Small, local community provides urban environment in natural settings

By BRITTANY THOMPSON

CHATTAHOOCHEE HILLS, Ga. – Serenbe, a small community located on the outskirts of Atlanta, is expanding its community and flourishing with unique, local industry.

Built among acres of well-kept forest and pastures, Serenbe is within miles of countryside nature trails that connect with the individuals that reside there.

The development, started in the 2004 by Steve and Marie Nygren, tries to establish a new norm for country living that focuses on the elements of a well-lived life.

An Afternoon in the Country

Nygren family posing. (Photo credit: Serenbe.com)

“Serenbe exemplifies a community where people authentically live, work, learn and play in celebration of life’s beauty,” Marie Nygren said. “It’s a place where connections between people, nature and the arts are nourished.”

Located south of Atlanta in Chattahoochee Hills, Serenbe now holds over 400 residents and a small business district, which  includes several restaurants, a theater, art galleries, retail outlets and some live-work townhomes.

The community hosts many outdoor activities, such as bike trails, walking trails, gyms and challenging courses.

According to its website, Serenbe’s vision is to prosper and cherish the beauty of nature and well-being, along with desire to live well with passion and creativity alongside each other as a community. The site also states that Serenbe believes its resident can live fuller lives when connected to nature.

Tim Barker, a resident of Serenbe, said he moved to Serenbe from Atlanta.

“I wanted to live in a place where I know all my neighbors,” Barker said. “We don’t all agree, but we all care for one another.”

Barker said Serenbe focuses on acts of service and is a place where you’ll receive much love from your neighbors.

“If someone is sick, has a death in the family, or has a baby, there’s a meal train full of gifts from the community, ready to care for them,” Barker said. “It’s an eye-opening experience and I couldn’t ask for a better place to be a part of.”

With a 25-acre organic farm, Serenbe tries to uphold the standards of a healthy way of life. The Farmhouse at Serenbe serves its food using locally grown, organic ingredients from the restaurant’s own garden, as well as from Serenbe Farms.

Serenebe stables

Serenbe stables. (Photo credit: Atlanta Scott via Flickr)

“The Farmhouse at Serenbe is my favorite,” Barker said. “It’s awesome. Our favorite farmer, Ashley, busts her butt on the four-acre farm every day.”

Various events

Serenbe offers numerous events that are available to everyone, including non-residents.

During the holidays, Serenbe is full throttle with activities and events, but they also host events throughout the year, some of which include tours, wine tastings, festivals and plays.

Cynthia Norm, a resident who lives in Serenbe, said there are a lot of the events are fun for both adults and children.

“Although the events can be pricey, everyone leaves eager for the next one,” Norm said. “We all have a fun time.”

Businesses operating out of Serenbe

Some of the types of businesses operating out of Serenbe include education, lodging, shopping, fitness and the arts.

The educational businesses are comprised of camps, charter schools, art farms and opportunities for educational activities for children.

The shopping entails boutiques, food cookware, art paintings, a farmers and artisans market, consignment shops and a spa.

Pamela LoPicollo, a frequent Serenbe weekend visitor, said that the wine tasting and the boutique shopping are some of her favorite hobbies.

“It’s so much fun,” LoPicollo said. “My tennis friends and I make it a point to go once a month to shop and dine out in Serenbe. We call it our ‘escape husband weekend getaway.’ We think it makes for great memories.”

The laid-back community is engaged with many of the natural qualities of life, but whether Serenbe is right for a weekend getaway, a trip to the farmers market, or somewhere to spend your lifetime, is up to you to decide.

 

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