2021 Blue Ridge Bucket List



To say that 2020 has been a hard year would be an understatement. This year has been so incredibly hard on many families all over the world. That’s why we want to help make 2021 the best year yet! We all deserve a little happiness and fun after a year like this. So we’ve created a 2021 bucket list of 10 activities to do in Blue Ridge and the surrounding areas. Let’s make 2021 the best year, mountain style! 

Explore a Waterfall

Photo Courtesy of @willsbeenhere

Fall Branch Falls, and Long Branch Falls are located here in Blue Ridge and Amicalola Falls and Helton Creek Falls are pretty close by! Just the hike to these falls alone is a great experience, but when you finally arrive you’ll be blown away by the beauty of it all. The whole family (dogs included) will love exploring around the falls and relaxing by the waterside. And be sure to grab a couple of great photos before you head back! Each of the Blue Ridge area waterfalls are so unique and beautiful it will be hard to pick just one, so we won’t blame you if you need to explore all of them! 

Jump on the Swinging Bridge 

Photo Courtesy of Audrey Dre Spears

The Swinging Bridge over the Tococca River has become a kind of landmark for Blue Ridge. Located on the Benton MacKaye Trail and the Duncan Ridge National Recreation Trail in Fannin County, this bridge is an experience you won’t want to miss. Spanning 270 feet long, this makes it the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi. When you walk the bridge look down below and keep an eye out for kayakers floating down the peaceful river. 

Eat Local

Chester Brunnenmeyer’s Bar and Grill

Downtown Blue Ridge is home to many fantastic local restaurants. The whole street is filled with shops and restaurants, so it’s the perfect place to go for a afternoon or night out. Spend the day shopping and then stop by a restaurant for a bite to eat after a long day. Try the Black Sheep and get their famous “Black Sheep Burger” or stop by Bin 322 for wine and tapas. Then there’s Chester’s serving rustic American food or the Rum Cake Lady serving Cuban style food. And if you have a sweet tooth check out Mona Lisa’s Dessert House for everything from cakes and pies to cookies and dessert martinis. With so many dining options to chose from it might be hard to pick just one, but we assure you they are all delicious. And no one said you have to only chose one, right? 

Ride the Mountain Coaster

Have you ever ridden a rollercoaster through the mountains? Well, now you can! Take a little road trip to our friends in Helen, Georgia, and hop on the Georgia Mountain Coaster, the first alpine coaster in Georgia. Whizz past beautiful mountains and forests at whatever speed you’d like because YOU control the speed! You’ll even pass by ruins that are over 100 years old! It’s not often you can say that you went on an alpine coaster and that you even controlled the speed, so what are you waiting for? Stop by for a once in a lifetime, family fun experience! 

Hike to the Highest Peak in Georgia

Photo Courtesy of Brasstown Bald

The views from the top of Brasstown Bald are a must see! You can see 3 different states all at once, from the observation tower at the top. Brasstown Bald is the highest mountain peak in Georgia so it’s quite the hike but the views at the top are so worth it! And think of how accomplished you’ll feel knowing you made the hike. When you push yourself the rewards are all the greater!

Hunt Big Foot

To many in this neck of the woods, Bigfoot (aka Sasquatch, Yowie and Yedi) isn’t just a 20th-century folk legend. The first recorded sighting of him here in Fannin County was June 26, 1873. Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest has long been known as a hotbed for Bigfoot activity amongst the Bigfoot research community. If taking a hike out into the forest after the sun sets, night vision glasses in place, to snap your photo op with Bigfoot is too much effort, don’t let that deter you from finding out all you can about him. While here in Blue Ridge, plan to visit EXPEDITION: BIGFOOT! The Sasquatch Museum, located just east of the city. This museum may have you giggling on the way in the door, but you will leave with a new appreciation for your next walk in the woods. You’ll discover why Bigfooters from around the globe make the pilgrimage to Blue Ridge just to explore this museum and its many relics.

Cheers to Blue Ridge

Blue Ridge is home to some amazing wineries, breweries, and distilleries. So grab your friends and drink your way around town! For wineries check out Bear Claw Vineyards and Serenberry Vineyards, both right here in Blue Ridge. If you’re up for more of a road trip than be sure to check out Cartecay Vineyards in Ellijay and Crane Creek Vineyards in Young Harris. All of these wineries have not only delicious wines but beautiful mountain views as well.

For beer try Grumpy Old Men Brewing, Fannin Brewing Company, Copperhill Brewery, and Buck Bald Brewing. Any of these breweries will provide you with excellent and delicious craft brews. And for hard liquors try out Grandaddy Mimm’s Moonshine Distillery. The moonshine is crafted from Jack Mimm McClure’s original 1930’s recipe. Every place is filled with great drinks, great service, and a relaxing environment so you can’t go wrong. Bring your friends and you’ll be sure to have a blast! 

Take a Helicopter Tour 

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Helicopter Tours

How often can you say that you took a helicopter tour over the North Georgia Mountains of Blue Ridge? Drop by Blue Ridge Helicopter Tours to get your tickets to soar above the mountains and clouds. The scenic views you will get from up above are out of this world beautiful! There’s absolutely nothing like it. 

Zip Through the Mountains

Photo Courtesy of Explore Georgia

If you’re the adventurous type than look no further than Blue Ridge Adventure Park. Clip in and find yourself way above the ground as you navigate through ropes courses and zipline. It will challenge you both mentally and physically as you try to make your way through the course. With 3 levels of suspended bridges and tightropes ranging from 15 to 50 feet in the air, you’re sure to be in for an exciting challenge. Blue Ridge Adventure Park is the perfect destination for all you thrill seekers out there! 

Book the Perfect Mountain Escape 

Leatherwood Lodge

After a year like 2020 we all need to getaway and get out of our house! There’s no better place to escape than Blue Ridge. Get outside, enjoy the fresh mountain air, and go on the adventure of a lifetime! Grab your favorite people and book your Escape to Blue Ridge for the most perfect mountain escape! We all need a little escape every now and then! 

It’s time to say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021! Watch 2020 disappear in your rearview mirror and look forward to all that lies ahead in 2021. A big thank you to everyone who helped make 2020 a great year for us, despite the circumstances. We’re so grateful for each and every one of you! Now let’s head into the new year and make it the best one yet! From all of us at Escape to Blue Ridge, have a very Happy New Year! 

Blue Friday Deals For YOU!

Ladies Shopping in Downtown Blue Ridge

If you are lucky enough to be spending the Thanksgiving holiday in the mountains, we have an extra special treat for you this year! Not only do you get to enjoy the tranquil beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the comfort of your luxury cabin rental, but you also get to adventure out into the most quintessential little town. From our abundance of natural resources like hiking trails, waterfalls, and soaring mountains, we are also proud to share with you the heartbeat of our community – Downtown Blue Ridge.

Of course, anytime is a fantastic time to Escape to Blue Ridge, but when you plan a visit during the holiday season, you will feel like you are stepping into a Hallmark Movie. The town is beautifully decorated and festive from every streetlight to each of the shopkeeper’s windows. The crispness of the mountain air and the excitement for the possibility of snow heightens your exhilaration and desire to explore every corner.

We could list one thousand plus reasons why you should visit Downtown Blue Ridge and of course shopping would be included on that very long list just as dining in our restaurants, meeting our residents, and experiencing the specialness of our beloved mountain community. This year you have ten more reasons to shop here because we have arranged for special Blue Friday savings to all of our Escape to Blue Ridge fans!

What? You don’t know what Blue Friday is? Well, allow me to explain. Blue Friday is Blue Ridge’s version of Black Friday, but it goes far beyond shopping and it is really the local kick-off to the entire holiday season! Let’s look at all the fun things there are to do and before we wrap this up, we’ll share your 10 special savings! Promise.

Blue Ridge Turkey Trot

Thursday, November 28th

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Turkey Trot

The Blue Ridge Turkey Trot is a family event for all ages and abilities from walkers to competitive runners. Kick off the Thanksgiving Day at 8am with a 5K race/walk. Registration starts at 7am and you are encouraged to bring a canned food item for the Good Samaritans food pantry. You’ll be able to enjoy all the holiday food guilt free after completing this run/walk and be back to the cabin in time to put on the turkey. Registration is $30 in advance or $40 on race day. Money raised will be donated to Blue Ridge charities.

Light up Copper Basin

Friday, November 29th

Photo Courtesy of Copper Basin Business Association & Riverwalk Shops

Help light up the twin cities of McCaysville, Georgia and Copperhill, Tennessee. Enjoy live holiday music, hot cocoa, and cookies. Donation are welcome to support Christmas for Kids. The music begins at 4pm and the tree lighting is a 7pm.

Christmas Market

Saturday, November 30th

Photo Courtesy of Downtown Market Blue Ridge

Local produce, handmade arts and crafts, baked goods and more! The Christmas Market opens at 7am and will stay open until dark.

Light Up Blue Ridge

Saturday, November 30th

Photo Courtesy of Light Up Blue Ridge

Light up Blue Ridge is a festive event for children and adults alike. A full day of fun begins when Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive on The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway where they will then be available in the town gazebo for pictures. There will be performances all day. Santa and Mrs. Claus will then be in the holiday parade at 5:30pm. Food vendors will surround the park, winners of the window decorating contest will be announced, and then the lighting of the 27 foot “Great Tree” takes place at 7:00pm.

Even More Holiday Events!

We covered all the BIG events, but there is so much more fun to be had in this great little town. Our November Events Newsletter features the play It’s A Wonderful Life at the Blue Ridge Community Theater, live music, and a community Thanksgiving event! Our December Events Newsletter features Santa Trains, a Tour of Homes, and Ice Skating!

Blue Friday Specials

Now for your special treat! Some of our favorite shops and downtown Blue Ridge have decided to offer YOU special savings beginning on Blue Friday and lasting all weekend long! (November 29-December 1) All you have to do is let the proprietor know that you are a fan of Escape to Blue Ridge!

Appalachian Trail Rides at S & T Stables

Photo Courtesy of Appalachian Trail Rides at S & T Stables

Appalachian Trail Rides offers guided horseback trail riding from beginner to advanced through the Blue Ridge Mountains on 250 acres located minutes from downtown Blue Ridge GA. On your ride take in beautiful views, wildlife, and creek crossings on customized rides with experienced guides. From family outings to corporate events and private rides to proposal rides, Appalachian Trail Rides will make your time in the Appalachian Mountains as memorable as possible.

Deal: 10% Off Trail Rides

Canoe

Photo Courtesy of Canoe

Canoe is a lifestyle brand of bags and jewelry made right here in Blue Ridge, Georgia. Their unique collection of bags and jewelry effortlessly marry rustic charm with contemporary sophistication. Utilizing natural materials with enduring appeal, every piece you purchase from Canoe will be your new favorite for years to come!

Deal: Free gift with purchase (Friday Only)

Blue Ridge Cotton Company

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Cotton Company

Blue Ridge Cotton Company is a thoughtful store with a big heart. Here you will find quality apparel at affordable prices for the entire family. They are also your source for inspirational gifts, books and journals, home accessories, unique gifts, and so much more.

Deal: 10% off your Entire Purchase!

Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

The Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association (the Art Center) has been fostering the creative process in these mountains in excess of 32 years. The Art Center endeavors to promote art, artists & art experiences across the Southern Appalachian Region.

Deal:

  1. 15% off ALL Art Supply Station supplies and items
  2. Receive $5 off Holiday Gift Memberships!
  3. All active BRMAA Members will receive 10% off all purchases

Blue Ridge Mountain Outfitters

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Mountain Outfitters

This full-service outfitter represents the premier outdoor brands including The North Face, Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear, YETI, Chaco and much more. They are also authorized Trek and Cannondale bike dealers and offer service of all makes.

Deal: Receive 10% off all North Face purchases

Fly Shop Co

Photo Courtesy of Fly Shop Co

Fly Shop Co specializes in locally tied flies, apparel, gear, and a large selection of made in the USA items. Here you can also book guided fly fishing trips and specialized instruction.

Deal: 10% discount on Guided Fly Fishing trips with Will

Pedego Bikes Blue Ridge

Photo Courtesy of Pedego Bikes Blue Ridge

If you are looking for a fun experience you need to tour Blue Ridge by bike! Pedego Electric Bikes sells & rents the most fun electric bikes in the world. They even offer guided tours that include waterfall and swinging bridge adventures!

Deal: 20% off all Tours & Rentals

Misty Mountain Hops

Photo Courtesy of Misty Mountain Hops

If you love eating and music then you will love the laid back vibes of Misty Mountain Hops. Good food and sweet tunes make this Vinyl Pub a must!

Deal: 10% off all Food Orders

Mystic Mountain Pizza

Mystic Mountain Pizza is a family owned and operated pizza restaurant with fantastic food and an inviting atmosphere! They have a passion for crafting fresh salads, all-beef gourmet hot dogs, wings, desserts, and specialty pizzas in their oak-fired brick ovens.

Deal: 10% Off Meal

Escape to Blue Ridge

Cloud Nine Cabin

If you’ve never experienced a Thanksgiving weekend in the mountains, you should discuss it with your friends and family this year and make your plans early because we book up fast!

Deal: For every $100 Escape to Blue Ridge gift certificate purchase, get an extra $10 credit! Please use promo code “Gift10” when booking.

April Events & Happenings in Blue Ridge



Spring has finally arrived and the sun’s warming rays make for the perfect time to explore the mountains that are accented with beautiful blooms!  Pack up your friends and family and enjoy a mountain getaway.  Check out the events below and come stay with us this month.

Upcoming Events & Activities

Art & Writer Workshops
April 4 – April 22
LOCATION: The Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association and Art Center

Expand your horizons with The Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association and Art Center! They are offering a full spectrum of classes, fun events, excellent exhibits, and new programs. If you love to learn, love art, or are an artist yourself, you will be amazed at all the opportunities for all ages and of varied mediums.

April 4 – Steve Martin Art Exhibit
April 5 – Margo Locke Exhibit
April 5 – 22nd Annual Blue Ridge Writers Conference
April 16 – Leatherworking

Southern Fried Funeral
April 5 – April 7
LOCATION: Gilmer Arts Playhouse

Photo Courtesy of Gilmer Arts Playhouse

Southern Fried Funeral is a big-hearted comedy about family. In the show, Dewey Frye is dead and the rest of his family is left to pick up the pieces. Funerals bring out the worst, the best, and the funniest in people – that is if they don’t kill each other first.

Live Music at The Blue Coyote
April 5 – April 27
LOCATION: The Blue Coyote

The Blue Coyote is known for their live music and entertainment. While you’re there you can enjoy their tasty bar food and a whole bunch of beer! They even have a dog-friendly patio! Stop by, check it out, and enjoy the music!
April 5 – Apollo Band
April 6 – Bone Daddy’s
April 12 – Topper/Voices of Rock
April 13 – Mind the Stepchildren
April 19 – Owl Creek Band
April 20 – Gregg Erwin
April 26 – Justin Long
April 27 – Breaking Point

Allman Brothers Tribute Band: Live At The Fillmore
April 5
LOCATION: Blue Ridge Community Theater

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Community Theater

Live At The Fillmore is the ultimate Allman Brothers Tribute Band. They believe in the original Allman Brother sound, not as a jam band, but as a “band that jams”!

Grumpy Old Men Brewing
April 5 – April 19
LOCATION: Grumpy Old Men Brewing

Photo Courtesy of Grumpy Old Men Brewing

Visit Grumpy Old Men Brewing for great live music and delicious beer! Eighteen beers are currently on tap, and new brews are added frequently! Open Tuesday through Saturday. Dogs are welcome and people are tolerated!

April 5 – Josh Purgason
April 12 – Travis Bowlin
April 19 – Highbeams
April 26 – Gregg Erwin Live

Bear Claw Vineyards & Winery
April 6
LOCATION: Bear Claw Vineyards & Winery

Photo Courtesy of Bear Claw Vineyards

At 10:45am start your Saturday off right with Namaste & Cabernet. Join in on a one hour yoga class from Yoga Over Blue Ridge and then enjoy a wine tasting. Then from 1:30pm-5:30pm Hunter Flanagan will entertain you with his musical talent.

Blue Ridge Parade of Homes
April 6 – April 7
LOCATION: Blue Ridge and Fannin County

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

Cartecay Vineyards
April 6 – April 20
LOCATION: The Blue Ridge Brewery

Cartecay Vineyards

A picturesque venue, live music, and wine. What better way to spend an afternoon with your family or friends?
April 6 – Dom Weir
April 7 – Timothy O’Donovan
April 13 – Tommy Joe Conner
April 14 – April Rooks
April 20 – Scott Stambaugh

The Prisoner of Second Avenue
April 11 – 28
LOCATION: Blue Ridge Community Theater

A well-paid executive of a high-end Manhattan firm, Mel Edison, gets the ax. His wife Edna takes a job to hold them over, but she gets canned too. The world is crumbling down around him, even his plants are being killed by air pollution, he gets robbed, his psychiatrist dies with $23,000 of his money. The only thing left for him to do is have a nervous breakdown and that ends up being the best thing that ever happened to him!

Boat Dock Bar & Grill
April 12 – April 28
LOCATION: Lake Blue Ridge Marina

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Marina

You can’t get a better venue or greater acoustics than right on the lake. With delicious food and jamming tunes, you’ll love the atmosphere and entertainment at the Boat Dock Bar & Grill at the Lake Blue Ridge Marina.
April 12 – Gopher Broke Band
April 13 – Lindsay Beth Harper
April 14 – Travis Bowlin
April 19 – Danny Rhea
April 20 – Trevor J. Pattillo
April 21 – Buck & Oz
April 26 – Danny Rhea Returns
April 27 – Buck & Oz Return
April 28 – Gopher Broke Band

Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival
April 12 – 13
LOCATION: Union County Schools Fine Arts Center, Blairsville


Photo Courtesy of Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival

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

Cheers for Chimps
April 13
Location: Fannin Brewing Company

Photo Courtesy of Project Chimp

Raise a glass of Apple Lager made with Mercier Orchard apple cider benefiting Project Chimps – an organization founded to provide lifetime care to former research chimpanzees at a 236-acre forested sanctuary in North Georgia. For $25 you get a limited edition Project Chimp glass, a 16-oz lager and a bowl of the Fire & Ice-winning chili!

Opening Day Demo Derby
April 13
LOCATION: Blue Ridge Motorsports Park

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Motorsports Park

Opening day for the spring and summer season of auto racing begins with a Demo Derby – First Points Race.

Murder Mystery Dinner at the Disco
April 19
LOCATION: Chateau Meichtry Family Vineyard and Winery

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Murder Mystery. Dinner. Wine. Disco dancing. Any of those alone would be cool – but jamming them all together under one roof, on the same day at the same time. Wowzer! Must you dress like John Travolta? No. Should you? Yes. And yes, there will be a disco ball!

The Second Annual Georgia Mountain Needle Arts Festival & Retreat
April 26 – 28
LOCATION: Gilmer County Civic Center

Photo Courtesy of Georgia Mountain Needle Arts Festival & Retreat

An absolute treat for knit, crochet, weaving, and rug hooking enthusiasts! Attendees of this event will gain access to a variety of vendors and educational resources. Needle artists will enjoy shopping for yarn, beads, hand dyed materials, artisan fiber, felted rug supplies, wood turning products, and more!

Chimps Rock
April 26 – 27
LOCATION: Project Chimps

Photo Courtesy of Project Chimp

Kids and kids at heart will enjoy this special day of art and discovery at the Project Chimps sanctuary for former research chimpanzees. Spend a few hours with the chimps to see their forever home. Each guest will receive a rock to paint and while it dries, tour the sanctuary and learn about the lives of the chimps!

4th Annual Blue Ridge Trout Fest & Outdoor Adventures
April 27
LOCATION: Downtown Blue Ridge

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Trout Fest & Outdoor Adventures

Fly-fishing is great fun! It’s outdoorsy, challenging, technical and rewarding especially in Blue Ridge, the Trout Capital of Georgia. The Trout Fest will feature free fly-fishing seminars, fly-tying, fly-casting, and a casting pond will be available. Learn about trout fishing locations around Fannin County from local experts and visit your favorite craft vendors. There will also be food, music, and lots of fun!

New Homes Added to Our Program

What do you want most in a vacation? If it’s a magnificent mountain hideaway on a lakefront, with all the comforts of home but none of the pressures and stresses, you’ll find it at the Blue Ridge cabin rental Happy Place. Located on the north end of Lake Nottely just 12 miles from downtown Blue Ridge, this beautiful, bright and cheery home is the epitome of happiness. It’s a peaceful, welcoming place where you can rest and relax with loved ones, with breathtaking views from the wraparound decks providing the perfect backdrop from sunrise to sunset.You’re welcome to bring up to two small flea-controlled dogs with you to enjoy the fun, relaxation and contentment of your stay at Happy Place, where the name really does say it all. 

Recently Upgraded Cabins

Escape to a mountaintop in Blue Ridge to a home with some of North Georgia’s best views that extend out to two more states. Summit Escape is adjacent to 100 acres of pristine, undisturbed wilderness, yet is convenient to downtown Blue Ridge and McCaysville. There is no better place than this cabin’s expansive wraparound deck or beautiful screened in porch to watch the area’s abounding wildlife from wild turkeys, to deer and hummingbirds.

In Case You Missed It

Long Creek Falls
If you’re looking for a scenic trail with beautiful falls at the end, and to check off a couple high profile hiking trails while you’re at it, Long Creek Falls in the Chattahoochee National Forest in Blue Ridge, Georgia should make it to the top of your list. An easy to moderate difficulty rating, Long Creek Falls is a two-mile round trip “out-and-back trail” that sits directly on the Appalachian Trail (AT), with access to both the Benton McKaye Trail and the Duncan Ridge Trail. Uniquely, the Appalachian Trail and Benton McKaye Trail run together as one route during this particular section of the footpath. Keep Reading.

Thank you again for giving us the privilege of serving you. If we can ever be of assistance, please visit us online at www.escapetoblueridge.com email us at reservations@escapetoblueridge.com or give us a call at 1-866-618-2521. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Many happy returns,
From all of us at Escape to Blue Ridge