Watkinsville is a delightful town that caters to artists and craftspeople. It wasn’t always looked at that way. In the early 1800s, Watkinsville was considered so rowdy that it was declared “off limits” to students at nearby Athens’ newly founded university. The center of this riotous living was the Eagle Tavern. The Eagle Tavern was a stopping off point for almost anyone traveling between Milledgeville and Athens. It still is.
Today, the tavern houses the Oconee County Welcome Center. Watkinsville has a reputation as a haven for artists and a bonanza for tourists. Another Watkinsville draw is Happy Valley Art Community founded by Kathy and Jerry Chappelle. Happy Valley provides an artistic home base for other disciplines as well as pottery. You can also visit Chappelle Gallery in the historic Haygood House in downtown Watkinsville to purchase contemporary art and crafts from more than 125 artists.
Watkinsville is home to one of only thirteen usable covered bridges and the only one on Georgia’s Antebellum Trail. Elder Mill Covered Bridge straddles Rose Creek. It’s a favorite photo spot.
Ashford Manor Bed and Breakfast is a great place to stay while you tour the area. It has a interesting history as well as uniquely decorated rooms. History buff, art connoisseur or just plain tourist, you’ll agree that whatever its past, it’s now earned the title “Wonderful Watkinsville.”