When the Weather Cools Down, Rabun County Warms You Up!

Just because temperatures cool down, doesn’t mean the fun has to. Nestled in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, Rabun County, Georgia’s northeastern most county, offers visitors a wealth
of unique and wonderful experiences even in the cooler months. From frosty outdoor adventures to cozy fireside wining and dining, your days can be both full and fulfilling in this little neck of the woods.

With three state parks, Tallulah Gorge, Black Rock Mountain, and Moccasin Creek, camping and hiking is available year-round for you to enjoy a crackling campfire or a peaceful stroll through the woods towards a stunning waterfall. The scenic beauty of these parks and their trails is magnificent in the fall and winter months. The spectacular colors of the autumn forest viewed from Tallulah Gorge’s suspension bridge or the overlook of Black Rock Mountain, where you can see for 80 miles, is an awe-inspiring sight.

The views all throughout the county are breathtaking, whether you hike, ride or even fly through the trees! Highlands Aerial Park is open all year, by appointment in January and February, and offers world class ziplining tours above the canopy, 250 feet up. White water rafting on the Chattooga River at Southeastern Expeditions through late fall and again in early spring and snow tubing at Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center are available for adventurers looking for off-season thrills. And for the milder heart, make your reservation at the Dillard House Stables for a horseback ride through the snow, ending with a comforting homestyle meal at the world-famous Dillard House.

But for the avid culinary adventurer, Rabun County is a hidden treasure. This little mountain paradise, just a hop and skip from downtown Atlanta, boasts the title to the state’s Farm-to-Table Capital and five Best Chef America award recipients. One of the best of the Best is Chef Jamie Allred of Fortify Kitchen & Bar, Fortify Pi and now, The Shed. In 2010, Chef Jamie accepted the Executive Chef position at The Lake Rabun Hotel & Restaurant, also in Rabun County, where he developed relationships with many local farms and raised the bar for culinary excellence and “farm to table” cuisine in the North Georgia Mountains. In March of 2014, Chef Jamie, along with friend and co-owner Jack Nolan, opened Fortify Kitchen & Bar in downtown Clayton.  It was an immediate success. Since opening, Fortify Kitchen & Bar has won numerous awards including: “Top 100 Restaurants in America 2014” by OpenTable. Today, Chef Jamie continues to cultivate his passion and artistic gift for food preparation and presentation, working with local farmers who harness the ideal mountain environment to grow the finest ingredients for his creations. He is also active in giving back to the community with his involvement in the local food bank, hosting special dinners, teaching classes, offering a Junior Chef Cooking School and participating in the Farm-to-School Program as well a Chef Throw Down competition, all to raise money for hunger initiatives throughout Northeast Georgia.

What’s more, Chef Jamie is just one of the many gems you’ll find to delight your palate in Rabun County. In addition to its notable dining establishments, there are four fabulous wineries, where the views are as spectacular as the wines, two award winning distilleries and a fun and friendly craft brewery to relax in and enjoy the warmth and charm of true Southern hospitality… hospitality you’ll find in every corner of this quaint yet progressive mountain retreat. See for yourself! Start your adventure exploring Rabun County and all it has to offer at ExploreRabun.com

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