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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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!
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!
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.
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.
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 &
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
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!
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!
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.
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 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.
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
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
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.
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!
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
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!
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
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.