Atlanta is surrounded by suburbs filled with families raising children. Life outside the city offers a more laid back lifestyle with access to Atlanta's museums, sports teams and events. The one that is best for your family will depend on your unique needs, but certain suburbs have been noted as meeting specific criteria often desired by families. If your priorities are good schools, low crime and things to do, these suburbs might be right for you.
Marietta is located northwest of Atlanta and is easily accessible via Interstate 75. The central spot is Marietta Square, which has shopping, restaurants, farmer's markets, 5K events and a park with a free concert series. This suburb boasts museums, theaters and 18 parks. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is nearby, offering 18 miles of trails, a Civil War museum and war reenactments. Marietta also has many strong schools that earned a 9 or 10 rating on GreatsSchools.org-- the site bases ratings on standardized testing scores. Lassiter High School was ranked seventh in Georgia by U.S. News and World Report.
Roswell, north of Atlanta, is listed third in Frommer's "Best Places to Raise Your Family" and is ranked the 18th safest city in the United States according to City Crime Rankings. It has also been honored twice by Atlanta Magazine as the best place to live in the metro area. It has several parks and trails, including some along the Chattahoochee River. Historic Downtown Roswell has been revitalized and is packed with restaurants and shops, and the weekly event, Alive After 5, fills the streets every Thursday all summer long. A number of Roswell schools have also achieved ratings from 8 to 10 by Great Schools.
Suwanee is about 30 miles north of Atlanta and has been recognized by "Money Magazine" as one of the country's best small communities and by Kiplinger.com as one of the best to raise children. It has more than 500 acres of parkland and miles of walking and biking trails. Town Center Park is a major gathering site for events and the Big Splash interactive fountain. It is served by Gwinnett County Schools, the largest and one of the best school systems in the state.
Located east of Atlanta, Decatur has small-town charm, access to MARTA--the city's public transportation system--and fiercely loyal residents. It is minutes from downtown Atlanta and Stone Mountain Park. Decatur Square is full of unique shops, restaurants and live music venues. Eddie's Attic is one such venue and the place where the Indigo Girls, Sugarland, Sean Mullins and John Mayer played in the early days of their careers. Decatur hosts a number of events throughout the year, including the Decatur Book Festival and the Decatur Arts Festival. The Decatur City School System is highly regarded.