GOOOO GA BULLDOGS!

It’s almost like you can hear it being chanted across the state, especially with the Bulldogs at 8-1 now. The game fever is spreading throughout! For the next 3 weekends we have all home games which means lots of fun to be had and parties to attend. Are you stocked up on all of your UGA essentials?

If you are in need of UGA apparel or tailgate supplies you are in luck! We have a few suggestions of where you can go in Oconee County for all of your game day needs.

 

Empire South has an assortment of women, men and children’s red and black apparel. Men can find quality UGA polo’s for the game or just to wear around town.

2 S. Main Street, Watkinsville, GA 30677

Mon-Sat 10am-7pm

Sun 12pm – 5pm

Shop Empire South

 

 

 

 

Orchard Street Boutique, located in downtown Watkinsville offers the latest trends in women’s clothing. The owner, Mollie would love to help you choose that special outfit for your next game day.

16 N. Main St Watkinsville, GA 30677

Tues-Fri 10am – 6pm

Sat 10am – 4pm

Shop Orchard Street Boutique

 

 

 

If you are looking for tailgating accessories, Mercantile on Main can provide you with all of your needs. Located on Main Street in a historic home (parking located on the side), this store carries so many options. You may end up with more than you came in for.

40 N. Main Street, Watkinsville, GA 30677

Tues – Fri 10am – 5:30pm

Sat 10am – 4pm

Shop Mercantile on Main

 

 

 

Alumni Hall at Epps Bridge Centre has an abundance of men & women’s logo UGA apparel. They also carry team merchandise such as cozies, banners, home décor any much more. If you are looking for a one stop shop Alumni Hall can cater to those needs.

1791 Oconee Connector, Suite 535, Athens, GA 30606

Mon-Thur 10am – 9pm

Fri 9am – 10pm

Sat 8am – 10pm

Sun 10am – 6pm

Shop Alumni Hall Epps Bridge

 

Mia Bella’s offers an array of the latest game day t-shirts, game buttons, and trendy apparel. If you are looking for accessories to go with your outfit Mia Bella’s has you covered.

Tues – Sat 10am – 6pm

8851 Macon Hwy Ste 207, Athens, GA 30606

Shop Mia Bella’s

 

 

 

 

Don’t walk, run and grab all of your must have essentials!

UGA will go against Auburn this Sat (Nov 10 at 7pm) in Athens. Let’s go dawgs!

 

Georgia’s largest pottery showcase and sale is on the horizon! PERSPECTIVES: Georgia Pottery Invitational is a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event hosted by the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF). The 20-day event in Watkinsville features pottery exhibits, demonstrations and studio tours. From Aug. 31 to Sept. 16, 2018, artists and art lovers will experience a showcase of 6,000 handmade, functional pieces by 50 Georgia potters. Here’s a weekend guide to Georgia’s premier pottery event of the year.

Where to Stay

Ashford Manor Bed & Breakfast located in the heart of Downtown Watkinsville. Photo provided by Matt Brewster.

Just a short walk from OCAF is the Ashford Manor Bed & Breakfast. Listed as one of the top inns to stay in Georgia, the bed and breakfast provides an inviting and relaxing environment with a pool and beautiful garden. The Victorian-style manor also features themed rooms raved about by national and international guests.

For a traditional lodging experience, the award-winning Springhill Suites by Marriott Athens is located just a few short miles from OCAF with on-site and off-site gym and pool access. Book your room soon; the popular hotel fills fast!

What to Do

One of three exhibits at Perspectives: Georgia Pottery Invitational.

Friday

On Friday, arrive at your hotel to view the three-part pottery exhibit and purchase one-of-a-kind pieces. Items will include mugs, cooking dishes, tea pots, large pots and much more. The Opening Gala will take place on Aug. 31 at Rocket Hall. Enjoy refreshments and live Jazz music. The opening reception is an exclusive opportunity to view and purchase pottery before the exhibits are open to the public.

Saturday

After a full breakfast complimentary of your stay, head over to the Rocket Hall Courtyard, where potters will perform pottery demonstrations focused on wheel throwing and hand building techniques. Each Saturday from 1-4pm experienced potters will be hosting on site pottery demonstrations. Free admission to these events as well.

 

Photo Credit: Pub on Main

In your free time, enjoy shopping in Historic Downtown Watkinsville with unique shops that feature art galleries, clothes and accessories, home and garden décor, antiques and more. You can also explore popular lunch options in the area like unique burgers at The Traveling Hobo Café, sandwiches at Krimson Kafeor a classic BBQ sandwich at Hot Thomas BBQ. End the night with dinner at Pub on Main, Watkinsville’s newest dining experience. For more dining options, visit visitoconee.com/dining.

Sunday

Wake up to Sunday brunch at Girasoles with Mexican-Mediterranean fused dishes crafted by Chef Zambrano. On Sept. 2nd and Sept. 9th, and Sept 16th well-known Georgia potter Michael Pitts will host Gallery Talks with discussions on pottery styles, clays, glazes, and firing techniques. It is free and open to the public.

The Elder Mill Covered Bridge built in 1897.

Finally, a serene view and a classic photo at the Elder Mill Covered Bridge is the perfect way to end your trip before traveling home.

For more information on Perspectives, visit visitoconee.com/perspectives.

 

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We know – standing next to a striking Clydesdale is pretty impressive in itself, but there is more you can do at the Classic City Clydesdales farm in Bishop. From exotic animals to enjoying the farm’s trails, the Clydesdale farm is sure to bring you a couple hours of fun.

Tour the Farm

things to do in oconee_classic city clydesdales

 

A tour of the Clydesdale farm lets you explore the ins and outs of caring for the extraordinary creature. This is your chance to get inside the stalls and pastures, and stand side-by-side to the horses while your tour guide takes you through their day-to-day. You will also learn about their background and breeding methods. Tour times are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

 

Petting Zoo

Photo by Classic City Clydesdales.

 

Not only will you see Clydesdales at the farm, but you can also find exotic animals like Highland cattle and Ossabaw pigs. Their petting zoo includes goats, alpacas, chickens, ducks, turkeys, and donkeys. The petting zoo is a great activity for families!

 

Ride a Clyde

Photo by Classic City Clydesdales.

 

 

Yes, you can even ride a clyde! By appointment only, schedule a horseback ride along the 6-mile trail. The trail passes along the river and also provides a view of the farm’s pond. The guided tour lasts approximately one hour.

 

Carriage Rides

Also by appointment, the farm offers carriage rides for a romantic trail ride in the fall. Be carried away by beautiful Clydesdales with a peaceful trail ride throughout the woods bordering the Appalachee Shoals.

 

Haunted Trail Ride

Photo by Classic City Clydesdales.

 

In the spooky month of October near Halloween, the farm pulls out all stops for its Purgatory Park Haunted Trail Ride. If you are brave, tackle the 20-minute haunted trail ride with appearances by zombies, werewolves, and more creepy creatures.

 

Stay the Night

Stay the night in the 2 bedroom / 2 bathroom lodge set on the Classic City Clydesdales’s 220-acre farm. The lodge sleeps 5 people comfortably. Enjoy all the activities above and more when lodging on the Appalachee Shoals Farm like fishing and walking by the river. There are even stalls available to board your own horses. It’s the perfect getaway with or without your horses!

 

If you would like to visit the Classic City Clydesdale Farm, contact the farm at (706) 424-1889 or visit the farm for a tour on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. Also, stay up-to-date by following the farm on Facebook.

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Known as the Artland of Georgia, Watkinsville-Oconee County boasts many art adventures. From public art exhibitions to premier art events, Watkinsville is home to some of the finest pieces of art by some of the most talented artists in the state and country. During your art excursion through Watkinsville, Georgia, take a moment to see local artists at work by touring art studios and witnessing art demonstrations in pottery-making and glass-blowing.

Happy Valley Pottery

Artist Loretta Eby performing a glass-blowing demonstrations.

Veteran artists Jerry and Kathy Chappelle transformed an old chicken house into artists studios to create one of the most unique art attractions in the area. Tour multiple studios highlighting various art forms at this quirky art spot. At Happy Valley Pottery, visitors can see pottery demonstrations, as well as glass blowing and raku firing by other local artists like Loretta Eby. After witnessing these fascinating art demonstrations, guests can purchase the work of the artists on site.

Address: 1210 Carson-Graves Road, Watkinsville, GA 30677

Winterhawk Pottery

Inside WinterHawk Pottery’s art studio. Photo provided by WinterHawk Pottery.

The pottery work of Winterhawk Pottery artist John Winterhawk is inspired by Native American artwork found in Southeastern burials ad temple mounds built by Mississippian Mound Builders. In the showroom of this pottery studio, visitors will find these intricate designs, as well as nature-inspired designs. To complement their pottery creations, Winterhawk Pottery’s showroom also includes casual furnishings, accessories, and gifts in what is called Winterhawk Home.

Address: 8801 Macon Highway #5, Athens, GA 30606

321 Pottery

Matt Powelson shows off his intricate designs in his studio, 321 Pottery.

321 Pottery is the pottery studio of local artist and attorney Matt Powelson. Inspired by his experiences and journeys as an overlander, his work includes functional, production pottery inspired by a mix of western landscapes, nature, modern architecture, and industrial design, which are revealed in the style, shape, surface, decoration, and color of his work. Trained by Kathy and Jerry Chappelle, Matt previously created his pieces at Happy Valley Pottery before opening 321 pottery.

Address: 2980 Greensboro Highway, Watkinsville, GA 30677

Alice Woodruff Pottery

Photo provided by Alice Woodruff Pottery.

Artist Alice Woodruff‘s studio is located right on South Main Street in Watkinsville. She has 45 years of experience in pottery-making, and works in high-fired porcelain and stoneware. Alice was a production potter for 24 years, but now focuses on more unique, hand-thrown pots. You can also see Alice at work teaching classes at the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation.

 Address: 35 South Main Street, Watkinsville, GA 30677

The Greenbriar

Using custom clay and glaze formulas, artist Steven Nedza specializes in functional pottery. The pottery pieces include mugs, bowls, pots and other functional pieces with intricate and detailed designs.

Address: 4240 Colham Ferry Road., Watkinsville, GA 30677

 

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Let’s explore some of the best burger and beer pairings in Oconee County! Get your taste buds ready as we travel from Downtown Watkinsville to Epps Bridge with burger and beer flavors you must try.

Chops & Hops

At Chops & Hops, located in Downtown Watkinsville, try the restaurant’s Bacon Jam Burger paired with the Southern Brewing Company’s Hobnail. The burger includes house-made bacon jam, pepper jack cheese, fried spicy pickles, mixed greens, and red onion served on a H&F Bread Co. bun. The Hobnail is locally-brewed out of Athens, and is described as “crisp with a clean citrusy finish.”

Chops & Hops Bacon Jam Burger paired with The Southern Brewing Company’s Hobnail. Photo provided by Chops & Hops.

“Great food and service, but the beer selection tops any in the area. Great variety of local and regional breweries’ offerings on tap, as well as in bottles and cans.” – John G. via TripAdvisor

 

Traveling Hobo Cafe

You’re in for a treat at The Traveling Hobo Cafe. This popular burger spot offers some of the wildest and flavorful burgers you can think of. Try the restaurant’s 8 oz. Bison Burger topped with melted cheddar cheese, crispy fried onion rings, and for even more flavor — chili! Top off this western flavor with the diner’s root beer float served Southern-style in a mason jar with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

The Traveling Hobo Cafe’s popular bison burger. Photo provided by The Traveling Hobo Cafe.

“After hearing EVERYONE at work talking about it, I decided to try it and OHHH MMMMMM GGGGGGG it was sooooo great!!! I would recommend this to anyone who likes hole in the wall deliciousness. This place is [definitely] my new favorite place” – Mindy Lacey via Facebook

 

Catch22 Gastropub

In for a surprise? Catch22 Gastropub’s customers highly recommend the Chef’s Choice Burger. Be surprised with anything from burgers topped with BBQ and pork skins to a cheesy jalapeno fest. Pair these flavor-filled burgers with the pub’s flight of beers to find the perfect match to the chef’s creativity.

“Great Burgers & Beers” submitted by WAHMto5 via TripAdvisor.

“Excellent beer selection and a diverse menu that does not overwhelm you with options. I had the “Chefs Choice” burger and was completely blown away with the creative license taken on this work of beefy, cheese, jalapenoey art. It felt like an episode of Man v. Food.” – Jokiga8 via TripAdvisor

 

Groove Burger

Located at Epps Bridge, Groove Burgers is perfect for those looking for traditional burgers or something with a twist. Try the restaurant’s firecracker burger topped with jalapenos, spicy ranch, and Havarti cheese to pair with Terrapin Beer Co.’s Hi-5 IPA. The local brew has a tropical, citrus flavor with biscuit and caramel malt notes that perfectly pairs with the spiciness of the firecracker burger.

“Yummy! Great service!” submitted by Sarawilson8 via TripAdvisor.

“Everything we ordered was delicious! The burgers are fresh and the sides are original and yummy. The atmosphere was perfect for visiting with the family and watching the games. Great service. Will be back!” – Terry Chadwick via Google

 

Let us know your favorite pairings to enjoy in Watkinsville-Oconee County. Also, taste these pairings and share your favorites by tagging us in your photos online using the hashtag #OconeeEats.

 

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The historic community of Oconee County has undergone quite a few transformations while maintaining some of its historic beauty. Take a glimpse of what six historic sites in Oconee County looked like in the past:

 

 

Left photo courtesy of Oconee Historical Society on Facebook.

The Eagle Tavern Museum formerly served as a 16-room stagecoach stop for travelers in the mid-1800s. The building, which was built circa 1801, now serves as a house museum in its original Plain-style structure. The right picture shows the Eagle Tavern in the mid-1900s before the building’s restoration. Today, you can visit the Tavern and stand on its original flooring which is more than 200-years-old!

 

 

Left photo courtesy of Oconee Historical Society on Facebook.

The Oconee County Courthouse has always sat directly across from the Eagle Tavern in some form along Main Street in Downtown Watkinsville. The county has had four courthouses since its founding in 1875. The structure to the left was built in 1887; the current structure was built in 1939.

 

 

Left photo courtesy of Ashford Manor Bed & Breakfast.

Also located along Main Street in Watkinsville is the Ashford Manor Bed & Breakfast. The manor was the home of William and Louisa Booth Ashford and their family in the mid-1800s. However, the original home is no longer standing. The now standing Ashford Manor was built in 1893 by the couple’s son, A.W. Ashford. The picture to the left was taken in the 1920s. The Victorian-style manor now serves as a bed and breakfast surrounded by beautiful gardens.

 

 

The history of Downtown Watkinsville continues to live on along Main Street. Pictured to the left is the Ashford Store. Built before 1900, this building is one of the oldest buildings still standing in Watkinsville. The building now houses Orchard Street Boutique and neighbors Spectrum Metals and Main Street Barbershop.

 

 

 

 

The left photo is the two-story Oconee County schoolhouse built circa 1902. Additions were made to the schoolhouse in the early 1910s, and again in the early 1920s. In 1954, majority of the building burned. Now remaining are the later additions to the schoolhouse and a nearby gymnasium. Still on their original sites, both buildings now sit on the campus of the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF) as the 1902 OCAF Center and Rocket Hall, which host local, regional, and national art exhibitions throughout the year.

 

To the left is Main Street in Bishop, GA circa 1918. Downtown Bishop is located along Highway 441, connecting Watkinsville and Madison. Once a post office, the building shown is now home to one of the many antique stores in Bishop, Tracks of Time Antiques.

 

 

To the left is Main Street in Bogart at the turn of the 20th century. The street runs parallel to the railroad, where a few structures in the shown area still stand today occupied by small businesses.

 

Be sure to visit these sites during your trip to Oconee County. For more information or assistance with planning your trip, contact us.

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Need plans for Valentine’s Day? Start planning your trip to the Artland of Georgia for a romantic getaway. From luxury lodging, fine dining, and fascinating art excursions, Watkinsville is the perfect Valentine’s Day getaway for you and your partner.

A Luxury Stay

A cozy and secluded Ashford Manor dressed in snow.

Located in the heart of Downtown Watkinsville, the Ashford Manor Bed & Breakfast is the perfect combination of seclusion and accessibility. The Ashford Manor sits behind a privacy wall on four acres of land along Main Street. You and your partner can spend a relaxing time on the property that includes the 1893 Victorian-style manor, a cottage, gardens, and open woods. The Ashford Manor is also walking distance to the open greenspace of Watkinsville Woods and a variety of dining options and specialty shops.

Explore the Artland

 

Spectators interact with art pieces featured in the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation’s Resonance: A Bi-Sensory Art Exhibition.

Just a short walk from the Ashford Manor, Ground Up Glassworks will host a Valentine’s Day Glassblowing Date Night during Valentine’s Day Weekend on Friday and Saturday, February 9 and 10, and on Valentine’s Day on Wednesday, February 14. Enjoy a romantic and creative experience with your partner as you create glass art led by local artists.

Also in Downtown Watkinsville, enjoy an interactive art exhibition at the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation’s bi-sensory exhibit, Resonance. The art show brings a new and unique experience to the Artland of Georgia as it pairs art with sound! Bring your smartphones and earbuds to enjoy this fascinating exhibit. For more art experiences, click here.

Wine & Dine

 

A fine dining experience at Chops Hops.

Also walking distance from the Ashford Manor is a dozen restaurants. Enjoy a late, romantic dinner at Pour Restaurant & Bar, Chops & Hops, or Girasoles. Pair the restaurants’ extensive selections of beer and wine with dishes like Chops & Hops’ Brasstown Beef Steak and Pour Restaurant & Bar’s Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes. At Girasoles, choose from a variety of Mediterranean dishes or order off-menu courtesy of Chef Jose!

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With more than 50 restaurants occupying the county, Oconee County has become quite the place to enjoy diverse culinary options. In Downtown Watkinsville alone, there are a dozen places to grab a bite to eat by the end of the year. Notably, locally-owned dining establishments make their mark adding to Oconee County’s uniqueness with their rich and flavorful dishes.

Georgia Tourism is currently requesting nominations for its 2018 100 Plates Locals Love list, which is featured each year in Georgia Eats: The Official State Culinary GuideNominate your favorite Oconee dishes through Georgia Tourism’s online form, and be sure to include a photo with your entry. Nominated dishes will be judged and selected by a panel to appear on Georgia’s list of 100 Plates Locals Love.  The list will be published on exploregeorgia.org and in the 2018 edition of the official state culinary guide.

To view the 2017 list, click here. For a list of dining options in Oconee County, click here. Share your dining experiences on social media with the hashtags #GeorgiaEats and #OconeeEats.

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Buck Lanford of Fox 5 Atlanta traveled to Watkinsville last week to taste the best burger in the Athens area as part of the news station’s Burgers with Buck series. With a lead from an informal Facebook poll, the news host was sent to Watkinsville for The Traveling Hobo Cafe’s Summer BBQ Burger. The burger features a 10 oz. Angus patty topped with cole slaw, bacon and BBQ. See how Buck enjoyed his visit to The Traveling Hobo Cafe and Watkinsville in the video above.

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