* Read all about our trip to Helen and our stay in the cabins (+ lots more photos!) in my new article on Smyrna Parent HERE.
|Lots of holiday decorations are up this time of year|
|A carriage ride|
|Wild bunnies spotted in downtown Helen, GA|
Hiawassee, GA (+ Young Harris)
The following evening, we headed to Hiawassee, GA for a few nights… We saw a total of three rainbows in a day and a half there! Hiawassee is beautiful any time of year, and it offers both a mountain and lake view. The town is small and restaurants don't stay open late compared to what I'm used to, but we always have a good visit there.
|Playground on the lake|
|Making s'mores at the stables at Brasstown Valley resort|
|Tractor/wagon ride at Brasstown Valley (Young Harris, GA)|
On your way from Helen to Hiawassee, be sure to stop in Cleveland at the North Georgia Zoo! It's unlike any "zoo" you're probably familiar with, and they have the best animal encounters. I really, really wanted to bring this Fennec fox home with us! Read more about the zoo HERE.
And between Cleveland and Hiawassee you'll also find Blairsville, and a little area called Pappy's Plaza. In the plaza, you'll find a few different shops and eateries, including Pappy's Trading Post, and Back In Time on Hwy 129, which is a unique memorabilia museum. If you like funky roadside stuff, then you'll enjoy stopping here for an hour or two.
Brasstown is right over the GA/NC border, just north of Hiawassee. It's about a 30 minute drive from there, and is home to the John C. Campbell Folk School. We've always wanted to check it out, so we decided it was time during this particular trip. We spent the entire afternoon walking around the grounds. The buildings were closed up at the time, but we did visit the craft shop, looked at their beehives, and took a hike on the nature trails that surround the property.
|Some kind of tree fruit covered the ground in one area.. our best guess is persimmons?|
|One of the many carved art installations along the trails|
Also just across the border (even closer than Brasstown) is Hayesville, NC. Not a whole lot there to do, but we do enjoy stopping at the Best L'il Corner. The food is ok, the service is slow, but the atmosphere is pretty special. It's like an old-fashioned soda fountain meets antique store, meets granny's cabin. They serve you a little basket of popcorn upon arrival and the kids get a few nickels so that they can ride Champion (aka Gene Autry's horse). It's worth the stop even if just for a soda and a horse ride!