Clayton, Ga: Your Definitive Guide to Family Mountain Fun

Clayton, Ga sits in Rabun County in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains. It’s moments from the North Carolina border…and a world away. You’ll find eclectic shops, waterfalls, great Southern food and so much more. We’ve got the scoop on how to spend your vacation – and where to stay!

clayton ga

Photo courtesy of Chattahoochee Oconee National Forest

For info about where to explore, where to eat and the best family cabin in the area, read on!

 

clayton ga

Best Things To Do Around Clayton

  • Warwoman Dell. This wooded hiking area includes two waterfalls along Bartram Trail – Becky Branch (shown in the title photo) and Martin Creek. It’s an easy 1.5 mile loop to Beck Branch Falls, and the kids will enjoy it.
  • Black Rock Mountain State Park. Black Rock Mtn is the highest state park in Georgia, offering excellent views and fun hiking trails. Just note that the park is closed in winter (usually until mid March.)
  • Wander North Ga. You might already follow these guys on Instagram or Facebook – they have great content! But they’re also a store in Historic Clayton. I have major love for these guys and hope to meet them in person one day!
  • Kudzu Factory. This man has taken that pesky kudzu and turned it into true art. We stopped by to see dinosaurs, a witch and other sculptures fabricated from kudzu and rebar.
  • Georgia Mountain Market. This indoor flea market covers 45,000 square feet, and it’s filled will all sorts of treasures. It’s open Fri – Sun. You can see our list of other exceptional fleas markets here.
  • Foxfire Museum. The Foxfire Magazine and anthologies are about the self-sufficient life of the Southern Appalachia people of long ago.  Students of this program used proceeds from the book to replicate a town from this period.  Visitors are free to roam the “community.”  You will see homes, a chapel, workshops, and so much more.

 

clayton ga

Where To Eat in Clayton, Ga

  • The Rusty Bike Cafe. This is definitely a local’s place, and there is reason. It’s homey with great food. We went for breakfast and had to wait a bit for table but it was worth it. The omelet and hashbrowns were awesome, and the boys loved the chocolate chip pancakes.

In all honesty, we ate most of our meals at the cabin because of the full kitchen. However, our hosts were kind enough to leave us the scoop on their favorite places (and some research validated that these were the places to grab some great grub.) Have you been to any of these? Would you agree??

  • Clayton Pharmacy. Tucked inside this pharmacy is an old-fashioned soda shop with milkshakes, hot dogs, and more. I also read their egg salad sandwiches are awesome for packing on a hike.
  • Fortify Kitchen and Bar. A tad more upscale that the Cafe or Pharmacy, but still kid-friendly. They focus on fine dining with veggies and meats from local farmers.
  • Universal Joint. The ideal spot for a beer and a burger. There is also a patio open for warmer weather.
  • Fromage. I really wanted to visit here, if for the name alone! Next time! They’ve got soups, salads, and sandwiches…and the cheese plate looks amazing! They also have specialty cheeses to go, so grab an assortment for enjoying by the fire later.

 

clayton ga cabin

The Cabin Your Family Needs For The Weekend

We made a home for ourselves at Providence Point Cabin in Rabun Gap, just behind Black Rock Mountain. If you’re even thinking about staying for the weekend (or longer) then this is where you want to be. It’s great for families, peaceful and secluded while still being close to all the fun…and packed with amenities and special touches.

Truth time: I’m a cabin snob. I have certain expectations…an impeccable ‘cozy’ factor, a pretty fireplace, tasteful decor, sufficient kitchen paraphernalia, and the list goes on. Providence Point does not disappoint! We visited with the boys and the grandparents (celebrating Grammy’s 80th birthday!!) and we’re excited to bring you the scoop!

 

clayton ga cabin fireplace

The Living Spaces

There are three levels to the cabin, with bedrooms upstairs and downstairs from the main level. This main level is the primary living space, with plenty of room for everyone!

The open floor plan was ideal, with the ability to see the fireplace from the TV area and the dining room. The dining table comfortably sat 8 people, and with a kitchen filled with cooking utensils, pots, pans, a coffeepot and kierig, and so much more, you will want to cook a meal or two here. (Oh! and a charcoal grill outside on the porch!)

The fireplace area included a few chairs, and we were able to swing around the comfy chair from the living area (because who need TV in the mountain, right?) There was also space left for playing a few games, roasting marshmallows, and just hanging out. A full bath is also on this level.

The living room also included a sofa and TV as I mentioned above. Something else I loved was the multiple French doors that opened to the wrap around porch, allowing you to see the lake. It was cold when we visited, so we opted to open the blinds rather than the doors…but such great views!

clayton ga cabin beds

The Sleeping Spaces

As I mention above, there were multiple sleeping spaces. Downstairs was the large Master (king size bed) with views and doors out to the lower deck, as well as a TV and full bath. The Master also included a washer/dryer area which came in handy.

The room next to The Master is where the boys slept – with DOUBLE bunk beds!! Ahhhh! They were so happy. They started the night on the upper bunks, and then found that they liked sleeping on the lower bunk better. No worries, because they each could choose their own with two sets!

The top floor is where the grandparents slept. It included a cozy checkers nook with an open-air balcony, and a third bedroom. Grammy reported that the king bed was very comfortable (The Master was too!) and warm, and she didn’t want to get up that morning! There is a half-bath upstairs, also.

clayton ga cabin fishing

Amenities and Outside Fun

The cabin is filled with games (for young kids and adults) for indoor fun and fishing poles for outdoor fun. We adored watching the geese and ducks on the lake. (No boats or swimming please.)

The hosts left supplies for s’mores which we enjoyed on the fire pit the first night. The second night was just too cold so we made them inside. There was plenty of quality wood for the fire pit and the fireplace, and they left some fire starters as well.

There is also an extensive DVD collection and a ROKU (bring your login info for access to cable if your kids need a good Disney flick before bed.) The cabin also includes wifi, which I appreciated greatly!

clayton ga cabin snow

Location

The cabin is only 5 minutes or so off 441 in Rabun Gap (which basically feels like Clayton.) As I mentioned earlier, it’s tucked just around Black Rock Mountain State Park, and less than 10 minutes south of Dillard.

You could not ask for a better location for enjoying Clayton and taking advantage of all the hiking and waterfalls in the area.

We visited in winter and woke up Sunday morning to a blanket of snow. It was gorgeous! Just remember your high elevation, and dress accordingly for the time of year you are visiting.

clayton ga cabin firepit

Value

36 reviews, 5 stars…Don’t just take my word for it. This cabin is idyllic for your Rabun County adventure…and the price is affordable, as well.

 

Thank you to

Thank you to Alexander Lerch for this amazing CC photo. I am embarrassed to say I have yet to make it to Panther Creek Falls myself. Hubby and I have it on our “date night” wish list.

Make It The Ideal Road Trip

If you’re not familiar with the northeast side of the state then listen to my warning: it’s awesome and grand and filled with so many things you’re never going to want to come back home.

If you travel to Clayton from Atlanta, I recommend heading up 985. It turns into 23 and then merges with 441. It’s this route that offers a TON of great sites, each one is either right on the highway or not too far from it.

If you start from the south where 985 turns to 23, then head north, this is the order in which you should visit each attraction.

  • Don Carter State Park. Georgia’s newest park with hiking trails and a beach.
  • School Bus Grave Yard. Make plans to visit on Friday because they are closed on the weekend. You’re going to want to see the amazing art on these school buses.
  • Jaemor FarmsIf you’re making dinner in your cabin then stop here for great fruits and veggies. Heck, stop here anyway for boiled peanuts.
  • Loudermilk Boardinghouse. I was so disappointed that this was closed when we visited. It will be open again shortly; they are renovating the house. It’s here you will find over 30,000 Elvis objects – the largest and most unique collection in the world.
  • Toccoa Falls. This is the attraction on our list that is the most far from 441, but it is still worth a trip to see the 186-ft high waterfall.
  • Panther Creek Falls. This is a favorite waterfall in the mountains for most Georgia hikers, though you’ll have to work for it. The hike is seven-miles round trip, but the reward is monumental. Bring your swimsuit in summer for a dip in the water.
  • Tallulah Point Overlook. If you just want a view of the gorge without the Park fee then head to this overlook (offered by a little store that’s been around since 1912.) The view is free, but you can’t pass up an RC and moon pie while you are there.
  • Carpenter’s Corner. This sweet little unassuming store across from the park entrance pays homage to the old trains that used to run through this area. Your kids will love the three rooms dedicated to model trains!
  • Tallulah Falls State Park. If your kids are old enough, then consider making a day of this park and hiking into the gorge (don’t miss your Canyon Climbers Club stamp at the park.) You can go half-way to the swinging bridge, or all the way to the floor. We decided to only make a short stop here with the grandparents, but still enjoyed the views from three overlooks all within 1/4-miles of the visitor center.
  • Minnehaha Falls. These are one of our favorite falls for young kids. It’s a short hike, with plenty of shallow pools to enjoy as you watch the water.

  • Goats On The Roof. This Georgia attraction has been bringing people to the mountains for years. See the goats on the rooftop lawn, feed them, grab some ice cream, mine for gems and more.
  • Tiger Drive In. The open-air drive in runs Mar – Nov, and includes first-run films on Fri, Sat and Sun nights.
  • Tiger Mountain Vineyards. This vineyard has won HUNDREDS of awards for their wine. Stop in for a tasting, a bite at the cafe, or one of their regular events.

About now, you’re heading into Clayton. Don’t skip the full list we have above for this area…but keep going up 441 to the border because there’s more fun to be had.

  • Rabun Flea Market. This is an open-air flea market you’ll want to visit on Friday nights in the warm months. They serve a catfish buffet!
  • 12 Spies Vineyard. Another great N Ga Mtn winery.
  • Dillard House. We’ll be visiting here later this year to give you the full scoop. You want to make time for their gorgeous property, horseback riding and more. But, at the very least, be sure to stop in for a treat of a Southern lunch!

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Clayton, Ga sits in Rabun County in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains. It's moments from the North Carolina border...and a world away. You'll find eclectic shops, waterfalls, great Southern food and so much more. We've got the scoop on how to spend your vacation - and where to stay!

 

Thank you to Providence Point Cabin for hosting me and my family, and supplying such great information for our adventure in Clayton, Ga. You can get more ideas from the owners on their Pinterest Page (of which I am a huge fan!)

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