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Chris graduated from Georgia State University in 2009 with degrees in Journalism and Creative Writing. He has spent a lot of time working with the media. From engineering radio broadcast for most of Atlanta’s major sports teams to shooting high school football games behind a camera, Chris has a lot of media experience. Besides that, he loves soccer, detective shows, and a buffet list of 'nerdy' things that would embarrass his wife.

Southern Gems: A Time to Relax in Georgia

Glen-Ella Springs Inn

Welcome to the Inn! Photo Credit: Chris Hill

Everyone seems to have their own preconceived notions about the South. Whether they’ve visited or done their “research” on television, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t “know” something about life down here.

“Oh, everyone has an accent…”

“Everything moves so slowly down there…”

“They cook everything in butter and grease…”

Well, the accent thing is borderline true,  and as for the butter and grease thing — there is some olive oil thrown in there too.

But as for time running slow down here, well trust me, time speeds by, just like everywhere else, especially when you’re trying to relax.

Garden

The gardens of the Inn. Photo Credit: Chris Hill

That’s one thing that I will say is truly missing from all of our lives — time. It would be great to spend a little extra sunlight basking in the ambiance of one of the South’s many gems. But alas, the reality is that most of us rush from task to task — time just doesn’t like being dragged about.

But with that being said, there are plenty of places down here in the South that have the uncanny ability to help us at least forget about time. Take for instance the Glen-Ella Springs Inn, a bed and breakfast in the city of Clarkesville, almost two hours away from Atlanta. It sounds like one of those hole-in-the-wall places that you have to know about to find (and with your phone’s reception pleasantly nullified, you should probably know the directions to it before hitting the road).

I recently had the pleasure of staying here for a night with my wife and left wishing that we could have stayed for a week or two. The calming rustle of the trees covering the massive acreage of land the property sat on was enough to relax even the most tense of us. This southern venue is one of the most unique locations in Georgia with a top rated restaurant and a garden that would cause anyone to feel lost in its elegance.

Grouper and Shrimp

Bon appetit! I had the the day’s special. Photo Credit: Chris Hill

Speaking of, the two meals we ate there were both fit for southern royalty. Their dishes fused flavors that I never would have thought to combine, and that’s not even including the desserts (which tends to be my favorite part of the meal).

I know that the name Clarkesville doesn’t carry the same kind of luster as Miami or Honolulu, but I’d argue that this unassuming Georgia town could more than carry its weight in the vacation department.

The area itself is only a half-hour drive from Helen – which to those who annually indulge in Oktoberfest undoubtedly have heard of before. But while that area is filled with places for adventure tubing, candy shops and miniature golf, the busy tourist trap does nothing to intrude on the serenity of the Inn. In fact, on our solitary night at Glen-Ella, my wife and I were trying to make a decision about whether to visit Helen (ironically, the Oktoberfest activities were one of the main reasons we chose to stay at the Inn in the first place) or stay at Glen-Ella and walk around the property. It’s amazing, but the decision only took a minute to make, as the sun was setting behind the roof of our temporary home at the wooden cottage…Helen could wait for another time.

Tallulah Gorge

A scene from the top. Photo Credit: Chris Hill

While the obvious place for entertainment was Helen, we happened to stumble onto another area nearby on our way from the Inn. At Tallulah Gorge, we found the perfect compliment to truly complete our relaxing stay at the Inn.

The series of waterfalls and cliffs were all equally immense, and the challenge of hiking up, down and back up almost 1000 stairs was too much to resist.

We found plenty of great sights, picturesque greenery, and even a “swinging” bridge. Though if traveling four miles on foot isn’t your thing, then there are also many outposts to stop and gaze in wonder along the way.

As I said before, time down here in the South doesn’t slow down for anyone, not even those who wish to spend the laziest of weekends. But that’s why if you ever make it down here to Georgia, take some time and spend a few nights in Clarkesville.

For more information on sights and attractions in Georgia, check out their official tourism site, Explore Georgia.

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