WHEN TO GO: No disrespect to kale, but if you plan a visit to this community where daily life revolves around a productive farm, think mid-July, when the garden is in full swing, ample tree canopy offers plenty of shade, and the foothills rustle up a cooling breeze.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Built as an environmentally sustainable antidote to urban sprawl, Serenbe covers 1,000 acres in the deep woods of Chattahoochee Hill Country. Village streets are few but lively, with excellent dining and shopping options, as well as a summer theater. The hundred or so year-round residents live in energy-efficient cottages and town houses, while visitors stay at the Inn at Serenbe, a gorgeously restored 1905 farmhouse with several side buildings and cottages. Owners Steve and Marie Nygren—veterans of the Atlanta dining world— put life on the farm front and center. That said, a first-class day spa keeps things from feeling too Green Acres.
TYPICAL DAY: If you’re traveling with kids, you’ll want to start the morning with a hayride to the farm to check out the new piglets, bunnies, and llamas. If not, you may prefer to stock up at the Saturday Farmers and Artists Market in town. Then hit the nearby trails on foot, on horseback, on a dirt bike, or even in a golf cart. Keep your eyes peeled for the stone labyrinth and two waterfalls. For lunch, hit up the Farmhouse at Serenbe for the weekend special, a plate of Marie Nygren’s famous fried chicken and Southern-style veggies. For dinner, head to the Hil for chef Hilary White’s elevated farmstead favorites (her summer tomato and mayonnaise sandwich makes for a delicious and simple meal if you get carried away at lunch). When a chill starts to creep into the air, head back to the inn, where an evening bonfire, complete with marshmallows, serves as a welcome nightcap on most nights.
GETTING THERE: Serenbe is an easy thirty-minute drive from Atlanta. Just make sure you top off the tank before you go—the journey is punctuated by plenty of scenic back roads but gas stations are scarce. serenbe.com