DISTANCE: 65 MILES, ONE-HOUR DRIVE
THEY SAY THAT IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD, YOU SHOULD START IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD.
Back when Rose was taking up all the space on that door and we were arguing over the merits of NSYNC versus the Backstreet Boys, Steve Nygren and his family made the permanent move out of the city to 40 acres in the Chattahoochee Hill Country. But he feared for his new lifestyle, as urban sprawl was beginning to rear its ugly (yellow, bulldozer-shaped) head. The former real estate developer devised a brilliant idea to preserve the rural landscape surrounding his property, and in 2004, Serenbe was officially born. The development is based on balanced growth—70 percent of the land is protected, the other 30 percent is filled with dense housing, shops, restaurants and offices. A combination of “serene” and “be,” around 600 people now call this 1,000-acre intentional community home, and hundreds more visit annually. Nygren was inspired by the New Urbanist principles of walkability, public green spaces and mixed use development. Each of Serenbe’s three neighborhoods features a central, downtown-like area. Streets aren’t laid out in a grid pattern, but rather follow the contours of the natural landscape. Serenbe is concurrently urban and rural: surrounded by nature, yet a close community.spectacular views of the valleys, creeks, wild animals in the forest and wild animals tubing in the park.
Learn how Serenbe Farms uses sustainable practices to grow and harvest more than 60,000 lbs. of produce a year to feed the Serenbe Community, including 300 varieties of vegetables, herbs and flowers.
Well…technically, you sit and the horse strolls. Whether you are an accomplished rider or consider Prince Charming’s Carousel an equestrian adventure, Serenbe Trailriding has something for everyone.
Turns out the Nygrens’ weekend place was pretty huge. It also houses farmto-table restaurant The Farmhouse, which serves regional cuisine using ingredients from Serenbe’s own garden and farms, as well as other local producers. Guests are seated in what served as the summer dining room.
What of the Nygrens’ original farmhouse? It’s now the main house of Inn at Serenbe, which features 27 guest rooms located between six buildings. All stays include afternoon tea, evening sweets and a full country breakfast.