Escape to Blue Ridge on a Budget



Getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and come escape to the peace & quiet of the mountains! At Escape to Blue Ridge your home away from home will be filled with wonderful amenities and so many fun activities that you won’t even need to leave the comforts of the cabin to enjoy yourself! But if you want to get out and explore the town you can easily do so without going over budget. We’re here to help make your mountain vacation affordable and fun! 

Fun at the Cabin

You don’t even have to leave the cabin to have a good time! You can enjoy all the amenities and luxuries that your Escape to Blue Ridge cabin offers without having to spend any extra money. Get outdoors and play a game of football on the extensive yard, take a dip in the hot tub, challenge your family to a game of pool, take in the views, and enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal. There’s so much to do at your cabin!

Game Rooms

Game Night Courtesy of Hermosa Brown

Kick off your cabin fun with a game night in your cabin’s amazing game room! Play round after round of pool and darts, soar the puck through the goal with a game of air hockey, watch as the ball bounces back and forth with ping pong or foosball, take things old school with some fun on a classic pinball machine, start up the TV and play some video games, or gather the whole family around the table for a board game or cards. Our game rooms have everything you’re looking for and more! Having a game night is a great way to put the electronics down and really focus on the friends and family in front of you. Just have a great night eating, drinking, and playing games with the ones you love the most. Check out some of our favorite cabin game rooms here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/9-cabins-with-incredible-game-rooms/

Home Cooked Meal

Homecooked meal Black Dog Courtesy of @jean_pedraza13

Save some money dining out by making a home-cooked meal in one of our cabin’s extraordinary large kitchens! Our favorite cabin kitchens have stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and plenty of space to prepare your meal. Our fellow chef extraordinaires will love cooking up their favorite meals in these dreamy kitchens! And once the meal is finished the whole family will have plenty of choices on where to dine whether it be at the kitchen bar, dining room table, or outdoors on the patio. Check out our top cabin kitchens here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/gourmet-kitchens-in-blue-ridge-cabins/ 

And if you’re interested in preparing meals on the grill instead, many of our cabins have grills out on the patio. You can fire up the grill and cook up some burgers for all your guests. Anyone in your party consider themselves a bartender? Send them off to the cabin’s wet bar to prepare cocktails for everyone in your party. With Escape to Blue Ridge’s wonderful in-cabin amenities, there’s no need to go out for dinner or drinks; when everything you need is right in house! 

Outdoor Fun at the Cabin

Photo Courtesy of @bayleigh_barnes staying at GrandView cabin

Looking for some outdoor fun? Stay right at your cabin to find it! Some of our cabins are right next to a river or pond that is always stocked with fish. So grab your pole and get to catching! Other cabins have plenty of yard space for a game of touch football or ultimate frisbee. For pet-lovers, we have some cabins with fenced-in yards or gardens where the dogs can run and play to their heart’s content. And a few of our cabins have fun outdoor sports and games like basketball and cornhole. Spyglass even has a pool and Toccoa Playground & Blue Mist Heaven have playgrounds for the kiddos! If you have a lakeside cabin you’re just a few steps away from taking a swim or boat ride on Lake Blue Ridge. Some of our cabins even have their own hiking trails right out the back door! If you’re an avid hiker lover be sure to check these trailside cabins out: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/hiking-out-the-back-door/ 

Relax

Photo Courtesy of Green Pine Cabin

Relaxation is the name of the game, and our cabins are made with comfort in mind. Wake up from a good night’s sleep on one of the queen or king-sized beds. Our beds are incredibly comfy and you’ll awake to the peace & quiet of mother nature. Make a cup of coffee from the cabin’s keurig or drip coffee maker, and then cozy up on the leather couch in the great room watching your favorite TV shows and staying warm by the fire. After a bit of binge-watching and taking in the cabin’s other wonderful amenities, head to the porch to take in the views. Sway back and forth on the porch swing or lay back in an adirondack chair. Whether you want lake views, mountain views, or to be completely surrounded by trees we’ve got just the view for you. Check out these 8 cabins with amazing lake & mountain views: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/8-cabins-with-incredible-lake-mountain-views/

For the ultimate relaxation take a dip in the hot tub. You’ll feel your worries wash away as the steamy water covers your body. Want a hot tub with a view? Check! A round tub? Check! A hot tub to fit up to 8 friends? Check! Whatever your style we’ve got the best hot tub for you: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/the-ultimate-guide-to-blue-ridge-cabin-hot-tubs/ 

End your night under the stars at your cabin’s very own firepit! You can roast marshmallows and compare who can make the best s’more, swap ghost stories and scare your friends, or just lay back, relax, and enjoy the warmth of the fire. And we have the perfect fire pit for you: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/10-cabins-with-awesome-fire-pits/

There’s so much fun to have right at your very own cabin but if you do want to get out and explore then check out these great free activities!  

Fun Downtown 

Head to the heart of Downtown Blue Ridge to take in the sights! Downtown is known for it’s amazing local shops and restaurants but you don’t need to spend a dime to have a good time. 

Window Shop

Photo Courtesy of Lily & Coco

You can take in all the great shops Downtown without having to spend any money. Check out trendy clothes, artisan goods, home decor, furniture and so much more at our local shops. Explore the local wares and take note of some of the great items you’ve found for next time. No need to bring back bags and bags of souvenirs, but if you see something that really speaks to you feel free to go for it! After all, you saved your money by not splurging on every cool thing you found. By window shopping you can learn more about Blue Ridge and get to know the community better as well.  

Live Music 

Photo Courtesy of Cartecay Vineyards

Live music is always happening in and around town! Downtown you can catch a performance from local artists at spots like Misty Mountain Hops, Blue Coyote, Bin 322, Hook & Eye, and The Dogwood. You can enjoy music from local singers and musicians most weekends in town. Outside of downtown you can also hear live music at spots like Grumpy Old Men Brewing, Cartecay Vineyards, and Bear Claw Winery. And head over to the Copper Basin for live music at Tooney’s or Copperhill Brewing. And during the summer you can enjoy live music by the waters of Lake Blue Ridge at Boat Dock Bar and Grill. There’s always something happening in Blue Ridge! 

Explore Landmarks 

Photo Courtesy of @korikwissmann

Take out your phone and get ready to say cheese as you explore great photo-op spots around town! Downtown Blue Ridge alone has a lot of great spots for a photo. There’s the welcome bears at Blue Ridge Mountain Mall or the Coca-Cola mural at the end of East Main Street. One of the most famous spots for a photo-op is the Blue Ridge mural which you can find on the corner of Mountain and East First Street. Have a blast running around town trying to get the best photos at some of these iconic locations. And find more photo-op spots with our guide here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/10-best-blue-ridge-photo-ops/ 

Fun in the Great Outdoors 

Mother Nature won’t charge you a thing to get outside and enjoy her beauty! Blue Ridge was made for outdoor lovers! There are miles and miles of trails to be explored by foot or by bike, multiple rivers and streams perfect for fishing, numerous waterfalls just under an hour away, and many beautiful and scenic spots perfect for a picnic. Grab your gear and get outdoors! 

Hiking 

Photo Courtesy of @hannahbtravelin

Over miles and miles of hiking trails are at your exposure in Blue Ridge! Hike to the tallest peaks in the state, cross over rivers, and venture through thick forests and discover what beauty awaits you. We have local trails perfect for hikers of any level of experience: from beginner to advanced. Many of our trails connect to the famous Appalachian Trail that stretches through most of the states on the east coast. A few of our favorite connecting trails include the Benton McKaye Trail, The Hemp Top Trail, and the trails in the Aska Adventure Area. For more details and more trails to explore check out our hiking blog: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/8-blue-ridge-hiking-trails/ 

Fishing 

Photo Courtesy of the Floen Family

If you love to fish then Blue Ridge is just the place for you as it is known as the Trout Capital of Georgia! Bring along your poles and fish on the waters of the Toccoa River, the Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery, or Lake Blue Ridge. Some of our cabins even have their own fishing ponds or sit alongside the Toccoa River, so you can go fishing without having to leave the cabin! Learn more about fishing in Blue Ridge here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/blue-ridge-fly-fishing-capital-of-georgia/ 

After catching your dinner, keep the trout fun going by playing the trout game Downtown! Just print the trout map from Fannin County Chamber’s website (https://www.blueridgemountains.com/things-to-do/family-fun/trout-art-trail-kids-game/) then visit each trout statue around town to find each fish’s name on your map. The kids will love this fun free hunt around town! 

Mountain Biking 

Photo Courtesy of Sorella Cycling

Are you the adventurous type? If so, plan to bring along your mountain bike to explore the miles of trails in Blue Ridge perfect for a ride. We love cruising around the local Lake Chatuge on JackRabbitt Mountain Trail or soaring past waterfalls and country views on Pinhoti Trail, which connects to a 350 mile stretch of trails that goes all the way from Georgia to Alabama! We love exploring Blue Ridge by bike and if you’re up for the adventure too, check out more mountain biking trails here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/11-memorable-mountain-biking-trails/ 

Waterfall Hunting

Photo Courtesy of @suzann.dickens_hairstylist

Forget what TLC says, spend the day chasing waterfalls! Blue Ridge and the surrounding areas are home to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state! Within an hour of Blue Ridge, there are over a dozen stunning falls for you to explore. Stay close by with Long Creek Falls or Fall Branch Falls, or make the trip out to the beautiful yet challenging hike to Jack River Falls, or pay a visit to the tallest waterfall in Georgia, Amicalola Falls. You’ll have a blast exploring the trails to these waterfalls, taking group photos in front, and then cooling off after your journey by splashing around in the pool below. Learn all about these falls and more with our North Georgia waterfall guide: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/8-best-north-georgia-waterfalls/ 

Picnic

Multi generation family having a picnic during mountain hike

Prepare lunch back at the cabin, then pack a cooler or basket filled with all kinds of goodies, and take to the outdoors for a lovely picnic! Have a relaxing waterside picnic at either Morganton Point on Lake Blue Ridge or the Toccoa River Park. After you finish your picnic you can dip your feet in and splash around in the cool waters. Or instead, hop in the car and drive a short while to get to one of these beautiful scenic overlooks: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/5-scenic-north-georgia-overlooks/  You’ll have a meal with a view! 

Blue Ridge Activity Booklet

Lastly, print off our fun Activity Booklet for your kiddos! This free educational booklet will keep your kids entertained as they venture around Blue Ridge with the help of Ricky the Raccoon. He will help them to identify trees, animal tracks, wildlife, and more. Visit awesome spots around town included in the booklet like Mercier Orchards and the Georgia/Tennessee State Line. Not only will this booklet get the whole family out and exploring town but it will also teach your kids about the great outdoors! Download & print the Blue Ridge Activity Booklet for free here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blue-ridge-georgia-activity-booklet.pdf 

With our helpful guide Blue Ridge can easily be a fun and memorable vacation without going over budget. We hope that  you’ll create lasting memories on your trip that the whole family won’t forget!  Please tag us with your photos on Facebook & Instagram using #escapetobr.

Kid Friendly Cabins



At Escape to Blue Ridge, it’s easy to find the perfect family getway that works for the whole entire family! These 10 cabins will not only give you a relaxing and wonderful getaway but will ensure that the kids have a great time as well! From game rooms, to playgrounds, to movie rooms, to special bedrooms the kids will be entertained so you can kick back and relax for awhile! Afterall, isn’t that what vacation is all about?

Toccoa Playground

As its name suggests, Toccoa Playground is a great cabin where kids can play. It’s the perfect cabin for large families and groups with lots of kids. Outside, the kids will love exploring their very own playhouse and trampoline on the closed-in deck, while parents can watch nearby from the comfort of the hot tub!

Inside more fun awaits, in the upstairs loft they’ll find the playroom of their dreams; with a puppet theater, a play kitchen, a TV, and plenty of toys and room to play. For sleeping arrangements for the kiddos, there are two sets of twin bunk beds in the downstairs bedroom and even a toddler bed in the loft; so there’s plenty of room. Other amenities are available for the young ones like a crib, bassinet, baby swing, carrier, car seat, high chair, and baby gate.

The adults will have a blast as well. They’ll love relaxing by the stone gas fireplace and playing board games with the family. They can rock their worries away in one of the rocking chairs on the porch and grill up some burgers for everyone. Hidden away in the woods near the Toccoa River; you and the kids will love having your own private oasis while still being close to all kinds of nearby Blue Ridge adventures. And after a long day of playing on the playground or exploring the trails, the kids will love roasting marshmallows at the firepit and sharing stories. Toccoa Playground truly is a fantastic getaway for families looking to escape. 

Hidden Creek Cabin 

At Hidden Creek Cabin, you’ll really feel like you’re hidden away from the rest of the world. Nestled beside a hidden creek, this mountain home will give you the ultimate relaxation retreat all while keeping the kids entertained. Inside has an elegant yet comfortable feel with its open floor plan, vaulted ceilings, large kitchen and dining rooms, and cozy living room with plush sofas positioned near the stone gas fireplace. You’ll feel like you’re living in modern luxury with 11 Alexa’s scattered throughout the house to help you with anything you might need.

While the adults relax and unwind, the kids will love being just steps from the Toccoa River where they can fish and explore to their heart’s content. When they come inside they’ll love taking advantage of the downstairs game room which includes shuffleboard, pool, and a 65” flat screen TV! And when it’s time to call it a night the kids have their own room with bunk beds and a Smart TV with Xbox One. Hidden Creek Cabin is a luxurious cabin adults and kids alike will enjoy! 

Bigfoot of Blue Ridge

Relaxed, peaceful, and feeling like you’re right in the comforts of home. That’s what this cabin is all about—introducing our very own Bigfoot of Blue Ridge. A beautiful vacation home perfect for your upcoming adventures and escape to Blue Ridge. Filled with warmth, thoughtful amenities, and fun things to do, it’s a great spot to relax.

Are you looking for fun for the whole family? The game room has a billiards table, shuffleboard table, arcade machine, and more. Then, turn another corner, and you’ll find the movie room with its immense 86” Smart TV and movie theater recliners. The outdoor areas are immense and inviting. You’ll enjoy the screened-in porch, the gas grill ready for your fixin’s, and the outdoor wood-burning fireplace and TV on the porch. The cabin also comes with an outdoor fire pit area perfect for the whole family, a lovely hot tub with seating for 7, and incredible views of the mountains, wood, lake, and beyond.

Ellijay River Dreams

Relaxed, blessed, peaceful, and homey! That is what this beautiful retreat is all about. Welcome home to the Ellijay River Dreams Cabin, right on the Ellijay river, in the North Georgia Mountains. An excellent, truly unique, one-of-a-kind place to stay during your upcoming vacation with family or friends. This is truly the place that vacation dreams are made of!

The Ellijay River Dreams Cabin has outdoor amenities galore. You will be amazed by all that the owners designed in the outdoor living spaces. The moment you walk into the yard you will see a yurt to the left side of the deck (completely furnished with comfortable pillows, bean bag chairs and blankets) for the kids and adults of all ages. Perfectly centered on this gorgeous property is the brand-new river deck overlooking the Ellijay River, the sounds of the rushing water are both soothing and relaxing. The views to the north and south are absolutely stunning. Once you and your family have enjoyed and relaxed in the yurt and on the river deck, you can make your way to the custom bubble deck with telescope for stargazing along with a custom floating hammock for relaxing.

Animal Crossings

Much like the popular game, kids will love staying in “Animal Crossings”. The cabin perched on a wooded hillside is just minutes from waterfalls, wineries, and downtown. Inside there’s animal accented décor and animal-themed rooms to fit with the cabin’s name. The kids will love their special room, “Cub Den,” with a full bed and twin bunks. Another favorite spot for the kiddos will be the game room which includes pool, foosball, board games, puzzles, and a 42” Smart TV with DVD player.

Dad’s can grill out on the gas grill on the main level deck and the whole family can enjoy burgers and hot dogs either outside on the deck or inside in the kitchen. And after dinner, the kids can roast marshmallows by the firepit while parents watch from the hanging swing. Sleeping up to 14 guests, Animal Crossing is THE place to stay with big groups of friends with lots of kids who are ready to have some fun! 

Skyview

For a great place for the kids and some peace and quiet, Skyview is your place! It’s unique and beautiful design and decor will have you feeling relaxed the second you step in the door. In the family room you can nestle into the leather sofa or recliner chair, stay warm by the stone stacked gas fireplace, watch a movie on the 65” flat screen TV, and take in the incredible views all at the same time! Doesn’t that sound relaxing? And while you’re relaxing in the family room the kids can be playing in the game room; complete with a pool table, board games, puzzles, and a 65” TV. The kids will be entertained for hours playing round after round of their favorite games and watching their favorite movies.

Outside the kids can make s’mores at the firepit or play a round of corn-hole. Parents can watch from the comfort of the deck’s rocking chairs or in the hot tub. And when it’s time for bed the kids won’t complain about their sleeping arrangements. The kids room has 2 twin beds, 2 full beds, bean bag chairs, an Xbox with a 50” TV, and even more games! When the morning comes and you’re ready to get out of the house; you’ll love how close everything is. The cabin is just minutes from downtown Blue Ridge, waterfalls, hiking trails, and the Toccoa River. Relaxation and adventure await you when you stay at Skyview! 

Sasquatch Chalet

Looking for a cozy, family-friendly place to stay during your vacations? Let us introduce you to Sasquatch Chalet, a beautiful cabin convenient to downtown and with a fabulous mountain view. Perfect for the entire family, this chalet is named after the lure of Sasquatch (aka BigFoot) in Blue Ridge. A fun and lovely vacation awaits when you stay at this beauty.

As you enter the cabin, you’ll be taken aback by the wonderful mix of rustic and modern decor. The living room was made for relaxation. Enjoy moments on the leather couch in front of the fireplace. Watch your favorite movies on the large TV in the family room. Stream music throughout the whole house with the whole house Sonos speaker system. Get ready for fun and games at the pool table in the game room. When you’re ready to rest after a long day of fun in Blue Ridge, the bedroom accommodations (and bathrooms, too) are something to write home about including a fun bunk room! With deck access in both of the king bedrooms, you’ll be able to enjoy some R&R here after your day of exploration.

Alpine Ridge

If you and the family want to be just minutes from the heart of downtown Blue Ridge but also have beautiful long range mountain views then Alpine Ridge is your place! This cabin was meant for families. The great room has two full sized sofas, a gas log fireplace, and a 50” TV with DVD player; perfect for family movie nights. And the dining room table seats up to 8 with a live edge wood peninsula that seats an additional three.

The outside decks are another great place for entertaining with a wood burning fireplace, 55” TV, a dining table, sectional, high top tables, Adirondack chairs, a gas grill, and a hot tub. Family can always be together here. And for more fun that the kids especially will enjoy there’s a game room complete with a game table, shuffleboard, checkers, puzzles, board games, a TV, and a wet bar for the adults to enjoy. And for sleeping arrangements kids can stay in the lower level bedroom that has a king bed and twin bunk beds. The whole family will have a blast at their stay in Alpine Ridge and love being close to so many great activities! 

The Hideaway 

If you need to grab your family and “Hideaway” from the rest of the world for awhile then look no further then The Hideaway. This cabin sits high on a hillside on nearly two acres of forests in the Aska Adventure Area. It’s a perfect cabin for the nature lovers and thrill seekers of the family. Hike or bike on numerous trails just steps away from the cabin, boat on the Toccoa River and Lake Blue Ridge, or explore waterfalls. The Blue Ridge wilderness is your oyster when you stay at The Hideaway.

Other than the great outdoors the game room and the kids bedroom will be your kiddos favorite rooms in the cabin. The game room is stocked with puzzles and board games, a game table, a gas fireplace, 48” Smart TV and a wet bar with a beverage fridge so the adults can have a drink while they partake in family game night.

The downstairs bedroom is designated for the kids wtih two sets of bunk beds and a Smart TV. And for dinner, Mom will love cooking in the fully stocked kitchen with custom hand painted countertops, stainless steel appliances, and even special appliances like a waffle iron, panini press, and Keurig! Then the whole family can gather in the dining room or on the deck to eat a fantastic home-cooked meal. For outdoor loving families with lots of adventurous kids The Hideaway should be your next home away from home! 

Blue Mist Heaven 

Blue Mist Heaven is an ideal cabin for large families looking for a luxurious stay with plenty of amenities for the kids. Inside the kids will love the library loft and the movie room. The library loft is a perfect place for kids to read and do schoolwork, especially if they’re learning virtually. And the movie room will be the BEST place for them to watch their favorite movies on the 82” TV, curled up in one of the many recliners. There’s even a cocktail game table with 412 games installed and just outside on the deck is a ping-pong table. The kids will also love having their own room with a set of bunk beds and a full sized crib and Pack n’ Play in the closet.

Inside the house is great but outside will be the kids favorite part where there’s a giant playhouse with swings and slides. The kiddos will have a blast and play outside for hours! Parents can even watch the kids have fun on the playground from the Gazebo or bench swings. There’s plenty of great adult amenities in the cabin as well like a wet bar, gas fireplaces and TVs scattered throughout the cabin, ample indoor and outdoor seating to take in the stunning mountain views, a gourmet kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances, king sized beds, and a hot tub. If you and the family stay at Blue Mist Heaven you’ll all feel like you’re in heaven with its luxurious feel and wonderful amenities! 

7 Family Friendly Diners



In Blue Ridge there are amazingly diverse, reasonably priced, restaurants designed with families in mind. It’s not all just chicken fingers, tater tots, and buffet lines. Dining out with children, especially if you’re on a budget, is tough. But if you approach things differently, and look at it more as a family outing, you will be much more satisfied, and to be honest, so will the kids.

You might be surprised by the variety. You might also be surprised at the way in which many restaurants have managed to cater to families’ needs, including recognizing that, with all there is to do in Blue Ridge, dining out is an important part. So, in addition to providing good food at a good price, their approach is more – “ya’ll take your time, enjoy your meal and plan your day”; or “don’t worry about a thing, we can move things along quickly to get you out there enjoying your day”.

In the end, it all comes down preferences and choices, and Blue Ridge has many choices to choose from. Sample traditional Southern cuisine, classic barbecue, or everyone’s favorite – pizza! The following is a list of tried & true places to go that your kids (and Mom) will like, but that won’t break the bank.

Southern Charm

Photo Courtesy of Southern Charm

What’s in a name? Well, quite a lot actually, when you can simply say what you are. Southern Charm is Southern and it is charming! But it’s location, in the heart of Blue Ridge, makes this a great starting spot that will appeal to all members of the family.

This is traditional family style dining, featuring Southern cooking in a casual setting. Biscuits and apple butter? Yup. Fried chicken? Of course. Collards? Need you ask? Expect to be called “honey” or “darlin” by the attentive staff. Reasonably priced and worth every penny!

Sue’s Burgers

Photo Courtesy of Sue’s Burgers

How can you be so bold as to pronounce, in large block letters, on the front and side of your building, on your website, and in your advertising that you have the “Best Burgers in Town”? Well, it seems when you have testimonial confirmations online, in local “best-ofs” and random people-on-the-street recommendations for where to go for a great burger, and it all comes back to “Sue’s Best Burgers in Town”. Sue’s is most loved for their crispy, crinkly fries and fabulous desserts.

Affordable? Yes. Fast food burger prices? Sue’s Burgers is the oldest restaurant in town, family owned and operated since 1976, and will settle for nothing less than the best in food quality, service, and friendliness!

The Trailer Drive-In

Photo Courtesy of the Trailer Drive-In

When was the last time you ate at a place that accepted cash-only? Now that is indeed old school. And this throwback Trailer Drive-In diner is old school. It’s actually exactly what you expect – delicious food, large portions, outdoor picnic table seating, monstrous breakfast biscuits, a chicken sandwich that can’t be beat, and ridiculously good sweet tea! This is one of those under-the-radar kind of places, but your kids will love it! They can be sloppy outside, if you decide to dine outside, and it’s decidedly dog-friendly.

Mystic Mountain Pizza

Photo Courtesy of Mystic Mountain Pizza

No list of family-oriented, affordable restaurants would be complete without the obligatory entry from the pizza category. In this case, Mystic Mountain is not your ordinary pizza joint. It comes with extra sauce – live music! Plus it’s Blue Ridge’s “grooviest pizza parlor”. But seriously, folks, Mystic Mountain is family-friendly, relaxed, trendy, and colorful. Oh, and by the way, they also have great pizza, cooked in oak-fired brick ovens, unique hot dogs (like a Deep South Texas Dog), and crazy tasty wings, plus sandwiches and salads. It’s a great place for a family to be laid back. Like totally, man.

Mike’s Trackside BBQ

Photo Courtesy of Mike’s Trackside BBQ

You knew we’d get there. You just knew it! After all, who doesn’t like barbecue? You are in Blue Ridge, Georgia. Georgia!! And you deserve some great barbecue. Which is why we are recommending Mike’s Trackside BBQ. Mike’s is another one of those tiny places with a big heart for food and great service. Although barbecue is in the name, you might want to be adventurous and try their extraordinary, fall-off-the-bone ribs or the chunked smoked chicken.

Mike’s is located exactly where it says it is – trackside. That doesn’t mean you can bet on the ponies from there. It means you’ll hear that lonely train whistle loud and clear, and you might even be inspired to load the family onto the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway after lunch for a ride that will be long-remembered.

Pete’s Place

This is an American-styled restaurant that’s rustic and homey, and it’s Southern enough to have great grits. We recommend you trying the delicious, locally-caught, and freshly-prepared trout, but any of their classic choices like chicken parmesan or pecan chicken salad will delight your palate. At Pete’s Place the prices are reasonable, the service is great, and not only do they welcome your children, but they also welcome your furbabies to dine on the patio!

Rum Cake Lady Cuban Café

Photo Courtesy of @gluten.freed

And now for something completely different. Okay, calm the kids. We’re gonna get a little crazy here. We’re moving off into something far, far away from hot dogs and brown beans. But we will survive, and maybe even thrive. Besides, the name of this restaurant has “cake” in it so that, kids, is a good thing, because, very likely, there is dessert at the end of this meal!

Indeed, the Blue Ridge rum cakes are amazingly delicious. But so are the sandwiches, plantain chips, and the Cuban food bowls. This is called adventure. Striking off into the wild Cuban yonder to discover new foods. Try it. You’ll like it!

Spring Break in Blue Ridge

Photo Courtesy of Pedego Electric Bikes Blue Ridge GA

After all, we only get 18 school years with our kids, so we should make each and every school vacation count! Because if we’re being truthful, you are dying for a reason to escape from the stresses of work and Spring Break is the perfect guilt-free excuse for a fun family trip!

The Blue Ridge region is a mountain playground full of fantastic opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, including hundreds of miles of trails for hiking, as well as waterways for paddling, fishing, and boating. So go ahead, take that much-needed vacation, get recharged, and finish the school year strong. Here are a few of our ideas for a perfect family-friendly Spring Break experience.

Mountain Adventure

Play: Breathe in that fresh mountain air and take in all the views from your own electric bike. That’s right! You don’t have to worry about any family members getting too tired when you have an electric bike to help out and keep you moving when you run out of energy. Adventure out on your own or take one of their four guided tours provided by Pedego Electric Bikes in Blue Ridge. Choose a tour through the Chattahoochee National Forest and visit Fall Branch Falls, experience the Tennessee National Forest around the Ocoee whitewater Trails, adventure around the Toccoa River and Shallowford Bridge, or just cruise around downtown Blue Ridge!

Photo Courtesy of Pedego Electric Bikes

Eat: Mystic Mountain Pizza is a family owned and family friendly pizza restaurant has fantastic food and an inviting atmosphere often featuring live music. They have a passion for crafting fresh salads, all-beef gourmet hot dogs, wings, desserts, and specialty pizzas in their oak-fired brick ovens. You’ll be happy, stuffed, and a part of the Mystic Mountain Pizza family before you finish your first slice of pie. Now that’s amore!

Photo Courtesy of Mystic Mountain Pizza

Sleep: Perched on a mountaintop more than 3,000 feet above the trees with dramatic, sweeping long-range mountain vistas in the distance, The Owl’s Perch is like a magnificent picture postcard come to life. Located northeast of Lake Blue Ridge on a large lot in Morganton that borders unspoiled U.S. Forest Service land, it’s a calm oasis far removed from stressful city life, but just a short drive away from the shops and dining of downtown Blue Ridge. The western-facing view from the cabin offers you magical sunrises, revealing the mountains as the fog lifts across the lake, and spectacular sunsets that will take your breath away.

There are two spacious, comfortable living areas: the main floor has French doors and huge windows to bring the outside in, and the lower level space doubles as a game room, outfitted with foosball and ping pong tables, puzzles, board games, TV with DVDs, and a PlayStation with games. The main floor kitchen features wood cabinets, new stainless appliances, granite countertops, drip and Keurig coffeemakers, a blender, crockpot and all the dishes, pots and pans, utensils and implements you need to prepare, cook and serve. Plastic dishes are available for children and outdoor use. The dining table has room for ten, plus two at the breakfast bar. There’s a selection of toys, blocks, games, a pack n’ play, and movies for younger kids. The road to the cabin is paved, leading to a roomy gravel driveway. You’re welcome to bring up to two dogs with you as you relax, recharge, and enjoy a memorable stay at this cabin above the clouds.

Relaxing Rides

Play: The iconic Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is a must do when in town. Enjoy the scenery aboard an eleven-car train as your ramble down the tracks through the Chattahoochee National Forest and the Toccoa watershed. Enjoy a relaxing 26-mile round trip journey beginning and ending in downtown Blue Ridge with a stop in the newly revitalized twin cities of McCaysville, Ga & Copperhill, TN.

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Eat: Made famous for their four flavors of incredible rum cakes, the Rum Cake Lady Cuban Food Cafe offers two locations to serve you. The downtown Blue Ridge Café is similar to a Cuban walk-up window, or “La Ventanita”. They offer fresh, authentic Cuban sandwiches, tamales, empanadas, plantains, rice, and beans. Their Copperhill location includes indoor seating, dinner hours, the same great menu plus a Cuban grocery. Both locations boast the best Cuban coffee in the mountains, but their dessert is what made them who they are so how can you not take home a rum cake or 3? We must admit, their guava and cheese pastelitos are pretty incredible and we would be hard pressed to pass on their tasty caramel flan or Tres Leches cake!

Photo Courtesy of the Cuban Rum Cake Lady

Sleep: Blue Mist Heaven is a luxurious mountaintop cabin with spectacular 180° views that can be yours for a very special vacation getaway. This tri-level showplace is decked out with designer touches and upscale features. Ideal for large families or a group of friends, this spacious cabin sleeps 12 in its four bedrooms and library/loft, with king beds in the upstairs master, main floor and downstairs bedrooms, twin bunk beds and twin over double size beds in the second downstairs bedroom that kids will love. There’s also a full size crib and Pack ‘n Play in the closet.

Outside, three sets of stairs lead down to a large, level backyard with a lighted covered Gazebo, four bench swings and a rock fire pit.  The backyard has a giant playground set for the kids with slides, swings and playhouse. Also, there is an additional large deck with a picnic tables, swings and chairs to lounge in while you take in the view and watch the kids at play. Blue Mist Heaven’s other amenities include high-speed wireless Internet, a movie room with recliners, giant 82” TV, two-person cocktail game table with 412 games installed and a wet bar.

Heart Pumping Fun

Play: Bring a little excitement into your family’s life when you try zipping through the Blue Ridge Mountains at Zipline Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge. Here you’ll get to see the mountains from the treetops with over 6,000 feet of cable, it includes 13 zips ranging from 250 feet to 1000 feet and 3 sky bridges to cross. Your whole family will giggle with delight as you zip into the valley and soar over pastures before landing on the banks of Fighting Town Creek!

Photo Courtesy of Zipline Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge

Eat: Nourish your body with the most delicious tasting BBQ in the mountains at Carroll’s BBQ. This family owned restaurant doesn’t skimp on their portions and if you leave hungry, it’s your own fault! Offering classic pulled pork options, we highly recommend you try their fall-off-the-bone ribs or brisket. A kid’s menu is available, but whatever you do, save room for dessert because you really NEED to try their banana pudding. It’s so good it’ll make your tongue jump out and lick the eyebrows right off your head!

Photo Courtesy of Carroll’s BBQ

Sleep: If you are imagining a scenic mountain getaway that the whole family will enjoy when searching for your North Georgia cabin rental, look no further than EddieBear! This inviting cabin was named for the owners’ constant canine companion Eddie, who loved being in the mountains. The cabin even has a fenced-in yard so everyone, including your best buddy, can safely play in the beautiful outdoors. Perched on a wooded hillside with sweeping mountain views, the cabin has a traditional log cabin exterior and warm pine interior that beckons you to step in and start relaxing. A striking wood-burning fireplace made with large river stones will keep you warm as you stretch out on the leather sofa or reclining armchair and watch the game or read by the light of the distinctive wine barrel chandelier.

Step down to the lower level into the game room and engage in some friendly competition at the dart board or billiards table that converts to a ping-pong table, a poker table and even a roulette table! There is a flat screen TV and an adjacent kids room with a chalkboard wall, games, small rocking chairs, and a pullout sofa. As you venture outside onto the lower deck, sink into the steamy waters of the hot tub, recline in the wooden lounge chairs, or have a snack at the wooden table that seats four. Directly off the deck is the fenced-in yard where you can play or gather around the fire pit and roast marshmallows for S’mores you can eat at the nearby picnic table.

Kid-Centric

Play: On the outskirts of downtown Blue Ridge in the Aska Adventure Area, you will find the uber kid friendly Lilly Pad Village. Here you can mine for large and colorful gemstones. Your kids will especially love “gemstone magic” where a large gemstone or two magically appear out of nowhere in their trays! Here you can also play a round of mountainside mini golf. If you think regular putt putt is challenging, just give this nine-hole course a try! Bonus: Children under 7 play free! The fun is not over yet at Lilly Pad Village. Pick up a pole and some live bait and throw a line or two in their cute little catch & release fishing pond.

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Williams

Eat: There is no shortage of tasty items at Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge. The main location features a bakery boasting several varieties of fried pies, as well as apple cider donuts, and a large variety of bread, cookies and many other delectable baked goods. The Market Café (open 7am-6pm daily) serves a delicious breakfast each day till 11 am. Lunchtime is just as scrumptious with a wide variety of sandwiches including their specialty pecan chicken salad which we highly recommend you trying it in a stuffed tomato with pimento cheese! 

Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

Sleep: If you’re looking for the perfect place to bring your whole family on your next vacation, look no further than Toccoa Playground, a Blue Ridge, GA cabin rental that promises you and your children a fun-filled getaway. True to its name, this spacious cabin in the woods near the Toccoa River, considered to be some of the best fly fishing in the Southeast, is a playground for both adults and kids, with plenty of child-friendly features and amenities.

Large family? No problem: the cabin sleeps ten, and has two sets of twin bunk beds in the downstairs bedroom and twin beds and a toddler bed in the upstairs loft, perfect for your young ones. The loft’s play area includes a puppet theater, play kitchen, a 32” flat screen with Blu-ray, and toys to delight kids of all ages, and the swings, slide, and playhouse on the railing-protected deck will provide hours of fun.  A crib, bassinet, baby swing, carrier, portable child seat and high chair are available, and there are safety gates on the stairs.

Educational Vacay

Play: Project Chimps provides lifelong care to former research chimpanzees at its 236-acre forested sanctuary in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The sanctuary is not regularly open to the public, but they do offer periodic tours and events including their Chimp Rock and Discovery Days. You may even consider making your trip a Volunteer Vacation where you have the opportunity to give back, see chimpanzees up close, meet other animal enthusiasts, and enjoy the mountains!

Photo Courtesy of Project Chimps

Eat: It’s hard to pass up a good burger joint, but when the locals know it as “the best hamburger in town” you just have to stop in and try one! Sue’s Burgers is the oldest restaurants in town, so they’ve had some time to perfect their craft and perfect they did! If you like your burgers big and juicy, then you are going to be a happy camper here. For the hungry one in your group, Sue features a double or triple stacked bacon cheeseburger you can even add a beer battered onion ring on every layer!

Photo Courtesy of Sue’s Burgers

Sleep: Everyone has their own idea of paradise on earth, but if yours is an exquisite mountain retreat with awe-inspiring, absolutely breathtaking views, the North Georgia cabin rental Uplifting is the answer to your vacation prayers. Located on a hillside in Mineral Bluff, 13 miles from the shops and restaurants of downtown Blue Ridge, this stunning showplace is your own private resort in a glorious sylvan setting. Handsomely constructed with natural log beams, natural pine walls, custom hardwood and cobblestone tile floors, the cabin is professionally decorated in an elegantly rustic style with upscale furniture. The adjacent kitchen offers everything you need to prepare meals for your family and friends.

When it’s time to turn in, you’ll sleep well in your choice of three professionally decorated bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. The upstairs master has a king bed, vaulted ceiling, 36” TV, and a sliding barn door that opens to reveal the amazing mountain view through the windows of the living room below. The main level master also has a king bed, a 31” TV, and, like the other master, an en suite bath with walk-in shower and double sinks. The third bedroom has a queen bed and a 39” TV, and its adjacent bathroom features a shower/tub combo and double sinks. A queen sofa bed in the game room and twin bunk beds behind a sliding barn door—great fun for kids—bring the sleeping accommodations to ten.

Labor Day in the Mountains



Labor Day weekend is typically summer’s last hurrah. Visitors flock to the mountains to escape the southern city heat, hoping to “chill” before the final quarter of the year kicks into full gear. (Yikes, only 12 weeks till Christmas? Say it isn’t so!)

Whether you came to be entertained, experience the great outdoors or just eat and drink your way through these three days, we wanted to give you a heads up on what’s happening over this holiday weekend. If the event is kid-friendly we’ve noted it with a KF seal.

Grape Stomp Festival

One of the most iconic episodes of the I Love Lucy Show was the show where Lucy and Ethel take a job in a vineyard stomping grapes. It is impossible not to belly laugh your way through this episode, and Paradise Hills Winery Resort in Blairsville, offers you an opportunity to experience this adventure at their 6th Annual Grape Fest, Saturday, August 31st.

Photo Courtesy of Paradise Hills

Join the fun staff at this mountain top winery for live music all day, grape stomping at 2pm & 4pm, a kid’s craft corner, local craft vendors and delicious wine & craft beer, too. Local BBQ food will be available for purchase. They’ll be having an “I LOVE LUCY – Look-alike Contest” at 2pm and 4pm. Wine Prizes for best costume! You don’t want to miss this fun time (KF). Admission is just $25 per person includes a souvenir glass and a basic tasting. Click here for tickets.

Everybody Loves Opal

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Community Theater

It’s not just Lucy that everyone loves. Opal is a middle-aged recluse living in a tumbledown mansion in the edge of a municipal dump. Enter three vagabonds who try to swindle this kind-hearted optimist. The laughs are plenty and the joyfulness of this cast will make for one of your fondest theatrical experiences. Presented all weekend long at the Blue Ridge Community Theater, Blue Ridge GA. Click here for tickets.

U-Pick Apples

Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

Enjoying the fresh air and summer breezes in the mountains is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Labor Day Weekend is the start of one of our annual visitors favorite family traditions and outdoor activities, Mercier’s Orchards U Pick  Apple season. For more details, visit their website here. (KF)

5K & Fun Run

Photo Courtesy of the Boys & Girls Club of North Georgia

If you are looking for a more challenging outdoor time before the summer ends, than you might want to rise very early on Labor Day and participate in the 3rd Annual River Run 5K and Fun Run at Horseshoe Bend Park in Mineral Bluff, GA. Sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of North Georgia, Race Day Registration and Packet Pickup begins at 7am with the 5K race starting at 8am and the fun race at 8:30am. Bring the kids to participate, too! Awards will be presented to Overall Male/Female and top three male/female runners in 5 year age groups beginning at 10 years old and under through 75 and over. Click here for registration information. (KF)

Race Time

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Motorsports Park

If you like your outdoor entertainment to be loud and dirty, then you might want to head over to the Blue Ridge Motorsports Park on Saturday night, Aug 31 for the UCRA 3K to Win. A night at the racetrack is fun for the whole family! (KF)

Live Music

Photo Courtesy of Southern Vantage

If you love live music then you have some exceptional options this long weekend. Saturday night the Copperhead Lodge in Blairsville is throwing a party and they’ve invited Southern Vantage to headline. Join this amazing southern rock cover band on the huge veranda/porch at the lodge for drinks, grub, and dance.  They cover a variety of genres and hit songs from artists like Haggard, Cash, Waylon, Willie, Skynyrd, CCR, Seger, Blackberry Smoke, Hank Jr., Brooks and Dunn, Garth Brooks, Toby Kieth, Alan Jackson, Chris Stapleton, Luke Combs, Stone Temple Pilots, Sublime, Uncle Cracker and much more. Music begins at 7 pm. Come early, grab a seat and some great grub from the Lodge’s award-winning restaurant, The Flying Trout

BBQ & Gospel Music

Photo Courtesy of the Good Samaritans of Fannin County

Though Southern BBQ is good twelve months a year, there’s something special about smellin’ that smoker cooking some tender butts for hours on end. If it’s BBQ and good southern gospel that you are yearnin’ for, then head into the heart of Blue Ridge for the 39th Annual Labor Day BBQ & Gospel Music Show.  If it has thrived for nearly four decades, you know it has to offer the best in music and in BBQ.  It’s a 3-day event and the public is invited to enjoy all or part of it. On Monday, Sept. 2  from 11:30-6, enjoy the annual Labor Day Bar-B-Q with all the fixings served with Gospel and Blue Grass by tri-state area groups.  Presale tickets are available from participating churches, Fannin Chamber of Commerce, and American Wholesale Print Shop. (KF)

Mountain Heritage Festival

Photo Courtesy of Visit Downtown Blairsville

Every Saturday and Sunday of  Labor Day weekend downtown Blairsville hosts, the Mountain Heritage Festival. Presented by the Union County Historical Society, the festival celebrates the history and mountain culture of these hills and valleys.  Mountain arts/crafts, music, living history activities, demonstrations on quilting, spinning, basket making, chair caning, farm animals, and gold panning, along with activities for children. The activities will be centered around the restored 1861 Payne family log cabin, the Mauney family barn, the Duncan family cabin, and other structures from Union County’s past. Festival hours are 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free and there’s plenty of free parking around the Square. (KF)

Summer’s Last Hurrah

Photo Courtesy of Heather Drones

William Shakespeare penned “Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” We couldn’t agree more. We look forward to seeing you here in the mountains this Labor Day weekend for summer’s last hurrah!

Blue Ridge Area Waterfalls



It’s hard to imagine anything more tranquil, peaceful, powerful and appealing than a waterfall. And if one is good, many are better. Fortunately, in Blue Ridge and Fannin County, there is an abundance of rushing water, and impressive elevations – and, thanks to gravity, it all inevitably leads to waterfalls in various forms or fashion – all about 30 minutes’ drive from town.

Long Creek Falls

Starting with waterfalls closest to downtown Blue Ridge, Long Creek Falls provides easy access and an impressive view of a 50-foot drop in two sections. The bonus here is that the falls are at the intersection of the Appalachian and the Benton MacKaye trails, both of which offer a reasonable, but not daunting hike in.

Fall Branch Falls

Also nearby, is the upper part of Fall Branch Falls, which is a series of cascading waterfalls leading to a single drop of about 30 feet into a deep pool at the base of the falls. Fall Branch is a slightly less dramatic drop, but the hike is more challenging and the sound of cascading falls along the trail can be heard before it’s seen.

Sea Creek Falls

Just north of Blue Ridge, close to Morganton, Sea Creek Falls rewards a hiker’s driving indulgence with a short walk to a series of steep cascades. Like Long Falls, Sea Creek drops in two sections, and at high water times of the year (usually later winter and early spring) these cascading waterfalls are enormously impressive.

Amicalola Falls

It’s not a well-known fact that the Blue Ridge Mountains are older than the Rockies, but it explains the softer and relatively less severe ridge lines, thanks to centuries of weather wearing away the rough edges. Still, there are areas in these mountains that feature geological fissures affording deep drops and in the case of Amicalola Falls, just south of Ellijay, the result is a 729-foot cascading waterfall, the steepest east of the Mississippi.

Amicalola can be accessed by way an arduous hike from Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, or by car through Amicalola State Park. If you choose the State Park route, there are a few viewing options – 1) drive to the top of the falls and look down; 2) walk up the meandering staircase, which features switchbacks and landing platforms; or 3) hike up the backside of the falls to the top and have drinks or lunch at Amicalola Falls Resort. Any and all are good options.

Whatever you choice in waterfall hunting, you can’t go wrong. From pastoral to pounding waterfalls, they are a great destination and a rich reward after a drive, hike, walk or run. Additionally, they are a great way to experience family fun together, build camaraderie among buddies, or add a bit of romance to a relationship. Get out and explore. You’ll be glad you did.

We love to see your Blue Ridge adventures! Please share your favorite waterfall photos with us on our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram @escapetobr. We can’t wait to see!

Blue Ridge Winery Spotlight – Bear Claw Vineyards



Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains you will find the most delightful winery to check out – Bear Claw Vineyards. Owned by Kevin & Michelle Swim, these Atlanta natives moved up to the mountains six years ago for a slower paced life. Little did they know that a whole new adventure was about to begin.

Interestingly enough, the temperate climate and the rich soil quality in the North Georgia Mountains are ideal for grape vines to prosper. So what better idea for the Swim’s than to begin planting a vineyard and prepare to open a tasting room. With the help of family and some close friends, Bear Claw Vineyards was born! Open seven days a week, you can sit back, relax, and drink wine Sunday through Thursday from 12-6pm and Friday & Saturday from 12-8pm.

Wines

Kevin heads up the winemaking and boy does he have a talent for producing quality blends. In fact, just recently, five Bear Claw wines were entered into a Georgia Wine competition. Each wine received a medal, and two of them were gold – the Vidal Blanc and Chardonnay (stainless). While these options are fabulous, we highly recommend you try the Dreamcatcher. This Cayuga White is a blend of Schuyler and Seyval Blanc. It is light and refreshing with fruity notes. If red wine is more your style try their Cabernet Sauvignon. As we type this, a new red is about to be bottled out of the barrel, so you will have to come try their new yield.

Family Friendly

Bear Claw Vineyards is welcoming for every member of the family, both two legged and four. Well behaved pets are welcome and there are plenty of games to keep the kids busy while you catch up with your friends and family. Soon, the kiddos will delight with the addition of gypsy vanner horses. The majestic animals will remind you of Clydesdales with their beauty but are much smaller in size. If you or your littles get hungry while enjoying the winery, light snacks like cheese, crackers, and chocolates are always available to purchase. On Fridays you can check out a food truck that they bring up for your dining pleasure.

Live Music

Every Saturday and Sunday you can enjoy live music on the patio. Local talents like Chip McCain and Jeannie Caryn will add to your afternoon ambiance. Larger names like the Indigo Girls and the Marty Ray Project have also performed at the vineyard. Coming up on Saturday, October 27th you’ll be in for a real treat with Confederate Railroad. Opening for the CR are Steven Phillips & The Midnight Express and local favorite, the Gregg Erwin Band. Tickets are still available and are only $19!

Weddings & Events

There is not a much more stunning venue than a vineyard wedding. Small or large, Bear Claw can accommodate your weddings, birthdays, and anniversary celebrations. Intimate ceremonies can be held at the winery and elaborate ceremonies can take place at their newest venue – The Club at Bear Claw. Formerly known as the Blue Ridge Swim & Tennis Club, the property consists of a swimming pool, four tennis courts, and a large reception hall. Onsite event planner, Tonya Ross, is available to help you with all of your event coordination.