178 miles, two hour and 50 min drive
You know that cute little town you always drive through on your way to Athens for a football game, or headed for a weekend at lake Oconee? The one you always think, “We should really stop here sometime, this place is adorable”? Welcome to Watkinsville!
Located approximately eight miles south of Athens and 60 miles east of Atlanta, Watkinsville is home to more artists per capita than any other city in the state, earning the nickname the “Artland of Georgia.” The county seat of Oconee, Watkinsville is also the former county seat of Clarke County. Athens took over the role in 1872, prompting angry locals to vote to create the new county of Oconee (named for the Oconee River on its eastern border) ad reinstate Watkinsville as the county seat. The two cities appear to have let bygones be bygones in the last 150+/- years, and the arrangement still stands today.
Start your day like a true UGA undergrad with a steaming cup of hand-roasted coffee from Jittery Joe’s. Formerly the official coffee of Antarctica (true story), Jittery Joe’s is a favorite of Michael Stipe of R.E.M., the B-52s, comedians Penn and Teller, and was named one of the top 24-hour coffee houses in America by Rolling Stone magazine.
Explore this thriving art community by browsing national and regional art exhibitions, shopping art galleries, witnessing fascinating art demonstrations, and attending premier art events throughout the year. Supported by numerous artists, art galleries, museums, and events, art lovers can shop galleries, enjoy exhibits, tour studios and watch demonstrations.
More of a historian than an art lover? The Georgia Antebellum Trail cuts through Oconee County, touting historic sites like the Eagle Tavern Museum and the rare beauty of the Elder Mill Covered Bridge: one of thirteen functioning covered bridges in the state, and the only covered bridge along the Antebellum Trail.
After a morning of exploration, grab a pimento cheeseburger from Mama’s Boy at the Falls, and wonder why you’ve been eating hamburgers without pimento cheese for your entire life. After lunch, we’re heading to the great outdoors! For a mild afternoon, consider picking berries or pumpkins (depending on the season) at one of many you-pick farms in the area. We’ve personally spent many an afternoon with our kiddos at Washington Farms and Miller Blueberry Farm.
Classic City Clydesdale Farm provides the exciting opportunity for kids to get up close and personal with stunning Clydesdale horses. Family-owned and operated, the farm not only features the magnificent horses, but boasts exotic animals like Highland cattle and Ossabaw pigs and a petting zoo that includes goats, alpacas, chickens, ducks, turkeys, and donkeys. A tour guide will lead you in your exploration of the day-to-day, maintenance of these gentle giants, including background and breeding methods. The farm is open for tours Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 11 am-1 pm. You can even ride a clyde! Six-mile trail rides, as well as carriage rides, are by appointment only.
Wrap up your fantastic day with an equally fantastic dinner and drinks The Falls. The Falls is decidedly local: locally owned, locally sourced, and focused on their local community. Start with a cherry blossom martini and charcuterie and cheese board, and then close your eyes, point to the menu, and order whatever you’re pointing at. We’d naturally lean towards the s’mores tart for dessert, but the Ryker cheesecake is named after the head chef – either way, we’re pretty certain you won’t leave disappointed.