The Blue Ridge Experience: Fall Edition



Fall is by far one of our favorite times in Blue Ridge. The weather is crisp and comfortable, the leaves are bright and colorful, it’s sweater weather and pumpkin spice time! We encourage you to take some time to soak in the fall beauty of Blue Ridge. Enjoy taking a scenic drive through the mountains, go apple picking, explore a waterfall, or simply relax in your luxurious mountain cabin sitting by the fire and enjoying the views! Find the perfect cabin for all your fall adventures and Escape to Blue Ridge this season! 

A Bushel or A Peck of Apples

Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

Nothing says fall like a trip to the apple orchard! Take a trip to Mercier Orchards where you can pick out your own apples and sweet goodies from the market & bakery. Their fried apple pies and apple cider donuts are a MUST! And be sure to sample their selection of wines and ciders while you’re there as well.

Want to pick your own apples straight from the tree? Pay a visit to Deep Roots Orchard where you can pick your own delicious apples. Then take the kiddos on a wagon ride through the orchard and even a barn tour! Our wonderful, local orchards always have something going on in the fall! 

Hit The Road

Photo Courtesy of @hiketheridge

When the leaves reach their peak color in late October it’s the absolute perfect time to go on a scenic drive around the Blue Ridge mountains. 

  • Grab the whole gang and drive around the surrounding mountains and forests to take in the views. Some of our favorite routes include The Russel-Brasstown Scenic Drive and Highway 60 through Suches. Check out our fall driving guide for more routes & pitstops: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/5-scenic-fall-drives/
  • Want to lay back and relax while someone else drives? Take a ride on The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway! You’ll pass by the rushing waters of The Toccoa River and the North Georgia Countryside. You can admire all the fall foliage from the comfort of the train as the trees zoom by!
  • Or you can feel one with nature and view the beautiful leaves on horseback. The weather is perfect for a trail ride past the mountains and forests of North Georgia. We rounded up a list of our favorite equestrian barns: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/horseback-riding-in-blue-ridge/

Take a Hike

Fall is also a great time to put on your boots and hit the trails! The weather is perfect, not too hot and not too cold; just the right temperature and very few bugs! You’ll love exploring the forests of Blue Ridge as you watch the wind rustle the colorful leaves in the trees surrounding you. Hike to a waterfall like Long Creek Falls or Helton Creek Falls, or up a mountain like Springer Mountain or Brasstown Bald, or even cross the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi. The journey is yours to decide!  Our hiking guide: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/seven-blue-ridge-hikes/

Go to a Coffee Shop

Photo Courtesy of Das Kaffee

Stay warm and cozy this fall and visit a coffee shop! Pay a visit to Das Kaffee Haus in Downtown Blue Ridge for a delicious cup of your favorite coffee or a European classic. And don’t forget to pick up a dessert as well; choose from cakes, truffles, and more!

Visiting the twin cities of McCaysville, GA and Copperhill, TN? Then check out Yellow Bird Coffee Shop! Sip espresso by the Ocoee River or if you’re in a hurry go through the drive-thru and take your coffee to-go! We know fall and coffee shops go hand in hand; so don’t forget to get yourself one of those pumpkin spice lattes! 😉

Have a Bonfire

Bonfire at Higher Ground cabin

There’s nothing quite like a bonfire on a cool fall evening. Roast s’mores by the fire, swap ghost stories, and gaze up at the stars in the clear night sky. You’ll feel relaxed and cozy in no time curled up by the fire with your favorites! 

Visit Local Breweries & Wineries

Photo Courtesy of Grumpy Old Men Brewing

Relaxing out on the patio, admiring the mountain views with a glass of wine or a cold beer in your hand; there’s nothing quite like it! There are several local breweries and wineries all ready to serve you this fall. You will also often find live music on most weekends to enjoy while you savor your flight! Some of our favorite spots include; Bear Claw Vineyards, Grumpy Old Men Brewing, Whiskey & Water – Seafood and Bourbon Bar, and Fannin Brewing Co

Experience a Fall Festival

Fall Festival courtesy of the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Fall in the mountains is filled with many great festivals and events in and around the Blue Ridge area! 

  • Take a quick drive to Cherry Log, GA for their fall festival, the first 2 weekends of October! There will be arts and crafts, homemade goodies and treats, bluegrass, country, and gospel music and of course lots of fall fun in Downtown Cherry Log
  • In Hiawassee, GA you can join in the fun at their week-long Georgia Mountain Fall Festival! There will craft vendors, delicious food, musical performances, educational demonstrations, and so much more! You won’t want to miss out on the fun, daily October 8th-16th! 
  • You can’t have fall without apples so head over to Ellijay, GA for The Georgia Apple Festival! With over 300+ vendors, an antique car show, a parade, and so much more it’s sure to be a blast! Visit the Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds on weekends October 9th-17th to have an “apple”achian good time! 
  • The 52nd Annual Sorghum Festival is one of the longest-running festivals in North Georgia. The event kicks off with a parade and then there will be crafters, cloggers, bluegrass music and more! Visit Meeks Park in Blairsville, GA Saturdays & Sundays October 9th-17th to take part! 
  • Calling all art lovers! The popular Arts in the Park event is back this fall! Beautiful art, great live musical performances, and delicious food. Plus you’ll get a chance to admire the stunning and colorful fall trees that surround the park! The event takes place October 9th-10th in Downtown Blue Ridge and Veterans Memorial Park. 
  • Celebrate Dahlonega’s 1828 discovery of gold at Gold Rush Days Festival, October 16th-17th in downtown Dahlonega. Take in 300+ food and art vendors all weekend long! This HUGE event always features amazing craftsmen, fantastic musicians, and has been voted as one of the Top 20 Events in the southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society.
  • Pay a visit to Talking Rock, GA for the 2021 Heritage Day Festival. Arts & crafts, antiques, live music, great food, and interesting demonstrations await you October 16th-17th. 
  • And craft brew lovers will flock to Hiawassee, GA for the Appalachian Brew, Stew, and Que Festival at Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds. If the name didn’t give it away, there’ll be 60+ breweries, delicious food, and awesome Appalachian Music all happening on October 23rd! 

Get Spooky

Photo Courtesy of Deep Roots Orchard

We’ve many a haunted spot around just in time for Halloween! 

  • Check out the Haunted Copper Plant Rides on the grounds of the old historic Tennessee Copper Company October 16th-31st for a perfectly scary time! Go beyond the gates of historic copper mining company and go for a 45-minute ride with 6 scare scenes! 
  • Join the master of Horror himself as Edgar Allen Poe guides you through a frightful evening of his most terrifying and popular works. Love & Death by Poe will be on stage October 28 – 31. Don’t miss this frightful night of terror at the Blue Ridge Community Theater!
  • And visit Deep Roots Orchards, October 30th for a night of horror movies! The double-feature will be Blair Witch Project and Halloween. Grab your popcorn! 

Trick or Treat

Photo Courtesy of Lindsay Rhoads

Halloween wouldn’t be complete without a bag full of candy and a great costume! Head to Downtown Blue Ridge or the twin cities of McCaysville and Copperhill on October 30th for an evening of trick or treating! The kids will love dressing up and trick or treating from shop to shop. There will also be the Big Foot Boogie 5k, pumpkin carving, costume contests, food, and entertainment!

Looking for something a little more non-traditional for your tricks and treats this year? Dress up and head to Project Chimps October 30th-31st for “Chimp or Treat”. Not only will kids get a goodie bag full of treats but they’ll also get a close-up look of the chimpanzees in their habitat!

Gather Together

Thanksgiving at Noontootla Cottage

Spend your Thanksgiving in the mountains with the friends and family who mean the most to you! Select a fabulous cabin, cook up a delicious meal in our fully-stocked kitchens, take in the mountain views, and gather around the table for a great meal made with lots of love!

Take full advantage of the beautiful weather and great events happening this fall in Blue Ridge! There’s nothing quite like fall in the mountains! 

June 2021



The summer season has arrived! Here in Blue Ridge and the surrounding areas we have plenty of events happening to help make this summer the best one yet! If you’re escaping with us this June just know you’ll have plenty to keep you busy! 

UPCOMING EVENTS & ACTIVITIES

Picnic in the Apple Orchard
June 1st – June 30th
Location: Deep Roots Orchard

Photo Courtesy of Deep Roots Orchard

Picnic beneath the apple trees all through spring and summer at Deep Roots Orchard! Bring your closest friends and family to relax under the trees. Deep Root’s will provide you with everything you need; the picnic basket, blanket, and food. All you need to bring is your wonderful self! Be sure to check out Deep Roots’ other group experiences like the “Special Occasion Picnic” and “Food, Folic, and Flow”. Prices start at $27 per person; call 706-492-7753 to book your picnic today!

Pickin’ In The Park
June 3rd – June 24th
Location: Horseshoe Bend Park

Photo Courtesy of Fannin County Recreation

Every Thursday night at 6pm, May – September visit Horseshoe Bend Park in McCaysville, GA for live music and picnicking by the Toccoa River. Picnic tables are available but feel free to bring a picnic blanket and lawn chair as well. Admission is free so bring the whole family to enjoy!

Riverwalk Run Club
June 3rd – June 24th
Location: Riverwalk

Photo Courtesy of River Walk

Partake in a fun run every Thursday night at 6pm from now till July 29th. You’ll leave from the Burra Burra, and the 3.1 mile run will take you by the Toccoa river and through town. You’ll get to run through 2 states and cross the famous steel bridge! After the run stay for drinks at the Burra Burra overlooking the Toccoa River. Don’t walk, RUN to this great event! 

Guitars & Grapes
June 4th – June 25th 
Location: Paradise Hills Farm Winery

Photo Courtesy of Paradise Hills

Visit the winery at the beautiful Paradise Hills hidden in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The tasting room offers Paradise Hills wine, a selection of craft beers, hard cider, and wine slushies as well as cheese and charcuterie boards, tapas, and shared platters. You can enjoy your drinks and snacks on the patio as you listen to local artists perform every Friday night from 4pm – 8pm. 

Live Music at Bear Claw Vineyards & Winery
June 4th – June 27th
Location: Bear Claw Vineyards

Photo Courtesy of Bear Claw Vineyards

For award winning wine, live music, and food truck Bear Claw Vineyards is the place for you! Join them every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for live music and food trucks. Kids and dogs are welcome too! The live music schedule for each weekend is shared on their website each Thursday so be sure to check back! 

June 4th: Hunter Flanagan: 3pm – 7pm
June 5th: Travis Bowlin: 1pm – 8pm
June 6th: Gabe Meyers: 1pm – 5pm
June 11th: Lindsay Beth Harper: 3pm – 7pm
June 12th: The Shetlands: 1pm – 8pm 
June 13th: Hunter Flanagan: 1pm – 5pm

Hiawassee Night Market
June 4th 
Location: Town Square on Main Street Hiawassee, GA

Photo Courtesy of Hiawassee Downtown Development Authority

Bring the family to Hiawassee, GA for the night for an open-air night artisan market. The market goes from 5pm – 10pm and will be filled with live music, food trucks, fresh produce, games, and art. This monthly market is great for some outdoor family fun!

Georgia Mountain Arts & Crafts Festival
June 4th – June 6th 
Location: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Photo Courtesy of the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Look around and stock up on beautiful, hand-made arts and crafts from local artisans! You’ll find pottery, candles, soaps, paintings, jewelry, signs, knitting, and so much more! You’ll come home with bags full of hand-made treasures. The event runs all weekend from 10am – 5pm daily, and tickets are $5 a person and children under 12 are free!

Atlanta Rhythm Section and Orleans
June 5th 
Location: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds 

Photo Courtesy of the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Enjoy classic rock groups Atlanta Rhythm Section and Orleans live in concert at Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds! Hear their most famous hits and other favorites in person! The concert goes from 7pm – 10pm and is sure to be a great time. Get tickets online or call the office at 706-896-4191!

Downtown Market Blue Ridge 
June 5th – June 26th 
Location: 400 West Main Street 

Photo Courtesy of the Downtown Market Blue Ridge

Enjoy this wonderful market every Saturday from 8am – 12pm now till November (weather permitting) right in the heart of Downtown Blue Ridge! There will be all kinds of vendors offering food, artisan goods, arts & crafts, furniture, and more! 

Farmer’s Market 
June 5th – June 26th
Location: Deep Roots Orchard

Photos Courtesy of Deep Roots Orchard

Stop on by and enjoy a selection of Appalachian grown or made fresh vegetables and goods! Every Saturday from 8:30am – 1pm now until September 25th

Live Music at Cartecay Vineyards 
June 5th – June 27th 
Location: Cartecay Vineyards 

Photo Courtesy of Cartecay Vineyards

Sip on delicious wine surrounded by the North Georgia Mountains! Enjoy live music Saturdays & Sundays from 1:30pm – 5:30pm. Listen to the music of local artists while enjoying your wine outside either on the Chimney Patio or the Tasting Barn’s covered porch. Live music, good wine, and beautiful mountain scenery; it doesn’t get much better than that! 

June 5th: Rusted Melody 
June 6th: Sarah Forde 
June 12th: Johnny Summers 
June 13th: Second Helping Duo 
June 19th: Gregg Erwin 
June 20th: Gabe Myers 
June 26th: Timothy O’Donovan + Autism & Art Pop Up event – 1pm to 6pm
June 27th: Ryan LittleEagle 

Live Music at Reece Heritage Farm
June 5th – June 26th  
Location: Reece Heritage Farm

Photo Courtesy of Reece Heritage Farms

See live music every Saturday at Reece Heritage Farms from 1pm – 3pm! The artists will perform on the deck next to Wolf Creek. Bring lawn chairs and enjoy great local music!

June 5th: Jim Wood
June 12th: Jayna Jennings 
June 19th: Wyatt Espalin 
June 26th: Gregg Erwin

Music at The Black Sheep
June 6th – June 27th 
Location: The Black Sheep

Photo Courtesy of The Black Sheep

On Sundays from 11am – 3pm enjoy live music and a delicious brunch at The Black Sheep in Downtown Blue Ridge. Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere that is dog friendly and take advantage of the brunch drink specials!

Tails and Tales
June 7th – June 30th
Location: Towns County Public Library & Mountain Regional Library 

Photo Courtesy of Towns County Library

The local libraries “Tails and Tales” Summer Reading Program is going all out with the animal theme! There will be a petting zoo, Tall Tales of Georgia, Project Chimps, and many opportunities for students to engage with summer reading. Each event will also have hand-outs or take-and-makes as well. Students can also play games and attend events to be entered in a weekly prize drawing! Prizes might include, books, waterbottles, puzzles, toys, t-shirts, cups, bookbags, Splash Island passes, movie tickets, and so much more! “Tails and Tales” takes place daily June 7th through July 30th! For more information contact (706) 896-4966 or toll free 1 (800) 984-1543.

Northeast Georgia Arts Tour
June 11th – June 13th 
Location: All around North Georgia!

Photo Courtesy of Northeast Georgia Arts Tour

Check out live demonstrations from artists all weekend from all over North Georgia! Just follow the Art Tour signs in Union Towns, Rabun, White, and Habersham counties in GA + Clay Co., NC. The event runs from 10am – 5pm each day. You’ll see artists creating beautiful paints, pottery, folk art, jewelry, glass, photography, handcrafted furniture, and so much more. Maps are available at local Chambers or you can get them from www.ArtsTour.org

ArtWorks Artisan Center Grand Reopening Celebration
June 11th – June 19th 
Location: Artworks Artisan Center in Hiawassee, GA

Photo Courtesy of Artworks Artisan Center

Hiawassee, GA’s Artworks Artisan Center is finally reopening at its new location at 243 Big Sky Drive. This weeklong celebration will run daily from 10am – 5pm. There will be a Make-and-Take demonstration, refreshments, and various guild members demonstrating their work. And on June 15th at 4:30pm there will be a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony! Come on down to support the grand reopening of this special business! 

Live Music at Tooney’s Music & Bar
June 11th – June 12th
Location: Tooney’s Music & Bar

Photo Courtesy of Tooney’s

Head on over to to Tooney’s Music & Bar in McCaysville, GA right by the Ocoee River for a night of fun! Select Friday and Saturday nights from 6pm – 11pm you can enjoy a glass of wine or a cold beer and listen to some of the best live music that McCaysville has to offer! Want to do some of your own singing? Every Thursday night is open mic night from 6pm – 10pm; so, grab the mic and show off those singing chops! Enjoy a night filled with good drinks and music at Tooney’s Music & Bar!

June 11th: Shannon York with River Dixon 
June 12th: ShuffleJunkies

Live Music at Bin 322 Wine & Tapas Bar
June 11th – June 26th 
Location: Bin 322 Wine & Tapas Bar

Photo Courtesy of Bin 322

Where else can you find regional wines from all over the world, tapas and other delicious international platters, and live music!? At Bin 322 Wine & Tapas Bar! Drop by Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm – 9pm to enjoy live music from local artists and choose from their great wine selection.

June 11thTopper Acoustic 
June 12th: Zack Alexander 
June 18th: Jess Goggins 
June 19th: Heidi Pollyea and Johanna Millin 
June 25th: Jazz Jones Legacy 
June 26th: George St. John 

Live Music at Lake Blue Ridge Marina
June 11th – June 27th 
Location: Boat Dock Bar & Grill at Lake Blue Ridge Marina 

Photo Courtesy of Lake Blue Ridge Marina Boat Dock Bar & Grill

Relax on the shores of Lake Blue Ridge from the Boat Dock Bar & Grill at Lake Blue Ridge Marina. There you’ll have a beautiful view of the lake, delicious entrees and cocktails, and live music on the weekends! Live music is 6pm – 9pm Fridays and Saturday and 1pm to 4pm Sundays. You’ll feel relaxed and renewed in no time!

June 11th: Danny Rhea 
June 12th: Travis Bowlin
June 13th: David Welch 
June 18thGerry Herndon 
June 19th: Shannon York 
June 20th: Buck & Oz 
June 25th: Danny Rhea 
June 26th: Travis Bowlin 
June 27th: Gerry Herndon 

Live Music at Misty Mountain Hops
June 11th – June 26th
Location: Misty Mountain Hops

Photo Courtesy of Misty Mountain Hops

Misty Mountain Hops is a music-centric restaurant and pub so it’s only fitting that they bring in live music. Stop on by Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm – 9pm now till July 10th for great food and great live music from local artists! 

June 11th: Hush Money Band 
June 12th: Dave Flowers 
June 18th: High Beams Band
June 19th: Catfish Hill Roberts 
June 25th: Travis Bowlin 
June 26th: Canon Tyler 

Concert on Hiawassee Square
June 12th 
Location: Hiawassee Square

Photo Courtesy of City of Hiawassee

Bring your family, friends and pets to Hiawassee Square Saturday at 7pm for live music from Gnarly Fingers! There will be chips, hot dogs, and sodas available to purchase as well. Relax for the evening and listen to some great local music! 

Live Music at Paradise Hills
June 12th – June 26th 
Location: Paradise Hills Farm Winery

Photo Courtesy of Paradise Hills

Visit the winery at the beautiful Paradise Hills hidden in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The tasting room offers Paradise Hills wine, a selection of craft beers, hard cider, and wine slushies as well as cheese and charcuterie boards, tapas, and shared platters. You can enjoy your drinks and snacks as you listen to local artists perform every Saturday from 1pm – 5pm.

June 12th: Dr. Paul 
June 19th: Trailer Hippies 
June 26th: Curtis Jones

2nd Saturdays at Riverwalk
June 13th 
Location: Riverwalk Shops McCaysville

Photo Courtesy of Riverwalk Shops

Throughout summer be sure to visit the Riverwalk Shops in McCaysville on the second Saturday of each month. The shops will be open late that night! There will be fun shopping, great dining, free gifts, and special offers. For a fun late night shopping experience this event is for you!

Summer Youth Arts Camp 
June 15th – June 30th
Location: The Art Center (Blue Ridge Mountains Art Association)

Photo Courtesy of The Art Center

Looking for something to keep your kids busy and entertained this summer? Sign them up for the Summer Youth Arts Camp! The Art Center offers three weeks of full day camp with wonderful art classes like clay, painting, and much more! Choose to sign your child up for one week or all three! Your creative and artistic child will come home with new skills and techniques and an even greater love for art in no time! 

Christian Motorcycle Association 
June 16th – June 20th
Location: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Photo Courtesy of Nick Redding

The Christian Motorcycle Association is a motorcyclist friendly fellowship who love their bikes and Jesus Christ. Their Eastern National Rally takes place from Wednesday, June 16th – Sunday, June 20th. CMA rides for Christ!

2021 Buy Local Extravaganza 
June 17th 
Location: New Union County Sports Complex

Photo Courtesy of the Blairsville Chamber

Check out booths from over 75 local businesses like local farms, retailers, restaurants, craft creators, and more! 

Live Music at Grumpy Old Men Brewing 
June 18th – June 26th 
Location: Grumpy Old Men Brewing 

Photo Courtesy of Grumpy Old Men Brewing

Stop by Grumpy Old Men Brewery Fridays from 3pm – 6pm and Saturdays 4pm – 7pm for great drinks, great music, and a great time. With indoor and outdoor seating available you can even bring your dog to join in the fun! Enjoy a delicious hotdog from Jeff’s Hotdog’s while you listen to some fantastic local artists!

June 18th: Dave Dale 
June 19thHighbeams Music 
June 25th: Gerry Herndon 
June 26thHayden Miles Band

Father’s Day Brunch
June 20th 
Location: Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa

Photo Courtesy of Brasstown Valley

For a delicious Father’s Day Brunch head over to Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa. Brunch is served from 11:30pm – 3pm. Reservations are required, you can make your reservation by calling 706-379-4617.

Movie Night at Deep Roots Orchard
June 25th 
Location: Deep Root Orchard

Photo Courtesy of Deep Roots Orchard

Watch a free movie under the stars at Deep Roots Orchard. The movie is “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and starts at 8:30pm. Bring blankets and pillows and get comfy as you enjoy your movie. And if you’re in the need for movie snacks concessions will be sold as well!

Greater Atlanta British Motorcycle Association
June 25th – June 26th
Location: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Photo Courtesy of the Greater Atlanta British Motorcycle Association

Come on out to Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds for the annual summer British in the Blue Ridge Rally! This is THE premier British motorcycle rally in the southeastern United States and has been held every year since 1985. The event will have a motorcycle show, vendors, field events, mountain motorcycle rides, and camping! All makes and models are welcome to join and campsites are available as well! 

Pickin’ For Patton
June 26th 
Location: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Photo Courtesy of the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Pickin’ For Patton is a star-studded Bluegrass Festival! This all day event goes from 11am – 10pm. Many famous Bluegrass stars will be attendance including Patton Wages! There will be great music, great food, and a great time! Even bring your own instruments if you want to for some awesome outside jamming! Get tickets online or call the office at 706-896-4191!

Blue Ridge Mountains Wine and Jazz Festival
June 26th 
Location: INOLA Blue Ridge 

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Wine & Jazz Festival

Make your way over to the beautiful INOLA Blue Ridge for Blue Ridge’s annual Wine and Jazz Festival! There will be great music, delicious wines, beautiful art, tasty food! The food is prepared locally and the jazz performers are some of the top in the region. Some of the great performers will be Fred Johnson, Rhythm Jets, Roman Street, and Kharisma Jazzmatic Funk. Come on out and enjoy this wonderful event! The festival is on rain or shine! 

Made in Georgia Festival
June 26th– June 27th 
Location: Towns County Recreation & Conference Center

Photo Courtesy of Lake Chatuge Chamber

If you’re ready to shop for thousands of items made right here in Georgia then check out the Made in Georgia Festival! You’ll be able to shop at over 100 vendors who offer a wide variety of products made, grown, brewed, harvested, stitched, crafted, or inspired by Georgia.  Take home fashion accessories, home décor, health and beauty products, and so much more! Even enjoy gourmet food and treats from some of Georgia’s top chefs! The event runs Saturday from 10am – 5pm and Sunday 11am – 4pm. Entry is $7; children 14 and under are free! 

Christmas Lights Around the Mountains



Every family has many Christmas traditions that they enjoy preserving. For this writer, one of my family’s favorite things to do is to go drive around and see all the Christmas lights! However, when you’re not from around here, you wouldn’t even know where to begin to look for lights to enjoy. Well, we tried to make it easy for you and stalked as many of our friends pages to locate all the Christmas light displays that you HAVE to go check out!

Each community offers a brief directions, but click on the town name to access a Google map to help you find your way! If you’re a local reading this and know of other places we’re missing please drop a comment or send us a Facebook or Instagram message. Merry Christmas!

Click to go to the Escape To Blue Ridge Christmas Light Map

Blue Ridge:

William’s Home Photo Courtesy of Becky Dyer

Downtown Blue Ridge – East Main St.

Spur 60 – Between Mineral Bluff and NC State line. Drive through Winter Wonderland! Santa on certain nights.

The Penlands – Hwy 75, just past the North Carolina/Georgia state line.

Williams’ – Forge Mill Road off Hwy 515 across from Cucina Rustica. Santa on certain nights.

Blairsville:

Gwynn’s Christmas Light Show

Chamber of Commerce – Tour of Trees. 9am – 5pm. 129 Union County Recreation Road, Blairsville

Collins – 257 Windy Hill Rd. (Santa Here)

289 Cook St

Downtown – On the Square

195 Forest Dr

Gwynn’s Christmas Light Show – Shows at 7pm & 7:30pm. Tune your radio to 91.9 and enjoy! Address is 121 Birch Cane Drive, Blairsville, GA 30512

262 Jewell Mason Rd

Stonehenge Assisted Living – Hwy 129 North towards Murphy, about 7 miles north of Hwy 76/129 intersection. Note: Nativity Scene

The Browns – Take Old Blue Ridge Highway out past Mulkey Gap. Right on Ed King Road. Just before the solar panel field. Note: Santa’s Mailbox – leave a letter to Santa and receive a reply!

The Jones – Take Blue Ridge Hwy, then a left on Mulkey Gap, right on Jones Rd.

Hiawassee

Mountain Country Christmas in Lights

Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds – Mountain Country Christmas in Lights every Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 6pm-9pm through December 28th. Here you will enjoy beautiful light displays and food ops along with food, music, arts & crafts, hot chocolate, marshmallow, a petting zoo and Santa. Admission is $5 per person and children 12 and under are FREE! On the main drag – Hwy 76 in Hiawassee.

Bugscuffle Road – Through the town of Hiawassee, but before the School. See Uhaul & Parker Oil, next road on left is Bugscuffle. On Hwy 76, just west of Towns County School.

Scataway Road – About 5 minutes past the Towns County School, see sign for Mount Zion Church on left and follow the red glow. Off of Hwy 76, 5 minutes east of town. See Santa on certain nights.

Panter House – Gumlog Rd off of Hwy 66 in Young Harris. On the Towns County side of Gumlog.

North Carolina:

Harshaw Road Lights Courtesy of Susie Bryant

Penlands – Hwy 75, just across the NC/Ga line.

Harshaw Road – Near Cherokee Hills Golf Course

2020 Festivals



You never need a specific occasion to Escape to Blue Ridge, but it’s fun to plan trips around fun mountain festivals and events. With that in mind, we are here to help, with some suggestions for Blue Ridge area festivals and special events that are not to be missed this year!

FEBRUARY

10th Annual Fire and Ice Chili Cook Off Festival
President’s Day Weekend
Saturday, February 15th
11am-5pm
Downtown Blue Ridge

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Fire & Ice Festival

The yin and yang of fire and ice is pretty compelling.  Opposites attract, so they say, so this combining of hot and cold is just the thing to attract a crowd. And this festival certainly does that. Thousands are drawn to downtown Blue Ridge, regardless of the weather, to watch ice carving demonstrations and to sample chili concoctions.  Some chili is hot, some is cooler, but all have tang and flavor to please a wide range of samplers. It’s a great time of year for this event, usually cool enough to bundle up, but not so cold as to be uncomfortable, but if you are cold, just find a cup of chili with some heat!

Bringing the Blues to Blue Ridge
Saturday, February 22nd
6pm-10pm
Mercier Orchards

Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

This 9th Annual music event, with a Mardi Gras Celebration, is for a good cause benefiting “Snack in a Backpack”. The event features music group the Crossroads Band, Cajun food, masks, dancing, auction, and door prizes. Tickets are $60 per person or $90 per couple for main dining and include appetizers, dinner, dessert and non-alcoholic drinks. Cash bar will be available.

MARCH

St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Saturday, March 14th
11am
Downtown Blue Ridge

Photo Courtesy of The Boro Inn Irish Pub

Fast becoming an annual highlight in downtown Blue Ridge, you can walk in the 7th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade or just watch it anywhere along East or West Main St.  Bring a float, be creative, dress festive and of course, the more green, the better!

38th Hammer-In & Metalworking Event
Friday & Saturday, March 13th & 14th
9am-6pm
Trackrock Campground & Stable

Photo Courtesy of Trackrock Campground & Stables

The Georgia Knifemakers Guild presents a day of blade-related activities include bladesmithing, hawk forging, leather crafting and forge building.  Watch, meet and talk with several talented bladesmiths. See what it takes to transform old discarded steel scrap metal into functional works of art. Fine craftsmen from several states attend, some collectors bring their collections to display, knifemaking supply vendors participate and others come just like to look and talk knives. This is a family oriented event open to all with no admission fees, so come join in the fun!  

APRIL

Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival
Friday & Saturday, April 3rd & 4th
9am-9pm
Union County Fine Arts Center, Blairsville

Photo Courtesy of the Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival

The Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival showcases the art of Southern storytelling with an emphasis on Appalachian stories, both traditional and contemporary. The Festival’s events include two days of outstanding storytelling performances. Workshops will be available for students and visitors to learn storytelling, speaking, and performance skills.

23rd Annual Blue Ridge Writers Conference
Friday & Saturday, April 3rd & 4th
Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Center

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

The irony of writing is that writers can only write on their own since collaborative writing is uncommon, but they love to socialize and share the fruit of their labor, so a reason to get together is always welcome! Writers conferences and literary events like this one allow writers to showcase their work and rub elbows with other writers, and readers, who appreciate the skill it takes to produce words on a page. Readings, book signings, seminars, and receptions are all a part of this annual event that celebrates words both written and spoken.

Blue Ridge Parade of Homes
Saturday & Sunday, April 18th & 19th
9am-5pm
Blue Ridge and Fannin County

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Mountains Parade of Homes

Gain inspiration for your dream home! Meet builders and tour homes that range from 1,600-square feet to 9,000-square feet. Purchase your ticket and take a self-guided tour through twenty stunning properties.

5th Annual Blue Ridge Trout Fest & Outdoor Adventures
Saturday, April 25th
10am-5pm
Downtown Blue Ridge

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Trout Fest & Outdoor Adventures

Trout in Georgia come in various sizes, colors and genres (native, brown, rainbow, etc).  They are stocked, caught, and eaten in large numbers. And while there are several trout festivals around the state designed to help anglers learn about and appreciate one of America’s favorite fish, there is only one Official Trout Festival – and this is it. The festival includes great exhibits by outdoor organizations and businesses, education on trout fishing, entertainment, food trucks and more in downtown Blue Ridge’s City Park. 

MAY

Georgia Apple Blossom Festival
Saturday & Sunday, May 2nd & 3rd
9am-5pm
Downtown Ellijay

Photo Courtesy of the Georgia Apple Blossom Festival

Ellijay is apple country so no wonder an apple festival is a huge springtime attraction! Artists, crafters, music, entertainment, and children’s activities will all be there to kick off the spring season! Pet friendly and FREE admission! 

Georgia Mountain EggFest
Saturday, May 16th
9am-5pm
Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Photo Courtesy of Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

An Eggfest is a gathering of Big Green Egg fans and experienced cooks from all across the country and Canada. The cooks will be showcasing their skills and talents and will be preparing their specialty recipes all day long!

Spring Arts in the Park
Memorial Day Weekend
Saturday & Sunday, May 23rd & 24th
10am-5pm
All Over Blue Ridge

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

Arts in the Park is a spring kickoff to the festival season in Blue Ridge and it’s a time when artists of all types fill the expansive Blue Ridge Downtown City Park with activities, performances and even some dancing. More than 200 juried arts, crafts and food booths are featured. This event is often recognized as one of the Top 20 Events by the Southeastern Tourism Society. The Festival is held rain or shine. Pets are welcome as long as they are leashed and well-behaved.

Spring Arts,Crafts & Music Festival
Memorial Day Weekend
Saturday & Sunday, May 23rd & 24th
10am-5pm
Downtown Blairsville

Photo Courtesy of Visit Downtown Blairsville

Blairsville’s Downtown comes alive Memorial Day Weekend with talented artists, musicians, and food. The weekend begins with a concert at the Old Courthouse Friday evening, a Memorial Day parade at 10am on Saturday, an outdoor concert on the Square Saturday evening and of course the festival! FREE and family-friendly!

JUNE

Blairsville Scottish Festival & Highland Games
Saturday & Sunday, June 13th & 14th
9am-5pm
Meeks Park, Blairsville

Photo Courtesy of the Blairsville Scottish Festival & Highland Games

There’s nothing quite like the sound of bagpipes on a lovely summer day – and you’ll hear and see that and more at the Blairsville Scottish Festival. Enjoy pipe and drum bands, a parade of tartans, border collie demonstrations, amateur athletics, children’s games, and more as Blairsville celebrates its Scottish heritage!

Blue Ridge Mountains Wine & Jazz Festival
Saturday, June 27th
3pm-9pm
Inola, Blue Ridge

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Mountains Wine & Jazz Festival

What is it about wine and jazz?  You almost can’t have one without the other. Well, you can, of course.  But why would you want to? Blue Ridge has made it easy to enjoy both at a festival that’s as naturally occurring as jazz and wine can be.  All you have to do is show up and there’s jazz, and there’s wine, both peacefully, and perfectly coexisting in an idyllic setting in Blue Ridge.

JULY

Old Fashioned Fourth
July 4th Weekend
Downtown Blue Ridge, McCaysville-Copperhill

Photo Courtesy of Fannin County Chamber of Commerce

It’s the ideal 4th of July weekend package: Independence Day in a small patriotic town and several other small, and equally patriotic towns, and a beautiful lake to provide the perfect backdrop for fireworks. Blue Ridge’s Independence Day parade shows creativity and a good sense of humor.  The Fabulous Fireworks will be shot off near the Lake Blue Ridge Dam and can be viewed from there as well as Morganton Point Recreation Area, Tammen Park and Lake Blue Ridge Marina. The marina will have live music and barbecue throughout the day. And if it’s an old-fashioned 4th that appeals to you, the small town Independence Day celebration in McCaysville is just the thing, featuring an impressive fireworks display from Tater Hill in downtown McCaysville-Copperhill.

Butternut Creek Festival
Saturday & Sunday, July 18th & 19th
9am-4pm
Meeks Park, Blairsville

Photo Courtesy of Butternut Creek Festival

This festival is one of the finest juried arts & crafts shows in the southeast and features work from over 65 artists and craftsmen. Located along the banks of Butternut Creek in Meeks Park, you’ll find something for everyone at this great festival!

August

Georgia Mountain Fair
August 14th-22nd
10am-8pm
Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Get ready for corn dogs and funnel cakes, but that’s not all. The Georgia Mountain Fair is a North Georgia icon, complete with living exhibits, arts and crafts, a pioneer village; a parade with antique cars, carnival rides and music that ranges from country to gospel including Pam Tillis, Lee Greenwood, and more!

SEPTEMBER

Mountain Heritage Festival
Saturday & Sunday, September 5th & 6th
10am-5pm
Town Square, Blairsville


Photo Courtesy of Visit Downtown Blairsville

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.

Plein Air International Paint Out
September 10th-13th
Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

Be on the lookout for artists painting everything everywhere in Fannin County during this four-day international event. You may see artists in parks, in farm fields, even alongside the road – wherever the spirit has moved them to sit, or stand, and capture the beauty and uniqueness of this region on canvas. This is a judged show with various events surrounding it, including opportunities to meet the artists and purchase their work.

Blue Ridge Blues and BBQ Music Festival
Saturday, September 19th
11am-9pm
Downtown Blue Ridge City Park

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Blues & BBQ Festival

The Blue Ridge Blues & BBQ Festival starts with a Blues Crawl on Friday night, followed by great blues and barbecue on Saturday, which means you get to kind of a meander through eight different restaurants, enjoying live music, food and drink, before jumping full on into the Blues Weekend on Saturday. The blues and barbecue portion of the festivities features barbecue smells and great eats from local and regional cookers. That means aromas and music will be filling the air downtown, with blues musicians performing from stages set all around Blue Ridge City Park.

OCTOBER

Georgia Marble Festival
Saturday & Sunday, October 3rd & 4th
10am-6pm
Jasper, GA

Photo Courtesy of Georgia Marble Festival

These are not marbles. Those small, round things that young boys and girls used to “shoot”, kneeling on the floor, or trading them. Remember “purees”, “cat eyes” and “steelys”? No, this festival is a celebration of indigenous rocks, quarries, and local art. Tate marble is historic and world famous and marble quarry tours will be given during the festival.

Georgia Mountain Fall Festival
October 9th-17th
Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, Hiawassee

Photo Courtesy of the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

You’ve got to love a fair that spans weekdays, welcoming visitors for nine straight days! That gives you a chance to enjoy this annual event during large crowd days and during quiet times. You can even plan a fair food lunch. As usual, this year’s fair will feature arts and crafts vendors, educational demonstrations, a flower show, and exciting musical performances.

Fall Arts in the Park Festival
Saturday & Sunday, October 10th & 11th
10am-5pm
Downtown Blue Ridge City Park

Photo Courtesy of Doug Miracle

A true sign of autumn, the fall version of Blue Ridge’s popular Arts in the Park, set amidst the lovely, tree-filled downtown park, with fresh food smells all around, local art, special events and musical performances.

Sorghum Festival
October 10th-11th & 17th-18th
10am-5pm
Meeks Park, Blairsville

Photo Courtesy of Blairsville Sorghum Festival

Sorghum is one of those mystery words. Pork product? Dental affliction? Nope. It’s actually a cereal grain that grows tall, like corn, but boiled down it produces a sugary-like syrup. You’d be able to deduce that from one item on a list of events that’s part of this annual festival: a biscuit eating contest, with sorghum on top. You may know sorghum better by its full name – sorghum molasses. Whether the taste speaks to you or not, this festival also features live music, arts, crafts, and more fun contests like rock throwing and log sawing!

Georgia Apple Festival
October 10th-11th & 17th-18th
9am-6pm
Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds

Photo Courtesy of Georgia Apple Festival

For 49 years, apples have brought folks together in Ellijay, East Ellijay and Gilmer County. These days, people come from all over for the apples, the parade, the antique car show, the arts and crafts, and almost everything you can imagine (or eat) made from apples!

NOVEMBER

Light Up Blue Ridge!
Saturday, November 28th
10am-7:30pm
Downtown Blue Ridge

Photo Courtesy of Fannin County Chamber of Commerce

Black Friday, the all-out dash for discounts, just got softened a bit by Blue Ridge’s very appropriate “Blue Friday”, with special emphasis on fun, a parade, community caroling, Santa’s arrival, and the lighting of a 27-foot tall tree! Also be on the lookout for strolling characters, food vendors and entertainment in the park on Saturday, November 28th and every Saturday through December. Make your escape memorable and join us as Blue Ridge ushers in and celebrates the holiday season!

DECEMBER

Mountain Country Christmas
December 3 – 26
6pm-9pm
Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Photo Courtesy of the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Visit the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds for a Winter Walk through thousands and thousands of lights and exhibits! Visit Poinsettia Place, Candy Cane Lane, Santa’s Workshop, Toyland, Frosty’s Trail and many more light exhibits. 🎄There will be live music, arts and craft vendors, food, and most important…SANTA!!! 🎅 $5 for adults, $4 Group sales and children under 12 are FREE!!!