Just across the banks of the Chattahoochee River, Vinings is Cobb County’s only ITP neighborhood, adjacent to Buckhead and a 10-mile drive northwest of downtown. Named after the railroad engineer William H. Vining, the unincorporated area’s proximity to train lines and the river made it a transit hub and base camp for General Sherman in the 19th century. Today the community of 9,700 feels like a woodsy retreat with a growing retail and restaurant scene. “You’re in Atlanta, but you feel like you’re in the mountains,” says photographer and jewelry maker Mary Kelly Clary, who grew up in the neighborhood and recently moved back. “We love having the river right across the street.”
Clary says many of her 30-something friends have moved back to the neighborhood with their young families for the quiet, spacious environment and to be near their parents, who are staying put for the Cobb County tax break for senior citizens.
After the river rose more than 28 feet during Hurricane Ida in 2009, builders moved home construction above the floodplain. Clary says the stacked gray-shingled houses remind her of High Country architecture. Other residences range from single-family homes to apartments on Paces Ferry Road.
Three decades before developing Krog Street Market, Paces Properties built Vinings Jubilee, a little village of shops and restaurants known to locals as “downtown Vinings.” Clary’s favorites: Sandpiper, where you can find designer labels like Diane von Furstenberg, and home and garden boutique Willow Green.
Clary’s dining picks are Canoe, which has been serving seafood from a picturesque riverside perch for 20 years, and the newer Paces & Vine, with upscale comfort food and an extensive bar.
There are several entrances to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in and around Vinings. Clary’s favorite is the Palisades section just upriver; even closer, the Paces Mill section and its Rottenwood Creek trail dip right into Vinings proper. The river is what drew Clary’s Savannah-native husband, who bought a canoe to take their three-year-old fishing.
This article originally appeared in our January 2016 issue.