Are you ready to experience the fun of road trips? National Road Trip Day is the Friday before Memorial Day, which is May 22, 2020, and serves as the official kickoff of the summer road trip season. If you are thinking of planning a road trip, you are not alone. With concerns about COVID-19 and limitations to travel, sources estimate one in three Americans plan to take a road trip this summer. Choose a trip that takes you through the beautiful rolling hills, rich history, and filmed sights of Newton County. No matter what your interest is, we have it covered. Here are some suggestions based on three tourism interests.
Road Trip for the Farm Tourist
Many people don’t realize that it’s just a 45-minute drive east of Atlanta to see the beautiful scenery of farms and pasture. The rolling hills offer a peaceful landscape while you leisurely drive along our country roads. Plan to put your foot on the brakes to pick up some farm-fresh products. Yellow Hen Farm offers fresh, seasonal produce, eggs from their free-range chickens and handcrafted, all-natural, skincare products. Another great destination is Holifield Farms. But due to restrictions with COVID-19, you’ll need to order their quality, fresh pork sausage and other products for pickup since they are currently not allowing entry to their facility. Many of our local farmers and produce growers also sell at the city of Oxford’s farmer’s market.
May is National Strawberry Month, making your road trip all the sweeter with a visit to Mitcham Farm to pick strawberries. By the end of May, blueberries and blackberries will be coming into season to pick at Mitcham Farm. They also have a farmer’s market. Another great stop for picking blueberries is Blue Arbor Blueberry Farm.
Road Trip for the Film Tourist
Newton County is known as Hollywood of the South® and with good reason. We’ve had over 125 TV and films produced in our county, making it a destination for an epic road trip. Take a drive to see your favorite television series and film locations. At the top of our list is Covington Square, where you can see the historic courthouse and clock tower which was filmed in multiple productions including Dukes of Hazzard, In the Heat of the Night and The Vampire Diaries. Also, take the Covington Walk of Stars Self-guided Tour that features over 30 pavers for TV and film productions made in Newton County. Pick up brochures for the Walk of Stars Self-guided Tour and On-location Self-guided Tour, which you can walk or drive, at the visitor’s center.
You might be surprised at all the places you recognize from TV and film as you make your way around the downtown area. Get fun facts and information when you visit the Vampire Stalkers Museum and go on a film tour. Due to social distancing requirements, tours are limited to 5 people and by appointment only. In addition, visit The Alley at Mystic Grill where you will find props and wardrobes from many of your favorite shows.
As you drive around, make a stop at Worthington Manor in Covington, better known as Lockwood Mansion on The Vampire Diaries. You will also want to drive south on Washington Street, where you will pass The Twelve Oaks, known for its connection to Gone with the Wind and where The Vampire Diaries and other favorite productions were filmed. Complete your film tourism road trip in Porterdale where you can see the Porter Memorial Gymnasium, a location where The Vampire Diaries and other productions were filmed. Due to COVID-19, you might not be able to enter the gym but it’s a great area to walk around. Take a break when you grab dessert and coffee at Maddlulu’s and check out their props.
Road Trip for the History Tourist
There is a lot of history to see in Newton County, especially from the Civil War period. Many homes, churches and other structures were saved from Sherman’s March to the Sea and can be seen during a driving tour. We recommend starting at the visitor’s center to get tour brochures. Head to Oxford to see the Old Church and Kitty’s Cottage. While there, take the Civil War Cemetery Walking Tour. Additionally, take a drive along North Emory Street and Odum Street to see the charming historic homes.
Another must-see is the historic Covington Square. The Newton County Courthouse is one of the area’s most iconic structures. To learn about many of the historic buildings downtown and restored Greek Revival mansions and Victorian cottage homes in the area, the visitor’s center can provide a guide for the Historic Home Self-guided Tour. Finish your driving tour in Porterdale, the oldest intact mill village. This fascinating area offers a lot to see as you drive around. Make time to stop and see the old Mill from the bridge and the Porter Memorial Gymnasium.