A Mountain of Summer Fun!



Ahhhhhh, August! It’s time to start checking the newspaper circulars for Back to School deals on sneakers and backpacks, and to get the kids ready for a return to Readin’, Writin’, and ‘Rithmatic. But don’t lose sight that it’s still summer and that means festivals abound, there’s an outrageous amount of live music at local wineries and breweries, and the end of the month is the beginning of U-Pick Apple season in Blue Ridge, Blairsville and Ellijay! Take a look at the upcoming events and plan your Escape to Blue Ridge to experience all the mountains have to offer!

UPCOMING EVENTS & ACTIVITIES

National Juried Photography Show
August 1 – 25
LOCATION: Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Arts Association

Open to all photographers, amateur and professional, and all original photographic media, including film and digital images. This event showcases some of the best photographers in the nation, , capturing the uniqueness of this region, and competing for cash prizes.

Harvey
August 2 – 3
LOCATION: Gilmer Arts Playhouse

Photo Courtesy of Gilmer Arts

There’s something about having a 6-foot rabbit at your side as a constant companion that tends to make a person feel safe and secure. That’s the way it is for Elwood P. Dowd, who is content in the knowledge that Harvey, the 6-foot rabbit, is always there for him. He’s also there for others, it’s just that they can’t see him. First made famous by Jimmy Stewart, this is a heartwarming story that’s fun for kids of all ages.

Gombie Fest!
August 3
LOCATION: Grumpy Old Men Brewing

Photo Courtesy of Grumpy Old Men Brewing

There’s very little info about this very mysterious festival.  Even the name is a bit odd. What is a Gomby? Gumby’s twin perhaps? It’s not clear. There are a couple of clues though: the festival is one day after International Beer Day and the location is very clear – Grumpy Old Men Brewing.  Hmmmm … GOM. Grumpy Old Men maybe?

Live Music at Grumpy’s:
August 9 – Jacob Davis
August 30 – Gregg Erwin

Music at The Blue Coyote
August 3
LOCATION: The Blue Coyote

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Coyote

The Blue Coyote is known for their live music and entertainment. While you’re there you can enjoy their tasty bar food and a whole bunch of beer! They even have a dog-friendly patio! Stop by, check it out, and enjoy the music!

August 3 – Owl Creek Band

Music & Hops
August 3 – 31
LOCATION: Misty Mountain Hops

Photo Courtesy of Misty Mountain Hops

If you love eating and music then you will love the laid back vibes of Misty Mountain Hops. Good food and sweet tunes make this Vinyl Pub a must!

August 3rd – The Orange Walls Band
August 10th – Barb Carbon Live
August 17th – Dave Dale
August 24th – Rivertown Road
August 31 – Dale Click

Cartecay Vineyards Live Music
August 3 – 31
LOCATION: Cartecay Vineyards

Photo Courtesy of Cartecay Vineyards

Twisty grapevines, a fireplace with outdoor seating (including a statuesque still-standing chimney, which is the winery’s icon), with live music on weekends all in a serene setting on the hillsides near Ellijay. Of special note: The annual Cartecay Crush Festival is August 24 – 25.

August 3 – David Hyde
August 4 – Scott Stambaugh
August 10 – Camille Rae
August 11 – Cagle and Pitts Duo Review
August 17 – Jesse Black
August 18 – Adrian Stover
August 24 – Dom Wier
August 25 – Rowdy Yates
August 31 – Timothy O’Donovan

Boat Dock Bar and Grill
August 4 – 30
LOCATION: Lake Blue Ridge Marina

Photo Courtesy of the Boat Dock Bar & Grill

The Boat Dock Bar and Grill at the Lake Blue Ridge Marina has one of the best views of Lake Blue Ridge around. The restaurant features a full kitchen, outdoor seating, a beachy atmosphere, and it’s dog-friendly (if your dog is dog friendly).

August 4 – Buck & Oz
August 10 – Gerry Herndon
August 30 – Gerry Herndon returns

Vince Gill
August 9
LOCATION: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Photo Courtesy of the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Vince Gill has won 20 Grammys, 18 CMA awards, including Entertainer of the Year twice. His songs have hit the top of the charts numerous times and he’s sold more than 26 million albums. Gill is the ultimate entertainer who says he’ll keep on because “it’s still as much fun as it’s ever been to play music.” That attitude will ring true when he hits the Anderson Music Hall stage on August 9.

An Evening with The Eagles (Tribute)
August 9
LOCATION: Chateau Meichtry

Photo Courtesy of Chateau Meichtry

You will be amazed at how many songs you’ll recognize! That peaceful, easy feeling of the Eagles is a part of nearly all their songs. This evening package includes the concert, thanks to Eagles tributaries Matty Croxton Band and the Craig McGriff bank, plus a bottle of Chateau Meichtry wine, a souvenir glass, and dinner from the Angelfire Food Truck, parked on site!

Everybody Loves Opal
August 15 – October 1
LOCATION: Blue Ridge Community Theater

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Community Theater

Every small town has an Opal. She’s a middle-age recluse who lives in an old, falling down mansion on the edge of town. She’s quirky, to say the least and she collects things, hauling them through town to her house in a little red wagon. She’s harmless, she’s also a target, but she’s oblivious and those trying to do her harm end up getting theirs in the end.

Kiwanis Club of Blue Ridge’s 23rd Annual Championship Rodeo
August 16 – 17
LOCATION: Kiwanis Fairgrounds

Photo Courtesy of Rick Young & Blue Ridge Kiwanis Club

This 23rd annual western rodeo event features bull riding, saddle bronc riding, calf roping, bareback, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing and special events. Don’t miss the Boot Toss, where a drawing of 5 registered participants will toss a boot for chances to win $100 cash or a 2019 4×4 Dodge Ram!

Herbalist Medicine Making
August 17
LOCATION: The Folk Apothic

Photo Courtesy of Folk Apothics

They used to say “let food be your medicine” and how many times are diets based on a simple change of what you eat. It’s the perfect time to take advantage of raw vegetables, fresh produce and herbs from the garden, along with some wild harvested material. As usual, you get to eat what you cook! Bonus: A pickin’ jam session will take place. Grab a chair and your instrument and jam with local musicians.

Georgia Mountain Classics Cruise In
August 23
LOCATION: Dairy Queen, Blue Ridge

Photo Coutesy of Georgia Mountain Classics Car Club

Bring your classic car and park it at the DQ and you get a $4 off DQ coupon if you do! It’s all part of the summer classic car Cruise Ins that occur on the 4th Friday of every month.

Mercier Hard Cider & Craft Beer Festival
August 24A
LOCATION: Mercier Orchards

Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

One of the most scenic venues for live music in the North Georgia Mountains, whether it’s apple blossom time, little green apples time, or harvest time, anytime is the right time to enjoy the spectacular views, the freshest fruit and the best Hard Cider! In August the 2nd annual Hard Cider & Craft Beer Festival returns as the largest gathering of hard cider makers in the state of Georgia and at the end of the month U-pick begins!

Mountain Heritage Festival
August 31
LOCATION: Town Square, Blairsville

Photo Courtesy of the Union County Historical Society

Celebrating the history, heritage and mountain culture of Union County, this event is a Labor Day tradition, complete with regional arts and crafts, music, arts demonstrations. Since the event is centered around the restored 1861 Payne family log home, it makes sense that focus is on the activities that took place back in those days like basket making, chair caning, tending to farm animals and even gold panning.

The Art of Dylan Pierce
August 31 – September 28
LOCATION: Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

Beautiful watercolors capturing the soul of his subjects and the heart and beauty of animals Dylan Pierce has been painting, presenting and touring since he was 12.

Sawyer Brown
August 31
LOCATION: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Photo Courtesy of the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

You’ll recognize them if you hear them: “Some Girls Do”, The Dirt Road”, “Thank God for You” and “The Boys and Me”. This is a band that burst on the scene in 1981 with a lot of hits and a distinctive sound. Opening for Sawyer Brown is Exile, a band that’s been touring for 55 years!Y

NEW HOMES ADDED TO OUR PROGRAM

With the amenities of an exclusive riverside resort, a charming private guesthouse, and sleeping accommodations for dozen friends or family members in a gorgeous wooded setting, Row Harder is not your average Blue Ridge mountain cabin rental. Situated on 1.8 green acres with 200 feet of frontage on the Toccoa River, this magnificent property is a nature lover’s dream. You can fish, swim, or kayak on the river or settle into a swing, rocker or hammock and instantly feel your daily stresses disappear. It’s a tranquil oasis, just five minutes from Lake Blue Ridge, shopping and the bars and restaurants of Blue Ridge.

Toccoa Lookout Cottage

Toccoa Lookout Cottage is not your average Blue Ridge GA cabin rental. With 3,000 square feet of gorgeously decorated living space and four bedrooms to accommodate 11 people, all the comforts of home and amenities of a private resort, and the Toccoa River running through the property, this is a very special place.

Rising above the canopy with the clouds above and majestic mountains in the distance, Princeton Heights is like a treehouse on a grand scale, with all the amenities of an exclusive resort. This beautiful custom red cedar log home is located in Blue Ridge, seven miles from downtown in the heart of the Aska Adventure area. Whatever sports or activities you favor, whether it’s swimming, fly fishing, kayaking, mountain biking or hiking the nearby Benton MacKaye and Aska trails, you can find it here, just minutes away.

Lakeview at Boulder Rock

Some say that Lakeview at Boulder Rock has the best view in the Blue Ridge area, and it’s easy to see why. Perched high on a hillside above a glistening Lake Blue Ridge with long-range mountain vistas stretching 50 miles into Tennessee and North Carolina, its magnificent show-stopping panorama will take your breath away.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

BLUE RIDGE UNPLUGGED

In today’s world, we spend more time staring at screens than with each other. It’s important to take a break every now and then and reconnect with the ones you love most, especially the youngest members of your family. One of the benefits of getting away for vacation on an Escape To Blue Ridgeyou can take the time to enjoy each other’s company, tell stories, and laugh a lot. 

Whether you are playing board games, going on a hiking adventure, or roasting marshmallows by the fire pit, when you make an effort to unplug and spend quality time together, you will make memories to last a lifetime!

Memorial Day in the Mountains



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!  

Spring Arts in the Park
Photo Courtesy of The Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Center

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.

Downtown Blairsville

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 had!

Photo Courtesy of Visit Downtown Blairsville

McCaysville/Copperhill

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Railway

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.

Where Do I Find Souvenirs?



This is often the toughest chore on any vacation.  There will be someone who was left at home that wishes they had been able to escape to the mountains with you. Bringing them home a little something special might just take the sting out of having been left behind. Here are a few downtown shops that make this task a pleasure, though they can’t be held responsible if you should purchase trinkets for yourself, as well!

Shopping for the Outdoor Enthusiast?

If a river runs through the heart of your special someone, then they might be (or wish they were) a fly fisherman. Fly Shop Co. of Blue Ridge has a sizeable collection of locally tied flies, as well as all the enviable apparel and gear. This shop knows how to bait you, now it is up to you to decide what you want to net. Visit their retail shop at 11 Mountain St. #4.

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Knife Company

The art of bladesmithing was developed thousands of centuries ago. The Egyptians used wrought iron in the production of swords and knife blades as early as 3000 BC. Blue Ridge Knife Company has one of the largest and finest selections of artisan and utility knives that can be found in the southeastern United States. Whether you are shopping for a hunter or fisherman, a steak lover, a bread baker or a savvy collector, you must not miss a visit to this shop located at 497 East Main St.

What to Buy the Artist or Art Connoisseur….

There are art galleries that display breathtaking works that go far beyond your souvenir budget, but Multitudes Gallery is not one of them. This eclectic shop, at 723 E. Main St., retails the works of many local and regional award-winning and collectible artists, yet everything you begin to covet is actually affordable. A hand-blown wine glass, a mosaic serving plate, a fabric covered lamp, a giant metal sculptured red ant or an antique jeweled photo frame are part of an incredible collection of works that will have you asking what their shipping policy might be, for you may not have enough trunk space to take all these works of art back home with you.

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

So many of the artists featured in the local galleries are members and contributors to the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association, located at 420 W. Main St. The Arts Center has a wonderful collection of original works for sale, as well as prints, cards, and an art book library. If you are shopping for an aspiring artist, the center also has a wonderful selection of fine art supplies, the ideal gift to encourage someone to pursue their talents.

Shopping for the Porch Sitters can be a challenge.

Not everyone in your life wants to paint like Monet or fish for Moby Dick. Some of them just like to sit on the porch and observe Mother Nature at her finest, or read about the wonders of the world and the people who have evolved around it.

Blue Ridge Booksellers is what book stores should always be about. Allow yourself plenty of time to peruse this remarkable inventory of collectible, rare and antiquarian books for sale. In addition, there are great books that kids will love. The Booksellers, at 691 E. Main St., also has a unique inventory of militaria and maps.

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Bird Seep Company

One doesn’t have to be a life long member of the Audubon Society to enjoy birdwatching. When doing it from the porch, it does help to entice these feathered friends with food, lodging and a place to bathe. Blue Ridge Bird Seed Company is second to no other mercantile in this region when it comes to such an inventory.  You can visit the Bird Seed Company at 611 E Main St. They are open 7 days a week.

And for the “just bring me a t-shirt” person on your list…

Well, not just any t-shirt will do, right?  If you want it to say, Blue Ridge, you want to make a trip to The Blue Ridge Cotton Co. There you will be surrounded by high-quality cotton items including sweatshirts, hats, home accessories, and unique gifts. They also donate 1% of every purchase, every day, to a local charity. They are conveniently located at 550 East Main Street.

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Cotton Company

One of the first questions everyone will ask you when you return home from your cabin stay is, “did you see a bear?” We hope you have experienced a sighting or two, but to ensure that you don’t disappoint anyone, visit The Bear Store, (601 E. Main St. Suite 1) where everything is about the bears. Cute, friendly adorable and wearable ones, of course.

When you get home with your souvenir stash, we are sure you’ll be greeted with hugs of appreciation. They may also suggest you plan to bring them with you on your next visit. Here is a link to our larger cabins!   

Learning and Leisure



Some of us just don’t “vacation” well. Swinging in a hammock, listening to the birdies go “tweet, tweet, tweet” is a might too boring. Nor does the quest to hike to the top of a waterfall hold any allure. We need a more constructive reason to leave home and head to the mountains. For those who need an educational prospect before booking a cabin, here are some awesome Blue Ridge conferences, workshops, and day trips available this spring. 

From Shabby To Chic

Outlaws Workshop – Stay with us while you venture into town for this 3-day hands-on workshop being offered by an incredibly talented group of home décor specialists. This workshop focuses on refurbishing that old piece of furniture and painting it with the latest techniques. This would be a great Mother-Daughter Weekend retreat – an early celebration of Mother’s Day. May 3-5, 2019

The Center

The 22nd Annual Blue Ridge Writer’s Conference – For more than two decades this writer’s conference has brought together would be authors with leaders in the publishing industry, offering instruction on both sides of the trade. This is a jam-packed conference in an amazingly comfortable atmosphere, aiding in the fostering of new friendships and maximizing business networking. April 5 and 6, 2019.

Leather Working Workshop – The Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Center is the regions premier facility for arts education. Have you wanted a taste of leatherworking without investing lots of time and money? During this one day class students will make something beautiful and learn a new skill.  Each student will take home their creative leather bag including a strap and tassel. April 16, 2019

Rock On!

Chimps Rock – This is the perfect event for kids and kids at heart. Project Chimps provides lifelong care to former research chimpanzees at its 236-acre forested sanctuary in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is an opportunity to visit the sanctuary, receive a guided walking tour, see chimps behind glass and even participate in a Chimp Rock painting craft project. April 26 and April 27, 2019

Rock the Dome – The O. Wayne Rollins Planetarium at Young Harris College features more than 30 Friday-evening public shows. Guests are encouraged to arrive early for the best seats. No late seating is permitted. These public planetarium shows include a live-narrated “seasonal stargazing” segment in addition to the featured full-dome program. If you love classic rock, don’t miss the performances in late April/early May which will have that Dome rocking to Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Peter Frampton, to name a few. April 26, 2019, May 3, 2019

An Apple A Day

Mercier’s Blossom Tours – Visitors from all over the world flock to Mercier Orchards every year to purchase goods produced from the fruits of the orchards. Few know that in the spring, they can take advantage of guided tours during the blossom season, learning about the cultivation of the many varieties of fruit the Orchard harvests each year. Bring your camera on these tours, because the visual spectacle of the blossoms is almost as captivating as the marvelous fragrant bouquets. Because Mother Nature doesn’t care to keep a tight schedule, you can call the Orchard at 800-361-7731 to find out when the blossom tours will be offered this Spring.