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.

Destination: Long Creek Falls



If you’re looking for a scenic trail with beautiful falls at the end, and to check off a couple high profile hiking trails while you’re at it, Long Creek Falls in the Chattahoochee National Forest in Blue Ridge, Georgia should make it to the top of your list.

An easy to moderate difficulty rating, Long Creek Falls is a two-mile round trip “out-and-back trail” that sits directly on the Appalachian Trail (AT), with access to both the Benton McKaye Trail and the Duncan Ridge Trail. Uniquely, the Appalachian Trail and Benton McKaye Trail run together as one route during this particular section of the footpath.

With full falls, even in the middle of summer, Long Creek Falls is one of the first attractions along the Appalachian Trail and one of the prettiest you’ll find not only in Fannin County, but also throughout all of the North Georgia Mountains! Exposed rock frames the cascading water, allowing for optimum sitting spots along the bank of the falls and the creek that it feeds. Before tumbling over one large rock face, Long Creek runs over smaller rocks, making the final drop into a shallow pool at the base of the falls even that much more impressive. Since the falls are only a short walk off of the AT, it’s a hot spot for thru-hikers who want a quiet place to rest their feet, take a nap alongside the river, or simply sit and take in the beauty of the falls.

Family & Pet Friendly

Over the years, Long Creek Falls has also become a destination for day hikers, particularly families and those with dogs who want a decent trail to visit on the weekends. In fact, it’s grown so much in popularity that the parking lot at Three Forks (the area you’ll drive to the start of the trail) is always packed, sprawling out down the dirt service road, especially on the weekends. So, if you’re wanting a less crowded view of the falls, going on the weekdays would give you more privacy to enjoy the trail and the falls once you get there.

For those with kids or grandkids, the falls are a huge hit since the shallow pool serves as the best spot to take a refreshing dip in the cool water, especially on those particularly sticky, southern summer days!

Take It Up a Notch

If you’re feeling especially ambitious after hiking Long Creek Falls, you can extend your hike another 8.6 miles and head toward Springer Mountain, the southern terminus for the Appalachian Trail. Though more difficult than Long Creek, the “out-and-back” from the trailhead at Long Creek to the peak of Springer Mountain offers one of the most diverse terrains on all of the Georgia section of the AT. Just follow the 2 x 6-inch white blaze north!

Are We There Yet?

You can hear that soft rustle of water from the start of the trail all the way through.

As far as getting to the trailhead goes, it isn’t a hard one to find. In fact, you can even plug the location into your GPS and it’ll take you right to the parking lot. From Blue Ridge, you’ll take Old Highway 76 and hop on Aska Road until it dead-ends into Newport Road. Take Newport Road until it ends and turn left onto Doublehead Gap Road. Doublehead Gap will turn into a dirt road, which you’ll follow until the three-way split. On the split, follow Forest Service Road 58 until you reach Three Forks, which is just over five miles.

Once you’ve made it, park your car, follow the trail across the road from the footbridge, and take in all the wonder and beauty of Long Creek Falls!

Be sure to share your pictures of your journeys with us on Facebook or Instagram. We’d love to see where your Escape to Blue Ridge takes you!

Blue Ridge Valentine



While we should always remember to love each other 365 days a year, it’s fun to make plans and get excited about going above and beyond for your special someone to celebrate Valentine’s Day. When you escape to Blue Ridge for a weekend or week-long getaway, there is always something to do, see or just take time to reinvigorate your passion for each other. Whether you want to stay cozied up by the fire or go out and live it up, these Valentine Day ideas will make you the cupid of the year!

Surprise! We’re Escaping

Leave a note for your main squeeze letting them know you are whisking them away on a romantic getaway. Depending upon your season in life, will determine how much notice your partner needs in case work arrangements are needed or schedules need to be rearranged, but don’t give too much info away to them, surprises are fun! Place it next to their coffee in the morning, under the pillow before bed, or if you get home before they do, on the table next to a single rose.

Home Away From Home

We make it easy for you to book a fabulous cabin and offer concierge services to help make your trip even more special, but most importantly that make you look like a Rockstar! Choose to have fresh flowers, chocolate dipped strawberries, a box of chocolates and a bottle of champagne waiting for you at the cabin. We can even stock the refrigerator so you can cook up a delicious breakfast in the morning and grill some fresh fish and steaks in the evening. When you arrive, they will be squealing with joy, not only at the beauty of the cabin you rented, but for the love and thought that you put into making this trip so special.

Celebrating Love

Spend the day time hiking along the Benton MacKaye Tail and go frolic on the swinging bridge. Test the trust in your love by standing in the middle and jumping up and down to see who panics first. Kidding, of course!  Maybe keep things a little more low key and detour down to Long Creek Falls or nearby Fall Branch Falls. Having a piece of jewelry in your pocket or a meaningful gift to give her while hearing the falls rush behind you will guarantee yourself a wonderful rest of the weekend! Come back and freshen up to hit the adorable shops in downtown Blue Ridge while waiting for your dinner reservation at one of the town’s fine dining establishments like The Black Sheep or Harvest on Main.

Hibernation

From a glorious sunrise in the morning to spectacular sunsets in the evenings, there is nothing wrong with staying put inside your cabin and enjoying all the glorious views and amenities they have to offer. Crackling fireplaces are abundant to sit by and share your hopes, goals, and dreams. Game rooms a great way to challenge each other and hear the sweet sound of your heart’s laughter. Take a relaxing dip in the hot tub while you make wishes on the first stars you see sparkle over the mountainside. Best of all at the end of the day you can retire to the comfortable Master Suite for a restful night of slumber. 😉

The ABC’s of Horseback Riding



There is nothing more enjoyable than unplugging form the digital world, saddling up on horseback, and heading out into the countryside. In Blue Ridge, forty percent of the county’s land is located within the Chattahoochee National Forest and has countless miles of trails to explore and enjoy. Fresh mountain air, beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife, and getting in touch with nature is what it’s all about. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced equestrian, one of the area’s local outfitters would love to show you our country side and provide you with a rewarding, memorable, and exhilarating trip.

Appalachian Trail Rides

A love of family and horses led to the creation of S&T Stables and then in 2017 they designed and created Appalachian Trail Rides at S&T Stables. Proudly providing trail rides on 250 acres of privately-owned mountainous farm land, visitors can ride through pastures on scenic trails and gallop around private lakes and cross creeks while seeing wildlife frolic in their natural habitat. The youngest family members can enjoy pony rides and anyone 6 years and older can enjoy trail rides. Luke and Blair of Appalachian Trail rides have created a Proposal Ride for blossoming love or Dinner Rides complete with a delicious meal and songs around the campfire!

Cabin Suggestion

Almost Heaven is a spectacular cabin set high up on a mountain crest. This three-bedroom three bath cabin is snug in the treetops of an enchanting forest that makes for natural framework around layered panoramic mountain views. Whether you wish to lock yourself away for a romantic or sentimental gathering or create a wonderful family vacation filled with adventure — Almost Heaven will have you on Cloud Nine.

Blanche Manor

Year-round horseback riding adventures are available at Blanche Manor in Blue Ridge for all age levels and skill levels. Trail rides will take you through unspoiled scenery and take in views from three states – Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. You can choose from a leisurely stroll through wooded trails or sign up for the City Slicker Special where you can learn how to barrel race or do an obstacle course on horseback! Complete with Sunset rides, pony rides, and full day experiences you will enjoy every minute of your time with Kimberly and her team of experienced guides.

Cabin Suggestion

Taking its name from the hundreds of acres of picturesque horse farms in the surrounding area, Bucking Horse is a distinctive Georgia Mountain cabin rental that offers the peaceful getaway from your everyday life that you are craving. Perfectly situated in the Cashes Valley Area, this four-bedroom, 4-bath cabin invites you to enjoy the sounds and sights of nature from the spacious, multi-level decks and balconies. Take in the majestic mountain views as you rock your cares away on the back deck or sink into the steamy and rejuvenating waters of the hot tub. Let the scenic woods and calming mountain views from Bucking Horse envelop you as you create a truly memorable mountain experience that will last a lifetime- and having you longing to return!

Cohutta Stables

Spend a half day or a full day riding trails through the Cohutta Wildlife Management area. This family owned and operated horse farm is widely known for training, boarding, sales, riding lessons, and outfitted trail riding in the Chattahoochee National Forest. They believe in the importance of finding a horse to suit your needs and skill level. Heather and her team will take guests on a thirteen-mile trip through stunning landscape. The ride takes a break at Jacks River Fields, a primitive campground, for a picnic lunch and a leg stretch, before picking up the trail and returning back to the stables.

Cabin suggestion

If you love the peace from quiet mountain vistas and beautiful sunsets, then let Cashes Serenity wash over you. Located in the desirable Cashes Valley area of Blue Ridge, this three-bedroom, three bath home offers spectacular views of the Cohutta wilderness, a 37,000-acre protected wildlife sanctuary with more than 95 miles of hiking trails. Enjoy the beauty of the meandering streams and grazing horses in Cashes Valley as you wind your way up the mountain to breathtaking views. Horseback riding trails are within walking distance down the mountain and white water rafting on the Ocoee River is nearby. When you visit Cashes Serenity cabin, we hope you will echo the words of John Muir: “Keep close to Nature’s heart and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”

Blue Ridge Bucket List



Top 10 Things To Do In Blue Ridge For 2019

As we ring in the New Year, 365 opportunities await you to get out and explore the beautiful North Georgia Mountains. Here are a few of our favorite ideas to enjoy your 2019 Escape to Blue Ridge!

1. Eat Collard Greens & Black-Eyed Peas

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

2. Experience the Lake Life

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.

3. Take in a Festival or 5

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!

4. Fly fish in the Trout Capital of Georgia

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.

5. Wine, Beer and Hard Cider, Oh My!

You can’t visit the mountains without trying the refreshing flavors of Hard Cider at Mercier Orchards. While you are there, pick up a peck of apples and some of their fruit infused wines as well. If you are more of a purist, both Bear Claw Vineyards and Serenberry Vineyards have classic Chardonnays, Sauvignons, and more. If Craft beer is more your style, don’t fret, there are many options to choose from like Grumpy Old Men Brewing and Fannin Brewing Company.

6. Jump on the Swinging Bridge

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!

7. Get wet at Fall Branch Falls

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.

8. Come on Ride That Train

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

9. Find a Fairy Cross

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.

10. Book an Escape to Blue Ridge

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!

Das Kaffee Haus



If you’ve never stepped foot in the cutest coffee shop in North Georgia, you are truly missing out. Das Kaffee Haus is the definition of gourmet chic. Not only will you find aromatic coffees and knowledgeable baristas, but the quaintness of this Blue Ridge coffee shop will make it a fast favorite every time you are in town.

During the week, you can mingle with the locals. Das Kaffee Haus is a popular space for friends and business acquaintances to meet up and begin the day with a high-octane espresso or their favorite cup of joe. During the day you can plug into their Wi-Fi and keep working while you get your afternoon pick-me-up. On the weekends, the tourists discover the magic of this shop and enjoy the friendly service and inviting atmosphere.

What’s Inside

For the last two and a half years, Das Kaffee Haus has been building their reputation with providing their customers with the most flavorful and delicious coffee selections. Quality and consistency along with the friendliest people is what makes this coffee shop so special. Utilizing only the highest quality of beans roasted from Batdorf & Bronson out of Marietta, Georgia, you will think that you have been transported to a little café in Italy when you taste your first sip.

What sets apart this java from any other coffee shop, besides the quality of beans and the friendliness of the staff, is both the water and the Astoria espresso machine. Heads and shoulders above other espresso machines, the Astoria is Italian made and when used correctly can produce hundreds of porta filter espresso shots, a specific barista tool of the trade. In fact, a traditional espresso shot is actually a double shot. This is the base of all their drinks and they can custom make any requests. The coolest part is they are true to the brew and don’t use super sugary and fake sweeteners. Most of their sauces and syrups are completely natural and organic. Staying true to their organic profile and the true flavor of the bean is why people rave about this place and it keeps people coming back time and again.

The Science

Manager, Anthony Vitters, and his head barista, Alex Cruz have undergone extensive training to ensure the perfect nectar of the gods. After all, the coffee industry is not strictly about latte art. There is a science that goes into the perfect espresso shot. The roast, the grind-off, the timing, and the water all make a difference. Speaking of water, Das Kaffee Haus invested in a special filtration system to take the already refreshing Blue Ridge mountain water and remove all the chlorine and chemicals from it while leaving all the healthy minerals in place.

Besides perfect espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes, Das Kaffee Haus is supplied by its own bakery / full kitchen offsite, (which is the Fudge Shop owned by the company as well) . There they bake up tantalizing treats like freshly baked muffins, cookies, and cakes. Recently added to their repertoire, you can now find savory treats like spinach and egg puff pastries. You never know what type of sweet or savory treat they will create, so be sure to stop by often and see what’s new! Need something Vegetarian or Gluten Free? It can be done per request.

Meet the owner

Das Kaffee Haus is the brain child of owner Michael Fuerst and wife Cherie Fuerst. Mr. Fuerst is originally from Bavaria, Germany and didn’t come to America until he was 31 years old. While in California, he fell in love with a Georgia girl, Cherie. Together they vacationed back east, and Michael realized that this is where he belonged. The mountain landscape reminded him so much of the geography back home, that he knew this is where he wanted to take his next step in life.

With a background in business and marketing, Michael has vast experience in the food and beverage world. Getting his start in the industry back in Germany, he transferred his knowledge and opened up a restaurant here in the states. When the opportunity came up in Blue Ridge, Michael didn’t think twice and jumped on the chance to blend his business knowledge, restaurant experience, and passion for coffee.

No stranger to working hard, this ambitious man also owns the previously mentioned fudge shop (Fudge & Company) in Ellijay and is working on another business opportunity right here in Blue Ridge. About ten months ago, Michael and his wife opened a local art and home décor store called Down to Urth Provisions which is adjacent and just below the coffee shop. Stay tuned to see what’s next for this dynamic entrepreneur couple!

Here We Grow Again

The story is not complete with this amazing little coffee house. There are certainly more great things to come in the future. It was important to Michael and his team to not grow too fast and compromise the quality of their product. Now that they are established and have a strong base, they are ready to add events to their repertoire. You can look forward to acoustic musical performances, poetry readings, and other live music on their outdoor deck. Now complete with electricity, lights, fans and heaters, you can sit out on the deck soon and watch the passersby below warming up from the inside out with a nice café au lait.

Escape To Blue Ridge

We’ve just shared with you yet another reason to leave the concrete jungle and escape to the adorable town of Blue Ridge. Book one of our cozy cabins or grand lodges and enjoy the slower pace of life in the mountains. When you venture into downtown, be sure to stop and have a cuppa at Das Kaffee Haus. From now until December 31st, if you say “Hansel & Gretel” you will get a free cookie to go with your coffee selection! Because at Das Kaffee, when you have the right roast, the right equipment, and the right barista, you know you are at just the right spot!