Things 2 Do

Unique attractions, meals, stays, experiences await for Mother’s Day in North Georgia mountains

RABUN COUNTY, Ga. — What’s on the menu this Mother’s Day? This year, skip the flowers and candy and share a unique outing with your mom that you’ll both remember for a lifetime.

Rabun County and the North Georgia Mountains offer a one-of-a-kind Mother’s Day experience for those looking to give their mom a unique celebration.

What’s on the menu this Mother’s Day in North Georgia?

Start with some wine in a unique setting. Terra Incognita Vineyard is the perfect place to begin the festivities with its Mother’s Day brunch on May 14. The vineyard, surrounded by thousands of acres of protected forest land, boasts breathtaking views of the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains.

“What we have here is a remote location and we see that as a benefit,” Torsten Ernest from Terra Incognita Vineyard said. “If you’re looking for a place that is off the beaten path, that is really something that is unique and a little rough around the edges, but very genuine, and has some really unique attributes, this is the place for you.”

Tiger Mountain Vineyards also offers brunch for mothers who appreciate good food and wine. 12 Spies Vineyards and Winery allows guests to enjoy sunsets, views and some wine, too. With three acres, pack a picnic, some chairs and a blanket and find your own spot on the grounds to spread out, enjoy some alone time and some 12 Spies wines.

For moms who crave a unique adventure, the area’s mountains provide an array of activities. Take a canopy tour and explore the area hundreds of feet in the air or brave the rapids on the Chattooga River for a thrilling experience. Horseback riding also offers a peaceful way to enjoy the beauty of the North Georgia Mountains.

“(People can) experience lines like our signature line, the Squealing Mare, which is 1,550 feet long, just over a 1/4 of a mile and about 210 feet off the ground. So you’re flying like a bird over the treetops and you have 50 to 75-mile long-range mountain views,” Kurt Damron for Highlands Aerial Park said.

If unique attractions are more to your mom’s liking, visit Tiger, Georgia. Goats on the Roof features goats that roam the rooftops, a gift shop, ice cream, and gem mining.

“The number one question is, ‘Why, why are there goats on the roof,’” April Phillips from Goats on the Roof told’s Nelson Hicks. “And my answer to every single person is ‘Why not, like why not?’ They have you interested, it made you stop.”

“My favorite thing is, what brings me pure joy is seeing the people,” Phillips said. “It doesn’t have to be kids, it’s children of all ages, that see when the goats come out and play. They, they love it. Their eyes light up. And that’s special to us.”

Hillside Orchard Farms offers a chance to interact with farm animals and enjoy its preserves, jams, jellies, pickles, and fruit ciders.

A visit to the Tiger Drive-In offers first-run movies under the stars, and a market featuring artisan, crafts and flea market vendors is open Saturdays, weather permitting, from May through October.

For those looking to indulge in some retail therapy, North Georgia boasts dozens of antique shops.

“You just never know what you might find,” Elizabeth Hopper from Yesterday’s Treasures said.

No trip to the North Georgia Mountains to celebrate Mother’s Day would be complete without sampling the local cuisine. The Dillard House offers a Mother’s Day meal, while other restaurants in town offer a buffet brunch. Gourmet picnics can be picked up from The Farmhouse Market to be enjoyed at Lake Burton, Tallulah Gorge, Black Rock Mountain State Park, or one of the area’s waterfalls.

“I think chefs are like painters, they either paint houses or they paint portraits,” Chef Vincent Scafiti said. “And I’m a firm believer that we’re portrait painters here. We’re innovative with food. It’s creative, it’s not expensive.”

Finally, for moms who deserve a little more than just 24 hours, spend the night in a unique hotel. The Dillard House offers special rates for stays, while Splendor Mountain provides a romantic stay atop a mountain. The Lake Rabun Hotel offers an incomparable experience, and Bleu Canoe’s tiny houses are perfect for snuggling up with mom.

“It was a boutique hotel long before boutique became posh and trendy,” Bonnie East from the Lake Rabun Hotel said. “It’s a little artistic and quirky. It is historical. It sits beautifully resting in nature.”

With unique attractions, unique activities, unique meals, and unique stays, the North Georgia Mountains offer an unforgettable Mother’s Day experience. Celebrate the woman who has had a unique influence in your life and make some memories this Mother’s Day.

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“On a spring weekend, there’s no more beautiful place to be than the mountains of northeast Georgia,” Celebrate Clayton festival chairwoman Kathy Ford said.


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This story is sponsored by Rabun County.

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