Cheap Trips #1 - - Toccoa, Ga. - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Cheap Trips #1 - - Toccoa, Ga.

By Andrew Wittenberg  - bio | email | Twitter

TOCCOA, GA (WTVM) - Folks are really pinching their pennies these days.

Instead of going on a long, pricey vacation, you might be looking for a cheaper alternative closer to home.

Our first "cheap trip" takes us into northeast Georgia.

Toccoa is less than 200 miles from Columbus and seems like a world away.

Nestled in the mountains of North Georgia, Toccoa is world away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.

About 9,000 people call this area home.

But that's part of it's charm, in addition to all of the natural beauty.

"One of the things that's so appealing about this area is just the beautiful outdoor setting," said John Gailer with Toccoa Falls College.

"We have the national forest here, we're in the foothills of the mountains, just a gorgeous climate, and a lot of beautiful natural resources people can enjoy," Gailer said.

If you visit Toccoa, you can't miss out on the beautiful Toccoa Falls, which bring in 15,000 tourists a year.

The Cherokee Indians called this area 'Toccoah,' which means "beautiful."

It has been called the most peaceful place in the state of Georgia.

The best part of this cheap trip, admission is free.

You definitely get your money's worth.

These falls are nearly 30 feet higher than Niagra Falls.

"Our falls are 186 feet high, with free-falling falls, which I believe is the highest east of the Mississippi, that is free-falling," Gailer said.

The food is also some of the best east of the Mississippi.

There's no shortage of restaurants along Doyle Street...and trust me they are all good.

My favorite new restaurant in Toccoa is called BJ's.

In addition to meat loaf and country fried steak, daily specials include "Maxine's Chicken."

It's named after Maxine, one of the cooks.

We're talking bacon, cheese, barbecue sauce, on top of a beautiful chicken breast.

Have a couple of sides of fried green beans, macaroni and cheese and you're talking good eats.

Maxine is a little camera shy, but her food does plenty of talking.

"She used to work at another restaurant and she used to do that special, when she came to work to us, she told us about the chicken special there that everybody liked," said BJ's owner Jean Fountain.

I must admit, though, the best part of the whole trip was Jean's coconut caramel frozen cream pie.

The cost for sweet tea, lunch and dessert, and some great conversation, just $7, under $10 with a tip.

Lunch at BJ's would run you about $35 for a family of four.

Admission to the falls is free. 

For those planning a long weekend trip, the folks in Toccoa recommend the Simmons Bond Inn.

It's a gorgeous bed and breakfast right in downtown with rates starting at $79 for a weekday special.

So for less than $150, you have a place to stay, some excellent food, and one cheap trip.

Toccoa, Georgia links:

http://www.cityoftoccoa.com/

http://www.simmons-bond.com/

http://mainstreettoccoa.com/index.html

 

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