A North Georgia Community’s Best Kept Secret

A North Georgia Communities’



My wife, Angie, and I raised our family just a few miles down the road from a little community called Doraville, the hometown of the 70’s popular rock band, ARS (Atlanta Rhythm Section). Sound familiar? It was also the title of their 1974 hit song Doraville which included the oft-repeated phrase …  “A Little Country in the City“.

Today, much of Doraville hovers over the noise of Spaghetti Junction (the large engineered feat of concrete bridges that merge I-285 and I-85), and it’s hard to imagine there was ever much country there. However, if you actually venture into one of Doraville’s shaded old neighborhoods on the north side of the perimeter, something does linger there that ever-so-faintly hearkens back to a country past. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it may simply be the clapboard houses, akin to the architectural style of so many houses often found a block or two off main in many rural southern towns. Regardless, it was a special place in the heart of the band members all hailing from there.

About 2 hours north of Doraville, in northwest Georgia, we have borrowed this phrase, with a little tweak, for another special place, Cloudland Station. We often refer to Cloudland Station as “A Little Country Near the City.”

When we began Cloudland Station nearly 10 years ago, we never dreamed we would have a backdoor into what is becoming one of the most celebrated cities for outdoor living and Legacy Years living in the US. Located Only 20 minutes south of downtown Chattanooga, we find ourselves enjoying the Best of Both Worlds (now I’m showing my age). We are constantly awed by the beauty of this pastoral, ancient valley nestled in the shadows of a magnificent mountain, yet, we are only minutes from the thriving, artsy, outdoor centric downtown of Chattanooga.

This of course begs the question: what has the typical urban sprawl dealt us in terms of traffic one must endure traveling betwixt our rural Community and the very vibrant Chattanooga, just 16 miles away? I am here to tell you (come see it for yourself), it doesn’t exist. It seems that Chattanooga and all its progress shunned us and headed north, leaving us here in the Chattanooga Valley virtually untouched and with but a lovely jaunt into the City. This, friends, is our well-kept secret; so if you would, kindly keep this amongst you and me.

More specifically, as one enters Chattanooga, along our sweet back country road, your first introduction into the city is through one of the coolest historic neighborhoods of all Chattanooga – St Elmo. The little jewel of a village is best known for the famous Lookout Mountain Railway Incline, and its historic cottages adorned with all kinds of wonderful architectural details. Today, St. Elmo, is bustling with locals having date nights, while tourists and more far-flung Chattanoogans enjoy St. Elmo as a destination out with their families. All come to enjoy choice eateries like 1885, The Mount Vernon, Mr. T’s, and the newest arrival, Clumpies Ice Cream.

So if you are looking for a Second Home or a new Primary Home, consider Cloudland Station, especially since we let you in on our little secret. If that isn’t enough, here are two additional reasons to come and visit: first, if you don’t know what a true legacy community is all about, seeing Cloudland Station is a must; and second, if you don’t know Chattanooga well, you are in for a big surprise.

We invite you to consider joining us for the weekend of Oct 1 for the Legacy Years Expo and Tour of Homes. The event will include a Mountain-aire Market, The Hobby Cove, a Patio-Palooza, a Wedding Show, Touchdown Tailgating and much more. Check it out at http://www.thelegacyyears.com/ . Two homes on tour include the region’s first Southern Living Inspired Home along with an encore opening of the first ever This Old House idea house built at the end of 2015.

Finally, if you still aren’t convinced Chattanooga is one of the best things going in the Southeast, here are just a few of the many accolades this amazing city has received in the last few years:

  • Outside Magazine Ranked Chattanooga in September 2015 as the #1 Best place to live in the USA.
  • Outdoor Magazine also claimed that Chattanooga is the Best Outdoor City in November 2012.
  • Ranked #1 in Social Wellbeing by Times Free Press on April 9 2015
  • Southern Living names Chattanooga “ The south’s most scenic drive”
  • Southern Living Ranked Chattanooga #1 in an article titled “10 Cities You Will Absolutely Love (and Your Budget Will Appreciate, Too).”
  • The Loop States that Chattanooga is “ranked among the best” in a 2013 article
  • Chattanooga’s Muni Broadband rated best internet Service according to Digital Communities
  • According to Knoxville news Sentinel in September of 2015, Chattanooga is #1 for Startups
  • CNN named Chattanooga’s Riverwalk in the top 10 of “the world’s best city running trails” on October 9, 2014.
  • Thrillist.com names Chattanooga’s Riverwalk in their “10 of Americas Coolest Urban Running Trails” on March 4, 2016.

Please like us at Cloudland Station on Facebook to follow us. Cloudland Station is one of eight founding members of the exclusive Southern Living Inspired Communities program.

Next time, we will share with you the most important things to consider when buying into a community, especially where you want to build a legacy of memories. We will share with you what a Legacy Community is all about. We invented it; we should know.

Hope you will stay tuned.

John Tatum

P.S.  Until then…  Take Time for the Simple Things

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