Wanderlust- January 2016 - Santa Fe

48 Hours in Gainesville

By Jill Dutton

 

Nature, local eating at its finest, and quaint Southern charm: Gainesville, Georgia, has it all. You may want to extend your visit once you discover how much there is to do and see in this beautiful city, but here we’ll explore some options for a two-day trip.

 

Nature

  • Take the Solar System Walking Tour down to Lake Lanier. It’s one of only 13 to-scale Solar System Walking Tours in the United States, and the only one in Georgia. The walking tour begins downtown and goes 2.5 miles through woods and majestic sights, ending at Lake Sidney Lanier.

  • Visit Lake Sidney Lanier and the site of the 1996 Centennial Olympic rowing, canoe, and kayak events.

  • Connect with nature at the Elachee Nature Science Center. Elachee is a premier, regional environmental education center nestled in the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve of Northeast Georgia.

 

Eat Local

  • Breakfast at Longstreet Café, where they put the “home” in home cooking.

  • Breakfast at The Colored Egg, with incredible Quiche and pastries.

  • Lunch at Avocados, a farm-to-table restaurant.

  • Lunch at 2 Dog Café, Sweet Magnolia’s or perhaps the Collegiate Grill—so many choices…only two short days.

  • Dinner at Luna’s where American fare is served in a white-napkin, low-key setting, with live music in the piano lounge on weekends.

  • Dinner at Atlanta Highway Seafood Market where you can buy fresh seafood or have it prepared to your liking. You’ll find the freshest of seafood delivered directly from the Gulf and prepared with a Cajun touch.

  • Beer flights at Downtown Drafts. Before dinner, enjoy the craft beer café and growler shop experience. Downtown Drafts specializes in offering the best selection of local, national, and international craft beer. Try the coffee beer for a true taste experience.

 

Downtown

  • Check into the Holiday Inn Lanier Centre.

  • Shopping on the Square www.gainesville.org/downtown-shopping-1

  • Driving Tours: Check out the gardens of Gainesville, the Gainesville Public Art Tour, and Historic Green Street.

  • Stop by Serenity Massage and Day Spa for afternoon tea at Annastasia’s Tea Room and then a Spa Treatment.

  • Book an Arty Party at the Quinlan Arts Center where even the novice artist can create a work of art.

 

Day Trips

  • Drive to Alto, Ga., and visit the newly-opened Sweet Acre Farms Winery. This small farm, located in the foothills of the northeast Georgia Mountains, started as a u-pick blackberry and blueberry farm with honeybees. Now they’ve built Hall County's first farm winery, specializing in Country Wines (non-grape fruit wines) and eventually, honey mead.

  • Also in Alto, Ga., be sure and visit Jaemor Farms, an open-air market that sells homemade ice cream, fried pies, local goods, and produce. With so much to do and see, be sure to bring walking shoes for trekking the trails and around downtown, a healthy appetite for local flavors, and a love of history for touring the various historical landmarks.

 

If you love history, food, and nature, Gainesville truly does have it all.

For links to businesses and tours, read the complete article at www.jilldutton.wordpress.com.

Jill Dutton is publisher of Evolving Magazine. Follow her story, Wanderlust: One Woman’s Journey of the USA by Rail, at www.jilldutton.wordpress.com

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