Georgia's Premier School of Herbal Studies for Twenty-Four Years!

Places to Eat

Rusty Bike Cafe is open from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Great breakfast spot! Open 7 days a week.

The Clayton Cafe, on Main Street in downtown Clayton, is classic southern diner with no-nonsense food. Your standard American breakfast and "meat and three" lunches. Their fried chicken is famous. Open at 6:00 AM and closes after lunch. Monday to Saturday. No credit cards, cash only.

Grapes and Beans Cafe, known locally as “The Bean,” is a favorite local hang out. Open from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM daily, with salads, homemade soups and sandwiches (lots of vegetarian options) featuring seasonal and local ingredients, free trade coffee, cappuccino and espresso, plus a sophisticated selection of local and international wines by the glass or bottle. Located on Savannah Street in downtown Clayton.

Manrique's Mexican Store and Restaurant is a family-run restaurant serving authentic Mexican food for lunch and dinner all made fresh ingredients. Average meal is about $10 and the quality is MUCH better than any other local Mexican restaurants. If you are a soccer fan, grab a seat in front of the huge flat screen TV. Beer and wine available.  No website. Closed Tuesdays. Located on Hwy 441 just across for Community Bank (clock on the tower) and south of the intersection of Hwy 441 and Hwy 76 East. 613 HIGHWAY 441 S STE 2 , Clayton, 30525, 706-782-5815

Fortify features a farm to table menu that rivals anything you’d find in a posh urban restaurant. Full bar with interesting seasonal cocktails using house-made herbal liqueurs. Schedule changes seasonally so check the website (where you can also make dinner reservations). Closed Sunday in the winter, and on Monday throughout the year. Reservations are almost always needed for dinner, though you may be able to squeeze into the bar....

Fortify Pi is the newest creation of the Fortify team. Featuring a casual setting and a menu that includes pizza, salads and sandwiches with lots of vegan and vegetarian possibilities. Gluten free menu. Beer and wine.  Open 11:00 am to 9:00 pm, Tuesday to Saturday. To go orders available. 

The Universal Joint is the place to be on a summer night. Formerly a gas station, the U Joint has lots of outdoor seating, serves salads, sandwiches and appetizers (and a gluten-free menu) with has a full bar. Live music on their outdoor stage on weekend nights during tourist season (June to October). Leashed dogs are welcome. Games for kids. A great place to relax and enjoy being in the mountains! On Main Street in downtown Clayton, just next to the Post Office. Open every day from 11:00 am until late.

Clark's on Main offers lunch and dinner in a sports themed setting. Nice selection of tacos, sandwiches, pizza and salads, all made with fresh ingredients. We love their grilled okra appetizer! Unfortunately there is no gluten-free menu available, so be sure to ask about ingredients if you are avoiding gluten, or any other allergenic ingredients. Wine list and full bar. Open every day for lunch and dinner.

Moon Pie Pizza, Pasta and Bakery is a hidden jewel of restaurant in Dillard, about 5 miles north of Clayton on Hwy. 441. Much more than a pizzeria, with nightly specials, gluten-free options and a lovely wine list, Moon Pie is one of my favorites. To go orders. Open 11:30 am to 8:00 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and until 9:00 pm Friday and Saturday. Closed Monday. 


Rabun County offers a multitude of camping options, from RV hook-ups and hot showers, to secluded forest sites without any amenities.

When planning your camping trip, keep in mind that, due the elevation here, you may find extremely cold temperatures (and even snow) until the first weeks of May. Camping is only recommended May to October. Advanced reservations are required for most campsites.

State Parks in Rabun County

Black Rock Mountain State Park

Moccasin Creek State Park

Tallulah Gorge State Park

Click here for a list of some of the many other camping spots options in Rabun County, most with descriptions, and some of the best primitive sites.

Rabun County is a sleepy place in winter and early spring (November to May) and many places that cater to visitors may be open for fewer hours or closed completely.  However, from Memorial Day until late October, there are lots of out-of-town visitors here. During these months advanced bookings are highly recommended for lodging or camping, and at some of the better restaurants you will need reservations.

We're located in Rabun County, in the northeast corner of  Georgia and in the heart of  the  Southern Appalachian Mountains, one of the most botanically diverse regions in North America. Most of Rabun County is part of the Chattahoochee National Forest. We're famous for our many waterfalls, free flowing rivers, three state parks and miles of hiking and riding trails. A popular destination for camping, whitewater rafting, hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities, with some of Georgia's best restaurants, seasonal farm stands bursting with local produce and several award-winning wineries.  

Lodging Recommendations

Lodging options for a wide range of budgets in the Clayton, Ga. area (with reviews) may be found here:  Trip Advisor.
There are also a number of AirBnB options popping up so check with them too.

Bed and Breakfast

Parker Ranch Tourist Rooms, Clayton, Ga
This is the top choice for lodging for most of our students, and with good reason! Parker Ranch has been hosting guests to Rabun County since 1907 with beautiful guest rooms, all opening onto a classic Southern porch, at a quiet location just a mile from downtown Clayton, and a short walk or drive from our classroom. If you are coming for a weekend program, Parker Ranch offers a special rate for a two night stay. For $160, get two nights (Friday and Saturday) with a hearty hot breakfast that includes an egg dish, meat, homemade baked goods, fruit and yogurt. Special diets are no problem if you notify them in advance.  Call Becky at 404-373-0566 to make your reservation.

Sylvan Falls Mill B & B, Rabun Gap, Ga. This historic gristmill has been transformed into a B & B. Tucked away in Wolffork Valley (about a 15 minute drive from Clayton); guests enjoy a delicious breakfast featuring locally grown ingredients and baked goods made from organic grains that are ground in the mill. Dogs allowed in some rooms.  Call Mike and Linda at 706-746-7138.Hotels

Quality Inn and Suites, Hwy. 441, Clayton, Ga. This no frills hotel is clean and well maintained. The owners and staff are great. 

 America's Best Value Inn, Hwy. 441, Clayton, Ga. Standard chain style motel with friendly owners. Located on Hwy 441, just a few minutes walk from downtown Clayton. Even though it is located along  Highway 441 the rooms are well soundproofed and quiet. 

We've hosted students here for years and are always happy to help you find the right place to stay, and to let you what's going on in the county while you are here. Please contact us if you have questions or need help planning your visit.  

          Rabun County Weather                       Rabun County Events

We're located  about 100 miles northeast of metro Atlanta, and 90 miles southwest of Asheville, North Carolina.  Click here to find out more about Rabun County and its history.

All pictures of Rabun County on this page are used courtesy of local photographer Peter McIntosh

Welcome to the beautiful Southern Appalachians!

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