By Katie Brown
One of the many things that makes Atlanta an ideal location is the diversity
of its residents. From single professionals and young couples to families and
active adults, many residents spend their entire lives in Atlanta. Because the
city has multiple communities with a vast array of different offerings, residents
often find themselves in new areas of town depending on their current lifestyle.
For a snapshot of what Atlanta has to offer its residents throughout four major
life stages, here’s an overview of Atlanta’s lifestyles.
The Single, Young Professional
As one of the largest cities in the Southeast, Atlanta attracts many recent
graduates with its active job market and convenient location. Since many people
in this demographic are recently out of college, an affordable location that
offers a vibrant lifestyle is key.
Where to Live
Typically, the single, young professional has a few important criteria when
searching for a community, including an energetic nightlife, trendy shopping
and restaurants, parks with sports and activities, and of course, affordability
and accessibility. During this stage of life, being in the middle of it all
is important, so it’s all about location for those in this age bracket.
To meet the needs of young professionals, Atlanta communities that fit their
requirements often include Buckhead, Westside, Midtown and Downtown. In the
Westside community, White Provision encompasses all that Atlanta’s young
singles are looking for. “After nearly 10 years of restoration and growth,
White Provision, celebrating its 100th anniversary, has emerged as a modern
urban district that offers unmatched pedestrian access to an artistic and upscale
collection of boutique retailers, restaurants, designer showrooms, businesses
and restaurants,” says Leah Cochran Mulcahy of The Reynolds Group Inc.
“Its chic and welcoming design represents a creative hub within the city
limits that allows for a seamless transition between living, working and playing
without driving a car.”
Mulcahy notes that when it comes to choosing a place to live, it’s really
all about location for this young demographic. “Not only is White Provision
located in the fashionable Westside district which is home to award winning
restaurants and high-end boutique shopping, but it’s minutes from Midtown,
Downtown and Buckhead providing access to all Atlanta has to offer,” she
At TWELVE Centennial Park, a 39-story high-rise in Downtown, Atlanta’s
young professionals can enjoy everything the city has to offer, from sporting
events at Philips Arena and the Georgia Dome to restaurants and nightlife. “There’s
convenience to living intown that you can’t get in a suburban, single-family
community,” says Matt Smith of TWELVE. “There’s a huge variety
of restaurants and shops within walking distance. Our homeowners love being
in the heart of the city with all the activities, nightlife and sporting events.”
Whether the resident choses to live alone or find roommates, many condo and
apartment developments, such as White Provision, Astoria at the Aramore and
1010 Midtown, have multiple floor plans that provide ample living space as well
as privacy in the spacious bedrooms. Aside from the living area, the condo’s
amenities are also important to young residents. Whether it’s a large
swimming pool, state-of-the-art gym or 24-hour concierge, the single, young
professional demographic wants everything within a convenient distance.
What to Do
When it comes to looking for things to do, young residents want to try it all.
“Young professionals want to be in the midst of the best food and entertainment,
touching new trends,” says Mulcahy. “Atlanta has everything a young
professional needs—good weather, plenty of activities, great restaurants
To touch on some must-try activities and hot spots, the Buckhead area is ideal
for a night on the town. Located near the intersection of Paces Ferry and Peachtree
roads, nearly 100 bars and restaurants exist within a few surrounding blocks.
Or for some high-end shopping, head over to Lenox Mall and Phipps Plaza, located
within walking distance of each other. For those seeking exercise during the
day, the Chastain Park area is a must-see. With a jogging trail, playground,
tennis courts and more, Chastain Park is conviently located in the Buckhead
For renowned restaurants, like JCT Kitchen and Taqueria del Sol, as well as
retail and boutique shopping, locals travel to the mixed-use White Provision
development in Westside. While it is primarily known as the second-largest business
district in Atlanta, Midtown is also a cultural destination for those looking
for historic architecture and an artistic sensibility. Young residents flock
to this area for famous destinations like the Fox Theatre, High Museum of Art
and the year-round events and festivals at Piedmont Park.
The Young Couple
As young professionals become young couples, they become more detail-oriented
and knowledgeable about their likes and dislikes in a home. While a community
with ample shopping, restaurants and entertainment still remains important,
the young couple is seeking a community that has the ability to grow with them.
Where to Live
According to Irene Hall, Pulte Group’s marketing manager of the Georgia
Division, young couples are looking for “kitchens with all the bells and
whistles,” from granite countertops and stainless steel appliances to
open kitchens that spill into great rooms. And while the kitchen becomes a main
area for entertaining, young couples also want to spread the entertainment outdoors
to a covered porch or deck. Hall also notes that many of these couples search
for condos or homes with offices and other secondary rooms.
To meet these needs, Glenridge Heights, Pulte Homes’ newest community,
is located in the heart of Sandy Springs. Conveniently located near Georgia
400 and I-285, this community features townhomes with updated kitchens, walk-in
closets and master sitting rooms. While the space feels like a single-family
home, many young couples desire communities like Glenridge Heights because of
the no-maintenance exteriors and clubhouse amenities like a fitness center and
Colby Henson of Red Oak Communities agrees that young couples are seeking homes
with updated kitchens and ample entertaining space. He says that because of
the accessibility of information online as well as the availability of homes,
many young couples are finding their dream homes. “A real comfort for
young purchasers right now should be the ability of purchasing a home at a very
aggressive price combined with the low interest rates,” he says. “The
young couples are able to take advantage of this market and own a new home with
a substantial upgrade package that has not been offered in the market ever before.”
Because of their community-centered nature and array of entertainment options,
Smyrna and Marietta are becoming increasingly popular areas for young couples,
as many consider expanding their families in the future. Currently, Red Oak
Communities has multiple communities in this area, including Dawsons Creek and
Cobblestone Ridge in Marietta and Cottages at Parkview Village, Grady Manor,
Medlin Place and Vintage Square in Smyrna.
What to Do
Whether young couples decide to live or visit the Smyrna and Marietta areas,
Henson says that the centers of these communities offer year-round incentives
to residents. “Marietta Square and Smyrna Market Village are both excellent
examples of vibrant, community-centered areas that serve residents with their
favorite locally owned shopping boutiques, restaurants, art galleries and active
civic associations,” he says. “Whether it’s the concert series
in Marietta Square or the festival in Smyrna Market Village, these local towns
support the residents with an inviting environment to live, work and play.”
While these communities may be ideal for young couples who are planning or have
recently started a family, many of Atlanta’s young couples still seek
some of the hustle and bustle of city life. For this demographic, Atlantic Station
is a perfect one-stop shop for Atlantans. Located on the edge of Midtown, Atlantic
Station is set up like an outdoor mall with everything from residential space
to high-end shopping to a 16-screen movie theater.
Because of its close proximity to the vibrant Buckhead and Midtown communities,
Sandy Springs is quickly becoming a go-to destination for young couples seeking
the extra space while still maintaining a close connection to the city. For
those who choose to live in Sandy Springs communities like Glenridge Heights,
it’s a short drive to many necessities, such as three major hospitals
and MARTA, as well as some of Atlanta’s premier shopping and restaurant
areas, like The Prado and Perimeter Mall.
For families in Atlanta, a lot goes into choosing a community in which to live.
With parents who commute to work and kids with countless activities, many families
live busy, active lifestyles. So when it comes to finding the right home, families
have a seemingly endless set of criteria—from school districts and ratings
to home design and safety.
Where to Live
Because many families seek a more spacious home with a large backyard, many
head to Atlanta’s suburbs. One community that continues to attract families
is the North Fulton/Roswell area because of its close proximity to the city
and large home sizes.
According to Amy Beltramea, marketing manager for Stonecrest Homes, families
look for communities with a convenient location, good school ratings and home
designs that offer ease of living and function. In Roswell, Stonecrest Homes
has two communities: Pine Grove Estates, which features three car garages, 10’
ceilings and gourmet kitchens, and Cochran Farms, which is surrounded by greenery.
“There are so many things to do in Roswell within 10 minutes of our neighborhoods—parks,
tennis, golf, swimming, running, bicycling, nightly entertainment, concerts,
shopping and restaurants,” Beltramea says.
By placing their communities in top school districts, Traton Homes, which has
16 communities throughout the metro Atlanta area, builds homes appropriate for
families. “Families in Atlanta have so many options, with so many great
areas and homes from which to choose,” says Kimberly Garwood, marketing
manager for Traton Homes. “It all boils down to finding a home in a community
that suits their lifestyle, where they feel that special sense of community.
And certainly the school district plays a major role for families with school-aged
And because the school district is so important to families, North Fulton and
its exceptional schools attract many Atlanta families. Currently, Traton Homes
has one community in North Fulton, Westminister Place, and has another coming
soon. Located in desirable Milton, Westminister Place offers families plenty
of space to move around, with basement homes set on one-acre lots.
With its low taxes, excellent schools and safety and environmental initiatives,
Cobb County is another popular location for families. Specifically, the East
Cobb/Marietta area has an abundance of fine dining, restaurants and recreational
opportunities, which is why Brock Built Homes currently has four communities
in this area—Watercrest, Pete Shaw, Idlewilde and Piedmont Crossing. Barbara
Glore, sales and marketing manager for Brock Built, says that its communities
are ideal for families because they strive to create quality construction with
walking trails, ponds, dog walks and other family-focused amenities.
Betsy Tyler, public relations officer for Peachtree City, says the area has
a lot to offer new residents. “A family moving to metro Atlanta can find
a beautiful house anywhere, but moving to a home in Peachtree City can also
give them a hometown,” she says. “Because we are a fairly young
town (established in 1959), many of our residents are newly located here due
to job transfers. Peachtree City residents also quickly fall in love with the
unique community here, and over the years many people have declined transfers
to stay or have moved back as soon as they could.”
Located in the Fayette County School System, Peachtree City is completely connected
with multi-use paths connecting neighborhoods to elementary and middle schools.
To further cater to a family’s active lifestyle, the community has 20
neighborhood playgrounds, multiple pools, a skate park and recreational programs.
While walking or bicycling gets residents around, families also take advantage
of the golf cart lifestyle in Peachtree City, with more than 10,000 registered
Aside from Peachtree City, there are other builders and communities throughout
the Atlanta area that specifically cater to the family lifestyle. With locations
in Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties, Walton Communities has been making apartment
living possible for families for 20 years. “We choose locations where
we would want to live and raise our families, then we build communities where
individuals and families can thrive,” says Pat Newman of Walton Communities.
“Apartment living can be an isolating experience if you allow it to be,
but by providing opportunities for families to get to know their neighbors,
residents then feel more connected to their community.”
In Walton Communities, these opportunities include Kids Clubs, after school
enrichment programs that are held throughout the week; Adventure Centers, programs
for young children to learn character building and receive homework help free
of charge; and the Single Parent Christmas Banquet, an annual event for single
parents and children to come together and win prizes.
Located in Fayette County, Atlanta families can experience life on the lake
at The Canoe Club. With two lakes, multiple amenities and homes situated on
one-acre lots, families are able to enjoy the tranquility of the lake lifestyle
while still remaining close to the city. With multiple builders throughout the
community, including Peachtree Residential and Edwards Andrews, families have
plenty of options when it comes to the style and layout of their home—from
open floor plans and kitchens for entertaining to media rooms and hardwood floors.
With multiple price points and community locations throughout Atlanta, it’s
not surprising that Ryland Homes has become so popular among families. Because
the builder focuses on uncovering what’s important to homeowners—like
the location of the laundry room and how much storage space is needed—Ryland
Homes takes a personal approach to creating family-friendly homes. From the
Braemar neighborhood in Alpharetta to Brookside Park in Smyrna to River Stone
in Lawrenceville, the perfect move-in ready home is available from Ryland.
With locations ranging from Marietta to Douglasville to Woodstock, Piedmont
Residential is another family-friendly builder with multiple locations throughout
the Atlanta area. And whether the family decides to build or buy a home, Piedmont
Residential aims to meet the needs specific and unique to each family for a
great, affordable value.
What to Do
When it comes to finding family-friendly activities and things to do, Atlanta
has it all, from safe parks and recreational spaces to lively entertainment
and child-appropriate restaurants and shopping.
For those in the Marietta community, The Avenue East Cobb and Merchant’s
Walk are great shopping centers for families because of their diverse retail
and dining options. At the recently redeveloped and pedestrian-friendly Merchant’s
Walk, families can enjoy a movie at the cinema, shop at one of the major retailers
like Kohl’s and Whole Foods, grab dinner or check out one of the many
local boutiques. Or for a day-long outing, peruse The Avenue East Cobb, an outdoor
shopping center with local merchants, specialty restaurants and premier retailers.
If your family is in touch with the outdoors or would like to see more of Georgia’s
wildlife, Peachtree City is a must-see. The area’s Lake Peachtree is a
perfect place for kids to feed ducks and geese, or visit the two nature centers,
Line Creek and Flat Creek. Aside from nature, Peachtree City is full of other
outdoor opportunities. While the community has multiple neighborhood playgrounds,
the largest is the All Children’s Playground, which is accessible to everyone
including those with mobility challenges, such as wheelchairs. And for kids
who prefer the indoors, the Peachtree City Library has its own children’s
wing, which features story time on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
In the historic Roswell area of North Fulton, people of all ages can enjoy this
bicycle-friendly community and its year-round events and festivals, which range
from December’s Christmas in Roswell to April’s Down to Earth Kids
Fest celebrating Earth Day. History is also abundant in this town, with Civil
War walking tours and historical attractions, such as Smith Plantation and the
ruins of the Roswell Mills. Whether families choose to live in or visit the
historic Roswell district, there is something for kids and parents of all ages
The Active Adult
For active adults living in Atlanta, life doesn’t slow down with age.
As baby boomers reach their retirement years and more people move to the area
to be closer to children and grandchildren, Atlanta is quickly adapting to cater
to this fast-growing demographic. Now more than ever, active adults are seeking
communities that provide them with comfort and social outlets.
Where to Live
Because the typical lifestyle of active adults is changing, Jennifer Landers,
marketing director for Newland Communities and Sterling on the Lake, says that
their criteria for choosing a home and community is changing as well. “These
days, being an active adult means they are still young and aren’t ready
to slow down their lifestyle,” she says. “Most importantly, they
want value, comfort and luxury, in single-story living with the ease of a maintenance-free
neighborhood. It will allow them freedom to come and go as they choose.”
Since many active adults prefer this on-the-move lifestyle, communities like
Sterling on the Lake have adapted to meet their needs. The Springs, a new section
of Sterling on the Lake that features homes from builder Jim Chapman Communities,
recently opened and offers a variety of options—from basements and gourmet
kitchens to outdoor living spaces and large attic storage.
While residents can enjoy Sterling on the Lake’s amenities like parks,
tennis centers and a library, also included in The Springs neighborhood is lawn
and landscape maintenance. “Today’s active adult is seeking an area
that mixes the perfect combination—the pace and comfort of a small town
alongside the sophistication of a larger city, with quality health care, shopping
and dining opportunities,” says Landers.
According to Kelly Dempsey, vice president of sales and marketing for Jim Chapman
Communities, creating a community that provides active adults with safety and
security while still remaining sociable and entertaining makes Jim Chapman Communities
popular among active adults. At their Brookhaven at East Cobb location, residents
enjoy a gated community, one-level ranch condo living and a maintenance-free
lifestyle, as well as activities like book, card and sewing clubs.
For those interested in golf outings and social gatherings, Cadence, a John
Wieland Homes Community in Canton, offers an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts,
a private fitness center and a Club Social Director to coordinate events such
as ladies bunco, neighborhood socials and movie nights. With multiple homes
and floor plans to choose from, active adults can stay connected in a community
suited to their needs.
What to Do
While many communities provide everything from grocery shopping to exercise
options to dining all within the neighborhood, there are also many areas throughout
Atlanta that attract active adults. With buildings dating back to 1879, the
downtown district of Woodstock has a historical flair with its antique shops
and tearooms. And while Historic Woodstock features everything from a hair salon
and spa to gift shops and car servicing, active adults can also partake in the
Woodstock Community Center’s active senior citizens program.
With communities, such as Cadence, located in the Canton area, many active adults
are exploring the area. Like Woodstock, Canton also has a historic area as well
as parks and other recreational and leisure opportunities. With year-round events,
such as the Canton Festival of the Arts, Taste of Canton and Movies in the Park,
active adults are able to stay busy with plenty of social and recreational activities