Blue Ridge is a special town where there’s always something going on. It’s a festival town, but also a destination for events. Enjoy some big ones and some small ones. There are some festivals that are tied to traditional holidays. Some of them have been created with care by locals who are passionate about books, music, the outdoors, or the arts! Either way, you are going to have loads of fun in this picturesque town!
Every family has many Christmas traditions that they enjoy preserving. For this writer, one of my family’s favorite things to do is to go drive around and see all the Christmas lights! However, when you’re not from around here, you wouldn’t even know where to begin to look for lights to enjoy. Well, we tried to make it easy for you and stalked as many of our friends pages to locate all the Christmas light displays that you HAVE to go check out!
Each community offers a brief directions, but click on the town name to access a Google map to help you find your way! If you’re a local reading this and know of other places we’re missing please drop a comment or send us a Facebook or Instagram message. Merry Christmas!
Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds– Mountain Country Christmas in Lights every Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 6pm-9pm through December 28th. Here you will enjoy beautiful light displays and food ops along with food, music, arts & crafts, hot chocolate, marshmallow, a petting zoo and Santa. Admission is $5 per person and children 12 and under are FREE! On the main drag – Hwy 76 in Hiawassee.
Bugscuffle Road – Through the town of Hiawassee, but before the School. See Uhaul & Parker Oil, next road on left is Bugscuffle. On Hwy 76, just west of Towns County School.
Scataway Road – About 5 minutes past the Towns County School, see sign for Mount Zion Church on left and follow the red glow. Off of Hwy 76, 5 minutes east of town. See Santa on certain nights.
Panter House – Gumlog Rd off of Hwy 66 in Young Harris. On the Towns County side of Gumlog.
All the tell-tale signs of fall coalesce at this time of year to slow the pace of life, just in time to allow us to fully appreciate the holiday season. The bare trees offer more opportunities for soaring vistas, the chill at night encourages comfortable sweaters and cozy fires, and the cheerful spirit in the air is nothing short of magnetic.
It’s a perfect time of year to reflect and be grateful for all we have. We live in the most perfect part of North Georgia and we are thrilled to welcome others to experience the dynamic nature and beauty of our beloved town of Blue Ridge. If you have had the opportunity to experience the splendidness of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the shimmering of our lake and rivers, take part in our exciting events, learn about the history of our area, and experience the unique culture of our town then you can understand why we count our blessings every day for this beautiful area.
We consider how hard we work for our guests to make the most of their Escape to Blue Ridge, but realize that we can only do it because of the hard work of our colleagues, our partners, and our team of hospitality professionals. We make it a point to always take the time to consider how fortunate we are to be in the business of helping others make memories. There is no greater satisfaction than the reaction we get from guests when we’ve found them the perfect cabin and hear about the memories and experiences they’ve had on vacation.
Our Pride & Joy
We represent a wide variety of vacation properties from grand and luxurious to quaint and cozy. It’s a portfolio that we believe provides something for everyone, and we have a wonderful team that takes good care to honor the trust of our property owners. Our owners count on us to promote their properties, manage their care, and return value. A great deal of work and dedication by our sales team, our property managers, reservations planners, housekeepers, landscapers and many others makes this business work for everyone.
As we head into this week of Thanksgiving, we want to take a moment to say THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed to the success of Escape to Blue Ridge. We are appreciative for the dedication of our team members, the trust of our property owners, and the support of our guests. As we go forward from here, we are dedicated to continue to improve our services, expand our lodging options, and to build our reputation and acclaim as Blue Ridge’s premier property management company!
It is our sincere wish that this holiday season you gather with your family and friends, break bread, and reflect on all the happy times you’ve experienced this past year. As we approach the end of the decade and turn the calendar to 2020, we hope that your plans will include an Escape to Blue Ridge.
Labor Day weekend is typically summer’s last hurrah. Visitors flock to the mountains to escape the southern city heat, hoping to “chill” before the final quarter of the year kicks into full gear. (Yikes, only 12 weeks till Christmas? Say it isn’t so!)
Whether you came to be entertained, experience the great outdoors or just eat and drink your way through these three days, we wanted to give you a heads up on what’s happening over this holiday weekend. If the event is kid-friendly we’ve noted it with a KF seal.
Grape Stomp Festival
One of the most iconic episodes of the I Love Lucy Show was the show where Lucy and Ethel take a job in a vineyard stomping grapes. It is impossible not to belly laugh your way through this episode, and Paradise Hills Winery Resort in Blairsville, offers you an opportunity to experience this adventure at their 6th Annual Grape Fest, Saturday, August 31st.
Join the fun staff at this mountain top winery for live music all day, grape stomping at 2pm & 4pm, a kid’s craft corner, local craft vendors and delicious wine & craft beer, too. Local BBQ food will be available for purchase. They’ll be having an “I LOVE LUCY – Look-alike Contest” at 2pm and 4pm. Wine Prizes for best costume! You don’t want to miss this fun time (KF). Admission is just $25 per person includes a souvenir glass and a basic tasting. Click here for tickets.
Everybody Loves Opal
It’s not just Lucy that everyone loves. Opal is a middle-aged recluse living in a tumbledown mansion in the edge of a municipal dump. Enter three vagabonds who try to swindle this kind-hearted optimist. The laughs are plenty and the joyfulness of this cast will make for one of your fondest theatrical experiences. Presented all weekend long at the Blue Ridge Community Theater, Blue Ridge GA. Click here for tickets.
Enjoying the fresh air and summer breezes in the mountains is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Labor Day Weekend is the start of one of our annual visitors favorite family traditions and outdoor activities, Mercier’s Orchards U Pick Apple season. For more details, visit their website here. (KF)
5K & Fun Run
If you are looking for a more challenging outdoor time before the summer ends, than you might want to rise very early on Labor Day and participate in the 3rd Annual River Run 5K and Fun Run at Horseshoe Bend Park in Mineral Bluff, GA. Sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of North Georgia, Race Day Registration and Packet Pickup begins at 7am with the 5K race starting at 8am and the fun race at 8:30am. Bring the kids to participate, too! Awards will be presented to Overall Male/Female and top three male/female runners in 5 year age groups beginning at 10 years old and under through 75 and over. Click here for registration information. (KF)
If you like your outdoor entertainment to be loud and dirty, then you might want to head over to the Blue Ridge MotorsportsParkon Saturday night, Aug 31 for the UCRA 3K to Win. A night at the racetrack is fun for the whole family! (KF)
If you love live music then you have some exceptional options this long weekend. Saturday night the Copperhead Lodge in Blairsville is throwing a party and they’ve invited Southern Vantage to headline. Join this amazing southern rock cover band on the huge veranda/porch at the lodge for drinks, grub, and dance. They cover a variety of genres and hit songs from artists like Haggard, Cash, Waylon, Willie, Skynyrd, CCR, Seger, Blackberry Smoke, Hank Jr., Brooks and Dunn, Garth Brooks, Toby Kieth, Alan Jackson, Chris Stapleton, Luke Combs, Stone Temple Pilots, Sublime, Uncle Cracker and much more. Music begins at 7 pm. Come early, grab a seat and some great grub from the Lodge’s award-winning restaurant, The Flying Trout.
BBQ & Gospel Music
Though Southern BBQ is good twelve months a year, there’s something special about smellin’ that smoker cooking some tender butts for hours on end. If it’s BBQ and good southern gospel that you are yearnin’ for, then head into the heart of Blue Ridge for the39th Annual Labor Day BBQ & Gospel Music Show. If it has thrived for nearly four decades, you know it has to offer the best in music and in BBQ. It’s a 3-day event and the public is invited to enjoy all or part of it. On Monday, Sept. 2 from 11:30-6, enjoy the annual Labor Day Bar-B-Q with all the fixings served with Gospel and Blue Grass by tri-state area groups. Presale tickets are available from participating churches, Fannin Chamber of Commerce, and American Wholesale Print Shop. (KF)
Mountain Heritage Festival
Every Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend downtown Blairsville hosts, the Mountain Heritage Festival. Presented by the Union County Historical Society, the festival celebrates the history and mountain culture of these hills and valleys. Mountain arts/crafts, music, living history activities, demonstrations on quilting, spinning, basket making, chair caning, farm animals, and gold panning, along with activities for children. The activities will be centered around the restored 1861 Payne family log cabin, the Mauney family barn, the Duncan family cabin, and other structures from Union County’s past. Festival hours are 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free and there’s plenty of free parking around the Square. (KF)
Summer’s Last Hurrah
William Shakespeare penned “Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” We couldn’t agree more. We look forward to seeing you here in the mountains this Labor Day weekend for summer’s last hurrah!
July will be here before you know it and we couldn’t be more excited! It’s time for lazy days at the lake, burgers and hot dogs on the back porch grill, and fireworks filling up the night sky! Here in North Georgia, we are proud Americans and we go all out to celebrate this great country that we love so much! Here’s a round-up of what to expect in Blue Ridge this Fourth of July.
First Things First
A celebration of America’s independence in these parts starts with pancakes. And why not? There’s nothing better than a heaping stack, with some slathered syrup to remind of us of how lucky we are to live in the good ol’ US of A.
Plus, there are at least two pancake breakfasts on the morning of the 4th. The Habitat for Humanity,sponsored breakfast at the Faith Presbyterian Church is right on the Old Timers 4th of July Parade Route and, coincidence of coincidences, breakfast is finished when the parade begins at 10 am! Or you could visit the Epworth Community Club, where breakfast is followed by family activities throughout the rest of the day.
If you want to start the morning off healthy, you could run in the Blue Ridge Freedom 5k or 10k which features a scenic route through beautiful and historic Blue Ridge. What a great way to start the holiday weekend!
Whatever you do, don’t miss the Old Timers 4th of July Parade! Any place downtown is a good viewing spot to enjoy the colorful floats, antique vehicles and marchers dressed in patriotic attire!
Fireworks for the 4th in Blue Ridge and surrounding areas are actually on the 5th and 6th, with one of the largest displays in Copper Basin/McCaysville on Friday night, July 5th.
A great way to view the fireworks is by train, on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway “Firecracker Special”.
A Fireworks and Family Picnic and fundraiser for Fannin County Family Connection is planned for July 6 at the Riverstone Medical Campus in Blue Ridge. Fireworks begin at dusk. h
Lake Blue Ridge Fireworks – “Fire in the Sky” – also the night of the 6th — is being put on by the Lake Blue Ridge Civic Association. Fireworks are set off on the Lake Blue Ridge Dam and are viewable by boat, at various viewing locations along the shoreline, and from a large area adjacent to the Lake Blue Ridge Marina.
Speaking of boats – the 4th Annual Lake Blue Ridge Boat Parade will be on Friday, July 5th at 9pm. The parade will follow the shoreline from Blue Ridge Recreation Area to Morganton Point Recreation Area ending at Lake Blue Ridge Marina. In Blairsville, the Independence Day Boat Parade on Lake Nottely takes place Saturday, July 6 starting at 12:00pm. Anyone with a boat and the spirit to decorate is welcome to attend and be part of the fun!
In Blairsville, Independence Day Fireworks is on July 4that Meeks Park, beginning at around 9:30 pm. A day-long festival takes place just south of Blairsville at Vogel State Park, with a bicycle parade, pedal boat races, a watermelon eating contest, sack races and a number of other traditional activities for kids and families!
Aside from great celebrations, we also are fortunate to have some great restaurants to check out and fabulous little places to shop. However you spend your 4th of July celebration, we hope that it is spent with friends, family, and lots of good food!
Happy Birthday, America! We are so very grateful to live in the beautiful United States of America. It is an absolute honor to live in the land of the free and the home of the (very) brave! Thank you to all of our men and women that have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice to defend our great nation and allow us to enjoy the comfortable life we get to live.
Our rock. Our protector. Our hardworking, sacrificing, Mr.
Fix It, all around wonderful man. Often times the fathers in our life don’t
always get the appreciation they deserve. However, you can change that this
Father’s Day and honor the man in your life with a perfect Escape to Blue
So how do we make Dad happy? Well, through his stomach of
course! And boy, do we have some good eating right here in Blue Ridge. Here are our top 3 picks that Daddy-O is sure
I mean, if “World Famous” is in their name, how could you
possibly deny Dad the most sacred of southern cuisines – BBQ! Whether he is a
simple man and just wants some slow smoked pulled pork or he is a purist choosing
the rib option, your Pops will LOVE the smoky and flavorful BBQ from Blue
Smoke. This Father’s Day they are featuring a special: For $55 you can get 2
Racks of Ribs OR 2 lbs of Brisket AND 1 Pound of Pulled Pork or Chicken! You
also get cole slaw, baked beans, Texas toast, BBQ sauce, and 1 gallon of Sweet
Tea! You can’t beat that deal with a stick! Check them out in Downtown Blue Ridge
at 3365 East 1st St.
You don’t actually have to get into a brawl to enjoy a meal at Fightingtown! Named after a nearby creek, Fightingtown brings you regionally-sourced comfort food with a pretty big twist. Known for their delicious yet unique burgers, Dad will flip over the Megadeath Burger: two 1/2lb burger patties, 2 fried eggs, 2 slices of cheddar, 2 slices of pepperjack, 4 slices of house cured bacon, grilled jalapenos, grilled onions, beer cheese & sriracha all separated by a Krispy Kreme glazed donut! Yep, you read that right, a donut in between all that meaty goodness! Sounds healthy right? Well, calories don’t count when you are celebrating the toughest man in your life! Go ahead and live a little. Don’t worry, they have plenty of beer to wash it all down!
Take Dad to a sunny spot for shady people and enjoy a delicious meal, heavenly drinks and the most incredible view of Lake Blue Ridge and the surrounding mountains! Not only can you sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery, but you can fill your belly with favorites like fried grouper tacos or their smoked chicken wings. Before or after your meal, head next door to the Blue Ridge Marina and rent a pontoon boat to go explore all the coves around the lake. If you really want to make this a Fathers Day to remember, the folks at the Marina would be happy to sell you a new wave runner or boat.
Three Cheers for Dad!
Because Dads work so hard day in and day out, they deserve a
reward and what better treat than a cold one? Here in Blue Ridge we have several
craft breweries to choose from. We think Dad will be in heaven when he gets to
enjoy a brewsky at one of these fine establishments:
Just like Dad, this is a no frill joint. They don’t mess around: “If they don’t like it, they don’t drink it, and if they don’t drink it, they don’t sell it.” Doesn’t get much simpler than that! At this micro-brewery you can enjoy nine different beers on tap like the Aska Pale Ale or Moon Over Blue Ridge Wheat Ale. So, if you are looking for a dog friendly business that tolerates people and specializes in delicious beer, this is a must stop for your best father figure.
If the Dad in your life enjoys delicious food and some live music with his cold brews, he’ll love the ambiance and views of downtown Blue Ridge at the Blue Ridge Brewery. Here both the craft beers and scrumptious eats are created with only the finest of local ingredients. Grab some peanuts, pull up a bar stool, and enjoy the band!
Take a flight….of brews that is! This craft brewing company has grown like wildfire since inception, but they stick to their roots creating fresh beer, with fresh water, all while enjoying the fresh mountain air! Created in a German tradition, you’ll love lagers like the Blue Ridge or Black Bear lagers. If ales are more your Pop’s speed, sample the Toccoa Brown or the Hiawassee Golden. Music is as plentiful here as the brews are so be sure to mark this stop on your Blue Ridge escape!
Sometimes all a person needs to recharge their soul is time
out in nature. Let Dad recharge his batteries along the banks of the Toccoa
River with a rod, a reel, and a whole lot of fish! Being the Trout Capital of
Georgia, the rivers and streams around Fannin County are plentiful with fish.
Give him a day alone on the waters or treat him to a guided tour from Fly Fish Blue Ridge or Fly Shop Co. You can guarantee he will be
talking about that experience for years to come!
Hit the Links
If the Dad in your life doesn’t feel like life is complete
unless he’s on the golf course, well, he’ll be in for a treat when you take him
for an afternoon at Old Toccoa
Golf Course. Here he can practice chipping and putting on the greens or taking
big swings on the driving range. There are currently nine holes on the Par 70
course available to play and an additional nine will be opening soon!
Bring a little excitement into your Dad’s life by booking a Whitewater Rafting trip with the Ocoee Adventure Center. Here your main man will get the best adrenaline rush as you race down class three and four rapids in the Ocoee Gorge. If he still wans more heart racing experience, try zipping through the Blue Ridge Mountains at Zipline Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge. Here you’ll get to see the mountains from the treetops, zip into the valley and then soar over pastures, and come in for a landing as you cross over Fighting Town Creek. Fun, fun!
No matter how you choose to celebrate the best Dad in your
life, be sure to tell him how much you care about him and how much you
appreciate him. Happy Father’s Day!
Some communities are fortunate to have county fairs in their backyards or a state fair within an hour’s drive or two – so when it comes to deep-fried anything outrageous (Krispy Kreme Burgers, deep-fried butter, python kabobs, etc), or a carnival ride or two, it’s available – at least once or twice a year.
Then there are communities known far and wide as festival towns. You don’t even have to ask if there’s anything going on, or fun things to do during the week and on the weekends – because there always is, and you’re not limited to crazy cuisine on a stick, octo-dogs, chocolate-covered bacon (yummo, by the way) or funnel cakes. Sometimes healthy food and fitness is the central theme, and you might actually lose weight rather than gain a pound or two.
Blue Ridge is one of those special towns where there’s always something going on – it’s a festival town, but also a destination for events – big ones and small ones – some tied to traditional holidays and some that have been created with care by locals who are passionate about books, music, the outdoors, or the arts.
A listing of festivals and events in Blue Ridge usually begins at the beginning – in January – but the beginning of the summer season starts with Memorial Day, when the pools are filled, the boat motor is tuned up and wineries and restaurants typically return to extended hours. So, let’s start with that.
Spring Arts in the Park – Memorial Day Weekend – May 25 & 26
Arts in the Park is not just a spring kickoff to the festival season in Blue Ridge, another Arts in the Park brings things to a close in October. In both instances, artists and artisans, including musicians, fill the expansive Blue Ridge Downtown City Park with activities, performances and even some dancing. More than 200 juried art, craft and food booths are featured. This event is recognized as one of the Top 20 Events by the Southeastern Tourism Society. The Festival is held rain or shine. Pets are welcome as long as they are leashed and well-behaved. Weekend Admission: Adults $5 and children 12 and under are free!
You’ve seen ‘em, although you may not have known what you were seeing, railroad motor cars. They were used to monitor track conditions along stretches of railways. During a two-day Ride the Rails festival weekend, you’ll have a chance to actually ride in one in a five-mile round trip from the Mineral Bluff Depot, through the historic Iron Bridge and over the beautiful Toccoa River and back. The trip begins (and ends) at the Mineral Bluff Depot, where there’s also a scale model railroad, built and maintained by the Tri-County Railroaders. Food and beverage will also be available. For railroad enthusiasts, and the intellectually curious, this is an event not to be missed!
Blue Ridge Mountains Wine & Jazz Festival – June 22
Blue Ridge is becoming (if it isn’t already) a cultural tourism destination. That means wine, of course, and music. The wine will come from around the world, including those made locally in North Georgia and North Carolina and all you have to bring is a blanket or a few lawn chairs. Set wine, hard cider and some groove music against the gorgeous mountain backdrop of Merciers Orchards, and you have a classy and cultural event.
Independence Day – 4th of July Parade & Fireworks – Saturday Closest to July 4th
It’s the ideal 4th of July weekend package: Independence day in a small patriotic town that also likes it’s fun and a beautiful lake to provide the perfect backdrop for fireworks. Blue Ridge’s Independence Day parade is a “blast” You will have a ball seeing floats that show creativity and a good sense of humor. The Fabulous Fireworks will be shot off near the Lake Blue Ridge Dam and can be viewed from there as well as Morganton Point Recreation Area, Tammen Park and Lake Blue Ridge Marina. The marina will have live music and barbecue throughout the day. And if it’s an old-fashioned 4th that appeals to you, the small town Independence Day celebration in McCaysville is just the thing, featuring an impressive fireworks display from Tater Hill in downtown McCaysville-Copperhill. Here’s a thought – ride the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway to the fireworks for a totally unique Independence Day experience on July 5.
The Wild Wild West has nothin’ on Blue Ridge. Every August, for the last 22 years, you would swear (but please don’t) that you have landed in Laramie, Wyoming or Tucson, Arizona, because Georgia’s red clay is being pulverized to dust by broncs and bulls. This is a classic western style rodeo, complete with bull riding, saddle bronc riding, calf roping, bareback, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing and special events. There’s great food and fun for all ages!
It sometimes takes a while to recognize and realize what’s happening in a town or out in the country, when you see artists standing stock still in front of easels and canvases, recreating a visual or a vista. When you approach the artist you can see what they see – beautiful mountains, or unique downtown scenes you may not have noticed (but they have – they’re artists, after all). If you peer over their shoulder you’ll see that these images are being captured in watercolors or charcoals or any number of arts mediums. It’s all part of an arts event that brings artists from across the region to Blue Ridge to capture the scenic beauty of this mountain community. Artists from across the southeast are encouraged to get outside and recreate nature’s beauty!
Blue Ridge Blues & BBQ Festival – September 14 & 15
One rule of thumb in the events realm is anything that starts with a crawl is going to be a good thing! So, the Blue Ridge Blues & BBQ Festival starts with a Blues Crawl on Friday night, followed by great blues and barbecue on Saturday. So, what is a Blues Crawl? Well, it’s kind of a meander through eight different restaurants, enjoying live music, food and drink, kicking off the Blues Weekend in the mountains. Then on Saturday it’s on to the blues and barbecue portion of the festivities with barbecue smells from local and regional cookers filling the air downtown and blues musicians performing from stages set around Blue Ridge City Park.
And winter, and spring and summer… The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is an icon in downtown Blue Ridge, and all along the line to McCaysville and back. You can enjoy the brilliant colors of fall on a special train ride during October and early November or you can ride during the winter, spring or summer seasons as well! Learn about this region’s history along the way and you will have a deeper understanding about the beauty of this incredible part of the country!
This is the perfect annual event for pet lovers! You can have a great time with your pets and get a few critical things done that need to be done before the end of fall, like a rabies vaccine at the rabies clinic and/or micro-chipping. Other pet friendly events include a pet parade, 5K race, pet education and demonstrations, a costume contest, prizes, photos and more for a fun day with your favorite pet!
Blue Ridge Fall Fest Arts & Crafts Show – 3rd and 4th Weekend in October
Fall Fest features local arts, crafts, food and fun on two separate October weekends! This event has historically been called the Homemakers Fall Festival, but the event has stretched to include artisans as well as heritage crafts and food vendors. Come out to the Blue Ridge Farmers Market and experience the best in mountain creations.
There’s nothing better than seeing the excitement that surrounds a group of kids all dressed up for Halloween and ready to head out to an early evening of trick-or-treating. The only thing better is knowing that where they’re going is safe. Kids of all ages get to trick or treat from shop to shop in downtown Blue Ridge and McCaysville. Pumpkin carving, costume contests, food, and entertainment are also part of the evening festivities!
Holiday Art Show & Sale, Light Up Blue Ridge & Hometown Christmas – Each November-December
Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association sponsors a regional arts and crafts event where you can shop for regional art and crafts at the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association from Thanksgiving through Christmas. Downtown Blue Ridge and Downtown McCaysville hold their Christmas festival on the day after Thanksgiving with music, refreshments, caroling and all-day activities. Official lighting of the Christmas tree in downtown Blue Ridge takes place at dusk and then Santa arrives! Santa’s arrival, food, refreshments and entertainment and the lighting of the bridge all are on the agenda that same night in McCaysville.
AND SO BEGINS 2020 …
Fire and Ice Chili Cookoff – President’s Day Weekend
Is it really cold enough in Blue Ridge, Georgia in February to hold an ice carving competition? Yup. It is – so bundle up. But you also have to be prepared for the heat – the heat of homemade chili that comes in all kinds of flavors and a range of hotness. The contrast of cool and hot also perfectly describes the weekend festivities that kick off the festival season. The event is cool – attracting thousands to City Park in downtown Blue Ridge and the ice sculptures are hot with a wide range of ideas and images that emerge from a block of ice. The event in 2020 will be the eighth annual, and it continues to grow every year!
Annual Blue Ridge Writers Conference – Early April
Writers write – that’s what they do. But writing is a solitary pursuit and sometimes writers just have to get together to compare notes and chat about what they do and how they do it. The annual Writers Conference is a literary tradition and unique cultural asset enjoyed by our many writers and aspiring writers each Spring as they gather in Blue Ridge to learn more about their special craft.
Blue Ridge Trout Fest & Outdoor Adventures – Last Weekend in April
There are a lot of trout in Georgia. They are stocked, and caught, and eaten in large numbers. There are also several trout festivals designed to help anglers learn about and appreciate one of America’s favorite fish – the trout. But there is only one Official Trout Festival in the state of Georgia – and this is it. The festival includes great exhibits by outdoor organizations and businesses, education on trout fishing, entertainment, food trucks and more in downtown Blue Ridge’s City Park.
Where To Stay?
And as always, when you are looking to Escape to Blue Ridge, we have your best mountain accommodations. From cozy two bed cabins to massive six bedroom lodges. Not only can you enjoy festivals, but there is always live music in town, great shops to explore and fabulous restaurants to enjoy. When you’ve had enough “people” time, escape to nature and explore all the natural beauty that surrounds us. You’ll be happy you did.
Spring has sprung, the temperatures are climbing, and
everything is blooming! The last weekend in May, Memorial Day Weekend, is an
excellent time to get away from the hub bub of daily life and Escape to the Blue
Ridge Mountains to enjoy the beauty that is bursting all around us!
Extreme or Serene
There is no shortage of fun to be had around town, but if just relaxing with your favorite people (and pups) in a fabulous cabin is your idea of a good time, we totally get it. Many of our cabins are equipped with game rooms, hot tubs, fire pits, and wooded trails to explore. There is also horseback riding stables, zip lines, and whitewater rafting close by for added immersion into the wonders of Mother Nature.
Downtown Blue Ridge
In downtown Blue Ridge you’ll enjoy attending the 44th Annual
Spring Arts in the Park event on Saturday and Sunday, May 25th
& 26th. This Southern
tradition features more than two hundred arts, crafts, and food booths for you
to admire fine arts and mountain crafts. You’ll also be able to see artist’s
demonstrations, hear some great music, and support the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts
Association! The event is held rain or shine, and well-behaved leashed pets are
welcome. Admission is $5 and children 12 and under are free!
Music will be abundant in the Downtown area as well. The Blue Ridge Brewery will welcome Gopher Broke on Saturday and Travis Bowlin on Sunday. At Grumpy Old Men Brewery you’ll get to see Highbeams on Saturday and the Copperhill Brewery will host Gerry Herndon on Sunday. You won’t want to miss Travis Bowlin at the Boat Dock Bar & Grill, which by the way, did you know, they are a sunny spot for shady people? Check them out. They offer great views of Lake Blue Ridge, delicious food, and fantastic drinks! Last but not least, The Blue Coyote will be jamming on Saturday with the Breaking Point Band and a local favorite, Gregg Erwin on Sunday.
About thirty minutes East of Blue Ridge in the town of Blairsville,
you’ll encounter their annual Spring Arts, Crafts, &
Music Festival. Saturday morning begins with a Memorial Day Parade and the
rest of the day and all-day Sunday you can enjoy more than 200 local and
regional artists. Many musicians will also be on site to entertain you and your
family. There is no charge to attend, but plenty of family fun is sure to be
If you’ve never experienced a trip on the Blue Ridge Railway, you should definitely consider boarding in downtown Blue Ridge and taking an enjoyable two hour ride to the revitalized cities of McCaysville, Ga and Copperhill, Tn. Yep, this is your chance to stand in two states at one time! Grab a sinful shake or decadent donuts at Sweet & Southern Sugar Company. Maybe Cuban is more your style and you prefer a Cuban coffee and empanada at the Rum Cake Lady for an afternoon treat. For a good giggle and unique gifts, head over to Weird Oh!. So, what exactly is Weird Oh!? Well, it’s a magical emporium of fun! Better known as an unusual place for unusual people, inside you will find peculiar treasures and trinkets. It’s a place where kids can be kids and adults can be kids too! Everything can be touched, moved, and you can even write on the walls and not get in trouble! The only rule that you will encounter is that laughter is a must! No matter what.
Whatever plans you make for the holiday weekend, we hope
that you are spending it with all the ones you love creating memories and enjoying
the freedom that we get to enjoy in the great United States of America. As we
approach Memorial Day Weekend, we want to take a moment to thank all of the men
and women that have so courageously given their lives to defend this beautiful
country in which we are so fortunate to live. There is no greater sacrifice one
can make and the patriotism that these honorable souls displayed deserves our
recognition and gratitude, not just one weekend a year, but all year long. Thank
you for your service.
What Mom really wants for Mother’s Day might surprise you.
It rarely has to do with those lovely wrapped little boxes from the jewelry
store. And it has less to do with gift certificates to get body maintenance
done, like massages and manicures.
It was 50 years ago that this iconic ad first ran. “Calgon,
take me away”. It still epitomizes what
every Mom wants and needs – time away from the daily grind, if even for just
time for a private, quiet bath. So, this Mother’s Day we think we can help you
with giving Mom that Calgon moment she’ll remember for many years to come.
Mom with Little Ones
Mom is rising close to noon and not hearing a peep. As she
clears the cobwebs from her sleep, she realizes that she woke in the cabin they
came to last night. Oh, the bed felt so luxurious, and somehow, she was the
only one in it. Next to the bed is a note from hubby. “The kids and I are gone
for the day. White
wine in the fridge with brie, apple, and crackers. The hot tub is
waiting for you. Don’t forget your book at the bottom of the suitcase. We’ll see you at 6. Bringing dinner with us.
Relax and enjoy the solitude. You
deserve this. You’re the best Mom in the world. We love you.” She looks out over the magnificent view of
the mountains from her bedroom window. This is the best gift I could ever
imagine, she thought. Six hours later the gang rolls in, running into her arms
to tell her all about their visit to Lilly Pad Village, where they gem mined and went
trout fishing. After a great boxed
dinner from Blue Ridge Mountain BBQ was consumed, they all
packed up to head to the Swan Drive-in Theater for a nostalgic experience
watching the 21st-century Avengers on the outdoor screen. (Did you
know that you can choose from 177 of our properties that have at least two bedrooms and a
Mom with Teen-agers
Mom marvels at how they are growing and maturing. She
realizes that in just a few short years they will be leaving the nest. She
wants to make these times away to the mountains something special for them all
to remember. They all agree that ziplining
had been on their bucket list. But first, while the day was still cool, they’d
challenge themselves to trek on the swinging bridge across the Toccoa River. After an afternoon of adventure, they pull up
to the Rum Cake
Lady’s outdoor dining. Mom loves Cuban food, and they sit at the
picnic tables all sharing their menu picks, joyful and tired. When they get
back to the cabin, the fire pit is lit, the oldest son brings out his guitar,
the youngest starts to make S’mores. Mom gazes at her family in the glow of the
fire and wonders how she got to be the luckiest Mom in the whole world.
(Thirty-eight of our rentals have either fire pits or outdoor fireplaces. Which one would your family choose?)
Mom with Grown
Every Mom feels the same way once their chicks have grown and flown the coop. They yearn for one on one time with them again. When her daughter texts her to ask if she’d like to spend the weekend with her in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Mom searches to find an emoji that can express her excitement. She ends up sending 10 happy faces, and the words, “yes, yes, YES!”. Saturday it’s a quick, trouble free keyless entry into their little lakefront cabin and off to the Himalayan Salt Caves for a 45-minute session of pure bliss, relaxing in zero gravity chairs, listening to soft music in a stress-free environment. After, they head into downtown Blue Ridge and make a stop at Blue Ridge Booksellers. As different as they can be in many respects, Mom and daughter share a love for vintage bookstores. With just enough time, they make their reservation at Harvest on Main for a relaxing evening of fine dining. Back to the cottage, another glass of wine to top off the evening and a wonderful heart to heart chat on the porch overlooking the moonlit lake. They sleep in late, pack up their things, close the door behind them and take a lovely drive out to Mercier’s Orchards for brunch and then to pick strawberries together, a memory they share from a Mother’s Day trip 20 years before. Now, they head home and banter back in forth as to whether it’s biscuits or pound cake that will host these sweet, juicy berries.
We think everyday should be Mother’s Day! Thank you to all the wonderful Moms who celebrate their families with us throughout the year. We hope your Mother’s Day is a Calgon day for you!
After all, it’s a southern tradition. Eat these as your first meal for the New Year and you will increase your luck and prosperity for the year ahead. The Village Restaurant will be open and ready to serve you the very best in Southern Cuisine
Beautiful Lake Blue Ridge offers 3,290-acres
of crystal-clear water to explore. Bring your own water craft, rent a pontoon
boat, or take a guided tour with Capt’n
Joe. Whether you are kayaking, tubing, fishing, or just floating along, there
is no prettier place in the world than where the mountains meet the water.
There is always something happening in
these here mountains. Festival season begins in February and ends in October, plus
holiday activities are abundant in November and December. You will be blown
away with the ice sculpting that takes place at the annual Fire and Ice Chili
Cookoff. If music is more your style, you can shake your groove thing at both
the Blue Ridge Wine & Jazz
Festival and Blue
Ridge Blues & Barbeque Festival. Blue Ridge festivals are family
friendly, pet friendly, and extraordinarily fun!
Brown trout, rainbow trout, and native
trout are abundant in our freshwater mountain streams. Stop by and see Will
Taylor at the Fly Shop Co. for
some flies and a pole. Then head out to the headwaters of the Toccoa River, Noontootla
Creek, or Rock Creek for premier trout fishing.
Pack up a picnic and hit either the Benton
MacKaye Trail or the Duncan Ridge National Recreation Trail to the Swinging
Bridge. This 270-foot-long suspension bridge is the longest swinging bride east
of the Mississippi River! If you do decide to jump in the middle, make sure you
are faster than your travel buddies or you might get thrown off!
A short, family friendly hike makes Fall
Branch Falls a must do activity for the young and young at heart. Explore both
the upper and lower area of the falls and take time to relax on the rocks and enjoy
the views. Don’t forget to bring your best friend. Dogs will enjoy the trail as
much as their humans.
The iconic Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is a
must do when in town. Enjoy the scenery every season of the year as the train
departs from Downtown Blue Ridge and travels the countryside to the revitalized
towns of Copperhill, TN and McCaysville, GA
Legend has is that as the Native Americans embarked
on the Trail of Tears, they shed tears of sorrow that fell to the ground and
formed tiny crosses of stone. Commonly known as staurolite crystals, these
minerals are abundant in Fannin County.
There is just something about these mountains that is so good for the soul. Whether you want to come for a romantic getaway, to reconnect with friends and family, or to enjoy the abundant outdoor adventures, we have the perfect cabin for you!
We wish each of you and yours a prosperous year ahead filled with lots of love, exciting adventures, and many opportunities to make heartfelt memories. Happy New Year!
You see, in today’s day and age, Home is no longer your
grandmother or abuela’s place. We don’t come together every Sunday for a family
meal. We don’t have our aunts and uncles disciplining us right along with our
parents. We are all spread out across the states, the nation, and the world. However,
during this time of year, the holiday season, we make every effort to come together.
We travel by plane, car, and sometimes even train to get to Aunt Susan’s or
Uncle John’s house. We make the effort to get to Grandma Betty or Nanny Chambers
house. We go to visit those friends that are really like family. Sometimes we
even rent a cabin nestled within the North Georgia mountains to have a more neutral
location to gather with our most favorite humans.
Regardless of the home that you flock to, whether it’s owned by someone you know or not, Home is where you gather. Home is the place where you stay up until midnight telling old stories. Home is where you get into full blown monopoly wars. Home is where you cook up your most favorite meals. Home is where laughter rings through the hallways. Home is where you share your hopes and dreams with your loved ones. Home is that place in your heart that swells when you are around people you love and enjoy. It really doesn’t matter the geographic location of the Home. What matters is that you are all together.
Be The Joy
Not everyone has the luxury of having a home to go to. While
the holiday season is filled with excitement, joy, wonderment, and delight for
most, for some it is filled with worry, sadness, grief, stress, and pressure. So,
this season as you prepare to go “Home for the Holidays” remember those that
are less fortunate. Reach out to the ones that don’t have others to care for
them. If you know someone has recently lost a loved one, go to their home and
share a meal with them. Invite your new acquaintance over, they may turn out to
become your best friend. Give your estranged cousin a call, you may be
surprised at how you’re received. Be the one to take away a little of that sadness.
Be the one to bring joy into someone’s life.
This is a time of year where we never really know what to say to each other. We want to be cautious not to offend each other, but it really seems like no matter whether you say Merry Christmas or not, someone is bound to have beef. For us, we want to take all the pretext out of any phrases and simply wish you peace, love, and happiness today, tomorrow, and always. We hope you find your way Home for the Holidays, wherever that may be. Enjoy your Christmas, Kwanza, Chanukah (belated), Festivus, or however you want to describe your time spent together with loved ones.