Outdoor living has become a huge selling point for developers and builders. As homeowners seek ways to connect to nature and each other in an effort to roll back the clock to simpler times, several Atlanta area communities offer outdoor fireplaces where homeowners gather to make smores, roast hotdogs or watch the stars.

A firepit at Sharp Residential’s Parkstone in Forsyth County (top photo) provides the perfect place for homeowners to gather and connect. This traditional neighborhood features both ranch and two-story homes. Homeowners enjoy a variety of outdoor amenities including a junior Olympic swimming pool, lake with fishing dock, playgrounds, basketball and sports courts and more. Centrally located within the community is The Parkstone Club, a neighborhood lodge where homeowners can gather and spend time together. An outdoor fire pit provides the ideal place to gather with friends and family in the evenings to share ghost stories. Homes are priced from the $200,000s to the $400,000s.

The beautiful grand clubhouse, The Lodge, at Minerva Properties’ Heron Bay Golf and Country Club has a gracious wrap around veranda with an outdoor stone fireplace, creating the ideal spot to relax and enjoy the company of neighbors.

Located in Henry County, just 40 minutes south of Atlanta, Heron Bay includes a variety of neighborhoods designed for every life stage with homes from the $180,000s to over $1 million. Many homes at Heron Bay offer spectacular views of the golf course or lake. Heron Bay features a full complement of unparalleled amenities in a resort-like setting.

McCar Homes’ Evans Farms in Cumming features a cabana with open-air deck and fireplace. Evans Farms offers country living in a community that feels established. Each home sits on a wooded lot surrounded by mature trees. Nature trails wind throughout the community. Traditional homes at Evans Farms are priced from the $220,000s and the $300,000s. Other amenities include a swimming pool, tennis courts, playground and play field.

exclusive condo community The Astoria at the Aramore is under construction. When complete, one of its many upscale amenities will be an outdoor fireplace in an elegant garden setting. The Astoria at the Aramore is a 71-home community just between Buckhead and Midtown, reminiscent of a boutique hotel of the past. One, two and three bedroom homes start in the high $400,000s with penthouses from the $900,000s. The Astoria offers homeowners the unique opportunity to personalize their home. Amenities include a lap pool, fitness center, concierge, pet area and greenspace. Condos will be ready for move-in Summer 2008.

A woodsy pavilion with rough-hewn beams and a stunning stone fireplace is a centerpiece of the amenity area at The Village at Waterside, a south Bartow County community located off I-75 north on Red Top Mountain Road. Now opening phase three, this community incorporates an old mining area into its amenities. The outdoor room is more than 60 feet high and is entered through a narrow passage. It has a picnic area with tables and a large fire ring encircled by seating.

Primrose Creek located in Gwinnett County boasts a clubhouse with a large catering kitchen, a cozy great room with fireplace and a pub room decorated with high-top tables and bar stools. The clubhouse opens onto a stained concrete deck with an outdoor fireplace.

Another McCar community, Daniel Creek, has an outdoor community gathering area with a covered fire pit perfect for evening gatherings. Located in Sugar Hill, Daniel Creek is an intimate community of just 38 homes priced from the $300,000s. This gated community offers rear and courtyard entry garages.

West Village, the highly acclaimed traditional neighborhood development near I-285 and Atlanta Road in Smyrna, features an amenity center with Craftsman-style clubhouse, pool, fireplace and outdoor kitchen. Now buyers of Monte Hewett homes in West Village will have more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and mingle with neighbors.

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