Area Attractions - North Georgia Mountains
There is definitely no shortage of things to do in the North Georgia Mountains! I do my best to keep this as up-to-date as possible, but as with any area, things do change frequently. Also, since Blue Ridge is in the center of my real estate area, all distances are from Blue Ridge.
Although relaxing and reading a good book or watching a great movie is the best thing to do in the North Georgia Mountains, if your desire is for the more active things, this page has some great suggestions.
Without a doubt, the best websites for our area are from the Chambers of Commerce. For more information on the Blue Ridge Mountains lifestyle, including waterfall hikes, restaurants, shopping information and other things to do, please visit the Blue Ridge Chamber of Commerce. For Ellijay, check out the Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce. For Blairsville please click on the Blairsville Chamber of Commerce. For Hiawassee and Young Harris please click on the Towns County Chamber of Commerce.
www.blueridgemountains.com, as it has calendars of things that are going on no matter what time of year you visit. Worthy of special mention, is their "Blue Ridge Mountains Self-Guided Tours" web page with 16 PDF downloads with hiking, waterfalls, shopping, driving, biking, and other detailed information. Steve Tucker is a member of the Blue Ridge Chamber of Commerce.
Please note that Steve Tucker is not endorsing the safety or quality of any of the activities, businesses or attractions mentioned below, and they are provided here simply as a service to my website visitors.
The below activities, businesses and attractions are listed alphabetically:
Apple Orchards – In addition to Mercier Orchard in Blue Ridge (which has its own listing and link below), there are a number of apple orchards along Highway 52 east of Ellijay towards Amicalola Falls. For exact locations and more information, please click here.
Art – There are a number of quality activities in the Blue Ridge area for those that appreciate art. A great place to start is the Blue Ridge Arts Center, located in the old courthouse, which makes it well worth the visit just to see how magnificent the art looks in such a stately setting. Other art galleries in Blue Ridge include: Fishbone Studio, High Country Art & Antiques, High Country Picture Framing, Multitudes Gallery, and Turning Leaf - A Fine Art Gallery If Southwestern art is more your style, Anthony Abreu Fine Art Gallery may be of interest, located in Blairsville. There are also numerous other art shows throughout the year throughout the North Georgia Mountains. For more details check the Chamber of Commerce websites listed at the top of this page.
Aska Adventure Area – This area includes the Aska Trails Area, a 17-mile hiking-mountain biking trail system in the National Forest near Deep Gap on Aska Road in blue Ridge. Trails range from one to 5.5 miles and vary in difficulty. Trails climb to 3,200 feet with views of mountain ranges and also descend to the shores of Lake Blue Ridge. Directions - Go out to Hwy 515 (US 76) north to the Mesquite Grill and Conoco (on the right). Turn right and go to the 4-way stop, then turn left. Turn right on Aska Road (there is a cemetery there). It takes about 20 minutes to get there and if you go 30-40 minutes you can drive back to Blue Ridge through the Rich Mountain Wilderness Area along Stanley Creek Road if during the daylight. This drive (part of which is a well packed gravel road) will put you back out on Hwy 515/US 76 near Cherry Log, which means you would need to drive a few miles north to get back to Blue Ridge.
ATV & Dirt Bike Trails – The Davenport ORV Trail is about 45 minutes away and is basically an easy loop around the shores of Nottely Lake. Beware that even though the trail is mostly easy there is one hill that is steep on both the climb and the descent and it becomes very difficult when wet. Beasly Knob ORV Trail is a very steep and difficult riding area near Blairsville in the Chattahoochee National Forest about 55 minutes away from Blue Ridge. Most of the trails are steep and deeply rutted out. This area is for experts only. These trails may have fees, so be sure to check the links above, and be careful!
Biking – Pedego Electric Bikes is right in downtown and they not only rent electric bikes, but they sell them as well. Blue Mountain Bikes is the newest bike shop in Blue Ridge and they even have a “Pump Track” if you want to build skills and fitness while having a blast. The biking trails of Fannin County include some of the most varied and exciting routes in all of North Georgia. Two-lane paved roads, Forest Service all weather gravel roads and single track wind throughout our area. This biking guide shows access points and indicates Easiest[E] More Difficult[M] Most Difficult[D] Mountain Bike[MB] and Road Bike[RB]. Highway biking along Hwy 5 is very dangerous, as is biking along curvy 2-lane mountain roads like Hwy 2 and Aska Road. Plan your routes accordingly.
Blue Ridge – Incorporated on October 24, 1887, Blue Ridge today is a quaint little town of 1261 people that is definitely gaining an “upscale” reputation and has often been compared to what Highlands, NC was many years ago. The downtown area is very charming with numerous antique stores, specialty stores, restaurants, fudge shops and more. Click here for a printable Walking Map showing all the stores. Many of the older buildings are undergoing restoration to their original state from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. For the government sponsored web site for Blue Ridge, with links to other web sites as well you may want to visit www.blueridge.georgia.gov.
Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia - For more information on the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia, check out http://www.blueridgemountains.com/ There are a lot of links from here to area attractions. The best part of this website is the 12 "Self Guided Tours" with lots of hikes, driving, dining, and water access, shopping, and more.
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway - This 26 mile excursion operates along the Toccoa River, which insures beautiful scenery during the days of operation. To view their schedule, please click here, or visit their website at http://www.brscenic.com/ or call 800-934-1898.
Chef Douglas – If you do not go out to dinner, but don’t feel like cooking or cleaning up, call Chef Douglas! He will come to Blue Ridge and he brings all the ingredients, cooks, and cleans up right at Blue Ridge. Go to www.cabincuisine.com or 706-633-6734 (they even do the dishes!).
Churches – There are many churches in Blue Ridge of different denominations, and more information can be found here: http://www.blueridgemountains.com/members1/CT168
Deer Park – On Hwy 52 towards Amicalola Falls, you will find the Amicalola Deer Park, home to over 150 deer. Santa Claus has even been known to show up there on the weekends starting in mid-November!
Driving – For a beautiful day trip on that Harley or sports car, you can challenge the world renowned “Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap” with 318 curves in 11 miles. Located near Bryson City, NC, this drive is about 2 hours away from Blue Ridge. There are also three more great drives that are less "curvy" if you click here.
Fish Hatchery – If you want to see where the fish stocks come from you may want to check out the Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery website (or click here for a brochure) where they hatch rainbow trout for release in most lakes and rivers in North Georgia.
Fishing – If you like fishing, you are headed to the right place! Fannin County is the “Trout Capital of Georgia” and excellent trout fishing can be found on the Toccoa River, Rock Creek, Coopers Creek, and Noontootla Creek. For some general information on trout fishing, click here, or if you want to go with a local fly fishing guide, please click here. Some of the local guides provide everything you need - even waders. If you are more interested in walleye, small mouth bass, white bass and bluegill then you can click here to check out the fishing on Lake Blue Ridge. For information on other fishing possibilities in North Georgia, please click here. You may also want to click on "The Trout Pond", which is stocked with fish and is less than 30 minutes away where no license is required.
Gem Mining – There are two options, Hucks Lost Mine in Downtown Blue Ridge, and Lilly Pad Village, off of Aska Road.
Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds – Located less than an hour away, the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds is home to the Hamilton Rhododendron Gardens. Open year-round, this boasts one of the largest collections of hybrid rhododendrons in the state of Georgia. With more than 3,000 plants in bloom from early April to late May, visitors are invited to tour the gardens along their pine bark trail on the shores of Lake Chatuge. Admission is free of charge, but a $3 donation is requested. The Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds also has a Pioneer Village with authentic and antique structures from the area that have been moved here to preserve them. During special events, visitors can tour a one-room schoolhouse, a general store, a blacksmith shop, a repair shop and an "old mountain home."
Ghost Tour of Blue Ridge – Blue Ridge Ghost Tour offers walking tours with a variety of stories that encompass all kinds of different stories of folklore, legend, ghosts and paranormal. (706) 455-9866.
Golf Courses – There are six 18-hole golf courses within a one hour drive from Blue Ridge, five of which are public. The closest public course is the Whitepath Golf Club about 20 minutes away in Ellijay, GA (706)-276-3080. The other public courses are Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris, GA (706) 379-4613, Butternut Creek Golf Course in Blairsville, GA (706)439-6076,Cherokee Hills Golf in Murphy, NC (800) 334-3905 (and there is a great flea market for the non golfers to hang out in Murphy, NC as well!), and The Ridges in Hayesville, NC (877) 233-5765. The private course located in Blue Ridge is Old Toccoa Farm. Old Toccoa Farm also has home sites and Steve Tucker can help with arranging a private tour of the home sites in this private golf and fishing community located on the banks of the beautiful trout filled Toccoa River.
Hayrides – Muletop Mountain Outfitters in Blue Ridge, GA or Blanche Manor Ranch in Copperhill, TN and Burt’s Farm in Dawsonville, GA all offer hayrides. Please contact them for available dates and rates.
Hiking – The hiking opportunities are too numerous to even begin to mention them all as there are over 300 miles of hiking trails from beginner to advanced. 40% of Fannin County - the county where Blue Ridge is located – is National Forest. The Appalachian Trail actually begins in Fannin County, however, the closest trail to Blue Ridge is the Benton Mackaye Trail , named after the person who envisioned the Appalachian Trail. There is also a great guide to some close by hikes if you click here. There are also numerous trails in the Aska Adventure Area, the Cohutta Wilderness Area, and the Chattahoochee National Forest. For more information on these and other hiking opportunities, please go to:http://www.blueridgemountains.com/hiking.html or http://www.fs.fed.us/conf/.
Hobby Store – Free Time Hobbies has everything from model trains to die cast models.
Horseback Riding – Adventure Trail Rides and Muletop Mountain Outfitters in Blue Ridge, GA or Blanche Manor Ranch in Copperhill, TN and Trackrock Stables in Blairsville, GA all offer horseback riding along scenic trails.
Hunting – If you would like to take a full or half day to go quail and pheasant hunting, you may want to check out Noontootla Creek Farms – they even provide the bird dogs!
Lake Blue Ridge Marina - Rent Jet Skis or Pontoon Boats, or launch your own boat. The fishing is also magnificent. For more information go to Lake Blue Ridge Marina or call 706-632-2618. There is also a nearby beach. Directions – go south on Highway 5 to Hwy 515 (US 76) then south to the Kentucky Fried Chicken (on the left). Turn left and go to the 4-way stop, then turn left. Go past Aska Road (stay on Old Hwy 76/Business 76) until you see signs for the Marina, or you can stay on Old Hwy 76/Business 76 and go to the dam.
Massage & Spa – You can enjoy a massage right in the privacy of Blue Ridge with Treatees Boutique Spa, 561-889-7499, which also has a boutique style spa located in historic downtown Blue Ridge. Their licensed Massage Therapists have many years of experience and offer a variety of unique massage therapies, couples massage, facials, spa body treatments and much more. Another option for a massage in the privacy of Blue Ridge is Mountain Retreat Massage, 706-698-5700). One more option in Blue Ridge that offers complete spa programs is Serenity in the Mountains, 706-258-2244.
Mercier Orchards - A family owned and operated Apple Orchard nestled in the North Georgia Mountains of Blue Ridge, GA doing business for more than “60 years”. Mercier Orchards on-line now offers the best selection of Mercier quality apples and products. Everything from famous “Fried Apple Pies” to “Fresh Apple Cider”, "U-Pick Apples" and, of course, the best North Georgia Apples you can get! Mercier Orchards or call 706-632-3411 .
Mini Golf – Cohutta Cove Mini Golf is located about 5 minutes from Blue Ridge (just a block or two from the turn off for Blue Ridge). The other two options are Hucks Lost Mine in Downtown Blue Ridge, and Lilly Pad Village, off of Aska Road.
Mountain Biking – The Ocoee Adventure Center in McCaysville has Trek mountain bikes (and guided trips, including multi day trips). (888) 723-8622. Many trails in Ellijay and Blue Ridge may also be found at the Southern Off Road Bicycle Association website.
Murphy, NC Flea Markets – Actually, there are two flea markets right across the street from each other (Fosters Flea Market and Decker's Flea Market). Lewis Foster and Jerry Decker are cousins. Which one has the best bargains? Shop there and let us know! Click here for more info.
Music - Pickin' In Horseshoe Bend Park – Enjoy live acoustic music including traditional Appalachian, Bluegrass, Blues and Jazz music during the months of May through September at Ron Henry-Horseshoe Bend River Park in McCaysville every Thursday from 6:00PM to dusk. Pickin' In Horseshoe Bend Park is a series of weekly jam sessions that nurture local acoustic music. Bring your instruments and participate in these weekly jam sessions along the river... or come listen, grill-out and dance!
Pumpkin Patch – For an unforgettable pumpkin patch experience, visit Burt’s Farm in Dawsonville, GA in starting September 1st. They also have hayrides.
Restaurants & Bars – Listed in no particular order!
In town (Blue Ridge):
Blue Jeans Pasta and Pizza (706) 632-6503 (great pizza)
Blue Ridge Brewery (706) 632-6611 (some say they have the best trout in the county)
Fightingtown Tavern (706)-946-2006 (Hard Rock. Cold Brew. Scratch Made.)
Serenity Garden Café (706) 258-4949
Chester Brunnenmeyers (706) 258-2539 (great wings – and burgers!)
Southern Charm, (706) 632-9090 (great old fashion southern cooking)
Joe’s BBQ, (706) 946-2727 (best rated Bar-B-Que 2015-USA as rated by Trip Advisor)
Mike's Trackside Bar-B-Q (706) 258-2533 (May not be as highly rated as Joe's, but that doesn't mean it's not as good or better!)
Blue Ridge Mountain Bar-B-Q, (706) 632-6996 (the chicken salad to go at is really good on Ritz crackers – we call it “chicken dip”- and it goes great while relaxing on the deck!
The Last Stop (706) 946-2466 (Fun sports bar)
Masserria Kitchen (706) 946-1511 (great pizza and other freshly made menu items)
The Vault (706) 632-3242 (a unique concept of a Bar, Grill, Donuts and Coffee - the donuts are absolutely addicting)
Great for Lunch (and still in town):
Mercier Orchards, (706) 632-3411 (great BLT)
Sues Best Burger in Town , (706) 632-2960 (the name says it all!)
L & L Beanery (706) 632-3242 (not just for coffee anymore)
Angelina’s Italian Deli (706) 632-3354 (some of the best sandwiches in town)
Blue Ridge Fry Shop (706) 258-2867 (favorite is the fried catfish sandwich)
Cantaberry Restaurant, (706) 946-7687 (definitely try the tomato soup)
Outside Downtown area of Blue Ridge:
Cucina Rustica, (706) 374-7474 (in Morganton – about 15 minutes away is – is great Italian, and they have La Pizzeria next door)
Toccoa Riverside Restaurant, (706) 632-7891 burned down in 2011, but was quickly rebuilt and reopened in February 2013. They have fantastic trout in a proper riverside atmosphere.
Cider House Cafe, (706) 492-7753 (great and filling meal at a great price – Southern at it’s best!)
The 1907 (706) 276-6116 Great New South Cuisine
Harvest on Main (706) 946-6164 (“Farm to Table” Concept)
The Black Sheep (706) 946-3663 (Excellent Food. One of the best steaks you will ever eat.)
Treo Blue Ridge (706) 946-5200 (nice courtyard outdoor area - opened April 2017 where Christy Lee's used to be)
Fannin Brewing Company (706) 258-2762
Grumpy Old Men Brewery (770) 331-8870 or (404) 966-2665
There are many other great restaurants in town – they pop up all the time and they change constantly, so if a restaurant is not listed and you like it, please let us know!
More restaurant information can be found if you click here. Many restaurants above (but not all) now serve beer, wine, and liquor by the drink as of 2013 (Note – you still cannot purchase liquor by the bottle in Fannin County – but you can 20 minutes away in Ellijay).
Snow Skiing – The closest (decent) snow skiing is at Sapphire Valley, or the Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley, NC both less than 3 hours away. Please stay safe on the slopes!
Swimming Pool – The City of Blue Ridge has a large pool with slides and a diving board. Open Memorial Day to Labor Day, Adults $4, Children $3, Children Under 3, Free. Click here for more information, or call 706-632-2815.
Tank Town USA – Tank Town USA is one of those truly unique experiences that you will not easily find elsewhere. They not only give you the chance to drive a military tank, military trucks or construction equipment, but they even have an option for you to crush a car with a tank! They have paintball war games as well. Click here or call (706) 633-6072.
Theater – The Blue Ridge Community Theater brings live theater to Blue Ridge! Check out what’s playing during your stay, (706) 632-9223. There is also a regular cinema in town, the Blue Ridge Twin Cinema, (706) 632-7202 and there is also an old fashioned Drive-In, the Swan Drive-In, (706) 632-5235
Tennis - The Blue Ridge Swim and Tennis Club is a private club, however, they do allow non-members to use their tennis courts (if they are available) for $10 per person per set. 706-946-4804
Tubing and Calm Water Kayaking – The Toccoa River is perfect for tubing or calm water kayaking, especially on a hot mountain day. Blue Ridge Mountain Kayaking offers tubing from $6 for 1 hour to $8 for 2 hours and kayaking from $15. Toccoa River Adventures (706) 492-5280 has a $6 tubing offer (or 2 for $10). Please stay safe out there on the river!
Waterfalls in North Georgia – For great hikes (some very easy) to waterfalls nearby, please click here and it will take you to very specific directions several beautiful waterfalls in the Blue Ridge area. You can also make a nice day trip to Amicalola Falls. For some gorgeous photos of the Waterfalls in North Georgia taken by Jack Anthony, (although some of them are located on private property) please click here.
Weddings – Although we do not have the space to do a wedding at Blue Ridge due to limited parking, you can still stay at Blue Ridge and have a great wedding at Aska Farms of Blue Ridge. They can handle a large or small wedding in an absolutely gorgeous setting.
Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking - A great adventure less than 20 minutes away from Blue Ridge, the Ocoee River was the site of the 1996 Olympic Games Whitewater competition and now houses the Ocoee Whitewater Center. This is a dam-release river, meaning part of what you pay goes towards diverting water intended for hydroelectric use to river rafting. This insures Class III and IV rapids regardless of rainfall. There are numerous companies, including Wildwater Limited, Carolina Ocoee Rafting, Ocoee Rafting, Ocoee Adventure Center, and Quest Expeditions. This is offered April through October only, and please stay safe out on the river!
Wildlife Tour – Dewar Wildlife is a nonprofit organization and a related facility of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. They offer a unique tour opportunity to come face to face with one of the most magnificent and endangered creatures on this planet, including gorillas. They are located about 20 minutes away in Morganton, GA and a donation is required if you wish to take the tour.
Wineries in North Georgia - Georgia produced a lot of wines back in the 1800's, but prohibition changed that until a resurgence in the 1980's. Today there are 10 wineries that are part of the Wine Growers Association of Georgia, all located in Northeast Georgia. My personal favorite is Engelheim Vineyards in Ellijay
Zip Line & Canopy Tours –The closest zip line to Tuckaway Ridge, (and the one that is the best rated by our guests) is Zip Line Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge. Another one that is a little further from us is The Blue Ridge Canopy Adventure which is a 2-hour zip line adventure fully enclosed in the forest canopy and includes almost one mile of zip line cables consisting of 14 zip lines built treetop to treetop and a sky bridge crossing Dead Man's Gorge. Ocoee River Basin Canopy Tours and Ocoee Zip Lines are both about 40 minutes away near the Whitewater rafting outfitters in Tennessee. Please be careful!
Lastly, if you drink alcohol, you cannot purchase liquor within Fannin County at all. However, beer and wine are available in supermarkets and convenience stores. You can purchase liquor in Gilmer County. Some restaurants in Blue Ridge now serve liquor, beer and wine (as of 2013). PLEASE DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE!