When Joel and I decided to make the move the Zachary 5 years ago, we got a lot of opinions on the matter. We were in the heart of South Baton Rouge in a little apartment, and some people didn’t understand why we would want to move “so far,” while others quietly told me, “Zachary is the best kept secret in Louisiana.” And after spending some time in this little city of ours, I’d have to agree with the latter.
In total honesty, it did take me a few months to get used to making the 30-minute commute into South Baton Rouge for Target runs or to go to the movies, but soon it becomes your normal. As I went to Baton Rouge less and spent more time in Zachary, I quickly fell in love with the close-knit community and all it had to offer–not to mention the breeze of a commute I get everyday going against traffic when I come home from working in Baton Rouge. But even still, I know Zachary is not for everyone. So in an effort to shed some light on why people enjoy living in Zachary so much, I’ve compiled a little list of why I love living here so much:
- Country Town Feel with Big City Access. Sometimes Joel and I just sit outside and are amazed at the amount of stars we see and how quiet everything is. It was the first thing we didn’t realize we were missing when we lived in a bigger city, so we try not to take it forgranted now. However, if the mood strikes us to have dinner in mid-city or explore downtown, then it’s a short 25-minute drive to get there.
- Two Words: Cafe Phoenicia. If you live in Zachary, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. This little gem has been around for a long time (and even opened a restaurant in Denham Springs). This is Joel and I’s favorite restaurant–not just in town, but in ALL of Baton Rouge. However, I most certainly can’t take away from the many other places that we like to go. Zachary has wonderful options from soul food to steak–and the fun part about living in a small town is that you’ll probably see someone you know while you’re out.
- Child/School-focused City. With some of the top-rated schools in the state, it goes without saying that there are lots of children here. There is no elementary or middle school, instead whole schools house only one or two grades. And then the high-school is composed of a 9th grade academy, while 10th-12th is the rest of the school. One thing I love most about Zachary is the focus that they want to be a place that rallies around one public school for their city, and the effects of that are seen throughout the town come football season. I went to a 5A high school like Zachary, and I’m thrilled that Judah will be able to experience the excitement of a Friday night surrounded by all his friends that he’s grown up with.
- The Short Drive to St. Francisville. Having such easy access to one of the most quaint and historic cities is something that I didn’t truly appreciate until a few years here. St. Francisville offers some of the best plantation homes, bed and breakfasts, antique shops, and entertainment. Friday nights at Magnolia Cafe are a sure staple for many people from Zachary!
- A Growing City. Even in just the short amount of time that I’ve been here, the city has developed and grown tremendously. There has always been buzz of a new development that would bring more shops, homes, and possibility even a movie theater, but just until the last few years has this come into a reality. With the construction of Americana officially underway, we can only get excited for what the development has in store.
- The New YMCA and BREC Parks. Speaking of Americana, one of the first projects completed was the new YMCA. With a splash pad and pool, I’m anxious to try it out this summer. I grew up going to a pool every summer, so it’s always been a high priority of mine when I had kids. And the parks that Zachary has to offer are among my favorites as well. Our personal favorite is Flanacher park where kids can swing or slide with mom, while dad goes fishing or plays disc golf–or vice versa!
- Easy Access to Greenwood Park and Splash Pad. Hands down, in my opinion, one of the best parks in Baton Rouge is Greenwood Community Park. It was recently renovated and is one of those treasures of the city that is located right down to road. With a huge lake for kayaking/canoeing/paddle-boating/fishing, unique playground equipment, splash pad, dog park, disc golf course, and hiking trails, families can clock in several hours there without even realizing.
- Being Zoo Members. Another perk of living so close to Baker is the access we have to visit the zoo. We became members last year, and it is our favorite outing as a family. Judah loves all the animals and gets especially excited when we reach the playground. We go 3-4 times a month, and I can only imagine that number getting higher as Judah gets older.
- Great Family-friendly Seasonal Offerings. Family Circle gave us a fun shout-out in 2012 as one of the “10 Best Towns for Families,” and I couldn’t agree more! With annual art crawls, Z-fest (a four-day music and arts celebration), the lighting of the Christmas tree and parade, there is always something to look forward to with your family. I also have to mention that Zachary has my second favorite snoball when SnoBiz opens for spring and summer. (Cajun Sno in Lafayette will always be near and dear to my heart, but SnoBiz comes so very close!)
- Unique Ways to Spend Momma-time. I never had a pedicure that incorporated squeezing fresh oranges or lemons on my feet until I moved to Zachary–I wish you could have seen my face the first time I went! But if pedicures aren’t your thing, I know people who like to visit the Zachary Farmer’s Market, go antiquing, or spend their morning searching for deals at a local favorite: Dirt Cheap.
I just loved this article on Zachary which is near and dear to my heart. It truly is the best kept secret and I can’t wait to raise my little one in this wonderful and family centered community.
Hey Ashley!! Well I know we can’t wait to have y’all! 🙂
Thank you. We are moving to Zachary next month from Minnesota and after reading this article, I am now even more excited to start our new life in Zachary.
Welcome (soon!) to Louisiana, Jean!
That’s great to hear Jean! We’ll be happy to have you!! I’d love to give you any recommendations or answer any questions you may have. It’s a wonderful place!
I have lived in Zachary most of my life. I left for a while and came back to have a family. I love the town and all the access to everything around. Great article.
Thank you for writing about Zachary. Zachary is one of the cities we are looking to move to from Georgia, and this really showed me the special things about Zachary, and has made me very excited to see it in a few weeks!
Came across this blog while doing research on this town. I am from NY and my husband (from NJ) will be relocated there soon. I am excited/scared for this change but this blog helped me see how awesome this place can be! we will be there this wknd checking out the area!
So glad Miriam! Welcome (soon!) to the South!
That’s great to hear Miriam! Let me know when you get here and I would love to meet up!! We also have a great “Newcomer’s Club” that you can check out too once y’all are settled.
Thanks so much. We were there a couple of was ago and unfortunately the house we loved is no longer available. We found another home in Shenandoah Baton Rouge and hope that will be our next home beginning April 🙂
My husband and I just moved to Zachary with our 10 month old son. I came across this article when doing research about the area and am excited to get to know Zachary. I would love to meet some other moms in the area.
Drop me a message on facebook or email ([email protected]), and we can get together and I can introduce you to some local moms! I have an 11-month-old, so you’d be in good company! 🙂
[…] Zachary :: It’s the best of both worlds: a small town only minutes from the big city. Read more about why we love Zachary here. […]
Found this great article while researching suburbs of Baton Rouge. Thank you for this! We learned this week my husbands job will be relocating him there this coming summer. We have a good 4 months or so to research, but after this article my heart may be set on Zachary. Can’t wait until we get a weekend down to visit. We are from West Monroe, have been in Shreveport for two years now, and now soon to be southern Louisianians. Which we hear is a whole new amazing world! 🙂
Hi Faline! I’m so glad you found our page. And I’m sorry I haven’t responded until now. How has the search been? Let me know if you have any specific questions about Zachary! South Louisiana is a whole new world, but we’ll feed you well and treat you like family. 🙂
Hi My husband’s job is relocating him to Baton Rouge and I was researching excellent schools and came across this blog. Can you give me any information on the area like shopping facilities, teachers, schools, apartments for etc.
Hi! Our schools are fantastic! Here is a link to our city page: http://www.cityofzachary.org/
And if you search on Facebook, there is a Zachary Business Review Page that is a good resource of all that is offered. We are a small city, so we don’t offer the same things as Baton Rouge (shopping wise), but it’s not a far drive if you need to make a Target or Cosco run. Other than that, we have a lot of local run businesses that I try to frequent as often as I can. Good luck with your search!!
Hi, we’re seriously considering moving out of California and Zachary seems like a great option for us. How is the crime rate there? I read you have a 1 in 30 chance of being a victim of crime in Zachary, that sounds horrible. Also, are people very accepting of “outsiders” from the west?
Hi Francis! I’m so sorry I’m just now seeing this. I’ve been here over 8 years now, and I’ve never been a victim of a crime while living in Zachary. That stat seems high for sure. It’s a very quiet town and I never feel unsafe. I know a lot of people who leave their car and house unlocked even when they are not home. I obviously wouldn’t recommend that, but that’s just the mentality people have here in this town, especially those who have been living here for a long time. In full disclosure though, there has been a slight uptick of crimes lately, but it’s very unusual and definitely not a common occurrence. And yes! You’ll find that the South (no matter where you end up) is very accepting of new people. We say high to strangers on the street and people go out of their way to be kind (most of the times). In fact, I can’t remember a time when I was at a store and opened the door myself. 🙂 Good luck with your decision!
Comments are closed.