So it may not officially be a rumble, but can’t we all just get along? We’re talking about the usually friendly debate between ITP’ers and OTP’ers. We would be lying if we said we have not, at least once, had to hear the joke: “Did you bring your ITP passport” for when we have ventured into Atlanta. Or this one: “No, I can’t go to that Taco Mac, I only go to the original.”
Please, it’s time we all acknowledge OTP as a viable destination. Maybe you won’t be relocating there, but there is no reason not to visit.
Don’t get us wrong. We are well aware that Atlanta is a thriving, cultural hub, even referred to as the “Hollywood” of the South. And we love the many offerings that the city has to offer: fine dining, theater, professional sports, world class museums and the aquarium. Nothing compares to seeing a performance at the Fabulous Fox Theater. And every out-of-town member of my family has gotten a tour at the World of Coke.
But wait… doesn’t OTP (specifically OTP North) offer similar amenities, plus great public schools and less traffic? Is it really that much of a negative just to reside outside of the 285 loop? We have award-winning restaurants, with new establishments opening almost weekly.
Thanks to the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, we can see nationally-acclaimed performances without having to go too far. And the charm of some of these smaller, local theaters can be a very pleasant alternative to fighting your way downtown.
We don’t have the Chastain for outdoor concerts, but the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Alpharetta puts on a great show, too.
And if you haven’t seen the development of OTP cities such as Marietta, Roswell, Woodstock, Acworth and Alpharetta, then you are missing a large part of Atlanta Culture. These are thriving, vibrant streets that bring unique, chef-driven restaurants, independent boutiques, and entertainment opportunities to the suburbs. There are events all the time such as First Fridays, Art Walks, Food Truck night, and many other various festivals.
The Braves coming OTP in the future is sure to make Cobb County a destination area for sports fans. Lakepoint Sporting complex near Cartersville is the largest complex of its type in the U.S. You really must see it to believe it! And, we hate to break it to you, but ITP’ers with children in sports may find themselves making the trip to Lakepoint, as it will be hosting numerous baseball, soccer, lacrosse, and even cheerleading competitions and tournaments for the Atlanta and surrounding areas.
The development of Avalon, a $600 million 86 acre mixed use development for homes, retail, and restaurants will be a premier shopping and living destination OTP. Avalon, an official “Fiberhood,” is the second fastest fiber optic property in the state, second only to Georgia Tech. There is no doubt this will entice some work-from-home ITP’ers to make the move.
The nature, hiking, lakes, bike trails and parks that you can find in OTP simply cannot be matched in town. We are fortunate enough to be able to walk to lake Allatoona, take a five minute drive to bike trails, and have beautiful Kennesaw Mountain in our view anytime we are on the highway. Heading north, you get the gorgeous views of the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Our neighborhoods are wooded, and our roads are lined with trees. And Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground is one of the most beautiful botanical gardens you will ever visit.
We cannot deny the special side of life that ITP offers. Atlanta has become a tourist destination with World of Coke, The College Football Hall of Fame, the Georgia Aquarium and Skyview. And if you work downtown, living ITP can be very beneficial. But as more and more of us are telecommuting, an OTP lifestyle is desirable too.
All we are saying is, living OTP doesn’t mean we are in the sticks anymore. Our roads are paved, we know how to read, we have access to the internet, and our school’s scores are highest in the state. We love Atlanta and the fact that we live so close to a booming metropolis, as well as the perks that brings to the OTP area. We are just asking for a little respect in return. Don’t discount the unique restaurants, shops and parks that OTP offers.
For more information on OTP, visit ScoopOTP.com for more about hidden gems and life OTP.