We are fortunate enough to live close enough to the North Georgia mountains to make day trips, but weekend trips are even better. So trip number 3 saw us heading to Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee, GA. Home of the Georgia Mountain Fair each year. This is one of our favorite places. There’s always events going on at the fairgrounds and concerts at the concert hall. There are gardens onsite with trails through them. The campground is surrounded by Lake Chatuge. We highly recommend you check their events page often. You never know when Travis Tritt, Three Dog Night or Josh Turner will be playing. It’s nice to walk from your camper to your concert. The fairgrounds also hosts one of our favorite events. The Appalachian Brew, Stew & Que Festival.
This was our first trip to the area together, it certainly hasn’t been our last. On this trip we were joined by one of our good friends. So we learned another valuable lesson, one that I knew better since I’ve camped my entire life. Hiawassee is about a 2.5 hour trip so, leaving after work we arrived at dusk. The lot had a steep slope toward the water. I had failed to pack extra boards for leveling. Thankfully the gentleman across the road had extra and shared. Then it started raining and camper kept slipping on the levelers. Again, our neighbor saved us and helped me get setup.
This is a good time to share a tip. I bought a leveling set when I purchased the camper that is just amazing. I’ve spent my whole life using blocks and boards to level campers. I’m not sure why it took so long for someone to come up with this little jewel.
This is the upgraded version we have now but the original was the same concept but it was just smooth plastic which meant the rain was causing it to slip every time I got it level and tried to unhook the Jeep. Anyway, You normally just back up on this wedge until the camper is level. Shove the other wedge under it. Chock the tire on the other side and you’re done. That’s unless the slope is too steep.
We finally got setup and of course it stopped raining as soon as we did. It turned out to be a beautiful evening.
One of my favorite things about camping is mornings. I love to brew that first cup of coffee in the Keurig. Take it outside and enjoy the view of the lake with my morning vice.
It just doesn’t get much better than this. Lake Chatuge is a gorgeous mountain lake and the Fairgrounds has many lake front lots. The campground is on both sides of the highway. Lots on the Fairgrounds side have full hookups on the other side of the highway they just have water and power. The far side is generally less crowded and better spaced. If you don’t need full hookups I recommend it. We do like to stay on the Fairgrounds side when attending events so we can walk to them without crossing the highway. Especially the beer festival ….lol.
We did a little exploring and came across a newly opened brewery. Hiawassee Brew. It’s a great venue. They have a taco truck outside and there was a portable axe throwing service setup on the day we were there. The venue has a cool vibe, indoor and outdoor covered seating and it’s as you exit the south side of town so not a lot of traffic and noise. I will say the beer was not great but they have guest taps. Being brand new, I’m sure they will improve.
We stopped in town for some photo wall pics. and then headed to eat at an excellent brewery, serving farm to table food in nearby Hayesville, NC. It’s about 15-20 minutes from the Fairgrounds. The back seat was out of the Jeep so one of us had an interesting ride each way. Nocturnal Brewing Company makes some great beer. I tried about 5 or 6 different beers including sour, IPA, Pilsner and a few more. I didn’t have a single beer that wasn’t delicious and true to style. The food is phenomenal and you should make it a point to eat here.
I can’t mention a trip to Hiawassee without talking about the Sand Bar & Grille. We always kick up our heels here. It’s an open air sports bar with passable food. Plenty of cold beer and a full bar. It has a huge front lot covered in sand. Much of it is covered under a tent. They have adirondack chairs, beach volleyball, corn hole and live music. We can’t always share the stories from the Sand Bar.