Dunwoody and Sandy Springs: Suburban towns blossom into vibrant cities

In the not too distant past, Sandy Springs and Dunwoody were quiet, highly desirable suburban neighborhoods full of parks and nice people. Today, the cities of Sandy Springs and Dunwoody are still full of parks and nice people, but have quite a lot to do!

Today, these two cities are vibrant areas full of bustling, diverse restaurants, Fortune 500 headquarters (including Mercedes-Benz, UPS, First Data and Veritiv), shopping, parks, museums, sports facilities, nightlife, world-class hospitals, entertainment and hotels. Sandy Springs and Dunwoody are just north of Atlanta, forming a ring of new excitement. Both are served by MARTA rail, with the Sandy Springs having two stations: Medical Center and Sandy Springs, with the Dunwoody station in between.

The center of Dunwoody is the Perimeter area with Perimeter Mall offering more than 150 shops and restaurants along with several nearby smaller retail offerings. Sandy Springs doesn’t have a large shop-ping mall as an anchor, but their shopping options are many and run up Roswell Road, Abernathy Road — and a lot in between.

In both areas, restaurants play a huge part of the fun with Dunwoody having such fabulous restaurants near Perimeter Mall, including Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse, Alon’s Bakery & Market (a local favorite), Joey D’s Oak Room, Sage Woodfire Tavern and Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. But if you venture a little outside the Perimeter Mall area, you’ll find mom and pop delights such as Ippolito’s and E. 48th Street Market Italian.

Sandy Springs is a virtual global restaurant menu with eateries such as Jinya Ramen Bar, Nam Kitchen, Zafron, Ray’s on the River and Rumi’s Kitchen.

Both areas love festivals and both host art festivals, food tastings, lateran parades — well any excuse to get together and have fun. Speaking of fun, the Chattahoochee River National Area runs through Sandy Springs where you can go tubing or canoeing — or maybe run along the river. Other less strenuous ac-tivities would be to take your dogs to the Morgan Falls Dog Park or grab a hammock and chill at the Chattahoochee River National Recreational East Palisades Unit. Of course, put on some skates and prac-tice your double axels at the Center Ice Arena. For the outdoorsy type in Dunwoody, check out the Dunwoody Nature Center where you can play in the creek or walk the trails.

Both cities offer a lot of culture with Dunwoody’s Spruill Center for the Arts, the Stage Door Players, a nonprofit theatrical troupe, and performances at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta offer-ing a range of activities, while Sandy Spring Performing Arts Center showcases operas, ballets, Broad-way plays as well as shows by performances by such stars as Sutton Foster, Branford Marsalis Quartet and Shawn Mullins.

Yes, Sandy Springs and Dunwoody have graduated into exciting, vibrant inclusive areas that will create wonderful memories.

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