The outdoor enthusiasts choose the North Georgia Mountains for vacations over other destinations. Their families like all the fun activities the area has on offer. The twin towns of Blue Ridge and Ellijay are ideal for large parties. They play host to several events that all will enjoy being a part of delight in history, cuisine, nature, sports, and the mountains for much less.
Popular Tourist Destinations:
Blue Ridge is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Georgia. It was founded in 1854 along the Marietta and North Georgia railroad routes. It is 90 miles north of Atlanta and is surrounded by the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains.
The small town is tucked away in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Many homes in the Blue Ridge area are single-family second homes or seasonal homes. You will find both Lake Blue Ridge and the Toccoa River dotted with waterfront properties.
For seclusion, rustic houses and cabins are tucked away in the forested hills. There are also gated communities that offer privacy, plenty of amenities and lovely views. Anglers find excellent fishing opportunities at the local rivers and lakes.
Fishing, boating, kayaking and water sports on Blue Ridge River and Toccoa River are favorite activities. Blue Ridge is famous for its farm-fresh produce. Kids will love to hand pick apples and peaches at one of the local farms that are open for tourists.
Campers, hikers, nature lovers, and outdoor sports enthusiasts are drawn to the Appalachian Trail, the Aska Adventure areas, and the Chattahoochee National Forest. Mercier Orchards is a family owned business and has been in business for 68 years. This is where you can find a lot of tourists tasting wines, picking apples and enjoying homemade treats. It is a very popular attraction in North Georgia.
Hundreds of people take part in the Blue Ridge Mountain adventure race held annually. The course changes every year and can include mountain biking, canoeing, running, climbing and more. The Fire & Ice chili cook-off is also a must-attend event.
There is entertainment, live music, ice sculptures, and the amazing chili to keep everyone happy. Enjoy chili tasting and voting on the “People’s Choice”. In downtown Blue Ridge, antique shows, pottery shops, boutiques, and art studios line the street. It is a good idea to plan to spend two to three hours there.
The entire family will take pleasure in the scenic drives. Autumn is an excellent time to visit when all the leaves turn colors. For more secluded retreat travelers rent a North Georgia log cabin. They are spacious, and the interiors are well-appointed. The management companies of these rental properties take good care of the cabins and offer all sorts of home amenities so that you can feel right at home.
If you are vacationing with kids, look for one with a game room. To enjoy the glorious mountain views rent a cabin that offers 360-degree views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Those who like hiking will like the Benton MacKaye Trail near Highway 60 to discover the Toccoa River suspension bridge.
For dining Harvest on Main and Southern Charm are the top choices. Beer lovers should not forget to visit the Fannin Brewing Company to taste the locally crafted beers. It is also a good idea to visit the local museums to learn about Appalachian life throughout the ages.
Nearby, Ellijay is a small charming town with plenty of things to do. R&A Orchards, Mountain Valley Farm, and Hillcrest Orchards are all worth a visit. Georgia Apple Festival is a popular October event. You can watch the parade, antique car show, and the many onsite demonstrations. The Engelheim Vineyard and the Cartecay Vineyards are a must-stop for wine lovers. Here you can taste a variety of wines for free in a relaxing setting.
Kids like the Build an Ark Animal Rescue and Civil War Museum where they can spend time learning something new. There is a whole lot of outdoor adventure to be found in Ellijay that will keep you busy throughout the trip. Hike the Appalachian Approach Trail to Springer Mountain or discover the lush creek valley at Three Forks or hike to dramatic lake views of Carters Lake. Those who like waterfalls like to chase them in the distant stretches of the Cohutta Wilderness.
Families like to stop by the Reece Apple House and Corn Maze. For kids, the maze adds some excitement to the day. It will take you less than an hour to navigate through two mazes. Go in the apple picking season so the kids can have a unique experience.
They will love to come back time over again for this fun activity. They can shoot apples in the baskets using an Apple cannon. Food is expensive so carry your own. Use the picnic tables and relax with the spectacular view, from the orchard.
Ride the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway that bisects the Blue Ridge historic downtown area. The railway continues to operate from a century-old Depot. You may ride in your choice of vintage, climate-controlled rail cars or open-air rail cars or closed coach premier car. On the train, you will follow the Toccoa River from Blue Ridge to go to McCaysville, Georgia.
There is something for everyone in this small town. It is a 4-hour route with a two-hour layover in McCaysville/Copperhill. Passengers can explore the city, shop, or eat lunch. The train then turns around and makes its way back south to Blue Ridge giving you ample time to make discoveries.
Toccoa River Swinging Bridge near Blue Ridge is the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi. It can be accessed through a short hike along the Benton MacKaye Trail. It will take you 45-minutes to get to this bridge which is a top-rated attraction in North Georgia.