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6 Things to do at the Classic City Clydesdale Farm

 

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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5 places to tour art studios

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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Burgers ‘n Beers

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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Oconee County: Then and Now

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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A romantic getaway in the Artland

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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Nominate Your Favorite Dish for “100 Plates Locals Love”

 

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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The Traveling Hobo Cafe featured on Fox 5 Atlanta’s Burgers with Buck

 

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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5 family-friendly things to do in October

Cooler weather, ripe pumpkins, and scary costumes are just a few things that describe the month of October. Enjoy these 5 family-friendly activities and more in October in Watkinsville and Oconee County, Georgia.

Cinema & S’mores at Rocket Field

Oconee State Bank will sponsor October’s First Friday on Main with a movie and s’mores on the lawn of Rocket Field in Downtown Watkinsville. The Disney animated film Moana will be screened at dusk. Other First Friday activities will include popcorn, tractor rides, and inflatables along Main Street. Be sure to stop by the numerous stores and restaurants in the downtown area before the movie starts!

Pumpkin picking at Washington Farms

Pumpkin Picking at Washington Farms

There’s no fall fun like Washington Farms. Photo by Gary Kufner.

Washington Farms is open until October 29 for pumpkin picking. The farm also features a corn maze, a sunflower field, wagon rides, and more. At night, tackle the corn maze with flashlights and enjoy fire-roasted marshmallows.

Oconee Chamber Fall Festival

Fall Festival in Downtown Watkinsville, Georgia

The Oconee Chamber Fall Festival draws thousands to Downtown Watkinsville for handcrafted art, kettle corn, funnel cakes, and more!

The Oconee Chamber Fall Festival is the area’s premier arts and crafts festival. The event, held in Downtown Watkinsville, brings out art and food vendors from across the region. Fall Festival also features a kids zone with a petting zoo and inflatables making the event the perfect family outing.

Haunted Hay Ride at the Classic City Clydesdales Farm

Classic City Clydesdales Farm in Bishop, GA

Get spooked at the Classic City Clydesdales Farm in Bishop. Photo courtesy of the Classic City Clydesdales on Facebook.

What’s October without Halloween? Get spooked at the Classic City Clydesdales Farm’s Purgatory Park in Bishop, Georgia. If you’re brave, tackle the 20-minute haunted hay ride with appearances by zombies, werewolves, and more creepy creatures. The trail ride is set to open on the following dates near 8 p.m.: October 20 – 21, October 27 – 28, and October 30 – 31. The farm will also host a special family night on October 22 with trick-or-treating for kids under 12.

Trick or Treat in Downtown Watkinsville

Trick or Treating in Downtown Watkinsville, Georgia.

Families fill Downtown Watkinsville for Trick or Treat on Main

There’s no such thing as too much candy during Halloween! Grab your costumes and Halloween buckets for more trick-or-treating in Downtown Watkinsville. From Town Center to the Eagle Tavern Museum, businesses will give away Halloween candy to kids and families. Pull out your best costume to scare your neighbors!

Enjoy these activities and more throughout the month of October. For a list of events in Watkinsville and Oconee County, view our event calendar.

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A Local’s Guide to Dining in Oconee

Finding good local restaurants can be hard to do when you are not from the area, or don’t want to venture too far off your route. Throughout Oconee County there are a number of local spots to grab a bite to eat that aren’t as hidden as you may think. Check out this local’s guide to dining in Oconee County.

Breakfast

Suncatcher Café

You can’t beat a biscuit for breakfast. A great new spot to get a biscuit is Suncatcher Café in Watkinsville. With cathead biscuits, pancakes and some tasty bite-size hash browns on the menu, it’s a great choice for the whole family.

 

 Local’s Tip: Parking may seem limited in front of the restaurant, but there is ample free parking in walking distance throughout Downtown Watkinsville.

Photo submitted by Monica C. via Google.

 

“The food is amazing, the prices are so great and the service was the hometown friendly feel! So glad a place like this is on my way to work! Great breakfast option everyday!” – Amanda E. via Facebook

Panaderia Tacuari

Panaderia Tacuari, also known as Tacuari Bakery, is a Uruguayan restaurant that opened their new location here just a few months ago. The baked goods like fresh breads, cookies and other pastries are terrific. Breakfast is served all day so you can get a savory omelet filled with fresh vegetables any time of the day.

 

Local’s Tip: Traveling with kids? The restaurant has a play area filled with toys, puzzles, and coloring sheets.

“Cinnamon rolls and bollios con queso” submitted by Rebekah T via TripAdvisor.

 

“If you are ready for some variety in your pastry choices, this Uruguayan bakery has many offerings to help with a change of pace from doughnuts and bagels. Additionally they offer breakfast and lunch sandwiches -all reasonably priced.” – Jay S. via Yelp

 

Lunch

Hot Thomas BBQ

When you think of good ‘ole southern BBQ you are envisioning Hot Thomas BBQ. Located on Highway 15 a few miles south of Watkinsville, Hot Thomas has been the go-to place for pulled pork, ribs, chicken, and stew for generations. You’ll feel right at home here. Dine in or grab a pound of pork to go.

 

Local’s Tip: Try the barbecue spot’s delicious cobbler.

Photo provided by Hot Thomas BBQ.

 

 “Hot Thomas BBQ — My childhood on a plate! For those of you looking for that “quiet, hideaway spot” that “only the locals know”… Hot’s is the place to get barbeque in Oconee.” – Casey G. via Yelp

Dominick’s Italian

For an intimate dining option, Dominick’s serves Italian dishes using fresh ingredients and family recipes. Pair a wine from their extensive list with a fresh salad and Stuffed Pork Chops served over penne pasta in a gorgonzola cream sauce for an experience you won’t quickly forget.

 

Local’s Tip: Get the best pricing at lunch with their $6.99 lunch specials.

Photo provided by Dominick’s Italian.

 

“ I eat here often for lunch, and visited recently for dinner. Dominick’s never disappoints! From the incredible garlic bread with marinara, to the monstrous portions of delicious entrees, everything I’ve ever had here has been a winner!” – DD680 via TripAdvisor

 

Afternoon Treat

Thomas Orchards & Greenhouse

Located on Highway 441, and known for their nursery and fresh buckets of peaches, Thomas Orchards also serves up some delicious homemade ice cream. Peach is the most popular flavor, but other flavors are available too and change occasionally.

 

Local’s Tip: There is a patio area with outdoor seating, so stay a little while and browse their greenhouse and gift shop.

Try peach ice cream and sweet peaches at Thomas Orchards.

 

“This is a lovely place to stop even if you don’t like ornamental plants, tasteful gifts galore and wandering in an out of greenhouses set off by the region’s finest pottery. The homemade ice cream alone is worth the trip.” – Jackie C. via Google

 

Dinner

Rachel’s Southern Style Restaurant

A good home cooked meal like grandma used to make is what you will find at Rachel’s Southern Style Restaurant. Tucked away in a small complex off Hwy 53, Rachel’s offers your typical “meat and three” type meal. The daily specials like meatloaf, fried pork chops, or country fried steak vary from day to day, but are posted right when you walk in.

 

Local’s Tip: The restaurant has an awesome carrot soufflé.

Meatloaf, macaroni & cheese, string beans, and corn bread at Rachel’s Southern Style Restaurant.

 

“I love the variety of veggie’s and have tried all the meats and they are delicious, as well. The little biscuits are heavenly. I could go there and just eat them!” – Cheryl D. via Facebook

Taqueria La Parrilla

Known simply around here as “La Parrilla” this place is busy almost every night of the week and for good reason. Order a burrito, Mexican tacos, Texas fajitas, or their chicken tortilla soup and you won’t be disappointed. Outdoor seating is available for those that want to enjoy the evening weather.

 

Local’s Tip: Their guacamole is made fresh daily.

Photo submitted by Stanley Beasley via Google.

 “My husband raved about his chicken quesadillas and the rice was on point. The pico de gallo was delicious! We definitely have this restaurant on our list of regulars” – Joy H. via Yelp

 

Sunday Brunch

Girasoles

This small Mexican-Mediterranean fusion restaurant in the heart of Watkinsville serves the best brunch in the area. Chef Jose is a talented chef, and his restaurant exudes true hospitality. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Sunday, you can get made-to-order crapes, pancakes, waffles and omelets to pair with a full buffet. This is a must-try on the weekend.

 

Local’s Tip: Don’t see what you’re craving on the menu? Name your dish, and Chef Jose will accommodate your request.

Photo submitted by Curtis C. via TripAdvisor.

“We love this place. Eat here at least once a month on Sunday. Sunday buffet. Very good choices, everything is excellent. Breakfast bar omelettes are fantastic, blueberry pecan pancakes are to die for! Salad is superb, Desserts taste so yummy! Best of Watkinsville. Hidden treasure.” – mah720 via TripAdvisor

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