Mountain Flora in Bloom



Spring has sprung in the mountains! And that means bright blue skies, soaring mountains, wildflowers in bloom, and beautiful warm weather fill our days! The North Georgia region is home to many beautiful mountain flora unique to the Blue Ridge Mountains including dogwoods, rhododendrons, mountain laurel, azaleas and the Cherokee rose. Learn when & where you can spot these flowers in their prime in our blog below:

*Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

Blooming Times

Rhododendron

There are thousands of species of rhododendrons but you can only find 27 of them in North America. These flowers flourish in higher evaluations and with cooler temperatures, so the Blue Ridge Mountains are the perfect place for them to grow & thrive. In the right environment the rhododendron can even grow up to 25 feet or higher! They bloom in a variety of colors from pure white, soft pink, yellow, red, purple and blue. And you can experience their spectacular blossoms for yourself in early April and May. Some years they may even start blooming in late March so be on the lookout!  

Azalea 

Did you know that azaleas are actually a species of the rhododendron flower? They are in fact a part of the Rhododendron genus, but as all azaleas are rhododendrons, not all rhododendrons are azaleas. Similar to rhododendrons, azaleas bloom in brilliant colors like scarlet, crimson, orange and more. But, the main difference between the two are the leaf size, quantity of stamen, and that azaleas are deciduous as opposed to its evergreen cousins. Luckily, there are many types of azaleas such as the early flowering type, mid-season type, and late flowering type so you’ll have ample time to admire them in all their glory. We suggest checking them out anytime between mid-Februay thru October.

Cherokee Rose

The beautiful Cherokee rose is the official state flower of Georgia. This evergreen climbing shrub can grow from 16-30 feet and is covered in leaves & beautiful white flowers. While the species is over 35 million years old and was introduced to the U.S. in 1780 from the native countries, Taiwan and Vietnam; it has an interesting Georgia backstory to it. The Cherokee rose is said to have been created from the tears of Native American mothers crying for their children journeying on the Trail of Tears. The fragrant rose is white for their tears, a gold center represents the gold taken from Cherokee lands, and 7 leaves represent the 7 Cherokee clans. You’ll have a short window of time to catch sight of our beautiful state flower however; late March thru April.

Dogwoods

One of the most popular flowering trees in Georgia is the dogwood tree. These beautiful trees grow 15-25 feet tall and in the spring bloom beautiful white or pink flowers. However, these “petals” are actually modified leaves known as bracts; which means that the flowers will bloom for about three to four weeks and then produce scarlet berries that linger in the wintertime. While the dogwood tree has a four season appeal, we like so many others, especially love to admire the tree in the spring. Over the years, the dogwood flower has been known as a symbol of spring and as a symbol of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ during the Easter holiday. The four petals represent the cross which Jesus died upon and the four red notches on the side of each petal are meant to represent the nail holes. And the greenish/brown cluster in the middle of the flower is meant to represent the crown of thorns that Jesus wore upon his head. This is a fitting symbol of the Easter holiday because the trees are normally in bloom from late March to Mid May,which falls during the Easter season. 

Mountain Laurel

The evergreen mountain laurel is a staple plant in the hills of the Appalachian Mountains. It’s a member of the blueberry family but poisonous to humans. The mountain laurel is a gorgeous and unique looking flower that ranges in color from white to pink to deep rose, and has distinctive and symmetrical purple dots or streaks. They are slow growing, but average 6-15 feet in height.  There’s even a mountain laurel festival in Clarkesville, GA every May that brings in craft vendors, live music, delicious food, and garden displays all in celebration of this local blooming flower. The mountain laurel typically blooms May to late June, so these flowers are known to usher in the summer season.

Blossoms at Merciers

Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

Spring is also a time when fruit trees grow beautiful flowers before they bare fruit. At Mercier Orchards you can take a tour of the orchards and admire the beautiful peach & apple blossoms that cover the trees. Come visit “Bud” and his friends on select weekends in April and learn a little bit about the life of an apple tree. Merciers will be blooming and full of fresh fruit, wildflowers, and sunflowers all spring and summer long! You can come pick your own blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries and pick out a bushel of beautiful wildflowers to give to that someone special. 

Other Notable Flowers

Other beautiful wildflowers to note are pink lady slippers, trout lilies, bloodroots, white trilliums, and blue violets. For a full list of North Georgia wildflowers & where to find them follow the Blue Ridge Mountains Travel Guide here:  https://blueridgemountainstravelguide.com/where-to-see-north-ga-wildflowers/ 

Parks & Gardens to Explore

Aska Adventure Area

One of our favorite places to go for a hike and enjoy the great outdoors is in the Aska Adventure Area. The Aska Trails Area consists of a 17-mile trail system where hikers and mountain bikers of all skill levels can explore. Along the trail you’ll pass by stunning waterfalls, tall mountain peaks, the shorelines of Lake Blue Ridge, and a series of hardwood trees among thickets of mountain laurel and rhododendrons.

Along with miles of hiking trails The Aska Adventure Area is jam packed with plenty of other activities for visitors to experience like horseback riding, gem mining, fishing, river tubing, ziplining, and even multiple mom-and-pop restaurants that lie on the outskirts of the forest. How many beautiful flowers can you spot growing in the wild while you’re out exploring? Learn more about the Aska Adventure Area in our blog here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/aska-adventure-area/ 

Fightingtown Creek Nature Park 

Photo Courtesy of Fightingtown Creek Nature Park

Blue Ridge’s newest park is finally open and ready to explore! Fightingtown Creek Nature Park is 190-acre park with over 10 miles of biking/hiking trails, a disc golf course, an apiary, picnic areas, nature based interpretive signage, and native plants & wildlife supportive items. It’s a wonderful place to spend the afternoon in the great outdoors and admire some native flora! See if you can spot a blooming azalea or Cherokee rose along the trail. 

Hamilton Gardens 

Photo Courtesy of Hamilton Rhododendron Gardens

Just about 45 minutes outside of Blue Ridge in beautiful Hiawassee, GA lies the Hamilton Rhododendron Gardens. As its name suggests it’s a great place to see a variety of flowers all in one place. And believe it or not they actually have the largest collection of rhododendrons and azaleas in the Southeast! Learn all about North Georgia’s native species of flora as you wander the garden trails and admire Lake Chatuge from a distance. And all spring long the Hamilton Gardens will be putting on events while the flowers are in bloom- including the Rhododendron Festival! There’s no better place to celebrate all things ‘flower power’ than at the Hamilton Gardens this spring! 

Gibbs Gardens 

Photo Courtesy of Gibbs Gardens

Gibbs Gardens located just outside of Jasper, GA is a world class garden right here in North Georgia! Gibbs Gardens is comprised of over 16 unique gardens of various styles spread out on over 220 acres. One of the highlights of Gibbs Gardens is its 20 million daffodils which are already in bloom! It’s also home to over 40,000 tulips, thousands of blooming cherry blossoms, and hundreds of blooming forsythias. Not to mention our local Georgia flowers like the rhododendrons, dogwoods, azaleas, and other Georgia wildflowers that fill these beautiful gardens to the brim. 

You’ll need 3 or 4 hours at least to see Gibbs Gardens to its fullest. Some must see spots are the daffodil gardens, waterlily gardens, inspiration gardens, Japanese gardens, the Manor House gardens, and the wildflower meadow. Gibbs Gardens is truly a sight to behold and we are so lucky to have a world class garden in our very own North Georgia Mountains! 

Don’t let these gorgeous spring days pass you by! Get outside and take in the beautiful flowers & mountains that surround you. You’ll be glad you did!

March Events 2023



Spring is on the way and we can’t wait for warm days out on the trails, for live music at our local breweries & wineries, and sitting on the patio for dinner Downtown. And with spring comes more great events, like our annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Georgia Wine Highway, art shows, and lots of live music. See what’s in store for you this March in Blue Ridge:

2023 Georgia Wine Highway
March 1st-March 31st
Location: Blue Ridge Area

Photo Courtesy of Open Georgia Wine

Join in the fun, because the whole month of March is wine highway month! Drink wine from vineyards and wineries all over the state of Georgia! Some of our local wineries that are participating this year are the Georgia Wine Depot, Cartecay Vineyards, Chateau Meichtry, Crane Creek Vineyards, Engelheim Vineyards, Mercier Orchards, and Odom Springs Vineyards. Purchase your wine highway passport which includes tastings at over 45 participating wineries. Check their website for more information: https://www.opengeorgiawine.com/

1st Quarter Artist in Residence: Peyton Daughtry
March 1st-March 31st
Location: Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

Come on out to the Art Center to admire Peyton Daughtry’s vibrant & robotic artwork in a variety of media from now until March 31st.

Youth Art Month
March 2nd-March 30th
Location: The Art Center: Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association

Come admire and celebrate the works of local young artists from Fannin County and Copper Basin schools. Opening reception is March 2nd 3:30pm-5:30pm and the exhibit is open all month-long Tuesdays thru Sundays.

Live Music at Grumpy Old Men Brewing
March 2nd-March 31st
Location: Grumpy Old Men Brewing

Photo Courtesy of Grumpy Old Men Brewing

Stop by Grumpy Old Men Brewery Thursdays to sing along to your favorite songs for karaoke night! And drop by select Fridays & Saturdays from 3pm-6pm for great drinks, great music, and a great time. With indoor and outdoor seating available you can even bring your dog to join in the fun! Enjoy a delicious hotdog from Jeff’s Hotdog’s while you listen to some fantastic local artists! And on Monday nights come on out for SINGO and Thursday nights is Karaoke!

March 2nd: Karaoke Thursday
March 3rd: Travis Bowlin
March 4th: Andy Thacker
March 9th: Karaoke Thursday
March 10th: Blue Lava
March 11th: Rusted Melody
March 16th: Karaoke Thursday
March 18th: The Orange Walls
March 23rd: Karaoke Thursday
March 24th: Gregg Erwin
March 25th: David Cheatham
March 30th: Karaoke Thursday
March 31st: Surrender Hill

Live Music at Bear Claw Vineyards & Winery
March 3rd-March 26th
Location: Bear Claw Vineyards

Photo Courtesy of Bear Claw Vineyards

For award winning wine, live music, and food truck Bear Claw Vineyards is the place for you! Join them every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for live music and food trucks. Kids and dogs are welcome too! The live music schedule for each weekend is shared on their website each Thursday so be sure to check back!

March 3rd: Rose Brown
March 4th: Travis Bowlin
March 5th: Hunter Flanagan
March 10th: Charles Barnwell
March 11th: Russ Still & Daniel Profeta
March 12th: Gregg Erwin
March 17th: The Shetlands
March 18th: Travis Bowlin
March 19th: Rose Brown
March 24th: Aspen Lee
March 25th: Rob Grater & Hunter Flanagan
March 26th: Daniel Profetah

Live Music at Chateau Meichtry
March 4th-March 26th
Location: Chateau Meichtry

Photo Courtesy of Chateau Meichtry

Come sip on wine by the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains at Chateau Meichtry. This beautiful winery located in Talking Rock, GA has both outdoor & indoor seating options, so you can enjoy the atmosphere of the winery no matter the weather. On Saturdays & Sundays you can sip on your favorite glass of wine while you enjoy live music from local artists from 1:30pm-5:30pm. And there’s food trucks on the weekends as well!

March 4th: Dr. Paul
March 5th: Steve & Steve
March 11th: Leah Belle Faser
March 12th: Surrender Hill
March 18th: Shaun Mitchell
March 19th: Drew Ashworth
March 25th: Surrender Hill
March 26th: The Hearbreak Chasers

Live Music at Angry Hops Brewing
March 4th-March 17th
Location: Angry Hops Brewing

Photo Courtesy of Angry Hops Brewing

Come on select Fridays & Saturdays for good beer, live music, and a great time at Angry Hops Brewing! Angry Hops offers both traditional brews and new takes on the popular styles like IPAs, Stouts, and Sours. Be sure to check them out on weekends!

March 4th: Georgia Beer Day w/ Randeauxs Food Truck
March 17th: 2nd Annual St. Paddy’s Day Celebration

Kurt Thomas Band- Live Music is Better
March 4th
Location: Blue Ridge Community Theater

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Community Theater

Local to the North Georgia area, Kurt Thomas is back with his band and ready to rock the house on March 4th! But before starting his own band Kurt Thomas opened for some of the biggest names in country music like Darius Rucker, Josh Turner, Zac Brown Band and more. Don’t miss this night of country music at Blue Ridge Community Theater for their Live Music is Better series! He will take the stage at 7:30 pm on March 4th and tickets are $37.50 for this awesome show!

Georgia Beer Day
March 4th
Location: Angry Hops Brewing

Photo Courtesy of Angry Hops Brewing

Celebrate Georgia Beer Day at Angry Hops Brewing! They’re the only brewery in Blue Ridge to have the limited Georgia beer pint glass so you’ll want to get there before they run out. Including amazing local beer and a collectors glass there will also be Cajun food from Randeaux’s Food Truck! Drop by Angry Hops Brewing starting at noon for all the fun!

Cork & Canvas
March 4th
Location: Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

Come to the Art Center for a night of fun, drinking wine and supporting local art. The event will include a stock your cellar wine grab, a silent auction, a count the corks raffle, and delicious food! Your $40 ticket includes free wine samples, a commemorative BRMAA glass, and gourmet food selections. And all proceeds of this great event go towards the local youth art programs!

Line Dancing Class
March 6th-March 27th
Location: Tooney’s Music Venue

Photo Courtesy of Tooney’s Music Venue

Have you ever wanted to learn how to line dance? Well now’s your chance! Tooney’s now offers free, weekly line dancing classes Monday nights! The class is open to people of all ages and dance experience! Doors open at 6pm and classes start at 7pm. Come on down and show us what you can do!

2nd Thursdays Stateline Stroll
March 9th
Location: Riverwalk Shops

Photo Courtesy of Riverwalk Shops

Get moving the second Thursday of every month with the Stateline Stroll! Walk, jog, or run around the block and cross the state line on this casual stroll. Start whenever and end whenever; and when you’re finished enjoy a drink at Burra Burra or Twisted Tomato and listen to some live music at Tooney’s!

Tanya Tucker
March 10th
Location: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Photo Courtesy of Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Country music queen, Tanya Tucker will be performing at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds with special guest Abbey Cone! With 2 Grammys under her belt and over 50 years in the country music industry Tanya Tucker knows how to put on an incredible performance! So snag your tickets for what’s sure to be a stellar night of country music. Tickets are $35+ handling for Level 2 seats or $60+handling for Level 1 seats. Purchase your tickets here: https://georgiamountainfairgrounds.com/localevents/id/376

Guided Hikes with the Benton McKaye Trail Association
March 10th-March 24th
Location: Cherry Log, GA

Photo Courtesy of Benton McKaye Trail Association

Explore the beauty of North Georgia on a guided hiking tour with the Benton McKaye Trail Association. They offer 2-4 hikes a month varying in difficulty from easy, leisurely hikes to moderately difficult hikes.

March 10th: BMT/AT (upper two loops)
March 13th: Miller Trek @ Brasstown Valley Resort
March 19th: Nottely Dam Trail
March 24th: Fightingtown Creek

Art Classes and Workshops
March 11th-March 26th
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association

Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association offers classes year-round for artists looking to expand their skill set. This month you can learn to express yourself through drawing, ceramics, watercolor and more! And check out more upcoming art classes at https://www.blueridgearts.net/adult-classes.html

March 11th & 12th: Wildlife & Nature Elements in Pen & Ink
March 11th: Animal and Ceramic Sculpture
March 18th: Craft a Mini Blueprint for Your Book
March 24 thru 26th: Flowers in Watercolor

2nd Annual St. Paddy’s Day Celebration
March 17th
Location: Angry Hops Brewing

Photo Courtesy of Angry Hops Brewing

Ready to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day with a brew in hand!? Then Angry Hops Brewing is the place to be! Deck out in all green, have a beer or two, eat some brisket from Community BBQ & Snack Company, and enjoy some live music from Sidewalkers. The festive fun goes on all day from 1pm-8pm!

St. Patty’s Day Bash
March 17th
Location: Paradise Hills

Photo Courtesy of Paradise Hills

Celebrate St. Patty’s Day with some festive fun at Paradise Hills! Your $15 ticket includes live music from Tom Edwards, fun games, and prizes. And really get into the spirit with a liquid luck slushie and a bowl full of Guinness stew!

St. Patrick’s Day Parade
March 18th
Location: Downtown Blue Ridge

Things are looking green around Blue Ridge! Join us for our annual St. Patrick’s Day parade! The parade kicks off Downtown at 11am. And afterwards stick around for brews, food, and shopping! Wear your best green outfit and come on down!

Winery Comedy Tour
March 18th
Location: Paradise Hills, Cabins-Spa-Winery

Photo Courtesy of Paradise Hills

Get ready for a night of laughs at the Winery Comedy Tour! Live professional stand-up comics will make you laugh all night long! Grab a glass of wine or a beer and let the laughter flow! Doors open at 7pm and the show starts at 8pm!

The Great Ape Escape 5Kish
March 25th
Location: Project Chimps

Photo Courtesy of Project Chimps

Admire the adorable chimps as you race in a 5K around the property! This is the 2nd Annual Great Ape Escape 5K and it’s sure to be a blast!

Gary Allan
March 31st
Location: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Photo Courtesy of Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Gary Allan will be performing at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds on March 31st at 7pm! Country music star, Gary Allan has made a name for himself with hit songs like “Right Where I Need to Be”, “It Ain’t the Whiskey”, and “Smoke Rings in the Dark”. You won’t want to miss this night of great music! Tickets are $50+ handling and can be purchased here: https://georgiamountainfairgrounds.com/localevents/id/377

Downtown Stays



There’s always so much going on in Downtown Blue Ridge! From the great shops & restaurants, to live music, breweries, wine bars, a stellar art scene, and countless events happening year round; it’s no surprise you want to be right in the middle of all the action. If you’ve been dreaming of staying in the heart of Downtown Blue Ridge then these 6 luxurious properties are just what you’ve been looking for:

*Cover Photo Courtesy of Perch 2

Postcard Perfect Downtown

At Postcard Perfect Downtown you can live a life of luxury while staying close to all the prime shops and restaurants in Downtown Blue Ridge. Just an elevator ride down from your condo is Mona Lisa’s Dessert House, and you’ll be right next to Hook & Eye as well. You’ll love staying in town but only being a few miles away from the trails around Blue Ridge. Postcard Perfect Downtown offers a spacious open floor plan, 2 comfortable bedrooms, and a fully equipped kitchen. And the best part? The 50 foot wraparound veranda where you can enjoy a glass of wine, watch the sunset, and wave to the train riders below. After your busy day head back inside your cozy condo where you can unwind in front of the electric fireplace and recount all of your day’s adventures. Postcard Perfect Downtown is the perfect place for your next getaway!

Nest on West

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0BeRW4otbc

A mountain retreat doesn’t have to be rustic if that isn’t to your taste! Sophistication, style, and elegance – Nest on West promises nothing less! This luxury condo in the heart of Downtown Blue Ridge provides unrivaled access to everything Blue Ridge has to offer! It’s located directly behind Harvest on Main, right next to rooftop bar Hook & Eye, and just steps away from the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway– that can whisk you away to the charming Twin Cities of McCaysville, GA and Copperhill, TN in less than an hour! Inside Nest on West you’ll notice its charming decor which perfectly compliments the rustic brick interior. Make some homemade cookies in the luxurious kitchen with quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances and then cuddle up on the plush sofa to watch your favorite movies on the 65’ Smart TV. And you can’t beat the views from the deck, where you can check out the bustling town below and then watch the train pass by as it leaves on its daily journey. You and up to 6 guests will love your luxurious downtown suite!

Downtown Bungalow

Did you know that you can stay in the middle of Downtown Blue Ridge in the cutest one bedroom cottage with your favorite four legged friend? That’s right, Downtown Bungalow is a dog-friendly cottage downtown just waiting for you! You and your pup will love the charming features outside like the adorable landscaped yard & garden filled with all the flora, fauna, and fruit trees you could want; along with four comfortable porches to spread out on & enjoy the views of the town below. There’s even a fenced in doggy area so your dog can be in the great outdoors without getting lost!

And inside you’ll find all the charm of the original 1940 construction, built with new modern amenities like a Smart TV in the living room and glass top range in the kitchen. Enjoy preparing meals at Downtown Bungalow in the adorable retro chic kitchen, on the bbq grill outside, or grab your pup and head to town to eat at one of Blue Ridge’s dog friendly restaurants like The Dogwood or Rin Tin’s Barks & Brews Cantina. A lovely couple and their sweet dog are sure to have a blast at this perfect little downtown cottage!

Perch Suites of Main:

Perch 1

Relax in style at your elegant downtown retreat, Perch 1! Located in the heart of Downtown Blue Ridge, at Perch 1 you can spend the day shopping at all the trendiest and coolest shops downtown, drop your bags off at your suite, and then head back out to enjoy a nice dinner at one of Blue Ridge’s newest restaurants like Ferraros’s Kitchen or ROE.

This 1 bedroom suite is the perfect for a romantic getaway with your love. Curl up with a glass of wine from Out of the Blue on the plush sofa, in front of the beautiful gas fireplace and then head outside to admire the town below! You and your sweetheart can sit outside on the rooftop and reminisce about the day you had, and plan for the day ahead!

Perch 2

For a small family get-together or a couples retreat, the charming 2 bedroom, Perch 2 is just what you need! Just down the stairs from your private suite, you’ll find trendy boutiques and can enjoy a delicious dinner from Harvest on Main. Want to explore the great outdoors? You’ll only be a short drive from the best hiking, fishing, and outdoor activities in the region!

After a busy day on the town or hiking nearby, come back to your suite and end your night with a home cooked meal made in the beautiful open kitchen or watch the sunset from the balcony. And when it’s time to rest your weary legs from a day of adventuring, two comfortable & spacious king bedrooms await you.

Perch 3

More fun awaits at your warm & inviting downtown retreat: Perch 3! As you step inside the building, you’ll notice the old-world charm mixed with modern amenities. In the suite, you’ll admire the high ceilings, expansive windows, and the incredible sunshine that continuously pours through. Enjoy a beautiful day from your private terrace which has incredible views of the downtown scene below!

And when you’re ready to venture out of your suite you’ll be just steps away from all the charming shops & restaurants of Downtown Blue Ridge or a short drive away from some of the best hiking trails in the area. However you choose to spend your Blue Ridge vacation Perch 3 will be there to help you relax & unwind as you prepare yourself for a new day of fun!

Southern Eats



One of our favorite things about living in the mountains of North Georgia is the incredible southern food! We may be biased but Georgia folk do southern cooking best- with warm, homemade biscuits, shrimp & grits, collared greens, bbq & ribs, and so many other southern favorites. Check out these 8 spots in North Georgia where you can enjoy all the delicious flavors of the south in one incredible meal: 

*Cover Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

Southern Charm

Photo Courtesy of Southern Eats

How can you possibly get more southern than with a meal from Southern Charm! Just as its name suggests Southern Charm is all about southern eats and that good old southern hospitality! You’ll experience traditional family style dining, featuring all your favorite southern dishes like biscuits and apple butter, country fried steak, collards & greens, and chicken pot pies. You can’t go wrong with any of these incredible dishes! Open 11am-7pm Monday-Thursday and 11am-8pm Friday & Saturday in Downtown Blue Ridge,  you’ll have ample opportunities to enjoy some good old fashioned southern cooking the way it was meant to be.

Carroll’s Barbecue 

Photo Courtesy of Carroll’s Barbeque

The West may think they can do bbq but we in the South do it best! At Carroll’s Barbeque, Tom Carroll will make sure to cook you up some scrumptious southern bbq! His family have been residents of Blue Ridge for over 50 years and Tom himself has built up a reputation for cooking up good food, especially barbeque; so it was only a matter of time before he opened up his own place. 

At Carroll’s Barbeque you can get your bbq just how you like it whether it’s with pulled pork, pulled chicken, turkey, or brisket. Then pair your delicious sandwich with an amazing side like bbq baked beans, mac and cheese, french fries, coleslaw or one of the other great side options. If you’ve still got room in your stomach to keep pigging out, try their awesome BBQ Burrito, a stack of their juicy Ribs,  or “Tater Hill” (a baked potato covered to the brim with southern deliciousness). Once you dine here there can be no doubt it,  Carroll’s Barbeque does barbecue right! 

Harvest on Main

Photo Courtesy of Harvest on Main

One of our guests favorite places to eat when they come to town is Harvest on Main. With incredible southern inspired dishes made with fresh, quality ingredients and exceptional service; it’s not hard to see why people flock to it. When you dine at Harvest on Main you’ll have a Farm to Table experience like no other. They source most of their ingredients from local businesses like Mercier Orchards and Brasstown Beef, and they even have their own private farm with chickens, pigs, quail and more to ensure your meal is made with the freshest of local ingredients. 

For delicious southern starters you can try the Pimento Cheese and House Pickles or get the Blue Ridge Sampler that includes all things Blue Ridge like cheesy flatbread, black eyed pea hummus, corn salad and more! Then have the Locally Farmed Rainbow Trout or Georgia Hot Brown as your main course to get a full taste of Blue Ridge. You’ll have to keep coming back to Harvest on Main time and time again to try all their delicious locally sourced dishes! 

The Roof Ellijay 

Photo Courtesy of The Roof Ellijay

Take in the views from The Roof Ellijay, which is a southern rooftop kitchen & bar in downtown Ellijay, inspired by the culture of their hometown Appalchia. You can guarantee that you’ll find lots of mountain style, southern cooking here! We recommend eating on their trendy rooftop for a great ambiance, wonderful views, and exceptional southern hospitality the moment you walk through the door. Start your meal off with Low Country Boiled Peanuts or the Old Bay Peel & Eat Shrimp. Then for your main course feast on their Shrimp & Grits, Fresh Appalachian Trout, or the Smoke Gouda Mac n’ Cheese. And don’t forget to pair your entrée with a delicious southern side like the cheddar grits, collard greens, or the southern style green beans. Even their drinks have fun southern names like The Hatfield and The Real McCoy! Their menus change seasonally so there’s always something new & wonderful to try at The Roof Ellijay! 

Bumblebee’s Cafe

Photo Courtesy of Bumblebee’s Cafe

Breakfast in the south means biscuits & gravy, country fried ham, and home fries. At  Bumblebee’s Cafe you can find all this and more because all their dishes are home cooked with a southern flair. On top of those tasty southern breakfast options they also serve tried & true classics like pancakes, omelets, french toast, and more! You can even drop in for lunch if you’d like where you can choose from a sandwich, soup, or salad. Breakfast and lunch are served up daily at Bumblebee’s from 8am – 2pm! 

Toccoa Riverside Restaurant 

Photo Courtesy of Toccoa Riverside Restaurant

Blue Ridge is known as the Trout Capital of Georgia; so if you’re looking for fried trout and delicious flavor that can only be found in Blue Ridge than Toccoa Riverside Restaurant is the place for you! Sit on the banks of the Toccoa River as you dine on award-winning steaks and seafood. Start your meal with Fried Green Tomatoes or a Pimento Cheese Bake. Then for the main course go for the Ribeye Steak or the Fresh Local Rainbow Trout, fixed however you like fried, boiled, or smoked. Finally, finish off your meal with a decadent dessert like the Bourbon Street Pecan Pie or the Tennessee Cheesecake. Once you’re good & stuffed check out the gift shop or hop in your canoe and float back down the river for a full day of adventure. Drop by for lunch or dinner Wednesday-Saturday and see what makes Toccoa Riverside Restaurant such a long standing tradition of North Georgia. 

The Dogwood

Photo Courtesy of The Dogwood

Delicious food and incredible drinks come together in perfect harmony at The Dogwood. Enjoy your meal from the comfort of their huge outdoor patio that’s nestled under 100 year old trees and a gorgeous hand painted mural. The Dogwood offers a unique dining and drinks experience, with a select menu of only 10 items and customizable drink options. Some of the scrumptious, southern, comfort foods that you can expect from The Dogwood are BBQ Deviled Eggs, Sticky Ribs and Shrimp & Grits. Yum! Don’t forget to pair your meal with a drink from either their extensive wine list, craft cocktail menu, full bar, or beer garage that has over 70 options of beers to choose from! The Dogwood is a great place to spend an evening with friends and if you come on the weekends you can expect amazing live music from local artists as well.

Mercier Orchards Cafe

Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

Mercier Orchards is known for their scrumptious apples and that’s exactly what their bakery & cafe focus on! Warm butter biscuits with apple butter, fried cinnamon apples, an apple house burger, and even an apple cider donut sandwich- which is applewood smoked bacon, a folded egg, and maple syrup all wedged between two perfect apple cider donuts. Wow!! Come for breakfast or lunch between 9am-1pm for amazing, mouthwatering options. Then after your meal stay for dessert! We southerners love to fry things right? Well you haven’t lived until you’ve tried one of their fried pies! They come in all kinds of flavors: apple, blueberry, strawberry, chocolate, coconut and many more! You won’t leave Mercier Orchards hungry that’s for sure! And before you go check out their cidery and market,  to bring home even more goodies! 

February Events 2023



It may be cold but February has lots of fun ways to stay warm! Let some “spirits” and chili warm you up at the Fire & Ice Chili Cookoff & Craft Beer Festival or have a romantic Valentine’s Day celebration Downtown with your love! Celebrate Mercier Orchards 80th Anniversary or live it up like they do in New Orleans for a day with a Mardi Gras celebration at Tipping Point Brewing Co. There’s lots in store for you and your family to experience this month in Blue Ridge!

Upcoming Events

1st Quarter Artist in Residence: Peyton Daughtry
February 1st – February 28th
Location: Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

Come on out to the Art Center to admire Peyton Daughtry’s vibrant & robotic artwork in a variety of media from now until March 31st.

Georgia Clay Council
February 1st – February 24th  
Location: Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

Learn all about the art of clay as the Arts Center presents a new exhibit from the Georgia Clay Council from now until February 24th. You’ll find a wide variety of styles and techniques on display, reshaping the bounds of the clay and pottery medium.

Guided Hikes with the Benton McKaye Trail Association
February 1st – February 28th
Location: Cherry Log, GA

Photo Courtesy of Benton McKaye Trail Association

Explore the beauty of North Georgia on a guided hiking tour with the Benton McKaye Trail Association. They offer 2 – 4 hikes a month varying in difficulty from easy, leisurely hikes to moderately difficult hikes.

February 1st: Amadahy Trail
February 10th: Miller Trek At Brasstown Valley Resort
February 14th: Unicoi State Park to Helen and return
February 17th: Talking Rock
February 20th: BMT Section 14a from TN 68 to Coker Creek Bridge
February 22nd: BMT: Watson Gap to Jack’s River Trail intersection to Hemptop to Dally Gap and return
February 27th: Wildcat Tract from Monument Road and Tobacco Pouch Trail
February 28th: Quartz Loop

Thursday Fun Runs at the Riverwalk
February 2nd – February 23rd
Location: Riverwalk Shops

Photo Courtesy of Riverwalk Shops

Partake in a fun run every Thursday night at 5:30pm! You’ll leave from the Burra Burra, and the 3.1 mile run will take you by the Toccoa river and through town. You’ll get to run through 2 states and cross the famous steel bridge! After the run stay for drinks at the Burra Burra overlooking the Toccoa River. Don’t walk, RUN to this great event!

Live Music at Grumpy Old Men Brewing
February 2nd – February 27th
Location: Grumpy Old Men Brewing

Photo Courtesy of Grumpy Old Men Brewing

Stop by Grumpy Old Men Brewery Thursdays to sing along to your favorite songs for karaoke night! And drop by select Fridays & Saturdays from 3pm – 6pm for great drinks, great music, and a great time. With indoor and outdoor seating available you can even bring your dog to join in the fun! Enjoy a delicious hotdog from Jeff’s Hotdog’s while you listen to some fantastic local artists! And on Monday nights come on out for SINGO and Thursday nights is Karaoke!

February 2nd: Karaoke Thursday
February 3rd: Zach Day
February 6th: SINGO
February 9th: Karaoke Thursday
February 11th: David Cheatham
February 13th: SINGO
February 14th: Taco Tuesday
February 16th: Karaoke Thursday
February 17th: Doctor Paul
February 18th: David Welch
February 20th: SINGO
February 23rd: Karaoke Thursday
February 24th: Surrender Hill
February 27th: SINGO

The Addams Family
February 3rd – February 5th
Location: Blue Ridge Community Theater

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Community Theater

Follow the beloved kooky, gothic family on their next adventure in Addams Family the Musical! Sunny D’s Children’s Theater will be putting it on at Blue Ridge Community Theater Fridays – Sundays January 20th – Febuary 5th. Shows are Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30pm or Sundays at 2pm. Call the box office at 706-632-9191 for tickets!

Live Music at Bear Claw Vineyards & Winery
February 3rd – February 12th
Location: Bear Claw Vineyards

Photo Courtesy of Bear Claw Vineyards

For award winning wine, live music, and food truck Bear Claw Vineyards is the place for you! Join them every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for live music and food trucks. Kids and dogs are welcome too! The live music schedule for each weekend is shared on their website each Thursday so be sure to check back!

Live Music at Angry Hops Brewing
February 3rd – February 18th
Location: Angry Hops Brewing

Photo Courtesy of Angry Hops Brewing

Come on select Fridays & Saturdays for good beer, live music, and a great time at Angry Hops Brewing! Angry Hops offers both traditional brews and new takes on the popular styles like IPAs, Stouts, and Sours. Be sure to check them out on weekends!

February 3rd: Cousins Maine Lobster Truck
February 17th: Der Wurst Meister Food Truck
February 18th: Woolybooger and Heidi Holton

Casino Night at the Masquerade
February 3rd
Location: Chateau Meichtry

Photo Courtesy of Chateau Meichtry

Get your game on at Chateau Meichtry Casino Night! Your $20 ticket ($25 at the door) will include a glass of wine, snacks and $1,000 of play money with your ticket. You may also purchase more play money to play additional games like cards, raffles, liar’s dice and more! Casino attire & masquerade masks are encouraged!

Live Music at Misty Mountain Hops
February 3rd – February 26th
Location: Misty Mountain Hops

Photo Courtesy of Misty Mountain Hops

Misty Mountain Hops is a music-centric restaurant and pub so it’s only fitting that they bring in live music. Stop on by Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm – 9pm for great food and great live music from local artists!

February 3rd: Steve Vaclavik
February 4th: Mason Parker
February 10th: Andrew Golden
February 11th: Levi Ransom
February 17th: Greg Erwin
February 18th: Rob Grater
February 26th: Singo and Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser

Live Music at Cartecay Vineyards
February 4th – February 25th
Location: Cartecay Vineyards

Photo Courtesy of Cartecay Vineyards

Sip on delicious wine surrounded by the North Georgia Mountains at Cartecay Vineyards! Enjoy live music select Saturdays & Sundays from 1:30pm – 5:30pm. Listen to the music of local artists while enjoying your wine outside either on the Chimney Patio or the Tasting Barn’s covered porch. Live music, good wine, and beautiful mountain scenery; it doesn’t get much better than that!

February 4th: Rick Stone
February 5th: Surrender Hill
February 11th: Gregg Erwin
February 12th: Johnny Summers
February 18th: RustedMelody
February 19th: Britt Nix
February 25th: Brett Cantrell

Oil Painting Class
February 4th – February 25th
Location: 4 Elements Fine Art

Photo Courtesy of 4 Elements Fine Art

Learn how to paint a beautiful oil landscape painting with 4 Elements Fine Art! Oil painting lessons are available February 4th from 2pm – 4:30pm, February 25th from 2pm – 4:30pm. Classes are $130 per person and include professional art supplies, a charcuterie board, wine, your instructional class with George Charriez, and your own art to take home. Make your reservation here: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/4-elements-fine-art-amp-custom-framing-51616553243

Songs & Stories
February 4th
Location: The Craddock Center

Photo Courtesy of The Craddock Center

This wonderful annual performance at the Craddock Center in Cherry Log, GA will include musicians and storytellers who share the best of Appalachia’s unique culture and traditions in honor of Helen Lewis. Admission is free but donations are welcome and will go towards the purchase of new books.

Live Music at Chateau Meichtry
February 4th – February 26th
Location: Chateau Meichtry

Photo Courtesy of Chateau Meichtry

Come sip on wine by the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains at Chateau Meichtry. This beautiful winery located in Talking Rock, GA has both outdoor & indoor seating options, so you can enjoy the atmosphere of the winery no matter the weather. On Saturdays & Sundays you can sip on your favorite glass of wine while you enjoy live music from local artists from 1:30pm – 5:30pm. And there’s food trucks on the weekends as well!

February 4th: Brett Cantrell
February 11th: Leah Belle Faser
February 12th: Surrender Hill
February 17th: Western Night with Surrender Hill and Friends
February 18th: Cotter Hill
February 19th: Gary Wilder
February 25th: Surrender Hill
February 26th: Barefoot Boone

Line Dancing Class
February 6th – February 20th
Location: Tooney’s Music Venue

Photo Courtesy of Tooney’s Music Venue

Have you ever wanted to learn how to line dance? Well now’s your chance! Tooney’s now offers free, weekly line dancing classes Monday nights! The class is open to people of all ages and dance experience! Doors open at 6pm and classes start at 7pm. Come on down and show us what you can do!

Live Music at Tooney’s
February 10th – February 11th
Location: Tooney’s Music Venue

Photo Courtesy of Tooney’s Music Venue

Come on out for live music at Tooney’s HUGE music venue select Friday and Saturday nights and enjoy the best live music McCaysville has to offer! Check their website often for live music updates. And every Thursday night get ready to take to the stage with open mic night!

February 10th: The Dirty South Band
February 11th: Whiskey Stills & Mash

Valentine’s Day Partner Pour
February 11th
Location: 4 Elements Fine Art

Photo Courtesy of 4 Elements Fine Art

Come create a masterpiece with your love in this fun Valentine’s Day Partner Pour Class at 4 Elements Fine Art! You and your partner will create a special painting together on one canvas and learn how to do pour painting from artist, Tamie Beth. Price is $335 per couple and includes a buffet catered by The Dogwood, wine from 34th Degree Wine Merchant, all materials, and you may take home any left over materials for more painting at home! Purchase tickets here: https://www.4elementsart.com/classes/valentines-day-partners-pour

Couples Crush – Valentine’s Day
February 11th
Location: Paradise Hills

Photo Courtesy of Paradise Hills

Celebrate love Valentine’s Day weekend at Paradise Hills! It’ll be an evening of fun and romance with a kissing booth, couple games, live music, and plenty of wine! Admission is $15 a person and the fun goes on from 6pm – 9pm.

Annual Sweethearts Arts & Crafts Show
February 11th – February 12th
Location: Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa

Photo Courtesy of Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa

Shop wonderful arts & crafts V-day weekend from great local artists at Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa. Admission is free and the event goes from 10am – 5pm Saturday and 10am – 3pm Sunday.

Diane Durrett – Live Music is Better
February 11th
Location: Blue Ridge Community Theater

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Community Theater

Catch the soulful music of Diane Durrett live and in person at Blue Ridge Community Theater for their Live Music is Better series! Diane will take the stage at 7:30pm on February 11th and tickets are $35 for this awesome show!

Superbowl Party
February 12th
Location: The Waterfront Bar

Photo Courtesy of Waterfront Bar

Come on out to watch the big game at the Waterfront Bar in Copperhill, TN! There will be special menu items available, free snacks, giveaways, and amazing Carla Concoctions inspired by the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles. The fun starts at 1pm and goes until the game is over!

Valentine’s Day Buffet
February 14th
Location: Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa

Photo Courtesy of Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa

Enjoy a delicious Valentine’s Day Buffet cozy in front of the fireplace. Some of your dining options include oysters, peel & eat shrimp, five cheese ravioli, butter braised chicken, roasted tenderloin of beef, and many more options. Seating is available from 5pm – 6pm. Reservations are strongly recommended.

Winery Comedy Tour
February 17th
Location: Paradise Hills, Cabins-Spa-Winery

Photo Courtesy of Paradise Hills

Get ready for a night of laughs at the Winery Comedy Tour! Live professional stand-up comics will make you laugh all night long! Grab a glass of wine or a beer and let the laughter flow! Doors open at 7pm and the show starts at 8pm!

Valentine’s Ride at Trackrock Stables
February 18th – February 19th
Location: Trackrock Stables

Photo Courtesy of Trackrock Stables

12th Annual Fire & Ice Chili Cookoff & Craft Beer Festival
February 19th
Location: Downtown City Park

Enjoy a romantic trail ride at Trackrock Stables in Blairsville the weekend following Valentine’s Day! You’ll get a 90 minute trail ride through the beautiful countryside, a complimentary professional photo of your experience, and a break during your ride for s’mores & hot cocoa by the fire. Price is $150 for 2 and $75 for each additional rider. Make your reservation at www.trackrock.com or by calling 706-745-5252.

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Business Association

Have all kinds of winter fun at the 12th Annual Fire & Ice Chili Cookoff & Craft Beer Festival! There will be ice sculptures, live music, and plenty of chili and craft beers! You can try the chilis yourself by becoming a taster and check out the ice sculpting process from award winning ice sculptors. This is a great annual event you won’t want to miss!

Mardi Gras Celebration
February 19th
Location: Tipping Point Brewing Co.

Photo Courtesy of Tipping Point Brewing Co.

Celebrate Mardi Gras Blue Ridge style! Tipping Point Brewing Co. is hosting an awesome Mardi Gras celebration with New Orleans music, Jamabalya, oysters from ROE, king cake, beads, and lots of beer! Join in the celebration happening all day long!

Old Crow Medicine Show: Paint this Town Tour
February 24th
Location: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Photo Courtesy of Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Fresh off their new album Paint This Town, country band, Old Crow Medicine Show is coming to North Georgia! You know them from hits like “Wagon Wheel,” “Down Home Girl,” “Tell It to Me,” and many more. You won’t want to miss them when they take on the Anderson Music Hall stage on February 24th at 7pm!  Tickets range from $39.75-$65 + handling.

Art Classes and Workshops
February 25th
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association

Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association offers classes year-round for artists looking to expand their skill set. On February 25th enjoy a Leather Workshop from 10:30am – 4pm.  And check out more upcoming art classes at https://www.blueridgearts.net/adult-classes.html

Customer Appreciation Day
February 25th
Location: Mercier Orchards

Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

Celebrate Mercier Orchards 80th Anniversary and the amazing customer that you are at their Customer Appreciation Day celebration! There will be free tractor rides, photo ops with Apple Andy, llamas, face painting, magicians, free samples, live music, door prizes, and much, much more! Bring the whole family and spend a wonderful afternoon at Merciers!

Cheers for Chimps
February 25th
Location: Paradise Hills

Photo Courtesy of Paradise Hills

Get tickets for this great event and you’ll receive a limited edition Project Chimps glass, one pour of a wine, and some vegan dark chocolate to pair with it! And all proceeds go towards Project Chimps! There’s no better excuse to drink than helping out some adorable chimps!

Dog Lovers Getaway- Must Love Dogs



One of the many reasons we love Blue Ridge so much is because it’s such a dog-friendly town! Your dogs are welcome on our trails, at many of the shops & restaurants around town, and in over a hundred of our Escape to Blue Ridge cabins. We know how much our guests love their pups so we’ve compiled a list of the best places to eat, play, and stay with your pup in dog-friendly Blue Ridge! 

*Photo Courtesy of @see_spot_go_ 2

Outdoor Adventures

Eat 

Photo Courtesy of Toccoa Riverside Restaurant

Toccoa Riverside Restaurant is one of our favorite places to stop for a bite to eat after a long day of exploring the trails; and the good news is your dog can join you! Eat riverside on the Pooch Patio or at the River Rest area, where you’ll feast on award-winning steaks and seafood to power you up for the rest of your adventure; and if you’re feeling generous maybe even share some of your meal with your dog!  Your dining experience will truly be a Blue Ridge one, with views of the Toccoa River and a wide variety of menu items caught right here in the Blue Ridge area. And don’t worry, you’ll have no shortage of trout options to choose from while dining in the trout capital of Georgia!  

Play 

Photo Courtesy of @tsmittyz

While most of the great outdoors is open wide to our four-legged friends there are a few hiking trails that dogs are not welcome on for their own safety. So, before you plan to take your pup with you on your next hiking adventure, be sure to check that the trail you plan on taking is “Dog Friendly”. But never fear, we’ve done most of the work for you and provided you with some of our favorite dog-friendly hikes! Check out the Duncan Ridge Trail which is a part of the famous Benton McKaye Trail and the Appalachian Trail. Along the way you’ll pass Long Creek Falls, The Toccoa River Swinging Bridge, and many other beautiful sights. Just follow the blue vertical blazes (marks on the trees) for the Duncan Ridge and the white diamond blazes for the BMT. We also love the hike to Fall Branch Falls because it’s short, easy, and a beautiful waterfall awaits you at the end! Plan your hike around you and your dog’s endurance and stamina levels; you don’t want to take on a hike that is too challenging for you or your dog. For more suggestions on hiking with dogs check out our dog-friendly hiking blog here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/dog-friendly-hikes-blue-ridge-georgia/ 

Stay 

Tumnus Ridge is the perfect cabin for outdoor lovers and their pups! Located on the edge of the Chattahoochee National Forest, you’ll be near all the action like the Toccoa River and some awesome hiking trails. Not only will you be close to all kinds of outdoor adventures here but the outdoor areas at the cabin are simply to die for! You’ll have a screened-in outdoor living room with a wood-burning fireplace that’s seated just above the custom-designed waterfall feature. The wraparound porch is safely gated to keep your pup restricted to one area while you soak in the hot tub or take in the views. And the fenced in dog-friendly garden is one of our favorite spots! Your dog can play fetch and run to their hearts content in the garden without getting loose or they can relax under one of the nice shade trees. And inside, Tumnus Ridge even provides you with a dog crate and a cozy dog bed by the fire. Tumnus Ridge truly is one of the most dog-friendly properties in the area! 

High Class Pups

Eat

Photo Courtesy of The Black Sheep

Your pups can enjoy fine dining just like you! The Black Sheep has a wonderful outdoor dining area with a great atmosphere and live music on the weekends. While you dine on delicious southern cuisine like their meatloaf or ribeye; your pup can dine in style too! At their special Yappy Hour events your pup can enjoy free treats and even a dog-friendly beer. How fun is that?   

Play 

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Cotton Company

We <3 dog-friendly shopping! Your pup is welcome to accompany you into some of the trendiest boutiques in town! Blue Ridge Cotton Company and their sister store, Gather are two of our favorite dog-friendly shops Downtown. At both shops you can find great tees, home decor, gifts, and more! You may even come across the owner’s own dog, Watson who loves greeting guests the moment they walk through the door. The best part? 1% of your purchase will go towards a local charity, often ones that are dog friendly! So not only will you be getting everything on your shopping list but you’ll be giving back to the community as well, it’s a win win!

Art lovers and dog lovers alike will love exploring High Country Art Gallery! Browse the gallery for beautiful works of art with your favorite four-legged art connoisseur beside you. Bonus points if you can find a work of art with a dog in it! And when your dog needs a pick-me-up Blue Ridge Adventure Wear and Love Dogs and Cats Too are both great pet-friendly stores that have all the toys, treats, and accessories you need to spoil your favorite pup! 

Stay

At Downtown Bungalow you can stay in the heart of Blue Ridge, in a charming one-bedroom cottage. Built in the 1940s, and completely renovated this lovely cottage has all the modern amenities you’re looking for but maintains its cottage charm. As soon as you step on the property you’ll notice the beautiful garden that surrounds the house and the multiple outdoor seating areas. Have dinner al-fresco from the BBQ grill, relax in the screened in living area, or take in the birds eye view of Downtown Blue Ridge! Downtown Bungalow is the perfect couples retreat but there’s plenty of space for your dog to join as well! While you unwind with your favorite beverage on the deck your pup can hang out in the fenced in canine area. Even when you’re relaxing inside your dog can easily get outside to do their business with a doggie door from the kitchen to the secure side yard. And when you’re ready to explore the dog-friendly Downtown you’ll be just steps from the best shops & restaurants in the area! 

Try Something New

Eat 

Photo Courtesy of Rin Tin’s Bark & Brews Cantina

This Blue Ridge eatery is about as dog-friendly as it gets-Rin Tin’s Bark & Brews Cantina. There’s so much to discover here because Rin Tin’s Bark & Brews Cantina is a fun dog-friendly restaurant where you and your dog are welcome! You can dine on Mitzy’s Hot Honey Chicken or the Italian Greyhound while you sip on a refreshing “dogtail”(Tequila Rum & Lodge’s fun take on cocktails), all on the dog-friendly patio. Or you can pick up something quick & easy from Mimi’s Market & Cafe, so you can get out to exploring Blue Ridge with your pup even sooner!

Play

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Adventure Dog

Keep a lookout because coming soon to Blue Ridge is a great new spot where dogs and their humans are welcome- Blue Ridge Adventure Dog! This huge outdoor dog park will have plenty of room for your dog to run, play, and socialize off leash with their favorite “furiends”. If your dog is small or more timid, they have a separate section just for them, so they won’t have to miss out on any of the fun! And for the humans: beer, wine, and snacks will be available as well as plenty of treats for all the pups to enjoy. We can’t wait for this new dog-friendly spot in town to open up! Be sure to check their Facebook page for frequent updates about the parks opening date! 

Stay

Moondance Manor is truly a sight to behold! It has a warm, cozy farmhouse feel, with all the modern comforts and amenities of a 5-star resort. And it’s the perfect cabin for the whole family, with two playrooms for the kiddos and a gated door on the patio for your four-legged friends. You and your pup will love spending your time here exploring the outdoor entertainment areas, playing games in the TWO game rooms, cooking dinner in the modern kitchen, and cuddling by the fireplace in the family room. Plus you’ll be just 15 minutes from Downtown Blue Ridge and have everything you need to entertain up to 12 guests at this amazing mountain retreat! 

Barkin’ Brews

Eat 

Photo Courtesy of The Dogwood

Looking for some incredible brews to pair with your dinner on the town? Then, The Dogwood is just the place for you! On Saturday nights their dog-friendly patio is alive with great music, amazing drinks, delicious food, and an awesome atmosphere! There’s plenty of room for you, your pup and all your friends to spread out on this large patio with 150 outdoor seats! You’ll choose from a limited menu of just 10 items, but we assure you everything here is DELICIOUS! We especially love their bbq deviled eggs and pork potstickers. And when it comes to drinks, The Dogwood is in NO short-supply! You can choose from amazing craft cocktails, a specially selected wine list or create your own six pack from their Beer Garage which has over 70 different beers to choose from. You’ll spend a wonderful evening here under the stars and the 100+ year old trees with all your best friends human and pup! 

Play

Photo Courtesy of Grumpy Old Men Brewing

More amazing brews await for you at our local breweries and your dog won’t have to miss out on any of the fun! Grumpy Old Men Brewing is one of our favorite spots to take the pups with 18 beers on tap, fun games on the large patio like Jenga, food trucks, live music, and more! The owners of Grumpy Old Men Brewing even advertise that “Dogs are welcome, and people are tolerated!” Dogs are even allowed in the tap room here, so no matter the weather, you know that you and your pup are always welcome. AND every October Grumpy Old Men Brewing and the Humane Society of Blue Ridge host Barktober Fest. This wonderful event is full of beer, food, fun, and lots of dogs; and proceeds are donated to the Humane Society of Blue Ridge to help more dogs in need! 

We can’t forget to mention some of the other great dog-friendly breweries in Blue Ridge and the Copper Basin like Fannin Brewing Company, Copperhill Brewery, Tipping Point Brewing Co, and Buck Bald Brewing. Dogs are welcome on the patios here while you enjoy a delicous craft brew! And if you prefer a nice glass of wine instead, bring your pup along with you to Bear Claw Winery, Serenberry Vineyards, or Cartecay Vineyards. You’ll get a gorgeous view of the mountains at any of these wineries; along with live entertainment, a good glass of wine, and plenty of room for you & your pup to explore the beautiful vineyards. 

Stay

Looking for an amazing cabin where you can have a beer with a view? At St. Ridges not only will you have spectacular views but you’ll have wonderful amenities and plenty of space for your dog to explore! Soak up the sun and mountain views from the relaxing porch swing or on the outdoor sofa while you sip on your favorite brew and give your dog all the scratches & love he deserves! Or enjoy your beer at the swanky bar in the game room and play a few rounds of pool & shuffleboard. Have a cookout on the BBQ grill on the lower deck with the whole family (dogs too) and then cuddle up by the outdoor fireplace for a night of stories & laughs around the fire.  Finally, end your day in the hot tub or with a glass of wine and a book in the master bath’s soaking tub. This vacation is sure to wash all your worries away!

Lake Dayz

Eat

Photo Courtesy of Boat Dock Bar & Grill

Spend your summers by the water at the Boat Dock Bar & Grill at the Lake Blue Ridge Marina! On summer evenings you can enjoy munching on delicious comfort foods, while you sip on fruity cocktails, listen to live music, and watch the sunset over the lake; all with your favorite pup beside you. Your dog will love having the lake breeze rush through his fur and watching as geese fly overhead. Boat Dock Bar & Grill is a great, dog-friendly place to spend an evening!

Play

Photo Courtesy of @brboatrentals

We know first hand how much dogs LOVE to splash and play in the water! There’s plenty of spots around Blue Ridge to take your pup for a swim- you just have to know where to look! Leashed dogs are allowed anywhere in the national forest except recreational swimming areas. Along the trails you’ll pass by many creeks, rivers, and waterfalls that look perfect for a dip. As long as your dog remains leashed at all times they may swim in these spots. And be sure to bring some extra fresh, clean water with you and a bowl so that your dog won’t have to drink from the mountain streams. 

Your pups can also go for a swim at Lake Blue Ridge! At Morganton Point on the lake, as long as you stay clear of the roped off swimming area you should be good to go. You can access the non recreational areas of the lake from the Lake Blue Ridge Loop Trail. And for more lake fun with your pup, rent or bring your own pontoon boat and take to the water! The Lake Blue Ridge Marina and Blue Ridge Boat Rentals both have an excellent selection of boats to choose from. Your dog will feel like he’s king of the world riding across the lake with the wind in his hair!

Stay

Why not bring the lake to you? Book your stay at lakeside, pet-friendly cabin Lakeshore Lodge! This cabin was made for lake fun and provides you with a kayak, paddle boat, and boat dock to enjoy the lake on! Splash in the shallows with your pup or get adventurous and take him out on a boat ride around the bend. Then head to the deck where you can take in the beautiful lake views from sunrise to sunset. Roast marshmallows at the firepit and don’t forget those hot dogs for Fido! And while we know you’ll be busy spending all your time on the lake, be sure to check out Lakeshore Lodge’s other great amenities like the cozy family room, the beautiful fully equipped kitchen, the hot tub, and shuffleboard. You, your pup, and the whole family will love their stay at this lakeside oasis! 

Snowy Day Fun in Blue Ridge



So far, this winter has been nothing short of crazy! Nine degrees one day and 60 degrees the next. Now, we’re anxiously awaiting for snow to arrive in our little mountain town! We’ve comprised a list below of winter fun activities to experience when the snow falls and “the weather outside is frightful”. Bring on the snow days! 

Build a Winter Wonderland

Children and adults alike can’t get enough of building their own snow village; and we can’t blame them! Get outside and build your very own snowmen and snowwomen; maybe even some snow pets! Give them buttons or rocks for eyes, a cute little smile, and of course that carrot nose. Then have fun accessorizing them with hats, scarfs, and whatever else you can find! 

After you’ve finished with your beautiful snow creations why not build them a home to live in? Or how about a place of safety for your next snowball fight? Pack up the snow and build the most amazing snow fort you can muster! Will your fort include a snow couch or snow TV, or will it be  a military fortress built with snow cannons and a tall wall to protect you from oncoming snowball attacks? Make it your own and have a blast building snowmen and snow forts all day long with the whole family! 

Snowball Fight 

Photo Courtesy of Katie Powalski

You can’t have snow without a good natured snowball fight right!? Pile up as many snowballs as you can and then “lovingly” chuck them at your friends and family! Will you form an alliance or will it be every man for himself? Challenge your friends and family to an epic snowball fight for a fun day filled with friendly competition!

Sledding

If your cabin is located on a small hill with no obstructions like, trees or rocks to block your path, then it’s time to get your sled on! Race your friends and family down the hill as you zoom away on your speedy ride! Round sleds, runner sleds, plastic sleds, metal sleds; try them all out and see which one is the fastest! You can easily spend hours outside racing away and having a blast; just don’t forget to take some much needed hot chocolate breaks every once in a while! 

Catch Snowflakes and Make Snow Angels 

Photo Courtesy of Melissa

We can’t forget the classic snow day activities like catching snowflakes and making snow angels! The kiddos will love watching the beautiful snowflakes fall down from the sky and catching them on their tongue. You can even teach your kids a little science with the snowflakes as well- explain to them how no two snowflakes are alike, and see if they can spot any differences in the snowflakes they find. Then celebrate your fun day in the snow with snow angels! Lay back in the soft snow, spread your arms and flap like a bird. When you stand up, you’ll see the shape of an angel in the place where you laid. 

Take a Scenic Journey

Photo Courtesy of @beachginganinja

If it’s just a light dusting and your car has 4-wheel drive why not take a scenic drive through the countryside? You can get a great view of the snowy mountains and trees up close and personal this way! Stop by downtown and grab a warm beverage from Das Kaffee Haus before you go so you have a delicious drink to enjoy on your journey. 

You can also admire the scenery on foot. Take to the trails and be in awe of the tall trees that surround you covered in glistening snow and frost. Along the way you may also come across frozen creeks and ice crystals built up along the waterfalls. Or you may discover animal tracks in the snow, that will allow you to better see the animals that inhabit the Blue Ridge area. There’s so much beauty to explore on a snowy day hike. What else will you find? 

Sometimes you can even enjoy a snowy day trail ride! Afterall, the horses still need their exercise no matter the weather! You’ll trot your way through a winter wonderland on horseback, just how they did it in the olden days.  Be sure to check Appalachian Trail Rides or Cowgirl Up Stables Facebook pages for an updated trail ride schedule during snow days. 

Indoor Fun Downtown

Photo Courtesy of Visit Blue Ridge GA

Snow not your thing? Not to worry, you can stay warm and still have plenty of fun with these  great indoor activities! Learn something new at Expedition Bigfoot, a quirky Bigfoot centralized museum in Downtown Blue Ridge! This museum is filled with all kinds of artifacts, life-sized exhibits, photos and maps of Bigfoot sightings, the Bigfoot research and Tech Vehicle, and so much more! Or you can take in some art at one of our local art galleries downtown. Find something new and unique at Fishbone Gallery or Multitudes Gallery and find lots of beautiful art from local artists at High Country Art Gallery or Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

For family fun indoor activities you have to check out 2nd Story Entertainment! This historic hotel is now home to an 18 hole mini golf course that weaves its way in and out of cool-themed rooms. You can also find giant board games, arcade games, and tasty snacks at this super cool place! And Vertigo Pinball is home to dozens of awesome pinball machines. You can beat the machine’s high scores, watch the big game on the TVs, and warm up with a delicious grilled cheese (the perfect snack for a cold & snowy day).  Don’t let the cold get you down when there’s lots of fun to be had indoors! 

Beer & Wine Hunting

Photo Courtesy of Serenberry Vineyards

Warm up with some spirits from one of our local breweries or wineries! A few of our favorite spots for a craft brew downtown are Grumpy Old Men Brewing, Fannin Brewing Company, Angry Hops, and Tipping Point Brewing Co. Bar hop from brewery to brewery for a fun snow day spent “brewing” indoors. Want to drink with a view? Admire the snow capped mountains with a glass of wine in hand at Bearclaw Vineyards or Serenberry Vineyards. You can stay toasty by the fire and sip on reds, whites, dessert wines, and more! The “spirits” of the season will warm you up in no time! 

Make Snow Cream

Photo Courtesy from happyhooligans.com

Have you ever made snow cream? Back when I was a child I used to make snow cream with my mom every snow day! It was a special treat that the two of us would share, that’s as simple & easy as it is yummy. And the kids will love it! All you need is sweet condensed milk or evaporated milk, a few cups of clean snow, and vanilla extract. Here’s the recipe below: 

  1. First collect 8-10 cups of fresh, clean snow from outside and place it in a large bowl. 
  2. Then, sprinkle one teaspoon of vanilla extract over the snow.
  3. Drizzle a 300 ml can of condensed milk or evaporated milk over top. 
  4. Fold the milk and vanilla into the snow until it is well mixed. 
  5. Then divide into bowls and dig in! 

Sweet and simple! And if you want to jazz up your snow cream and make it more fun you can add sprinkles, chocolate chips, whipped cream or any other delicious topping your heart desires! Making snow cream is just “snow” much fun! 

The Fire is so Delightful 

Photo Courtesy of Anita Nikelli

You know what they say…. “The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful.” And that’s exactly how we feel on cold snowy days! Enjoy the beautiful scenery outside your window as snowflakes fall to the ground and coat the mountains with a lovely white dusting. Admire it all cozy by the fireplace with your fuzzy socks on, wrapped in a warm blanket, and with a mug of hot chocolate to make your snow day even better! How will you spend your cozy day in by the fire? Watching your favorite movie or curling up with a good book? Or perhaps enjoying a long winters nap…  However you choose to spend it one thing is for certain, you’ll be warm & toasty in no time! 

And Since We’ve No Place to Go…. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Photo Courtesy of @iveys.mom

No need to make plans on your mountain snow day! Stay in and enjoy your cabin’s wonderful amenities instead! Have a movie marathon and watch all of your favorite films. Or have a family game day where you spend hours in your cabin’s game room playing pool, foosball, ping-pong, darts, and board games galore! If you can brave the cold, head outside to roast marshmallows at the firepit or take a quick dip in the hot tub while the snow peacefully falls around you. You can even spend the day cooking up a feast for an incredible family dinner. No matter how your day at the cabin looks, it’s important you have plenty of time to RELAX! 

Save the Date

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Irvin

For more bone-chilling fun winter activities be sure to save the date for Blue Ridge’s 12th Annual Fire & Ice Chili Cookoff and Craft Beer Festival on February 18th! At this super ‘ice’ event you can expect lots of cool ice sculptures created by award winning artists, along with a chili cookoff where you can vote on the winner, and plenty of craft brews to go around. This great Blue Ridge tradition highlights all the best parts of winter and is definitely a must-see if you get the chance!

January Events 2023



It’s a new year and lots of great new events are happening in Blue Ridge! This month you can still enjoy some winter fun with ice skating Downtown, catch a show or enjoy some live music Downtown. Consider trying something new like taking an art class on your vacation. Start your 2023 off right on your Escape to Blue Ridge with these great activities!

Blue Ridge on Ice
January 1st – January 9th
Location: Blue Ridge Farmers Market


Have some family friendly winter fun with ice skating at the Farmer’s Market! This fun new outdoor ice skating rink is set up at the Blue Ridge Farmers Market, next to the Swan Drive In, now through January 9th. For just $10 you can skate to your heart’s content! After your skate, warm up with hot cocoa and other sweet treats from the concessions stand.

Live Music & Brunch at The General Ledger
January 1st – January 15th
Location: The General Ledger

Photo Courtesy of the General Ledger


Enjoy a delicious meal and live music Sundays at noon at the General Ledger! Start your day off right with a yummy brunch paired with one of their specialty cocktails and live music from blues, soul, country and rock n’ roll!

Live Music at Cartecay Vineyards
January 1st – January 21st
Location: Cartecay Vineyards

Photo Courtesy of Cartecay Vineyards


Sip on delicious wine surrounded by the North Georgia Mountains! Enjoy live music select Saturdays & Sundays from 1:30pm – 5:30pm. Listen to the music of local artists while enjoying your wine outside either on the Chimney Patio or the Tasting Barn’s covered porch. Live music, good wine, and beautiful mountain scenery; it doesn’t get much better than that!
January 1 st : Tim O’Donovan
January 7 th : The Georgia Back Porch Band
January 14 th : Rusted Melody
January 15 th : Lindsay Beth Harper
January 21 st : Gregg Erwin

2 nd Annual New Years Celebration
January 1st
Location: Angry Hops Brewing

Photo Courtesy of Angry Hops Brewing


Celebrate the new year at Angry Hops! They will be serving up Joe’s delicious New Year’s Soup! Soup is free and packed with veggies, ham, collared greens, and black eyed peas! Come on out for a “Soup”er day!

Line Dancing Class
January 2nd – January 30th
Location: Tooney’s Music Venue

Photo Courtesy of Tooney’s


Have you ever wanted to learn how to line dance? Well now’s your chance! Tooney’s now offers free, weekly line dancing classes Monday nights! The class is open to people of all ages and dance experience! Doors open at 6pm and classes start at 7pm. Come on down and show us what you can do!

Oil Painting Class
January 3rd – January 14th
Location: 4 Elements Fine Art

Photo Courtesy of 4 Elements Fine Art


Learn how to paint a beautiful oil landscape painting with 4 Elements Fine Art! Oil painting lessons are available January 3rd from 2pm – 4:30pm, January 14th from 2pm – 4:30pm. Classes are $130 per person and include professional art supplies, a charcuterie board, wine, your instructional class with George Charriez, and your own art to take home. Make your reservation here.

Live Music at ROE.
January 3rd – January 31st
Location: ROE. Blue Ridge

Photo Courtesy of ROE


Come out to Blue Ridge’s newest restaurant ROE. Tuesday & Wednesday nights from 6pm – 9pm for live music! Catch performances in the captains quarters bar every Tuesday & Wednesday while you dine on delicious fresh seafood!

Thursday Fun Runs at the Riverwalk
January 5th – January 26th
Location: Riverwalk Shops

Photo Courtesy of Riverwalk Shops

Partake in a fun run every Thursday night at 5:30pm! You’ll leave from the Burra Burra, and the 3.1 mile run will take you by the Toccoa river and through town. You’ll get to run through 2 states and cross the famous steel bridge! After the run stay for drinks at the Burra Burra overlooking the Toccoa River. Don’t walk, RUN to this great event!

Line Dancing Class
January 6th
Location: Pat Haralson Memorial Civic Center

Photo Courtesy of Rita Jean Gallau and Martha Ann Evans


Learn to line dance at the Pat Haralson Memorial Civic Center in Blairsville from 7pm – 10pm! Line dance instruction will go all night long and it’ll be an evening of good music & fun. Come to dance or just to watch! Admission is $5 at the door.

Live Music at Misty Mountain Hops
January 6th – January 13th
Location: Misty Mountain Hops

Photo Courtesy of Misty Mountain Hops


Misty Mountain Hops is a music-centric restaurant and pub so it’s only fitting that they bring in live music. Stop on by Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm – 9pm for great food and great live music from local artists!
January 6 th : Gregg Erwin
January 7 th : Canon Tyler
January 13 th : Travis Bowlin

Live Music at Chateau Meichtry
January 7th – January 8th
Location: Chateau Meichtry

Photo Courtesy of Chateau Meichtry


Come sip on wine by the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains at Chateau Meichtry. This beautiful winery located in Talking Rock, GA has both outdoor & indoor seating options, so you can enjoy the atmosphere of the winery no matter the weather. On Saturdays & Sundays you can sip on your favorite glass of wine while you enjoy live music from local artists from 1:30pm – 5:30pm and find live music at the same time, same place the week after Christmas! And there’s food trucks on the weekends as well!
January 7 th : Mark Miller
January 8 th : Surrender Hill

Guided Hikes with the Benton McKaye Trail Association
January 11th – January 30th
Location: Cherry Log, GA

Photo Courtesy of the Benton McKaye Trail Association


Explore the beauty of North Georgia on a guided hiking tour with the Benton McKaye Trail Association. They offer 2 – 4 hikes a month varying in difficulty from easy, leisurely hikes to moderately difficult hikes.
January 11 th : BMT Bushy Head Gap to McKenny and Return
January 23 rd : Thunder Rock Express to Chestnut Mountain Trail
January 24 th : BMT Dyer Gap to Shadow Falls to Pinhoti Trail
January 30 th : Coker Creek Falls in TN to the BMT and return

Dad’s Garage Improv
January 14th
Location: Blue Ridge Community Theater

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Community Theater


Come on out to watch some hilarious improv in support of Project Chimps! Dad’s Garage is Atlanta’s most tolerated comedy theatre since 1995! They’ll put on a great night of improv with lots of laughs out at Blue Ridge Community Theater!

The Addams Family
January 20th – January 29th
Location: Blue Ridge Community Theater

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Community Theater


Follow the beloved kooky, gothic family on their next adventure in Addams Family the Musical! Sunny D’s Children’s Theater will be putting it on at Blue Ridge Community Theater Fridays-Sundays January 20th – Febuary 5th . Shows are Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30pm or Sundays at 2pm. Call the box office at 706-632-9191 for tickets!

Cheers for Chimps
January 21st
Location: Tipping Point Brewing Co.

Photo Courtesy of Tipping Point Brewing Co.


Get ready for a fun day at Blue Ridge’s newest brewery – Tipping Point Brewing Co! Tickets are $25 a person and include a limited-edition Project Chimps pint glass, one pint of beer, and a vegan friendly snack. All proceeds will benefit Project Chimps!

Murder Mystery Dinner
January 22nd
Location: Misty Mountain Hops

Photo Courtesy of Misty Mountain Hops


Come on out to Misty Mountain Hops for a night of mystery, with a Murder Mystery Dinner hosted by Out Loud Theatre! Admission is $30 a person.

Pyrography Class
January 28th
Location: 4 Elements Fine Art & Custom Framing

Photo Courtesy of 4 Elements Fine Art


Learn all about creating art with a blow torch with a Pyrography class from 4 Elements Fine Art & Custom Framing! You will be learning the basics of the blow torch with a study on shading and getting to know the tools. All your materials will be provided, and you can take your art home after the class. Light refreshments are also included.

Corey Smith & Travis Denning
January 28th
Location: The Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Photo Courtesy of the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds


Come on out to Hiawassee for a night of great music! Corey Smith & Travis Denning come to the Fairgrounds to perform all their best hits like “If I Could Do It Again,” “Twenty-One,” “Her World or Mine,” and many more! Tickets are $40+ handling.

2023 Blue Ridge Bucket List



Another year has come and gone… We’ve enjoyed spending every second of it with all of you, the best way we know how- The Blue Ridge Way! We’ve loved seeing photos from all your Blue Ridge adventures this past year; from exploring area waterfalls, having a delicious dinner at one of our new restaurants Downtown, tubing down the Toccoa, and just enjoying some relaxing time at the cabin. Thanks to all of you for your continued support and for escaping with us in 2022! We can’t wait to see what 2023 has in store! Check out our 2023 Blue Ridge Bucket List to plan your ultimate mountain vacation this year: 

*Cover Photo Courtesy of @jross428 from Eagles Landing

Try a New Restaurant 

Photo Courtesy of Ferraro’s Kitchen

Dining in Blue Ridge is always a delicious, culinary experience! You can never go wrong with some of our tried and true favorites like Chester’s, The Black Sheep, Harvest on Main, Southern Charm, The Dogwood and Fightingtown Tavern. But over the past year we’ve had so many great new restaurants come to town, that you simply HAVE to try in the new year! 

For authentic Italian cuisine try one of Blue Ridge’s newest restaurants Ferraro’s Kitchen. Talented chef and owner, Igor Ferraro brings the “Italian Way” to Blue Ridge to create delicious food with exceptional quality. For fresh oysters and seafood check out ROE. This modern American oyster bar brings fresh seafood from the tide right to your table! And you can enjoy elegant outdoor dining under the twinkling lights and live music on Wednesday nights. The General Ledger is a great new spot for a drink and for some delicious comfort food. Chef Ryan is always creating specials to tickle your tastebuds and at the bar, Karen mixes up the coolest drinks in town! And for dining with your favorite pup check out Rin Tin’s Bark & Brews Cantina. Have dinner on their dog-friendly patio and enjoy some dog themed foods & cocktails! Rin Tin’s Bark & Brews Cantina is a restaurant, bar, lounge, and market & cafe all in one!

Chase Thrills 

Photo Courtesy of @hike_the_ridge and @hendersonfamilyadventures

Taking on an outdoor adventure can be exhilarating and just the push you need to bring in the new year! In Blue Ridge you can mountain bike on some of the best trails in the state, hike the tallest mountains or explore a waterfall, go for a horseback ride, tube down the Toccoa River, try your hand at whitewater rafting, or zip through the trees with Zipline Canopy ToursThere’s lots to experience in the great outdoors! Explore our outdoor adventures blog for more information: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/7-extreme-outdoor-adventures/ 

Says Cheers

Photo Courtesy of Bear Claw Winery

Say Cheers to the new year with a drink from Blue Ridge! Blue Ridge has so many great bars, breweries, and wineries to explore! In Downtown Blue Ridge you can grab a cocktail at Whiskey & Water, The Dogwood, or Hook & Eye. Bar hop to Misty Mountain Hops, Blue Coyote, and Black Bear Bier Garten. Or you can visit one of our wine bars downtown at 34th Degree Wine Merchant, Out of the Blue, The Vine, or The Georgia Wine Depot. You can even relax lakeside with delicious food and great drinks at the Boat Dock Bar & Grill on Lake Blue Ridge. 

For local brews check out Grumpy Old Men Brewing, Fannin Brewing Company, Angry Hops Brewing, Buck Bald Brewing, Copperhill Brewery or Tipping Point Brewing . And for wine check out Bear Claw Vineyards, Serenberry Vineyards, and Cartecay Vineyards. Even Mercier Orchards has hard cider and wine! With so many great places to have a drink you’ll be simply “buzzing” in the new year! 

Spend a Day on the Farm

Photo Courtesy of Noontootla Creek Farms

Noontootla Creek Farms is a great place to spend an afternoon!  Noontootla Creek Farms is 1,000 acres of a sportsman’s paradise.  Here you can go quail hunting, take a guided fly fishing class, or try your hand at sports clay shooting. When you quail hunt your guide and your dog will help you track and shoot down your quail. You can choose either a guided half day or full day hunt. The sports clay shooting course is made up of 12 stations that wind through the Chattahoochee National Forest. One hundred shots completes the course but you’re welcome to shoot as many as you please! And their guided fly fishing experience takes you on the most picturesque private trophy trout waters in North Georgia. 

Another great farm to explore is Old Toccoa Farm! One of the best activities that Old Toccoa Farm has to offer is access to their  beautiful 18 hole golf course. You’ll have amazing views of the mountains, the Chattahoochee and Cherokee National Forests, and the surrounding valleys; AND play an amazing game of golf! You can also fly fish, kayak, explore their walking trails, and even do some yoga on the banks of the Toccoa River! And don’t forget to grab a bite to eat at The Tavern which offers great views from the outdoor patio or bar area, delicious food, and wonderful cocktails. 

Take a Photo in a Scenic Place 

Photo Courtesy of @korikwissmann

Commemorate your trip to Blue Ridge with a great family photo in a unique Blue Ridge spot! In Downtown Blue Ridge you can find cool murals and fun selfie spots like The Blue Ridge Mural, The Blue Ridge Bears, The Cocoa-Cola Mural, and more! For a scenic backdrop, take a photo in front of one of local waterfalls, at the Toccoa Swinging Bridge or from the top of Brasstown Bald. You can take more fun photos at Mercier Orchards or at the TN/GA state line! And you can even get a fun family photo in front of our “holiday tree” in the Escape to Blue Ridge building! 

Shop till you Drop

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Adventure Wear

Shop ‘till you drop in Downtown Blue Ridge! With dozens of unique stores downtown we’ve got a little bit for everyone! Fashion boutiques, artisan good shops, home décor, pet toys, and so much more. Some of our favorites include Blue Ridge Cotton Company and its sister store Gather for fashion, home decor, and kitchen goods. We stock up on all of our snacks, wine, and special treats at Hucks, Out of the Blue, The Pasta Market, Blue Ridge Olive Oil Company, and Tupelo Tea. We love finding unique home decor pieces at Pezrok, Mitzi’s on Main, and New Blue Home & Gift. For beautiful art visit High Country Art Gallery, Multitudes Gallery, and Fishbone Galley. And we can never get enough of shops like The Owls Nest, Blue Ridge Adventure Wear, Mountain Man Comics, Deaf Man Vinyl and OAR Finer Goods! Find more shops to explore with our Downtown Blue Ridge shopping guide: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/shop-downtown-blue-ridge/ 

Fun at the State Line 

Photo Courtesy of @aamanda.brooke

Have you ever wanted to be in two places at once? Well now you can! Pay a visit to the twin cities of McCaysville, Georgia and Copperhill, Tennessee where the GA/TN state line is located! Here you can stand in two states at once and then explore the shops & restaurants of the Copper Basin.

Eat Something Sweet 

Photo Courtesy of The Little Bakery

Treat yourself to something sweet at one of our local bakeries and dessert places around town! For the most delicious and beautiful cupcakes you’ve ever eaten, The Sweet Shoppe of the South is the place for you! They have a wide variety of cupcake flavors year round like S’mores, Lemon-Raspberry, Hot Fudge Sundae, and more! And one of our newest bakeries in town, The Little Bakery, offers some of the most amazing and unique cheesecakes in town! Ariel has been taking custom orders and serving her delicious cheesecakes, cookies & other sweets at Misty Mountain Hops over the years and now officially has her own storefront Downtown! We love dropping by to taste some of her amazing sweet treats like S’mores Cheesecake and Apple Pie Cheesecake. 

For a whole restaurant dedicated to sweets check out Mona Lisa’s Dessert House! Cakes, pies, brownies, cookies, mousse dessert cocktails, and more: Mona Lisa’s Dessert House has it all!  With a “specials” menu that’s ever changing, Mona Lisa’s will keep you coming back for more. And we can’t forget the Rum Cake Lady! This great little spot is home to delicious Cuban food and desserts, and is famous for their yummy rum cakes that come in all kinds of amazing flavors! Don’t forget to visit Three Sisters Fudge, Moobears, and The Chocolate Express for more sweet treats. 

Catch a Movie at the Drive In

Catch a flick the old fashion way at Swan Drive In Theater! Swan Drive In Theater has been a staple of Blue Ridge since 1955 and is still going strong today! Just tune your car to the radio and munch down on some delicious classic movie theater snacks; all from the comfort of your own vehicle. It’s such a fun way to spend an evening! 

Mercier Orchards

Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

An apple a day keeps the doctor away! And at Mercier Orchards you’ll find fresh fruit ready for the picking all year round; from apples, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, blackberries and more, there’s always something sweet waiting for you here! And speaking of sweet; Mercier’s fried pies are a MUST! Apple, cherry, chocolate; you name it! Delicious flavor all packed into a mini pie await! And not only can you pick your own fruit and enjoy a tasty fried pie but you can try some hard cider or wine, explore the market, take a farm tour and more at this family-fun Blue Ridge orchard! 

Find the Toccoa River Swinging Bridge 

Photo Courtesy of @nannert31

Are you ready to swing high above the Toccoa River? Then pay a visit to the famous Toccoa River Swinging Bridge for an experience of a lifetime! Located on the Benton MacKaye Trail and the Duncan Ridge National Recreation Trail in Fannin County, this bridge spans 270 feet long, making it the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi! When you walk across the bridge look down below at the rushing river waters or keep your eyes on the prize and bravely make it to the other side! It’s also a great spot for a photo-op! 

Trout Fish in the Trout Capital of Georgia 

Fishing lovers have to experience trout fishing in Blue Ridge, as it is known as the Trout Capital of Georgia! The waters of the Toccoa River are so abundant with fish that you’re sure to catch an amazing trophy trout! If you need some assistance on your trout fishing journey however, we have plenty of guides to help you along; Cohutta Fishing Company and Blue Ridge Fly Fishing School are two of our favorites. You can even get your own beautifully crafted, custom fly fishing road from Oyster Bamboo Fly Rods. You can’t experience Blue Ridge without trying your hand at a little trout fishing on the Toccoa! 

Escape to Blue Ridge 

Photo Courtesy of @jross428 at Eagles Landing

Every time you Escape to Blue Ridge we are overjoyed to be your home base for all your Blue Ridge adventures! After a long day of exploring the area you can rest assured we’ll always have a cozy place for you to stay; jam packed with amenities and everything you need for a relaxing mountain vacation! With over 300 properties available to you we can guarantee you’ll find the perfect cabin for you and your family’s needs. Having some trouble choosing a cabin or want to learn more about the area? Our team of helpful professionals are happy to help you with any questions you may have! Just give us a call at 1-866-618-2521 or email us at reservations@escapetoblueridge.com and let us help you find your dream 2023 Blue Ridge cabin! We can’t wait to see you soon! 

Downtown Blue Ridge Experience



Get the full Downtown Blue Ridge experience! Shop, eat, drink, and explore downtown to its fullest! Follow our Downtown Blue Ridge guide for 9 fun activities & events to experience in town.  

*Cover Photo of Blue Ridge Tourism

Shopping

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Cotton Company

In Downtown Blue Ridge you can have a unique shopping experience like no other!  You’ll find a variety of unique and trendy shops for antiques, art, artisan goods, clothing, outdoor gear, and so much more. Downtown Blue Ridge is the perfect place to pick up a souvenir to remind you of your trip or bring back a special gift for your loved ones. While you shop you’ll discover all kinds of neat items that you can only find here in Blue Ridge! 

Deck your house out with fossil countertops and furniture made out of carved driftwood from Pezrok. Find stylish home goods and apparel at Blue Ridge Cotton Company or their sister store Gather. At Hucks General Store your kids will have a blast picking through the candy bins to look for their favorite one and they’ll love the selection of toys & games as well. And for the adults, Hucks also has a wide selection of Blue Ridge tees, artisan goods, and more. To prep for all your outdoor excursions pay a visit to Blue Ridge Adventure Wear or the Cohutta Fishing Company. These two shops have everything you need to hit the trails for an exhilarating hike or head to the water for a day of trout fishing. Find delicious artisan goods & bold flavors at The Pasta Market and Blue Ridge Olive Oil Company. Bring back all the best ingredients with you for a little taste of Blue Ridge in your very own home. Downtown even has shops where you can pick out the perfect toy or treat for your loveable four-legged friend! For all things dog check out Love Dogs and Cats Too

It’s easy to spend all day exploring the shops of Downtown Blue Ridge. For more suggestions be sure to check out our shopping blog: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/shop-downtown-blue-ridge/ 

Dining

Photo Courtesy of Hook & Eye

Spend your Blue Ridge vacation dining at some of the best restaurants in town! Many of our Downtown restaurants create their delicious meals from fresh, local ingredients so you can enjoy a little bit of that Blue Ridge flavor! But with so many great places to grab a bite to eat, it can be hard to decide the very best ones. Here’s a few of our favorites:

For refreshing drinks served with your meal we’d recommend checking out either The Dogwood, Hook & Eye, or The General Ledger. These restaurants offer you a wide selection of beer, wine, and cocktails along with delicious comfort foods you won’t be able to resist! For a fine dining experience check out The Black Sheep, ROE, or Whiskey and Water. The Black Sheep offers savory dishes like roasted lamb and hand cut ribeye along with their amazing Sunday brunches, while the latter two offer fresh oysters and seafood from the very best of the east coasts. And we can’t forget to mention some of the most beloved restaurants in town: Chester’s, Harvest on Main, and Fightingtown Tavern. Get your southern fix at Harvest on Main and eat the biggest burger you’ve ever seen at Fightingtown Tavern! And Chester’s is one of our all time favorites with their incredible wings, pimento cheese chicken sandwiches, and their Escape to Blue Ridge cocktail. For more delicious restaurants to try, check out our restaurant roundup blog: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/favorite-blue-ridge-restaurants/ 

The Art Scene

Photo Courtesy of 4 Elements Art

The art scene is alive in Downtown Blue Ridge! Blue Ridge is one of the Top 5 art towns in the state of Georgia and one of the Top 100 art towns in the country! How neat is that!?  Art lovers will enjoy exploring the many lovely art galleries downtown. At High Country Art Gallery you’ll find beautiful works of art like paintings, jewelry, pottery and much more, all handcrafted by local artists.  4 Elements Art has beautiful nature art pieces on display and they also offer custom framing. Fishbone Gallery has unique ceramic art from the talented Betty Wassmer and Multitudes Gallery features hand blown glass and other art from over 100 nationally known artists. And don’t forget to check out Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association: where there’s always something new and exciting on display!  Not only can you admire beautiful artwork here but you can also take a leather making class, pottery class, or a class on any other art medium you’re interested in learning about. They host art classes & other great events all year round so be sure to check their website for more information: https://www.blueridgearts.net/ 

Blue Ridge is also home to a great performing arts center where you can enjoy live theater year round!  Blue Ridge Community Theater puts on 7 mainstage productions a year along with children’s theater and live music concert serieses. And on weekends you can always find local musicians and singers performing at Downtown Blue Ridge restaurants and bars! Some of our favorite spots downtown to hear live music are Misty Mountain Hops, Grumpy Old Men Brewing, and The Blue Coyote. Check our monthly calendar of events for the full live music lineup. 

Ride the Train

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

One of our visitors’ most favorite Blue Ridge activities is taking a ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway! The train has been a staple of our small town since the depot was built in 1905. Freight trains passed through the depot until the late 1980s; the depot also saw its fair share of passenger trains until 1951. Lucky for us, in the 1990s, investors came looking for a way to preserve the significant railway history in Blue Ridge and brought the iconic train you know and love today to life. Since then, the train has become the heart of this small town bringing over 70 thousand visitors to Blue Ridge and its sister towns of McCaysville, Georgia and Copperhill, Tennessee. 

You can choose a 2 hour or 4 hour journey through the beautiful North Georgia countryside anytime between March and December. You can personalize your journey with your choice of vintage, climate-controlled or open-air rail cars for your 26-mile trip along the Toccoa River. Once the train has its 2 hour layover in the “twin cities” you’ll get the chance to explore a new mountain town rich with history and fun on the river! 

One of our favorite times to ride the train is in the autumn because you get the chance to experience all the bright fall beauty around you. Christmas is another popular time as well because the whole family can get in the Christmas spirit with holiday music & pictures with Santa! But no matter the season, the whole family will love their scenic train ride through the North Georgia countryside! 

Have a Brew

Photo Courtesy of Grumpy Old Men Brewing

You can’t go wrong with a pint of beer! And Blue Ridge has no shortage of beer options for you to choose from, with 5 breweries downtown alone! A tried and true favorite of our guests, is of course Grumpy Old Men Brewing! “Grumpy” or not, anyone is welcome here for good beer and a good time! With a wide variety of brews on tap you’re sure to find something you’ll love. And there’s always something happening here- on weekends you can enjoy live music and food trucks; and you’re always welcome to play giant Jenga outside or bring along your favorite pup for all the fun! Another favorite is Fannin Brewing Companywhere everything is made locally. Each of their 10 beers on tap is made with local ingredients and they always give back to the community. And every Friday night you can have a few beers and test your own vocal chops at their open mic nights! 

For a traditional brew downtown pay a visit to Angry Hops Brewing. While they specialize in traditional brews they also have IPAs, stouts, ales and more on tap. You’ll be very “hoppy” that you stopped by for a drink at  Angry Hops Brewing! For German fare visit Black Bear Bier Garten! Nothing tastes better than a cold beer paired with a giant pretzel, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Black Bear Bier Garten. Not only can you find lots of great German craft brews here but you can also enjoy over 9 varieties of German game sausage. Yum! And if the wife needs to get a little retail therapy done but doesn’t want to drag her husband along with her, then she can just drop him off at their “husband daycare center”. Be sure to snap a quick pic of him in front of the sign when you do! 

And you have to drop by and have a beer from one of Blue Ridge’s newest breweries- Tipping Point Brewing Co. Enjoy a refreshing beer on tap and stay to watch your favorite teams play for Sunday night football! And even though Tipping Point Brewing Co.  is new to town there’s always something going on! Live music, beer pairing events, chili cookoffs, and more!

A Day in the Park

Photo Courtesy of Visit Blue Ridge

Enjoy a picnic lunch or some of Blue Ridge’s wonderful annual events on the greens of Downtown Blue Ridge City Park. Pack your own picnic lunch or grab something to-go from one of the nearby restaurants and enjoy a sunny day in the park with the family. The kids can play on the playground while you set up your yummy feast at the picnic table. You can also cook up your favorites on the grill or play a game of frisbee with the family in this charming park. 

Selfie Spots 

Photo Courtesy of @aamanda.brooke

Are you looking for the perfect place to grab a few photos to commemorate your trip to Blue Ridge? How about half a dozen all only within a few blocks from each other? Downtown Blue Ridge is your hub for selfie spots and cool murals. Here’s a few of our favorites: 

  • The Blue Ridge MuralLocated on the corner of Mountain and East First Street You can’t take a trip to Blue Ridge without getting your picture taken in front of THE Blue Ridge wall! You’ll remember your trip to Blue Ridge fondly as you look back at family pictures taken in front of the mural. 
  • The Bear Statue: Located at the entrance of the Blue Ridge Mountain Mall. Get some “beary” good family photos in front of these cute bears. Then after your photo shoot head inside the Blue Ridge Mountain Mall and hunt for some cool collectibles and antiques. 
  • The Coke Mural: Located at the end of East Main Street on the side of the Fly Fishing shop. Who doesn’t love a refreshing Coke? Take a photo with the famous Coke mural downtown and then share a coke over dinner at one of Blue Ridge’s delicious nearby restaurants. 
  • Statue of Liberty: Located in front of the Fannin County Courthouse. Did you know that you can find a mini replica of the Statue of Liberty right here in Blue Ridge? But instead of a torch our Lady Liberty holds a lamp globe to help light the city streets below. 
  • Red Man Cigar Mural: Located on the side of the King Edwards Cigar Building. Blue Ridge holds a lot of history and the King Edwards Cigar building is one of the oldest buildings in town! The Red Man Cigar Mural on the side of the building is a reminder of how things once were in our little old mountain town. 

Indoor Fun

Photo Courtesy of 2nd Story Entertainment

Looking for some family fun entertainment? Downtown Blue Ridge has so many great indoor activities that the whole family is sure to love! 

Try your hand at pinball at Vertigo Pinball! Here, you don’t need coins or tokens to play; all you need is a wristband and you can play for as long as you’d like. They have all kinds of fun, themed machines like Star Wars, Marvel, Adams Family, KISS, Rush, and more! Pinball not your thing? You’re welcome to drop by to watch the big game on their TVs and snack on some adult grilled cheeses while you sip on a pint of refreshing beer. Vertigo Pinball is a great place where parents can feel reminiscent of the good old days and kids can enjoy playing some of your favorite games growing up.

Everyone loves a good game of mini golf! Especially on vacation right? Challenge the fam to a round of mini golf at 2nd Story Entertainment. The whole family will have a blast trapezing through 8 individually themed rooms while you play. They also have giant board games like giant Connect Four and Checkers, as well as magnetic dart boards and a wall maze. And don’t forget to check out the snacks and arcade games too! If it’s a cold rainy day or you’re just looking for a place to have some good old fashioned family fun then look no further than 2nd Story Entertainment! 

Did you know Blue Ridge is home to Bigfoot? We even have our very own museum dedicated solely to the bigfooted man himself! This fun quirky museum Downtown is filled to the brim with Bigfoot artifacts, photos, sighting maps, and more! Expedition: Bigfoot! The Sasquatch Museum, is actually the largest Bigfoot display in the U.S; so there’s tons to discover here!  

Annual Events

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Blues & BBQ Festival

There’s always something fun & exciting happening in Downtown Blue Ridge! Each year thousands of visitors come to Blue Ridge to experience some of our most beloved events & festivals. See our full lineup of annual events and make plans to experience them with us: 

  • Fire & Ice Chili Cookoff & Craft Beer Festival: Every February winter fun comes to Blue Ridge! Everywhere you look there’s beautiful ice sculptures built by award winning ice sculptures. There’s also a chili contest where you can taste test all the delicious chili and vote on your favorites to win. And there’s plenty of craft beer to keep you warm & toasty from the cold mountain air! This year’s event takes place in Downtown City Park on February 18th, 2023. 
  • St. Patrick’s Day Parade: Celebrate like the Irish at Blue Ridge’s annual St. Patty’s Day Parade! Wear all green and watch as floats & bands march by in celebration! Then stay after for brews, food, and shopping. 
  • The Blue Ridge Trout and Outdoor Adventures Festival: Find adventure at The Blue Ridge Trout and Outdoor Adventures Festival! At the event you can learn all about fishing, hiking, paddling, rock climbing, and much, much more. Plus there will be plenty of craft beer, food, and live music. This year’s event takes place in Downtown City Park on April 29th, 2023.
  • Spring Arts in the Park: Every Memorial Day weekend for the past 46 years visitors have come from near and far, for the beloved Spring Arts in the Park event. Come on out on a lovely spring weekend where you can admire beautiful art in Downtown Blue Ridge from over 175 artists! This year’s 47th Annual Spring Arts in the Park takes place in Downtown City Park May 27th & 28th, 2023. 
  • The Old Timer’s Parade: The Old Timer’s Parade has been a Blue Ridge tradition since the 1950’s. Come downtown in your best period attire, bring your antique cars and celebrate the 4th of July! This year’s event takes place July 1st, 2023. 
  • Blue Ridge Freedom 5K: Be a part of the 4th of July celebration run! Make your way through town in this festive 5K! This year’s race will take place on July 4th, 2023. 
  • Labor Day Barbecue: Enjoy fun in the park & great food all Labor Day weekend long! There will be classic cars, bluegrass & gospel music, and lots of barbecue! Don’t miss year 42 of this awesome bbq filled weekend! This year’s event takes place September 2nd-4th, 2023. 
  • Blue Ridge Blues and BBQ Festival: As the weather starts to get cooler and the leaves begin to change it’s the perfect time to come together to enjoy some great music and delicious food! The day is always filled with an awesome lineup of talented artists and local food vendors. This year’s event takes place September 15th & 16th, 2023. 
  • Fall Arts in the Park: Take in beautiful art, great live musical performances, and delicious food. Plus you’ll get a chance to admire the stunning and colorful fall trees that surround Downtown Blue Ridge and Veterans Memorial Park.  This year’s 47th Spring Arts in the Park takes place in Downtown City Park October 14th & 15th, 2023.
  • Halloween Safe Zone: Halloween fun awaits the kiddos with trick treating in Downtown Blue Ridge! Not only will there be lots of candy but there will also be a costume contest and a pet costume contest for cats & dogs! 
  • Veterans Day Parade and Memorial Service: Every Veterans Day we invite veterans and their families to join us for breakfast, the Veterans Day Parade, and a memorial service. The parade makes its way through Downtown Blue Ridge and ends in Veterans Memorial Park.  This year’s event takes place November 11th, 2023. 
  • Blue Ridge Turkey Trot: Get your workout in Thanksgiving morning to prep you for all those carbs at holiday dinner! Walkers & runners welcome!  This year’s event takes place November 23rd, 2023. 
  • Light Up Blue Ridge & Christmas Parade: On Friday after Thanksgiving Downtown Blue Ridge holds a special Blue Friday event with store discounts, food vendors, strolling entertainment, the opening of The Gingerbread Village, and lots of Christmas cheer! Then the following day Santa comes to town! There will be more vendors, a Christmas Parade, photos with Santa, and the lighting of the great tree!  This year’s event takes place November 24th & 25th, 2023.