Atlanta beta? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-09-2011   #1
 
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Atlanta beta?

Looks like a will be packing up the fam and leaving Eagle, Co for Atlanta in the next few weeks. Looking for recommendations on places to live. I realize that lifestyle will suffer but it's a career opp I can't pass up. Office is in Sawanee which I think is northeast of atlanta. School system for my elementary age kids is key and we'd love to be near mtn biking, paddling or a lake if possible. I'd be grateful for any advice on areas or neighborhoods youmight recommend.
Chris

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Old 08-09-2011   #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Check out Gainesville. Its on the lake and pretty close to the mountains. There is some great biking in North Georgia. I believe the school system is pretty good there as well.
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Old 08-09-2011   #3
 
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Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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I lived in Atlanta for 5 years. I started in Buckhead and moved further and further from the city each year until my last year in Smyrna, which is the Northwest corner of Atlanta. I wouldn't recommend living near Atlanta unless you want the convenience and can put up with ridiculous traffic (you have to check the traffic on georgia-navigator.com like you would check the weather). I've never been to Suwanee, so I can't comment on it. I visited Gainesville once, it's fine if you don't mind conservative southerners.

The good news is you have tons of paddling options if you head north. The Ocoee is only 2 hours from Atlanta, the Chattooga is even closer. You can head further north into the TN and NC mountains for tons of other paddling options.
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Old 08-10-2011   #4
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Boise, Idaho
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I've lived in ATL for 15 years and don't bother checking traffic. Just learn the work arounds.

There's plenty of mtn biking (www.sorba.org) and a good paddling community (Atlanta Whitewater Club).

I'd second the move to Gainesville -- cost of living is lower and closer to lake and trails. I don't know about the schools, however. Suwanee is not a bad area overall. Minor league baseball (Gwinnett Braves), plenty of shopping, and best of all, you'll be on the outskirts of the traffic. Easy drive to SC for paddling, easy drive to the Ocoee / Nanty / Hiwassee rivers.

You may post up on the SORBA forum and you'll find some folks that live up that way. Good luck with the move and give us a shout when you get to town!
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Old 08-10-2011   #5
 
Jenks, Oklahoma
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Further outside Atlanta and Perimeter the more affordable the house and less traffic.

Anywhere north of Gainesville is going to be better.

This will put you much closer to N GA, TN and the Carolina mountains. Awesome year around paddling, hiking, biking, camping, tons of lakes for fishing from a sports viewpoint, it is really good for anything done outside.

Be prepared, summers will be hot and sweaty. Winters mild with maybe a few days ice or snow but not much. One inch of snow will shut down the entire Atlanta area. Just stay home till it melts. Trust me, only one percent of the driving community there knows how to drive on snow covered roadways in Georgia.

All the benefits of a major city with outdoor rec out the yeng yang.

Get ready for sweet tea, grits for breakfast at the local Waffle House or Cracker Barrell, awesome BBQ ribs and pulled pork along with Brunswick Stew on the side.

Gonna be a change from living in the real mountains but there will be plenty for you and the family to do in North GA.
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Old 08-10-2011   #6
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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Atlanta

Be sure to attend the free style mudd'n and hog foot bobb'n events at the annual Redneck Games. South of Atlanta I believe.


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Old 08-10-2011   #7
 
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
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Southbound...Thank you!

Can't beat southern hospitality. ...thanks for the replies.
Flying out tomorrow mornimg to kick the tires for a few days with the Mrs.. We'll add Gainesville to our list for sure. Looks like 20 miles drive and I womder what that would look like in time at rush-hour?
Also, wondering if lake front on Lanier would be nice or if boat noise, etc...would suck?

Again, much appreciation buzzards.
chris
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Old 08-11-2011   #8
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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GA

Seriously. Here is a little advice from someone who has spent 25 years on the front range trying to find the correct combination of commute and livable city.

For me personally, minimizing the commute time will yield the highest benefit if you can tolerate the town. I would explore living as close as possible to work. I have about a 15 minute commute one way now. Wife works part time in town and kid walks and rides bike to school. It frees up allot of time. Boulder creek take out is 4 minutes from my front door.

I have really enjoyed the last ten years.

I live in Boulder and even though it's high density and congested my commute is against the primary traffic flow. If you live in the city it's not near as bad if you live outside the city but have to commute in and out and always dealing with the congested flow.

The best set up I had was about 10 years ago when I had about a 5 minute commute to work on my bike via the bike path. Not getting in the car all week long did so many good things for my brain and body. When the weekend rolled around I was energized to get out and go somewhere (ski, boat etc). For the longest time I would never have considered living in downtown Denver but would not have a problem with it now if I was close to work. As long as I could bike to work or use public transit allowing me get back free time. I can't ever see myself living in a suburb again.

I just spent a week driving down to the Denver Tech Center from Boulder for a training class. I would rather shovel shit in Omaha before living that life again.

Get in close to schools and work and then high tail it for the Chattooga on the weekend.
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Old 08-11-2011   #9
 
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Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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It doesn't look like Georgia Navigator has data for Suwanee to Gainesville. I've never driven it during rush hour so I can't comment on it. From what I remember when I lived there, traffic typically used to fan out on I-85 north by the time you got to 316. I made that drive north a lot to head out to Athens. Suwanee is further north than that. You would primarily have to worry about 985.
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Old 08-12-2011   #10
 
Bryson City, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 1972
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Hey Chris,

You've gotten great advice so far, and I don't want to overload, but did want to add a few thoughts.

Before heading a bit north to work for NOC, I grew up in the Atlanta area... going to middle and high school in Suwanee. You can't beat Gwinnett County Schools... ranked high in the nation (well above the Ga state average). Living in Suwanee, Lawrenceville or Buford will put you close to a lot of nice suburban amenities. While you will deal with surface street traffic, you can avoid work commute highway traffic (name of the game for surviving in ATL) and spend your free time playing outdoors vs. in your car.

But if you preferred to live a little further out, I would suggest Flowery Branch or Gainesville (both are a fairly quick and light traffic commute to Suwanee on 985S), or even Hamilton Mill/Braselton areas (also easy commute… but down I-85S). Those are still pretty suburban… and not “far” out thanks to urban sprawl. You would have a fairly easy commute to Suwanee from all those places… only hitting highway traffic sometimes and only as you get within a few miles.

An easy drive from all those are flatwater paddling options - Lake Lanier, Chattahoochee River and Fort Yargo State Park; mtn biking/trail running options – Gainesville College, Chicopee Woods in Gainesville (amazing!), and Ft Yargo. Looking for whitewater paddling, head to the Nantahala (2.5 hrs from Suwanee), Chattooga (~2 hrs), Ocoee (~2.5 hrs), and US Whitewater Center in Charlotte (~3 hrs). If you’re up for monster whitewater… check out the Cheoah (limited release) about 3.5 hrs from ATL too. Like someone else mentioned, definitely check out the very active and great ATL Whitewater club.

Once you are settled, definitely come visit us at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Bryson City, NC. It’s a paddlers paradise up here!

Good luck with the move. Colorado mountains may be higher and the weather cooler, but our Appalachians are older, wise and storied. You’ll have a great time exploring!


-Lauren @ NOC
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