Guide to Gwinnett: Cities, Neighbors & Friends... Guide to Gwinnett: Cities, Neighbors & Friends...

Guide to Gwinnett: Cities, Neighbors & Friends...

It’s easy to love Gwinnett

Last modified: November 13, 2017
World-class schools, strong economic opportunities, award-winning parks, affordable housing, diverse entertainment - there's so much to love about Gwinnett! But ask a resident their... Guide to Gwinnett: Cities, Neighbors & Friends...

World-class schools, strong economic opportunities, award-winning parks, affordable housing, diverse entertainment - there's so much to love about Gwinnett!

But ask a resident their favorite thing about our community, and they'll likely mention one of our distinctive cities or neighborhoods. Each has a specific personality, from Buford's charming main street to Suwanee's 10-acre Town Center. You'll know you're in Norcross by the historic train depot and who wouldn't recognize Lawrenceville's iconic courthouse? There's The Bowl in Sugar Hill, the Town Green in Duluth, and the Lake in Berkley Lake. Each and every one of our cities has its own charm, its own personality and its own history.

Diverse and vibrant, our cities and neighborhoods are home to the people that make Gwinnett so special. Throughout Gwinnett's distinctive cities and neighborhoods, you'll find more than 900,000 uniquely different individuals united by an equally exceptional sense of community. We speak scores of languages and celebrate an incredible variety of cultures, but all find commonality in this place we call home.

There's a rare spirit here. You've seen it when we light the luminaries at Relay For Life, 10,000 strong. You've felt it working side by side at Gwinnett Great Days of Service. You live it when you volunteer at one of our local churches or non-profits, support your local school, or take a meal to lend a hand.

No matter where you're from, no matter how you got here, no matter who you know - in Gwinnett, we're all neighbors. #LoveGwinnett.

 

Auburn

Haven't you always wondered why a small town in Georgia was named Auburn? It has nothing to do with that Alabama village on the plains, rather our Auburn was named for something distinctly Georgian - the famous red clay that was once used to dye cloth auburn-red.

Founded in 1892, Auburn now counts over 7,000 residents and has retained its small-town atmosphere while focused on increasing businesses and boosting quality of life factors for residents. The city has planned green spaces and a mix of residential homes, town homes and apartments, whose residents support several commercial and industrial complexes.

Auburn is known for a family-friendly atmosphere reflected in events like it's annual Auburn Fest, weekly Farmer's Markets and monthly movies in Whistlestop Park, a unique shopping district. The city has five beautiful parks and a family sports complex. On the economic front, Auburn is a certified Main Street Community, has an active Downtown Development Authority and welcomes new businesses with incentives through its Opportunity Zone.

Oh_ and one more thing that's uniquely Auburn? The town is shared by Gwinnett and Barrow counties. Told you they were friendly.

 

Berkeley Lake

Named for its beautiful 88-acre lake, Berkley Lake was first developed in the 1940s and was for many years primarily a summer retreat of fishing cottages with a slowly growing number of permanent homes. The city was incorporated in 1956.

A small, tenacious core of residents has always been devoted to the care and health of the lake and has kept the city's namesake first and foremost in this Gwinnett city. City residents have acted consistently to protect the character and tranquility of the community and are guided by a comprehensive Master Plan for future land use and growth.

Livability is a major point of pride for Berkley Lake, and rightfully so. They have been a Tree City USA_ since 1999 and are an Urban Wildlife Sanctuary, too. Just this year, the city was named among the Top 10 Best Suburbs to Live in Georgia.

The Berkley Lake Chapel, City Hall and surrounding grounds and green space are popular gathering places for the 2,000+ residents and the locale for events like the Sunday Kind of Groove Concert Series, the annual Independence Day Celebration, and others.

 

Braselton

Location, location, location! The city of Braselton takes that adage to heart as it actually spans four counties - Gwinnett, Hall, Jackson and Barrow. Seems just one county couldn't contain this in-demand residential and business address.

Located along I-85 in the northern part of the county, Braselton has always been known as the home to the world class Chateau Elan Winery and Resort, the Road Atlanta Raceway and the Mayfield Dairy. But recent growth has been rapid - both among residents and growing businesses. The population now tops 8,000, and corporate citizens include a host of major distribution facilities for national companies and growing healthcare providers as well.

Braselton prioritizes a "business friendly" focus, investing in a strong infrastructure to support businesses and residents alike. Braselton is both a WaterFirst Community and a Plan First Community. The city has more than 600 licensed businesses in the city with commerce of all types thriving.

Offering residents great quality of life has been a priority for city leaders. Braselton's Town Green is the city's hub for events, ranging from regular Farmer's Markets to community movies and concerts. The Town Green was named Best Design Project of the Year by the Georgia Downtown Association and is planned to be a catalyst for future private development in the downtown area.

 

Buford

Buford never cultivated that sleepy Southern town vibe. In fact, in 1902, as the 20th Century was beginning, Buford was referred to as the "New York City of Gwinnett," for its industry and activity. Even back in the day, this city that started in 1872 as a depot on the railway line between Atlanta and Charlotte was known for being progressive in business and education.

Buford was the home of the county's first bank and was widely recognized for its quality schools, and students from adjoining counties came to acquire the prestigious diploma from Buford High School. (No change there, Buford City Schools are still great and attract residents.)

Today, with more than 13,000 citizens, Buford is a city that has it all - a charming main street with retailers and restaurants and one of the Southeast's destination shopping destinations with the Mall of Georgia. The Buford Damn is a major power source for the state and Lake Lanier Islands is recognized as a premier recreation development _ and a favorite summer-day destination for Gwinnettians. The Buford Community Center is another jewel for the city - including a theater, conference center and meeting space, the Buford Museum, and the popular Town Park that hosts entertainment for all ages.

And here's a little Buford trivia for you_Whose statue is in its square? Roy Rogers, whose horse Trigger had a saddle made at Buford's famous Bona Allen Tanners.

 

Dacula

Ever wonder how Dacula (and that's pronounced duh-cue-la) was named? Founded in 1905, Dacula originated from the letters found in Decatur and Atlanta.

Today, with a growing population over 4,500, Dacula provides a unique small-town experience to residents and visitors alike and prides itself on being an inclusive community. Dacula's location provides residents many advantages, particularly for employment and education opportunities. In fact, Dacula is located at the center of Georgia's Innovation Crescent, a 15-county economic development hub focused on life sciences and technology that includes Gwinnett.

Other bragging rights for Dacula? Its influence on blue grass and other music genres. Little known fact -- Dacula is the home of Gid Tanner and his 1920s and 1930s Skillet Lickers string band. The string band is still going strong with the Tanner family and performs in Dacula and around the area regularly.

 

Duluth

Have you been to Duluth lately? Don't miss out -- Gwinnett's third largest city (pop. 28,500+) is on list after list of great places to live and visit. Duluth was ranked in the TOP 25 Places to Visit in Georgia by Vacation Idea Magazine, one of the Top 10 Most Beautiful Towns in Georgia by Culture Trip, and number four in the 10 Best Atlanta Suburbs by Movoto.

The city that once boasted of three cotton gins, 10 cotton buyers, several warehouses, three mule trading barns, and three blacksmith shops is today a thriving community with outstanding quality of life. While committed to keeping its "Old Town Pride," Duluth has developed its Town Green and Parson's Alley (another award-winning development) area into a hub for shopping, dining and entertainment. Duluth is known for some of the area's most popular events, including the Duluth Fall Festival, Artworks, Howl on the Green, and it's annual July 4th celebration.

With sidewalks and bikeways that connect all areas of the city, Duluth is an active community where residents enjoy everything from Food Truck Friday to Yoga on Green. Duluth leaders are committed to offering residents the best of big-city amenities coupled with small-town ambiance.

 

Grayson

Did you know you used to be able to take the train - two round trips daily - from Grayson to Lawrenceville to Loganville? That was possible in 1898, but sounds like it might be a great idea for 2017, too. Particularly at rush hour.

Today, Grayson is still a sought-after address, a city with loads of Southern charm and livability. In fact, the city just received a Live, Work, Play City Award presented by the Georgia Municipal Association. Grayson gets high marks for excellent schools, sports programs, parks, restaurants and shopping. Grayson hosts a number of family-friendly community events throughout the year, including the Grayson Farmers Market, Grayson Blues and Brews, concerts, movies and more. The Grayson Day Parade is a particularly popular event among the town's 2,800+ residents.

Grayson is Main Street America accredited and its Main Street Grayson program is committed to provide local businesses a thriving central business district that benefits all.

The town's newest landmark, the Grayson Clock Tower, was designed to celebrate Grayson's rich history and promising future. The architecture of the top of the tower reflects that of the three original chapels in Grayson.

 

Lawrenceville

Named for naval commander Captain James Lawrence and incorporated in 1821, Lawrenceville has impressive credentials as the county seat and the oldest city in Metro Atlanta. Lawrenceville's original town square remains the heart of downtown and the iconic courthouse is a landmark recognized throughout the county. In the early days, it was a great challenge to keep livestock from trampling the courthouse lawn. Today, the courthouse and its grounds are the site for weddings, special events and community gatherings.

Lawrenceville's downtown continues to grow and develop as a destination for shopping, dining and entertainment - and more than a few film and TV productions. (We see you Sleepy Hollow!) This vibrant area includes the Aurora Theatre, an ever-growing list of locally owned restaurants, and the new Slow Pour Brewing Company, Gwinnett's first craft beer brewery. The downtown square is the site of a range of popular events and festivals, including Rock'n Ribville, Octoberfest, the Hometown Christmas Parade and the Lawrenceville Ghost tours. The recently developed Lawrenceville Lawn, just a block off the square, is the site of the annual Summer Concert Series and a host of other events throughout the year.

Enhancing quality of life for visitors and it's some 30,000 residents is a constant priority for city leaders - the city has announced the development of a $26 million arts complex, expanding the current home of the Aurora Theatre.

 

Lilburn

Like many Georgia cities, Lilburn's development was rooted in the railroad. First incorporated in 1910, the town was named for Lilburn Trigg Myers, the railroad superintendent for the Seaboard Air Line Railway, and trains still run hourly through Old Town.

A disastrous 1920 fire and a devastating boll weevil infestation are part of Lilburn's lore, but recent history is all positive. In fact, the new Lilburn City Hall and Lilburn Public Library complex has a custom mural that highlights the town's rich history.

Today, Old Town Lilburn reflects small-charm with tree-lined streets and sidewalks. The Main Street district is popular for dining and shopping, while nearby Lilburn City Park is the site of endless community activities and the start of the four-mile Camp Creek Greenway. (Don't own a bike? No worries. You can rent one right there.)

Lilburn Daze, the Lilburn Beer and Wine Fest, and the annual Christmas Parade are just a few of the events that draw visitors in to join the more than 13,500 residents that call Lilburn home. They must be smart folks - Money magazine voted Lilburn one of the Best Affordable Places to Live in America.

 

Loganville

Land Lot No. 186, you've come a long way! James Harvie Logan purchased that lot, which became the first 62.5 acres of Loganville, for only $150. Loganville was first incorporated in 1887, the last stop on the railroad from Atlanta to Lawrenceville.

Today, Loganville's city limits are split between Gwinnett and Walton counties. (We don't mind sharing.) The town "Where People Matter" counts more than 10,500 residents and couples growth and progress with a warm community atmosphere. The Loganville Town Green draws folks to the city center for a busy calendar of events that includes AutumnFest, the Groovin' on the Green concert series, an annual Tree Lighting and Christmas Parade.

With three state highways traversing the city, Loganville offers a unique business climate that includes large retail and restaurant chains combined with small and locally owned niche shopping and dining experiences.

 

Norcross

Once known as "Atlanta's Favorite Summer Resort," Norcross was named for Jonathan Norcross, Atlanta's fourth mayor. Today's residents, some 16,000+, would have no trouble believing that Norcross has been a favorite destination for much of its existence, soon to be 150 years.

Norcross, Gwinnet's second oldest city, was the county's first to be placed on the Register of Historic Places. With a rich variety of well-preserved historic homes and an authentic turn-of-the-century downtown district, Norcross leaders have sought to blend old and new with great vision.

The historic downtown area is full of shopping, dining and entertainment options for residents and visitors alike. The Norcross Downtown Development Authority is focused on fostering a strong and progress business climate. The area has even been the backdrop for several film projects.

Festivals and community events are held often -- including a summer concert series, the Gateway International Food and Music Festival, First Friday Concerts and many others. Thrasher Park and Lillian Webb Park are the site of scores of family events. Norcross has a thriving arts community and its own Lionheart Theatre community theater company. There's even a Norcross Walking Group to residents stepping lively.

 

Peachtree Corners

Let's test your Gwinnett County knowledge - name our newest city and our biggest city. Peachtree Corners takes both honors. Incorporated in 2012, Peachtree Corners has more than 38,500 residents. But while Peachtree Corners is young as an official city, the community was actually planned in the late 1960s and 70s. Businessman Paul Duke envisioned a place where residents could live, work and play without long commutes, placing Technology Park, a campus of high-technology buildings at its heart. Today, Peachtree Corners continue to emphasize business innovation as home of Prototype Price, the city's start-up incubator.

Work continues on the city's new Town Center, a 21-acre development with entertainment venues, restaurants, shops, office space and townhomes. The center will also include a town green with an open air pavilion, amphitheater, open lawn and a community garden. Town Center will be very much in keeping with Peachtree Corners current status as an active-family oriented city with a wide range of residential living options. The city's proximity to the river mean that many of its' parks enjoy river access and views, fishing and boating. Peachtree Corners residents and visitors enjoy plenty of year-round activities from hiking and cycling to tennis and swimming to festivals and parades.

 

Snellville

There's no arguing the point - Snellville has always had the best town motto: Where Everybody is Somebody. In recent years, the line has evolved to Where Everybody is Proud to be Somebody - which certainly rings true.

Snellville has a rich history, founded in the 1870s by three young English immigrants, including Thomas Snell, who eventually opened a mercantile business on the corner of what is now US 78 and Ga 124. Today that corner remains the heart of the Snellville business corridor, close to Snellville's City Hall and the coming Towne Center @ Snellville development.

The Towne Green is the site of a busy schedule of events for the city's approximately 20,000 residents, including concerts, festivals, Food Truck Fridays and regular Farmers Markets. While Snellville Days is the city's original festival, it's been joined by events like Beach Blast, the Fall Festival, the Taste of Snellville and more. Snellville residents enjoy Gwinnett's great parks and have access to a Community Garden at Briscoe Park.

The city continues to attract new business and experience enviable growth. For instance, Eastside Medical Center, one of the area's largest hospitals, opened a new South Campus and ER earlier this year to better serve the community.

 

Sugar Hill

You knew there had to be a "sweet" story behind the naming of Sugar Hill. (Oh yeah, we're going there.) Local legend says that a freight wagon traveling from the railroad in Buford to Cumming broke a wheel while traversing a steep hill, spilling its load of sugar all over the hill.

The thriving city of Sugar Hill today still commemorates its rich history -- plans are underway to add a second mural to the downtown area to depict the history of Sugar Hill. But city leaders and residents alike are focused on building for the future in Sugar Hill. The city already has lots of positive livability factors - a great city hall, a unique community plaza, a splash park, great parks, a community garden and the award-winning Bowl Amphitheater.

Added to that mix will be the E Center, a live, work, play development now under construction. The E Center boasts a 387-seat performing arts theater, gymnasium along with 43,000 sq. ft. of restaurant, retail, office and meeting space, all overlooking The Bowl. The facility is slated to open in mid-2018.

In the meantime, Sugar Hll's 20,000+ residents are already enjoying the "sweet life," with events and activities like the annual Sugar Rush, an ongoing concert series, Thursdays @ The Hill, and more.

 

Suwanee

Suwanee is a progressive, friendly community known for preserving greenspace and creating new parks. The city has more than 500 acres of parkland and miles of walking and biking trails, including Suwanee Town Center and the Suwanee Creek Greenway.

The city began as Shawnee Indian village where the Suwanee Creek runs into the Chattahoochee River. First recognized as a town in 1838, Suwanee was also a railroad stop and grew around the railroad depot.

Today, Suwanee has been recognized by several national publications as "best place" to live and raise families. More than 17,000 residents enjoy over 40 community events every year with the Town Center hosting a wide range of popular festivals that range from the Taste of Suwanee to the Suwanee Jazz Festival to the Suwanee Wine Festival.

Suwanee is also committed to supporting public art. The Suwanee SculpTour brings a variety of sculptures to downtown Suwanee on a rotating basis for residents and visitors to enjoy.

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