Workcation



In the past year many of us have been forced to move from in-person work to virtual. They call it working from home but no one said where that “home” had to be! After all your hard work this year you deserve to be spoiled! Escape from the confines of your house and travel to Blue Ridge where you can leave the stress of daily life behind, but not get behind on your work.

With this break you’ve been given, you’ll find yourself being more productive than you have in months. You’ll be able to focus and recharge. Enjoy your home away from home with all the comforts you’re used to and more! Get active and outdoors, and find yourself feeling one with nature again. And when the work is finished unwind with all kinds of fun that only Blue Ridge can offer. You deserve this getaway, so treat yourself!

Peace, Quiet, Focus 

View from “Eagles Landing”

When you escape the hustle and bustle of your daily routine you’ll feel renewed and refreshed in no time. Getaway and find your own home away from home with Escape to Blue Ridge cabins! Our cabins have all the amenities you’ll need to relax and feel right at home. After all, we want you to feel comfortable and at peace.

You’ll find yourself with plenty of room to get your work done since our cabins are so spacious and you will be even more productive when you know you can relax on the back deck with your laptop, a glass of wine, and beautiful mountain views that will take your breath away! Or sink into our comfortable couches by the fire and type away. No matter what spot you choose to work, you’ll have your own space where you can fully focus and enjoy some peace and quiet.

And when the work is finished and you’re looking for a relaxing night in, you can take advantage of all the wonderful amenities we offer.  Watch the sunset on the back deck, cook in the large kitchen with everything you need, play a round of pool in the game room, sit outside by the fire and watch the stars; the possibilities are endless. 

Outdoor Escape

Photo Courtesy of @chushon

After almost a year cooped up inside at a desk, you are probably itching to get outdoors, and boy does Blue Ridge have the outdoor fun you’re looking for! From countless hiking trails through forests and mountains, past streams and rivers, to waterfalls, you’ll have so many different hiking options. If hiking isn’t your preference, then try your hand at fishing on the Toccoa River or go on a horseback ride with Appalachian Trail Rides. For adventure seekers check out Blue Ridge Adventure Park for ropes courses and challenges. Or hop on a boat and ride around Lake Blue Ridge. And if you don’t feel like being active but just want to be outside in the fresh air then choose from numerous wineries and restaurants that have live outdoor music. No matter what you do, being out in nature will have you feeling refreshed and alive in no time! And being one with nature is good for the soul. 

Unwind after the workday and work week

Photo Courtesy of @nataliabrayrealtor at “Cherokee Ridge” cabin

After a long day “in the office” you’ll need a chance to let loose and relax. Take some time away from the work, have some fun, and most importantly treat yourself! 

Wineries & Breweries

Nothing beats a cold beer or a glass of wine after a long day of work and we have the best places for you to check out. For wine sip your way around Bear Claw Vineyards or Serenberry Vineyards here in Blue Ridge, or try Cartecay Vineyards in Ellijay or Crane Creek Vineyards in Young Harris. There are so many wonderful vineyards to explore just a short drive away; all of which have delicious wine, snacks, and stunning views!

And for delicious craft brews check out Fannin Brewing Company, Grumpy Old Men Brewing, Copperhill Brewing, or Buck Bald Brewing; all perfect for the avid beer drinker. Even Mercier Orchards specializes in delicious hard cider. With so many options to choose from you might just have to try them all!  

Dining 
Photo Courtesy of Chester Brunnemeyer’s Bar & Grill

Blue Ridge is home to some incredible restaurants, and most of our favorites are conveniently located right in the heart of Downtown Blue Ridge. For an intimate night over wine and tapas check out Bin 322. For fine dining and delicious food made from fresh, local ingredients visit the famous Black Sheep restaurant. There’s also Harvest on Main that serves classic dishes with a southern flair. For a friendly atmosphere and heart warming comfort food Chester Brunnemeyer’s Bar & Grill is your place. and don’t forget to order a signature “Escape to Blue Ridge” drink!

For a great slice of pizza go to Mystic Mountain Pizza or the best burger ever check out Sue’s Burgers. And for a sweet treat after dinner stop by The Sweet Shoppe or Mona Lisa’s Dessert House. There are so many amazing restaurants all around Blue Ridge just waiting for you to try and with so much variety you’ll find something everyone can enjoy!

Shopping

Downtown Blue Ridge is also home to many trendy and unique shops. You’ll find all the best souvenirs to bring home with you! For all things antique check out the Blue Ridge Mountain Mall. For clothes check out Blue Ridge Cotton Company or Blue Ridge Adventure Wear. For a little bit of everything stop by Mitzi’s on Main. Explore these stores and so much more on the streets of Downtown Blue Ridge. You won’t be able to resist coming home with a bag (or four) of goodies!  

Spa
Photo Courtesy of Serenity in the Mountains

You deserve to be pampered and spoiled, so why not head for a spa day!? At Serenity in the Mountains you’ll get the works; facials, massages, mani/pedis, and skin care and body treatments. Before you leave be sure you check out their famous Salt Cave for the ultimate relaxation experience! 

Hot Tub
Phot Courtesy of @bayleigh_barnes at “Grand View” cabin

Make sure you take full advantage of your cabin’s hot tub! There’s no better way to unwind than in a warm tub with a glass of wine in hand. Soak it all in and completely relax. 

Hiking 
Photo Courtesy of @hikes_with_ash

Blue Ridge’s hiking trails are a big part of our charm! You’ll be happy to get up out of your seat and outside exercising. You can hike to the Toccoa Swinging Bridge, the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi! It’s truly a great experience all of our visitors love to see. Or you can hike to one of our beautiful waterfalls; Helton Creek Falls, Amicalola Falls, Fall Branch Falls, or Long Creek Falls. They are all unique and simply beautiful to behold. Or hike to some of Georgia’s highest peaks like  Fort Mountain State Park or Brasstown Bald. From the observatory tower at Brasstown Bald you can even see 4 states at once! 

Bars 
Photo Courtesy of Fightingtown Tavern

After a long day of working you deserve a chance to let loose with great drinks and great music. At The Blue Coyote Bar & Grill you can belt out your favorite song for karaoke and then enjoy an ice cold beer and delicious comfort food. And Misty Mountain Hops always has great music and drinks, and incredible desserts to end the night with. You’ll love the burgers and bar selection from Fightingtown Tavern as well. Whichever place you choose, you can usually find live music and ice cold drinks! 

Swan Drive In 

Jump back in time and go see a movie at the drive in! The Swan Drive In has been showing movies since 1955! Stop by and enjoy featured blockbuster movies and old school snacks right from the comfort of your own car. 

High Class in the High Hills²



(If you haven’t had the chance to read our Part I blog, we encourage you to click here and see what indulgent amenities the North Georgia Mountains has to offer in the way of pampering services and adventure experiences! Now we’d like to take you to other areas of resort vacationing that you might not expect to find here in a 30-mile radius of your luxurious cabin rental.)

Outdoor Fun and Entertainment (Including Spirits)

“Wine is the only artwork you can drink” 


Luis Fernando Oliverri
Photo Courtesy of Bear Claw Vineyards

If this quote is accurate than the North Georgia mountains boasts over 20 “museums” or vineyards. With its high elevation, warm temperatures, sandy red clay and aged granite soil (which soaks up extra moisture that could potentially affect proper grape ripening), this region is ideally suited for producing varietals more often associated with France – Cabernet Franc, Viognier, Malbec – and other parts of Europe (Touriga, Sangiovese).

Nearly every one of these vineyards has a tasting room, and all are picturesque. Yet the disadvantage of visiting these wineries on your own is the need for a “designated driver”.  Now everyone in your party can partake with the lavish way to tour and taste your way through some of the region’s finest vineyards and wineries. VIP Southern Tours has different wine tours available to their clients, but they also will help you build your own personal winery tour based on your vino preferences coupled with their years of experience touring North Georgia’s wine country.

Mountain High

Photo Courtesy of Wing-N-It Seasplane Tours

In Part 1 of our High-Class blog we covered adventure by land and by sea, but we didn’t mention the thrilling adventure of seeing the mountaintops by air! It was 60 years ago when TV’s Lloyd Bridges took his seaplane up in every episode in the 1960’s show “Sea Hunt”.  More than a half-century later you can charter your own Seaplane just 30 miles up the highway in Hiawaseee on Lake Chatuge. Wing-N-It Seaplane Tours has air tours of all the regional lakes, including Lake Blue Ridge. We suggest you also sample the mountainscape tours which are particularly breathtaking in the peak of Autumn or customize your own tour package.

Par!

Photo Courtesy of Old Toccoa Farm

Is it the trails or the links for your vacation? Old Toccoa Farm , in neighboring Mineral Bluff, GA, is one of the courses that has shaped the golf world in 2019. This 18 hole course is the most attractive and challenging course in the North Georgia Mountains and selected as the 4th Best Golf Course in Georgia by Golf Advisor! The course winds through 125 acres of ridges and meadows, featuring over 280 feet of elevation change with spectacular views of the Chattahoochee and Cherokee National Forests and surrounding valleys. You’ll be more than smitten with the spectacular views, lush fairways and the immaculate condition of the greens and bunkers.

Trail

Photo Courtesy of Appalachian Trail Rides at S&T Stables

If you feel more like donning Hoss’s 10 Gallon cap than Payne Stewart’s scally cap, then a trail ride on horseback is in order. And there are no friendlier and knowledgeable trail guides than the staff at Appalachian Trail Rides at S&T Stables.   This 250 acre privately owned mountainous farm features a large stable facility, pasture, scenic trails, private lakes, and creeks.  There is a full menu of trail rides to take advantage of, but they also will provide a private trail ride for just you and your guests. 

Epicurean Fantasies Become Reality

“A great meal is an experience that nourishes more than your body. “


Ruth Reichl
Photo Courtesy of The Black Sheep

This stylish, and classy restaurant believes in fresh food that’s locally sourced and artfully prepared. Set in a historic house (circa 1814) you have your choice of pet-friendly patio seating under a 200-year-old oak tree, the enclosed porch with its flaming heaters, up at the beautifully appointed bar or in the main dining room, where service is second to none.  Start with an appetizer of pork belly and marmalade, add a perfect beet salad and eventually savor the lamb pappardelle. We can’t forget to mention that The Black Sheep offers a killer Brunch menu every Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 4pm. The Sunday paper, an inspired Bloody Mary and a chicken & red velvet waffle. Who can resist? Reservations are recommended.

You can also choose to eat at higher elevations. Cucina Rustica is located just down the road and up a wooded hill in neighboring Morganton. Upon entering this rustic dining experience you will find yourself transported to an established trattoria on a Tuscan hillside. The finest of dining experiences features the Italian cuisine of Chef Danny Mellman. This highly reviewed establishment is a true farm-to-table experience, with Chef Mellman growing many of the vegetables and herbs on his own organic farm. His interpretation of Old World Italian foods range from Sicilian fish dishes to Northern Italian pasta and succulent roasted meat dishes has a bountiful loyal patronage, so be sure to call or make online reservations. 

Concierge Services at Your Fingertips

Part of our amazing Escape to Blue Ridge team

We hope we’ve helped you consider another opulent option to that oceanfront resort you head to each year. When booking your cabin with Escape of Blue Ridge you also have available to you our knowledgeable concierge team.

We can connect you with most any experience you want to try (i.e. fly fishing guide, whitewater rafting etc).  Share with us the type of experience that you are looking for and we will offer suggestions on where to go and what to do, and then enlist us to book the experience.

The Marriage of Moonshine and Music



National Moonshine Day is observed annually on the first Thursday in June. Yes, we are posting this in October, and we don’t expect you to remember this date eight months from now. Truth is, you can turn just about any day into a celebration partaking in some good ole mountain white lightning. But where can you get your hands on it? Stay with us for the answer to that question.

Prohibition

For years, visitors to our area would ask their waitresses at diners, gas station attendants, and the guy who gave them the key to their room at the local travel lodge (in a quiet whisper) where they might get their hands on some of the illegal potables these hills were noted to produce. In the ’50s and ’60s, if one of those tourists was lucky enough to land him a ball jar bottle of the mountain hooch, there’s a great possibility it came from the still of American Appalachian moonshiner  Jack “Mimm” McClure.

Everyone knew of Jack in these parts. He was easy to spot when he came to town. With his big 250 lb frame and always in a Stetson hat, he opened doors for the ladies, spoke kindly to children and was noted for his philanthropic generosity of spirit. Still, he made his fortune selling illegal spirits. He had a reputation for influencing the election of many politicians in the local and state seats. He also had his own ideas when justice should be served. The late Georgia Governor and McClure’s fellow Towns County native Zell Miller wrote of Jack, “He was loved, hated, respected, and feared, depending upon the experience one had had with him.”

The Music

McClure was dubbed “Grandaddy Mimm” by his grandchildren and that became his moniker amongst the folks in the mountains. He succumbed to pancreatic cancer in 1969. With his passing, so did an era of illegal bootlegging. But this is just where our story gets more interesting.

One of Jack’s grandkids, Tommy Townsend was a “gitar” player who as a youngin’ fell in love with the music of Waylon Jennings. Now Jennings could easily be to country music what Tommy’s Grandaddy Mimm was to moonshine. They were both outlaws with class, who had a presence that no one could quite forget. Townsend’s parents got him behind stage to meet Jennings many years ago. Waylon took a liking to the boy and brought him into the Jennings family fold.  Waylon was Tommy’s mentor but it was Waylon’s son Shooter Jennings who became Tommy’s friend. Since 2008 Townsend and 4 other former members of the Jennings band have been entertaining fans as the Waymore’s Outlaws. In 2014 they began opening for Shooter Jennings and then backing him as his set in concerts all over the country. This year Tommy released his solo debut album “Turn Back the Clock”. Shooter Jennings produced the project. 

Who’s Your Grandaddy?

Tommy never forgot his North Georgia roots nor his Grandaddy Mimm. He also held the family secret recipe to Grandaddy’s famous moonshine as well as the schematics to the still his Grandaddy designed many years before. In 2012, Townsend announced his plans to recreate his Grandaddy’s legacy, only this time, it would be within the law.

Today, you can tour the Grandaddy Mimm’s Corn Whiskey Distillery located in Blairsville GA, just a thirty-minute drive from Blue Ridge. Tours are given daily, but on Saturday’s you get to meet and chat with the head distiller and get to see the whole “still” in action. Your imagination of the outlaw days of moonshine starts to unfurl as soon as you drive up to the building that houses the museum and distillery. Inside you’ll find so many eclectic relics from those days as well as an enormous, interesting array of music memorabilia and instruments collected by Townsend over the years.

The Shine

Taste tasting this hooch is also encouraged. The choices are tough to make. Just four ingredients, corn, sugar, yeast, and water produce all of the moonshines, including the Mule Kickin 140 proof. The 96 proof  Peach is their biggest seller. It’s hard to find a naturally flavored high octane whiskey, and it makes for some very interesting mixed drink recipes. There are also Apple, Cherry and Blueberry options, all using natural extracts. Plan on taking a jar or three home for great souvenir memories. The gift shop also has an abundant selection of shirts, hats and other mementos to bring back home.

When you mosey up to the bar, take note of its fine detail and its rich wood design. If you are a cult fan of the movie  “Coyote Ugly”, this is the very bar that LeeAnn Rhimes ascends to join leading ladies Piper Perabo, Maria Bello, and Bridget Moynahan to dance while she sings “Can’t Fight the Moonlight”. 

Plan Your Trip

The Distillery is located on your way to many of this region’s most visited autumn viewing spots and waterfalls, including Brasstown Bald, Vogel State Park, Richard Russell National Scenic Byway, and the Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center.  The distillery is open  Monday through Saturday from 11am to 6pm.

Grandaddy Mimm’s legacy lives on through the distillery and his grandson’s music. When you view Townsend’s recently released music video for his song “Drinkin”, look closely at the ball jars on the bar. You might just recognize some of that high octane corn “licker” that made Jack McClure a North Georgia legend.