A stroll through downtown Braselton is like taking a trip into the past. Historic two-story homes marked by spectacular architecture and stately white columns dot the landscape, an... read more
How do you like to spend your summer days? Do you enjoy taking time to explore the incredible history of the metro Atlanta area? Maybe you’re a music lover who can’t wait to partake of the phenomenal cultural arts scene that explodes here during the summer season every year. Are you a foodie who’s on the hunt for some spicy fare that’s as hot as the temperatures in July? Whatever your fancy, North Georgia’s cities large and small play host to a variety of hot spots and events that will amp up those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. So get ready to make hay while the sun shines in metro Atlanta.
History in the Making...
A stroll through downtown Braselton, located 50 miles northeast of Atlanta, is like taking a trip into the past. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Braselton emerged as a center of commerce thanks to the Braselton Brothers—John Oliver, Green and William Henry—who opened a series of country stores in the area. Today, the town continues to boast a thriving—and continually growing—business community. To maintain Braselton’s historic roots while supporting economic growth, the town has been strategic in its efforts. In recent years, a major revitalization effort has been instituted in the historic downtown district, helping to transform the historic homes of yesterday into modern-day business and government venues.
In Downtown Braselton, the landmark Braselton Bros. Department Store building, which was a commercial crossroads for the farming community in the early 1900s, has been rehabilitated in the most unique way. The furniture sections of the building were transformed into house restaurants, boutiques, a salon and the town Welcome Center. The largest section of the building—the original mercantile store from 1904—is being renovated to hold more shopping and dining. And additional development of the adjacent Town Green includes an old cotton gin that was turned into a brewpub, the construction of a new civic center and more. It’s like walking into the past with a bona fide modern twist.
A great way to see all of this amazing history is through Downtown Braselton’s Historic District Tours, which are offered periodically through the summer. If you aren’t able to enjoy one of the guided tours, you can step out on your own for a self-guided walking tour, which introduces you to the heritage of the Town of Braselton by bringing you to such locales as John Oliver Braselton’s home, the Braselton Bros. Department Store, the cotton gin, the former Braselton High School site, the Enterprise Roller Mill, the old service station building and the telephone exchange building, among other stops.
You can even hop on the Braselton Trolley, which often offers historic tours and lets you ride through history in true style. As they say, it’s not just a ride—it’s an experience.
In Smyrna, recognized as one of the Top 50 places to live in the United States, residents often come together to enjoy a sense of community spirit. At no time of the year is this more apparent than the summer season, when people gather at such locales as the Village Green (where City Hall, the Community Center and the city’s beloved central fountain reside) for festivals, seasonal events, movie nights and more. And one of the most highly anticipated seasonal happenings is the Summer Concert Series, which brings together music lovers from across the metro Atlanta area. Hosted in George C. Wright Municipal Park on Saturday nights, the series of musical events sees guests bringing blankets or purchasing tables and dancing the night away under the stars to some of the best musical acts around. For summer 2022, the lineup of artists includes such beloved acts as jazz group Phaze II and upscale party band The Free.
If you’re not available on Saturday nights, you can still enjoy some jam time in Smyrna—this time at one of the food trucks that gather for the renowned Food Truck Tuesdays. Hosted by the City of Smyrna, Georgia Power and Cobb Travel & Tourism, Food Truck Tuesdays is considered the best food truck event series around. Each Tuesday from 5 pm to 9 pm through September 27, you can enjoy offerings from a variety of quality mobile gourmet trucks, as well as music to go along with your fare. The assortment of fabulous food trucks gathers in the lower parking spaces adjacent to the playground and mini amphitheater at Taylor-Brawner Park. It’s the perfect blend of music and meals, and it has become one of Smyrna’s most cherished summer traditions.
For more information, visit smyrnaga.gov.
Spice Things Up
Located only 14 miles northeast of Downtown Atlanta, this DeKalb County gem is enjoying a remarkable renaissance as of late, which has allowed it to become one of the metro area’s most dynamic and sought-after cities. While Chamblee has always been renowned for its distinctiveness, it has recently found itself in the spotlight as DeKalb’s fastest-growing city and a multicultural mecca for those who want to live in a truly diverse community with notable international flair and a unique quality of life.
With that diversity comes some of the most spectacular cuisine found in metro Atlanta. In fact, Chamblee is a foodie’s delight, with options that you simply can’t find anywhere else. To start, the city is home to a stretch of the seven-mile-long Buford Highway International Corridor, known locally as BuHi. Along this thoroughfare are some of the area’s finest authentic and diverse dining options. Local residents and visitors can pick up Soboro bread at a Korean bakery, have oxtail for lunch at a nearby Dominican restaurant and enjoy Chinese dim sum just down the street for dinner. There’s also Atlanta Chinatown Mall, a 55,000-square-foot venue that is known for its incredible food court and the delicious ethnic cuisine found there, which represents the many provinces of China. Additionally, the 350,000-square-foot indoor Latin retail center Plaza Fiesta is another can’t miss locale, which offers food lovers access to an array of delectable dining spots. As many people note, dining in Chamblee is like having an invitation to sit at the world’s table. So if tasting and savoring mouthwatering fare is your favorite summer pastime, then you can certainly spice things up in this hot city with a cool vibe.