Spring is quickly approaching and the temperatures are beginning to warm up in more areas of the United States. This is the time when my family starts to plan RV vacations at campgrounds we haven’t been to, thanks to the colder and stormy weather.
During the months of March and April, we begin to venture over to the Southeastern portions of the United States and spend some time in that area of the world. One of my favorite places in the Southeast is Clarkesville, Georgia. There isn’t much to the town, but that is one of the things that makes it so unique and interesting. Plus, there are numerous small towns very close by, so it is the perfect opportunity for us to get out and do some additional exploring!
I shouldn’t get ahead of myself though, because Clarkesville has something for everyone! There are several RV Parks and State Parks to choose from when deciding where to headquarter.
One of the first things whenever I’m planning on being in Clarkesville is to see what is going on at the Habersham Community Theater. HCT is located in an old movie theater that was built in 1937 that is now used for drama and comedy performances, musicals, dinner theater, children’s productions, and other special events. I am always amazed at the fun we have while we are inside this cute and historic theater!
My family is never thrilled when I decide to pull over at some small shop or store, but sometimes it is impossible to resist places like Mark of the Potter. This shop opened in 1969 in the old Grampa Watt’s Grist Mill on the Soque River. Inside the store, people can look at different crafts made from wood and metal as well as pottery and hand-blown glass art. No one can leave this store without making a purchase or without feeding the pet trout that live in the river outside the store.
While there is more in Clarkesville for everyone to do, I want to share some of the must-see places that are close by. On a nice, warm, and sunny day, you will want to venture over to Tallulah Gorge State Park. Inside the park are numerous walking trails, but my favorite one is the Hurricane Falls Loop Trail. This trail is not for the faint of heart though, because it has 1,099 stairs that you need to climb along the way. Every time we thought that we were finished with the stairs, more would magically appear before our eyes. While hiking this trail, I found myself viewing many spectacular sights including the gorge from eighty feet above on a suspension bridge.
Stone Mountain is another destination that we found ourselves at on a nice and sunny day. Stone Mountain Park is located on 3,200 acres of land and it is filled with activities for people of all ages. An entire day can be spent up in the trees while trekking through SkyHike, which is a huge adventure course in the treetops. If you do not like heights, then it is recommended that you stay away from SkyHike and stick to the spray park near the Geyser Towers. After a delicious lunch or dinner at one of the restaurants, you will want to relax a little while riding the train around the mountain, because then it will be time to either take the skyride to the top of Stone Mountain or hike your way to the top. Either way, you will get an up-close look at the carvings of Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, and Robert E. Lee on the side of the mountain.
Now, we love staying in Clarkesville, but if that destination doesn’t sound fantastic to you, then you may want to go a little further away to the nearby town of Helen. It is not that far of a drive from Clarkesville and we have done it a few times when we have been camping in the area.
Helen looks just like a Bavarian Village in a storybook and walking along the cobblestone streets transports you to a different time. Enjoy looking the architecture of the buildings and there are two hundred shops to browse! A few of my favorite specialty shops include Christmas and More, Glassblowing Shop, Hansel and Gretel Candy Kitchen, and the Nacoochee Village Antique Mall.
There are many outdoor adventures that you can participate in when you are in Helen and you can join hundreds of other people and grab a tube to ride down the Chattahoochee River. You’ll float past fantastic scenery as well as the center of the town and feel free to wave at the people who are seated outside the restaurants that you pass during your ride. When you are tired of walking and tubing through the town, I recommend that you hop into a carriage and go for a ride. The horse and driver will take you throughout the town to places that you may not have found on your own and it is a great way to learn more about the history of the area.
Anyone who had a Cabbage Patch Doll in the past or has one now will want to head seven miles outside of Helen to visit the Free Admission Babyland General Hospital. This is where every Cabbage Patch Doll is currently made and you and your family can walk through the halls of the hospital so to speak as you watch them create a Cabbage Patch Doll and see all of the ones that are waiting to be adopted.
As you are leaving Helen and driving back towards Clarkesville, you need to stop at the Romeo and Juliet Indian Mound Site. This site was created after two Indians from different tribes fell in love and because their tribes did not like each other, their love would not be accepted. In true Romeo and Juliet form, the man was thrown over a cliff to his death and the woman jumped off after him. Her father was so touched by their undeniable love that he decided to bury them together in the embrace they were in at the time of their death. The site is in a valley and you will only be able to spot it when you see the gazebo that was placed on top in 1890.
I know that you will enjoy the area in and around Clarkesville as much as I did with my family. Remember, don’t think that a small town is not worth your time, because you never know what treasures you may find while you are there that no one else knows about!
Where is your favorite Southeastern camping spot? Tell us on Facebook!