Braselton: A Town Redefined
A stroll through downtown Braselton is like taking a trip into the past. Historic two-story homes marked by spectacular architecture and stately white columns dot the landscape, and the small town charm that was present more than 100 years ago has remained intact and on full display. Yet, while Braselton has maintained the traditions and allure of its bygone days, the bustling downtown district and the surrounding community also have managed to become an innovative and enterprising commercial juggernaut, welcoming businesses of all types and sizes and giving its nearly 12,000 residents access to a wide array of contemporary services and amenities. The town is the perfect blend of past, present and future, all wrapped up into one captivating locale that sits less than 50 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta and reaches into four North Georgia counties: Barrow, Gwinnett, Hall and Jackson.
Preservation Meets Revitalization
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Braselton emerged as a center of commerce thanks to the Braselton Brothers—John Oliver, Green and William Henry—who opened a series of country stores in the area. By the time Braselton was chartered in 1916, the town was known for its welcoming business climate.
Today, the town continues to boast a thriving—and continually growing—business community. “Braselton has always been a commercial base for the four-county area,” notes town manager Jennifer Scott. “There are storefront retailers and small business entrepreneurs, service providers headquartered in their homes and offices, as well as industrial giants. Our goal is to manage the growth in such a way that the town maintains its best qualities that make it a great hometown while continuing to provide quality services to the residents and businesses in the most efficient way possible.”
To maintain Braselton’s historic roots while supporting economic growth, the town has been strategic in its efforts. In recent years, a major revitalization initiative has been instituted in the historic downtown district, helping to transform the historic homes of yesterday into modern-day business and government venues. “Some of the beautiful residences of former Braselton founders now serve adaptive usages, and the original brick Braselton Brothers store is home to retail, service and fine dining,” Scott says. What’s more, one founders’ home has become Town Hall, while another is now a funeral home. And it’s this type of unique redevelopment that has attracted other businesses to the area.
One key development has been the opening of Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton, a 119-acre medical campus that features a 100-bed hospital, physician offices, an urgent care center, an imaging center, therapy services and more. Additional medical-related offices are popping up around the center as well. According to Scott, this growth “is putting the area on the health and wellness map, as families are valuing the assets of close-to-home care.”
The inclusion of a major medical center in the business community further boosts the appeal of the area to such leading companies as Williams Sonoma, Carters, Petco and Amazon, which all have distribution centers in Braselton because of its excellent location between Atlanta and the Carolinas and easy access to Interstate 85. “A combination of geography and a stable progressive government continue to encourage businesses to call Braselton home,” Scott observes.
Of course, Braselton is also synonymous with some of North Georgia’s most beloved tourism spots—namely Château Élan Resort & Winery and Road Atlanta, which together bring more than one million visitors to the town each year.
“Château Élan’s reputation as a hospitality mecca, with its world-class amenities including the winery and luxury inn, spa, golf and tennis, walking trails and a second hotel on the grounds, continues to bring visitors to the community,” Scott says.
Less than seven miles away, Road Atlanta, which is recognized as one of the world’s best road courses, welcomes a variety of amateur and professional sports car and motorcycle races, including the renowned Petit Le Mans endurance race. People come from around the world to experience the thrill of watching races on the 2.54-mile, 12-turn course. And along with Château Élan, it has shined a spotlight on Braselton’s wonderful attributes, from the gorgeous foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains to Braselton’s LifePath, a 1.7-mile, 10-foot-wide concrete pathway that allows golf carts, cyclists, pedestrians and joggers to travel across the area in total comfort and convenience.
It’s Better in Braselton
There’s a reason the town’s motto is “It’s Better in Braselton.” With so much to offer in natural beauty, historic significance and economic viability, the town has something for everyone.
“Braselton is a town that has retained its history while developing for future generations,” Scott concludes. “Braselton residents share a commonality in town history and in community experiences and opportunities to be savored. Whether they live or work here, they can all call Braselton home.”
Braselton’s business community is booming. During your next visit, be sure to check out these highly regarded enterprises.
Château Élan Resort & Winery
A quintessential North Georgia getaway, Château Élan welcomes visitors to enjoy the award-winning winery, full-service spa, championship golf, delicious dining options and exquisite accommodations. chateauelan.com
Car enthusiasts from all around travel to Braselton to stop by one of the country’s best providers of classic car parts for American muscle cars. yearone.com
Cotton Calf Kitchen
Located in historic downtown Braselton, this classic American steakhouse offers the epitome of big city fine dining with a menu of delectable dishes, craft beers, exceptional wines and classic cocktails. cottoncalf.com
All Aboard in Braselton!
There’s a brand new way to experience the beautiful town of Braselton, and you won’t want to miss it! Launched in October, the Braselton Trolley takes passengers on a delightful and unforgettable journey along a continuous loop that connects the historic downtown area with the 211 corridor. Residents and tourists alike have the chance to visit everything from the famed Braselton Brothers Department Store Building to the beloved Château Élan Winery & Resort—and everything in between. The vintage red trolley, which is owned and operated by the Braselton Visitors Bureau Authority, features charming wooden bench seating and is free to the public. It operates on a fixed stop system, and the schedule and stops are subject to change. To learn more and get updates on the schedule, visit braseltontrolley.com. (And if you want to make amazing memories at your next event in Braselton, you can rent the trolley! Contact Jessica Payne at 706-684-0369 or email@example.com.)