The City of Suwanee, Georgia (about 30 miles north of Downtown Atlanta) wins award after award as one of the best places to live in the state of Georgia as well as the USA. It showcases some interesting attributes that have attracted attention near and far. In fact, shortly after where I live became the newest city in the USA in 2008, the new mayor, city councilors, and staff members piled into a bus and toured Suwanee for inspiration.
In addition to great schools and a county with impressive parks and recreation offerings, many of the accolades have to do with the creation of the Suwanee Town Center, completed in 2009. This walkable, bike-friendly community gathering place boasts City Hall, shops, restaurants, a mix of homes, a large greenspace, an open-air amphitheater, and a terrific outdoor art collection (including a hunk of both the World Trade Center and the Berlin Wall).
The first bikeshare in the county was here (temporarily removed due to COVID-19), and there's easy, safe access to a stellar greenway along Suwanee Creek (not to be confused with the Suwanee River in Florida).
You can have a good ole' time Traveling at the Speed of Bike on the Suwanee Creek Greenway, accessible through the neighborhood in Town Center. It's eight miles in total, but you're bound to get lost in George Pierce Park so add another mile and a bunch of hills to that estimate.
My tour, however, takes you from Town Center under the railroad tracks past a lovely library and then a fun park named Playtown Suwanee that hundreds of local volunteers built; through the old downtown; to a master-planned community garden named Harvest Farm at White Street Park (unlocked and open to the public -- but don't pick from any of the garden beds as they are "rented" to local citizens) which is now bordered by new homes in the "faux farm" style that's become so popular lately; and onto a small trail.
I end the tour by taking you back to Town Center past a brewpub and more art. If the goat sculptures are still there, note that these were once on the Atlanta Beltline. Oh, and there's a mural that shows all the famous musicians from Suwanee. Pretty cool.
This is a nice ride that does require some street skills on low-traffic local streets (see TravelingAtTheSpeedOfBike.com and click the classes and bonus resources tabs for free basic bike skills tips).
I like Suwanee enough to consider the possibility of relocating there. Pop into the City Hall conveniently located in Town Center to use the bathroom and to pick up brochures because you may want to move here, too. The Chamber of Commerce is right across the street from City Hall (on the side street to the right) if you want more brochures and insight.
If you like to be surrounded and inspired by art (as I do), head over to Sims Park nearby in Suwanee as well. I drove there (note: although there is increasingly a multiuse path system, it doesn't go all the way to this park), and then rode my bike. They've done a truly outstanding job with the sculpture art placed around the lake. Honestly, it alone is worth the trip.
Harvest Farm at White Street Park