Atlanta, Georgia

Birthday Surprise at Serenbe

I like surprising Anita for her birthday. This year I decide to do a quick “staycation” at a local B&B — The Inn at Serenbe.

Located just 25 miles south of Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport, Serenbe is located in the city of Palmetto. A master-planned community, it features several smaller residential “hamlets” that are clustered to create mini-communities within the larger community. The entire area takes sustainability to a new level, with a focus on preservation of wetlands, energy conservation through geothermal and solar homes, water conservation through natural landscaping, and organic food production and farm-to-table freshness.

The theme of Serenbe’s sustainability design is “inspired by the past and built for the future.” The Globetrotters like that.

We visited the community last year, took a tour of several hamlets and the organic farm, and decided then that we would return. Anita has no idea we’re coming back for her birthday.

As we approach the area, the cat is out of the bag. I love the look on Anita’s face when she realizes where we’ll spend her birthday.

At check in, we receive our cow bell room key for Room 7, and then enter a really nice room with views of the petting zoo and organic garden. I love the sound of the fountain just below our window. But even more, I love the surprise on Anita’s face when she sees the room. Priceless! It is beautifully appointed with modern decor, a huge king-size bed, and cozy chairs. The bathroom features a deep soaking tub and shower, plus two sinks, one inside a small water closet.

Our tour of the Inn reveals some nice surprises — from the quaint sitting areas with ample natural lighting, to the casual bar and the quaint library. We discover that tea is served each day at 4 p.m., so we make plans to partake in that later in the day. But for now, we’re ready to take a driving tour of the hamlets to see what new homes have been built since our last visit. There’s been a lot of development in the area, and it’s nice to see the community take shape.

As we head back to the Inn, we stop for a quick bite at Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop, known for its amazing muffins and other baked goods. We opt for a salad and sandwich, and enjoy the meal as we soak up the sun on a surprisingly warm winter afternoon. Then we take our time enjoying the rustic scenery as we leisurely drive back to the Inn.

After a quick freshen up, we stroll over to the Farmhouse at Serenbe (conveniently connected to the Inn) to enjoy afternoon tea. (Yes, just a few hours after our late lunch.) In addition to a variety of specialty teas, they feature a nice spread of crackers, cheeses, jams, and sweets. We find a quiet spot in the library near a window to enjoy our snacks. Of course, Anita loves being in a room filled with books.

Believe it or not, we have dinner reservations for 7 p.m., so we stroll the grounds for a bit before heading to dinner. Seated at a converted fireplace, we marvel at the magical decor of the restaurant. This is a very nice setting for a romantic dinner. One of the items Anita loves most at The Farmhouse Restaurant is their signature mini cornbread muffins with the spicy jalapeño jam.

With our bellies full, we figure a slow stroll around the grounds is in order. Even though Anita is a bit apprehensive about walking around the rustic area in the dark, I assure her that we’ll be fine. But when we hear the nighttime coos and hoots from the animals over at the petting zoo, Anita gets the sense that we need to make our way back to the Inn. (It’s not as though the animals are going to attack us; they’re enclosed behind an electric fence!) Despite that, we head back to our room and settle in for a good night’s sleep.

After sleeping in this morning, Anita wakes up excited to indulge in the breakfast, even though neither of us is hungry. After all, we ate four times yesterday! (That’s not normal for us.) For The Globetrotters, the breakfast at a B&B is essential to scoring big points. So, despite our already full stomachs, we make our way to the breakfast area, where we’re greeting by Pam, who explains that we can help ourselves to the self-serve area — muffins, oatmeal, and a few other quick breakfast snacks — then choose between two options on the menu. Anita choses the egg breakfast, and I go with the French toast. Both are delicious.

So that’s our quick visit to The Inn at Serenbe and The Farmhouse Restaurant.






When you go:

  • Visit the petting zoo (near the Inn)
  • Tour Serenbe Farms (the organic farm)
  • Visit the hamlets (just drive through the areas)
  • Enjoy the farmer’s market (Saturdays)
  • Take the walking tour (free; leaves from the farmer's market area)
  • Try the horseback riding (across from the Inn)
  • Stroll along the lake behind the Inn
  • Try the hot pepper jam on mini cornbread muffins (The Farmhouse)
  • Order the fried chicken at The Farmhouse (seriously)

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