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Living a Boating Lifestyle in Gainesville GA, Georgia

Gainesville, Georgia (population 36,000) impressed any number of people as a “best” boating community in 1996 when many of the Olympic canoeing and rowing events were held near here on Lake Lanier. The combination of a small city on a lake has led many boaters here in quest of the perfect living environment. Located in northern Georgia with a mild four season climate, Gainesville is the gateway to the excellent recreational opportunities of the nearby Appalachian Mountain forests. The downtown features a number of attractive art deco style government buildings built after a 1936 tornado. Gainesville is the county seat of Hall County. Many residents came here as workers or executives in large poultry industry: Gainesville is known as the “chicken capital of the world”. Others live here and commute to Atlanta, 54 miles away.

Where to Retire in Gainesville GA and Home Prices

You can live in town in an older home if you so choose. Cherokee Forest is one of the largest and nicest neighborhoods, although home prices there can go into the millions. There are also some active adult communities (see link at top left).
According to, the median home value in Gainesville was $321,041 in early 2022, up almost 30% from a year earlier.

What Is Special about Gainesville GA

• Lakeside setting – 607 miles of wooded coastline • Life in a college town – with 2 colleges • Nice town square • Adventure Men’s Journal magazine named Gainesville, Georgia one of its “50 Best Places to Live”  • Chicken capital of the world • Beautiful downtown and neighborhoods • A livable small city • Ample recreation with 2 golf courses and beaches in the Lake Lanier Islands recreational area • Near the Appalachian Mountain forests • Convenient to Atlanta when you need that city fix

What Is Not Special about Gainesville GA

Not everyone wants to brag about living in the 'chicken capital of the world', nor are there that many good restaurants

Climate and Physical Environment

Gainesville is situated in northern Georgia 54 miles NE of Atlanta. It is located on Lake Sydney Lanier, which was created when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dammed the Chattahoochee River and flooded a valley. Mountains in the nearby Appalachians are as high as 4800 feet.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Brenau University and Gainesville College (2 year) offer a number of cultural opportunities, including the Gainesville Theatre Alliance. The Brenau University Learning and Leisure Institute offers popular classes and options enjoyed by many active adults. There is also the Georgia Mountains Museum, and the Quinlan Art Center which offers a full schedule of symphonies, chorale, children's theatre and ballet.


Crime in Gainesville is slightly higher than the national average.

Medical Facilities

Northeast Georgia Medical Center is located here.


Hartsfield Atlanta Airport is 62 miles. Amtrak has a station here with service to major U.S. cities. There is a Hall County bus system

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