Finding Bigfoot on a Rainy Day



A vacation usually means a bit of sightseeing and possibly seeking that one celebrity spotting you always associated with your destination. If visiting the Palm Beaches you might be hoping to catch a glimpse of the Presidential motorcade, where on LA’s famous Rodeo Drive, a glimpse of Brad sipping an iced Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks might be your quest. And what (or whom) are some tourists visiting the Northeast Georgia Mountains yearning to see?  Well, Bigfoot, of course!

Photo Courtesy of Patterson-Gimlin Footage

A legend or not?

To many in this neck of the woods, Bigfoot (aka Sasquatch, Yowie and Yedi) isn’t just a 20th-century folk legend. The first recorded sighting of him here in Fannin County was June 26, 1873. Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest has long been known as a hotbed for Bigfoot activity amongst the Bigfoot research community. And if you think that those who have an interest in this mysterious creature are just a little bit left of center, take into consideration that the famed anthropologist and highly regarded scientist Jane Goodall has said of Sasquatch beings, “I’m fascinated by them and would actually love them to exist”.

This reddish-brown hairy creature is reportedly about 8 feet in height and his alleged footprints that have been found all across the globe suggesting he has a 24-inch long foot that measures 8 inches across. To put that into some perspective, NBA giant  Shaquille O’Neal is 7’1” and the length of his foot measures 15 inches.

Photo Courtesy of Expedition: Bigfoot

Blue Ridge Museum

If taking a hike out into the forest after the sun sets, night vision glasses in place, to snap your photo op with Bigfoot is too much effort, don’t let that deter you from finding out all you can about him. While here in Blue Ridge, plan to visit EXPEDITION: BIGFOOT! The Sasquatch Museum, located just east of the city. This museum may have you giggling on the way in the door, but you will leave with a new appreciation for your next walk in the woods. You’ll discover why Bigfooters from around the globe make the pilgrimage to Blue Ridge just to explore this museum and its many relics.

Photo Courtesy of Expedition: Bigfoot

See For Yourself

The quality of the displays and the huge amount of content are most impressive. In addition to the extensive collection of artifacts, the museum has interactive exhibits, lots of scientific analysis making the credible case that there are Sasquatches roaming the earth, and audio-video presentations that captivate even the least likely believers, young and old. Yes, kids are fascinated with this self-guided tour that usually lasts 90 mins to two hours. We highly recommend this as a Plan B family destination when a rainy mountain day messes up your original outdoor intentions.

Photo Courtesy of Expedition: Bigfoot

The museum, located at 1934 GA-515, Cherry Log, GA, is open Wednesday through Monday from 10 am till 5 pm. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children age 5 to 12. Kids under 5 and Active Military (with ID) are free! It’s more than a fair price for an educational and entertaining museum of this quality, with such fun opportunities for photo ops that will sure to bring gasps to your friends back home. And though you will be welcomed by a super cool staff that is known for sharing free coffee and cookies to their guests, you might want to be prepared to drop a few bucks on souvenirs at the museum’s bountiful gift shop, where Bigfoot really comes to life.

Calgon, Take Me to the Mountains…What Moms Really Want



What Mom really wants for Mother’s Day might surprise you. It rarely has to do with those lovely wrapped little boxes from the jewelry store. And it has less to do with gift certificates to get body maintenance done, like massages and manicures.

It was 50 years ago that this iconic ad first ran. “Calgon, take me away”.  It still epitomizes what every Mom wants and needs – time away from the daily grind, if even for just time for a private, quiet bath. So, this Mother’s Day we think we can help you with giving Mom that Calgon moment she’ll remember for many years to come.

Mom with Little Ones

Mom is rising close to noon and not hearing a peep. As she clears the cobwebs from her sleep, she realizes that she woke in the cabin they came to last night. Oh, the bed felt so luxurious, and somehow, she was the only one in it. Next to the bed is a note from hubby. “The kids and I are gone for the day. White wine in the fridge with brie, apple, and crackers. The hot tub is waiting for you. Don’t forget your book at the bottom of the suitcase.  We’ll see you at 6. Bringing dinner with us. Relax and enjoy the solitude.  You deserve this. You’re the best Mom in the world. We love you.”  She looks out over the magnificent view of the mountains from her bedroom window. This is the best gift I could ever imagine, she thought. Six hours later the gang rolls in, running into her arms to tell her all about their visit to Lilly Pad Village, where they gem mined and went trout fishing.  After a great boxed dinner from Blue Ridge Mountain BBQ was consumed, they all packed up to head to the Swan Drive-in Theater for a nostalgic experience watching the 21st-century Avengers on the outdoor screen. (Did you know that you can choose from 177 of our properties that have at least two bedrooms and a hot tub?)

Mom with Teen-agers

Mom marvels at how they are growing and maturing. She realizes that in just a few short years they will be leaving the nest. She wants to make these times away to the mountains something special for them all to remember.  They all agree that ziplining had been on their bucket list. But first, while the day was still cool, they’d challenge themselves to trek on the swinging bridge across the Toccoa River.  After an afternoon of adventure, they pull up to the Rum Cake Lady’s outdoor dining. Mom loves Cuban food, and they sit at the picnic tables all sharing their menu picks, joyful and tired. When they get back to the cabin, the fire pit is lit, the oldest son brings out his guitar, the youngest starts to make S’mores. Mom gazes at her family in the glow of the fire and wonders how she got to be the luckiest Mom in the whole world. (Thirty-eight of our rentals have either fire pits or outdoor fireplaces. Which one would your family choose?)

Mom with Grown Daughter

Every Mom feels the same way once their chicks have grown and flown the coop. They yearn for one on one time with them again. When her daughter texts her to ask if she’d like to spend the weekend with her in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Mom searches to find an emoji that can express her excitement. She ends up sending 10 happy faces, and the words, “yes, yes, YES!”.  Saturday it’s a quick, trouble free keyless entry into their little lakefront cabin and off to the Himalayan Salt Caves for a 45-minute session of pure bliss, relaxing in zero gravity chairs, listening to soft music in a stress-free environment.  After, they head into downtown Blue Ridge and make a stop at Blue Ridge Booksellers. As different as they can be in many respects, Mom and daughter share a love for vintage bookstores. With just enough time, they make their reservation at Harvest on Main for a relaxing evening of fine dining. Back to the cottage, another glass of wine to top off the evening and a wonderful heart to heart chat on the porch overlooking the moonlit lake. They sleep in late, pack up their things, close the door behind them and take a lovely drive out to Mercier’s Orchards for brunch and then to pick strawberries together, a memory they share from a Mother’s Day trip 20 years before. Now, they head home and banter back in forth as to whether it’s biscuits or pound cake that will host these sweet, juicy berries.

We think everyday should be Mother’s Day! Thank you to all the wonderful Moms who celebrate their families with us throughout the year. We hope your Mother’s Day is a Calgon day for you!

The Black Sheep



History, architecture, and flavor combine to bring you the most incredible Blue Ridge dining experience at The Black Sheep Restaurant. From the moment you walk up the marble steps, taking note of the pet friendly patio, and the door swings open to welcome you, there is no question that you are about to have a divine experience. From the attentive staff and thoughtful menu items, The Black Sheep is clearly not your average, ordinary run-of-the-mill dining establishment. It is in fact, an elevated, stylish, and classy restaurant that believes in fresh food that’s locally sourced and artfully prepared.

What to Expect

Expect your taste buds to do jumping jacks! Seriously, Executive Chef Greg Cornelius is an absolute master with his culinary talents and abilities.  He specializes in taking your favorite American fares and elevating them about twenty notches. For example, you may think a hamburger or meatloaf is an odd item to find in at fine dining restaurant, but once that first taste of meat crosses your lips, you will become a believer because it will be like no other you have ever tasted! Of course, you will find traditional upscale dishes like rack of lamb or duck breast but add a gorgonzola cream or gorgonzola polenta and we’ve just crossed the line from ordinary to extraordinary!

You know what else you can expect? A Raw Oyster Bar! That’s right, the only one you will find in Blue Ridge. You can choose classic on the half shell oysters or if raw is not your thing, they can be prepared Rockefeller style. On Wednesdays and Sundays, you can select the Three Course Dinner Special. For either $19.99 or $26.99 you can enjoy an appetizer, main course, and dessert! Oh, and we’re not done yet. Saturdays and Sundays now feature a decadent Brunch menu. From 12pm – 4pm you can feast on Crab Cake Benedict or Corned Beef Hash, but the Chicken and Red Velvet Waffle is so good it’ll make your tongue jump out and lick the eyebrows right off your head!

Dine on the Black Sheep’s Pet Friendly Patio!

Happy Hour

The Black Sheep features not one but two bars to enjoy craft cocktails, beer, and wine. In fact, their wine cellar is so superb that they have been recognized by Wine Spectator for their impressive selection of vino. Both the owner, Brandon Lofton, and the General Manager, Patrick, are sommeliers and can help you pair the perfect bottle with your menu selections.

Have you heard of the Blue Ridge Lavender Smash? Made with fresh blueberry, lavender, lemon & Sipsmith London Dry Gin, this refreshing cocktail is the hit of the season! You can order one at the inside bar or step out to the patio and enjoy an adult beverage on the largest outdoor bar in Blue Ridge. Here you can take in the sights and sounds of Downtown Blue Ridge while sampling the Bar Bites like Truffle French Fries or Tuna Nachos, watching the game, and chatting it up with both old friends and new.

Blue Ridge Lavender Smash!

Distinctively Unique

The Black Sheep has been historically known as a place to go for special occasions and while that is still true, their mission is to cater to the every day patron while making each dining experience special. Speaking of catering, you don’t have to be onsite to enjoy the gourmet flavors of The Black Sheep. Treat your corporate partners or family and friends to decadent eats for your meetings or festive celebrations. If you prefer the ambiance of the restaurant, you may choose to make use of one of two private rooms – The Wine Room or The Library Room for large parties, banquets or special events.

Photo courtesy of Candy Murdock-Hagerman’s Birthday Celebration!

Since we’re talking about events, The Black Sheep likes to mix things up and keep fresh ideas flowing along with their fresh cuisine. Last summer they premiered their Outdoor Movie Nights on the front patio under the big oak tree. This year not only will they host Movie Nights, but they will also add Yoga on the Patio. Just picture this: Brunch, Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, and Yoga. Oh yeah!  Keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram pages for all the latest happenings and upcoming events.

Beauty, Brains & Bayou

Deep in the bayou of Louisiana, a young chef took his passion for Cajun cooking and restaurant management to work for a large restaurant conglomerate in Southern Florida. By chance, Brandon Lofton found himself in an airport in Puerto Rico making conversation with a beautiful corporate executive, Ashlee, also from the Ft. Lauderdale area. Eventually they would marry and purchase a vacation home in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Brandon and Ashlee love the outdoor life – hiking, biking, and boating, but after one fateful trip, the whole game changed. The Lofton’s went back to Florida and made the decision to leave Corporate America, become entrepreneurs, and make the move to be full time mountain residents. If you ask the owners of The Black Sheep if they made the right move, you will get an unequivocal..YES! It’s the best decision they ever made. They love being a part of the Blue Ridge community. They also love having the great outdoors so accessible and all the great people they get to meet along the way!

After settling into the mountain lifestyle and getting his restaurant where it needs to be, Brandon wanted to be able to showcase his Cajun side. In partnership with his GM, Patrick, Lulu’s Gumbo Shop can now be seen in their branded tent around town at festivals, during special events with partners like Grumpy Old Men Brewing, and at private events like weddings. Lulu’s specializes in chicken & sausage Gumbo and Jambalaya – a shrimp and crawfish combination, made from old family recipes straight out of LA.

Ashlee has also become a certified yoga instructor. Her business, Yoga Over Blue Ridge, is a mobile yoga studio. She offers private instruction and lessons and destination yoga classes. These are perfect for Girlfriend Getaways, Bachelorette parties, or any private yoga party. Recently she has partnered with Bear Claw Vineyards for a Namaste & Cabernet class. Yoga class + wine tasting? Yes, please! She’s also partnering with local breweries for Bend & Brew events. That’s right, yoga and a flight of beer! Keep an eye on her social pages to find out about future events.

If all of this wasn’t enough, the power couple recently purchased Blue Ridge Brewery in downtown Blue Ridge. Located less than a quarter mile from The Black Sheep, Blue Ridge Brewery is located at 187 Depot Street. You can look forward to new beers crafted by an expert brew master, a new menu designed to delight the taste buds, and a stellar lineup of live music and events!

Up Next For The Sheep

A new menu was just released and includes amazing dishes like an heirloom tomato Panzanella salad and seared diver scallops with lemon risotto and smoked tomato coulis. If you haven’t yet been to The Black Sheep Restaurant, what are you waiting for? Put it on the top of your must do list. If you haven’t been in a while, you need to come back and check it out. The vibe is comfortable and not pretentious, the food is on point, and the atmosphere will make this your favorite downtown spot. If you’ve been there recently, then you know what’s up!

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad topped with Ricotta Salata

As a special treat just for Escape to Blue Ridge Fans, The Black Sheep Restaurant is offering one free appetizer per table if you tell your waiter that you are the “Black Sheep of Your Family”. How cool is that? Now don’t be sheepish, make your dinner reservations today!

April Events & Happenings in Blue Ridge



Spring has finally arrived and the sun’s warming rays make for the perfect time to explore the mountains that are accented with beautiful blooms!  Pack up your friends and family and enjoy a mountain getaway.  Check out the events below and come stay with us this month.

Upcoming Events & Activities

Art & Writer Workshops
April 4 – April 22
LOCATION: The Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association and Art Center

Expand your horizons with The Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association and Art Center! They are offering a full spectrum of classes, fun events, excellent exhibits, and new programs. If you love to learn, love art, or are an artist yourself, you will be amazed at all the opportunities for all ages and of varied mediums.

April 4 – Steve Martin Art Exhibit
April 5 – Margo Locke Exhibit
April 5 – 22nd Annual Blue Ridge Writers Conference
April 16 – Leatherworking

Southern Fried Funeral
April 5 – April 7
LOCATION: Gilmer Arts Playhouse

Photo Courtesy of Gilmer Arts Playhouse

Southern Fried Funeral is a big-hearted comedy about family. In the show, Dewey Frye is dead and the rest of his family is left to pick up the pieces. Funerals bring out the worst, the best, and the funniest in people – that is if they don’t kill each other first.

Live Music at The Blue Coyote
April 5 – April 27
LOCATION: The Blue Coyote

The Blue Coyote is known for their live music and entertainment. While you’re there you can enjoy their tasty bar food and a whole bunch of beer! They even have a dog-friendly patio! Stop by, check it out, and enjoy the music!
April 5 – Apollo Band
April 6 – Bone Daddy’s
April 12 – Topper/Voices of Rock
April 13 – Mind the Stepchildren
April 19 – Owl Creek Band
April 20 – Gregg Erwin
April 26 – Justin Long
April 27 – Breaking Point

Allman Brothers Tribute Band: Live At The Fillmore
April 5
LOCATION: Blue Ridge Community Theater

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Community Theater

Live At The Fillmore is the ultimate Allman Brothers Tribute Band. They believe in the original Allman Brother sound, not as a jam band, but as a “band that jams”!

Grumpy Old Men Brewing
April 5 – April 19
LOCATION: Grumpy Old Men Brewing

Photo Courtesy of Grumpy Old Men Brewing

Visit Grumpy Old Men Brewing for great live music and delicious beer! Eighteen beers are currently on tap, and new brews are added frequently! Open Tuesday through Saturday. Dogs are welcome and people are tolerated!

April 5 – Josh Purgason
April 12 – Travis Bowlin
April 19 – Highbeams
April 26 – Gregg Erwin Live

Bear Claw Vineyards & Winery
April 6
LOCATION: Bear Claw Vineyards & Winery

Photo Courtesy of Bear Claw Vineyards

At 10:45am start your Saturday off right with Namaste & Cabernet. Join in on a one hour yoga class from Yoga Over Blue Ridge and then enjoy a wine tasting. Then from 1:30pm-5:30pm Hunter Flanagan will entertain you with his musical talent.

Blue Ridge Parade of Homes
April 6 – April 7
LOCATION: Blue Ridge and Fannin County

Gain inspiration for your dream home! Meet builders and tour homes that range from 1,600-square feet to 9,000-squre feet. Purchase your ticket and take a self-guided tour through twenty stunning properties!

Cartecay Vineyards
April 6 – April 20
LOCATION: The Blue Ridge Brewery

Cartecay Vineyards

A picturesque venue, live music, and wine. What better way to spend an afternoon with your family or friends?
April 6 – Dom Weir
April 7 – Timothy O’Donovan
April 13 – Tommy Joe Conner
April 14 – April Rooks
April 20 – Scott Stambaugh

The Prisoner of Second Avenue
April 11 – 28
LOCATION: Blue Ridge Community Theater

A well-paid executive of a high-end Manhattan firm, Mel Edison, gets the ax. His wife Edna takes a job to hold them over, but she gets canned too. The world is crumbling down around him, even his plants are being killed by air pollution, he gets robbed, his psychiatrist dies with $23,000 of his money. The only thing left for him to do is have a nervous breakdown and that ends up being the best thing that ever happened to him!

Boat Dock Bar & Grill
April 12 – April 28
LOCATION: Lake Blue Ridge Marina

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Marina

You can’t get a better venue or greater acoustics than right on the lake. With delicious food and jamming tunes, you’ll love the atmosphere and entertainment at the Boat Dock Bar & Grill at the Lake Blue Ridge Marina.
April 12 – Gopher Broke Band
April 13 – Lindsay Beth Harper
April 14 – Travis Bowlin
April 19 – Danny Rhea
April 20 – Trevor J. Pattillo
April 21 – Buck & Oz
April 26 – Danny Rhea Returns
April 27 – Buck & Oz Return
April 28 – Gopher Broke Band

Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival
April 12 – 13
LOCATION: Union County Schools Fine Arts Center, Blairsville


Photo Courtesy of Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival

The Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival showcases the art of Southern storytelling with an emphasis on Appalachian stories, both traditional and contemporary. The Festival’s events include two days of outstanding storytelling performances. Workshops will be available for students and visitors to learn storytelling, speaking, and performance skills.

Cheers for Chimps
April 13
Location: Fannin Brewing Company

Photo Courtesy of Project Chimp

Raise a glass of Apple Lager made with Mercier Orchard apple cider benefiting Project Chimps – an organization founded to provide lifetime care to former research chimpanzees at a 236-acre forested sanctuary in North Georgia. For $25 you get a limited edition Project Chimp glass, a 16-oz lager and a bowl of the Fire & Ice-winning chili!

Opening Day Demo Derby
April 13
LOCATION: Blue Ridge Motorsports Park

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Motorsports Park

Opening day for the spring and summer season of auto racing begins with a Demo Derby – First Points Race.

Murder Mystery Dinner at the Disco
April 19
LOCATION: Chateau Meichtry Family Vineyard and Winery

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Murder Mystery. Dinner. Wine. Disco dancing. Any of those alone would be cool – but jamming them all together under one roof, on the same day at the same time. Wowzer! Must you dress like John Travolta? No. Should you? Yes. And yes, there will be a disco ball!

The Second Annual Georgia Mountain Needle Arts Festival & Retreat
April 26 – 28
LOCATION: Gilmer County Civic Center

Photo Courtesy of Georgia Mountain Needle Arts Festival & Retreat

An absolute treat for knit, crochet, weaving, and rug hooking enthusiasts! Attendees of this event will gain access to a variety of vendors and educational resources. Needle artists will enjoy shopping for yarn, beads, hand dyed materials, artisan fiber, felted rug supplies, wood turning products, and more!

Chimps Rock
April 26 – 27
LOCATION: Project Chimps

Photo Courtesy of Project Chimp

Kids and kids at heart will enjoy this special day of art and discovery at the Project Chimps sanctuary for former research chimpanzees. Spend a few hours with the chimps to see their forever home. Each guest will receive a rock to paint and while it dries, tour the sanctuary and learn about the lives of the chimps!

4th Annual Blue Ridge Trout Fest & Outdoor Adventures
April 27
LOCATION: Downtown Blue Ridge

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Trout Fest & Outdoor Adventures

Fly-fishing is great fun! It’s outdoorsy, challenging, technical and rewarding especially in Blue Ridge, the Trout Capital of Georgia. The Trout Fest will feature free fly-fishing seminars, fly-tying, fly-casting, and a casting pond will be available. Learn about trout fishing locations around Fannin County from local experts and visit your favorite craft vendors. There will also be food, music, and lots of fun!

New Homes Added to Our Program

What do you want most in a vacation? If it’s a magnificent mountain hideaway on a lakefront, with all the comforts of home but none of the pressures and stresses, you’ll find it at the Blue Ridge cabin rental Happy Place. Located on the north end of Lake Nottely just 12 miles from downtown Blue Ridge, this beautiful, bright and cheery home is the epitome of happiness. It’s a peaceful, welcoming place where you can rest and relax with loved ones, with breathtaking views from the wraparound decks providing the perfect backdrop from sunrise to sunset.You’re welcome to bring up to two small flea-controlled dogs with you to enjoy the fun, relaxation and contentment of your stay at Happy Place, where the name really does say it all. 

Recently Upgraded Cabins

Escape to a mountaintop in Blue Ridge to a home with some of North Georgia’s best views that extend out to two more states. Summit Escape is adjacent to 100 acres of pristine, undisturbed wilderness, yet is convenient to downtown Blue Ridge and McCaysville. There is no better place than this cabin’s expansive wraparound deck or beautiful screened in porch to watch the area’s abounding wildlife from wild turkeys, to deer and hummingbirds.

In Case You Missed It

Long Creek Falls
If you’re looking for a scenic trail with beautiful falls at the end, and to check off a couple high profile hiking trails while you’re at it, Long Creek Falls in the Chattahoochee National Forest in Blue Ridge, Georgia should make it to the top of your list. An easy to moderate difficulty rating, Long Creek Falls is a two-mile round trip “out-and-back trail” that sits directly on the Appalachian Trail (AT), with access to both the Benton McKaye Trail and the Duncan Ridge Trail. Uniquely, the Appalachian Trail and Benton McKaye Trail run together as one route during this particular section of the footpath. Keep Reading.

Thank you again for giving us the privilege of serving you. If we can ever be of assistance, please visit us online at www.escapetoblueridge.com email us at reservations@escapetoblueridge.com or give us a call at 1-866-618-2521. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Many happy returns,
From all of us at Escape to Blue Ridge