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 47th Annual Spring Arts in the Park event on Saturday and Sunday, May 27th & 28th. 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!
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!
If you’ve never experienced a trip on the Blue Ridge Scenic 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 an ice cream or sweet treat at Happy Bear Ice Cream & Treats. Maybe Cuban is more your style and you prefer a Cuban coffee and empanada at the Rum Cake Lady for an afternoon treat. Pick up the latest record at Deaf Man Vinyl or a new treat for your bestfriend at Mainstreet Mutt. There is so much to explore in the Copper Basin’s twin cities!
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.
If you are lucky enough to be spending the Thanksgiving holiday in the mountains, we have an extra special treat for you this year! Not only do you get to enjoy the tranquil beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the comfort of your luxury cabin rental, but you also get to adventure out into the most quintessential little town. From our abundance of natural resources like hiking trails, waterfalls, and soaring mountains, we are also proud to share with you the heartbeat of our community – Downtown Blue Ridge.
Of course, anytime is a fantastic time to Escape to Blue Ridge, but when you plan a visit during the holiday season, you will feel like you are stepping into a Hallmark Movie. The town is beautifully decorated and festive from every streetlight to each of the shopkeeper’s windows. The crispness of the mountain air and the excitement for the possibility of snow heightens your exhilaration and desire to explore every corner.
We could list one thousand plus reasons why you should visit Downtown Blue Ridge and of course shopping would be included on that very long list just as dining in our restaurants, meeting our residents, and experiencing the specialness of our beloved mountain community. This year you have ten more reasons to shop here because we have arranged for special Blue Friday savings to all of our Escape to Blue Ridge fans!
What? You don’t know what Blue Friday is? Well, allow me to explain. Blue Friday is Blue Ridge’s version of Black Friday, but it goes far beyond shopping and it is really the local kick-off to the entire holiday season! Let’s look at all the fun things there are to do and before we wrap this up, we’ll share your 10 special savings! Promise.
The Blue Ridge Turkey Trot is a family event for all ages
and abilities from walkers to competitive runners. Kick off the Thanksgiving
Day at 8am with a 5K race/walk. Registration starts at 7am and you are
encouraged to bring a canned food item for the Good Samaritans food pantry.
You’ll be able to enjoy all the holiday food guilt free after completing this
run/walk and be back to the cabin in time to put on the turkey. Registration is
$30 in advance or $40 on race day. Money raised will be donated to Blue Ridge charities.
Help light up the twin cities of McCaysville, Georgia and
Copperhill, Tennessee. Enjoy live holiday music, hot cocoa, and cookies.
Donation are welcome to support Christmas for Kids. The music begins at 4pm and
the tree lighting is a 7pm.
Light up Blue Ridge is a festive event for children and
adults alike. A full day of fun begins when Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive on The
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway where they will then be available in the town gazebo
for pictures. There will be performances all day. Santa and Mrs. Claus will
then be in the holiday parade at 5:30pm. Food vendors will surround the park,
winners of the window decorating contest will be announced, and then the
lighting of the 27 foot “Great Tree” takes place at 7:00pm.
Even More Holiday Events!
We covered all the BIG events, but there is so much more fun
to be had in this great little town. Our November Events
Newsletter features the play It’s A Wonderful Life at the Blue Ridge
Community Theater, live music, and a community Thanksgiving event! Our December Events
Newsletter features Santa Trains, a Tour of Homes, and Ice Skating!
Blue Friday Specials
Now for your special treat! Some of our favorite shops and
downtown Blue Ridge have decided to offer YOU special savings beginning on Blue
Friday and lasting all weekend long! (November 29-December 1) All you have to
do is let the proprietor know that you are a fan of Escape to Blue Ridge!
Appalachian Trail Rides offers guided horseback trail riding from beginner to advanced through the Blue Ridge Mountains on 250 acres located minutes from downtown Blue Ridge GA. On your ride take in beautiful views, wildlife, and creek crossings on customized rides with experienced guides. From family outings to corporate events and private rides to proposal rides, Appalachian Trail Rides will make your time in the Appalachian Mountains as memorable as possible.
Canoe is a lifestyle brand of bags and jewelry made right
here in Blue Ridge, Georgia. Their unique collection of bags and jewelry
effortlessly marry rustic charm with contemporary sophistication. Utilizing
natural materials with enduring appeal, every piece you purchase from Canoe
will be your new favorite for years to come!
Blue Ridge Cotton Company is a thoughtful store with a big
heart. Here you will find quality apparel at affordable prices for the entire
family. They are also your source for inspirational gifts, books and journals,
home accessories, unique gifts, and so much more.
The Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association (the Art Center) has been fostering the creative process in these mountains in excess of 32 years. The Art Center endeavors to promote art, artists & art experiences across the Southern Appalachian Region.
15% off ALL Art Supply Station supplies and items
Receive $5 off Holiday Gift Memberships!
All active BRMAA Members will receive 10% off all purchases
This full-service outfitter represents the premier outdoor
brands including The North Face, Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear, YETI, Chaco and
much more. They are also authorized Trek and Cannondale bike dealers and offer
service of all makes.
If you are looking for a fun experience you need to tour
Blue Ridge by bike! Pedego Electric Bikes sells & rents the most fun
electric bikes in the world. They even offer guided tours that include
waterfall and swinging bridge adventures!
Mystic Mountain Pizza is a family owned and operated pizza restaurant with fantastic food and an inviting atmosphere! They have a passion for crafting fresh salads, all-beef gourmet hot dogs, wings, desserts, and specialty pizzas in their oak-fired brick ovens.
When you escape to the mountains, you look forward to being able to explore the great outdoors, to take scenic rides through the Blue Ridge foothills and highlands, seek out a waterfall and enjoy an evening around the fire pit, sipping wine while the kids gorge on toasted marshmallows. Sometimes Mother Nature plays havoc with your plans, aiming her watering hose right at your coveted vacation spot. When this occurs, don’t let it keep you from enjoying what Blue Ridge has to offer. Lots of our best activities are under roof.
OK, we do not have internationally renowned art museums like NYC and Paris, but we do have one of the largest selections of local and regional fine artists works located at the Blue Ridge Art Association Center in downtown Blue Ridge. There are two stories of art to peruse, in a beautiful setting, the restored old Fannin County Courthouse. On exhibit this fall will be two shows not to be missed. From Oct. 5th through November 9th, the 12th Annual SAAG National Juried Art Show will be on exhibit, with artists entries from 25 states. And Oct 5th through January 4th, the Photography of Jerry Mucklow, Artist In Residence will be showcased. Half of the works of Mr. Mucklow’s show will be the many frames he’s captured of the Blue Ridge area, and the other half will feature the Coastal South.
If art isn’t your thing, but legendary mountain men are more your interest, then take a quick ride just east of the city to visit EXPEDITION: BIGFOOT! The Sasquatch Museum. This museum may have you giggling on the way in the door, but you will leave with a new appreciation for your next walk in the woods. You’ll discover why Bigfooters from around the globe make the pilgrimage to Blue Ridge just to explore this museum and its many relics.
Let the “Spirits” Move You
It’s always fun to meet folks around a local tavern and Grumpy Old Men Brewery is a great place to make some new friends and enjoy some amazing craft beer. TV’s are on and there are game tables to play, but nothing can compare to imbibing in a few flights of microbrew, shooting the bull with locals and a great bartending staff at Trip Advisor’s #5 Top Attraction in Blue Ridge. Kids are welcome, too. They have a great root beer on tap for those too young or the designated driver of the group. They open at noon Tuesday thru Sunday and are located at 1315 E. Main St. in Downtown Blue Ridge.
If you prefer grape to a hop, then a taste testing at Serenberry Vineyards is perfect on a day of drizzle. Located in sister city Morganton GA, the tasting room is situated in a restored 1920’s barn. You’ll enjoy tasting the fine wines grown on this 3rd generation family farm and hear some interesting stories of this region. A kickback afternoon we highly recommend.
Let’s Play Games
Remember when you were kids and the best Sunday afternoon was when you went bowling with your family? If you want to go back to those days, before the time where digital light shows flashed blinding lights and wild music drowned out the family laughter over a barrage of gutter balls thrown by Dad, then you want to visit Fannin Lanes. This classic bowling center has twelve wooden lanes,all kept in excellent condition. There are automatic bumper rails for the kids. They are a non-smoking, family entertainment facility, reasonably priced and just the ideal way to wait out the rain. And they are open seven days a week and holidays.
If tossing a 12 lb polyester ball down a lane doesn’t excite the family, then maybe they want to take on Escape Room: Blue Ridge. An escape room is an adventure game in which players are “locked” in a room and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles and escape within a set time limit (60 minutes). The games are physical versions of “escape the room” video games. It’s fun for the whole family, or if you and a friend are just a duo, they will find you new friends to take on the challenge. It’s a unique, fun way to kill an hour that you’ll be talking about for many more hours, many more days, and many more years to come.
Now, we’ve pretty much helped you fill in several rainy days, though we hope the sun shines bright on you during your stay with us. All of these activities are enjoyable on sunny days, too. Welcome to Blue Ridge, where we always know how to have 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!
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
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.
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
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!
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
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
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.
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 band, plus a bottle of Chateau Meichtry wine, a souvenir glass, and dinner from the Angelfire Food Truck, parked on site!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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
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!
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 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.
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 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 Ridge you can take the time to enjoy each other’s company, tell stories, and laugh a lot.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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
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.