Best of North Georgia: Getaways!

There’s magic in every community. Every part of our country. We live in a world where we can discover within our own national boundaries wonderous moments of endless variety. Or, if you want to get all Wizard of Oz about it, we don’t have to look any further than our own back yard to find ourselves enchanted with who and what we are as Americans. We’re so very lucky to live where we live, and I’m never more aware of that than when I’m writing a novel set in my world for the last twenty years of North Georgia.

On this day where so much of the east coast is battening down and hoping nature won’t beat the everloving c**p out of them, I’m feeling particularly charmed to have places like Sylvan Falls Mill less than an hour from my landlocked self. Check them out near just past the city of Clayton, technically part of Mountain City, I believe, at the base of Black Rock Mountain (the highest national part in the country).

mill at christmas

Water is my muse. I grew up surrounded by ocean, river and marshland. My low country, coastal beginning was alluring, healing, beguiling, and, yes, at times dangerous. And while my heart will always beat fastest with the surf’s roar beyond my windows, it’s near mountain water now that I find myself most peaceful and inspired.

I thrive amidst mostly untouched nature and the unconditional acceptance of mountain places where technology seems so completely unnecessary to your well being you don’t even stop to wonder whether or not wifi is available (which it is, but you won’t care). Places like Sylvan Falls Mill.

Mike and Linda have been our get away for close to a decade, yes. But they and their community have become more than our friends. They’ve become life’s blood cosing through our veins.They’re our future, because we plan to buy up there, somewhere near Rabun, one day. They’ve become our future.

mill mountain range

Their inn is a working grist mill, where they co-op with farmers all over the county, grinding their grain and charging only a percentage of what they produce as payment. Linda’s a master organic baker who can cater to any dietary need, Mike’s a wonder on the range top, and the breakfasts they create are nurturing at its finest. All with a waterfall showing off  like a living postcard beyond the porch where meals are served.

mill waterfall hunting

No, that’s not the inn’s waterfall, but I didn’t have a picture of it beyond the snowy winter one above, so this is a pretty substitute from the surrounding area that you can find if you venture off the trail a bit ;o)

Yes, I hike and waterfall hunt and antique and search for the best restaurants and festivals throughout the area. And I’ll get to all of that in some other “best of ” Monday. But today I hope to capture the reality of really getting away. Really leaving the hectic day-to-day behind and immersing yourself in peace. Really knowing you’ve found something special you didn’t know was home until you stumbled across it.

Even my son, my techno-obsessed teen, has loved Mike and Linda’s place (and them) from the start. He sleeps there, reads there, talks there, makes time for people there. He pulls himself out of his crazy schedule and becomes a human being there, even communicating and having fun with his dad and me, every visit falling under that spell I’m talking about. Who’d have thought it?

These are the mysteries and surprises and magic of my north Georgia. And whether you’re reading about them in one of my books or making the time to discover a taste of it for your very own, I’d love for you to come and get away, too, when you can…

Don’t miss these other Best of North Georgia moments. Venture back every Monday for even more!

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