Summer fun is often found in simplicity — churning fresh ice cream, swimming in the lake or grilling hamburgers. Relaxation is key.
And while school may be back in session, hot summer days haven’t gone anywhere yet. So after that hectic first week of school, take a break.
Drive up toward the mountains, grab a basket and head across the field to pick some juicy red raspberries.
At Tiger Mountain Orchards south of Clayton, you can pay by the pint or gallon and pick as much as you want. Bushes of raspberries are planted at the bottom of a gently sloping hill. Blackberry bushes, grape vines, peach trees and roses are interspersed between.
Another field down the road offers more berries and is surrounded by apple trees. That business starts up in September.
“You can’t go wrong with berries,” said owner Bob Massee.
He eats plenty of fresh berries while working on the farm, but said he also enjoys them with some cream and sugar or in a cobbler.
He said the farm has been in operation since 1929; the you-pick side of business was started in the early 1980s.
Once you’ve filled your baskets with berries, put your money in the box. Payment is based on an honor system, which Massee said works fairly well.
Do your best to wipe all that juice off your hands and arms, and you’re on your way with your freshly-picked crop.
The raspberry season lasts into the beginning of September.
And if you’re looking for a few other things to do on your Saturday, try lunch at Zepplin's Pasta House or one of the many other restaurants in downtown Clayton. Zeppelin’s offers flat-bread pizzas and bison burgers with a hip rock ’n’ roll feel.
Clayton has plenty of shops in its downtown, too, along with a farmers’ market from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays on Main Street.
On your way back home, stop by Tallulah Gorge State Park. For $5 and less than a half-mile walk, you’ll get some of the best views in Georgia. Or get more adventurous and get a permit to go to the gorge floor. Permits are limited to 100 daily, and you must have proper footwear.
Don’t forget to stop by Jaemor Farms in Alto on the way home for some fresh peaches to go with your berries.