October Festivals and Events in Northeast Georgia

We love the fall in the mountains!  The cooler temperatures inspire one to get out and enjoy all the festivals and activities.  Below, we’ve listed a few ideas worthy of checking out.

Greased pig competition.

October 5th – Foxfire Mountaineer Festival - Clayton, GA
Celebrate the rich heritage of the Southern Appalachian mountains, featuring traditional bluegrass music from numerous performers, demonstrations of time-honored handicrafts and trades, and all kinds of games and challenges for all age groups. Admission cost is $5 per person and the parking is free. Festival hours 10:00 am – 6:00 pm.


October 5th – World Wide Photo Walk – Clarkesville, Georgia
Be apart of this global social event when you sign up to participate.  The walk will be in downtown Clarkesville from 4 – 6 pm and this year’s theme is “Faces of Clarkesville”. Register by visiting www.worldwidephotowalk.com.


October 12th – The Big Red Apple Festival in Cornelia, Georgia
Celebrating 26 years, this event features crafts, entertainment, food and fun for all ages.  Festival hours 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.  Call 706-778-8585 for more information.


October 26th – Fall ARTFEST 2013
Co-hosted by Burnt Burbon Pottery Gallery & Studio and Tanyard Branch Heritage Center being held on Saturday, October 26th from 10:00AM til 4:00 PM at 330 Foster Street, Cornelia, GA.  Family friendly show featuring pottery, fine art, folk art, and photography by nationally and internationally known artists from throughout the Southeast as well as live music, food, beer and wine. There will also be a Kidz Art activity tent.

Fall Festivals in Northeast Georgia

With the fall season just around the corner, we thought we would list a few area activities for you to consider as you are making plans to visit the northeast region of our state.

September 6 through the 14th – Chattahoochee Mountain Fair at the Habersham County Fairgrounds.  Carnival rides, livestock exhibits, live music and more.

September 7th through the 28th -
Most Saturdays throughout September
Yonah Mountain Vineyards will host The Tour de la Cave & Barrel Tasting for a winery tour and barrel sampling of future vintages.  The Tour de la Cave & Barrel Tasting allows you the opportunity to visit Yonah Mountain Vineyards, a 197 acre privately held estate near Cleveland, GA and the only wine cave located in Georgia. Prepaid reservations are required.  Contact Yonah Mountain Vineyards for reservations or more information.

September 28 -
4th Annual Taste of Clarkesville -
located on the square in historic downtown Clarkesville, Georgia, this event showcases local restaurants, wineries and live music. Hours are from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm.
Be sure to stop by Glen-Ella’s booth while there.

September 28 -
Agri-Fest Country Market & Pottery Show - 9am – 3pm
This family-oriented event takes place in one of Georgia’s most beautiful areas during the fall.  Festival goers will enjoy exhibits featuring pottery, basket making, weaving, soap making and more produced by artists from all over the region.  For more information call – 706-865-5356.  Admission is free.

North Georgia Mountains and Folk Pottery

Learning about the fascinating history of NE Georgia’s folk pottery, and visiting the many pottery studios and galleries in the area is one of the favorite activities of guests at Glen-Ella Springs Inn.  The inn’s location is convenient to several important galleries in Clayton, Tallulah Falls, and along one of GA’s most Scenic By-Ways, Hwy 197.  In addition, the outstanding new Folk Pottery Museum of NE Georgia, is less than a 30 minute drive from Glen-Ella.

The Folk Pottery Museum is housed in a spectacular addition to the Sautee Nacoochee Center located on GA Hwy 255 at Sautee near Helen.  The museum is one of the few museums in the world to focus exclusively on folk pottery.  It tells the story of the Meaders, Hewell, and other folk pottery families  and how their craft adapted through  the years,  beginning with utilitarian vessels in the mid-1800,  then changing around  the mid-1900’s to garden pots and decorative items to meet the demand for those seeking unique accessories for their homes and gardens.    The museum houses an extensive collection of face jugs which have become internationally recognized as a distinctive product of NE Georgia folk potters.   The Sautee Center also features a local history museum, a gallery featuring work of local artists, and a series of outstanding music and drama performances.

Be sure to consider a visit to one of these galleries on your next trip to the north Georgia mountains.



Visitors to the northeast Georgia mountains have a newly published guide to follow when it comes to exploring all this region has to offer.  As a way to celebrate their 75th Anniversary and give back to the community, Habersham EMC agreed to sponsor a collaborative effort between author Emory Jones and Clarkesville artist John Kollock to create a collector’s book and 4 CD narrative for the purpose of a self-guided driving tour of  75 unique and very special places to experience.

Guests of Glen-Ella Springs Inn are familiar with Mr. Kollock’s artwork as we have many of his prints depicting small mountain communities and historical sights  displayed throughout the inn.

Glen-Ella Springs Inn was one of Mr. Kollock’s subjects back in the early 1980′s. In addition to having many of his other prints displayed in our restaurant, we thought his rendition of the inn would be the perfect artwork to be used on the cover of our cookbook.

We are excited to be included in this collection of “75 Special Places”  and anyone who decides to purchase the CD/Book set will enjoy hours of entertainment as they are led on a pleasant and humorous journey via Mr. Kollock’s narration.  It is the hope of the creators and sponsors of this project, that folks will experience all 75 places if not in person, certainly through this keepsake set which is available on line  www.seenortheastgeorgia.com or from numerous retail outlets throughout the region.

White water releases at Tallulah Gorge State Park

The first two weeks in April and the first two weeks in November, 500 – 700 cubic feet of water per second is released from the Tallulah Gorge Dam. This creates the perfect slate for kayakers from across the country to paddle the gorge and experience first hand this scenic and powerful Class V river reminiscent of how the Tallulah River was before being damned in 1912.

As a first time spectator, it was exciting to see this from the beginning.  Saturday morning began around 8:00 am with a siren blast indicating the opening of the dam. The next 2 hours were spent watching and waiting as the gorge floor fills with water.  My level of anticipation continued to grow waiting for the first glimpse of the colorful boaters to descend down the steps.  Then one by one or sometimes two and three, the kayaks began their white water journey threw the gorge ending up in Tugalo Lake.  From the North Rim lookout, the boaters were no bigger than a tiny speck and one could only imagine the exhilaration they must have felt as they approached the first of many Class V rapids.  It is a fun and different way to spend a weekend morning.  The last white water release for the spring is this weekend, April 13 & 14.

This is definitely an outing to add to your “bucket list” of things to do.

Destination weddings in northeast Georgia

With the promise of spring arriving, we are looking forward to hosting the first of many outdoor weddings for the 2013 wedding season.

Cariad Photography, owned by Steffi Smith was one of the many great photographers who had the opportunity to photograph a wedding at Glen-Ella Springs Inn last year.  Recently, Cariad Photography was featured in a
blog post  for Carrie & Shiloh Smith’s nuptials held here last May.

It was a beautiful ceremony for such a delightful couple and the photos taken were amazing.  Thank you sharing such wonderful memories of this very special day.

Georgia Wine Highway Weekend


North Georgia wineries will again open the doors of their tasting rooms to hundreds of visitors this weekend.  This annual event is a favorite among wine enthusiasts and a perfect way to sample the “fruits” of the region.  Guests purchase a “passport” at the first winery visited for $25.00 per person, and then use the “passport” at any of the participating wineries throughout the rest of the weekend enjoying tastings, special food, music, etc.

The festivities begin on Friday, March 22nd at 1:00 pm and run through Sunday, March 24th until 5:00 pm.  The eight participating wineries are:  Cartecay Vineyards, Cavendar Creek Vineyards and Winery, Crane Creek Vineyards, Habersham Winery, Hightower Creek Vineyards, Sautee Nacoochee Vineyards, Tiger Mountain Vineyards and Yonah Mountain Vineyards.

Finish off the Wine Highway experience with a great dinner  at Glen-Ella Springs Inn.  Reservations can be made by calling 706-754-7295 or by visiting  www.OpenTable.com.  

Carriage Rides in North Georgia

Dr. Scott Hancock of Sautee,GA has a genuine love for large animals (horses), antique carriages and the Appalachian foothills. Recently, he treated friends to dinner at Glen-Ella’s restaurant. To make this birthday celebration even more special, he drove them here in a horse drawn carriage.

This is certainly not your typical mode of transportation for this day and age, but definitely reminiscent of days gone by. Actually this is exactly how guests were transported to the Inn in the late 1800′s after arriving at the Tallulah Falls Train Depot.

Aside from being a veterinarian, Dr. Hancock owns and operates a little business called “The Sautee Express” offering visitors to the area the peaceful and scenic experience of a 1 to 3 hour horse drawn carriage ride.  Operating from the alluring Sautee Valley, their private horse drawn excursions are available (by appointment only) morning, mid day, afternoon and at sunset.


Dr. Hancock states the ride he takes guests out on, has some of the prettiest countryside in the area where the sunsets are often described as spectacular!



This is truly a special and unique way to tour a beautiful area of our state.  It’s also a wonderful idea if you are looking for something to do that is out of the ordinary.

To schedule your own personal ride in a “fringe top surrey” or maybe even their authentic “stagecoach”, contact The Sautee Express by calling 706-969-4036.