Make it an Extra Special Valentine’s Day

One year our Sheriff had to cancel Valentines as we southerners don’t do snow or ice. There’s a new sheriff in town and thankfully that is not the case this year. Oconee are you ready for Valentine’s Day?!

sweet treats with a twist

Can we all agree that chocolate and candy are traditional must-haves for Valentine’s? But who says you have to give it the same way every year?  This year kick it up a notch with breakable chocolate hearts from Bee’s Knees Bakery. These hearts can be filled with special items that fit your Valentine’s personality. They also can provide pre-filled hearts with chocolate-covered strawberries and chocolates.  CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

funky fresh valentine

Roses are a classic like Marilyn, but what if your sweetheart is more of a Madonna? It’s always a nice touch to give flowers that match someone’s personality. Check out The Petal Exchange for fabulous and modern alternative to impress your Valentine. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

romantic date

Even small towns have fabulous date night options for a romantic, candle lit dinner. Enjoy a night at Girasoles at an intimate table savoring every moment with one of Chef Jose’s delectable creations and perfectly paired wines. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Chops and Hops is accepting dinner reservations for you and your cupid. A special prix fixe menu for reserved Valentine tables includes selections such as a heart-shaped poke’ bowl and you can add on wine, beer, or one of their signature cocktails. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

cozy up at home

If your cupid style is more laid back enjoying a night in with your valentine, don’t worry because you can still make it special! Pick up some adorable and yummy heart-shaped pizza from Fox’s Pizza Den available on Valentine’s Day. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Local Holiday Gift Guide

Shopping locally is always on Santa’s list!  Whether it’s Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or last-minute shopping. Oconee merchants have you covered with gifts for all your loved ones.

 

foodies

Olive Basket carries premium olive oils and vinegars as well as gourmet items from around the globe. 

Bonus Tip: Specialty oils such as white truffle and Georgia made pecan oils are also available. MORE INFO

 

Inspired by the bakeries and food traditions of Europe, Kiki’s Bakeshop offers a wide assortment of baked goods. From cakes and pies to cookies you are sure to find something that pleases a sweet palate. 

Bonus Tip: Special treats and seasonal items are also available. Contact Kiki’s for details and current offerings. MORE INFO

 

decorators

Find the perfect gift for that person on your list who loves to decorate for all seasons.  Southern style and flair home décor items abound at Arthur and Arthur. 

Bonus Tip: Arthur and Arthur broadcast Facebook live shows several times a week allowing you to shop from the comfort of your home. MORE INFO

 

local love

The Oconee Market at the Welcome Center carries one-of-a-kind Oconee branded merchandise.  You’ll find hats, t-shirts, and bags to deck out your favorite person in Oconee swag. 

Bonus Tip: Check out the Oconee County candle. This 100 % organic candle is the perfect scent for the holidays.  MORE INFO

 

art enthusiast

Sunshine Village is a gallery that represents the southern artist, caring original art and custom art. MORE INFO

For the more hands-on artist, a workshop at Board & Brush makes the perfect gift where they will create their own one of a kind unique piece. MORE INFO

Support your local non-profit organization by purchasing that special someone e an OCAF membership. MORE INFO

Bonus Tip: Book a workshop at Board & Brush for you and your friends, pick up a bottle of wine and create your masterpieces for a fun, memorable night out. 

 

history buffs

“Antique Row” in Bishop has a wide variety of antique stores where you can find that perfect one-of-a-kind piece. Park once and shop multiple stores all in one spot. 

Bonus Tip: Stop by Refind @ The Frosted Lion and pick up a copy of Celestea Sharp’s book, The History of Bishop, Georgia that is sure to delight anyone that loves history.  MORE INFO

 

free spirits

Wildflower Clothing and Home has unique pieces for your home and wardrobe created by the owner, Genieve Gail. From tie dye to whimsical you can find that one-of-a kind piece at Wildflower Clothing and Home. 

Bonus Tip: Wildflower also offers UGA pieces to complement the wardrobe of the Dawg lover on your list. North Oconee and Oconee items are also offered to show that school spirit. MORE INFO

 

Your Fall Bucket List for Oconee County

fall family photo op

The front lawn of the Eagle Tavern is decorated in beautiful fall decor and ready to serve as a backdrop for your fall photos. 

carve a pumpkin

Visit Washington Farms pumpkin patch, pick your pumpkins, enjoy some fall treats and carnival activities then head home for some fun pumpkin decorating. Click here for details

visit the fall festival

Come join the fun at the 46th annual Oconee Chamber of Commerce Fall Festival Saturday, October 17th from 9:00 am to 4:00 p.m. in Historic Downtown Watkinsville. Craft and art vendors, food trucks and family activities abound. Click here for details

take a ghost tour

As one of the oldest towns in north Georgia, Watkinsville has some tales to tell that are both historical and eerie.  This tour combines those into one.  Come hear tales of a haunted tavern, the lady who never left and more.  Click here for details

ride a clydesdale

Classic City Clydesdales offers the unique chance to get up close and personal with these beautiful animals. Call (706) 424-1889 to make an appointment and hit the trail! 

take a nature walk

Head to one of Oconee’s great parks and take a stroll. Harris Shoals park with its cascading shoals, or the 2.5 miles of walking trails at Heritage Park are a great way to relax and enjoy the autumn hues. For a little more adventure try the 9.35 miles of bike trails at Heritage Park. 

Another great way to take in the sights and sounds of fall is a nature walk at Historic Barnett Shoals. Walk through the property, learn the history and see the ruins of the forgotten mill and town. Follow Historic Barnett Shoals, GA on Facebook for dates and pricing. Click here for details

add a touch of fall

Visit Arthur & Arthur in downtown Watkinsville to create autumn rooms worth falling for. Find unique and fun seasonal décor and gifts. Click here for details

Step up your seasonal display by signing up for a workshop at Board and Brush where you will create your own unique wood project to enhance your entrance or any room in your home. Click here for details

get runway ready

Shop Empire South to update your fall attire with Peach State Pride wear and boutique brands. They will help you find the perfect outfit(s) and have you ready to walk the fall runway in no time. Click here for details

Where the Locals Go

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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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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