At more than 534 square miles, Fulton County is one of the largest counties in Georgia; it is more than 70 miles from end to end. As the home of Atlanta and many other municipalities, Fulton is also the most populous county in the state, with close to one million residents. Because the county is so large, it has evolved into three distinct areas and identities: South Fulton, the City of Atlanta, and the communities of North Fulton. It is a place rich in history, culture and entertainment, a leader in business and education and a great place for people of all ages to call home.
The history of Fulton County spans more than 160 years. North Fulton was inhabited primarily by Cherokee and Creek Indians, who referred to the area as the “enchanted lands” before the land was ceded to the state in the early 1820s. The population soon began to grow, as people from the nearby states began to settle in the area. Many were of English, Scottish and Irish heritage. In 1853, the western half of DeKalb County was renamed Fulton County. Debate continues over whether the county was named after Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat, or Hamilton Fulton, a surveyor for the local Western and Atlantic Railroad. The county grew even more in 1932 when it absorbed neighboring Campbell and Milton counties as a way to save those counties from bankruptcy during the Great Depression.
Like many parts of Georgia, Fulton County played an important role in the Civil War, as part of Gen. Sherman’s route from Chattanooga to Atlanta. The North Fulton city of Roswell had a cotton mill—the hub of the area’s antebellum economy—that was burned by Union troops in 1864. Despite the ravages of war, Roswell still boasts more historical pre-Civil War buildings than anywhere else in north Georgia. Barrington Hall and Bulloch Hall have both been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since the early 1970s.
After the war ended, the entire area began to rebuild, and industry replaced farming as the primary economic engine. The City of Atlanta is now home to many Fortune 500 companies, including Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines and Turner Broadcasting System. In North Fulton, the recent incorporations of Johns Creek and Sandy Springs have helped forge a new identity for that part of the county. Since the middle of the 20th century, North Fulton has been building a reputation for being a business-friendly and tech-savvy community. Sandy Springs has been the headquarters for UPS since the early 1990s and the office parks of Alpharetta and Johns Creek house many up-and-coming technology firms.
Only in North Fulton
Fulton County boasts a temperate climate, with hot summers and cool— but not too cold—winters. Dogwoods, Bradford pears and azaleas burst into bloom in the spring and stay lush and green throughout the summer months. Autumn in the area is marked by bright oranges and reds in the trees.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the population of North Fulton exploded, as more and more people left the city for the suburbs, and it has been steadily growing ever since. Now with a population of nearly 350,000, the communities of North Fulton wield considerable influence in the metro area. They are known throughout the metro area as home to great schools and a high quality of life.[expand title=”Read More…” swaptitle=” “]Many North Fulton residents have college degrees or higher, which helps to drive up the median household income to about $90,000, compared to about $50,000 for the county as a whole.
Education is a priority in North Fulton. Of the 106 schools and learning centers run by the Fulton County school system, more than 60 of them are located in North Fulton. These public schools consistently rank high in both state and national statistics on everything from AP test scores to scholarship money earned. Students who want to stay local have plenty of options when it comes to institutes of higher learning, with satellite campuses for schools like Georgia State University, Georgia Perimeter College and Gwinnett Technical College scattered throughout the county.
Although only about 20 miles from downtown Atlanta, the communities of North Fulton have a vibe all their own. The area’s five incorporated cities—Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Roswell and Sandy Springs— strike a solid balance between honoring and preserving their history and welcoming innovation and change. Many of North Fulton’s municipalities, including Roswell, have old-fashioned town squares that host a variety of concerts, parades, festivals, farmers markets and other events throughout the year.
In addition to their small-town sensibilities, many of North Fulton’s cities have been recognized for their efforts in everything from keeping residents healthy to operating strong family businesses. When it comes to quality of life, the communities of North Fulton come out on top. The Atlanta Business Chronicle named the city of Milton as having the best quality of life in the metro area in 2011. Since 2003, the North Fulton Community Improvement District, which includes the cities of Alpharetta, Roswell and Milton, has invested more than $16 million in the community providing, for example, pedestrian access along major roads.
For many people who are relocating to the area, health care is a big concern, particularly for baby boomers who are retired or thinking about retirement. According to realtor.org, the number of Americans nationwide 65 or older will nearly double between now and 2030, and the share of the population that is 85 and older will increase by 52 percent. Fortunately, North Fulton is home many of the metro area’s top-notch hospitals, including the Scottish Rite campus of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Northside Hospital and Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital.
No matter their age, North Fulton residents know how to have fun, and the area’s many entertainment venues draw visitors from all over metro Atlanta. World-class performing arts venues like the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park provide access to some of the region’s best musical performances.
In addition to these venues, North Fulton has some unique geographical features that make it stand out from other parts of the metro area. Residents can run or bike along dozens of trails and parks in the county. In the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, there are 48 unspoiled miles of waterway available for rafting, canoeing, kayaking or riding in a motor boat. Wildlife such as blue herons make their homes along the river banks, providing perfect opportunities for bird watching, and fishermen enjoy casting their lines in the hope that trout, bass and catfish will bite.
Like many other parts of the Atlanta area, North Fulton County has myriad restaurants to satisfy every type of craving, with outposts of nearly every major chain restaurant as well as unique local fare. Diners can enjoy everything from classic Southern cooking at downtown Roswell Greenwood’s Restaurant to sophisticated European fare at Cibo e Beve. The burgeoning immigrant population in North Fulton means that cuisine from every corner of the world is also easy to find.
While the Atlanta housing market took a hit during the recent economic downturn, the suburban real estate market has bounced back to healthy levels in the past year. Housing options in North Fulton run the gamut from newly constructed single-family homes to condos in historic areas and apartments near the local colleges and universities. Prices are historically lower here than within the Atlanta city limits, so buyers can get more for their money.
Business, culture, education, green space, town squares, easy access to the city of Atlanta—North Fulton County truly has it all. Residents enjoy a high quality of life and make the most of the area’s geography, history, and recreational opportunities. As a place that is both in touch with its history and looking forward to the future, North Fulton has much to offer families, young professionals and retirees alike.[/expand]
The communities of North Fulton are easily accessible via Interstate 285 and Georgia 400, which means commuters can easily travel to and from downtown Atlanta, as well as to some of the other outlying counties. As of November 2013, drivers on Georgia 400 no longer have to pay a toll, making it a quick and easy way to get from Buckhead to North Fulton. The Perimeter area has quickly become one of the area’s busiest business hubs, making it easy for commuters all over the area to get to work. In addition to its road systems, the county also has two other unique transportation options for residents.
(Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority)
While most of MARTA’s stops are within the boundaries of the city of Atlanta, North Fulton also benefits from this bus and rail system. The Medical Center, Sandy Springs and North Springs rail stations help commuters access some of the largest businesses in the area, like Perimeter Mall and Northside Hospital.
(Georgia Regional Transportation Authority)
GRTA was formed by former Gov. Roy Barnes to help address crosscommunity transportation issues. The authority now operates 13 different Xpress bus routes that service 12 of the metro area’s counties. These routes accommodate more than 2 million passenger trips each year and provide access to some of the area’s major employment centers.
Welcome to North Fulton!
From the North Fulton County Chamber
Within the Metro Atlanta community, North Fulton is known as the ‘Golden Corridor’ thanks in large part to the vision and leadership of this Chamber. Many of the successes North Fulton has seen over the last 40 years can be directly attributed to the forward-thinking and innovative leaders of this organization. Their hard work and dedication have positioned the GNFCC to be the catalyst for economic development, business growth and quality of life in North Fulton. This remains our mission today.
This year’s leadership team has set its sights on even greater accomplishments. The 2014 GNFCC Board, along with our professional staff and numerous volunteer-led committees, has established valuable community partnerships and leveraged the resources that will:
- Strengthen North Fulton’s economic development opportunities through Progress Partners.
- Capitalize on the investment in our infrastructure with the help of the North Fulton Community Improvement District.
- Expand our medical resources by collaborating with the hospitals, healthcare providers and technology companies inside our footprint on healthcare initiatives.
- Support the quality education that makes North Fulton such an attractive place to live.
It’s exciting to watch the growth of our six vibrant and distinct cities – Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park, Roswell and Sandy Springs – and we continue to build on the unique opportunities that make North Fulton THE best place to live, work, play and stay. I encourage you to be a part of the excitement by actively participating in the GNFCC and in the community. The returns you’ll see on your investment will be worthwhile.
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Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park, Roswell, Sandy Springs
Like many cities in the metro area, Alpharetta sprang out of settlements that emerged after the Cherokee Indians were forcibly removed from Georgia in the 1830s. First known as the New Prospect Camp Ground, present-day Alpharetta is located near a natural spring that became a trading post for nearby settlers. Alpharetta was chartered in 1858 and until 1931 was the county seat of Milton County, which merged with Fulton County in order to avoid bankruptcy during the Great Depression. The city has changed a lot in the past 84 years. With an area of 21.4 square miles, it is one of the largest—and wealthiest—municipalities in North Fulton County. Known as “The Technology City of the South,” Alpharetta is home to countless office parks and IT centers. It is also a hub for many well- known businesses like ADP, LexisNexis, Comcast and E-Trade, among others. Alpharetta is a shopper’s paradise, with NorthPoint Mall and its surrounding neighborhoods housing many major retailers. Avalon, a new mixed-use development from North American Properties, which owns the Atlantic Station development in Midtown Atlanta, is now open with theaters, shopping and residences. With retailers like Whole Foods, J. Crew and Road Runner Sports confirmed and dining concepts from some of the area’s best chefs, the development is sure to up the ante on shopping and dining in the area. Festivals and musical performances abound both in the historic downtown area and at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater at Encore Park, the summer home of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Johns Creek | (678) 512-3200 [expand title=”(More Info)” swaptitle=” “]
One of the newer municipalities in North Fulton, Johns Creek was incorporated in 2006. It has quickly earned a reputation as a business-friendly and affluent community. While it shares similar history to many of the area’s other cities, first as a trading post in Cherokee Territory, then as a community in what used to be Milton County, Johns Creek has set itself apart. Initially conceived as a planned community and the second campus of a technology business park founded by two Georgia Tech graduates, the 1,700 acres of rural land soon grew to house more than 200 businesses and more than 11,000 people across 6 million square feet of office, retail and industrial space. Money magazine ranked the city the 13th highest-earning city in the U.S. It has a total population of more than 76,000 people, and its schools, which are part of the Fulton County system, are some of the best in the metro area. Johns Creek boasts three National Blue Ribbon Schools: Chattahoochee High School, River Trail Middle School and Dolvin Elementary. Additionally, Northview High School has been awarded the Governor’s Cup for earning the state’s highest SAT scores three times. In addition to a strong educational base, Johns Creek also has many cultural and entertainment options for both residents and visitors. It is home to five public golf facilities and one private one. The renowned Atlanta Athletic Club hosted the 2011 PGA Championship. Festivals, farmers markets and its location on the banks of the Chattahoochee River make Johns Creek a great place to live.
Milton | (678) 242-2500 [expand title=”(More Info)” swaptitle=” “]
Incorporated in 2006, the city of Milton is named after Revolutionary War hero John Milton. Milton also served as Georgia’s Secretary of State from 1777 until 1799. The city wasted no time in catching up with some of its neighbors and has already been recognized locally and nationally for its accomplishments. In 2011, the Atlanta Business Chronicle ranked Milton as having the best quality of life in the metro area. The same year, Milton was awarded the No. 9 spot in the South for quality of life by The Business Journals. Metrics for this survey of more than 1,100 cities across the region included the percentage of workers who either walk to work or telecommute (13.4 percent), adults with advanced degrees (20.4 percent) and the homeownership rate (81 percent). Its population of more than 33,000 residents also boasts a median household income of about $99,000 per year. Milton also came in at No. 3 on home security firm SafeWise’s list of the 50 safest cities in Georgia. For recreation, Milton has partnered with Alpharetta for use of local parks. Business has also thrived in Milton. In 2013, the city founded its economic development department in an effort to meet goals set out in its strategic plan. Considering the strides the city has made in the eight years since its incorporation, the future looks bright for Milton and its residents.
City of Mountain Park [expand title=”(More Info)” swaptitle=” “]
Bordered on three sides by Roswell and extending into Cherokee County by less than 1,000 feet, Mountain Park, GA is the smallest of North Fulton’s cities with a total area of less than a square mile and a population of only 547. Incorporated in 1927, Mountain Park was originally a summer getaway for some of Atlanta’s more elite citizens, with only three families living as permanent residents including the mayor, who ran a small shop called “The Stand.” While it has grown since then, Mountain Park remains an idyllic change of pace for the Atlanta area. The city is zoned as a wildlife refuge, and many official clubs are dedicated to maintaining its unique natural beauty, including the Watershed Preservation Society, the Mountain Park Organic community garden project, and the Green and Beautiful Program. The Arbor Day Foundation, USDA Forest Service and Association of State Foresters recently awarded the city the distinction of Tree City USA, which recognizes urban and community forestry programs across the US. If you want the jobs of the Atlanta area but the peace and quiet of a lakeside cabin, Mountain Park is an ideal spot, but hurry– at the time of this writing, there are only 10 houses for sale!
City of Roswell | (770) 641-3727 [expand title=”(More Info)” swaptitle=” “]
Unlike many of North Fulton’s communities, Roswell was founded in the early 19th century. The city is named after its founder, Roswell King, who built what became the largest cotton mill in North Georgia. The city was officially incorporated in 1854. By the time the Civil War started, the cotton mill employed more than 400 people, many of whom were sent north when the mill was destroyed by Gen. Sherman’s troops. During the Great Depression, when much of the area’s agricultural industry was lagging, Roswell was ceded from Cobb County to become part of Fulton at the same time that neighboring Milton County was being absorbed by Fulton. Roswell is now the eighth largest city in Georgia with a population close to 90,000, after having experienced extensive growth over the past 20 years. Due to its outstanding quality of life, the city has twice been voted one of the best places in the metro area to live by Atlanta magazine. Additionally, Frommer’s ranked Roswell No. 3 on its list of the best places to raise a family. Part of that can be attributed to its 13 parks, which comprise more than 900 acres of active and passive green space. Residents also have access to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, which is part of the National Park System. Roswell boasts a quaint downtown square full of eclectic shops and some of the metro area’s best restaurants.
City of Sandy Springs | (770) 730-5600 [expand title=”(More Info)” swaptitle=” “]
Located just outside the I-285 Perimeter and easily accessible via Georgia 400, Sandy Springs was incorporated in 2006 and now has a population of more than 94,000. While Perimeter Mall, one of the area’s premier shopping destinations, falls within the borders of the city of Dunwoody, the surrounding business district belongs to Sandy Springs. Northside Hospital, Saint Joseph’s Hospital and the Scottish Rite campus of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta also fall within Sandy Springs’ borders. These are also some of the largest employers in the city. Sandy Springs has the distinction of being the home of UPS, one of the world’s most recognizable brands. Recreation opportunities abound in Sandy Springs, which has 12 parks and several annual outdoor festivals and events. Heritage Sandy Springs, a nonprofit that seeks to preserve and promote the history of Sandy Springs, sponsors the annual Sandy Springs Festival and also runs Heritage Green, which includes the Williams-Payne House and Museum. Tennis magazine recently called The Sandy Springs Tennis Center, which has 24 lighted courts, “one of the finest public facilities in the country.” Over the past few years, Sandy Springs has implemented many projects to increase green space, make the city more pedestrian friendly and decrease dependence on fossil fuels. The Atlanta Regional Commission recently honored Sandy Springs for its efforts to use solar energy and propane auto gas for many of its fire stations and police vehicles.
Main Contact Information
www.co.fulton.ga.us | (404) 730-4000
Animal Control | (404) 613-0358
Business License | (404) 612-3171
Fulton County Tax Commissioner, Arthur E. Ferdinand | (404) 730-6100
County Extension Office | (404) 613-7670
Driver’s License | (404) 657-9300
Planning and Zoning | (404) 612-8053
Tax Assessor | (404) 612-6440
Voter Registration | (404) 730-7072
Fire and Emergency Services | (404) 612-5700
Police Department | (404) 613-5700
[expand title=”ELECTRICITY” tag=”h3″]
Georgia Power | (404) 506-6526
Greystone Power Corp | (770) 942-6576
Sawnee EMC | (770) 887-2363
[expand title=”GAS COMPANIES” tag=”h3″]
Atlanta Gas Light | (404) 584-4000
Gas South | (877) 472-4932
Georgia Natural Gas Co. | (404) 685-4000
Infinite Energy Company | (877) 342-5434
SCANA Energy | (877) 476-2262
True Natural Gas | (877) 746 4362
Walton EMC Natural Gas | (770) 267-2505
[expand title=”WATER, SEWER, & WASTE” tag=”h3″]
Water & Sewer
Fulton County Water and Sewer Billing | (404) 730-6830
Merk Miles Transfer Station and Recycling Center | (404) 629-1700
Roswell Recycling Center | (770) 442-8822
Sandy Springs Recycling Center | (770) 551-7794
[expand title=”CABLE TELEVISION & TELEPHONE” tag=”h3″]
Comcast | 1-866-922-0069
Fulton County Office of Broadcast and Cable | (404)-612-8394
AT&T | (404) 249-9052
[expand title=”SCHOOLS” tag=”h3″]
Fulton County School System | (404) 768-3600
DeVry University (Alpharetta campus) | (770) 619-360
Gwinnett College (Sandy Springs campus) | (877) 527-3504
The Art Institute of Atlanta | (770) 394-8300
National Personal Training Institute (Johns Creek) | (800) 960-6294
Sanford-Brown College (Sandy Springs campus) | (770) 576-4498
Strayer University (Roswell campus) | (770) 650-3000
[expand title=”HOSPITALS” tag=”h3″]
Children’s at Scottish Rite (Perimeter) | (404) 785-5252
Concentra | (678) 916-3600
Emory Johns Creek Hospital | (678) 474-7000
North Fulton Hospital | (770) 751-2500
Northside Hospital | (404) 851-8000
Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital of Atlanta | (678) 843-7001
[expand title=”LIBRARIES” tag=”h3″]
Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System | (404) 730-1700
[expand title=”NEWSPAPERS” tag=”h3″]