When you wander east of Athens as far as the state lines will let you, you’ll run into the most magnificent hidden treasure: Elbert County, Georgia. The last county before the Savannah River and South Carolina Border, Elbert County is rich in Revolutionary War history, unique finds, and outdoor activities. Whether you are the adventuring type, or you like to keep things calmer, Elbert County has something for you.
I am a self-proclaimed relaxed vacationer. I’m more interested in sitting by the pool or cruising on a lake than I am visiting every museum in town. I’d prefer a glass of wine and a spa any day overhunting or playing sports. Call me boring, but I have a feeling you like the laid-back life too.
If you’re like me, you’re going to love visiting Elbert County with its two cities: Bowman and Elberton. Elberton boasts a beautiful historic square with restaurants that beg for long, slow-paced lunches enjoyed over a cold iced tea. Bowman, though smaller, is a quaint town that makes up for its size in the number of Antique stores on its downtown square. Both cities provide ample shopping and are perfect for lazy wandering.
If you’re itching to leave the hotel or campsite and want to do something at night, the local Elbert Theatre is a gem of talent. With plays almost monthly and feature film movies on the other nights, the Elbert Theatre will always keep you entertained.
Venture out of the cities of Bowman and Elberton and a nature’s paradise awaits you. Two beautiful parks (one a State Park and the other a former State Park) on gorgeous Lake Russell and Clark’s Hill Lake provide scenic spots to park your camper or pitch your tent. If you like a more permanent structure, Richard B. Russell State Park has cabins with private bathrooms, docks, and kitchens. These two-bedroom cabins are dog-friendly and right on the lake. If you’re looking for somewhere unique to stay, Bobby Brown Park has yurts (round semi-permanent tent structures) complete with air conditioning, heating, mini-fridge, microwave, and deck outlooking the majestic Broad River. Each park has its own unique amenities including a beach, golf course, boat ramp, playground (Richard B. Russell State Park) and archery course, boat ramp, and disc golf course (Bobby Brown Park).
If nature and you don’t get along, I recommend staying in the newly renovated Samuel Elbert Hotel in downtown Elberton. The beautifully restored 26 room boutique hotel features modern decor and a restaurant and bar. If you choose one of the top-floor suites that overlook the historic courthouse, you won’t be disappointed.