I have listened to many bizarre issues from Uber drivers. But this was a new 1. 

“Are you absolutely sure?” she asked, questioning my destination as I hopped into her auto at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport 1 evening previous slide. “I’ve been driving Uber to and from the airport for 5 many years now, and I have only taken someone south two times.” North is the city correct and Atlanta’s unlimited suburban expanse. South is deep region. The crickets get louder and the sidewalks vanish.

Tucked into Georgia’s remote Chattahoochee Hills, a mere 30 miles from 1 of America’s most important city facilities, is Serenbe (pronounced “saren-be”), a 750-resident, one,400-acre “agrihood” established in the early 2000s. Billed as a premium-residing paradise—in its personal literature and in Architectural Digest and O, the Oprah Magazine, among others—it permits inhabitants to hook up with nature while surrounded by award-successful architecture. When I arrived, an personnel handed me the keys to my lodging and an electrical golfing cart to use for the period of my 5-working day keep. But just after a pause she reconsidered. “Maybe I must generate you,” she reported, skeptical of my ability to navigate to my short term house in the dark. We drove by a rustic-stylish farmhouse cafe and down a winding region street, earlier a stylized rusted-steel signpost exhibiting the quotation “All magnificence is an outward expression of inward great.” I uncovered the language pretentious, self-glad, and utterly irresistible. However, I felt a obscure feeling of worry rising inside of as we drove by means of the darkened woods: Wherever was the award-successful architecture?

Just as my concerns began to peak, we reached Serenbe’s household location, a fully fashioned, cleverly constructed group like anything out of a Narnian fantasy. At the moment divided into 3 big “hamlets,” the improvement is a whimsical hodgepodge of extra than three hundred minimalist-present day households, townhouses, cottages, and farmhouses. We handed a typical retailer, a florist, a large-end bicycle-maintenance shop, a school, and a playhouse in advance of reaching my two-bedroom townhome in the hamlet of Grange. The one,500-sq.-foot lodging was just about 3 situations the dimension of my New York condominium and had the ambiance of a premium Airbnb, with sophisticated decor, a library of self-enable books, and Serenbe-branded glass h2o bottles. I stepped out onto the again deck overlooking a wooded expanse and was met with silence even Serenbe’s dense neighborhoods are cost-free from the appears of website traffic and commerce. Many inhabitants have electrical vehicles, and Serenbe rents out golfing carts like mine to website visitors in an exertion to cut down sound pollution. Even during the hectic working day and evening several hours, you can hear a pin fall.