After a relaxing weekend in gorgeous Asheville, North Carolina, I've come to realize something: Atlanta's pretty flat. Yes, we have hills and compared to Florida we're the Himalayas, but there are few opportunities for true "mountain homes." That is, unless you want to measure your commute in hours.
Atlanta's lack of natural barriers like mountains or major waterways is partly to blame for our notorious sprawl. The highest point closest to Atlanta is Kennesaw Mountain (elevation: 1,808 feet). While it's surrounded by subdivsions, some backing right up to the national park, the actual mountain itself has thankfully been spared from development. Stone Mountain (elevation: 1,686 feet) is also protected from encroaching neighborhoods. But fear not, would-be suburban mountaineers. Two Cobb County communities offer convenient mountaintop living.
First stop: Mountain Wilkinson, once known as Signal Mountain, also known as Vinings Mountain. It's pretty wimpy as far as mountains go (elevation: 981 feet), but its location in the heart of Vinings is hard to beat. Local lore says that Sherman first spotted Atlanta's church spires from this spot. Today, the views are enjoyed by more peaceful condo dwellers at One Vinings Mountain. The 156 unit building was completed in 2006 and lords over the village of Vinings like a modern day Parthenon. It features some serious amenities, my favorite being the swimming pool with the infinity edge facing the Atlanta skyline. Residents also enjoy a wine cellar, gardens, pet park, indoor driving range, and a workshop/craft room. No more glitter disasters come the holidays! One Vinings Mountain offers one, two , and three bedroom homes with prices ranging from $300,000 to over $1,000,000.
Next on the list is Sweat Mountain (elevation: 1,688 feet). It's located in the northern reaches of East Cobb, and area residents know it as "that mountain with the houses on top." The homes they refer to are part of the Highland Pointe subdivision. Its elevated location makes this neighborhood unique from anything else in East Cobb, and the views from certain streets are nothing short of surreal. You've got great schools (Davis Elementary, Mabry Middle, and Lassiter High), plus the Atlanta skyline's visible from your bathtub. What's not to love? The community also features two lakes stocked for fishing, three miles of walking trails, and a soccer field. Of course, this wouldn't be East Cobb without swim and tennis facilities, and Highland Pointe features four lighted courts. Houses here date from the 1980s to the 1990s, and they're in the brick and stucco traditional style typical of the area. Prices range from the high $200s for a fixer upper to the high $400s for the most impressive residences.