Watkinsville is the county seat for Oconee County. A main attraction, other than excellent schools, is the arts community.
The downtown area is small but features Town Center, with several restaurants and shops. The original section of Watkinsville with the court house, antique shops, a flower shop, and the Eagle Tavern is a great place to spend the afternoon. There are other shops at OCAF and just down the street is Chappell Gallery.
During the summer months, the Watkinsville Trade and Tourism Association sponsors First Friday with family activities including the Kid Zone. On Saturday mornings, the Oconee Farmers Market is open, with local farmers selling fresh vegetables, meat, eggs and more. You can also buy local soap, honey, plants and various crafts.
Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF) is a main attraction in Watkinsville and provides art classes, demonstrations, and art festivals several times each year. Another favorite, Chappell Gallery is a beautiful art gallery just outside downtown Watkinsville, with a good selection of art from local artists.
Also, near downtown is Thomas Orchard, where you can buy locally grown peaches in the summer. Headed toward 316 on Hwy. 53 is Washington Farms, offering you-pick-them strawberries, and Miller’s Blueberry Farm (you pick em) is on Union Church Road.
Ashford Manor Bed and Breakfast is a large, Victorian style home with beautiful rooms and immaculate grounds with a pool. Ashford Manor is a great get away place, even if you live nearby. During the summer months, there is music on the lawn, provided by local musicians. Meals can be purchased there (provided by local restaurants) or take your own.
Over the past 20 years, we have seen a lot of growth in Watkinsville. Many new neighborhoods were built in the early 2000’s but that came to a halt in 2007. However, over the past couple of years, we have started seeing more new development in commercial and residential properties.
Harris Shoals Park, Herman C. Michael Park, Oconee Veterans Memorial Park, and Heritage Park, all managed by the Oconee County Recreation Dept., offer activities for children and adults.
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