Neighborhood: Alpharetta

Photograph by Meredith Baker

Encompassing twenty-seven square miles and three zip codes, in the far reaches of northern Fulton County, Alpharetta is very OTP. Some may think of Alpharetta as a sprawling place full of McMansions and restaurant chains, but city planners are working to create a pedestrian-friendly downtown, sort of how Smyrna reinvented itself by building a new city center that attracted restaurants, townhouses, and hip hangouts. In 2012, Forbes named Alpharetta one of the friendliest places to live.

See and Do
There’s more than concerts at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre. The park system includes the Big Creek Greenway—an eight-mile-long, twelve-foot-wide wooded path that is packed with walkers, bicyclists, and dogs. The new TopGolf is a three-floor entertainment complex where microchips track each shot. And coming in October from the developers of Atlantic Station, Avalon will be OTP’s buzziest walkable community. The multiuse development will have a fourteen-screen movie theater, a hotel, courtyard homes, and rental lofts. Dozens of impressive, upmarket shops will open, ranging from Anthropologie to Vineyard Vines.

Living Here
Also set to open this fall, the city center downtown will be home to a brand-new library, city hall, park, and town green. Several restaurants and shops, like Tin Roof Kitchen, Hop Alley Brew Pub, and Salt, have already popped up nearby, with more on the horizon for later development phases. Want to live within walking distance? Victoria Square is a sixty-nine-townhome development right around the corner. The primary Alpharetta housing options are newer swim/tennis neighborhoods, country club homes, and a smattering of equestrian properties abutting adjacent horse country Milton.

Report card
Median home value: $292,785*
5-Yr Appreciation: 3/5 stars
School Quality: 3/5 stars
Walkability: 2/5 stars
Safety: 3/5 stars
Hip & Trendy: 3/5 stars
Luxury Index: 5/5 stars

Ratings versus national averages by is the most widely used neighborhood search engine in the world. It is owned by Location Inc., a leading builder and source of location-based data and tools for businesses and consumers nationwide. *$207,028 Atlanta overall

This article originally appeared in our August 2014 issue.