Alpharetta, located in Fulton County, was incorporated December 11, 1858. Years ago, Alpharetta was the county seat of the former Milton County. In 1932, Milton County merged into Fulton County. The city's name is a variation of a fictional Indian girl, Alfarata, in a 19th century song, The Blue Juniata. The name of the city is also believed to have been derived from the first letter of the Greek alphabet.
The Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center is located in Alpharetta. This 46-acre forest has an abundance of animal life and a scenic creek. There are 1.5 miles of walking trails, picnic areas and historic sites for visitors to enjoy. The Environmental Education Center is located in Alpharetta. The Center operates as a community service center providing information on environmental topics and features a library with hundreds of valuable resource materials.
Alpharetta is home to the campus of DeVry Institute of Technology, as well as a campus of Georgia State University.