Anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city into an oasis of small town smiles and friendly handshakes will find serenity in the inviting town of Chatsworth, GA. Nestled in a valley near the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Chatsworth was originally founded as a railroad depot way back in 1905. Today, Chatsworth offers the feel of a small town community with a rich local history, modern features, and several readily available opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Located 85 miles north of Atlanta, Chatsworth sits just 16 miles below the Tennessee border (only 43 miles from Chattanooga) in Murray County. Known as the Gateway to the Appalachians, a full third of this county is protected forest land within the Chattahoochee National Forest, offering spectacular mountain vistas viewable from the center of town. Just 25 miles east is the orchard-filled town of Ellijay, which happens to be the site of the annual Georgia Apple Festival.
Chatsworth sits adjacent to Fort Mountain State Park close to the Cohutta Wilderness Area. This area is the largest national forest wilderness east of the Mississippi River, encompassing over 37,000 acres in both Georgia and Tennessee. There are multiple peaks, rivers, and hiking trails for all ages that wind through hardwood forests and blueberry thickets, occasionally crossing streams and offering spectacular views. Be sure to bring your camera!
Fort Mountain derives its name from an ancient 855-foot-long stone wall, which stands on the mountain's highest point. The strange wall is believed to have been built over 1,600 years ago by Indians as a fortification against hostile enemies or possibly for mysterious ceremonies.
Journey 17 miles south to the rugged shoreline and crystal clear waters of Carters Lake to spend your day partaking in a variety of water sports, playgrounds, picnicking areas, and hiking and biking trails, then return to the comfort of your vacation rental for a delicious home-cooked meal before bed.
While it may be hard to resist the temptation of the surrounding forests and mountains, you'll find plenty of things to see and do within city limits. Start your adventures at the Chamber of Commerce and Welcome Center on Market Street to get a feel for the town. Here, you'll also find yourself close to a number of local boutiques, quaint antique shops, and delicious restaurants all within a short walk.
Just three miles west, history buffs will want to visit the Vann House - Georgia's best-preserved historic Cherokee Indian home and one of the oldest remaining structures in the northern third of the state. Take a tour of the place and see the beautiful hand-carved features, the amazing "floating" staircase, and a number of incredible antiques. There's also a museum on-site with interactive exhibits explaining the history of this remarkable home. Visitors in July can experience Vann House Days while visitors in December can take a Christmas tour by candlelight.
Another site of historical significance is Prater's Mill, located just 17 miles outside of town. While tours are available via appointment only, the grounds are always open from dawn to dusk and visitors to the area in early October are encouraged to make a trek to the mill for the Country Fair for mountain music, Southern foods, living history exhibits, and handmade crafts and art of almost two hundred artisans!
You will find plenty of dining options throughout town with many offering Southern-style menus and hospitality including Edna's and The Village Cafeteria, as well as superb hometown food and top notch burgers from The Creme Hut (since 1968), and Big V. Of course, you might prefer to save money and cook meals in your own kitchen - the perks of a vacation rental!
Just 85 miles south of Chatsworth sits the vibrant city of Atlanta. Here, you can take advantage of world-class shopping, unparalleled restaurants, and a variety of high-energy, all-hours entertainment options! While there's so much to see and do in Atlanta, after a visit, you may find yourself appreciating the quiet of Chatsworth all the more!
Only 43 miles north, visit the historic city of Chattanooga, TN (the fourth largest city in the state) for a whole host of exciting and fascinating things to see and do including fun-filled museums, boat tours, and even challenging escape rooms.
Chatsworth is a city with small-town sensibilities, surrounded by incredible wilderness ready to be explored. Our fabulous vacation rentals let you have a fantastic time wandering these historic streets, chatting with the locals, and setting out on winding trails leading to singing rivers, and even a few rushing waterfalls.
Photo Credit: Mike via Flickr