As our insatiable appetite for travel began to grow, and with Graham’s birthday quickly approaching, we began researching ideas for a quick weekend-getaway. After searching for Tree Houses in the region we accidentally stumbled upon a modern Tree House, nestled in the hills of the Smoky Mountains of North Georgia. Having always been interested in modern design and the beauty of nature, we saw it as the perfect opportunity to spend the weekend in “a piece of art” away from the hustle and bustle of daily “modern” living. Rabun and its neighboring town, Clayton, is known for it’s incredible scenery and extensive hiking options and is the home of the adventurers locale, “@WanderNorthGeorgia,”(which we will address below). Unfortunately due to inclimate weather, we were unable to find the opportunity to take advantage of such beautiful trails.
Duration of car travel: (3 hours one-way) Chattanooga to Rabun Gap, GA.
Our hosts, Steven and Chester were attentive to every detail. Upon arrival, they greeted us and gave a thorough tour of the land and our accomadations. The Tree House sits on a modern compound comprised of three structures. Steven and Chester live in the main house, and offer Airbnb for the other two. There is a Pond House and a Tree House available on the property. We chose the tree house because of it’s striking disposition. Nestled in a grove of Poplar Trees, we were in awe of the contrasting beauty of the trees, bamboo and sleek design of the exterior. The interior space was simple and sleek, our favorite part being the slate floors and tile, which ran throughout. Our hosts were meticulous and conscientious individuals who made themselves readily available to offer assistance, advice or recommendations at any time. We enjoyed their unparalleled/passion-driven knowledge of Rabun and the surrounding area.
The first night, we requested suggestions for a simple, fresh meal and were directed to downtown Clayton to Pi Pizza. This was absolutely our favorite meal of the stay. The thin pizza crust was just right, as were the farm-fresh ingredients. We ordered several different options; including the Italian and Margarita pizzas, house-made mozzarella and a special pasta dish. Delicious, simplistic, unexpected. Fortify Kitchen and Bar: Owned and operated by the same people as Pi, comfortable environment and local crafted food. We enjoyed our meal here, but overall, I think we were much more impressed with Pi!
White Birch Provisions: Looking for a hot cup of coffee and a breakfast bite, we stopped by this quaint little spot on our first morning in town. Our Airbnb had spotty service and very little wifi connection, so we were glad to find connectively to call friends and family/check the interwebs for the day. The space was packed with big comfy chairs and the refillable coffee & apple strudel cake hit the spot.
Wander North Georgia: We strolled up and down the streets of historic Clayton (a nearby town), and were pleasantly surprised to stumble upon the authentic Wander North Georgia shop. After browsing their extensive selection of handmade leather goods, tin coffee cups and vintage plaid collection, we finally settled on an old-school Patagonia fleece body suit for Jera. It’s safe to say she’s ready for our next camping trip.
Culpepper’s Otto Depot: This architectural salvage store blew our minds. We passed it on our way in, (a great barn structured with a yard full of organized junk) and knew we had to go back to check it out. It was absolutely packed with reclaimed items. Some were reproductions, but for the most part, we were intrigued with the light fixtures, reclaimed doors and windows and random hardware. The staff was also quite helpful and allowed us to lose ourselves in the never-ending labyrinth of the barn.
Joy Ride: On Saturday, Graham’s birthday, we decided to take a drive and head into the mountains. At first, we were planning to go to Highlands, but settled instead on Cherokee, North Carolina. It sounded fun to do a little gambling at the gigantic casino. The drive through the mountains was beautiful and smoky. However, once we arrived, we realized the casino itself was as packed as Disney, and decided to scrap that idea. We searched for food for about 45 minutes and finally ate at a strange Asian cuisine joint. We would not recommend going to Cherokee for fun or pleasure. In our opinion, it was outdated, inauthentic and lacking in healthy food options. Note: We intended to stay two nights, but due to an unforeseen family event, we had to return home in the middle of our second night. In retrospect, we felt like one night and full day were all we really needed to explore the area. Rabun Gap is a quiet and peaceful option for a family or couple looking to get away for a few days.