Sunday, May 13, 2012

Week 2: We're Glad (Serenbe) Georgia Is On Your Mind

So far we're enjoying our time winding down and catching up with friends and family who we hardly ever get to see. We made it to Georgia - our last stop stateside - before flying to Tokyo on Tuesday. We've been enjoying some local brewskis (Sweet Water Road Trip Ale) and some games of pool in our friends' Alabama Roll Tide game room!

In Georgia, you might expect a goat or two riding down the interstate. However, what you may not expect, 30-miles south of Atlanta in the hills of Palmetto, Georgia is the most manicured farmstead I've ever seen on 1,000 acres of land.

Imagine an exclusive country club, except in place of a golf course, there are: organic sustainable farms, experimental energy efficient homes, bed and breakfast cottages, farmers' market, pastures with horses, stables, farm-to-table restaurants, and quaint shops. This destination spot for Atlantans is called Serenbe - a made up word by Marie Nygren (Mrs. Owner) because you cannot help but Be Serene in this environment!

The Nygren's story of how they started Serenbe in the 1990s is accidental, but very forward thinking for their time. Their vision of creating a high-class sustainable living community has attracted a lot of press. An article in the New York Times Travel titled Outside Atlanta, Utopia Rises is a good read for understanding this idyllic community.

It is so idyllic that I felt like I was in a photo shoot for a catalogue - the carefully crafted modern country charm of Restoration Hardware, crossed with Ralph Lauren's refined prairie ruggedness. Yet, it felt very authentic, quaint, and not contrived.

We had lunch at The Farmhouse, which serves a limited menu featuring local ingredients. On the weekends, it's fried chicken and fixins'. After all, we are still in the South!

We got an interior look at a few energy efficient homes for sale in Serenbe. This is also the community in which the 2012 HGTV Green Home was built. Since we can't really afford to live in this community, perhaps a stay at one of the 19 cottages would be a perfect way to enjoy the food, pastures, horses, lakes, kayaks, shopping, etc.

If you are ever in the Atlanta area, take a detour to Serenbe and experience the hidden serenity of the south!