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Things To Do In Clayton GA

June 20, 2024

Clayton, GA: Your Long Weekend Adventure Guide with Wild & Scenic Whitewater

Long Weekend Adventure in Clayton GA

Looking to plan an unforgettable long weekend adventure or getaway? Let’s escape to Clayton, Georgia, a picturesque mountain town with outdoor thrills and local charm! Ranked #5 on Southern Living’s “Best Small Towns In Georgia” list, Clayton boasts breathtaking landscapes and is the gateway to adventure and whitewater rafting on the Chattooga River. 

We’ve been navigating these wild waters since 1972, guiding unforgettable experiences that blend adventure, education, and a deep respect for nature. Our guides know the area and the Chattooga like the back of their hand, providing a thrilling whitewater adventure. But a long weekend adventure in Clayton, GA offers more than just rapids! We’ll help you discover hidden gems, from charming downtown shops to scenic overlooks, making your long weekend in Clayton truly extraordinary. Let us be your guide to the ultimate Clayton itinerary, perfectly blending outdoor excitement with the best local finds!

Long Weekend Adventure in Clayton GA

Day 1: Coffee, Culture, and a Clayton Crawl

Kickstart your morning with a caffeine boost and a delectable bite at White Birch Provisions. This spot is a beautiful haven for coffee lovers and pastry enthusiasts. Their menu boasts delicious hand-crafted beverages alongside an impressive selection of sweet and savory treats. Imagine coconut-studded “magic” cookie bars and fluffy bacon-cheddar scones – pure temptation! The inviting atmosphere, with high ceilings, warm wood accents, and plenty of natural light, makes it a place to relax and savor your coffee and pastry for as long as you like or fuel you for a day of exploration.

Head across the street to Wander North Georgia (87 N Main St, Clayton, GA 30525), a carefully curated shop celebrating the spirit of adventure near and far. Also, check out the most adorable bookstore downstairs, Hullabaloo Books.

If you are feeling hungry, we recommend a walk over to the Universal Joint (link to menu) for lunch and snag a patio table. Their burgers, sandwiches, and salads, all crafted with fresh ingredients, offer an authentic taste of Clayton and good vibes.

For the afternoon, we recommend a walkabout! Sweetly stroll the streets of Clayton, heading in and out of art galleries filled with everything from kitted arts to wildlife paintings that make you do a double take. Clayton is a treasure trove for the curious wanderer. 

For your evening adventures, we have heard great things about the Fortify Kitchen and Bar for dinner, but if we are honest, a movie under the stars sounds like our kind of night! Before you go, check out the Tiger Drive-In Movie Theater showtimes in Clayton and catch the new summer flick!

Day 2: Conquer the Chattooga River with NOC

With a relaxing evening at the movies behind you, you will be well-rested for the ultimate whitewater adventure! The Chattooga River, a Congress-designated “Wild & Scenic” wonder, is calling. Whether you’re a family with young adventurers ready for Section 3 or seasoned paddlers seeking the heart-pounding thrills of Section 4, our expert guides will lead you through Seven Foot Falls, Bull Sluice rapids, waterfalls, and breathtaking scenery. Southern Living Magazine praised Chattooga River rafting as, “the one thing every Southerner should do”.

NOC co-founder Payson Kennedy led our first commercial whitewater rafting trips down the Chattooga in the early 1970s. Payson was once a canoeing stunt double on the Chattooga while filming the movie Deliverance. Our connection to the river runs deep. References to the movie are scattered throughout our outpost and inserted into many of our guides’ corny river jokes; we are thankful the film spurred a sharp increase in boating and better management and protection of the Chattooga. 

One of the most fascinating things about the Chattooga River is its free-flowing, undammed waters. After the passage of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1968, a committed group of local boaters and conservationists pushed to get the Chattooga River on the list of protected rivers. Even the Governor of Georgia, a plain-spoken man named Jimmy Carter, lent his support. In return for their efforts, in 1974, the Chattooga became the first river east of the Mississippi designated Wild and Scenic.

After an adrenaline-pumping day on the river, treat yourself to some well-deserved pizza at the Humble Pie, conveniently close to our outpost. Their handcrafted pies, made with fresh ingredients, are the ultimate reward for a day of paddling on your long weekend adventure in Clayton, GA.

Humble Pie: 14239 Long Creek Hwy, Long Creek, SC 29658

Day 3: Summit Day at Black Rock Mountain

However you choose to start your final morning with another trip to White Birch for coffee or try The Rusty Bike Cafe for a famous biscuit, we recommend capping off your adventure with a scenic drive to Black Rock Mountain State Park. Just 10 minutes from downtown Clayton, this mountaintop oasis offers panoramic vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains and multiple states that will leave you speechless. Hike the trails, have a picnic, and soak in the natural beauty that defines this region.

Looking for Lodging?

Stepping into Clayton’s newest gem, Bridge Creek Inn, feels like a warm welcome. Renovated in 2023, the 1940s building retains its historic charm with sun-drenched lobbies featuring original concrete floors and columns. Leather seating and artwork by local husband-and-wife duo Michelle (a nature photographer) and Broderick Crawford (a painter) add a touch of cozy elegance. Guest rooms reflect the mountain views with earth tones, creating a serene atmosphere: the Vandiver, a full-service restaurant serving modern American cuisine. Bridge Creek Inn caters to all, offering a comfortable and stylish stay for solo travelers and families.

Why Choose NOC for Your Chattooga Adventure?

Our Chattooga guides are not just good; they’re the best in the business. Trained to the highest standards and fueled by their passion for the river, they are your guide for an unforgettable adventure. At NOC, we don’t just offer whitewater adventures; we create memories that last a lifetime. Whether it’s your first time or your fiftieth, we promise you an exceptional experience that will leave you with a heart full of natural joy.

Ready to Experience the Wild Side of Clayton?

Let NOC guide you to an unforgettable long weekend in Clayton, Georgia. But don’t just take our word. Here’s what some of our previous customers say: 

Book your Chattooga River rafting trip today for your long weekend adventure in Clayton, GA, and prepare for a weekend you will never forget.

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