April 2022



The signs of spring are in full effect in Blue Ridge! April welcomes visitors traveling to beautiful Blue Ridge for Spring Break and many wonderful spring activities and events happening in and around town. Escape to Blue Ridge this spring and enjoy all our beautiful mountains have to offer!

Live Music at The Dogwood
April 1st – April 30th 
Location: The Dogwood

Photo Courtesy of The Dogwood

Relax on the beautiful patio, under 100-year-old trees at The Dogwood in Downtown Blue Ridge! With delicious cocktails, an amazing limited menu, and live music from local artists on Fridays & Saturdays starting at 5pm, you’ll love your time at The Dogwood! 

April 1st: Roscoes Roadshow 
April 2nd : Jack Byron 
April 15th: Surrender Hill 
April 22nd: Robbie Litt 
April 30thMattie Croxton 

Live Music at Bear Claw Vineyards & Winery
April 1st – 30th 
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 for the weekly line-up!

Live Music at Misty Mountain Hops
April 1st – April 30th 
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 for great food and great live music from local artists!

April 1st: Gaven Graves 
April 2nd: Rusted Melody
April 8th: Travis Bowlin 
April 9th: Dave Brown 
April 15th: Gabe Myers 
April 16th: The Stephen Busie Band 
April 22nd: Frankie Sparks 
April 23rd: Canon Tyler 
April 29th: Danny Rhea 
April 30th: Lindsay Beth Harper 

Live Music at Tooney’s 
April 1st – April 29th 
Location: Tooney’s Music Venue

Photo Courtesy of Tooney’s

Come on out for live music at Tooney’s HUGE music venue select Friday and Saturday nights and enjoy the best live music McCaysville has to offer! Check their website often for live music updates. And every Thursday night get ready to take to the stage with open mic night!

April 1st: Aaron Walker Band 
April 2nd: Dusty Leigh w/ Special Guest Drew Plowman 
 April 7th – Open Mic Night 
April 8th – Rosewood Grips 
April 9th – Joe Olds Band 
April 14th – Open Mic Night 
April 29th – Saints-N-Rebels 

Live Music at Hook & Eye
April 1st – April 9th 
Location: Hook & Eye Rooftop Bar

Photo Courtesy of the Hook & Eye

Take in downtown Blue Ridge from the roof of the Hook & Eye! This restaurant features excellent cuisine, a full bar, great views, an inviting atmosphere inside, and balcony seating on the outside!

April 1st: Trevor Ciongoli 
April 2nd: Ray Labean 
April 9th: Trevor Ciongoli 

Guided Hikes with the Benton McKaye Trail Association
April 1st – April 27th 
Location: Cherry Log, GA

Photo Courtesy of teh Benton McKaye Trail Association

Explore the beauty of North Georgia on a guided hiking tour with the Benton McKaye Trail Association. They offer 4-5 hikes a month varying in difficulty from easy, leisurely hikes to moderately difficult hikes. 

April 1st: BMT to Rock Creek Trail in the Cherokee National Forest
April 4th: Thunder Rock Express
April 6th: Long Branch Connector off Aska Road to Lake Blue Ridge
April 8th: Flat Creek Loop
April 18th: Wildcat Creek/Turner Trail Loop
April 22nd: BMT – Hudson Gap, out and back
April 25th: Park Creek/Park Ridge Trails
April 27th: Lady Slippers! Mulky Gap Blairsville 

Cartecay Wine Run 5k 
April 2nd 
Location: Cartecay Vineyards 

Photo Courtesy of Cartecay Vineyards

Race through the beautiful hills of Cartecay Vineyards at this wonderful new event! Walk or run this course and admire the mountains as you go; then after have a delicious glass of wine! 

Spring Arts & Crafts Sale of Blue Ridge 
April 2nd – April 3rd 
Location: Fannin County Schools Agriculture Facility 

Photo Courtesy of Fannin County Young Farmer Association

Come on out to the Fannin County Schools Agriculture Facility to shop for wonderful crafts made by local artisans! Entry is free and so is parking!  

Live Music at Paradise Hills
April 2nd – April 30th 
Location: Paradise Hills, Cabins-Spa-Farm Winery

Photo Courtes 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 Saturdays from 1pm – 5pm. Check their facebook page for an updated list of musicians.

Live Music at Grandaddy Mimm’s
April 2nd – April 23rd 
Location: Grandaddy Mimm’s 

Photo Courtesy of Grandaddy Mimms

Head over to Grandaddy Mimm’s Distillery in Blairsvile for a handcrafted moonshine or spirit! And drop by select Saturday afternoons for live music from local artists! 

April 2nd: Mountain Breeze
April 9th: Elliott Sperin
April 16th: Music Bingo
April 23rd: Curtis & Kim Jones from Mountain Gypsy Music

Live Music at Grumpy Old Men Brewing 
April 7th – 15th 
Location: Grumpy Old Men Brewing 

Photo Courtesy of Grumpy Old Men Brewing

Stop by Grumpy Old Men Brewery Thursdays to sing along to your favorite songs for karaoke night! And drop by select Fridays & Saturdays from 3pm – 6pm 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!

April 7th: Karaoke Thursday 
April 8th: Lindsay Beth Harper 
April 14th: Karaoke Thursday 
April 15th: Travis Bowlin 

Thursday Fun Runs at the Riverwalk
April 7th – 28th 
Location: Riverwalk Shops

Photo Courtesy of the Riverwalk Run Club!

Partake in a fun run every Thursday night at 5:30pm with the Riverwalk Run Club! 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!

The Play That Goes Wrong 
April 7th – 24th 
Location: Blue Ridge Community Theater

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Community Theater

Come see this hilarious play about actors trying to make it through a disastrous opening night! Will they make it through to the final curtain call? Find out at Blue Ridge Community Theater’s production of ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’. Shows are Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm. The show runs now till April 24th, call the box office at 706-632-9191 for tickets!

Live Music at Cartecay Vineyards 
April 9th 
Location: Cartecay Vineyards 

Sip on delicious wine at Cartecay Vineyards surrounded by the North Georgia Mountains! Enjoy live music select 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!

April 9th: Jesse Black 

The Copper Express – Easter Train
April 9th 
Location: The Copper Express

Photo Courtesy of The Copper Express

The Copper Express is back with the Easter Train! On April 9th this fun Easter celebration will have an Easter train ride, goodies, and a meeting & photo with the Easter bunny! Children are $6 and adults are $9. 

Justin Moore
April 9th 
Location: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Photo Courtesy of the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Chart-topping, country music powerhouse Justin Moore will be taking over the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds on April 9th at 7pm! And opening for Justin Moore is Thomas Fountain. Tickets are $55+ handling. 

Stand Up Comedy Tour
April 15th 
Location: Paradise Hills Winery

Photo Courtesy of Paradise Hills

Get ready for a night of laughs at the Stand Up Comedy Tour at Paradise Hills Winery. Top-notch travelling comedians will make you laugh all night long! Grab a glass of wine or a beer and let the laughter flow!

Chimps Rock
April 16th – 17th 
Location: Project Chimps 

Photo Courtesy of Project Chimps

Come see the chimps and take a guided tour of the Project Chimp sanctuary. Kids can also paint rocks with sweet messages for the chimps. For $10 children will receive an 45 – 60 minute guided tour, a rock to paint, a chance to see chimps close up at one of the viewing windows, and one adult ticket included. 

Easter Egg Hunt at the Groovy Zoo
April 16th 
Location: The Zoo Groovy Yard Art 

Photo Courtesy of the Groovy Zoo

Come to the fun and unique Groovy Zoo in McCaysville, GA that’s covered in metal, plastic, and wooden zoo animals. And this year they’ll be having their first ever Easter Egg Hunt! There will be over 1000 eggs to find, all with prizes! The best find is one of the golden eggs!

27th Annual Community Easter Egg Hunt
April 16th 
Location: St. Luke’s Church 

Join St. Luke’s in Blue Ridge for their 27th Annual Egg Hunt! The fun kicks off at 1pm with children of all ages welcome! Afterwards, prizes will be awarded to those who find the prize eggs and refreshments will be served. 

Chris Janson
April 16th 
Location: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds 

Photo Courtesy of the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Platinum-selling Country music recording artist, multi-instrumentalist, and award-winning singer/songwriter Chris Janson will be back at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds on April 16th at 7pm! And special guests Ray Fulcher & Shane Profitt will be opening for Chris Janson as well! Tickets are $47+ handling. 

The Rhododendron Festival
April 22nd – April 30th 
Location: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds 

Photo Courtesy of the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Head over to Hiawassee for 5 weekends filled with spring fun at The Rhododendron Festival at their beautiful Hamilton Gardens. Not only will you have the chance to tour the lovely gardens at full bloom but you will also have the chance to enjoy live music, food and craft vendors, a plant sale, daily seminars, and much more! Admission to the Gardens is $5 and the event takes place every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from April 22nd – May 22nd

Cheers for Chimps at Bin 322
April 22nd
Location: Bin 322

Photo Courtesy of Bin 322

Come on out to Bin 322 from noon – 9pm to support Project Chimps.   Your $25 ticket will include a sampling of Bin 322 featured African wine, a Project Chimps glass, and a vegan dark chocolate to go with it. There will also be special African vegan dishes available to purchase as well as live music. 

Georgia Mountain Classics Cruise Ins
April 22nd 
Location: Dairy Queen / DQ Grill & Chill, Blue Ridge

Photo Courtesy of Dairy Queen

Admire a selection of classic cars at this free event happening on the 4th Friday of every month March thru September at 6pm! Bring your own classic car to register and get $4 off Dairy Queen certificate when you register! Ice cream, classic cars, and a good time!

Mile Long Yard Sale
April 22nd – April 23rd 
Location: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Photo Courtesy of the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Stock up on home décor, furniture, knick-knacks, and so much more at the Mile Long Yard Sale at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee. Come shop 1 mile worth of treasures! Admission & parking is free! 

2nd Annual S.T.E.A.M Festival
April 23rd
Location: Blue Ridge Farmers Market 

Photo Courtesy of Fannin County High School

Come support Fannin County High School and their 2nd Annual S.T.E.AM Festival at the Blue Ridge Farmers Market. The local students will be showing off their many talents with live musical and drama performances, as well as arts & crafts for sale. There will also be a community partners table and food & drinks for sale. Admire our local students works from 10am – 4pm. 

Trout Trot 5K 
April 23rd 
Location: Riverwalk Shops 

Photo Courtesy of Riverwalk Shops

Run 3.1 miles through 2 states! The Riverwalk Trout Trot 5K takes place in the beautiful twin cities of McCaysville, GA and Copperhill, TN. Food, drinks, and music will be ready for your enjoyment before and after the race. Come on out and get ready to RACE!

Memory Lane Classic Car Show 
April 29th – April 30th 
Location: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds 

Photo Courtesy of the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

If you are a car lover this event is for you! There will be cool cars, live music, arts & crafts, food trucks, a Swap Meet, auction, raffle, and so much more at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds! Entry to this great event is $10 a person and children 12 & under are free! 

Movie Night at Deep Root Orchard
April 29th 
Location: Deep Root Orchard

Photo Courtesy of Deep Root Orchard

Watch a free movie under the stars at Deep Root Orchard. The movie is “The Goonies” 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!

Blue Ridge Trout and Outdoor Adventures Festival 
April 30th 
Location: Downtown City Park

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Trout and Outdoor Adventures Festival

The Blue Ridge Trout and Outdoor Adventures Festival is back for the 5th year in a row and bigger than ever! Learn all about fly fishing from dozens of local guides. There will even be outdoor activities to try out like a climbing wall, a mountain bike course, axe throwing, gem mining, trout fishing and more! After your adventures shop for beautiful outdoor art made by local artists and have some food & drink in the beer garden. You won’t want to miss out on all the fun! 

Blue Ridge Soap Box Derby 
April 30th 
Location: Fannin County Middle School

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Soap Box Derby

Watch the annual Blue Ridge Soap Box Derby at Fannin County Middle School! It’s going to be an afternoon of fun, with all profits going to STEM education in Fannin County Schools. Interested drivers should register by April 15th

Josh Turner
April 30th 
Location: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds 

Photo Courtesy of the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Country music star Josh Turner will be back at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds performing all of his biggest hits like, “Your Man,” “Would You Go With Me,” “Why Don’t We Just Dance,” and “All Over Me,” and songs from his latest record “A Country State of Mind.” And opening for Josh Turner is Mo Pitney! It’s going to be an awesome night of country music! Tickets are $47+ handling. 

March 2022



Spring is on it’s way in Blue Ridge! The flowers are blooming, the weather is warm, and the Blue Ridge Mountains are green with spring foliage. One of our favorite parts of the arrival of spring in Blue Ridge is the return of great events! Starting in March there’s fun to be had just about every weekend. So get outside and enjoy this beautiful spring weather! 

2022 Georgia Wine Highway
March 1st – March 31st 
Location: Blue Ridge area

Photo Courtesy of Open Georgia Wine

Join in the fun, because the whole month of March is wine highway month! Drink wine from vineyards and wineries all over the state of Georgia! Some of our local wineries that are participating this year are Georgia Wine Depot, Cartecay Vineyards, Chateau Meichtry, Crane Creek Vineyards, Engelheim Vineyards, and Odom Springs Vineyards. Purchase your wine highway passport which includes a collector’s glass and 4 tastings at participating wineries. Check their website for more information: http://www.georgiawine.com/?fbclid=IwAR1pdqXnpepU02qOgruIiuiZWaYZ7NPOQJ82oZ0xLerbgy5pgyYnQY_Yik4 

Youth Art Month 
March 1st – March 31st 
Location: The Art Center: Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association 

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

Come admire and celebrate the works of local young artists from Fannin County and Copper Basin schools. This years theme is “Art Connects Us.” 

Live Music at Grumpy Old Men Brewing 
March 3rd – March 31st 
Location: Grumpy Old Men Brewing 

Photo Courtesy of Grumpy Old Men

Stop by Grumpy Old Men Brewery Thursdays to sing along to your favorite songs for karaoke night! And drop by select Fridays & Saturdays from 3pm – 6pm 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!

March 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st: Karaoke Thursday 
March 4th: Travis Bowlin  
March 19th: The Orange Walls 
March 25th: Gregg Erwin 
March 26th: Karaoke Saturday 

Thursday Fun Runs at the Riverwalk
March 3rd – March 31st 
Location: Riverwalk Shops

Photo Courtesy of the Riverwalk Run Club

Partake in a fun run every Thursday night at 5:30pm! 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!

Live Music at Tooney’s 
March 3rd – March 31st  
Location: Tooney’s Music Venue

Photo Courtesy of Toony’s

Come on out for live music at Tooney’s HUGE music venue select Friday and Saturday nights and enjoy the best live music McCaysville has to offer! Check their website often for live music updates. And every Thursday night get ready to take to the stage with open mic night!

March 3rd: Taylor Austin Dye LIVE 
March 4th: Rusted Melody 
March 5th: The Chris Key Band 
March 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st: Open Mic Night 
March 11th: Canon Tyler & the Spare Parts
March 12th: The Wandering Willows 
March 19th: Tooneys One Yr Anniversary w/ Cabin Fever 
March 25th: Zach Crumly & Taylor Cromer 

Trouble at the Tropicabana
March 3rd – March 20th 
Location: Blue Ridge Community Theater 

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Community Theater

If you’re looking for a show that has love and a little mystery to it than Trouble at the Tropicabana is the show for you! This comedic murder mystery show has everything! Shows are Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm. The show runs now till March 20th, call the box office at 706-632-9191 for tickets!

Women on the Water Retreat 
March 4th – March 6th 
Location: Noontootla Creek Farms 

Photo Courtesy of Noontootla Creek Farms

Calling all lady fisherman! This weekend retreat is for you! Join in the fun at Noontootla Creek Farms for their first ever Women on the Water Retreat. This is an inclusive 3 day and 2 night retreat where you will learn the art of fly fishing. Only 8 spots available so sign up now! 

Live Music at Misty Mountain Hops
March 4th – March 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 for great food and great live music from local artists!

March 4th: Doctor Paul Constantine
March 5th, 11th: Andrew Golden
March 12th: Canon Tyler 
March 18th: Dan Foster 
March 19th: Dave Flowers 
March 26th: Maddie Lane 

Live Music at Hook & Eye
March 4th – March 18th 
Location: Hook & Eye Rooftop Bar

Photo Courtesy of the Hook & Eye

Take in downtown Blue Ridge from the roof of the Hook & Eye! This restaurant features excellent cuisine, a full bar, great views, an inviting atmosphere inside, live music on select nights and balcony seating on the outside!

March 4th: Adrian Stover
March 18th: David Welch 

Cork & Canvas
March 5th 
Location: Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association 

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

Come to the Art Center for a night of fun drinking wine and supporting local art. The event will include a wine grab, silent auction, a count the corks raffle, delicious food, and live music! Your $40 ticket includes free wine samples, a commemorative BRMAA glass, a complimentary glass of wine, and gourmet food selections. And all proceeds of this great event go towards our local youth art programs! 

Live Music at Cartecay Vineyards 
March 5th – March 20th 
Location: Cartecay Vineyards 

Photo Courtesy of Cartecay Vineyard

Sip on delicious wine surrounded by the North Georgia Mountains! Enjoy live music select 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!

March 5th: Thomas Hinds 
March 6th: Lindsay Beth Harper 
March 12th: Jesse Black 
March 13th: Gabe & Jadie 
March 19th: Daisy Chain 
March 20th: Luke Woltanski 

Live Music at Bin 322 Wine & Tapas Bar
March 5th – March 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 select Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm – 9pm to enjoy live music from local artists and choose from their great wine selection. And on Monday nights from 6pm – 8pm join in on SINGO, music style bingo! There’s always fun to be had at Bin 322!

March 5th: Lay Labean 
March 12th: Rusted Melody
March 19th: Loose Shoes Duo 
March 26th: Trailer Hippies 

Stand Up Comedy Tour
March 18th 
Location: Paradise Hills, Cabins-Spa-Winery

Photo Courtesy of Paradise Hills

Get ready for a night of laughs at the Stand Up Comedy Tour! Top-notch travelling comedians will make you laugh all night long! Grab a glass of wine or a beer and let the laughter flow! 

St. Patrick’s Day Parade
March 19th 
Location: Downtown Blue Ridge 

Photo Courtesy of the Fannin County Chamber

Things are looking green around Blue Ridge! Join us for our annual St. Patrick’s Day parade! The parade kicks off Downtown at 11am. And afterwards stick around for brews, food, and shopping! Wear your best green outfit and come on down!

Yappy Hour
March 19th 
Location: Grandaddy Mimm’s 

Photo Courtesy of Safe Pet Project

Drink some delicious drinks and have a great time all while you help animals in our local community at Grandaddy Mimm’s. Your $25 ticket will include a choice of one signature drink, a limited edition Safe Pet Project glass, a food ticket, and a ticket for each raffle. Come on down! 

Women Playing Hamlet 
March 24th – March 27th 
Location: Blue Ridge Community Theater

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Community Theater

See a woman play Hamlet for a change! When Jessica is cast as Hamlet everyone tells her not to do it, but with the help of her crazy acting couch can she really pull it off? The show will play Thursday – Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2pm!

Movie Night at Deep Root Orchard
March 25th 
Location: Deep Root Orchard

Photo Courtesy of Deep Roots Orchard

Watch a free movie under the stars at Deep Root Orchard. The movie is “Deliverance” and starts at 8:20pm. 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!

The Great Ape Escape 5Kish
March 26th 
Location: Project Chimps

Admire the adorable chimps as you race in a 5K around the property! This is their very 1st Great Ape Escape 5K and it’s sure to be a blast! 

Fine Dining in the Mountains



Fine dining is different at every restaurant, but there are common threads woven through all of them. First, there is a Chef-inspired menu, with his or her signature, stamped on each offering. Unlike casual restaurants, fine dining service usually includes eating utensils that are a matched set, and have more weight than your summer camp mess hall offered you. Generally, there is a linen napkin to lay across your lap, water served in a glass vessel sans the local bank logo and the table legs have been leveled to assure your plate doesn’t travel across the tabletop each time someone rests against it. There’s also the expectations of the staff. When visiting a fine dining establishment you expect the staff to deliver you a  higher standard of service, where they understand the menu and can assist you with accurate answers and solutions to your dietary concerns and preferences. Blue Ridge is proud to be home to many of such dining establishments. Let us introduce you to a small plate offering of six of our favorites.

Bin 322 Wine and Tapas Bar

116 W. Main St. Suite 1-D – Blue Ridge, GA  

Photo Courtesy of Bin 322 Wine and Tapas Bar

We choose this as one of our favorite “wining” experiences.  Bin 322 isn’t your richest of decor settings, but it’s charm lies in it’s comfy, cozy atmosphere with many choices of seating including wing back stuffed chairs or around a game table playing checkers. You pick your ideal spot before choosing your sips from an exceptional wine menu. If you like to accompany your spirits with well prepared and incredibly tasty food, you will find just that at Binn 322. The menu includes tapas (salmon nduja), platters (Italian, French, Spanish or Mediterranean), salads, sandwiches, entrees (duck confit) and indulgent desserts (Crème Brulee) that team up perfectly with a sweet wine to complete a choice encounter with your lunch or dinner companion.

The Black Sheep Restaurant

480 W. Main St., Blue Ridge GA 

Photo Courtesy of The Black Sheep Restaurant

This stylish, and classy restaurant believes in fresh food that’s locally sourced and artfully prepared. Set in a historic house (circa 1814) you have your choice of pet-friendly patio seating under a 200-year-old oak tree, the enclosed porch with its flaming heaters, up at the beautifully appointed bar or in the main dining room, where service is second to none.  Start with an appetizer of pork belly and marmalade, add a perfect beet salad and eventually savor the lamb pappardelle. We can’t forget to mention that The Black Sheep offers a killer Brunch menu every Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 4pm. The Sunday paper, an inspired Bloody Mary and a chicken & red velvet waffle. Who can resist? Reservations are recommended.

Chester Brunnemeyer’s Bar & Grill

733 E. Main St. Blue Ridge, GA 

Photo Courtesy of Chester Brunnemeyer’s Bar & Grill

Everyone just refers to it as “Chester’s”, and it’s Blue Ridge’s answer to “Cheer’s”, where everyone knows your name, or at least it feels like they do. But don’t let this friendly bar atmosphere fool you. The dining experience at Chester’s is so noteworthy. The amazing craft beer selection shakes hands nicely with signature appetizers like chili and beer cheese nachos or deep-fried sticky ribs. The soup, salad and sandwich menu all have a plethora of delicious, inspired choices, but if you have a heartier appetite, dig into the entrees like the 14 oz blackened ribeye, cooked to perfection and served with herb roasted fingerling potatoes, garlic broccolini and finished with fresh herb butter. This is fine……real fine.

Cucina Rustica

76 Forge Mill Rd, Morganton, GA 

Photo Courtesy of Amy Walker Price

Chef Danny Mellman takes Italian fare to a new level at this fine-dining Ristorante. This is the perfect place to spend an evening with friends. Start out with a plate of Frito Misto (flash-fried calamari and fish with artichokes and lemon and charred tomato-lemon aioli). The salads are shareable in size. The Treviso is a patron favorite, w/ bacon, balsamic, fresh pear, walnuts, and Gorgonzola. A myriad of pasta, risottos, and polentas, with fresh roasted vegetables, compliment delectable fresh sauces, meat entrees, and the finest of seafood. This is Old World Italian cuisine served mountainside. On Friday and Saturday nights the chef offers a veal Osso Bucco that will transport you across the Mediterranean Sea without the jet lag. Reservations are recommended.

Harvest on Main

576 East Main Street, Blue Ridge, GA 

Photo Courtesy of Harvest on Main

This is the second of three Chef Danny Mellman eateries to make our list of eight. This was his first establishment in Blue Ridge and it has become what all its competition aspires to be.  You might think that it would be the service, the menu, the wine and beer selections that would put this place over the top. Not to minimize any of these, because they are all worthy of five stars, but it’s the rustic appointments of the décor that nails it. Every moment you are being treated to a dining experience at Harvest on Main you are made to feel you are dining at the most affluent of ski resorts, high up in the Grand Tetons when actually you are smack in the middle of downtown Blue Ridge. Make a reservation. Spend the evening. Know that you’ll be back to try every item on the menu. It’s that good.

Masseria Kitchen + Bar

67 Roberts Way, Blue Ridge, GA 

Photo Courtesy of Masseria – Kitchen & Bar

The third of Mellman’s family of restaurants to make our list, Masseria mashes together Mediterranean countryside food and infuses Appalachian sensitivities into the recipes to share food so fresh, so earthy, so flavorful and dare we say, healthy, that you will feel like you are eating in a Grecian farmhouse the evening of their best harvest.  Is pizza fine dining? Absolutely when it is topped with baked bourbon apples, raisins, gorgonzola cheese and ricotta. Couple that with a salad of kale, grilled chicken, couscous, quinoa, lemon vinaigrette, craisins and walnuts and you can see why they made our list.

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! 

Cabin Provisions To-Go



Even on vacation sometimes you may just want a night in to relax. We totally understand! So sit back and do just that; while others prepare your hot, fresh meals for you. All you have to do is be ready to eat! Instead of cooking for hours, enjoy that extra down time with your friends and family and then come together for a delicious meal. Your taste buds and your tired feet will thank you!

You can now enjoy meals from the comfort of your own home away from home thanks to take out and delivery options. When you don’t feel like cooking in the cabin you can order food from many of the favorite Blue Ridge restaurants to-go. You can even order meals from some of our favorite local chefs! Here’s a list of 6 Blue Ridge restaurants, shops, and chefs that are helping to make mealtime easy!

Mercier Orchards 

Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

Mercier Orchards has a variety of pre-made, ready-to-cook meals to choose from. They’re made right on the farm and with fresh ingredients! Each meal serves two people and includes step-by-step instructions for preparing in under 30 minutes. They have a variety of options for you to take home including; Chicken Parmesan, Savory Pot Roast with Gravy, Stuffed Pork Chops, Local Trout wrapped in Applewood Smoked Bacon or topped with Lemon & Dill, and Chicken Cordon Bleu; and each come with a delicious vegetable side of your choosing! New meals are added weekly, so there will always be something fresh and new. To place an order email at theresa.waggoner@mercierorchards.com or call at 706-632-3411.

Mercier’s also has a Grab-N-Go Bakery where you can pick up all your favorite sweet treats like fried pies and apple cider donuts! Even pick up a bottle of their famous hard cider or wine while you’re there to bring home for a night in at the cabin. With so many delicious meals and treats to bring back, you won’t need to cook a thing! 

Chester Brunnenmeyer’s Bar and Grill 

Photo Courtesy of Chester Brunnenmeyer’s Bar & Grill

Chester Brunnenmeyer’s Bar & Grill in Downtown Blue Ridge has take out! That means you can take any of their delicious meals home and enjoy them in the comfort of your own cabin. Bring Chester’s incredible wings home with you to share with the whole family; choose from 10, 20, or 50 wings. Or bring home a delicious burger and fries or for a fancy meal in go for the Blackened 14oz Ribeye Steak. And don’t forget to take home the dessert of the week too! Choose anything off the menu and enjoy a night in your home away from home!

Rum Cake Lady

Photo Courtesy of the Rum Cake Lady

With two locations to serve you, Rum Cake Lady in Downtown Blue or in McCaysville/Copperhill makes it east to order anything off the menu for take out or delivery! If you’re feeding a large family or group, the Party Sandwich Platters and a handful of different Bundt Cake flavors are the perfect fit. Or order a bunch of Cuban Food Bowls to fill you up with a mix of rice, meat, and beans. Bring the taste of Cuba home to your cabin and some desserts that everyone will enjoy! 

Chef Jeff Servin & Company

Photo Courtesy of Chef Jeff Servin & Company

Cabin chefs are great for making preparations at mealtime a breeze, and Chef Jeff Servin & Company is one of our favorites! You can order a private chef to come in and give you a fine dining experience, cater in, or use their cabin concierge service to bring in groceries and packaged, ready to cook meals before you even arrive. Chef Jeff & team makes it easy for you to relax and enjoy your time with your loved ones. For meal selections, enjoy delicious choices like Heritage Pork and Georgia Peaches, Beef Wellington, New York Strip, and so much more. Chef Jeff Servin & Company bring the fine dining straight to you! In fact, they will create a tailor fit menu based on your preferences, allergies, and dietary restrictions. Trust us. You will not be disappointed with this company, this service, or their food!

Pasta Market 

Photo Courtesy of the Pasta Market

Stock up on all things pasta at the Pasta Market in both Downtown Blue Ridge and McCaysville/Copperhill. Pick up all kinds of pastas, sauces, spices, flatbreads, desserts, and more then bring them back with you to prep an easy meal at the cabin. You’ll love their large selection of imported Italian goods that will make you feel like you’re dining on a delicious, authentic Italian meal at a Tuscan villa. Even when you’re not in Blue Ridge you can order online to have your favorite Italian goods delivered right to your door! Take the taste of Italy with you, wherever you go!

Ingles Markets

Ingles Market is a great place to stock up for your week in Blue Ridge. You can find all your basics here like bread, cereal, meat, and more but you can also find a wide selection of local goods that you wouldn’t be able to find at the bigger grocery stores. Not only can you stock up on your usual groceries here but you can also order catering from The Chef’s Kitchen to serve your family and guests at your cabin. They have everything you could imagine from hors d’oeuvres, party platters, ready to eat boxed meals, soups and salads, wraps, bakery items, and hot buffets. Ingles is great for everything you need whether you plan on cooking up fresh meals in the kitchen or having them catered in; you can do it all easily!

The Ultimate Meal



Cover Photo of delicious meals courtesy of Chef Jeff Servin

Fine dining is different at every restaurant, but there is something magical about having a fully prepared gourmet meal in the privacy of your luxurious mountain cabin. Lucky for us, so many of the finest award-winning international chefs have found their way to the Appalachian mountains, tired of the hassle of metropolitan restaurant life, and a few special ones chose to settle right here in Blue Ridge to share their talents.  

These professional chefs will come to your cabin, prepare an incredible meal suited to your tastes and dietary needs, and the best part is they clean up all the mess! The surprising part, is this 5-star service is much more affordable than you might think. Seriously. It is! We recommend you consider one of these amazing options (listed alphabetically because we love all 3!) on your next Escape to Blue Ridge.

BLUE DUCK EATS

Chef Steven – Blue Duck Eats

Steven Lash is a veteran of the restaurant world having worked in some of the top kitchens in Atlanta for over 15 years. Steven’s food is best described as “inspired American cuisine” combining fine dining with local influence inspired by his extensive travel, passion for the outdoors, and hunger for understanding cultures.

Jumbo lump crab cake with Meyer lemon Beurre Blanc and Microgreen salad

CHEF JEFF SERVIN

Locals Only Special for Escape to Blue Ridge Guests

Chef Jeff Servin

With over 15 years of restaurant experience, this 33 year old Executive Chef takes pride in sourcing his produce from local farmers, and bringing the best quality to the table for every plate he delivers, so you know it’s fresh! He puts his entire heart, passion, and skillset into dinner parties, family dinners, or an exotic feast for two. He also offers packaged meals that are ready in minutes, so you don’t even need to leave your cabin!

Wedding Reception for Escape to Blue Ridge partner, Ernie White
  • Featured blog cover photo courtesy of Chef Jeff Servin.

CHEF TREY GOURMET

Chef Trey Griffith

Using the freshest, often locally sourced ingredients, Chef Trey is passionate about sharing the experience of fine dining with his clients. His services include initial client consultation, a customized menu plan, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and kitchen clean up!

Five spiced wild caught Steelhead Trout with Honey glaze, Saffron scented yellow rice, diced sautéed yellow Beet Root, Soy glaze

Beer Hunting



There’s no denying it, the craft beer market has grown substantially over the past few years. In 2019 it’s estimated there were over 8,000 independent craft breweries in the United States.  Blue Ridge and the Copper Basin are home to a few of the best!

Taking home a growler to drink while sitting in front of the TV and screaming at the umpire was a favorite pastime for many before the 2020 sports season was pre-empted. Now, visiting craft beer taprooms has become a favorite diversion for many aficionado hopsters. But many more of us barley know the yeast of what goes into a good brew. So before we take you beer hunting in this region, let’s do a very quick primer.

Craft Beer 101

Photo Courtesy of Copperhill Brewery

Where does beer come from?

Barley – mainly used for beer, this is the base ingredient for beer.

Malt – barley by itself won’t make beer.  Barley seeds need to be sprigged to life by malt extract and then roasted and toasted to achieve their distinctive flavors.

Hops – Without hops, beer would be pretty boring.  Hops are the spices of the beer world creating bitter, tropical, and citrus flavors that balance out the sweetness of the beer.  Grown as bines or long vines, you might have passed a hops crop along the roadside and mistaken it for a vineyard.

Yeast – You can’t make beer without yeast, and the yeast plays maybe the biggest part in the whole beer equation.  Pitch too little, your beer is sweet.  If the yeast is not healthy, it will throw off a strange and unpalatable flavor.

Brewing – Oh yeah, that part.  Brewing takes on a lot more than simply boiling the beer.  There is milling the grain to get it just the way you want.  Then there’s the constant cleaning and maintenance of all the equipment, hoses, and fittings to make sure there is no contamination.  Someone must carefully monitor the production to hit all of the right “checkpoints” to ensure that the proper alcohol levels are achieved.  And then there’s carbonating it just right for the style you are brewing.

Beer Styles

Ale – It’s typically fermented warm, using a strain of yeast that rises to the top of the brew. It ferments faster than lager and is more strongly flavored. Esters produced during fermentation lend a slightly fruity and floral taste. Hefeweizen is a wheat beer. IPA stands for India Pale Ale, which long ago was high in hops and alcohol content, to survive a voyage from Britain to India. It still tends to have an intense hop flavor.

Lager – This is another basic type of beer. It’s usually fermented cold, using yeast that sinks to the bottom during fermentation and works slowly. Long, cold fermentation inhibits the production of esters, and lagers have a cleaner, crisper taste than ales.

Hard Cider – Whoa! Where did cider fit into this primer? Well, not everyone likes beer, but they still like the low alcohol content compared to liquor. On a warm summer’s day, hard cider is a great and healthier alternative to beer, especially for those who have to avoid wheat and other grains.

Cliff Notes on Style:

The best ales have intense, complex, and balanced flavors. 

The best lagers are very tasty but they generally aren’t as complex or intense as ales. 

Beer vs Cider – If you are someone who enjoys the distinctive bitterness of beer and enjoys a sugar-free drink made of barley, then beer is the drink for you. If you are looking for a gluten-free, sweeter option, but still want the bubbles and the buzz, look to the craft hard ciders.

You are now ready for our North Georgia Beer Hunt!

Fannin Brewing Company

3758 East First Street, Blue Ridge, GA | 706-258-2762 | Hours: Friday & Saturday 12pm-8pm, Sunday 12pm-6pm

Production at Fannin Brewing Company

This brewing company was founded by someone passionate about starting a winery in Blue Ridge. Plans change. He meets a guy passionate about German beers. They combine their passions and voila! They now have one of the most highly respected craft breweries in the South. Tours of the plant are available on Fridays and Saturdays. BYOP – Bring your own pup. Yes, your canine friends are welcome throughout the brewery.

Our Tasting Room Choice:  Cherry Mitten

Grumpy Old Men Brewing

1315 East Main Street, Blue Ridge, GA | 706-946-2739 | Hours: Monday – Wednesday 12pm-6pm, Thursday – Saturday 12pm-8pm, Sunday 12:30pm-5pm

Beer Selections at Grumpy Old Men Brewing

This is a great hangout for any age brewster. Family friendly, kids will love the GIANT JENGA outside and the games inside, plus there’s craft soda on tap. Open seven days a week. Big screen TV’s throughout. Thursday night is Karoake night and it is well attended and lots of fun. Always 18 different craft beers on tap. On Friday, Saturdays and Sunday’s check out their hot dog stand.  

Our Tasting Room Choice:  Hell’s Holler Porter

Mercier’s Orchards

8660 Blue Ridge Dr., Blue Ridge, GA | 706-632-3411 | Hours: Sunday – Thursday 8am-4pm,  Friday & Saturday 8am-6pm

Blueberry-Apple Sparkling Cider at Mercier Orchards

Mercier’s is the only apple orchard in Georgia that can say they grow, press, ferment, and bottle their product. Their full line of cider seasonally takes advantage of most of the fruits that are grown year-round at the orchard. The tasting room is part of the gigantic market, restaurant, and bakery. You may visit with the intent to pick out your favorite hard cider, but be prepared to spend additional time foraging the whole market.

Our Tasting Room Choice:  Grumpy Granny

Copperhill Brewery

105 Ocoee Street, Copperhill, TN | 423-548-3030 | Hours: Monday 12pm- 6pm,  (Tuesday – Wednesday Closed), Thursday – Saturday 12pm-8pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm

Photo Courtesy of Copperhill Brewery

Visit this brewery and you won’t know if you are in Tennesee or Georgia. Located in Copperhill, just outside their tasting room door, you can have one foot in Tennessee and the other foot in Georgia. It’s very cool to straddle the state line! Sample their brews and you’ll wonder if you haven’t traveled to Scotland or Germany. This brewery takes craft beer way, way serious. It’s not a passion for them. It’s an art form. Some of the friendliest and most knowledgeable staff this side of the Mason Dixon line.

Our Tasting Room Choice:  Ocoee #1 IPA

Buck Bald Brewing

160 Ocoee St, Copperhill, TN | 706-431-7141 | Hours: Monday 2pm-8pm, (Tuesday & Wednesday Closed),  Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 12pm-8pm

Photo Courtesy of Buck Bald Brewing

This brewey is a converted gas station with a great tasting room, but an even better outdoor area that, when the weather permits, is just hopping with folks having fun, listening to great music, and some amazing beer choices. You can join the Mug Club and have your picture painted on a mug that’s yours to keep fillin’up with their vast and ever-changing selections. Great fun for the whole family. It’s where the white water rafting crews call “home”. 

Our Tasting Room Choice: Berry My Heart at the Trailer Park

Food With A Brew

Fightingtown Tavern

511 East Main Street, Blue Ridge, GA | 706-946-2006

The Bar at Fightingtown Tavern

Here you’ll find a chef that makes cheffy dishes all out of locally sourced meats and veggies, rockin’ music, and a great craft beer selection for a cool experience and a taste-bud tripping meal!

Black Bear Bier Garten

500 East Main Street, Blue Ridge, GA | 706-946-4440

Photo Courtesy of @ancole78

Best known as Blue Ridge’s “Husband Day Care Center”, the Black Bear Bier Garten offers great local music and 19 local, craft & imported draft beers. Pare your brewski with one of 9 varieties of wild game sausages and you’ll be pretty happy you stopped in!

Chester Brunnenmeyer’s Bar and Grill

733 East Main Street, Blue Ridge, Georgia | 706-258-2539

Dinner Special at Chester Brunnenmeyer’s

Set in a historic Blue Ridge building, Chester Brunnenmeyer’s delivers not only an elevated food selection, but their adult beverage menu is most robust with signature cocktails like the ESCAPE TO BLUE RIDGE (Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka, macerated blueberries, lemonade), an impressive wine list, and regionally crafted beer!

Masters of the Que



Throughout the South, BBQ reigns as the premier cuisine. Though Texas waves their 10 Gallon hats boasting that they are the king of the Que, few know that Georgia is where smokin’ meats all evolved. The word “barbecue” comes from the Caribbean word “barbacoa.” Originally, barbacoa wasn’t a way of cooking food, but the name of a wooden structure used by Taino Indians to smoke their food. In 1540 Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto’s expedition through Georgia came upon a deserted Taino camp and discovered meat left roasting on a barbacoa, the embers of the fire still warm.

Originally, usage of the verb barbecue meant “to preserve (meat) by drying or slowly roasting”; the meaning became closer to that of its modern usage as a specific cooking technique by the time Georgia was colonized. But barbecue isn’t just a verb, it’s also a noun. It’s something you attend, and going to a barbecue is one of the gatherings we Southenerners just can’t resist. So it’s not surprising that when one vacations here in the north Georgia mountains, BBQ  is the cuisine most sought out. 

Rembrandt, Picasso, and Warhol are all celebrated master artists, putting paint to canvas, yet yielding a different effect. Barbeque in the South is more than just the slow burn of meat, it’s a subculture with wide variations of techniques, seasonings, textures, and sauces.  With well over a dozen BBQ joints in a twenty-mile radius of Blue Ridge, we’ve chosen to highlight three different experiences, much like the three artists we mentioned. They are masters at the Que, but they are different.

Mike’s  Trackside BBQ

Photo Courtesy of Mike’s Trackside Bar-B-Que

If you agree that what makes the best restaurant experience is great food, atmosphere, and service, then Mike’s has you eating off his black checkered lined metal trays. With only 5 tables inside and 4 more on the porch, this tiny place packs a huge punch! Let’s talk about the atmosphere first. It starts with that 1939 Chevy pick up truck parked outside. Walk around it and imagine hauling around the dirt mountain roads of eighty years ago in this prize jalopy. This is just the beginning of your museum tour. The porch and the whole indoors is covered ceiling to floor with tons of fun historical memorabilia.

Mike’s Trackside Bar-B-Que 1939 Chevy

 If you can manage to take your attention away from the décor and turn it to the menu, you might find it difficult to decide what to order before they close.  With their meats selection, they more than have you covered. There’s the traditional smoked brisket, pulled pork and baby back ribs. Add smoked chicken wings, smoked sirloin, pulled chicken breast, and their famous all-beef “Kiolbassa”  and your decision becomes even tougher. 

Mike’s Trackside Bar-B-Que Brisket

Though the protein is usually the main event at a good BBQ, the sides complement the fare, and Mike’s has some very noteworthy offerings.  We recommend the Mountain Dew stewed apples with walnuts, an old fashion fresh-squeezed lemonade, and the Texas toast. Yes, even their Texas Toast is called out as the best in Trip advisor reviews.  All this is served up with a friendly, helpful staff, and if you decide to get it to-go (check out these picnic spots) you’ll find it will be packed up with TLC and everything you need to dig right in once you get to your destination.

Mike’s Trackside BBQ
Open Monday through Thursday 11-6 and Friday-Saturday 11-7. Closed Sundays.
3950 E First St, Blue Ridge, GA |(706) 258-2533

Carroll’s Barbeque

Up the hill and across from the Blue Ridge Post Office is a small, unassuming strip center. On the facia, in large block letters, it reads “ Carroll’s Barbeue”. The size of the letters matches the Que experience diners get here.  Walk inside and you’ll get the old country jive. Not only are the optics there, but you’ll get that smell of smoke rendering the fat that emanates from the real wood-fired pit, and the hunger pains spike the brain and you gotta have everything on the menu. 

3 Meat Combo Plate at Carroll’s Barbeque

This is some of the most tender and tasty of briskets you’ll find in these parts. The ribs are “fall off the bone” good!  They have pulled pork, pulled chicken, and smoked wings. But the one meat that they are legendary for is their smoked turkey, available on a plate, stuffed in a large sandwich or covering up a fresh salad for those who eat just a little lighter. They also have a few unique items on the menu that, when dining with a group, are great sharing treats. The BBQ Burrito (baked beans & shredded cheese in a flour tortilla, topped with Brunswick stew) is stuffed with your choice of pulled pork or pulled chicken. Then there’s “Tater Hill”. Carroll’s takes a large, classic baked potato, covers it in their white sauce, pile it mountain high with pulled pork, mac & cheese, baked beans, and coleslaw and then drizzles it with mild & sweet sauce.

Stuffed Potato at Carroll’s Barbeque

All servings are generous, as is the hospitality at Carroll’s. Only open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for lunch and dinner, you want to plan a trip here with plenty of time to chow down your main plate, and then rest up a little before you indulge in a couple of their famous desserts, including homemade banana pudding served warm with a meringue topping or their show stopper, the Skillet Brownie Sundae. 

Carroll’s Barbeque
Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11am – 8pm
39 Lance St., Blue Ridge, | GA 706-946-1126

The Pink Pig

Combination Plate at The Pink Pig

This smokehouse has been an institution in these mountains for over 50 years, and it is still cared for daily by the family of Granddaddy Holloway who first manned the smokers. Just down the road from Blue Ridge, in Cherry Log, GA, The Pink Pig stands out from the roadside. The Pink is not a subtle hue, but then every artist has its shade. And speaking of shade, The Pink Pig is one of our favorite places to outdoor dine, especially with kids. Lots of places to spread out as a family while eating succulent ribs with sauce all of your face and fingers.

The Pink Pig’s Garlic Salad topped with Fried Chicken

The Pink Pig’s menu has some twists to it that you won’t find at many other  Que’s. They receive five-star reviews every day for their garlic salad (it’s the garlic brine the lettuce is soaked in- yet stays crunchy- they keep coming back to devour). You can get this salad veggie style or top it with grilled chicken, fried chicken, smoked pork, or brisket. Signature offerings like Bubba’s Brisket Nachos and SJ’s Brisket Tacos are the distinguishing brushstrokes that make this a Picasso of fine BBQ dining.  The entrée menu includes a mouth-watering Ribeye cooked perfectly on the grill. Sandwiches and burgers can be topped with peppers, mushrooms, and onions. We like that you have a choice in the size of your sandwich, too. Those with a hearty appetite won’t be disappointed. 

Apple Cobbler & Ice Cream at The Pink Pig

You might want to leave room for dessert because the Holloway family has a way with a cobbler that is served warm with a healthy scoop of vanilla ice cream all cuddled up next to that fresh seasonal fruit and topping. And note: they are open on Sundays and also stay open till 9 pm.

The Pink Pig
Open Thursday through Sunday 11am – 9pm
824 Cherry Log St. Cherry Log, GA | 706-276-3311

Your Furkids are Welcome Here



Bringing your dog with you on your Blue Ridge mountain vacation can enrich a trip in so many ways. You’ll meet and talk to dog-loving strangers who otherwise would have passed right by you. You’ll travel to dog-friendly parks and other places that wouldn’t ordinarily be on your itinerary. You’ll have a built-in reason to go outside, exercise and have fun. Most meaningfully, you’ll have your best friend at your side. We are glad that you and your four legged pooch have decided to stay with us, and we thought we’d take this opportunity to share some of Blue Ridge’s favorite canine and people friendly spots.

Let’s Get Our 20,000 Steps In

Photo Courtesy of @celine_celeste_great_danes

Fido isn’t wearing a Fitbit, but he does have twice as many legs that welcome the fresh air and exercise that come as a vacation bonus here in the foothills of the Appalachians. The Chattahoochee National Forest is dog-friendly. When combined with the Oconee National Forest, the Chattahoochee National Forest spans nearly 867,000 acres across 26 counties and features thousands of miles of clear streams and rivers, 850 miles of recreation trails, picnic areas, and areas rich in natural scenery, history, and culture. Hikers bringing their dogs on the trails must keep them under verbal or physical restraint at all times—using a leash in crowded areas is highly encouraged.

If your dog loves to socialize with her canine counterparts, then a visit to the Humane Society of Blue Ridge Dog Park is a must. An off leash park there offers both Big dog and Small Dog areas. There are toys to play with or you are welcome to bring your furkids favorite fetch toy. Clean up bags are provided, but you need to do the heavy lifting and disposal into the litter cans. The park is open sun-up till sun-down, 7 days a week.

Shopping is GRRRRReat

Watson greeting customers at Blue Ridge Cotton Company

Blue Ridge Cotton Company is a dog-friendly clothing store, located in downtown Blue Ridge. Inside the store, you’ll find an extensive pet section, including gifts, books, leashes in a variety of colors, treats, and more. There’s even more irresistible human stuff, too. Additionally, Blue Ridge Cotton Company donates one percent of every purchase to a number of animal charities in the local area.

If it’s a girls day out, then the two of you need to head over to Humble Pie Ladies Boutique. A pet-friendly ladies outfitter in Blue Ridge, the clothing they stock is Bohemian-style, unique, affordable and comfortable. Dogs are welcome to join you in the dressing room as you decide which flowing dress or headband best suits you.

Love Dogs and Cats Too is a pet-friendly store full of items for Fido and Fluffy. They stock everything from healthy treats and snazzy leashes to plush toys and comfy beds. Dogs are welcome inside to sniff out their birthday gift or drop some hints as to their favorite kind of toy to take home.

Drinking out of a bowl, frosted mug or goblet

Photo Courtesy of Bear Claw Vineyards & Winery

Eventually you and your pet are going to get thirsty. Though your four legged friend isn’t old enough to legally indulge in liquid spirits, he/she will still love to socialize with you as you test out some of the finest in craft beers and wines produced in our region. Hanging out on the patio seating at Grumpy Old Men’s Brewing will actually put you all in a good mood. Fannin Brewing Company is another favorite for Fido travelers and the Ale beer connoisseur on the other end of the leash. Just up the road from downtown Blue Ridge is Bear Claw Vineyards & Winery, a boutique farm winery with vineyards where production of handcrafted wines are offered in the tasting room which also includes a dog friendly patio. Salud!

This Movie Rates 5 Bones

Photo Courtesy of Kaysi and Grey Darrah

When was the last time you took your pooch to the movies? Here in Blue Ridge you can bring Chunky with you to catch Call of the Wild (or Lady and the Tramp if she’s into chick flicks) on the biggest screen she’s ever seen – at  the Swan Drive-in Theater. Screening since 1955, this drive-in features 1st run blockbusters & an old-school snack bar with burgers. You’ll love the nostalgia, your pet will dig the burger bar outdoor patio and you’ll both enjoy the movie.

French Fries to Fine Dining

Photo Courtesy of The Black Sheep

It’s vacation, and McDonalds isn’t going to do for either of you. It’s time to try new gourmet delights, something that didn’t come out of a can. Toccoa Riverside Restaurant, located in Blue Ridge, GA, is a casual eatery that serves up a variety of delicious American fare. Best known for their local trout dishes, it’s best not to mention to your pet that there is also catfish on the menu. Spot is welcome to join you at one of their pet-friendly outdoor tables while you enjoy your meal. (They even offer a special menu just for pups with options like hot dogs, burgers, chicken, rice, and more!) And there is live entertainment for your pet too, as they quack up watching the ducks waddling along the river bed. 

Photo Courtesy of Toccoa Riverside Restaurant

You don’t have to be a Polish Greyhound to enjoy the patio dining at Margo’s Gourmet Polish Kitchen. Margo makes everything fresh daily, and Cuddles will appreciate that she refers to her famous steamed weiners as sausages, not hot dogs. If you are both preferring something more like a pizza than a pierogi, upstairs from Margo’s is where Blue Jeans Pizza is located. Rated #1 Blue Ridge Pizza on Trip Advisor, this Italian-American eatery also serves up menu options like appetizers, salads, burgers, pizza, strombolis, calzones, subs, pasta, wraps, and more. And your furry bambino is welcome to join you at their outdoor patio seating.

When the palate calls for something more upscale or a certain date night ambience, then be sure to sniff out these two places. Harvest on Main has comfortable seating on their patio under the porch for both you and your furkid. Don’t share the menu though. Cuddles will have you ordering the Smoked Duroc Bone-In Pork Chop served with Red Skinned Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Pork Collard Greens, topped with Mushroom Ragout. Guess who wants the bone? 

And talk about the right canine atmosphere to indulge in culinary perfection, check out the 200 year old tree that Cuddles can rest under while you indulge in what’s been voted the best weekend brunch in Blue Ridge at The Black Sheep, just a short walk down Main Street. 

Did someone say walk?

Provisions for Your Great Escape!



I’m not sure if I was in my right mind when I let my two cousins convince me to spend a week with them in the cabin they rented in Blue Ridge last September. It started as friendly banter between us at the annual 4th of July family reunion. My Aunt asked me about my love life, and my cousins snickered. They accused me of being a workaholic. I assured them that was not the case. They asked me how much vacation time I had accrued at my job. I admitted to three weeks (It was actually 5). They challenged me to join them on their annual fall fishing trip, promised me the master bedroom, and said that if I’d agree to cook the fish they caught, they’d foot the bill for everything, all week. That included my choice of wines.

I contemplated.
I made them pinky swear to the wines of my choice.
My Aunt chided me when she kissed me goodbye that evening. “I look forward to hearing all about you great escape adventure”.

Happy friends travelling together by a car

Ten weeks later I was in the back seat of a jeep sans shock absorbers, my suitcase stuffed with ten books I had been collecting to read on the vacations I had never found time to take and my cast iron frying pan (because frying fresh trout in anything else would be a crime).

That evening when we arrived at Eagles Landing, all my trepidations about the “deliverance” experience were evaporated. This cabin was gorgeous. And true to their word, they dropped my bags in the upstairs master suite. I decided to explore the kitchen to see what might already be there to help me execute my “duties” in the next six days. I was impressed with the tools of the trade and took out my tablet to start to create my menu.

My cousins, Jake and Jeff are twins. My Aunt and her sister (my Mom) were pregnant at the same time. I was born a mere 34 hours after they were. At family reunions, we were referred to as the triplets. Growing up we lived just two blocks away from each other until we all left for college. Our families took summer trips together for as long as I can remember. Vacationing with these guys wasn’t going to be a new journey. In many ways, I was hoping it would be a rekindling of such joyful past adventures. While deciding on the culinary options, I knew what they’d eat, what they’d abhor, and what would make them gastronomically delirious.

The next morning I woke up to find the car keys on the counter and a credit card. The note from my cousins said their guide picked them up and I should feel free to take the jeep into town and shop for whatever was needed to keep us all well fed and hydrated.

I had done my internet research on possible provisions before our arrival. My first stop that morning: Out of the Blue. This is one of the finest gourmet shops I’ve ever had the pleasure of shopping, and now, on my cousin’s tab, I was going to indulge for all three of us.

Photo Courtesy of Out of the Blue

Sara, Out of the Blue’s founder, who travels all over the world to select wines from small producers, asked me my vin likes and dislikes. We also discussed my menu ideas for the next week. I settled on wines from three countries, craft beer for the boys from the region as well as from Europe, and a selection of cheeses that she packed on ice for me so I could continue on my shopping adventure. I left feeling accomplished and I also bid farewell with a promise to revisit before heading back to the city.

My next stops were Blue Ridge Olive Oil Co. and Tupelo Tea, two sister stores that abut one another. My morning rituals are always accompanied by at least one cup of freshly brewed tea so the first door I chose was Tupelo Tea. It was amazing; a “candy store” for tea drinkers. I browsed and sniffed and tasted. After having indulged in a cup of MOCHA NUT MATE, I left with pouches of PU-ERH HAZELBERRY and CHINA MILKY OOLONG, as well as a pump jar of honey. 

Photo Courtesy of Tupelo Tea

Next door, I found the Blue Ridge Olive Oil Co. to be more than irresistible. I wanted to taste-test every one of their 65+ olive oils and balsamic vinegar from around the world, but alas, the day was short and my palette overwhelmed. I had two salads and two appetizers on my menu that needed the right dressings. Two bottles of olive oil and two of balsamic seemed a bit excessive, but it was my cousins’ nickel. I added a small bottle of blood orange olive oil to the purchase and made a note that I was going to have to make a dessert with this that both of the guys would adore (recipe below).

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Olive Oil Company

While downtown, I found my way over to Huck’s General Store. I nearly didn’t find my way back out of there. This is the kind of place that our parents would find on past summer trips, knowing that we kids would be occupied for at least an hour deciding on how we were going to spend the five dollars they gave each of us. Then we’d negotiate with each other for the rest of the trip, swapping pieces of candy and taking turns wearing the raccoon hat.  Even though the barrels of candy were overwhelmingly nostalgic, my adult tastes led me to the outstanding selection of rubs, sauces, jellies, pickles, and other canned delicacies. I took a long time deliberating before making my choices: pickled okra, habanero pickled garlic, and Huck’s sweet potato pecan butter. (recipes below).

Photo Courtesy of Huck’s General Store

Man (or in this case “men”) can not live on just fish alone, so it was off to find some scrumptious protein. I knew that easy grill meats were in order this week. These guys were going to want to just kick back with a beer (or 3) after trolling the fishline all day. I needed to keep it simple but succulent. I wanted a variety of sausages so my research took me to Margo’s Gourmet Polish Kitchen. Not only did I find a great selection of European weiners and sausages, but she also carried locally raised beef, pork. chicken and free-range eggs.

Photo Courtesy of Margo’s Bistro & Deli Polish Restaurant

Now it was time to take a lovely drive out to Mercier’s Orchard. Mercier’s started over 40 years ago as an apple orchard, but the second and third generations of the Mercier family have developed an amazing farm to table experience that draws visitors twelve months of the year, seven days a week, and from all over the world. I decided that I would have lunch in their café, and stuffed myself with a delicious salad and a fried peach pie. That gave me all the energy boost I needed to continue on my shopping throughout their huge market for the best of provisions.

Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchard

Ladened with Mercier’s fresh produce, homemade cheese spreads, and a hefty selection of hard cider, I had just left myself enough time for my last stop of the day, Ingles Supermarket, Blue Ridge’s large grocery chain store. Trip Advisor reviews gave Ingle’s nearly 5 stars. It didn’t disappoint. I found all the rest of the staples on my list and made it home in time to sip a glass of fine wine while I read three chapters of my first vacation book before starting dinner.

The First Night’s Menu

Hordourves and Spirits

Snakebite Cocktail: Mix the following in a chilled mug: Six ounces of a dark German Guinness ale from Out of the Blue. A pinch of salt. A tablespoon of liquid from the jar of  Huck’s General Store pickled Okra. Stir.
Now pour six ounces of Mercier’s Sneaky Jack Hard Cider over the beer mixture. Serve with Huck’s Pickled Okra, (slit down the middle and scoop out the seeds)  stuffed with Mercier’s Pimento Cheese Spread. Shake a dash of Cayenne pepper over each filled okra.

Dinner

Garlic Mashed Potatoes: I cheated and bought Bob Evans family size at Ingles. You can’t tell the difference after I spiced them up with three minced cloves of habanero pickled garlic from Hucks and drizzled with Garlic Olive Oil from Blue Ridge Olive Oil.

Trout: What can one do to fresh trout besides adding a light dusting of flour, salt, and pepper then pan-fry in a hot cast-iron skillet and a large slab of Amish Butter? Well, I topped each filet with a tablespoon of Sweet Potato Pecan Butter from Huck’s General store. The guys devoured it all.

Vegetable: Steamed shredded red cabbage with a side of  Spice Apple Chutney from Mercier’s.

Dessert

Blood Orange Olive Oil Pound Cake

INGREDIENTS (Makes one 9 inch loaf)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 large eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of Blood Orange olive oil
1/2 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons brandy (or bourbon)
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup of grenadine (maraschino cherry juice)
Frosting Ingredients:
¼ cup of sugar
¼ cup of orange juice

PREPARATION
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter a 9 × 5-inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and 1 cup of the sugar. Whisk in the olive oil, milk, brandy, lemon zest, orange zest, and 1/4 cup of the orange juice. Add the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. The batter is wet. It’s okay.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the cake comes out clean. You will smell the cake when it is done. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool enough to handle, then flip over onto a rack to cool thoroughly.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup orange juice. Turn the cake right side up. Using a pastry brush, brush the glaze all over the cake. Allow the glaze to harden some before serving.

Not a cook? Call the Chef!

Local area professional chefs will come to your cabin, prepare an incredible meal suited to your tastes and dietary needs, and the best part is they clean up all the mess! We recommend you consider one of these amazing options (listed alphabetically because we love all 3!):

Blue Duck Eats

Photo Courtesy of Blue Duck Eats

Steven Lash is a veteran of the the restaurant world having worked in some of the top kitchens in Atlanta for over 15 years. Steven’s food is best described as “inspired American cuisine” combining fine dining with local influence inspired by his extensive travel, passion for the outdoors, and hunger for understanding cultures.

Chef Jeff Servin

Photo Courtesy of Chef Jeff Servin

With over 15 years of restaurant experience, this 33 year old Executive Chef takes pride in sourcing his produce from local farmers, and bringing the best quality to the table for every plate he delivers, so you know it’s fresh!

Trey Griffith, cheftreygourmet

Photo Courtesy of Trey Griffith, cheftreygourmet

Using the freshest, often locally sourced ingredients, Chef Trey will create an imaginative menu for your family or friends, all in your kitchen. Giving consideration to food allergies or dietary restrictions is something he takes into account when writing the menus.