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Vacationing in Hiawassee
by Caitlin Moore

Georgia is probably best known for Atlanta, Peaches, and Southern charm, but tucked away into the northeast corner is a whole world of vacation-worthy sites and attractions that could make your next vacation a memorable one. Don't be afraid to stray from the usual destination suspects; explore the possibility of Hiawassee. The name is Cherokee for "meadow," as this quaint town is situated at the foot of the Appalachians within view of rugged peaks, rolling hills, and acres of forests and fields brimming with wildlife and vibrant vegetation. Visual magnificence will be a recurring theme of your visit to Hiawassee, so prepare yourself for a proper immersion into the natural world that is so easily obscured by the skyscrapers, traffic jams, and roadways of your usual life.

Decades ago, it was places like this that the more elite families would retreat to when the summers in the cities became unbearable and monotonous. The air is a bit more pleasant here and the pace is definitely slower, so follow the lead of nineteenth-century joy seekers and discover if their idea of escape is still a good one. We bet we know what the answer is.

Conveniently located two hours away from hotspots like Atlanta, Greenville, Asheville, and Chattanooga, this is a getaway in every sense of the word. People come from all directions looking for peace, quiet, and family fun, and rarely do they go home disappointed. The Blue Ridge Mountains have a way of soothing tired souls by offering an assortment of activities, and by encouraging the occasional doze as well.

For example, Brasstown Valley and Lake Chatuge combine to make a picturesque duo for those of you who like to sit back and enjoy the scenery. Spend some time just looking out over the sprawling Georgia landscape, perhaps narrowing down the options for your next move. Between choices like hiking, boating, and horseback riding, you'll have as full a plate as you want, so settle on the top picks and then get moving.

Lake Chatuge Trail circles, you guessed it, the lake, in an easy loop. Arkaquah Trail is a bit more challenging, with a few switchbacks that will lead to the ultimate reward of a breathtaking view of the surrounding area. The list goes on, but all you need to know at this point is that there is a path for everyone to take. From challenging to flat-as-a-pancake, all wannabe-walkers will be good to go.

The Chattahoochee National Forest is unmissable, as it contains acres of protected woodlands bursting with color and personality. Once a victim of fires and all sorts of other man-made abuses, this precious parcel of land has been revived to its original glory. The streams are jumping with trout, the brush and trees are dense with deer, and the spirit of Mother Nature can be sensed around every corner. The essence of Hiawassee is here, so spend some time exploring the shady side of the street.

After you've gotten your fill of dry land, rent a boat and catch some speed as you buzz around the aquamarine surface. Swim, fish, or picnic along a piece of the 130 mile shoreline for the ultimate experience of relaxations. There's just something about a lake that causes your pulse to slow and your eyelids to droop, so don't fight the urge to lie back beneath a wide-brimmed hat while the gentle waves lap at your feet.

Your next stop should be something a little more civilized. Not that there's anything wrong with being alone with your thoughts, but Hiawassee has plenty of festivals, special events, shopping, and dining that should not be overlooked. In particular, it'll be fun to reconnect with your fellow humans by heading to the famous Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds. Here, at any given time, you'll find country concerts, celebrations of grand proportions, and general merry-making. The Rhododendron Festival and Bluegrass Festival are stand out events, so pencil in Blue Ridge style partying during your visit.

The final component to this trip encompasses the question of where to stay. The mountainous locale will probably make you want to hide away somewhere, so consider a secluded-but-not-isolated vacation rental. You can still maintain a reasonable distance to the town and its conveniences, but at the end of the day (or the beginning, or the middle...) you'll feel privileged to have more than an average, square-roomed setup to call your home away from home.

Check out the options by going online, and secure the perfect Hiawassee Vacation Rental for your little jaunt in the wild Blue Ridge yonder.

Visit HomeAway.com for a wide array of vacation rental opportunities.

About the Author
Visit HomeAway.com for a wide array of vacation rental opportunities.



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