The Blue Ridge Experience: Summer Edition



Every season in Blue Ridge is special but summer is one of our favorites! The days are longer, which is perfect for a full day of exploring our quaint mountain town. Enjoy spending time on the waters of Lake Blue Ridge or boating down the Toccoa and Ocoee rivers. Go on an adventure with your family and create memories that will last a lifetime! No matter how you like to spend your summers, Blue Ridge has a little something for everyone! Here’s 15 of our favorite activities to do in and around Blue Ridge all summer long!

Cover photo courtesy of @_Chanel Josephson

Whitewater Rafting

Photo Courtesy of Ocoee Rafting

Nothing says summer adventure like whitewater rafting through the rapids and waves of the Ocoee River! You’ll cool off from the summer heat in no time as the waves splash you and leave you feeling refreshed. The Ocoee River, just a couple miles away from Blue Ridge in Tennessee,  is the perfect place for whitewater rafting. The upper part of the river was actually used during the 1996 Olympics for their whitewater events; that’s how you know it’s a great spot!

One of our favorite rafting companies is Ocoee Rafting in Ducktown, TN. They’re the oldest rafting company on the Ocoee and have been guiding whitewater rafting adventures for 44 years! Ocoee Rafting will guide you over 20 continuous rapids and many play spots. Beginners and experts alike are welcome! 

Adventures on Lake Blue Ridge 

Summers are made for relaxing and having fun by the water. All that and more awaits you at the beautiful Lake Blue Ridge! Rent a boat at Lake Blue Ridge Marina and spend the day floating on the water. Have your own boat? Hit the lake at any of these access points: 

  • Lake Blue Ridge Day use Area and Boat ramp
  • Morganton Point Recreation Area
  • Lakewood Landing Boat Ramp
  • Lake Blue Ridge Dam and Lake Blue Ridge Dam Recreation Area
  • Lake Blue Ridge Marina

Feeling hungry? Grab a quick bite to eat at the Marina’s Boat Dock Bar & Grill. They have delicious food, specialty cocktails, a great view of the lake, and live music Friday & Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon! If you’re up for a refreshing swim head to Morganton Point where you can splash in the water! Also at Morganton Point play on the beach and build sandcastles, or have a picnic in the picnic area, fish, or even go for a hike around the lake. And if you’re in town for 4th of July don’t miss out on the annual fireworks display over the lake! You never even have to leave, with numerous Escape to Blue Ridge cabins right on the lake: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/lake-side-cabins/ 

Explore the Toccoa River

Head to the Toccoa River for more outdoor fun! Canoe or kayak down the river for a relaxing day on the water. For rentals or guided trips you can look up our friends at Blue Ridge Mountain Kayaking, Toccoa River Outfitters, or Rolling Thunder River Company.

Have your own boat and want a little adventure? Take the Toccoa River Canoe Trail which is a 13.8 mile river trail beginning at Deep Hole Recreation Area. If you’re more interested in a laid back experience where you can just float, try out tubing with Blue Ridge Tubing, Toccoa River Tubing Company, or Toccoa Valley Campground Tubing.

Explore the Toccoa River from the shoreline and hike on Benton McKaye trail. Along the way you’ll run into the Toccoa River Swinging Bridge which is the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi! If you’re brave enough, walk across the 270 foot long bridge, over the Toccoa River, to the other side!

Trout Fish in Georgia’s Trout Fish Capital 

Photo Courtesy of KC Outfitters

While you can fish at both Lake Blue Ridge and the Toccoa River, there are hundreds of miles of streams and rivers for fishing in Fannin County. Blue Ridge is especially famous for their trout fishing and is known as the Trout Capital of Georgia! Find trout in Rock Creek, Copper Creek, Noontootla Creek, The Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery, and of course the Toccoa River. If you’re just starting out and need a guide to assist you some of our favorites include; Blue Ridge Fly Fishing School, Noontootla Creek Farms, and North Georgia Trout Fishing. Spend the day catching trout in the beautiful waters of North Georgia! 

Visit a Waterfall

Photo Courtesy of waterfall @hike_the_ridge with @hendersonfamilyadventures

If you want to go for a hike through the beautiful forests and mountains of North Georgia you might as well cool off with the refreshing mists of a waterfall. Blue Ridge has 4 waterfalls nearby that offer stunning views and great hikes. Our favorites are Amicalola Falls, Fall Branch Falls, Long Creek Falls, and Helton Creek Falls. For more details on where to access each falls check out our waterfall blog here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/5-must-see-waterfalls/ 

Pick Blueberries & Blackberries at Mercier Orchards

Photo Courtesy of Forever Freckled Blog

Summer is the season for berries! Mercier Orchards grows blueberries and blackberries during the summer; and you can pick some for yourself with their U-Pick events! Check out their website for U-Pick sign-ups: https://mercier-orchards.com/u-pick/

Don’t feel like picking the fruit yourself? They also have a selection of fruits and vegetables available in their market; like sweet Georgia peaches. While you visit be sure to try some of Mercier’s refreshing hard ciders and stop by their Café for tasty treats. One of our favorite treats are their delicious fried pies available in apple, blueberry, cherry, peach, and chocolate flavors. Yum! 

See a Summer Film at the Drive In

Did you know that Blue Ridge has its own Drive In movie theater? Well that’s right we do, Swan Drive In Theater! They’ve been showing movies here since 1955! Turn back the clock and live life like you’re in the 1950’s by watching movies the old-fashioned way. Just tune your car to the radio and munch down on some delicious classic movie theater snacks; all from the comfort of your own vehicle! It’s a perfect way to spend summer nights! Check their website for movie showings: http://www.swan-drive-in.com/now-showing.php 

Georgia Mountain Fair 

Venture on over to Hiawassee, Georgia between August 13th & August 21st for some good old fashioned fun at The 70th Annual Georgia Mountain Fair! There will be carnival rides, music performances, arts & craft booths, special attractions & experiences, delicious food, a parade, a beauty pageant and so much more! This is a fantastic event you won’t want to miss! 

Live Music 

Photo Courtesy of Tooneys Music Venue

Local businesses have live musical performances all summer long! Stop by any of these establishments Friday-Sunday to listen to the sweet sounds of local artists, while you sip on craft drinks & eat delicious foods!

Downtown Adventure 

Shop till you drop & dine at delicious and trendy restaurants in Downtown Blue Ridge! Bring home treats & souvenirs from your trip from some of our favorite shops like Blue Ridge Cotton CompanyBlue Ridge Adventure Gear, Blue Ridge Olive Oil Company, Blue Ridge Mountain Mall, and so much more! After a long day of shopping on main street try out one of these delicious restaurants Chester Brunnemeyer’s Bar & Grill, Bin 322, The Black Sheep, The Dogwood, or Harvest on Main. Then grab a sweet treat at The Sweet Shoppe or Mona Lisa’s Dessert House to end the day!

Outdoor Thrills 

Photo Courtesy of Zipline Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge

Up for a day of fun-filled thrills? Reach new heights and zip through the trees at Zipline Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge or take on the ropes course Blue Ridge Adventure Park, are you up for the challenge? Or ride a rollercoaster through the mountains in Helen, Georgia. You’ll control the speed as you fly past mountains, forests, and ruins over 100 years old! Then get ready to crush it at Tank Town USA in Morganton, Georgia. Drive tanks, crush cars, fire off machine guns, and even operate construction vehicles. Tank Town is the amusement park of your action hero dreams! End the day by taking to the skies and getting an aerial tour of Blue Ridge with Blue Ridge Helicopter Tours. The views from up above are simply incredible! 

Horseback Ride 

Photo Courtesy of Appalachian Trail Rides

Ride horses on trails through the mountains, forests, and North Georgia countryside. Whether you’re just a beginner or consider yourself an expert rider there’s something for everyone. Some of our favorite stables include Appalachian Trail Rides and Cowgirl Up Stables. You’ll follow experienced guides on a beautiful trail ride. It’s a perfect activity for friends & family alike! 

Explore Historic Village 

Photo Courtesy of INOLA Blue Ridge

Feel like you’re walking back in time at INOLA Blue Ridge. INOLA  is a colonial styled village, built in the 1980’s, and is modeled after Colonial Williamsburg. The village is made up of replicas of historic buildings. As you wander around you’ll see a colonial manor house, shops, a post office, a tavern, the Wythe House, and a 1740’s chapel. Learn about what life was like in a colonial village and feel like you’re really in the 1700’s for a day. INOLA also does weddings in the chapel or pavilion; so if you have a special occasion coming up and you want to celebrate in Blue Ridge, then you know just where to go! 

Grab drinks with friends 

Photo Courtesy of Forever Freckled Blog

One of the great parts of summer is spending time with friends. Relax with your closest of friends at a local winery or brewery. Not only do many of them have live music on the weekends; but a lot of them also have beautiful mountain views, comfortable outside seating, good food to pair with drinks, and a relaxing environment to unwind in. Many even have dog friendly patios!

Some of our favorites include Grumpy Old Men Brewing, Bear Claw Vineyards, Cartecay Vineyards, Serenberry Vineyards, and Fannin Brewing Company. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a refreshing glass of wine or a cold beer on a summer’s day; while laughing with your best friends. To learn more about our local wineries & breweries and see even more of our favorites, check out our guides here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/beer-hunting/ & https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/8-north-georgia-wineries/ 

Watch the Sunset 

Almost Everest Cabin

And absolutely nothing beats ending a long summer day full of fun, then watching the sunset. Watch it set over Lake Blue Ridge or from the top of Brasstown Bald. You can even watch the sun set below the mountains from the back porch of your own Escape to Blue Ridge cabin. Grab the family, kick your feet up, and unwind after a big day. The sunsets over Blue Ridge will leave you speechless. They are truly breathtaking and a sight you won’t soon forget! 

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! 

Ready…Set…Float!



It’s time to kick back and relax river-style! Tubing and kayaking are two activities that need to be at the top of your “Mountain Fun Bucket List”. While on the water, you can enjoy the stunning scenery and let the flowing waterways of North Georgia work their magic! Kayaking requires some arm strength and a bit of determination, but there are definite moments of downtime. Tubing on the other hand involves a whole bunch of sitting and relaxing! If you’re looking for an adventure that makes you feel at ease and involves kicking your feet up, tubing is the type of trip for you.

These activities are enjoyed by all ages and allow you to see an entirely new side of the Blue Ridge nature. You may experience a rush of excitement navigating through low-class rapids, but that’s what helps you move along! Whether you’re on a kayak paddling with an oar or using your palms to guide your tube, a day on the waters is never wasted! The businesses listed below attribute to why Blue Ridge continues to have visitors explore the great outdoors year after year!

Toccoa Valley Campground

11481 Aska Rd, Blue Ridge, GA 30513 | (706) 838-4317 | Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 10am-6pm

Photo Courtesy of Toccoa Valley Campground

Located only a few miles from downtown Blue Ridge, the Toccoa Valley Campground has everything you could need for an outing in the mountains. Tubing, kayaking, and rafting are all available. Their water route takes you on a private 6-mile stretch of the Toccoa River. It has been one of North Georgia’s most popular attractions for over 50 years!

Shallowford Bridge Tube Rental

70 Shallowford Bridge Rd. Blue Ridge, GA 30513 | (706) 632- 2462 | Hours: Monday, Thursday & Friday 11am-5pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am-6pm

Photo Courtesy of Shallowford Bridge Tube Rental

This tubing trip will take you through parts of the beautiful Toccoa River in less than an hour and a half. Shallowford Bridge Tube Rental is one of the oldest, family-owned companies for tubing in the Aska Adventure Area. Visitors are launched into the river at Sandy Bottoms and are sent off on their breezy cruise. At the end of your adventure, you’ll get an up-close view of the historic steel truss Shallowford Bridge!

Blue Ridge Mountain Kayaking

56 North River Rd. Morganton, GA 30560 | (706) 258-2411 | Hours: Monday-Sunday 9am-6pm

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Mountain Kayaking

You can choose your journey while at Blue Ridge Mountain Kayaking! This kayak-only business is located just 2 miles away from downtown Blue Ridge. They offer 2 thrilling expeditions on the Toccoa River including a 6-mile and 12-mile trip. The 6-mile kayak trip takes travelers an estimated 2 hours to complete and the 12-mile trip takes an estimated 4 hours to complete. While kayaking, adventurers can enjoy fishing, swimming, and breathtaking sights of mountains along the route!

Toccoa Wilderness Tubing

8436 B Aska Rd. Blue Ridge, GA 30513 | (706) 455-6496 | Hours: Monday-Sunday 10am-3pm

Photo Courtesy of Toccoa Wilderness Company

All you have to do is bring your crew and the fun will follow! The Toccoa Wilderness Company makes river tubing easy and enjoyable. With a shuttle to the Sandy Bottoms launch area, your toes will be in the water in a matter of minutes. Sit back and let the water carry you away! The 2-mile float finishes its course at the Shallowford Bridge.

Lakewood Landing Boat Launch

Boat Ramp Rd 30560, Morganton, GA 30560

Photo Courtesy of Lake Blue Ridge Civic Association

If you are already a lucky owner of a kayak or a boat, then this is the spot for you! This boat launch is located on the north side of Lake Blue Ridge. You can spend the day as you please on the 3,000+ acres of the lake. The lake offers unbeatable views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains.

Jon Ron Toccoa River Outfitters

15 Black Ankle Creek Rd. Cherry Log, GA 30522 | (706) 838-0200 | Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 10am-2pm

Photo Courtesy of Jon Ron Toccoa River Outfitters

At Jon Ron Toccoa River Outfitters, there are plenty of options for you to hit the water! There are half-day and full-day solo or guided kayak trips that take you through the upper Toccoa River. They also have trips that can shuttle guests to kayak or canoe at Lake Blue Ridge. If you’re a beginner or pro, Jon Ron Toccoa River Outfitters can satisfy your need to explore the great outdoors!

Toccoa River Tubing Company

340 Toccoa Ave. McCaysville, GA 30555 | (706) 492-5280 | Call for Seasonal Hours

Photo Courtesy of Toccoa River Tubing Company

Grab your family and get ready to go! The Toccoa River Tubing Company, located on the border of Georgia and Tennessee, offers a variety of canoeing, kayaking, and tubing trips. Tubing at this spot of the Toccoa River involves a 1.5-mile and 3-mile float. If you are looking to kayak, there are 1.5-mile and 6-mile trips available. With small rapids, clean water, and picturesque scenery, this is an activity that you’ll have to experience for yourself!

Cruising on Lake Blue Ridge

Steve Procko

I’ve spent the last 28 years cruising the shoreline of Lake Blue Ridge. I’ve seen and heard it all, I suppose. My friends call me Captain Katz, pretty much for my expertise on steering them into the areas safe for spawning, and away from the fish hunting sapiens. But to the naked human eye, I’m just a big old channel catfish, not good for much of anything except a great selfie if they are lucky enough to snag me. I’m happy to say that hasn’t been my destiny to date.

Today, I’ve been asked to share with you warm-blooded, gill-less persons many of the amazing amenities of the 3,300 acres of pristine clean clear waters of Lake Blue Ridge.  I’ve observed your enthusiasm for our lagoons for nearly three decades. Yes, if you can see your toes in the water, I can see up at you, as well as hear you. And you are quite the vocal species, aren’t you?  Especially when you manage to hook one of my fellow aquatic compadres. 

Fishing

Photo Courtesy of @Keepinitreelblueridge

My grandfather spoke often about the rudiments of this human sport. It is essential for those of us who have no intention of being caught just how to avoid the situation. That means that I happen to know where I shall stay clear, but where you will enjoy hooking a few of those less savvy fish for your dinner.  

When deciding on your bait as well as your choice of hook, you might want to consider which one of us you hope to snag. You’ll mostly find small and largemouth bass, white bass, spotted bass, bluegill, walleye, rainbow trout, and yellow perch at the end of your pole if luck is on your side. 

If dropping a line from shore the best places to fish are amid the rocky flats around the marina, Star Creek Cove, and the docks around the main body of the lake.  There’s also some serious consideration given to the base of the Blue Ridge Dam.

Family-Friendly Recreational Spots

The U.S. Forest Service manages two recreational areas where one can exhibit their angling skills. But I suggest these to further emphasize that there is more to a great family lake experience than getting sunburned while dunking a worm in hopes of enticing the likes of me to nip at it. 

Lake Blue Ridge Recreational  Area is located on the west side of the lake. This is a passive recreation area with a beautiful view of the lake and mountains. The boat ramp is free. This park is also a good place for quiet walks and relaxing bike rides. There is a short, easy hike along the shoreline, and also a one-mile paved loop road that is popular for walking. Kayak and paddleboards are available for rent.

Morganton Point Recreational Area is the ideal place for swimming and beaching it with the family. Open April through October, the summer months will find the waters warm and crystal clear. I don’t enjoy watching you all stumble around while attempting to have fun, so please consider water shoes for the pebble base in this area, especially for the young ones. Why you all have toes instead of webbed feet, I will never understand! There are also covered pavilions for picnicking and there are lavatories (a place with a porcelain water hole of which I cannot comprehend the need).

Ahoy, Matey!

For those of you who want to tour the lake by vessel, there are numerous means to explore our more than  60 miles of shoreline, of which only twenty-five percent is developed.

There are wonderful coves to explore all along the banks of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Star Creek Cove is the largest, located just off the channel (around the corner from Star Creek Rd.). Its expanse is about a mile long and nearly 1,000 feet across at its widest point. This allows for all kinds of recreational pursuits from canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, jet skiing, and motor boating, with plenty of room for all.

If you’ve come to the lake with your owned equipment, there are five different boat ramps to choose from including Lake Blue Ridge Dam, Lakewood Landing Boat Ramp, The Lake Blue Ridge Day Use Recreational Area and Boat Ramp, Morganton Point Recreation Area, and the Blue Ridge Marina. 

You don’t have your own vessel? At the Blue Ridge Marina, you can rent pontoon boats, kayaks, and paddleboards, as well as stock up on all the boating essentials supplies. A day on the lake is bound to find you hungry. The Boat Dock Bar and Grill is a great place to grab a bite to eat. On many weekends you’ll find the Marina hosting live music and events. 

Lake Blue Ridge Outfitters is located inside the Morganton Point Recreational Area. Here you can rent kayaks, SUP boards (paddleboard-kayak hybrid), fishing kayaks, paddleboards, and party paddleboards. 

Sunrise to Sunset

There are spectacular views of the mountains from every angle of the Lake, and we sea bearers, much like you, often marvel at their reflection above us. But there seem to be two different times of the day that you humans are most captivated by the views along the lake, and that would be at sunrise and sunset. 

For breathtaking sunrises I highly recommend perching atop the Lake Blue Ridge Dam, looking north and south.  There is also a new overlook on the lake in the park area next to the dam, for you shutterflys who want to capture the moment with your cameras.

Sunsets on Lake Blue Ridge are Mother Nature’s means of showing off.  One of the favorite spots to observe her color palette’s slide show bouncing off the water is at the Morgantown Point Recreational Area. 

Lakeside Cabins

I have seen the happiest land dwellers are the ones that are lucky enough to book a cabin right on the lake. There’s just something about stepping out of the house right onto the dock of the lake or ending the day soaking your cares away in a hot tub overlooking the shimmering waters of my home. Even if you aren’t big into water activities you can appreciate the beauty of your surroundings as you settle into a rocking chair with a book, a beer or a glass of wine, and simply enjoy a spectacular sunset from the porch from one of these Lakeside Cabin Rentals.

A Big Splash

That about wraps up my lake tips. For those of you who walk on land, but envy those of us blessed to inhabit the tranquil waters of Lake Blue Ridge, I encourage you to come spend time with us. We don’t mind sharing our liquid homestead, but we do ask that along with your memories and your photos that you take home from your day on the lake, also take your trash to dispose of in appropriate containers. We look forward to your next visit! 

*Featured photo courtesy of Steve Procko