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Georgia RVoyager in Ellijay! The Apple of Georgia's Eye!

Georgia RVoyager - Route 515

Georgia’s Appalachian Highway –Ellijay, GA

Spring is just around the corner!

DIRECTIONS FROM ATLANTA:

Ellijay, county seat of Gilmer County, the Apple Capital of Georgia, is located on Georgia’s Appalachian Highway 77 miles north of Five Points, Terminus, Downtown Atlanta. Directions from Atlanta are simple, find I-75 from wherever, take exit 265 north, which is where I-575 north begins. Go north some 29 miles. I-575 then becomes GA-515, The Appalachian Highway. Continue north some 28 miles, and when entering East Ellijay on GA-515, continue to the third traffic light. Turn left on GA-2, Spring Street which becomes River Street, and you are in downtown Ellijay.

WHERE TO PARK YOUR CAR, PICK-UP OR SUV:

The municipal parking lot is located on River Street, one block east of the square. A very clean public restroom facility is located on the north side of the lot.

WHERE TO PARK YOUR RV FOR A DAY TRIP:

Four options are currently available. 

First, Plum Nelly campground is located just off 515 three miles south of Ellijay. Located just across from Panorama and Penland Apple Houses, its an ideal place for over night parking, especially for travel trailers or tag-alongs, call for reservations, 404-317-2458.  

Second is to turn right at the first traffic light on GA-515 entering East Ellijay. You will see a Super Wal-Mart directly in front of you. We recommend parking large class A’s and diesel pushers in the front lot, well away from the store entrances. Parking is plentiful, and, of course there is the convenience of the Super Wal-Mart. Over night parking is not recommended. Unhook your tow and head on up 515 to the second light.

Next, at the second traffic light, turn right and then right again behind the Burger King. A very nice Ingles Supermarket parking lot offers convenient parking.   Parking is more restricted here, but smaller class A’s and C’s should be fine. Overnight parking is not allowed, but a day trip to downtown should pose no problem.

Finally, for class B’s and all other vehicles, curb parking is available on River Road, Main Street, and through-out the downtown area.

 

Look for Panorama Orchards on the right of GA-515, after you pass the exit for GA-382/Old Hwy 5 on the left, you’ll see the buildings after you top the hill, so slow down. Turn right onto Talona Ridge Road and park along the roadside. Panorama is open year ‘round, but the fall season is special. Enjoy a fried apple pie, ice cream and cold apple cider for a real old fashioned treat! 706-276-3813

Ellijay offers many Apple Orchards. Find them at www.gilmerchamber.com

 


 

Colonel Poole’s Bar-B-Q, just off GA-515 at the second light, to the right, offers the Pig Hill Hall of Fame, you’ll see it!, numerous right-wing politico photos of the Colonel…they still serve democrats here, and righteous Southern Style Bar-B-Q. Call Colonel Oscar Poole for advice as to what’s best, both for the Republic, and for your pork barrel. Order your pork today! Call:

706-635-4100

NOW THAT YOU’RE HERE:

Why I like things that begin with A: Antiques, Apples and Appetite.

Ellijay’s River Street and town square are lined with shops that appeal to all five senses. For those of us visiting in our RV’s, we’ll find wonderful gifts to send to friends and family, art and antiques to ship home, and useful and foolish things to put aboard our refuge on the road. Hospitality abounds, and shopkeepers and clerks like Liz Larouere of Penland’s Antiques and Antiques Outback are gracious guides to a pleasant day in Ellijay.

Penland’s Hardware & Feed and Seed

Penland’s is an old Hardware and Feed & Seed store that harkens back to the days of self sufficient hard scrabble farming and fathers and sons, mothers and daughters doing the work of building America. How much we owe to them, and here on River Street a new tradition is rising. Where once stood bags of seed corn, and milled wheat, harness tack and tractor tool now are found the implements of artisan and crafter, antiques and china, whatnots and mementoes to fill the rooms and mantle hearths of newly built cabins and homes and aeries rising across the sharp hills and along the rapid waters of Gilmer County. Some 70 booths are stocked with yet hung or sat upon treasures, and they are waiting your arrival.

Just up the street, on the other side, is a modest treasure. Cantaberry Restaurant is a gaily painted, bistro sized jewel of Haute Cuisine if not superb luncheon fare that will bring absolute joy to your palate.

Case and Jessica Bruner's Cantaberry Restaurant    706-636-4663

What needs to be said, and said loudly, is that anything the proprietors, Case (pronounced Ca-see) and Jessica Bruner, cal lthe  “Soup of the Day” will rival, in taste, texture, and preparation, the richest lobster bisques of Nantucket, the heartiest fish stocks of Maryland’s Eastern Shore or the most savory she-crab soups of Charleston.

Speaking of Charleston, Case cut his teeth on low country cuisine. A graduate of  Johnson & Wales Uuniversity's Culinary Arts Program, Case has taken his talent for wonderful, savory low country cooking as far away as Germany, and now as close to home as Ellijay!

If only this was Cantaberry-by-the-Sea, ah Lobster! Ah Crab! Ah, boy is the tomato basil soup fantastic! This fresh creamy soup, sienna caramel colored diced tomato delight is excellent. In fact every soup offered, chicken and rice, cream of mushroom, all, are made from fresh picked, often local, vegetables and herbs, and seasoned to perfection.

This wonderful cafe is open Monday through Saturday, 11ish to 3ish, and a new monthly evening supper, a very special meal is offered. For reservations to this delightful supper, please email jbruner@

I go to Ellijay to eat here…and while the casual atmosphere and down-home ambience leads you to expect at best good old home style country cooking, the food here, served as soups, sandwiches and salads, will persuade you otherwise. In fact, it is easy to see this little store front on River Street as a shrine to those wonderful never forgotten tea rooms gracing the main streets of our somnolent southern cities of the near past, where chicken salad, crab cakes, stuffed tomatoes and tart aspics delighted the palate and soothed the appetite of many a dowager.

Cantaberry’s chicken salad sandwich, a modest blending of breast meat, red and white grapes, pecans and mayonnaise served on store bought white bread, garnished with red onion, lettuce and tomato is a mélange of tastes conjuring up memories of long-gone places lining streets that remain only in name the same; where in our youth we sat delighted in small bites, surrounded by faces that gave comfort and the promise of a mother’s love and a maiden aunt’s endearment.

Our southern food was consolation for lost battles and defeated heroes. Food is at the center of all real culture; eating food wraps all the senses into a moment of sublime satisfaction, or forgettable negligence.

Come to Cantaberry’ s and sit for a spell at what may truly be described as nexus of pleasing taste and pleasant recollect, and let the wonderful food and earnest hospitality of this modest restaurant give you a hint of Waite’s, or Clout’s, or Rich’s, of tea rooms and white gloved and veiled women, of curious yet circumspect conversation, and above all, sandwiches laid artistically upon the plate, garnish arranged in floral patterns, and chicken salad to satisfy a yearning for a the order of a lost past. Such are luncheon encounters to remember!

Next to Cantaberry’ s are the offices of the Times – Courier, Gilmer Counties’ newspaper and herald of community affairs, established in 1875. Just beyond a delightful ladies apparel shop is a public parking lot, and, located to the rear of the lot is a normally clean public restroom facility. Don’t miss going to the Olde Hotel Gallery and Gifts, located on the east side of the parking lot.

Olde Hotel Gallery & Gifts
Sweet Melissa’s of Ellijay

Across River Street is beautifully restored two story brick building. Sweet Melissa’s of Ellijay offers another dining opportunity, with friendly service and thoroughly enjoyable food.

Walking a few steps up River Street reveals the square, with pleasant seating around a veteran’s memorial stele. To the north are several very pleasant antique shops, The Antique Hound centers the north square, and next door is Antiques and More. Both these shops feature collectibles, glass, crystal, the odd and unusual and friendly, helpful staffs. Antiques and More also has architectural and antique fixtures, and antique furnishings.

Several quaint stores front the square along north Main Street, with a fine collection of Fenton Art Glass found in one. What I did not find in Ellijay was fine antiques. If you’re looking for a 19th century French Bombe Chest, Sterling Silver, Hawkes Glass, Fine Art, Persian carpets, well, you are out of luck…but that’s the
case in most North Georgia Shops.

 

 


 

For the fun collectors, those seeking an unusual piece or what not, and lots of great conversation starters, and a really fine luncheon experience, Ellijay won’t disappoint you.

Oh yes, if you like apples, town fairs, pleasant folks and happy children, don’t miss this weekend and next!

See you on our next RVoyage! – Bull Sullivan



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