July 2021



With Independence Day nearly here and other summer events on the way, July is shaping up to be a fun-filled month! Get out on the water, see some live bands, or watch some fireworks; whatever your July plans are be sure to enjoy the summer with all your loved ones and as always Escape to Blue Ridge for the best mountain getaway! 

UPCOMING EVENTS & ACTIVITIES

Picnic in the Apple Orchard
July 1st – July 31st
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!

Bourbon, BBQ, & Blues
July 1st 
Location: Fightingtown Tavern 

Photo Courtesy of Fightingtown Tavern

If you love a great glass of bourbon, a plate full of barbecue and awesome music then Fightingtown Tavern has just what you need! From 5pm – 9pm enjoy bourbon tastings of 8 different, delicious bourbons. And enjoy some great BBQ and Blues music. It’s $50 per person and all the proceeds go to Freedom for Fido. It’ll be a wonderful night and for a wonderful cause! 

Riverwalk Run Club
July 1st – July 29th 
Location: Riverwalk

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!

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

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Recreation Department

Every Thursday night at 6:00pm, 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!

Summer Youth Arts Camp
July 1st – 2nd 
Location: The Art Center (Blue Ridge Mountains Art Association)

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Mountain 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! Chose 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!

Live Music at Bear Claw Vineyards & Winery
July 2nd – July 31st 
Location: Bear Claw Vineyards

Photo Courtesy of Bear Claw Winery

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!

Live Music at Tooney’s Music & Bar
July 2nd – July 31st 
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! And for a 4th of July special event enjoy an all day Woolybooger Album Release Party from 12pm – 10pm. Nights are always filled with good drinks and music at Tooney’s Music & Bar!

July 2nd: Jess Goggans Band with Woolybooger and the Ragtime Drifters  
July 3rd: Hayden Coffman with special guest Mason Parker 
July 4th: Woolybooger Album Release Party 
July 9th: Jadie Lee & Gabe Myers 
July 24th: Throttle 21 
July 31st: ShuffleJunkies 

Live Music at Bin 322 Wine & Tapas Bar
July 2nd – July 31st  
Location: Bin 322 Wine & Tapas Bar

Photo courtesy of Bin322

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. And on Monday nights from 6pm – 8pm join in on SINGO, music style bingo! There’s always fun to be had at Bin 322! 

July 2ndLoose Shoes Duo 
July 3rd: Vibe 
July 9th: Second Helping 
July 10th: Robbie Litt 
July 16thRusted Melody 
July 17th: Heidi Pollyea and Johanna Millin 
July 23rd: Gabe Myers and Jadie Lee 
July 30th: Surrender Hill 
July 31st: Gypsy Mountain Music 

Live Music at Lake Blue Ridge Marina
July 2nd – July 25th 
Location: Boat Dock Bar & Grill at Lake Blue Ridge Marina 

Photo Courtesy of the 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 – 4pm Sundays. You’ll feel relaxed and renewed in no time!

July 2nd: Barefoot Boone 
July 4thOur Way Band 
July 9th: Danny Rhea
July 10thTravis Bowlin 
July 11th: Lindsay Beth Harper 
July 16th: Travis Bowlin
July 17th: Buck & Oz 
July 18th: David Welch 
July 23rd: Danny Rhea
July 24th: Gregg Erwin 
July 25th: Gerry Herndon

Live Music at Paradise Hills
July 2nd
Location: Paradise Hills, Cabins-Spa-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 select Fridays from 4pm – 8pm and select Saturdays from 1pm – 5pm.

July 2nd: Rhonda Funk 
July 4th: Mother Legacy 

Live Music at Misty Mountain Hops
July 2nd – July 10th 
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!

July 2ndThe Orange Walls Duo 
July 3rd: Mattie Lane 
July 9th: Paul Constantine  
July 10th: Quinn Leach 

Live Music at The Blue Coyote 
July 2nd 
Location: The Blue Coyote 

Photo Courtesy of The Blue Coyote

Blue Coyote is officially back open and ready to be back with events! Stop by July 2nd from 7:30pm – 10:30pm for live music from Slickfoot. As always enjoy some great food while you listen in. And karaoke is every Tuesday from 7:30pm – 10:30pm. 

Independence Day Celebration on the Farm 
July 2nd – July 4th 
Location: Lasso the Moon Alpaca Farm

Photo Courtesy of Lasso the Moon Alpaca Farm

Spend time with some cute alpacas at Lasso the Moon Alpaca farm. There will also be snacks and fiber arts demonstrations. Lasso Moon is offering 3 tours a day and to register for a time slot visit their event page here: https://farmfeltandglass.com/farm-studio-open-house/

Hiawassee Night Market
July 2nd 
Location: Town Square on Main Street Hiawassee, GA

Photo Courtesy of City of Hiawassee

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!

Annual Bulletproof Concert 
July 2nd 
Location: Crane Creek Vineyards 

Photo Courtesy of Crane Creek Vineyards

Check out the Bulletproof band at Crane Creek Vineyards from 7pm – 10:30pm. They’re a dance/party band so be ready to dance the night away! Admission is free and there will also be some great food options as well! 

Old Timer’s Parade
July 3rd 
Location: Downtown Blue Ridge

Photo Courtesy of Fannin County Chamber of Commerce

The Old Timer’s Parade has been a Blue Ridge tradition since the 1950’s. So come downtown from 10am – 12pm in your best period attire, bring your antique cars and celebrate the 4th of July! 

Blue Ridge Freedom 5K 
July 3rd 
Location: Blue Ridge Adventure Gear 

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Freedom 5k.

Be a part of the 4th of July celebration run! Start at Blue Ridge Adventure Gear at 7:30am and make your way through town on this festive 5K. Register here to run: https://runsignup.com/Race/GA/BlueRidge/BlueRidgeFreedom5K?fbclid=IwAR20ZYSdoR9UZTFYvnepugS90jUUzSEiIbWygzk3xOwOaKINxXnayJXauAw

Walk the Line 5K 
July 3rd 
Location: Riverwalk Shops

Photo Courtesy of Riverwalk Shops

Walk the Line 5K is America’s only 5K that crosses two states! Starting at 6:30pm you’ll run through the charming twin cities of Copperhill,TN and McCaysville, GA, pass by the Toccoa River, and cross the steel bridge! Before and after the run stay for food, drinks, and music at the Riverwalk Shops.  The stick around for the Copper Basin fireworks later that night! 

Firework Special-Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
July 3rd 
Location: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is offering a Firework Special train. The train will depart from Blue Ridge at 7:00pm and make it’s way to the twin cities of Copperhill,TN and McCaysville, GA for a fireworks display. Sit outside the train and watch the beautiful fireworks light up the night sky. After the show hop back on the train and return to Blue Ridge by 11pm. You won’t want to miss out on this special train event. 

Copper Basin Fireworks
July 3rd 
Location: Downtown McCaysville & Copperhill

Photo Courtesy of the City of McCaysville

Food, fun, and fireworks await you at the Copper Basin Fireworks show. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, and the whole family to join in the fun! The fireworks start at promptly 9:30pm and go till around 10:30pm. You can see the fireworks from anywhere downtown. Come on out for a special night to celebrate America’s birthday!

Ride the Rails-Tri State Model Railroaders 
July 3rd – 4th 
Location: Historic L&N Depot

Photo Courtesy of the Tri-State Model Railroaders

Drop by the Historic L&N Depot for a fundraiser to benefit the Tri-State Model Railroaders and the Historic Mineral Bluff Depot! You’ll embark on a 5-mile round-trip ride by Railroad Motor Car. When you’re done you can even take a ride on a genuine Railroad Hand Car. And there’s plenty of fun activities for children of all ages to enjoy as well! Be sure to check out the inside of the Depot before you leave to learn all about L&N railroads.  Donations are welcome! 

Farmer’s Market 
July 3rd – July 31st 
Location: Deep Roots Orchard

Photo 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 – 1:00pm now till September 25th!

Downtown Market Blue Ridge 
July 3rd – July 31st 
Location: 400 West Main Street 

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Farmers Market

Enjoy this wonderful market every Saturday from 8:00am – 12:00pm 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!

Music at The Black Sheep
July 3rd – July 25th 
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!

Live Music at Cartecay Vineyards 
July 3rd – July 31st 
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!

July 3rd: Timothy O’Donovan 
July 4th: Travis Bowlin 
July 10th: Brett Cantrell 
July 11th: Rick Stone 
July 17th: Rusted Melody 
July 18th: Sarah Forde 
July 24th: Lindsay Beth Harper 
July 25thRyan LittleEagle
July 31st: Jorge Valenzuela 

Live Music at Grumpy Old Men Brewing 
July 3rd – July 24th 
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!

July 3rd: The Orange Walls Duo 
July 9th: Lindsay Beth Harper 
July 16thDoctor Paul 
July 18th: Sean Bulow 
July 24th: Hayden Miles

Concert on Hiawassee Square
July 3rd – July 31st 
Location: Hiawassee Square

Photo Courtesy of the City of Hiawassee

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

Lake Nottely Boat Parade 
July 4th 
Location: Nottely Marina 

Photo Courtesy of Nottely Marina

Head on over to the Lake Nottely Marina in Blairsville for their annual Independence Day Boat Parade. Have a boat? Join in the lineup starting at 10:30am. There’s no charge to enter your boat and you may decorate it however you’d like! Then at 11:30am the boats will pass by and all can enjoy in the beautiful parade! 

Lake Blue Ridge Fireworks 
July 4th 
Location: Lake Blue Ridge Dam

Photo Courtesy of Lake Blue Ridge Civic Association

Join us at Lake Blue Ridge for the annual fireworks show! The fireworks start at 9:30pm and last till about 10:30pm. The best places to view the show are from the Morganton Point Recreation Area, from a boat in Lake Blue Ridge near the Lake Blue Ridge Dam, from the Lake Blue Ridge Marina, or from the Lake Blue Ridge Dam. It’s sure to be a great and festive night! 

Fireworks at Meeks Park 
July 4th 
Location: Meeks Park

Photo Courtesy of the Blairsville Chamber

Head over to Meeks Park in Blairsville for even more fireworks, shooting off from 9:30pm – 10pm! 

July 4th Fireworks 
July 4th 
Location: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Photo Courtesy of the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Head over to Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee for great music and fireworks! The Vintage Vixens will be performing from 6pm – 8:30pm and the firework show will start at 9:45pm. It’s a family friendly event and there’s plenty of room for everyone! 

Live Music at Buck Bald Brewing
July 4th-July 5th 
Location: Buck Bald Brewing 

Photo Courtesy of Buck Bald Brewing

Buck Bald Brewing always brings great beer and great times to Copperhill, TN. To top it off they’re bringing in great live music as well! 

July 4th: Jeb Rogers at 1:30pm
July 5th: Gary’s Birthday with Gerry Herndon at 3:00pm 

Yoga by the River 
July 4th 
Location: Old Toccoa Farm 

Photo Courtesy of Christie Gribble

Be at peace on Old Toccoa Farm for a yoga class by the river! Christie Gribble will be teaching an all levels vinyasa flow class at 9am on a flat grassy area, tucked away from the golf course. Bring any mat and props you’d like and if you don’t have any email Christie at christiegribble@gmail.com.  

2nd Saturdays at Riverwalk
July 10th 
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!

The Odd Couple
July 15th – July 31st 
Location: Blue Ridge Community Theater 

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Community Theater

Blue Ridge Community Theater is putting on the classic comedy The Odd Couple! The play follows a clean freak and a slob who decide to live together with hilarious results. Shows are Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm. The show runs now till August 8th, call the box office at 706-632-9191 for tickets! 

Live Music at Grandaddy Mimm’s 
July 17th
Location Grandaddy Mimm’s Distilling Co.

Photo Courtesy of Grandaddy Mimms

Sip on moonshine or vodka while listening to the wonderful music of Tommy Townsend and the Country River Band from 7pm – 9pm! 

Movie Night at Deep Root Orchard
July 17th 
Location: Deep Root Orchard

Photo Courtesy of Deep Roots Orchard

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

Butternut Creek Art Festival 
July 17th – July 18th 
Location: Meeks Park

Photo Courtesy of Butternut Creek Festival

This two day art festival is one of the finest in the Southeast! You’ll see craftsmen specializing in basketry, fine art, fabric art, decorative painting, photography, pottery, and so much more! The event runs Saturday from 10am – 5pm and Sunday 10am – 4pm & admission is free! 

National Juried Photography Show
July 24th – July 31st 
Location: The Art Center (Blue Ridge Mountain Art Association) 

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Mountain Art Association

Come on out to the Art Center now through August 28th to see beautiful digital media from local artists. Enjoy photography or videography? Submit your work and see if you can win Best in Show! Artists and art lovers alike are welcome! 

3D Off the Wall Exhibit
July 24th – July 31st 
Location: The Art Center (Blue Ridge Mountain Art Association)

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Mountain Art Association

Admire the beauty of 3D art at the 11th annual Off the Wall exhibit!

Georgia Mountain Moonshine Cruiz-In 
July 29th – July 31st 
Location: Meeks Park 

Photo Courtesy of Georgia Mountain Moonshine Cruiz-In

3 days of fun, crafts, vendors, good food, and classic cars and bikes in Blairsville! Admission is $10 and children 12 and under are free! 

Summer Fun Arts & Crafts Show
July 29th – July 31st 
Location: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Photo Courtesy of Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Head on over to Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds for a great day of fun! You’ll find all kinds of works of art like pottery, paintings, jewlery, signs, crochet, knitting, candles, soap, and so much more! The event runs Thursday-Saturday, 10am – 5pm daily and tickets are $5 a person! 

Memory Lane Classic Car Auction & Car Show
July 30th – July 31st 
Location: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Photo Courtesy of Memory Lane Classic Cars

Are you a car lover? Then this event is for you! There will be over 100 classic cars displayed as well as food vendors, music, arts and crafts, prizes and more! The event runs Friday and Saturday from 10am – 4pm. Admission is $10 a person and children 12 & under are free! 

Dwight Yoakam
July 31st 
Location: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds 

Photo Courtesy of the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

Multi-Grammy, country superstar Dwight Yoakam is live and in concert at Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds! Hear some of his most famous hits live! Tickets are $47 and the show starts at 7pm! 

Schoolcation



With times being what they are many of us are working from home and doing virtual school as well. We know that constantly being cooped up in the house can get old really fast, so we invite you and the family to come escape with us!

Since everything is online anyways, who says you have to do it at your home? Bring your work and virtual school with you and come to your Blue Ridge home away from home for a change of scenery. You can still get everything accomplished but you can do it while looking at beautiful mountains or relaxing by the fire! Then after the work is finished unwind with fun activities all around Blue Ridge!

Change of Scenery 

All About the View Cabin

With over a year in these crazy times, we can all agree that we are pretty tired of being cooped up in the house all day looking at the same four walls. Plus, there is not much variation in our everyday routines. Wake up, virtual school, homework, dinner, and bedtime. It can be hard for adults to keep focused when you’re doing the same thing over and over, and it’s especially challenging for kids.

In fact, many adults and kids alike have developed mental health issues being isolated from the rest of the world and not having our regular socialization opportunities. And always trying to find new and wild ideas to keep yourself and the kids entertained is a chore in itself. We know that you and the kids still have work to do but why not do it somewhere else, like in Blue Ridge? The fresh change of scenery will be just what your family needs to feel renewed and focused once more. Getting out of the house and somewhere new can also help with mental health. It’ll be a much-needed getaway for the whole family!

Spacious Cabins

Eagles Landing Cabin

At Escape to Blue Ridge we pride ourselves on our spacious cabins that are stocked with all the best amenities. Everyone will have their own space to spread out and get their work done during the day.

Work on the back porch overlooking the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains or inside by the cozy fire or even lounging on one of the cabin’s many comfy beds. Wherever you choose to work you can be sure you won’t be distracted and will be able to fully focus on the task at hand. After school is finished, have the kids take advantage of the game room where they can play foosball, air hockey, and board games to their heart’s content. Then enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal in the beautiful, spacious kitchen. After dinner head outside for a bonfire and eat lots of s’mores! With amenities just like this and more, you and the family will be set for your stay! 

Get Outdoors 

One of the great parts about Blue Ridge, especially in these times, is it’s easy access to so many wonderful outdoor activities! After being cooped up in the house for months you’ll love a chance to get outside and breathe in the fresh mountain air.

During breaks and after school grab the family to explore countless hiking trails, rivers and streams, waterfalls, mountain peaks, and more! The possibilities are endless! Though one thing is for sure, whatever your outdoor adventures entail, you’ll enjoy escaping the world and being one with nature. That’s just the way life was meant to be lived!

After School Fun 

When the school day is done there’s lots of fun to be had in Blue Ridge for kids of all ages! Unwind and have a blast with fun activities the whole family will enjoy!

-Expedition Bigfoot
Photo Courtesy of @littlebitty87

Let the kids come face to face with none other than Bigfoot himself at Expedition BigFoot: The Sasquatch Museum.  Explore the museum to find all sorts of artifacts, life sized exhibits, photos and maps of Bigfoot sightings, the Bigfoot research and Tech Vehicle, and so much more! Not only is the museum a blast for kids but it’s educational too. It’s the perfect place for a fun filled, family outing!

-Hikes to Waterfalls & Swinging Bridge 
Photo Courtesy of @ancole78

Take advantage of the outdoors and go for a hike to one of Blue Ridge’s waterfalls or the Toccoa Swinging Bridge. They’ll love getting a chance to go outside and explore. With so many kids nowadays attached at the hip to electronics this will be the perfect opportunity to get them out and enjoying nature. Be sure to take some great family photos while you’re out hiking as well!

-Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
Photo Courtesy of @chushon

Most kids simply adore trains, it’s just in their nature. So why not fulfill that love by taking them on a scenic train ride through the beautiful Blue Ridge? They’ll have an absolute blast choo-chooing along with the train as it rolls down the tracks. And if you’re visiting during the Christmas season you and the kids can even hop on a special “Santa Express” ride. There’s a reason people from far and wide love riding on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway; it’s a great experience the whole family can enjoy. 

-Lilly Pad Village 
Photo Courtesy of @ashleywilliams1224

Kids love to interact and use their hands, so the Lily Pad Village is just the place for them. There’s something for kids of all ages like gem mining, fishing, mini golf, and more! The gem mining experience is fun, interactive, and educational. Dig through the trays to find beautiful gemstones and the staff will even provide you with educational information on what you’ve found.  Your kids will come home with a full stash of rocks and gemstones!

-Mercier Orchards 

Mercier Orchards is by far one of our visitors favorite attractions. Famous for their U-Pick events your kids will get a chance to roam the orchard finding the best apples. And Mercier doesn’t just grow apples; they grow strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and peaches as well, so there’s always something tasty to pick. Also enjoy some of their delicious baked goods and meals from the bakery and market cafe. There’s nothing like a warm, fried apple pie to end the day and we dare you to not indulge on their apple cider donuts!  

-Horseback 

Another thing that kids love is horses! Not only does it teach them horsemanship, but horseback riding is a great way to build up self confidence and see the world from a new perspective. So take the kids on a horseback riding excursion through the forest, past lakes and rivers, and gaze up at the stunning mountains all around you. It’s the perfect adventure the whole family will love!

-Sweets 
Photo Courtesy of The Sweet Shoppe of the South

And every kid of course has a sweet tooth, so be sure to take them for the best desserts in town! Enjoy cakes and cookies at The Sweet Shoppe or Mona Lisa’s Dessert House. Or fudge and ice cream at The Chocolate Express. The sugar possibilities are endless and this writer’s mouth is watering just thinking about all the local sweets!

-Activity Book

Another great way to get the kids out of the house is with our Kids Activity Book! Send them on a scavenger hunt to find all kinds of outdoor items. Or have them check off a bingo box for each place they’ve visited. And even have them help Ricky the Raccoon with identifying forest creatures, counting, and more. It’s a great way to get kids learning and having fun while they do it! Stop by our Property Management offices to pick up a copy or download your own copy: www.escapetoblueridge.com/blue-ridge-georgia-activity-booklet.pdf 

10 Best Blue Ridge Photo Ops



Who doesn’t love a good photo-op? On a family trip? Take a photo. On an exciting adventure? Take a photo. An outing with your friends? Take a photo. In this modern age of social media and iPhones, photo-ops and selfies have become a part of everyday life.

Being a small town, tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains sure has its benefits. We have so many fun and unique places that you can’t find anywhere else, which make for amazing photo ops! So, we’ve comprised a list of the 10 best selfie/photo-op spots here in Blue Ridge!

Next time you escape to Blue Ridge be sure to stop by some of these famous sites and take some great photos. Be sure to share anything you take with us, we love to see how much fun you’re having and which places are your favorite!

  • Cover Photo Courtesy of @k4fish

The Wall

Photo Courtesy of Gabrielle Perlman

When visiting the area it’s a MUST to take pictures in front of the Blue Ridge wall in Downtown Blue Ridge. Located on the corner of Mountain and East First Street, this is the perfect backdrop for all your fun photo-ops! This backdrop is a fantastic representation of Blue Ridge and a great way to start off your trip. After you take the picture be sure to explore all Downtown Blue Ridge has to offer from its fantastic shops, great art scene, and its delicious restaurants!

The Bears

Photo Courtesy of Chanel Josephson

How cute are these friendly bears? Located at the entrance of the Blue Ridge Mountain Mall, this welcoming bear is a perfect addition to your photo. And after you grab the picture check out the Mountain Mall for all things antiques and collectibles!

The Bridge

Photo Courtesy of Mari Ortiz

Not only is this iconic bridge a perfect place to explore while hiking or kayaking but it’s also a great location for a photo-op! It’s become a staple of the most liked photo spots in Blue Ridge and it’s not hard to see why. The bridge over the Toccoa River is the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi River, spanning 270 feet long! It’s surrounded by the beautiful Chattahoochee National Forest so there are trees all around, and at this time of year, the trees are sure to be at peak color. And with the beautiful river flowing freely down below, it really is a fantastic spot. Located on the Benton MacKaye Trail and the Duncan Ridge National Recreation Trail in Fannin County, make sure to put this experience on your list of must-sees!

The Falls

Photo Courtesy of @ancole78

In Blue Ridge we are lucky enough to have 4 stunning waterfalls nearby; Amicalola Falls, Helton Creek Falls, Fall Branch Falls, and Long Branch Falls.  Any of these breathtaking and beautiful waterfalls are fantastic spots to take a great photo.

Amicalola Falls is the highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River at 729 feet! Located in Amicalola Falls State Park, it may be a hike to get there but I promise the views are worth the trip to see this huge waterfall up close! 

Helton Creek Falls is a series of two beautiful waterfalls in the Chattahoochee National Forest of close-by Blairsville. Luckily, getting to this waterfall is a fairly easy and short hike. This gorgeous double waterfall that flows into the creek below is a sight you won’t want to miss.

Fall Branch Falls, on the Benton MacKaye Trail, is another stunning double waterfall. With a 30+ foot drop, the water drops into a deep pool at the base of the waterfall; perfect for swimming in warm weather. It’s another short hike to this waterfall but is also fairly steep, the views are worth the uphill battle though!

And last but not least we have Long Branch Falls on the Appalachian/Benton MacKaye Trail. This beautiful waterfall rushes over the surrounding boulders and cliffs and drops about 50 feet. This is another fairly easy hike, only 30 minutes uphill. 

The Bald

Courtesy of Brasstown Bald

The views from on top of Brasstown Bald are completely out of this world beautiful! It’s the highest mountain peak in all of Georgia, and from the observation tower, you can see 4 different states at once! It truly is a sight to behold. Since the elevation is so high, you can even see the clouds over the mountains, which always takes my breath away!

Coke & a Smile

Another great backdrop for your pictures is the Coca-Cola wall, which is also located in Downtown Blue Ridge. Located at the end of East Main Street on the side of the Fly Fishing shop, it’s the perfect backdrop for both Coke and Blue Ridge lovers alike. Get a couple of friends, grab the shot, and share a coke with Blue Ridge!

The Orchard 

Photo Courtesy of Kendra Mae

Mercier Orchard is the largest apple orchard in the southeast and one of the most popular places to visit while in Blue Ridge. With so much fun to be had from picking fruit, to shopping, and gobbling up their delish bakery treats, it’s a great place to take the family! Throughout the orchard, there are so many places to take awesome pictures, but by far the most popular spot is the entrance. Nothing screams Blue Ridge like standing in front of the sign of one its most popular attractions! 

For Husbands 

Photo Courtesy of @Ancole78

How funny is this!? Having the husband take a photo in front of this sign would be a hilarious and fun memory. The “Husband Daycare Center” is actually the Black Bear Bier Garten, which is a German bar and pub. Take a fantastic photo in front of the sign and then head inside for some great German fare! 

The Tree & The Train

We couldn’t possibly leave the famous “tree” off the list! Located at the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, this tree shows off its stunning colors every fall. It’s become one of the most photographed things in Blue Ridge during the fall season because you just can’t beat those stunning colors! After you take a photo (or 10) in front of Blue Ridge’s famous tree, be sure to snap some of the train before you hitch a ride on the scenic railway for even more beautiful sights!

GA/TN Line

Photo Courtesy of Dan Blankowski

How many times can you say you’ve been in two places at once? Or even two states at once? Probably not very often! But you CAN be in two places at once and snag a great picture if you visit the twin cities of McCaysville, GA and Copperhill, TN. Here is the sign between the two states that is sure to provide you with all kinds of fun photos!

Escape To Blue Ridge

Our property management offices located at 1844 Old Hwy 76 is a perfect place to stop in, pick up a Kid’s Activity Book and get your photo taken with our holiday trees! Who says trees are just for Christmas anyway? We love celebrating all the holidays with our seasonal tree!

12 “Cool” Blue Ridge Activities



The leaves are gone, the air is getting chilly, and the days are shorter; winter is here! While some may dread the winter months there’s nothing to be upset about while you’re in Blue Ridge. So much winter fun can be had at your cabin or nearby in town! Here’s a list of 12 cool things to do when you Escape to Blue Ridge this winter. 

Stargaze

Photo Courtesy of JMC Artistic Photography

Grab your favorite hot beverage, head outside, lay down a blanket, and look up at the stars all around you. Being in a small mountain town we don’t get any light pollution so you can see stars for miles. In fact, you don’t even need to travel far, you can stargaze right from your own cabin!

Bring a blanket and lay it on the ground, then curl up with friends or your loved one to enjoy the beauty of the night sky. Maybe even bring some fun snacks! It may be chilly but with the right people, blankets, and warm beverages you won’t even notice the cold. You’ll feel far away from the rest of the world as you gaze up into the beautiful starry sky, that seems to never end. We promise it’ll take your breath away!

Game Night or Movie Night

Get the family and friends together for a night in. Curl up by the fireplace with some warm blankets and delicious snacks and have a movie night. For festive fun make it a Christmas movie night! Everyone will enjoy how cozy and relaxed they feel while still having plenty of room to stretch out. You can never go wrong with a bunch of great people and great movies to binge.

If you want some more social interaction have a fun-filled game night instead. Grab your favorite board games and show your family just how good you really are! Put your brain to the test and guess that it was Mrs. Scarlet, in the study with a rope in Clue, or make your family go bankrupt in Monopoly. Whatever you do on your cozy night in, make sure to bring the snacks! 

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway 

Hitch a ride on Blue Ridge Scenic Railway for some gorgeous views and winter fun! Enjoy a peaceful winter ride past the Appalachian foothills while you sip on a cup of hot chocolate. Or if you’re looking for a more festive experience get a ticket for the Santa Express. You can enjoy a Christmas themed ride through North Georgia. Children even receive Christmas bells and candy canes! And on select days in December you can take the train to Santa Pavilion in the sister towns of McCaysville, GA and Copperhill, TN to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus. No matter what ride you chose stunning views await you! 

Spa Day

Photo Courtesy of Serenity in the Mountains

Relax and treat yourself to a spa day with our friends at Serenity in the Mountains! Get pampered with massages, facials, skin care and body treatments. You can even get a manicure or pedicure and a new hair -do while you’re there! You’ll be refreshed and glowing for the holiday season by the time you leave.

Be sure to try out their famous Salt Cave for ultimate relaxation. Lay back and soak in the complete feeling of calm you’ll get while you listen to soft music and breathe in the salt particles. Inhaling these salt particles can help to reduce inflammation in the entire respiratory tract, widen the airway passages, eliminate mucous and allergens, and give you an overall improved immune system. It’s even good for your skin! For a calming escape from the stress of holiday planning stop by Serenity in the Mountains to get your relax on!

Hike the Trails

Being in the heart of the Blue Ridge mountains you can, of course, always hike the trails. Breathe in that crisp mountain air and work up a sweat while exploring all Blue Ridge has to offer. With dozens of trails to chose from explore waterfalls, rivers, mountain peaks, forests, and lakes alike. It wouldn’t be a trip to the mountains without getting outside and taking it all in. 

Christmas Shows

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Community Theater

Get in the Christmas spirit with some local theater! Blue Ridge Community Theater is putting on Elf the Musical from November 19th-December 13th. What could be more Christmasy then such a beloved holiday film but in musical form? Remember what Buddy says, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!” Or enjoy Gift of the Magi 2.0 also at Blue Ridge Community Theater running November 27th- December 13th. The show takes place in Atlanta in the 1950’s, during the Atlanta Transit strike. A man and his beloved wife try to find one another the perfect Christmas gift to show their love. It’s a touching show that will leave you feeling good inside. 

For more holiday shows check out Annie at the Sunny D Children’s Theater running December 17th-20th. Nothing can put a smile on your face more than listening to children sing. And afterall, Annie is such a beloved and timeless musical everyone can enjoy!

Shopping 

Everyone loves a good shopping trip, especially if it involves getting everyone on your list Christmas gifts! Pop into the shops at Downtown Blue Ridge for a variety of fun and different Christmas gift ideas. Grab something for your outdoorsy dad at Blue Ridge Adventure Wear and then mosey on over to Blue Ridge Olive Oil Company to grab some delicious and unique oils for moms cooking. Pick up some art to go in that blank space above your TV at High Country Art or take a little bit of Blue Ridge home with you and grab a shirt from Blue Ridge Cotton Company.

When you need a snack break from all your shopping stop by Black Sheep or Chester’s for some delicious food. Even enjoy looking at all the shops windows decorated for Christmas. You’ll be sure to find something great for everyone on your list at Downtown Blue Ridge and maybe even a couple of things to spoil yourself with as well!

Polar Bear Plunge

If you’re feeling especially adventurous you could always take a dip in the freezing water and take the Polar Bear Plunge. Jump into the Toccoa River or Lake Blue Ridge if you really want to; just make sure to have something warm to bundle up with when you get out. And then maybe head back to your cabin and soak in a warm bath afterwards too! A Polar Bear Plunge certainly isn’t for everyone, but hey if that’s you, go for it and have some fun!

Look at Holiday lights

Photo Courtesy of Crescent Moon Images

Blue Ridge and the surrounding areas have so many wonderful places to enjoy Christmas lights! Head over to Hiawassee and the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds for their Mountain Country Christmas celebration. Running every night Thursday-Saturday from November 26th-December 26th, enjoy seeing the Fairgrounds all lit up with lights reflecting off of Lake Chatuge. There will also be art and craft vendors, food vendors, music, and Santa himself!

If you are in town on November 27th, stop in McCaysville to see the town fully decorated and lit up. Also enjoy the shops and restaurants McCaysville has to offer. And at 7:30 make sure you don’t miss the annual tree and bridge lighting! You could even drive around the Blue Ridge area with your family and look at all the local Christmas decorations and lights.

Bonfire

On cold chilly nights bonfires always hit the spot! Imagine sitting around the fire roasting marshmallows, telling stories, and breathing in the fresh mountain air. How cozy does that sound? Make a night out of it and bring the hot dogs too for a simple yet delicious and timeless dinner. If things start to get a little chilly but you’re not quite ready to go in for the night, grab some blankets and hot chocolate to warm yourself up and enjoy!

Make cookies and gingerbread houses 

The Floen Family at “Panoramic Grace” cabin

The holidays are all about baking and eating, and what better things to bake than cookies!? Get everyone together to make the perfect cookies; snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, sugar, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, or all of them! It’s never a problem to have too many cookies, they’ll get eaten one way or the another.

Use cookie cutters to make your cookies into fun shapes if you want. Then crank up the Christmas music and dance around the kitchen while you wait for them to bake. When the cookies are finished decorate them if you want! Put that green frosting on to make the perfect tree or that red frosting to make Santa’s hat just right. Then eat to your hearts content, but don’t forget the milk!

For more fun Christmas food activities and snacking, buy a gingerbread house kit and assemble it. You can even make it from scratch if you feel like you’re a master gingerbread house architect. If you’re more successful with gingerbread house construction than me, and your walls actually stick together and your roof doesn’t cave in, then enter your gingerbread house in Blue Ridge’s own Gingerbread House Contest. Your masterpiece will be on display from November 27th- December 13th! 

Decorate your cabin

Raccoon Retreat” Cabin

If you’re staying with us for Christmas you might as well bring the Christmas with you! Put up a tree (ask about our tree service) and decorate the cabin, nothing will have you feeling more in the Christmas spirit than being surrounded by Christmas décor in your home away from home! We want you to get the full Christmas experience when you stay with us so have fun dolling the place up, just make sure you (pretty please) clean up when you leave. Blast the Christmas music, put on little Ralphie Parker on the tv in the background, and deck the cabin out! 

Whether you’re in Blue Ridge for the winter season or the holidays there’s so much fun to be had while you’re here! Experience all we have to offer and really enjoy your time soaking it all in. You deserve it after the year we’ve had! So spread some Christmas cheer and have some winter fun, and most importantly have a great time on you Escape to Blue Ridge! 

Fall is Prime Time to go to Blue Ridge



Guest Blog by Blake Guthrie as written for the AJC (Atlanta Journal & Constitution).

The Cabin

Photo Courtesy of Blake Guthrie

Cloud Nine. It’s the type of name one would expect for a mountain vacation rental home. It’s one of those places that if you try and follow GPS directions you’ll get lost. The rental agency sent a confirmation that stressed the importance of following the turn-by-turn directions provided in the email, including detail you wouldn’t get from a GPS such as “go right when you see a bunch of mailboxes.”

The Approach

Photo Courtesy of Blake Guthrie

What it didn’t mention was the very steep and winding one-lane road. After putting my Honda into its lowest gear for the first time ever and having to navigate past an approaching vehicle, I came to the crest of Sunrock Mountain four miles west of Blue Ridge. I saw that Cloud Nine was the type of place I might want to hole-up for a while, but, having never been to Blue Ridge or nearby Ellijay before, I came to do some exploring, to find the most beautiful scenery and the best outdoor spots to experience the autumnal ambiance.

The Train

Photo courtesy of @chusion

It turned out the back porch of the cabin was one of those places. In the morning I could see how the cabin got its name. It was literally in the clouds, the surrounding mountain peaks sticking up through a thick white blanket covering the valleys below. Still, I had to venture out. First on my itinerary was the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. The major attraction in town, the railway has been in operation as a sightseeing excursion train since 1998 along tracks that have a history going back as far as 1886. The tracks follow the route of the winding Toccoa River through the Chattahoochee National Forest to the twin towns of McCaysville and Copperhill, Tennessee. They’re essentially the same town with the state line running through the middle. Like a running joke, the line is demarcated by a blue stripe painted on sidewalks, roadways and running through the middle of businesses.

The train rolls at a leisurely pace and the open-air windows are large, making it a prime fall sightseeing adventure with a good dose of history thrown in. Along the way, you’ll see a Native American fish trap in the middle of the river that experts believe is 500 years old, and the old telegraph poles that used to be the fastest form of communication in a bygone era. The trip takes four hours, with two spent in McCaysville/Copperhill for exploring the towns.

McCaysville

If hunger strikes, Burra Burra on the River in McCaysville is near the train station and serves pub fare and local brews. Be sure to ask for outside seating, weather permitting. The real selling point here is the covered deck that overlooks the clear waters of the Toccoa River flowing past the state line where it becomes the Ocoee River after crossing into Tennessee.

Piano Bar

Photo Courtesy of The Black Sheep

Back in Blue Ridge, the largest patio bar in town can be found at Black Sheep Restaurant, where the seasonal menu leans heavily on seafood. Housed in a historic home shaded by a 200-year-old oak tree, the patio overlooks the center of town. It’s a popular place, so make reservations for dinner. Or just have a drink at the bar.

Breweries

The craft beer scene is surprisingly good in Blue Ridge for such a small town that was dry not too long ago. Two breweries — Fannin Brewing Company and Grumpy Old Men Brewing — both have large, inviting outdoor beer gardens where you can play cornhole, meet the locals and catch some live music. Wine drinkers have no shortage of options either, as wineries have been opening at a fast clip in this area over the last few years.

Photo Courtesy of Bear Claw Vineyards

Near Ellijay, Chateau Meichtry (pronounced “my-tree”) stands out not only for its wine but also its patio outside the barn tasting room where the rolling vineyards reveal a long-range view of the mountains to the north.At Bear Claw Vineyards visitors can spend the night in the Blue Ridge Treehouse, featured on the DIY Network show “The Treehouse Guys.” The treehouse overlooks the vineyards and contains all the amenities one would expect when staying in a hotel.

Apple Country

Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

No trip to the North Georgia mountains during the fall harvest season would be complete without taking advantage of apple country. The pull of a roadside farm store backed by endless acres of fruit orchards is undeniable. Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge and R&A Orchards outside Ellijay both have roadside markets selling freshly picked apples and other fruits, fresh-baked goods, local foodstuffs and offer pick-your-own days as well as plenty of free samples.

Welcome to the Mountains!

Photo Courtesy of Blake Guthrie

Lake Blue Ridge is the centerpiece of a scenic drive worth exploring. Stop at the Blue Ridge Welcome Center to pick up a detailed map. Ringed by mountains, the lake has clear, emerald-hued water and a pristine, forested shoreline. The route also runs alongside the tumbling rapids of the Toccoa River, rolling farmland, historic houses, and has many side hikes to cascading waterfalls and other pastoral pleasures. Bring comfortable hiking shoes and make an afternoon of it if you plan to visit all the stops listed on the map. On my last morning at Cloud Nine, I got up early enough to see the sunrise over the Blue Ridge Mountains and stayed on the porch until checkout. Sometimes where you are is the best place to be.

If You Go

Blue Ridge is 92 miles north of Atlanta.

What to see

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. $35 and up. 241 Depot St., Blue Ridge. 877-413-8724, brscenic.com

R&A Orchards. 5505 Hwy. 52 East, Ellijay. 706-273-3821, www.randaorchards.com

Where to stay

Escape to Blue Ridge. Cabins $140-$1,800 per night. 866-618-2521, www.escapetoblueridge.com.

Blue Ridge Treehouse. $234 and up. 2555 Tennis Court Road, Blue Ridge. 706-223-3750, blueridgetreehouse.com.

Where to Eat

Burra Burra on the River. $11 and up. 100 Blue Ridge Drive, McCaysville. 706-400-6660, www.burraburraontheriver.com.

Black Sheep Restaurant. $20 and up. 480 W. Main St., Blue Ridge 706-946-3663, www.blacksheepblueridge.com.

Visitor Info

Blue Ridge Welcome Center. 152 Orvin Lance Drive. 800-899-6867, www.blueridgemountains.com.

Ellijay Welcome Center. 10 Broad St. 706-635-7400, www.gilmerchamber.com.

Weird Oh!



There has been quite the buzz of late regarding the revitalization happening in the twin cities of McCaysville, GA and Copperhill, TN. Word is there is an investor that has been helping to spur along the progress where the state lines meet. So, we decided to go check it out. And Wow! What a turnaround!  Things are definitely changing for the better in these two little towns, but our favorite stop of the trip was this obscure little shop, right on the corner as you come into McCaysville called Weird Oh!

Weird Oh! is not a product of the fancy investor. Weird Oh! is the brainchild of a very special lady with a gigantic heart. Once upon a time, proprietor Erin Hawley, earned a living as a comedian on the coast of North Carolina. Her favorite destination to vacation was in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia. As her life progressed and her three children grew in age, she decided it was time for a change and she relocated to her vacation spot.

McCaysville, Ga

Since there were no comedy clubs in Blue Ridge, she thought maybe that would be a great business venture. However, space in downtown Blue Ridge is hard to come by. One day Erin and her eight-year-old son were walking around the McCaysville area and she thought “what do children do here for fun?” So, for the next few days, they walked the area, mother and son, back and forth, thinking and talking. Then one day on their regular walk, a for sale signed appeared in the window of the ugliest building you have ever seen. It was red and orange and just an eye sore.

As a creative artist, Erin saw a diamond in the rough and contacted the owner. For weeks she single handedly, with only the help of her youngest child, worked tirelessly to give a major facelift to this corner building. There may have been some gawking of townsfolk as Erin worked. You see, Ms. Hawley does not look like your typical business owner. Tall and gorgeous? Yes! Conservative and formal? No! Erin loves her makeup, her fashion, and it is very unlikely to catch her in any shoe other than high heels. And since she is an artist, you should expect that her body has been used as a canvas so don’t be surprised by her colorful expressions.

The Deets

So, what exactly is Weird Oh!? Well, it’s a magical emporium of fun! Better known as an unusual place for unusual people, inside you will find peculiar treasures and trinkets. It’s a place where kids can be kids and adults can be kids too! Everything can be touched, moved, and you can even write on the walls and not get in trouble! The only rule that you will encounter is that laughter is a must! No matter what. Laugh, have fun, pick up a toy, purchase a gag gift that will make someone laugh. Giggle a little, chuckle a lot, let out a guffaw if something strikes your funny bone. You won’t be judged, because Weird Oh is all about fun!

Like we told you in the beginning, Erin has a very big heart. Her whole purpose in opening Weird Oh! was to have a place for kids to come in and be kids. She gives gifts to almost every little one that opens the “Alice in Wonderland” door. Additionally, she supports Shop with a Cop, little league teams, and every opportunity for a child to get a toy that makes them happy. Being called a weirdo her whole life, Erin embraces her uniqueness and uses it in a way to positively impact the youth of the area.

Stop in next time you ride the Blue Ridge train or when you just find yourself exploring the twin cities of Georgia and Tennessee. Bonus tip: If you yell out “Dang, You’re Beautiful!” you get 10% off your whole order!