Deep in the South, to the North of Atlanta, Georgia is a charming suburb of the metropolitan area called Alpharetta. Dating back to 1858, the founders put some thought into its name, which translates literally into “first town” – Alpha means first and Retta means town. This southern city has a storied history of cotton production, that is until a combination of the Great Depression and the destructive Boll Weevil wiped out the cotton crops. With a resilient spirit, it was revived during World War 2 into a livestock farming area. Over the years, Alpharetta has become a technology hub with information-age companies gravitating here over the past couple of decades.
Around 64,000 residents make Alpharetta their home, and for good reason. With a mild climate, year-round recreation, a wide variety of housing options, the close proximity to one of the world’s major airports, and an all-around sense of community and charm, Alpharetta has a lot to offer.
Alpharetta is governed by a city council and mayor. The median household income is $95,000 and is largely made up of families. The Georgia climate is humid subtropical which makes for hot summers and mild winters. There is the occasional snow (an average of 2 inches per year) and some rainy times. Indoor and outdoor activities are available no matter what the weather. There is a higher cost of living than some areas, but a very low unemployment rate.
Close to Atlanta
Alpharetta is located a convenient 26 miles north of downtown Atlanta. That’s close enough to commute to work, catch major league sporting events, enjoy nightlife and fine dining, and everything else the metropolitan area has to offer. Check out major league games, the Georgia Aquarium, Centennial Olympic Park, and the World of Coca-Cola. At the end of a long day, you can come home to a quiet, safe, neighborhood where you can raise a family.
If you want to get out of town, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is only 31 miles away. This airport has long been known as a hub for destinations around the world. If getting out of town into the countryside appeals to you, head north into the North Georgia Mountains, find a peach orchard or head east a few hours to the ocean. The Chattahoochee River is a short drive with fishing, kayaking, tubing, or canoeing. Alpharetta is centrally located in Georgia and an easy hop to all sorts of delightful places.
Whatever your housing needs, Alpharetta has options. There are condos, townhouses, single-family homes, and luxurious domains with mansions and land. There are neighborhoods with cul-de-sacs and community centers, as well as spacious home estates for the more affluent. The median home value is $344,100. A home typically has 4-5 bedrooms and 3-4 bathrooms. The cost of living is a little higher than average, but the area is overall very affordable.
Some neighborhoods are more affluent with homes that sell for around $4 million. They may have a private lake, golf club, tennis courts, parks, and community events. These neighborhoods include Overture at Encore, Foundry, Caravelle at Windward Park, Briarstone at Nesbit Lake, and FoxHaven.
Other neighborhoods are more modest with varied architecture including existing brick homes and new construction with playgrounds and walking paths. With the majority of homes selling between $300,000 and $750,000, there is something for everyone.
For those who desire city living, downtown Alpharetta has luxury condominiums that are in the heart of the action. Shopping, dining, gyms, office buildings, and outdoor recreation are minutes from your doorstep.
The average commute to work is 24 minutes, so whichever neighborhood you choose, you are not far from where you need to go.
Alpharetta is perfect for families. In fact, 50% of the city is comprised of married couples, and over 40% of the households have children. There is a low crime rate, a wonderful school system, and plenty of family-friendly recreation options. The area is filled with greenways, pedestrian walkways, and parks. For those that enjoy golf, there are plenty of private and public courses in the area.
Folks in Alpharetta brag about their quality of life, including a sense of belonging and community and the charming southern hospitality of their neighbors. For those who do not want to drive, there are extensive bus routes. The MARTA railway does not yet reach Alpharetta, but it is in the future plans.
Whether you have school-age children or are continuing your own education, Alpharetta has the best options. The area is served by the Fulton County School District with 133 preschool and elementary schools, 16 middle schools, and 9 high schools. DeKalb School of the Arts is a sound option that is also in the public school system. Alpharetta High School is ranked in the top 2% of public schools nationally and is known as an International Baccalaureate World School. Private schools in the area include The Lionheart School, St. Francis Schools, Mount Pisgah Christian School, and an entire network of Roman Catholic Schools.
Higher education options are available for those graduating high-schoolers or adults who want to further their education. Georgia State University, Gwinnett Technical College, and Reinhardt University all have campuses in Alpharetta. The Paul Mitchell School-Esani offers cosmetology, barber, and nail instruction.
Moving to Alpharetta for a technology job is not uncommon. 88% of residents work in white-collar jobs. Those that live in Alpharetta as well as the surrounding suburbs commute to this area for work. It has rebranded itself over the years as the technology center of the south. Tech Alpharetta is an organization dedicated to bringing businesses and talent to the area.
There are over 600 well-known businesses that make their home here. Among them: AIG, ADP, Alltel, Comcast, Costco, E-Trade, Equifax, Ernst & Young, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, LexisNexis, Microsoft, Nokia, NCR, Siemens, Travelers Insurance, Verizon, Cynergy Data, and more.
Alpharetta is filled with exciting options for your spare time. There are many shopping areas, fine dining establishments, museums, concerts, and recreational opportunities.
For those that like to bike or walk, the Big Creek Greenway offers 8 miles of trails. Fowler Park has a recreation center, sports fields, and a skate park. The Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Services Department provides adult and youth athletic programs, ranging from organized teams to casual classes.
The Walk of Memories offers a somber walk as a tribute to our veterans and those local residents who served and died in the line of duty. Alpharetta Arboretum at Wills Park has a walking tour of different varieties of trees in the area. For walking the links, River Pines Golf Club is one of many private and public courses in the area.
For the history buffs, the Downtown Alpharetta Historic District features historic buildings and brick sidewalks among dining and shopping establishments. Buildings date back to the 1850s. Check out the Greek Revival Skeleton-Teasley House, and the Dodd Hotel. Milton Log Cabin is a 1934-35 historic structure that illustrates life during the late 19th century. Mansell House and Gardens is a 1912 Queen Anne-style home that holds special events. Alpharetta and Old Milton County History Museum exhibit the rich history of the area.
While you are downtown, check out Downtown Alpharetta Welcome Center and Family Skate Center (ice rink). The North Point Community Church has one of the largest congregations in the United States with over 5,000 members attending on a given Sunday. North Point Mall offers shopping and dining. The Alpharetta Arts Center is an amazing modern art gallery.
If you enjoy concerts and the symphony, Ameris Bank Amphitheatre has world-class shows year-round. Avalon is a multi-use area with a theater, retail space, office space, residences, and rental homes. If you want to live right in the middle of the activity, this is the premier neighborhood.
For the sports enthusiast, check out the Alpharetta Bulls Rugby Football Club. They compete throughout the United States. Of course, if you drive a little further, you can catch all of the major league sports teams in nearby Atlanta.
Alpharetta has several annual festivals including the Scarecrow Harvest and the Taste of Alpharetta. Don’t forget to pick up fresh vegetables and fruits (including famous Georgia Peaches) at local farmer’s markets between April and October. The Alpharetta Christmas Market has shopping and holiday experiences.
Fine restaurants are all over Alpharetta. Whether you have a yen for southern comfort food or more traditional fare, try these locals favorites: Secreto Southern Kitchen & Bar, Salt Factory Pub, Colletta Restaurant, and Smokejack BBQ.
Living in Alpharetta, GA
Alpharetta, GA has something for everyone. Families, executives, sports fans, and many others have found their niche. Many visitors come for the attractions and stay for the southern charm of the place. If you are looking for a city with quiet charm and southern hospitality that is close to a big metropolis area as well as the mountains, Alpharetta is a great place to live, work, and play.