Well it’s been a bit since the Phifer’s moved to Georgia from the Chicagoland/Northwest Indiana area. Everyday we get asked “how do you like Georgia?” Well, I really wanted to thoroughly answer the question! Making a major move like this across the country into a different environment is a brave scary thing to do, yet many would love to take the journey for a fresh start. We took the leap and I’ll tell you what I think of Georgia!
The Community: I love our community! We live about 1 hour north of Atlanta in the Buford/Lake Lanier area. Buford is included as part of Gwinnett County, which is very active and family oriented, boasting several parks and play areas, including playgrounds, splash pads, soccer fields, tennis and walking trails. The neighborhoods are filled with young families that generally have more than 1 child ranging in ages from new born to teenager. So there will be no shortage of friends for your child to make! And the biggest draw of them all is that the communities are VERY culturally diverse! So, if you’re looking for a city feel as far as culture, but want the suburban life, I highly recommend Gwinnett County. There are a ton of new subdivisions of homes that have all of the latest in modern amenities with homes ranging in price from the low 100k to 2mil it just depends on what suits you and your family.
The Schools: The schools in Gwinnett County are some of the best public schools in the country. GreatSchools.com rate Gwinnett County Schools all 9’s and 10’s out of 10 in their school grading system. My oldest daughter attends a middle school in Buford and I have nothing but great things to say about them and the importance they place on not only the thorough education of their students, but also their overall well-being!
Amenities: Gwinnett County has everything you’ll need for family oriented fun! As mentioned before, there are a ton of parks and recreation. The huge Mall of Georgia is also in Buford which is the city I live in. There are quite a few grocery stores to choose from, no matter what city you live in in the county. And my absolute favorite place to go is Lake Lanier! I have a lot to say about the lake so I will give that it’s own section lol stay tuned!
Recreation: Beside the parks and it’s activities, each city in GC has weekly activities in their downtown areas based on the season! Everything from weekend festivals to concerts and movies in the park. My family has participated in activities in Buford, Sugar Hill and Suwanee. The night life is rather sparse, but there are a few bars, lounges and hookah lounges that are popular in the area. For the best night life, you’ll definitely want to head to Atlanta for that. If you guys would like a night life guide ‘Aviana Style’ Please let me know in the comments below! There is a minor league baseball team called the Gwinnett Stripers that the locals absolutely adore. But if you want majors, head over to Atlanta (about 45 mins away) for a Braves, Falcons or college game. And of course Atlanta has all of the amenities you can think of, so there is no shortage in the Georgia area I’m in.
Work: According to Zippia.com 7 out of their top 10 best places to find work in Georgia are in Gwinnett County, so business is booming! It seems that business professionals, medical professionals, and construction jobs are the hot tickets here. But, I honestly feel that Georgia is packed full of heavy consumers, so if you have a skill or a product, chances are someone is buying it!
The Weather: You guys already know the weather is great here! Many people say the heat in Georgia is too hot and muggy, but in my experience coming from Chicago, I think I’d rather take the heat of Ga than the snow of back home! I’ve only been here during the summer and fall, so I can’t give first hand experience with the other seasons, but so far I’ve fallen in love. I’ll give you guys a better update in 1 year!
Lake Lanier: I could just rave and brag and go on and on about it, but all I have to say is you have to see it for yourself. Photos don’t do it justice. Just click the Lake Lanier link. So, if you do decide to visit, there are free areas that you can just drive in pop a squat and enjoy the water. There are several grilling areas that have some of the cleanest bathrooms I’ve ever seen in a park! There are also resort areas that most tourists and visitors venture to as well as weekend entertainment and a water park with a giant jumbotron tv screen playing football every Sunday next to the largest wave pool in Ga! There’s cruises, flyboarding, water activities, etc. The fun is endless on Lake Lanier!
The Bad and the Ugly: Honestly guys I haven’t been here long, so I don’t have many but I want to give you an honest opinion of my move.
- One big negative will definitely be the traffic. IT IS ALWAYS BUSY and there is often construction.
- If you’re looking for a bustling night life, you’ll almost have to drive 45+ mins to Atlanta for it. There are a hand full of “worth-while” lounges and bars but just about everything closes at 10pm in the county.
- IT IS HILLY! Alot of the homes are on top of hills which took me a while to get used to. Some of the homes look like they’re leaning over because of how steep some of the hills are!
- Gwinnett County ain’t cheap! When people think of moving to the south, immediately you think you’ll be getting a cheaper cost of living, but these school districts aren’t the best for no reason! According to Bestplaces.net Gwinnett County’s overall cost of living is higher than the state and US average cost of living. However, of course, it is worth the money!
Well, that’s my assessment! Overall I LOVE IT and have no plans of moving back north again! If you’re thinking of moving to Georgia, I highly recommend it, as the economy here is booming! At this time there are no shortage of jobs or quality housing! If you have any questions or comments, message me below or shoot me an email!