Homebuyers are looking for more than just a great floor plan or a community swimming pool during their Atlanta home search. There are many other factors that influence where they choose to live, and location is typically the deciding factor. In Buford, the great city includes surprising shops, award-winning restaurants and affordable residences. With just a population of 15,185 people, incoming tourists and future residents will love the city’s quaintness.
Buford was originally within the territory of the Cherokee Nation. For about a decade before the 1830s, the area was ceded over to the state of Georgia but remained heavily populated by Cherokee tribesmen. Starting in 1830 however, European Settlers along with the United States Army forcibly removed Native Americans from the area. The area remained sparsely populated until the 1860s, when the construction of railways through the area brought settlers, trade and opportunities. Buford was incorporated in 1872, and quickly became known for its leatherwork. From the early 1900s until the mid 1980s, Buford remained a hub of commerce and factories, with the Bona Allen Tannery closing in 1981 after 108 years.
According to Data USA, the median age is around 35 to 36 years old. So, the city is great for older individuals looking to expanding residential horizons or going through a career change. With a diverse population, the job sector is largely populated with individuals working in politics, banking and finance, education and architecture.
Find what fits your fancy while exploring this historic city.
What to Do
Visit Lake Lanier, Georgia’s largest lake with nearly 700 miles of shoreline spread over 38,000 acres. The water in Lake Lanier comes from Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains and create clear clean water for boaters and swimmers alike. Over 45 parks and 10 campgrounds line the shores, so there are plenty of attractions to be found. From kayaking to water skiing to sunbathing, there is something for everyone!
Cooldown at the Margaritaville Water Park. Packed with family fun, this water park includes water slides, a wave pool and a relaxing sandy shore for sun soakers. Located at Lanier Islands, embrace the lake life at LandShark Bar & Grill and LandShark Landing. Check out the Margarita and Brunch Cruises which depart Saturday and Sunday through October from Harbor Landing.
The Mall of Georgia has it all. Shop at over 200 local, national and international stores offering everything from women’s and children’s apparel to jewelry and home electronics. The fun doesn’t stop there, the mall also includes a variety of sit-down restaurants, including The Cheesecake Factory, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Buffalo Wild Wings and Seasons 52.
Located at the south end of Lake Lanier lies the beautiful Buford Dam Park where hikers, bikers and walkers can enjoy smooth waters and scenic trails. The Laurel Ridge Trail runs through the park and continues through Powerhouse Park and Lower Overlook. The 3.8-mile trail provides glimpses of deer, rabbits and geese.
Start the fall season off right with a few trips to the Buford Corn Maze. This popular fall attraction is the perfect place to take the family for a day of fun. A five-acre corn maze is perfect for adults and children alike, along with a hayride, haunted forest, farm animals, bounce house, pony rides and a face painting booth. Visit the website for admission prices and hours of operation, as they change throughout the fall season.
The Duluth Fall Festival, consistently voted one of the top festivals in the southeast, is held each September in historic downtown Duluth. The event features more than 180 arts and crafts booths and over 30ood vendors. The weekend will be filled with family-friendly fun, including a parade, carnival, live music and a 5K race.
Where to Eat
Grab a burger at Sunset Cove Beach Café & Club, an open-air eatery with lakeside views. A local favorite, the cafe and club offers nautically-inspired cuisine that will melt in your mouth. While listening to the live band, be sure to try the delicious pork nachos.
Your Pie delivers greasy pizza, cheesy pasta and fresh gelato. This casual restaurant provides quick service perfect for customers looking to race back out to the waters. On the way out, grab a plate to-go and order a crisp salad!
Dine out at Aqua Terra Bistro where fine dining is an understatement. Known for their fresh fish dishes, the rustic atmosphere paired with the elegant cuisine makes for a night to remember. Enjoy the restaurant’s loaded potato eggrolls, fried panko tomatoes and bacon-wrapped dates as an appetizer. For dinner, order the shrimp and grits, pan-roasted halibut, filet mignon or pork ribeye.
Spice up the night at Rico’s World Kitchen! With regional and world comfort cuisine to satisfy any palette, customers will enjoy the savory chicharrones, BBQ mussels, fried green tomatoes and a delicious sandwich. Rico’s provides a wide selection, including a “Chicken Cuban” and “Mojo Pork.” Follow on Facebook @RicosWorldKitchen to see daily specials and menu updates.
Dig into buttery goodness at Praise the Lard BBQ. A southern restaurant that specializes in pulled pork platters, brisket, collard greens and fall-off-the-bone ribs. Your lips will be smacking before walking in the front doors.
Dominick’s has served the Buford area since 1996. A hometown favorite, Dominick’s Italian classics include veal marsala, veal parmigiana, Mediterranean tortelloni, mushroom ravioli and chicken piccata. Pair each meal with a classic glass of wine and enjoy a little bit of Italy and a while lotta’ food.
Where to Live
Buford homes, townhomes and rentals rank high on Livability, so thoselooking for permanent residence will find affordable homes. The median household income is $61,233 while the median home value is around $229,593.
With around 184 listings on Zillow, prospective buyers can look forward to many places available near Lake Lanier. Beachfront properties are hot on the market, especially for buyers with flexibles budgets. The Cove at Mill Creek neighborhood features large condos from the low $200,000s to the high $400,000s.
Good news for renters! Buford’s median rent is only $689, which is low considering the surrounding areas. According to Livability, this hot spot is the perfect place for renters wanting low to medium incomes accommodations.
Many homes are located near Interstate 985 for quick workweek commutes and weekend getaways. An abundance neighborhoods and school districts are located along the route for speedy drop-offs and carpools!
Buford boosts top-ranked schools, including The Goddard School, Old Suwanee Christian School, Lanier Academy Child Development Center, White Oak Elementary School, Buford Middle School, Twin Rivers Middle School and Buford Academy. The area also includes Georgia Gwinnett College and Lanier Technical College for older students planning to commute while in college.
Visit www.exploregeorgia.org/city/buford to continue learning about Buford. The city is just one of Atlanta’s hidden jewels, and newcomers will love all it has to offer. From the city’s historic main street that offers residents eclectic boutiques and quaint upscale restaurants to the classic Bona Allen Mansion that sits on the edge of Main Street, Buford is the perfect home and vacation spot.