multi-use paths including a 3-mile inner loop and a 5-mile outer loop to better connect our neighborhoods and offer a healthier choice for getting around town. The project is taking cues from the Atlanta BeltLine and its landmark success in spurring revitalization and economic growth while increasing the amount of green space, community events and public art. Like the BeltLine, the Alpha Loop will also be a long-term project; however the section linking Avalon to downtown Alpharetta is anticipated to be completed as soon as later this year. If Avalon is drawing huge crowds, one can’t help but wonder about how the charming downtown 2 miles down the road is faring. The historic brick buildings that line South Main Street and continue around the corner of Milton Avenue have played host to a mix of businesses throughout the years, but are perhaps their most vibrant today. Mainstay eateries like Smokejack BBQ and Corner Deli have gained good company with Hop Alley Brew Pub, Mugs on Milton coffee shop, Maven Restaurant Group’s South Main Kitchen and Butcher and Brew. Stylish galleries and boutiques like Chic Evolution in Art and Sis & Moon’s also command attention,

60 | POINTS NORTH | May 2017

Mugs on Milton

and the list will continue to grow, compliments of the Alpharetta City Center. In March, Alpharetta celebrated the groundbreaking of the city center district, a project that has been in the works since 2011. The public phase, including a stately City Hall, Brook Street Park and town green, Alpharetta Library, new roads and sidewalks, was completed in 2015. The private phase, including retail, dining, offices, 42 single-family homes and 168 rental units, brings the total size to five-city blocks and sets the foundation for a more walkable lifestyle. “These are two sides to the same coin; a coin which will expand our downtown … and attach people to this great city of Alpharetta for years to come,” said Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle. “For, we know that the very grit and soul of a city is in its downtown.” While its opening remains more than a year away, some confirmed tenants are: Atlanta-grown Highland Bakery’s first outside-the-Perimeter location; five familiar fashion bou-

tiques; and fine dining with a concept from the Vin25 team as well as a Lapeer, a Caribbean-inspired seafood marketplace from Maven Restaurant Group. Keeping landmark preservation in mind, the historic Jones House will become the home of Holmes, an eclectic American restaurant from Executive Chef Taylor Neary (formerly of Marcel and St. Cecilia). Needless to say, anyone that visits Alpharetta regularly won’t be going hungry. Added to the list of options at Avalon includes Persian eats at Rumi’s Kitchen and Vietnamese at MF Sushi’s younger sibling, District 3. Whatever type of cuisine you’re craving, you’ll likely find it within reach or, soon enough, a bike ride away.



THE TRAILBLAZERS In the window of a local

business, you may spot a blue sticker with artfully arranged letters that spell “Support Alpharetta.” It’s a good reminder of what happens when we keep spending dollars close to home, but also that a moniker like “Technology City of the South” doesn’t happen overnight. The boom we are seeing today started a long time ago, and it’s in those generational stories of success where inspiration lies. When an after-school rollerblading ride led to a broken wrist and a cast at age 6, I still remember my dad taking me to Alpha Soda on the way home from the hospital. In 1920, Louis Jones opened this soda fountain in the back of his medicine shop. Ownership has changed hands and though today’s menu — replete with craft beer selections — reflect the upscale palate of its 30009 zip code (you can even follow them on Instagram), the retro interior and sky-high slices of pie are still a classic comfort. While playing the starring role in your own episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins and

Dives,” don’t miss the unique threads at Bohemia. It’s a place to stock up on fringe and festival-wear perfect for outdoor concerts and your summer social calendar, while guaranteeing you’ll show up in a one-of-a-kind ensemble. Located behind Alpha Soda, the free-spirited finds and home goods at this boutique evoke a different era; one when Fleetwood Dance Center began welcoming students. Founded in 1962 by Carolyn P. Fleetwood and currently under the ownership and artistic direction of her daughter, Lynn Fleetwood-Dukes, the studio is home to the Fleetwood Dance Theatre, Inc. Its mission is to educate and entertain through the art of dance in the north metro area of Atlanta. The center caters to both children and adults, carrying on Carolyn’s tradition of training dancers in all styles of dance including musical theater, jazz, tap, ballet, pointe, modern, hip hop and lyrical. Many of

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BREAK OUT THE BIKES! Bike Alpharetta is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization advocating for an enjoyable and safe environment for bicycle use in the community. Join them in building awareness and promoting bicycling with their events this month. • ANNUAL HEALTHY KIDS DAY AT ALPHARETTA YMCA May 6, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. • ANNUAL BIKE TO SCHOOL DAY AT ALPHARETTA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL May 10, 7 to 8:30 a.m. • BIKE TO SCHOOL DAY AT MANNING OAKS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL May 12, 7 to 8:30 a.m. • BIKE TO WORK WEEK May 15 to 19

• Open for lunch and dinner Monday - Saturday • Dinner reservations recommended



May 2017 | | 61

Two-Hundred MINUTES IN ... A L PH A R E T TA

you can find the market on Old Canton Street between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. each Saturday until October 28.




Alpharetta Arts Streetfest

Fleetwood Dance Center’s students have gone on to professional careers in stage, screen and television. It’s a beautiful example that technology, urban planning and culinary arts aren’t the only categories where Alpharetta is taking the lead.




Don’t take my word for it. Get a taste of the variety Alpharetta has to offer for yourself at one of the many food-centric events happening throughout warmweather months. Named a Top 20 event for 2017 by the Southeast Tourism Society, Taste of Alpharetta is an annual tradition for families and

Taste of Alpharetta

epicureans alike. On May 4 from 5 to 10 p.m., more than 60 restaurants take over Roswell Street and Milton Avenue with culinary demonstrations, samples from the top chefs in town and activities for all ages. Admission is free, but you’ll need to purchase tickets to exchange for food samples. Beginning the following week, the festivities continue every Thursday evening through October 19 at the Alpharetta Food Truck

Alley. Enjoy bites from a rotation of six to eight food trucks with live music — a good excuse to kick off the weekend a little early. Early birds might prefer starting off their Saturday mornings at the Alpharetta Farmers Market where you’ll find an impressive array of stalls full of fresh fruits, veggies, natural meats, flowers, herbs, baked goods, raw honey, homemade sauces, jellies, soaps and more. Unless in the case of inclement weather,

Gathering places like Avalon, downtown Alpharetta and the Alpha Loop may make awesome third places to create memories, but the most important reason many of us visit Alpharetta is to go home or to spend quality time with family and friends. With a rare combination of beautiful neighborhoods ranking as Georgia’s 12th largest city, that one word, “home,” holds a unique meaning for all the residents in not only the 30009, but also the 30004,30005, 30022, 30075 and 30076. In the shops, we find the art and decor to fill our walls and rooms. At the markets, we find the food to feed our stomachs and souls. At school, work and in our neighborhoods, we find the people who fill the seats at our kitchen tables. When I turn off the exit to my parent’s house, I follow the same route to the same address I’ve been taking for 20 years, but almost everything else about the scenery has changed along the way. You could say Alpharetta is having a moment, but I encourage you to stay a little longer than that. PN


62 | POINTS NORTH | May 2017

WHERE TO EAT IN ALPHARETTA With more than 175 dining options and counting, we know it can be hard to pick just one. We tried to keep these suggestions to a handful, but as it turns out, our appetite for local options is too ravenous.



A mainstay on Mansell Road, Atlantic Seafood Co. specializes in just what their name suggests - fresh seafood flown in daily and cut, prepared and served with a thoughtful approach for each filet, dozen of oysters or sushi roll. Sit in the open, breathable dining room for a view of the exposed marketstyle kitchen and wall mural or al fresco on one of their two patios.

Another new addition on Avalon’s East Boulevard, Brine is the brainchild from Chef Marc Taft (Chicken and the Egg, FEED - Friend Chicken & Such) and Chef de Cuisine David Connolly (Two Urban Licks, TAP). The Cape Cod-meets-Santa Monica seafood menu promises to follow sustainable practices, leaving it up to you to relax on the rooftop with a tiki drink, tuna poke, clam rolls, fish tacos and soft-serve ice cream.

BARLEYGARDEN KITCHEN & CRAFT BAR Fans of Krog Street Market’s Hop City and The Spotted Trotter, listen closely. Located in Avalon’s new East wing, Barleygarden is an exercise in relaxation with a dogfriendly patio, convenient to-go window, ample interior bar seating with 64 rare and limited rotating beers on tap, plus an open-air rooftop specializing in Belgian, German, English and other European favorite suds. And I haven’t even mentioned the boutique charcuterie.

COALITION FOOD AND BEVERAGE Opening this summer at the corner of Milton Avenue and Canton Street, Coalition is the third act from R.O. Hospitality, the team behind Roswell’s Table & Main and Osteria Mattone. While we anticipate the same standard of style and quality from Founder Ryan Pernice and Chef Woody Back, we also have a feeling their progressive and signature interpretations of American wood-fired classics will keep us on our toes. coalitionfoodandbeverage. com

Large Selection Of Unique Styles

Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful New arrivals daily. Visit often!

ALPHARETTA CROSSING SHOPPING CENTER 11770 Haynes Bridge Road Suite 105, Alpharetta 770-754-4455 |

“J O E

Bohemia eclectic clothing & home décor


Big Band Jazz Camp”

“ Join Atlanta’s Music Legend Joe Gransden and his Big Band Jazz Camp this summer!” Alfred L. Watkins

Former Director of Bands, Lassiter HS


June 18th-23rd 2017

• Nationally recognized staff • • Students perform in Combos and Big Bands daily • • High teacher to student ratio • Daily masterclasses •

Registration is now open at: May 2017 | | 63


Smokejack BBQ


Satisfy Your Seafood Cravings

Open For Lunch and Dinner Enjoy Fresh Seafood and Sushi Offerings in our Spacious and Beautiful Dining Room or Outdoor Patios Fresh Fish Flown in Daily

Atlantic Seafood Co.

MF Sushi

FLATLANDS 52 BOURBON AND BAYOU August will mark the oneyear anniversary of bringing the bayou to the suburbs for Flatlands 52. Inspired by the building that houses the restaurant, the owners have created a New Orleans-esque atmosphere, Cajun cuisine menu and of course, have plenty of cocktails - although instead of Hurricanes, these are each made to order and mixologist approved. Join them May 5 for “Cinco de Bayou” and later this summer for a crawfish boil.


2345 Mansell Road | Alpharetta


Created by famed restaurant designer Alex Kinjo, the artful interiors match the attention to detail that is put into each decadent dish. An extension

of its Buckhead and Houston locations, MF Sushi has added two restaurants to its portfolio at Avalon. Next door to MF Sushi’s sleek bar (insider tip: Club Avalon’s concierge can help make reservations while you shop) is District 3, which draws on the Kinjo brothers’ heritage with modern yet authentic Vietnamese fare in a casual, stylish environment. Here’s to hoping for a latenight menu.

PURE TAQUERIA This place is a household name around much of the Northside, but if you’ve never been to a PURE Taqueria, why not start with the original location? Located at the site of an abandoned 1920’s era Pure Fuel Oil station, PURE’s crowds and margaritas have been hip, loud, sophisticated, PHOTOS COURTESY OF MF SUSHI; ATLANTIC SEAFOOD; CITY OF ALPHARETTA; FLATLANDS 52

64 | POINTS NORTH | May 2017




Pre-k - Children - Teens - Adults


CHECK OUT OUR SCHEDULE AT OR CALL 770-442-5229 Register Early for 2017-18 Dance Season

FLEETWOOD DANCE THEATRE, INC. Our Resident Performing Company Serving the Atlanta Area Since 1960 Lynn F. Dukes, Artistic Director Carolyn P. Fleetwood, Founder

Pink eye? Red Eyes? Tired Eyes?

We Can Help!

Also specializing in: Flatlands 52

fun and family-friendly since 2005. Down the road, enjoy more Sedgwick Restaurants with either tapas at MADE Kitchen & Cocktails and Italian comfort at Vinny’s on Windward.

SMOKEJACK BBQ Anchoring South Main Street’s dining scene since 2004, Smokejack is located in a rustic 180-year old building that has served the community in a variety of ways. They’re carrying on that tradition with quality ingredients, prepared with respect. While they emphasize great barbeque, they play no favorites with the many regional styles. From slow smoked, hand-pulled pork to moist tender ribs to their signature beef burnt ends, there’s something for all BBQ lovers.

Don’t even get us started on the sides.

SOUTH MAIN KITCHEN One of Smokejack BBQ’s newer neighbors, South Main Kitchen is also housed in a historic building, but offers a fresh approach to the true artistry of food. Chef Christy Stone’s creativity shines from the open-kitchen and locals flock to the communal seating and rooftop bar. South Main’s success is echoed next store at Maven Restaurant Group’s second endeavor, a gastro sports bar called Butcher and Brew. Lapeer, a seafood marketplace inspired by islands like Saint Barths and Anguilla, will join the scene next year.

eye injuries, cataract evaluation, glaucoma evaluation & management, macular degeneration, dry eyes, diabetic eye exams and annual eye exams.

We accept all major medical insurance. Call us to make an appointment today. Emergency walk-ins welcomed!

NORTH POINT EYE CARE 5755 North Point Parkway • Suite 222 • Alpharetta, GA 30022 phone 770-410-1540 fax 770-410-7525

• VIRTUALLY MAINTENANCEFREE • MANY COLORS & STYLES TO CHOOSE FROM • MADE IN THE USA ALSO: Playsets • Trampolines • Basketball Goals • Arbors/Arches Porch Swings & Wood Lawn Furniture • Backyard Storage Barns • And More… Serving Metro Atlanta Since 1989 “Building Backyard Dreams”

13674 Hwy. 9 North • Alpharetta, GA 30004

(770) 569-7772 May 2017 | | 65

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We love to hear feedback from readers. Get in touch by email at


“This is an absolutely beautiful story — from the photography to your words. Thank you for this very trueto-life picture of The Swag.” — Rebecca Werner April 2017


Get Chef Woody’s take on the Kentucky Derby, hot browns and juleps from this article in @pointsnorthatl

Vinings Jubilee: “We agree, Points North magazine​, legacy assets certainly do await in the historic heart of Vinings at #ViningsJubilee! See you this weekend.”

CLICK WE STUDIED THE ART of the staycation with a weekend at Midtown’s Artmore Hotel. Steps from the Woodruff Arts Center and a rookie semifinalist pick for the James Beard Foundation’s Best New Restaurants, the Artmore makes the ideal, borrowed homebase while getting your fill of city and culture. Read the online exclusive at

JOIN LOCAL AUTHOR Amy Lyle as she launches “The Amy-BinegarKimmes-Lyle Book of Failures” with a cocktail party on May 15 at the Polo Golf & Country Club in Cumming. Lyle invites you to “delight in 45 years of missteps, inadequacies and faux pas.” Attendees can also meet local personalities including Andrea Ferenchik from the blog “Momma Quit Her Day Job” as she shares why she left her position at Microsoft to pursue her dreams. To RSVP, visit and sign up, knowing 10 percent of the proceeds benefit The Place of Forsyth.



WE SALUTE GEORGIA NATIVE and Shepherd’s Men founder Travis Ellis, who was one of five citizens chosen to receive the 2017 Citizen Honors Award, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s highest award. His donor-funded program that benefits military service members with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) rounds out its eight-city fundraising tour on May 29 with a 22-kilometer run ending at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. The run is open to members of the community to walk, run and cheer on the team.


Find more local happenings at Send submissions a full two months in advance to


66 | POINTS NORTH | May 2017

Points North May 2017  

Points North Atlanta May 2017 Issue

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