Time for a Trip to Greenville, The Georgia Mountains and Savannah


I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for a great getaway. Nothing too far away or too expensive, but something that will lift my spirits, get my senses going, and fold me into some new discovery. In fact, I recently (recently being a relative term) returned from such a quick trip and I can say that there’s just nothing quite like that subtle feeling of happiness at the end of the weekend recognizing that your free time was very well spent. A kind of weekend that will make you just a little bit smug as you recount it to others around the water cooler on Monday morning.

Atlanta is a great location in the Southeast. The central location of the city lends itself to many great excursions. For this article, I’m going to share a few of my favorites. Some may surprise you. That said, I am only scratching the weekend destination surface here with these suggestions. There are countless other options that I hope to relay to you in the coming months. Let me go ahead share!

Greenville, SC

I’ve driven past Greenville on I-85 many times without paying the town any mind. Thankfully, my in-laws recently made a pit stop there on the way to Atlanta and discovered this gem of a town! Greenville has seen both good times and bad, but these days are among some of the good ones. Beginning in the 1970s, the city of Greenville conceived of a streetscape plan for the languishing Main Street. Over the past 30 years, through a combination of both public and private investments, the city has transformed into a hub for business, culture, and tourism. It’s one of the most beautiful towns I’ve visited in the good ole U.S. of A! I’d recommend bringing your bike or renting one and enjoying the 13.5 mile Swamp Rabbit bike trail that connects Greenville to Travelers Rest, right along the Reedy River. Afterwards, stroll around the downtown, walk across the falls and the tree tops on the Liberty Bridge, and finish off your day at a local eatery. I highly recommend The Trappe Door for Belgian brews and to-die-for food. And, if you’re looking for some after dinner entertainment, you’re bound to find something with the Peace Center for Performing Arts and Centre Stage, both within walking distance from any downtown eatery.

Blue Ridge, Dahlonega, and Young Harris

Blue Ridge has been a home to farmers and a haven for weary travelers since 1886. The beauty of the mountains and the charm of the town made it a destination back then, and it’s a destination today for the very same reasons. Whether you decide to board the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, venture outdoors, stroll through the boutiques, or just pay a visit to Harvest on Main and Mercier Orchards, you are just bound to enjoy yourself!

Dahlonega is a locale rich in history, nature, and culture. As the site of the first major U.S. gold rush, visitors can learn about the rush at the Gold Museum as well as pan for it themselves! The area also offers many different wineries to visit. If you’re a wine lover like me, this place will keep you and your palate busy and happy! Historic downtown Dahlonega is also home to some fantastic mountain musicians. You can hear them play any Saturday (2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.) from now until Oct. 12 during the Appalachian Jam!

North of Dahlonega, in a valley nestled in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest, is the town of Young Harris. This is a mountain escape for those who want to get away from all of the hustle and bustle of the city. In Young Harris, you’re surrounded by rolling green hills and beautiful mountain landscapes. I recently visited this quaint town after snagging a great deal for the Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa on Travelzoo.com. The resort, originally constructed in 1995, offers 503 rolling acres to explore and enjoy via walking paths and horse trails. There’s also an 18-hole championship golf course on the grounds of the resort. Brasstown Valley also offers up gorgeous mountain views to enjoy inside by the fire or outside on the porch rocking chairs. And, if the serene surroundings aren’t enough to get you into vacation mode, just visit their Equani Spa.

Sunny, Salty Savannah

Want to stroll some of the most picturesque streets this side of the Atlantic, take in a little history, browse an art gallery, listen to jazz, eat like Paula Dean, and enjoy a beach day in one trip? Impossible? Not in Savannah!

I’m a fan of Savannah’s Bed and Breakfast Inn, but there are many wonderful B&B’s to choose from! There are too many wonderful tours, restaurants, and stores to name, but don’t miss grabbing lunch from Soho South Cafe, and don’t go home without some lovely Georgia honey from the Savannah Bee Company. When you head over to Tybee Island for the day to get some sea salt in your hair, ditch your car once you get there, and rent a bike instead! Tybee is very bike-able and you can tour the entire island, including a visit to the Tybee Lighthouse Station and Museum, on two wheels. On your way back, you should be sure to stop at The Crab Shack on Estill Hammock Road; it’s truly a unique Southern seafood experience!

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