by Larry Berle
Discover Life at 15 miles an hour. Just how do you do that? Probably not by running faster. First, find a community with 90 miles of cart paths and that, my friends, is Peachtree City, a planed community just southwest of Atlanta, GA. This place can be as much fun as a barrel of sunshine, even if its raining. There is more than enough to do here, three golf courses, tennis, swimming, schools, industry, churches, hospitals- a full service city within the Greater Atlanta Area, and a very large presence in the film and Television industry. Some here refer to it as Southern Hollywood and others refer to it as “The Bubble.”
It may, at first, seem like a retirement community but, in fact, substantially less than 1/2 of its residents are retired. Joel Cowan, the founder of Peachtree City, told us “We didn’t want second home buyers, our target market from the beginning was a diverse cross section of pioneers to join this community.” It is simply a small town in an almost rural setting in close proximity to the thriving metropolis of Atlanta. 38,000 people live here. But here is the part that I found intriguing, there are approx 8,000 households and 10,000 golf carts. (That’s 1.2 carts per family.) In fact we drove by the high school on Friday afternoon and the parking lot is full of golf carts. That is how the High School kids of Peachtree City get to and from school.
The parking lot at Peachtree High
I asked Nicole Sheets of the Peachtree Convention and Vistors Assn if she thought that kids who learned to drive golf carts before cars became safer drivers. She said “there are not studies that would indicate that teens who start driving on Golf Carts are better drivers, but my opinion would be yes!”
We stayed in 2 different hotels on this trip and I recommend them both highly
Dolce Atlanta Peachtree City has 233 rooms on a very tranquil 40 acre wooded site. Complete with fitness center, swimming pool bicycles and great food.
Wyndham Peachtree is located on 19 acres of lush forest with a 10,000 Sq foot fitness center, and 250 guest rooms. They have more great food— the restaurants in these two hotels are good enough that there may be no need to wander out- but you probably don’t want to miss some of the special area restaurants.
If you love sumptuous food, you’ve come to the right place, including the chefs of these hotels, who are wonderful culinary artists, themselves. We had dinner the first night at Georgia Shrimp Co where every writer on this trip spoke lovingly about the food (my pork chop was very tasty) and a wonderful jazz singer named Toni Byrd entertains regularly www.Tonibyrd.net
The following day we had an outstanding lunch at Zac Brown’s Southern Ground & Social Club in Senioa just a few miles down the road from Peachtree City. We were served a delicious tasting menu by Chef Josh Butler who was Zach Browns chef on tour for a several years, and was the chef of the Florida Governors mansion for a couple years and has also cooked in the White House more than once.
Just a few outstanding dishes were the Barbacoa brisket, the OMG Burger, (the name says it all) their own style of Mac n’ Queso. This is a restaurant that could easily become popular in large metropolitan area and this small town is lucky enough to have it all to itself.
Grazing Here is a wonderful casual restaurant serving Zagats award winning burgers with 100% grass- fed beef, no antibiotics or hormones. They are embracing new healthier food preparation. The food was yummy and it’s fun place.
Southern Hollywood Film Tour
The television and film industry has a growing presence here in Peachtree City and the surrounding area. This has been the location for many films and TV shows including Sweet Home Alabama, Driving Miss Daisy, Fried Green Tomatoes and many more. In addition this is where the TV shows, Walking Dead (which has the largest viewership of any cable TV show) and Drop Dead Diva have been producing for several seasons. There is more studio space under construction as this industry grows here and if you are a fan of any of these, you will love this tour.
What can my dad do?
There is plenty of golf here. The people at Cannongate own and operate 22 golf clubs in the Atlanta area. Six of them are within a 15 mile drive of Peachtree City and three of them are right here in town, Planterra Ridge, Flat Creek Club and Braelinn.
Join one and you have joined them all and at bargain prices too. A full golf membership is $400 initiation fee and monthly dues of $239. If you are staying at the hotels of Peachtree City these courses will treat you as if you were a member and it will cost $45-55 for a round.
The Fred Brown Amphitheater
Tonight we saw Gladys Knight at “The Fred” and this woman, at the age of 69, can still belt out “Midnight Train to Georgia. She even had one Pip with her.
This is a beautiful 2500 seat outdoor amphitheater here in Peachtree City and a great place to see a show. Visit www.amphitheater.org to see what shows they have coming this season.
Golf Carts are King
We went on a photo scavenger hunt on golf carts. Four person teams spread out over the miles of golf cart trails following clues to return with photos that had to include all four team member. We stopped many Peachtree City residents for directions, or to take our photo or with questions like “do you have a tattoo? we need a photo of a tattoo.” Everyone here was so helpful and friendly — You feel very welcome here. (I think they had met people before on these scavenger hunts.)
Is there more?
If you want to venture out of the bubble then head for Atlanta and tour the CNN Headquarters, President Jimmy Carter Library, The Martin Luther King Center and even Coca Cola.
For several years CNN/Money Magazine has ranked Peachtree City in its Top 100 best places to live in the US.
Other awards have included:
“Georgia’s Best Place to Raise Kids 2013” – BusinessWeek, “Top 10 Cities for Families” – Family Circle Magazine, 2011 “Georgia’s Best Affordable Suburb” – BusinessWeek, 2009 “10 Great Places for Boomers” – Newsmax Magazine, 2009
Its a terrific place to visit and would surely be a wonderful place to live, all within in 25 miles of the busiest airport in the U.S.
One final note I know its called Peachtree City but we were told there isn’t a peach tree anywhere in the city. Go Figure!!