Sprawling vineyards, gourmet delicacies, romantic chateaus — if you’ve been dreaming of a vacation in the French countryside, save yourself the flight and explore a picturesque Georgia mountain town that has all the charm but is much closer to home. Say “oui” to Braselton, located in Northern Georgia, less than an hour from Atlanta.
In Braselton’s historic downtown, hop on a vintage wood-framed trolley and go for a ride to admire the red brick buildings, farmhouses with wraparound porches, and restored structures — from mansions to an old schoolhouse — that are now home to antique shops, bustling eateries, and offices. Don’t miss a stop inside the turn-of-the-century Braselton Bros. Department Store, originally built as a mercantile for the local farming community, and today, home to a collection of locally-owned boutiques all under one roof. Take a selfie in front of the building’s iconic white lettering before exploring the rest of the downtown area.
The French countryside is also full of scenic riverfront walkways, so there’s no better way to recreate this experience than with a stroll along the Mulberry Riverwalk, a peaceful 2.5-mile nature walk just minutes from downtown, where you’ll pass beneath a shady canopy of trees and past river views and picnic spots.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, you won’t want to miss The Galloping Galette, where sweet and savory crepes are loaded with gourmet toppings. Order fan favorites like the La Banane (topped with butter, sugar, homemade Chantilly cream, sliced bananas, and chocolate syrup) or the La Terroir (piled with mozzarella, sausage, and creamed mushrooms). Want to get creative? Build your own crepe masterpiece with a selection of toppings. To experience even more delicious restaurants in Braselton, take part in the new Tour de Charcuterie restaurant week, with participating restaurants offering specially priced menus and deals.
No trip to Braselton would be complete without venturing to nearby Chateau Elan Winery & Resort. A luxurious French chateau-style resort surrounded by 3,500 acres of verdant forests and rolling hillsides draped in vineyards, this destination will transport you to the French countryside in no time. Take a winery tour and sample your way through a wine lineup of your choosing (everything from sparkling wine to port), order a chef-curated charcuterie board to enjoy in the outdoors, or explore the vineyard grounds with a pre-ordered picnic basket for that extra je ne sais quoi. Or enjoy some time on one of the resort’s three golf courses, offering 45 holes of championship golf. If extra pampering is on the agenda, unwind with a soothing massage at Chateau Elan Spa, and then relax in the sauna, whirlpool, or saltwater pool. Then, take your pick from posh guest rooms, private villas, and even sumptuous spa suites for the ultimate getaway.
Throughout the year, Braselton is home to exciting events, from antique fairs and wine walks to concerts on the Town Green. During the holidays, there’s even a shopping event called the Braselton Bonbon Trail, a holiday shopping trail featuring local small businesses, where shoppers can win prizes (think: a wine country getaway and multi-course dinners) by buying their holiday gifts at local shops. But there’s one annual event that will give everyone a thrill: the Motul Petit Le Mans. Nodding to the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans in France, this annual racing event features four days of high-speed battles on the track, culminating with the 10-hour IMSA WeatherTech Championship showdown. This highly anticipated event takes place at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, a 750-acre park-like complex with one of the world’s best road courses. Bring a whole group and rent one of the suites inside the all-new Michelin Tower, and explore the recently paved Fan Zone for food and drinks, interactive displays, live entertainment, and memorabilia to take home as a souvenir.
Immerse yourself in the French culture, cuisine, and countryside charm, all available in Braselton. Start dreaming up your perfect getaway with even more trip ideas.