Residents of Winder and Jefferson enjoy an ideal location and easy access to nearby cities. Winder is near U.S. Route 29 and State Route 8, while Jefferson is close to U.S. Route 129 and I-85. For those who prefer to stay closer to home, there's plenty to do. Popular attractions in the Winder - Jefferson region include Fort Yargo State Park, Barrow County Museum, Jackson County Courthouse, Crawford W. Long Museum and the Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm.
Fort Yargo State Park, located in Winder, is 1,814 acres of recreational land around an old fort which was originally established by settlers in 1792. In addition to the 260-acre lake with its own beach and boat ramps, there are cottages, picnic shelters, tennis courts, and camping facilities for parties of all sizes.
The Barrow County Museum is located in the old Barrow County Jail. The building was originally constructed in 1915 and renovated for the museum in 1993. The museum is dedicated to local history and contains news archives dating back to 1915, photographs, World War I and II uniforms and other memorabilia of the county's early days.
Another tribute to history – the Jackson County Courthouse in Jefferson – was built in 1879 at a cost of $11,500. The building is small but impressive with its Early Classical Revival and Italianate architecture. The Neoclassical clock tower was added in 1906. The building is still being used as a courthouse, but due its small size, plans are in the works to construct a new courthouse outside the downtown area.
Crawford W. Long was perhaps the most famous resident of Jefferson. Long was the first physician to use ether as an anesthetic during surgery. Today, the Crawford W. Long Museum stands on the site of this first anesthetized surgery, performed in 1842. The museum recreates an 1840s medical office, apothecary shop and general store.
The Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm is an outdoor history museum, complete with a cotton gin, blacksmith shop, wheat house, grist mill, commissary and a restored schoolhouse. Visitors can enjoy the farm's history through scheduled seminars and tours of the facilities.
Visitors and residents can also enjoy a variety of county-operated recreational facilities in both communities. Organized league soccer, basketball, baseball and tennis are available. Jefferson maintains athletic fields and facilities at Lamar Murphy Park, Gordon St. Regional Evening School and the Pro Cheer Training Center.