For a couple who leaves home as much as we do, you’d expect that we’d have a pretty good grasp on the state we live in. However, since moving to Georgia we have spent more time traveling out of it than exploring in it. Our geography of the state (outside our city, of course) consists of remembering places with phrases like “that one exit with really cheap gas,” or “the one with that really nice Chic-fil-a.”
I’m excited to share that we have ventured as visitors a whole 2.5 hours north into the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains to appreciate the scenic views and small-town charm that Northern Georgia has to offer. We loved this short trip in our state, and our one major takeaway was “how have we not come here before?”
We left home before 9am Saturday and reached our destination right after 11am. The drive was easy and Atlanta traffic was a breeze (thankfully). You could see the skyline changing from cars and buildings to small mountains and fresh air about an hour north of the city. Our first to-do item was a hike, so once we got our bearings in Rabun County and the historic town of Clayton, we headed to Black Rock Mountain State Park.
We found a hiking trail around 2.2 miles (perfect for us since we rose at 6am to get our training runs out of the way before our trip) and headed out. What seemed to be a cool day quickly turned into feeling warmer as the hike jaunted us straight up a mountain at first, then toyed with our emotions with areas of flat path and decline before a mostly uphill battle brought us to the scenic overlook. It was the perfect distance and offered some really pretty things to see.
After our hike, we hit the closest town of Clayton for a burger and a well deserved beer. We then meandered through some older local stores until it was time to check into our Bed & Breakfast.
The York House Inn, a two story white farm house with a double porch, rocking chairs, and alluring grounds reminded us a lot of the look and feel of our wedding venue, the Blue Dress Barn. It was charming and rustic, yet not rundown. We were greeted by the owner and operator of the Inn who took us to our upgraded room for our stay. We were lucky to be upgraded in a three room suite, with two bathrooms and our own porch area complete with rocking chairs. My husband, who is pretty happy with whatever happens in life, was vocal about his approval for our room. He loved the unique charm of it and enjoyed that he felt special by getting to enjoy the Inn’s only suite this big. The homemade cookies and local bottle of wine waiting for us didn’t hurt our opinions much either. We dropped off our things and headed out for a recommended winery for an obligatory tasting.
Twelve Spies winery was nestled less than two miles from our Inn. As we pulled up, we saw an older building with cows pasturing, dogs playing, guests sitting around a fire, a back porch patio with swings, seating and more. While the wines featured weren’t numerous in selection (maybe 10 total, a combination of dry whites, dry reds, and sweet wines) the staff was extremely helpful and excited to have us. It was a pretty packed house since it happened to be Georgia Wine Highway Weekend and it was neat to see a small company getting so much business. After our sampling we bought a few bottles and each picked a glass of our favorite to enjoy in the back patio and wait out the rain. Everyone on the patio was enjoying each other’s conversation and seemed to be in great spirits.
After a few more adventures in town, we headed back to the Inn, grabbed one of the shared games available to guests and played Scrabble for the first time as a couple. Neither of us are particularly good… We’re actually kind of bad, but it seemed like the type of fun you should be having at a remote Bed & Breakfast. We felt like we were getting the true experience while stretching our spelling capabilities.
It wasn’t long before the relaxing atmosphere put us at ease and we entered into a sleepy slumber for over 9 hours! We awoke to a foggy morning, packed up our things and headed down to enjoy the breakfast part of the Bed & Breakfast experience. We were served a fruit plate, with fresh cantaloupe, strawberries, and blackberries, followed by perfectly poached eggs swimming in hollandaise sauce atop Canadian bacon and toasted english muffins, all nestled in a bed of roasted kale. It was the best Eggs Benedict I have ever had! The picture should speak for itself. After breakfast, we headed out to a nearby town to visit a friend of ours then back down south for the rest of our Easter.
Overall, I enjoyed our experience at the York House Inn and have provided a brief pro and con list for those interested in the minor details below:
- Comfortable bed
- Hot, hot water for showers (we both commented on this independently)
- Delicious breakfast
- Great location
- Honor bar in basement of building with great decor and area to hang out
- Gracious host who offered advice on trips and travels nearby
- The Inn is old, so it creaks and cracks a lot. While this is kind of charming, you can also hear other guests talking and walking around. Stay on the second floor like we did as I imagine it would be worse on the first!
- The rooms are beautiful, but most don’t have televisions and they also don’t have personal coffee pots or other electronics. If you’re a coffee addict like me you have to wait until 7:30 to go down to the kitchen to get your fix.
Book early, we hit the last weekend of the low period and were able to score a room just four days in advance. We were told the tourist season begins in April and runs all the way until Thanksgiving. For more information on the York House Inn, click here.
I hope you all had a wonderful Easter!