It may come as a surprise to some that Boston (Georgia of course) has more to offer than the annual mini-marathon, which draws hundreds of running enthusiasts to the small community each year on the last Saturday in October.
Located in Thomas County, Boston was once a stagecoach stop that brought frequent visitors to the small community. In 1861, the original settlement of Boston was moved 3 miles to its present location to be closer to the railroad.
Though the railroad no longer brings people to Boston, the quaint small town continues to attract guests from across South Georgia and North Florida. With a strong community spirit, along with an active business association and continued tourism efforts, Boston is becoming more than a spot on the highway.
“If you take a map and draw a circle out 50 miles from Boston, you will see where traffic is coming from,” says Ann McCrickard, member of the Boston tourism association. “People in North Florida and Southwest Georgia are beginning to notice Boston. We are a friendly community with a nice selection of shops; and while there are some commonalities, each of them brings their own unique style.”
The best part of visiting a small town is checking out where the locals eat. In Boston that would be the Main Street Café, where owners Bill and Tina Carson serve breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Saturday, and a Sunday lunch special.
“If you are planning to eat at the café on Sunday, you better come early,” says Ann. “By noon the place is packed.”
Boston’s downtown offers an eclectic mix of boutiques and shops featuring clothing, vintage and repurposed furniture, home décor, crafted jewelry, quirky metal art pieces, and unique gift items for newborns to newlyweds.
Located on Main Street, Besties, which started in 2013 as a chance for three friends to clean out their attics, has grown into a fulltime business for Linda and Rodney Willis. With a large selection of repurposed furniture and home décor, Besties is drawing customers throughout the region.
“We have a lot of people who see our furniture on our Facebook page and drive over from Tallahassee, Monticello, and Valdosta,” says Linda. “We may have something one day, but when you come back it will probably be gone.”
While only open Thursday through Saturday, Linda says the rest of the time she and Rodney are hunting up more furniture.
“Most of the furniture we have is vintage and needs some care,” she says. “We bring it back to the warehouse and Rodney does the repairs and painting.”
Down the street at Cahoots, another shop where friends came together as entrepreneurs, customers will find an array of merchandise. The store, which winds through several rooms and a narrow hallway, features handmade soap, crafted jewelry, ladies clothing, hand knitted items, and a large selection of the popular Melissa and Doug toys.
Just off Main Street is the Corner Cottage, which is housed in the old hardware store. The historic building, which was constructed circa 1899, still has its original flooring and massive wood beams. It is the rustic charm that enticed Donna Davis and her mother, Billie Thornton, to purchase the building in 2016.
“We fell in love with the building and its history,” says Donna. “And we have fallen in love with this town and the people. Everyone is friendly, and we all recommend people to visit the other stores.”
The Corner Cottage features an assortment of furniture, paintings, and collectibles. If you are trying to find that perfect gift for the hard to shop for person, then Donna suggests creating a fairy garden.
A growing trend, Donna thought the fairy gardens would be ideal for children’s birthday parties.
“The birthday parties are popular, but we also have garden clubs and church groups coming to create the fairy gardens,” says Donna. “We even hosted a mom’s night out group from Thomasville.”
The gardens, which include miniature vignettes with themed furnishings, have proven to be more than a personal gift option but also an opportunity to create a social event.
“We wanted to offer something unique to help bring people in the shop,” she says. “After a lot of prayers, God dropped this idea into our laps. It has been a lot of fun.”
As you prepare to leave the cottage, the aroma of chocolate will pique your interest as you find your way next door to Sweet Cacao Chocolates. Owner Dena White is a master chocolatier who creates an assortment of truffles, brownies, and chocolate covered marshmallows, as well as homemade granola and gelato.
Once shopping is completed, it is time to grab a table at the Buzzery, where owners Jerry and Beverly Magginnis have incorporated locally produced honey into their menu of pizza and mead.
Jerry explains that mead is created by fermenting honey and water. He then adds a variety of fruits to develop unique blends such as blackcurrant and blueberry, strawberry, pomegranate, and peach.
“I wanted to do this as a family business,” Jerry says. “We are offering something unique that people want, and having fun.”
Jerry says the family connection includes his daughter, Cana, and her husband, Dennie Best, owners of Best Apiaries, which supplies the local honey used in the pizza dough and sauce, as well as the mead. His son, Dave, provides the marketing expertise and works alongside his parents in the restaurant.
“We moved to Boston to be near our daughter and grandchildren,” says Jerry. “We decided to open a pizza place, and I started making mead, so it was a good combination.”
With the growing popularity of mead, Jerry has purchased another building in Boston with the hopes of establishing a mead tasting room and retail store.