Exploring Dunwoody Georgia - My Family Travels

Dunwoody Georgia is a family-welcoming city that has sprouted nearly 17 miles north of Atlanta. Although it’s considered an Atlanta suburb, close-to-home travelers looking for safe pandemic escapes testify that there’s plenty to see and do without leaving Dunwoody’s city limits.

Here’s where to start if you want to include family on your business trip, grab a few days away or break up your East Coast road trip.

Kids on scooters and bikes in Brook Run Park, Dunwoody, Georgia
Brook Run Park is the best place to scoot, ride and stroll in Dunwoody, Georgia. Photo by Christopher Michael Oquendo

Stay Convenient to Everything

Surprisingly, more than six in 10 Dunwoody, Georgia visitors conduct business there because this destination has so many top hotels and amenities for their needs. That makes a work from home or remote schooling session easy to do – if necessary — on vacation.

The Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center has gorgeous guest rooms with a choice of balconies, king-sized beds and suites. Our room featured floor-to-ceiling windows from the sitting area with views of Dunwoody’s urban landscape. The kids were enchanted and actually preferred the view over channel flipping.

An indoor-outdoor pool, hot tub, gym, and quick access to major attractions like Perimeter Mall were also draws to the Marriott. (You’d be surprised how many families are drawn to sprawling, sophisticated suburban malls that don’t exist in many cities and rural areas.) You can eat on-site at the restaurant or drive minutes to get to dining options from burgers to Italian.

Hit the Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody Georgia

The Spruill Gallery in Dunwoody, Georgia
The Spruill Gallery, located in an historic home on Ashford Dunwoody Road, promotes emerging and established artists and has a great gift shop.

Perimeter Mall doesn’t disappoint; it offers more than a million and a half square-feet of distractions across two floors. The mall is bustling, but if you don’t want to wait around for parking, you can take advantage of valet service. The mall also managed to pivot during the pandemic and offer more options like a curbside pickup with participating stores and restaurants.

Major retailers include Abercrombie & Fitch, Dillards, H&M, Steve Madden, and Victoria’s Secret. You can find something for everyone at Perimeter. There are also kid-friendly options like Gap Kids and Kids Foot Locker and a play area with prize machines and games.

Dining options include the Cheesecake Factory, Chipotle and The Capital Grille. Take the kids to Alice’s Candy or Lolli & Pops — fine purveyors of all things sweet for a treat.

Get Outdoors in Dunwoody Georgia

The Donaldson-Bannister Farm in Dunwoody, Georgia
The ca. 1870 Donaldson-Bannister Farm is one of several city parks in Dunwoody, Georgia.

If you know the metro Atlanta area, it’s teeming with dogwood trees and blooms, and Dunwoody is no different. But unlike Atlanta, you can really slow down and enjoy what nature has to offer at stops like the Dunwoody Nature Center. Take a hike or a picnic and stop by the playground. There’s also a piano, stream, and opportunities for butterfly watching.

Take another day and choose from seven parks and more than 180-acres of greenspace in Dunwoody to explore, including Brook Run Park. This large park features a treetop obstacle park, baseball fields, trails, and disc golf. There’s something to do every day of your visit for the whole family.

While you’re at Brook Run Park, stop by Treetop Quest for fun for all ages. The course runs up to 55 feet above ground and zip lines stretch over 200 feet. You’ll end up bonding during this unique kid-friendly activity without your feet touching the ground.

Dunwoody Georgia Features Annual Events

Dunwoody is also home to year-round festivals that pack in the crowds and raise the hotel rates. Notable events in the city include the Dunwoody Art Festival. The highly anticipated event transforms the Dunwoody Village Parkway into a whimsical art gallery showcasing local and regional artists. The Lemonade Days Festival celebrates the spirit of community with a carnival-like weekend setting. Kids and kids at heart can join the games, rides, and live entertainment. Proceeds also go to a good cause to support programs like History Alive! to preserve Dunwoody’s early buildings and cemeteries.

Dunwoody is also home to one of Georgia’s largest 4th of July Parades with marching bands, floats, and animals. Join the more than 32,000 spectators and join the post-parade festival with live entertainment, kids activities and mouth-watering barbecue.

Rain or shine, the annual Butterfly Festival offers a unique experience for nature lovers. Gather at the Dunwoody Nature Center for an awe-inspiring experience. You’ll find two oversized tents with colorful butterflies, a Birds of Prey show, and a reptile showcase.

Indulge in Dunwoody Dining

Parkwoods Bar and The Backyard in Dunwoody Georgai
Have a local craft beer, wine, cocktail or mocktail with your burgers our Southern fare at Parkwoods Bar and The Backyard.

Dunwoody offers upscale bistros, family-friendly fare and fine dining worthy of big cities. You can even get fabulous burgers from NFA Burger right inside a Chevron Station for a quick bite. It’s easy to see why this spot receives rave reviews for its value and flavor.

Coming for a long weekend? From April through October, Food Truck Thursdays feed hungry locals and visitors each Thursday. Enjoy live music and tailgate-style fun where everyone brings their favorite lawn chair to relax and socialize, especially those who have been vaccinated.

Alon’s Bakery is the perfect spot to enjoy breakfast, lunch or pack up a picnic to go. Their baked goods, sandwiches, and coffees are top-notch with options like cinnamon twists. Everything is fresh, tasty, and draws a crowd. You can eat inside or out and pack up provisions from the market, including bread, wine, cheeses, and gourmet gifts.

Novo Cucina is the perfect blend of upscale eating with kids in town. Our littles delighted in brick oven-style pizza and a gelato indulgence or dessert. You can even ask them for a pint to go. Fresh pastas are made daily for dishes of Tagliatelle ai Funghi and Tagliolini e Pomodoro con Polpette. Salmon and free-range lemon chicken are also on the menu to round out an evening out.

A Dunwoody, Georgia Escape

Aerial view of Dunwoody, Georgia
From this aerial view of Dunwoody, Georgia, it’s easy to see how green this small city really is.

Dunwoody, Georgia is a more affordable antidote to bustling Atlanta, with the same Southern charm and grace at a slower pace. Check in and you’ll find you never need to leave the city limits.

Ready to explore Dunwoody for yourself? Find out more about where to stay, see, and do at VisitDunwoody.com.

Susan Finch is a freelance writer living in Atlanta. She’s always up for a quick getaway, urban hike, or a sample of a local craft brew. In her free time, she researches new places to visit or dishes to trick her kids into eating. You can read more about her work at SusanFinchWrites.com.

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