Looking for a romantic mountain getaway that’s still within an easy drive of metro Atlanta? Hop in your car, and head northeast to Sautee-Nacoochee, Georgia, just an easy 90 minute drive of metro Atlanta. This small town is the perfect destination for couples looking to escape the city and enjoy everything from browsing through shops, hiking, bicycling, to just enjoying some quiet time watching the world go by.
There are many cozy bed-and-breakfast options, but we chose the Stovall House Inn for our stay. Nestled away from the main road and surrounded by dozens of acres of pastoral scenery, the inn, built in 1837, has a warm and welcoming owner and a very relaxed, homey feel. We were greeted by Honey, the inn’s canine butler and a very sweet and gentle dog. And yes, the inn is pet-friendly, so go ahead and bring Rover along for the trip!
Unusually so for a bed-and-breakfast, the Stovall House Inn also has a restaurant that serves dinner and is open to those not staying at the inn. Chef Jeff is a huge proponent of the ‘farm-to-table’ concept and sources almost all of his ingredients from local farmers, including produce from the on-site garden. Make sure not to miss their Sunday brunch – popular with guests and locals alike.
Inn Trivia: If you’re a fan of the ‘The Notebook’ by Nicholas Sparks, you might recognize this view of Yonah Mountain from the side porch. It was on the cover of the book!
Just about a mile up the road from the inn is the Stovall Covered Bridge. It’s the smallest covered bridge in Georgia and crosses the Chickamauga Creek. It was built in 1895 and is now maintained by the White County Historical Society.
Feel like a lazy day of browsing shops? Head to Nacoochee Village and swing into JumpingGoat Coffee Roasters. With over 30 varieties, you’ll be guaranteed to find a new favorite blend – tea lovers, too! Cup in hand, you can head next door to stock up on country favorites like locally ground grits and cornmeal, among other Southern delicacies at the Nora Mill Granary, take part in some wine tasting at Habersham Wine‘s store and browse the wonders of the Nacoochee Village Antique Mall. Make sure to stop for lunch at the Nacoochee Village Tavern for some of the best pizza we’ve had in years!
A bit further down the road, there is also the very homey Old Sautee Store (founded in 1872), many other artisan shops, the Sweetwater Coffeehouse, and several other restaurants.
If you’re more of an outdoorsy person, have no fear! Freshwater fishing, hiking, and other activities are within easy reach. Unicoi Outfitters will make sure you have everything you need to catch some of those famous north Georgia trout and great hiking trails surround you.
Another must-see is the Hardman Farm Historic Site, managed by the Smithgall-Woods State Park close by. Hardman Farm, built in 1870, is a masterpiece of Italianate architecture. Surrounded by acres and acres of pasture and the famed Nacoochee Indian Burial Mound, this 173-acre property was once owned a Georgia governor and boasted home technology well before its time. A guided tour will reveal all sorts of interesting tidbits and the docents weave fascinating stories of the three families who made Hardman Farm their home.
So whether you’re looking for locally-made crafts or wine, hunting for a comfy homebase to plan your fishing or hiking trips, or prefer to wander without an itinerary and enjoy fantastic views and dining, it’s all just an easy drive to Sautee-Nacoochee, Georgia.
After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.
Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.